What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in joints. The two main types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid. Osteoarthritis begins with a reduction in the cartilage lining of a joint (tissue that covers the end of a bone) and as the lining thins out swelling occurs from tendons and ligaments having to compensate. The majority of people with arthritis have Osteoarthritis – estimated at around 9 million people in Britain. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the bodies immune system attacks specific joints. It causes inflammation and painful swelling of the joints.
Can CBD be used for arthritis?
In the UK 10 million people suffer arthritis or similar joint affecting conditions (the majority of which are women) and as a result many are often lead to alternative treatments like CBD to help soothe their ailment. As always with CBD, most first time users feel apprehensive about trying a medication not widely used in the practiced medicine, so lets look at the evidence regarding CBD and arthritis:
CBD for arthritis evidence
Two main elements of the arthritic condition are pain and inflammation. CBD has substantial evidence regarding its ability to reduce pain (which you can read about here) and its inflammatory properties are well known. This gives us optimism surrounding its use for arthritis.
A 2016 study used topical CBD (applied to the skin) to treat arthritic joints in a rat population. They found that “Transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling” and “limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain”. This shows the potential benefits in using CBD to target specific areas of arthritis by applying topical products to the joints.
Another research review found that 42.4% of medicinal cannabis use is used for pain relief, of which 9.3% is specifically for arthritis. This means that regardless of the evidence for cannabis or CBD oil, people are already using it to treat arthritis and pain. However, CBD oil does not contain any THC that you would find within medicinal cannabis, the cannabinoids it does contain are known to have pain relieving qualities also.
CBD for arthritic dogs
It isn’t just good new for us humans that CBD oil seems to have a positive impact on arthritic conditions. In fact all mammals have an endocannabinoid system – the biological system that uses cannabinoids like CBD to regulate pain, sleep, inflammation and much more. This means our dogs and cats can benefit from it too, and there are many testimonials out there of people taking the initiative and giving their beloved pet CBD oil.
Really it makes sense to investigate the power of CBD to help with arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Animal studies look promising and user testimonials reveal many believe it is helping. With no known side effects – which is contrary to many currently used pharmaceutical arthritis medications – it seems it couldn’t hurt to give it a go. It could be the answer if you are in the search for alternative treatments.