In Canada, medical cannabis has been legal since 2001 to treat certain conditions, including arthritis. CBD, the abbreviation of cannabidiol, is currently getting a lot of press, and for good reasons. CBD is a cannabinoid from the cannabis plant, and it has healing properties.
It is currently being studied for symptom relief for several diseases and conditions, including arthritis. This study from 2015 investigates CBD and the impact on inflammatory diseases. It suggests, “These [diseases] and others need to be pursued in human trials with a view toward clinical applications where CBD’s absence of psychotropic effects and other adverse events offers a major advantage over other cannabinoids.”
CBD oil is already being used by many as a treatment for arthritis. Because cannabis is legal, you can buy CBD oil in BC from physical and online dispensaries.
We have taken a look at the following to gain a deeper understanding of:
- What is arthritis, and what are the symptoms?
- Which arthritis symptoms could benefit from CBD oil, and how does this work?
- Arthritis safety
- Is CBD oil an effective treatment for arthritis?
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a term used to describe over 100 variations of a condition related to the body’s joints. The word “arthritis” comes from a Greek word that translates to “disease of the joints.” It is believed to have affected Neanderthals and ancient Egyptians, so it’s been around for a very long time.
The terms most commonly recognized are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis, a loss of cartilage leading to bone loss, is more common than inflammatory arthritis. Inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a variety of conditions, including autoimmune disorders and infections.
Current findings show that in the U.S., one-third of the population currently suffers from arthritis and that 40 percent of men and 47 percent of women will develop some form of arthritis in their lifetime. In Canada, The Arthritis Society states that 1 in 5 Canadians suffers from arthritis.
CBD oil shows great promise in offering relief from chronic pain and other symptoms experienced by patients with arthritis.
What Are Arthritis Symptoms?
Arthritis is both painful and disruptive. The early pain from arthritis is described as a dull ache or heat. Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience morning stiffness for lengthy periods, sometimes for 45 minutes or more. The pain caused by arthritis often increases by the end of the day.
General symptoms of arthritis include:
- A buildup of fluid in soft tissues surrounding the joints
- Loss of function and/or loss of range of motion
Some patients also experience fatigue, poor sleep, impact on mood, and emotional symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis patients sometimes experience nausea and weight loss, as well. Long-term effects may include deformity.
The Arthritis Society has an online symptom checker to support those who believe they may have arthritis.
If you believe you have arthritis, it’s important to seek help from a medical professional. If you would like to use CBD as a form of treatment, be sure to do your research and know where to buy high-quality CBD oil in BC.
Which Arthritis Symptoms Could Benefit From CBD?
Because CBD has such a wide range of purported and documented healing powers, it could be, and some patients claim it is powerful mind-body medicine. It is being studied primarily for chronic pain and inflammation relief and is also said to offer these additional benefits:
- Improved sleep
- Relief from insomnia
- Reduced anxiety
How Does CBD Oil Relieve Pain, Inflammation, and Other Arthritic Symptoms?
Findings suggest that CBD oils can relieve pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis.
Studies like this one suggest that CBD oil could be used with arthritis medications. “CBD might be beneficial as an adjuvant treatment in rheumatoid arthritis that might support the action of currently used disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.”
Another study done to relieve dogs from their arthritic symptoms “supports the safety and therapeutic potential of hemp-derived CBD for relieving arthritic pain and suggests follow-up investigations in humans are warranted.”
Further to this promising conclusion, another study suggests that CBD oil has both the potential to relieve pain and to prevent future pain and nerve damage in Osteoarthritic joints. “These findings suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating OA [Osteoarthritis] joint neuropathic pain.”
Arthritis, Safety, and CBD: What Do You Need to Know?
Patients like CBD oil because it is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. In other words, CBD oil does not get you high, and it does provide relief. Here in BC, you can easily buy and access CBD oil in dispensaries. Many patients have chosen to use CBD oil despite the lack of conclusive research because they want relief from their symptoms, especially chronic pain and inflammation.
Doctors and scientists recommend using caution, asking patients to be aware of the limitations of using CBD as medicine:
- Not all patients may benefit or be responsive to CBD oil as a treatment.
- The effective dosage has not been entirely determined.
- The best delivery method into the body – CBD oil or another form of CBD – has not yet been determined.
- Interactions of CBD oil with arthritis medications are not fully understood, though some research suggests that it could work well with other medications.
- Long term side effects have not been studied conclusively.
All that being said, according to the Arthritis Society, two-thirds of Canadians with arthritis claim to be taking some form of cannabis, so patients are saying CBD oil is useful.
If you choose to use CBD oil, it’s best to speak with your doctor and buy CBD oils in BC from a trusted source.
How To Use CBD Oil
Some CBD oils contain THC, which is psychoactive, and some do not. Always check the label to determine which product is best for you.
CBD oil is most effective taken sublingually.
Use the dropper to place the oil under the tongue so mucous membranes can absorb it.
Relief is fast. It is sometimes felt as quickly as a few minutes after taking a dose of CBD oil.
Does CBD Oil Really Treat Arthritis Pain?
Dr. Michael Verbora, who does prescribe cannabis to his patients, discusses what research shows. According to Verbora he believes there are limitations to our current knowledge. Studies have been conducted without control groups and are based instead on reports from patient experiences.
Dr. Verbora also references a study that found CBD oil may affect pain receptors in rats.
Organizations like the Arthritis Society are advocating for research and accessibility for patients, especially for those on fixed incomes, seeking:
- Availability of high-quality medicinal cannabis in retail settings
- Access to safety information and education
- No taxes on medicinal cannabis, asking for the same exemptions as other prescription drugs
- Easier reimbursement on extended medical benefit plans
With medical studies, legalization, and so many people advocating for it as a treatment, is CBD truly effective treatment for inflammation, pain, and other arthritis symptoms?
It certainly appears to be helpful for some, and with more research, there is growing anticipation of a more affirmative stance very soon.