Wondering if CBD Works for Arthritis?
Posted on August 9th, 2022 to CBD for Pain
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that causes swelling and tenderness of joints. Experts estimate that 22% of adults have some form of arthritis, making it a leading cause of disability in the United States (CDC). Arthritis is more prevalent in older populations, with 50% of adults 65 years or older reporting the diagnosis (CDC).
There are several types of arthritis, but the symptoms of different types of arthritis are similar, mainly joint pain and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis, the most common type of inflammatory arthritis, is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to target and attack joints, commonly in hands, wrists, knees, and feet. This causes inflammation, and leads to symmetrical joint pain and stiffness in affected areas. Wear and tear on joints causes a degenerative condition called osteoarthritis. It wears away the cartilage around the bone of the joints, commonly knees, hips, and hands. As bone cartilage wears away, bones grate against each other causing pain, inflammation, stiffness, and loss of flexibility.
Arthritis is a chronic condition that can affect the quality of a person’s life. Traditional treatments sometimes fall short of a patient’s needs or expectations, and patients may use CBD as an alternative substance to help manage the pain and inflammation that comes with arthritis.
CBD for Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis and other types of inflammatory arthritis are good candidates for CBD (cannabidiol) treatment as CBD may lower inflammation, in turn reducing pain (Lowin et al., 2020). Early studies suggest that CBD may be helpful for osteoarthritis by treating pain and preventing nerve damage (Philpott et al., 2017). Studies have also shown that patients can use CBD to treat chronic pain, a symptom of arthritis, as a safer alternative to opioids. One study showed that half of patients were able to reduce or eliminate their use of opioids within eight weeks of starting CBD, and almost all users reported quality of life improvements (Capano et al., 2019). To learn more about the history of CBD, check out our blog!
CBD Topical Cream and Oils
There are a few ways to use CBD to help arthritis. One method is using a CBD topical (cream or oil). Topical CBD comes in many forms such as sprays, rollers, and lotions. The type of CBD topical used depends on the patient’s preference. Patients can apply topical CBD directly to the skin and patients should feel the effects in twenty to thirty minutes. The effects of topical CBD can last from four to six hours per use. Topical creams are more popular for pain relief due to having more consistency in effectiveness, as the skin absorbs them directly. Topical treatments can also target a specific area instead of the entire body. Patients can use topical treatments once to three times per day, as needed. However, when using any CBD treatments, it is recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase it until the patient notices a change in their pain level. After one week of using CBD, the dose can be increased if needed and so on.
Hempeutics pharmacy, founded by pharmacist Dr. Peggy, offers CBD topical remedies including oil, spray, and cream. Patients can purchase these in our online shop, or at our physical store in Huntington Beach, California. Dr. Peggy’s favorite formula is ease topical, infused with essential oils to help with absorption.
CBD tincture is orally ingested. Tincture is an oil that patients take under the tongue, holding it for thirty to ninety seconds before swallowing. Placing the CBD oil under the tongue allows for a more direct route to the bloodstream. Patients will feel the effects of tinctures in twenty to sixty minutes if put under the tongue. CBD tincture effects can vary slightly based on metabolism, and if the patient has eaten recently. Tinctures may reduce pain and inflammation in the entire body rather than a specific area. Patients can use tinctures once to three times per day as needed, but it is recommended to start with a low dose.
CBD gummies, also known as CBD edibles are another method of ingesting CBD. Edibles may reduce pain and inflammation in the whole body instead of targeting a specific area. It can take anywhere from thirty minutes to three hours for patients to feel the effects of an edible, and the effects can last anywhere from four to eight hours. The effect of the CBD in gummies can vary based on many factors such as the patient’s metabolism and any food the patient has eaten since it has to be digested. For therapeutic and pain management purposes, it is better to use a more consistent and fast acting form of treatment. Although the gummies are quite tasty, make sure to start with a low dose.
Benefits of CBD
CBD may also provide other benefits, beyond pain reduction, to patients with arthritis such as reducing anxiety and improving sleep (Arthritis Foundation). The Arthritis Foundation conducted a poll, finding that 29% of respondents reported using CBD to treat their arthritis. Most respondents reported pain as the primary reason for CBD use. 71% of the respondents that used CBD reported improvements in their sleep, and 77% reported reduced anxiety (Arthritis Foundation). Taking CBD for arthritis is generally considered safe and the potential for addiction is low, especially compared to opioid pain medication (Arthritis Foundation).
Check with your doctor before using CBD alongside other medications and dietary supplements. Though CBD comes from cannabis, a type of hemp plant, CBD does not have the psychoactive properties associated with marijuana. Hemp and CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC. Hempeutics pharmacy also offers THC-free CBD products for those that want CBD only.
Give it a try!
If you are considering using CBD products for arthritis, we may be able to help you. At Hempeutics Pharmacy, we specialize in custom compounding CBD products to cater to our patient’s individual needs. Contact us for a free consultation from our in-house licensed pharmacist, Dr. Peggy, to discuss what options are best for you. Dr. Peggy conducts follow-up appointments to track the effectiveness of the treatment and adjust dosage and ingredients if needed.
We strive to ensure the safety and quality of our products. Hempeutics Pharmacy sources our CBD from U.S. grown hemp and use natural ingredients. We send our products for testing at an independent laboratory to ensure quality, consistency, and safety, The results for each product are posted on our website.