cbd oil for arthritis

Does CBD Oil for Arthritis Pain Really Work?

We’re big fans of CBD oil (obviously). We’ve been in the game for a long time, and so we’ve seen the CBD oil industry expand and grow. 

There’s a lot of talkabout what CBD oil can do. We’ve seen what CBD can do, especially when it comes to pain. But does the research back it up? 

Does CBD oil for arthritis pain really make a difference?

This is an important question. After all, according to the Arthritis Foundation, an estimated 54 million adults in the U.S. suffer from arthritis or some other type of rheumatic disease that causes joint pain. 

That’s a huge number. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg. That number is based on diagnosed cases, so if you factor in the undiagnosed cases, it’s probably way higher.

And it’s expected to grow by almost 50% by 2040.

Here’s what the research has to say. 

Studying CBD Oil

An impressive amount of research has already been done on CBD oil. Thanks in part to its rise in popularity, as well as the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, new studies are beginning all the time.

All this research means there’s a lot to be said for how CBD works for pain.  

That research primarily focuses on the Endocannabinoid System (ES) and how CBD works in the body. Here’s a bit of the science to break it down for you.

The Endocannabinoid System is found all throughout your body. It’s made up of endocannabinoids, the enzymes that help make them and break them down, and the receptors that endocannabinoids and cannabinoids react with.

  • Cannabinoids – cannabis-derived compounds (like CBD)
  • Endocannabinoids – cannabinoids your body produces on its own
cbd oil for arthritis

Endocannabinoids and other cannabinoids impact cellular function by sending messages to different receptors throughout the body. For now, let’s just focus on the cannabinoid receptors CB1 an CB2. Those are the ones we’re most interested in for right now.

Got that? Awesome. So does it work to help manage arthritis pain?

CBD Oil for Arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. Pain and inflammation are the body’s physiological responses to tissue injury, infection and genetic changes.

Typically, when faced with arthritis pain, people turn to anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). In fact, they’re the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. 

However, numerous studies show that negative side effects of these drugs are common, including:

  • Stomach irritation and ulcers
  • Renal dysfunction and failure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk of cognitive impairment
  • Skin rashes

So, CBD is an important (and safe) alternative to common prescription meds.

The most promising research into arthritis pain management has to do with inflammation. 

In 2010, a review of current research concluded that CBD oil showed the potential to significantly reduce inflammation and inhibit disease responses. 

A more recent review in 2018 found the same results as the 2010 review.  It noted that, “Increasing amounts of evidence demonstrate that the endocannabinoid system actively participates in the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis-associated joint pain… Overall, preclinical and clinical data support the potentially effective anti-inflammatory properties of endocannabinoid agonists that target CB2 receptors.”

For arthritis pain specifically, a 2017 study found that local administration of CBD blocks osteoarthritis pain. Additionally, CBD seemed to prevent the later development of pain and nerve damage in the joints. Researched concluded, “These findings suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating OA joint neuropathic pain.”

Is CBD for You?

In its 2018 report on CBD, the World Health Organization reported that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications. To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

They also noted that “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

As a safe, research-backed alternative, CBD oil for arthritis pain is definitely something to consider if you’re in pain.