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CBD for Arthritis Pain: What You Should Know

Presently, there are about 54 million Americans living with severe arthritis pain. Most of those individuals are using prescription medications, as well as complementary therapies, to find some relief. Others are turning to natural supplements for arthritis like CBD for the purported pain-relief and anti-inflammatory effects. Since there is currently no cure for arthritis, it is understandable that you would want to find a treatment that works for you. Research has found that CBD may reduce the symptoms of arthritis, so here is what you need to know to determine if it is right for you.

 

What is CBD?

CBD stands for “cannabidiol,” the name of one of over 400 chemical compounds—known as cannabinoids—present in the cannabis sativa plant. Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not induce a “high,” like THC.

 

However, CBD and other cannabinoids do interact with receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Although the psychoactive effect is not there, changes do happen. CBD influences the brain in a number of ways. For example, one study from 2021 used neuroimaging to find that “acute CBD induces significant alterations in brain activity and connectivity patterns during resting state and performance of cognitive tasks.” Another study revealed that CBD can alter how the brain experiences pain by communicating with serotonin receptors.

 

Does CBD Work on Arthritis?

Research has suggested that CBD has properties that could assist with arthritis. However, most of the studies have been done on animals. Quality studies on humans have been few so far. Much of what is known for CBD helping with arthritis is anecdotal evidence. One cross-sectional study conducted in 2020 (and reported in 2022) used a questionnaire to gather data on the perceived efficacy of CBD for arthritis. It was found that, of those who answered, 83% had improvements in pain, 66% had improved physical functioning, and 66% believed their sleep quality improved.

 

Yet, there has been a significant amount of research on the use of CBD for chronic pain, inflammation, and poor appetite—all associated with arthritis. As a condition, arthritis can be either mild or debilitating to the point where quality of life is affected. Natural supplements for arthritis are seen as a gentle way of reducing the overall severity of the condition.

 

Chronic Pain

In 2017, researchers looked to CBD to see if chronic pain could be diminished with cannabis. They gathered evidence that suggested cannabidiol as a viable option for pain relief. Other studies have supported such findings, and more research is currently underway.

 

Inflammation

Most types of arthritis cause some kind of inflammation within the body that causes damage to the tissues within the body. One of the most common complaints associated with the condition is the painfully swollen joints that hinder movement.

 

In multiple studies, cannabidiol has been noted as a suppressant for various inflammatory responses within the body. A study from 2010 claims that CBD has the potential to become a novel anti-inflammatory medication. More recently, CBD was found to kill inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. In other words, CBD may reduce chronic inflammation and, in the future, be used in conjunction with rheumatoid arthritis and cancer medications.

 

Poor Appetite

An adversary to all those suffering with arthritis is decreased appetite, which is often caused by depression, pain, and stiffness. Unintentional weight loss can also be exacerbated by arthritis medication. A diminished appetite is not good for anyone, particularly those at risk of inadequate nutrition.

 

Although results in studies looking at the connection between CBD and one’s appetite have been variable (some studies finding weight gain weight others see weight loss), research suggests that CBD does impact hunger.

 

Should You Give CBD a Try?

Clinical studies for the effectiveness of cannabidiol on arthritis symptoms are currently lacking, and so it is difficult for medical professionals to recommend CBD as a complement to prescription. You may or may not benefit from CBD.

 

If you are interested in trying CBD, discuss your options with a medical professional. Oftentimes, your doctor will have had other patients who used CBD and they can tell you what worked for those individuals.

 

Keep a journal to track how the CBD affects you. From there, you can decide if you wish to continue supplementing with cannabidiol or try something else. Tinctures, edibles, creams, and other CBD products have varying levels of effectiveness. One type may work better than the rest.

 

Is CBD Safe?

Generally, CBD is considered safe for most individuals, though more research is required to determine the long-term effects of CBD use. While not much is known, there are currently few safety concerns associated with cannabidiol. Drowsiness and diarrhea are among the few side effects of use.

 

That said, CBD can act very much like grapefruit with some medications, changing the way the medication is absorbed or utilized by the body. It is best to speak with your doctor if you are on any of the following prescriptions:

 

  • Corticosteroids
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Tofacitinib (Xeljanz)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Pregabalin (Lyrica)
  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Antidepressants, including brands like Paxil, Remeron, and Prozac

 

What to Look For In Natural Supplements for Arthritis

It is important to be cautious when shopping around for CBD, as it is unregulated within the US market. Seek out brands that are devoted to transparency. Posted lab analysis results (certificate of analysis) are crucial in deciding if a brand of CBD will be good for you and your health. Furthermore, look for manufacturing processes that are established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), even though CBD is not regulated as either a pharmaceutical or dietary supplement.

 

Try CBD for Your Arthritis Today

More research is required before it can be said for sure that CBD can help with arthritis. That said, the outlook is positive—based on the published studies. Being that CBD is generally safe to try, why not see if it works for you?

 

Sugar Bottom Hemp has a full line of organically-grown CBD products for you to try. Our high-quality CBD tinctures, creams, and edibles contain limited ingredients. Give us a call or contact us today to learn more about our products.

 

 

 

Bibliography

Numbered according to location in article.

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