How Effective is CBD Oil for Pain Relief in Arthritis?

CBD oil contains extracts from CBD cannabis plants. Some people use CBD oil to relieve pain associated with chronic diseases such as arthritis.

This article focuses on scientific evidence on the benefits, uses, and side effects of CBD oil. In this article, we will examine whether CBD oil can be useful for the treatment of arthritis and chronic pain.

CBD oil and arthritis pain relief

The mechanism responsible for the CBD hemp oil has positive effects on health is not fully understood, but scientists believe that the compound binds to receptors in the body known as cannabinoid receptors; these may, in turn, cause the body to produce natural cannabinoids.

CBD oil does not affect your brain as much as THC. THC reacts with different receptors in the brain than CBD. According to the researcher, CBD oil interacts with two receptors, called CB1 and CB2, which can help reduce pain and the effects of inflammation.

“These receptors are primarily involved with the coordination of movement, pain, emotional output, and the immune system,” explains Faye Rim, MDD, psychiatrist and pain management specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

CB2 is the involvement of the immune system that could help explain why CBD oil can be useful for people with autoimmune inflammatory forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Dr. Rim says that some of her arthritis have found relief, but she points out that the CBD oil is only intended for use as an adjunct to medication, not as a first-line treatment.

How is CBD used for arthritis pain?

CBD can be taken as a liquid, tincture, in capsules, or applied topically. You can take the pills orally, add liquid to food or beverages, or apply creams with CBD to the affected joints. Learn more about how to start using CBD products for arthritis pain.

Mild side effects when using CBD may include problems with sleep or nausea. Local CBD arthritis cream occasionally causes an allergic reaction, so try on small areas of skin first.

Most of the studies on CBD and arthritis have been carried out in rodents, including one published in the 2017 issue of the journal pain, which suggests CBD oil may relieve joint pain in osteoarthritis. Studies in the 2016 edition of arthritis care and research found that CBD oil can improve pain relief, sleep, and quality of life in some patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Still, the sample size was tiny, so the study mostly meaningless.

As reports, “there is a lack of scientific evidence to conclusively prove that CBD is an effective arthritis treatment for people.” More research, especially on larger groups of human participants, will need to be conducted to understand better how CBD oil affects arthritis symptoms, such as pain, inflammation, and fatigue.

“I found out it was a hit or a miss,” says Dr. Rim. “[CBD] helps some people and does not affect the others, but I recommend to my patients to try it because there don’t seem to be any problematic drug interactions or significant side effects.”

Currently, the FDA approved CBD oil only for use in people with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. It is not recommended for the treatment of arthritis or chronic pain.


Image Credits: Enecta

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