CBD For Arthritis Pain: 7 Things You Should Know
Arthritis can cause severe, often debilitating pain throughout the body. Treating arthritis traditionally focuses on reducing the patient’s inflammation through nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. However, long-term use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart failure and high blood pressure.
Cannabidiol (CBD) offers a more naturalistic approach to reducing pain and inflammation in those suffering from arthritis. However, there are a few things you should know before diving headfirst into using CBD.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis itself is not a condition. Rather, it’s a symptom caused by conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia. Arthritis is characterized by chronic inflammation in the joints and throughout the body.
Nearly 60 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with a form of arthritis and it’s the leading cause of disability nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
In the United Kingdom, arthritis affects 10 million individuals, including children.
What is CBD?
After extracting the compound from the plant, it’s manufactured into CBD oil and sold in tinctures, capsules, gummy candy, vape cartridges, and topical creams.
Additionally, CBD, with 0.3% THC is legal throughout most of the United States, whereas in the United Kingdom the legal limit for THC is 0.2%.
CBD & Arthritis: 7 Things You Should Know
Hemp CBD vs Full-Spectrum Extract
Hemp CBD is legal and contains little to no traces of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis plants. Over the counter, CBD products and most online CBD retailers such as cbdoiluk use a hemp-derived extract.
Full-spectrum CBD can be hemp or cannabis-derived. This contains all of the cannabinoids and terpenes that were present in the plant it was extracted from.
Although both offer similar medicinal benefits, full-spectrum extracts may be more effective due to the “entourage effect.”
Cannabinoids and terpenes work together to reduce ailments throughout the body. Taking an isolated version of CBD prevents the entourage effect from taking place.
CBD Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Research shows CBD reduces pain and inflammation throughout the body without adverse side effects. CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system process CBD. These receptors block pain and inflammation signaling from aggravating your symptoms.
This study also notes that patients with chronic arthritis are among “the most prevalent users of cannabis products.”
In a pre-clinical study, researchers observed a decrease in inflammation and pain-related behaviors after treating rats with a CBD topical cream. The CBD significantly reduced joint swelling and improved their posture as well as their immune system.
CBD is a Sleep Aid
About 80 percent of patients with arthritis struggle with sleep disorders. Joint pain and inflammation are largely responsible for disrupting patients’ sleep.
Depression, which is common among those with arthritis, also affects your quality of sleep. Ruminating thoughts, oversleeping throughout the day, and the hormone imbalance from depression can keep you up at night.
In a study of 72 adults, researchers found CBD improved sleep quality in 67 percent of patients within the first month. These results fluctuated over time but still represent the potential CBD has for improving your sleep quality.
CBD Can Reduce Anxiety
In the same study mentioned above, researchers found CBD decreased anxiety in about 80 percent of patients. This could also explain why their sleep quality improved, as well.
Research shows anxiety traits are more prevalent in those with arthritis. Overall, living with chronic pain is distressing and navigating flare-ups is difficult. CBD’s calming properties can naturally reduce stress and anxiety.
The Best Way to Use CBD for Arthritis
Taking CBD oil orally can reduce inflammation throughout the body. But using a CBD lotion allows you to target specific joints and reduce inflammation in the area within minutes.
A little bit goes a long way with CBD lotion, and you can keep reapplying it as needed. This route may be more effective for those with osteoarthritis. Whereas a CBD tincture could be more effective for rheumatoid arthritis because the condition can cause inflammation internally, as well.
Where to Buy CBD
CBD can be purchased at some pharmacies, grocery stores, and health stores. CBD oil in the UK and US may also be available in local smoke shops.
Alternatively, you can purchase CBD products online. This offers the most variety and allows you to do more research before placing your order.
Talk to Your Doctor
Although CBD eases symptoms of arthritis, it isn’t a replacement for traditional arthritis treatment. As always, you should consult your doctor before making any substantial changes to your treatment plan.
Do not stop taking your medication suddenly without the guidance of a healthcare professional. This could cause an intense flare-up of your arthritis symptoms.
CBD is a safe, natural, and can be a highly effective treatment option for arthritis. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, CBD can help you achieve more restful sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety.