Updated May 25, 2020
CBD Oil for Arthritis
The Arthritis Foundation represents the voice and needs of 54 million people with arthritis. After a national survey conducted in July 2019, they found that approximately 80% of sufferers use cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabis for arthritis.
The study also revealed that cannabinoids will continue to be sought more and more by patients to treat their arthritis pain and inflammation.
With this discovery, the Arthritis Foundation determined that waiting for more research was not the best way to serve arthritis patients.
“Listening to people with arthritis—using data (surveys and Live Yes! INSIGHTS), patient listening sessions and testimonies—drives our work, from science to programming to setting our advocacy agenda,” said the Arthritis Foundation’s senior vice president of consumer health and impact, Cindy McDaniel.
The survey results prompted the organization to create CBD guidelines and to send a public letter to the FDA recommending they focus their efforts on creating standardized quality and safety measures with regard to CBD products.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is a cannabinoid (organic compound) derived from the cannabis plant.
CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids, second only to THC.
Unlike THC, however, CBD is non-intoxicating and will NOT get you high.
CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant, specifically the hemp plant. It can be extracted as:
- isolate (pure CBD)
- full spectrum (CBD plus other beneficial phytonutrients)
- broad spectrum (full spectrum without any THC)
It’s important to understand that even when CBD is full spectrum, it only contains .3% THC, which is the legal amount allowed. Again, it’s not enough THC to produce intoxicating effects.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)—a master regulatory system we all have. It’s involved in regulating things like sleep, mood, appetite, production of hormones, and regulation of immune and nervous system responses. By regulating these functions, the ECS helps balance the body’s well-being.
What is CBD Used For?
More and more CBD research is being carried out concerning its therapeutic effects. So far, the evidence suggests that it can potentially treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Pain & Inflammation
- Acne and other skin conditions
CBD is a potent therapeutic agent that interacts with not only cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, but also with serotonin and other receptors and increases anandamide. Anandamide is a natural occurring endocannabinoid known as the “bliss hormone”.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is one of the major causes of disability in the United States. Over 50 million Americans are affected by this disorder. There are two major types of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes a patient’s immune system to attack their joints and other parts of the body. The feet and hands are usually most severely affected. Symptoms include inflammation of the joint, swelling, and pain. Rampant inflammation causes decreased mobility, deformity, and severe discomfort.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects bones and joint cartilage, resulting in stiffness and pain. It often progresses to the knee, hip, and joints of the thumb.
Benefits of CBD for Arthritis
CBD oil benefits include relief from pain along with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. CBD from hemp can also reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. In addition to the many CBD health benefits, CBD oil is not addictive.
1. CBD Oil Is an Anti-inflammatory
Chronic systemic inflammation is how rheumatoid arthritis works to damage joints. It’s this long-lasting inflammations that causes the symptoms of pain, stiffness, swelling, decreased mobility, etc.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are most often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. But long-term use of these drugs can have side effects, most commonly:
- Stomach irritation
- Stomach ulcers
- High blood pressure
- And more …
CBD oil is a safer, natural alternative to NSAIDs and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Cannabidiol as been shown to reduce both acute and chronic inflammation in arthritis CBD studies.
Studies have also shown that CBD helps reduce inflammation by amplifying adenosine signaling and increasing anandamide.
A study using arthritic animal models suggests that CBD’s anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects protected the animals’ joints from severe arthritic damage.
2. CBD Is an Antioxidant
Studies show that oxidative stress contributes to the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Preclinical animal studies have shown that more oxidative damage is associated with increased joint destruction and injury to cartilage.
Additionally, oxidative stress is known to contribute to inflammation, further enhancing damage to the joints.
CBD exhibits antioxidant properties in studies on animals with movement abnormalities for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
CBD has also been linked to decreased reactive oxygen species. These free radicals are unstable, and if allowed to build up, they can do damage to DNA, RNA, and proteins, and can lead to cell death.
It’s thought that CBD is able to inhibit free radicals on a mitochondrial level.
Oxidative stress contributes to arthritis, and hemp CBD can reduce oxidative stress. This is another potential way to use CBD oil effects to fight rheumatoid arthritis.
3. CBD for Arthritis Pain
Inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and more can make pain a regular symptom for people with arthritis. Because of its analgesic properties, CBD is being used to address joint pain.
CBD can be used to treat both neuropathic and inflammatory pain. A study in 2016 showed that transdermal CBD reduced pain-related behavior in rat models.
This 2008 review takes a look at several scientific studies, which together reveal that CBD shows “great promise” in the management of pain.
CBD also inhibits the breakdown of anandamide, a naturally occurring endocannabinoid responsible for your bodies balance and well-being. It is believed that the presence of anandamide in your system acts as an analgesic.
CBD is a safer, natural alternative that can provide relief from pain. A recent Human Clinical Trial was published in a peer-reviewed medical journal and revealed that CBD oil reduced opioid use and improved pain.
CBD oil for joint pain is believed to be a safer and effective option for people who suffer from the pain and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis.
High-quality CBD Oil for Relief from Pain
CBD comes in many forms. For instance, if you’re seeking relief from arthritis or lower back pain, we recommend Ananda Hemp gels over tinctures, because they’re longer lasting. This full spectrum product is loaded with additional beneficial cannabinoids and plant nutrients.
The Puffin Hemp Liposomal Carrier and Ananda Hemp tincture are powerful and fast-acting options. We recommend them for immediate relief from acute or breakthrough pain.
Ananda Hemp’s tincture comes in several strengths: 200 mg, 300 mg, 600 mg, and a whopping 2000 mg, and is also full spectrum.
For keeping pain at bay during sleep, the Ananda Hemp gels are perfect, while Puffin Hemp is better for taking the edge off pain in order to fall asleep.
4. CBD for Anxiety
When suffering from and trying to manage the daily symptoms of arthritis, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience secondary symptoms such as anxiety and stress.
CBD oil is well-known and widely used for addressing stress and anxiety.
With regard to anxiety, cannabinoids directly target the amygdala and thus work to minimize the fight or flight reflex. CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala, which are responsible for flooding the body with anxious feelings, and the stressful feelings are alleviated.
CBD used in animal studies has shown that over a 3-week period, stress and anxiety were reduced.
CBD’s anti-anxiety effects involve the cannabinoid targeting the 5-HT1A receptor. It also attenuates stress and anxiety by increasing adenosine receptor activity.
The Best CBD for Relief from Anxiety
For chronic anxiety, we recommend slow releasing Ananda Hemp CBD softgels. They can be taken first thing in the morning and again at night for constant coverage. Along with these we also suggest keeping a Puffin Hemp or Ananda tincture on hand as a spot treatment for breakthrough anxiety.
Puffin Hemp Liposomal Carrier and Ananda Hemp tincture are powerful and fast-acting options that offer immediate relief from anxiety. Puffin Hemp Liposomal Carrier comes in two strengths—350 mg and 1000 mg—allowing the patient to tailor it to their needs. Not only is it water soluble and broad spectrum (meaning it contains a range of cannabinoid and cannabis plant nutrients), but Puffin Hemp is also the fastest acting, highest absorbing CBD product available.
Ananda Hemp’s tincture is also fast-acting and comes in several strengths: 200 mg, 300 mg, 600 mg, and a whopping 2000 mg. This full spectrum product is loaded with additional beneficial cannabinoids and plant nutrients. It goes under your tongue for rapid relief.
5. CBD for Sleep
Insomnia and poor sleep can also be a problem for people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to symptoms from arthritis, insomnia can cause: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.
In a Consumer Reports survey of Americans who said they use cannabidiol, 10% said they use CBD as a sleep aid, and the majority reported that it worked.
It is believed that CBD and other cannabinoids work in three main ways to treat insomnia: through ECS receptors for anxiety, through pain receptors, and with receptors for sleep/wake cycles.
A large study published at the end of 2018, concluded that natural medical cannabis flower was associated with “significant improvements” in insomnia.
In 2014 a case series determined that CBD is able to control the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a condition
often associated with Parkinson’s patients. It found that “patients treated with CBD had prompt and substantial reduction in the frequency of RBD-related events without side effects.”
A review of the literature in 2017, supports claims that CBD can treat sleep/wake cycle disorders such as REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and excessive daytime sleepiness.
The immunes systems of people with rheumatoid arthritis are already compromised. Relieving the symptoms of poor sleep is another way that CBD oil benefits can improve the lives of people suffering from arthritis.
6. CBD for Cardiovascular Health
Many studies show that people with rheumatoid arthritis are at greater risk of developing acute cardiovascular diseases. Ischemic hearth diseases, such as congestive heart failure and coronary death are leading causes of death in RA patients.
CBD oil has cardio protective properties, and therefore can help manage the cardiovascular health of arthritis patients.
Preclinical studies show that CBD can decrease of ischemia-induced ventricular arrhythmias and to reduce tissue death (infarct size) from lack of oxygen.
It is believed that CBD has an inhibitory effect on platelet activation; it reduces inflammation and inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-6.
As previously discussed, CBD has an affect on adenosine signaling. Adenosine receptors are associated with ischemia/reperfusion-induced ventricular arrhythmias.
Because managing cardiovascular health is important for RA patients, the cardio protective benefits of hemp-derived CBD may be an effective option.
7. CBD is Non-addictive
In October 2017, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that it was removing non-intoxicating CBD from its list of 2018 banned substances. Shortly after that, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report acknowledging the medical benefits of CBD and that the compound doesn’t have potential for abuse or adverse health effects.
There is no one-size-fits-all for CBD. As with most drugs, supplements, and even food, it can have varying effects on individuals.
Compared to many prescription and OTC drugs, CBD has a short and harmless list of side effects:
- dry mouth
- low blood pressure
- change in weight/appetite
CBD may interact with some medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor about potential harmful interactions. Like grapefruit, CBD interferes with cytochromes P450 (CYPs), a group of enzymes that are involved in drug metabolism. Therefore, if you take any drugs with the “grapefruit warning”, know that CBD may also interfere with that medication.
There have been a few articles in the news lately about CBD and liver toxicity. The two studies that suggests this use very high amounts of CBD—much more than would be therapeutically used by most people—and involve only oral CBD. If you’re interested, get the full story in our article, “Can CBD Cause Liver Toxicity?”
Different Forms of CBD and How to Dose Them
Having a range of CBD form options is great. CBD and cannabinoids are a choice you can tailor to both your needs and your lifestyle. This has become more pronounced now that hemp flower is being cultivated in a variety of strains, so that you can find the winning combination of hemp actives (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, phytonutrients) that fit you.
We’re all different. Depending on certain criteria, like age, weight, diet, metabolism, and the tone of our endocannabinoid system (ECS), we all process CBD differently. Therefore, target CBD doses vary from person to person.
CBD Quality MATTERS
Poor quality CBD can not help anyone. With CBD, quality matters most. There are several things to keep in mind when shopping for CBD oil.
First, know where the hemp was sourced. This is important because hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means it leaches impurities from the soil. The hemp plant can literally be used to purify soil. This is why it’s important to know that your product has been tested. A certificate of analysis (COA) should be available to you. This will show that there are no harmful levels of contaminants in your CBD product.
The other reason you’ll want a COA is because mislabeling has been a problem.
In a 2018 study on the effects of artisanal CBD for the treatment of epilepsy, researchers stated that a key concern and challenge to their results was the variability that mislabeled CBD products introduced. They cited one study, conducted in 2015, in which all labeled CBD content was mislabeled 100 percent of the time.
Another 2017 study discovered that out of 84 CBD products (from 31 companies) purchased online, only 31 percent were accurately labeled.
The hemp industry is new and growing rapidly, and in the process, regulation has been unable to keep pace. It has fallen to the farmers, manufacturers, and sellers to self-regulate, and to the consumer to do their due diligence.
A good brand will make all of this information and their practices, processes and the source of their ingredients available. Their team will have backgrounds in science, hemp experience, and food-manufacturing know-how.
The Nature’s Breakthrough educational resource is just one of the ways The Hemp Haus practices its sincere commitment to and passion for educating people about CBD and helping them find the right, high-quality product based on their needs.