Now that CBD is becoming more and more widely accepted across the globe, there is plenty of clinical research and studies that point towards cannabidiol being able to help with anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, and more.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has also shown promise when it comes to helping people who suffer from arthritis. Research suggests that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory and can aid in decreasing pain associated with all types of arthritis. This includes rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, and other kinds of inflammatory joint disease.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis directly affects your joints and causes tenderness and swelling. Some of the most common symptoms of arthritis are stiffness and joint pain, and these pains typically get worse with time. Some of the other symptoms include:
- Decreased range of motion
Three of the most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, followed by gout.
Osteoarthritis causes your cartilage, which is the tissue that covers the ends of your bones where they come together and make a joint, to weaken and break down. Cartilage serves the purpose of cushioning the ends of your bones, but once it has been damaged it can result in bone on bone friction. This causes pain, restricted movement, and decreased range of motion.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes your immune system to target or attack your joints, starting with the lining. The lining is a tough membrane that encloses and protects the joint parts but it will become swollen and inflamed with rheumatoid arthritis. As this disease progresses, it will eventually destroy the cartilage and the bone from within the joint.
Gout is also a form of arthritis, in which there are unusually high levels of uric acid in your blood. This type is characterized by severe and sudden attacks of pain that cause swelling, redness, warmth, and tenderness. Usually, this pain will occur in the joint located at the base of your big toe.
Treatment varies depending on the type of arthritis you are dealing with, but the main goal for all of them is to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of living.
Is CBD safe?
CBD is considered to be safe, although it is important to find a reputable source to purchase it from. Some companies spend much more time regulating and testing their cannabidiol products with the goal of purity and safety in mind, while others do not. It’s also important to always keep an eye on the ingredients listed on the product.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that it can interact with certain medications that people with arthritis usually take. Such as corticosteroids, naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), and some antidepressants. You can see a full list of potential drug interactions from The National Library of Medicine. It’s also a good idea to talk with your doctor before introducing CBD to your routine.
How can CBD help arthritis?
The relaxing and calming effects of cannabidiol can affect your entire body, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons and it helps to relax stiff joints. It also serves as a powerful anti-inflammatory, which can ease the joint pain associated with arthritis. The primary benefit of CBD oil for people suffering from arthritis is its positive effect on the discomfort that’s associated with it.
A study published back in December of 2017 evaluated whether or not CBD could prevent osteoarthritis pain and joint neuropathy. Their findings confirmed that it was able to do both. It was able to decrease joint inflammation and also showed promise in protecting the nerves.
What forms of CBD should I consider?
CBD can be ingested in numerous ways, there are pros and cons to each of them.
By Mouth: CBD can be ingested orally, or swallowed. You can find capsules, edibles, or you can use isolates mixed into food or drink. This method of ingestion has to be absorbed through your digestive tract, which results in slow-absorption and inconsistent dosing. You may have to take higher doses depending on how much you’ve eaten that day, how your stomach acids will react to it, and other factors.
Capsules are easy to take, just like any other pill. Each capsule will contain the same dose every time, so you can experiment with how many capsules you’ll need to achieve your desired results. If you are planning on taking CBD through edibles, such as candies or gummies, keep in mind that dosing is unpredictable.
CBD can also be used sublingually, where you would use a tincture and dropper to put the extract directly under your tongue.
Vaped or inhaled: Cannabidiol can be inhaled through the use of vape pens. This method is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream and you will feel the effects almost immediately. You can also find CBD infused vape juice that is flavored, which can be appealing since some people are not able to easily handle the earthy taste associated with it.
Although you will feel the effects of this method this fastest, you will also notice that they do not last as long as the other potential methods of ingestion.
Directly through the skin: You can use CBD topically, which can be a good option for arthritis sufferers because it gives you the ability to apply it directly to specific areas in which you are experiencing pain.
Topical application of cannabidiol will take longer for you to feel its effects, and you will need to use a liberal amount for noticeable relief. The reason for this is because the skin has low-permeability and keeps most substances from entering. Topical CBD products will not enter your bloodstream. Although if you use enough product, CBD will be able to successfully absorb through your pores and interact with your cannabinoid receptors, then it can start working with them to ease the pain and inflammation in your joints.