Arthritis symptoms and pain can be debilitating and can make your daily life challenging. CBD oil may help by decreasing excess inflammation. Here’s what you should know about this approach.
HOW DOES CBD OIL WORK?
There are over 100 different kinds of arthritis that affect an estimated 54 million people in the U.S. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two of the most common types of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to turn on itself. The increased activity of the immune system causes swelling and inflammation in the joints of the body. On the other hand, osteoarthritis is a “wear-and-tear” condition that occurs as we age. Our joints (especially the ones that are weight-bearing, like the knees, hips, and ankles) begin to ache as the protective cartilage between them gets thinner and bone rubs on bone.
In addition to pain, both forms of arthritis come with a host of other symptoms. These may include:
- Decreased range of motion in the joints
CBD oil (cannabidiol oil) may be able to help.
A full-spectrum CBD oil is made from all parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems, and flower of the hemp plant. Because of this, it contains not only CBD but also terpenes and other compounds that may help decrease inflammation and work analgesicly. These compounds have an affinity to receptors in the nervous and immune system, specifically the CB2 receptors. These receptors can help relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis. As an added bonus, CBD may prompt the body to make more of its own cannabinoids to combat the symptoms of arthritis.
CBD OIL AND PROMISING STUDIES FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
There are three promising studies that focus on CBD oil for rheumatoid arthritis.
- One of the earliest studies of CBD oil for arthritis found that CBD changed the way the pain receptors responded to pain signals.
- A 2016 review of available research also found that cannabinoids did have a positive effect on pain, sleep, and quality of life.
- In 2018, another round-up of studies that included both THC and CBD found that CBD did act on receptors in the immune system to slow the body’s inflammatory response, which could be helpful in managing and decreasing arthritis pain.
Osteoarthritis studies with CBD oil focus mainly on animal models, but they do point towards its benefits. One study in 2017 found that CBD oil decreased joint deterioration and pain due to osteoarthritis. Another earlier study (2015) found that transdermal CBD oil (e.g., a salve or a cream) reduced pain and inflammation in animals.
The research on CBD for arthritis is promising but most researchers agree that more needs to be conducted. The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD with THC levels .3% or lower legal in all 50 U.S. states. Thankfully, this should lead to larger studies and more definitive research.
HOW TO USE CBD OIL
CBD is most often taken as a capsule, oral tincture and/or as a topical oils.
CBD capsules can be swallowed, tinctures are delivered sublingually (under your tongue). The mucous membranes in your mouth absorb the treatment quickly. Tinctures can take between 15 and 30 minutes for the effects to become apparent. Most tinctures are sold in either one or two ounce bottles.
CBD creams and salves are massaged directly into your affected joint. Some of them combine essential oils or other medicinals to enhance treatment.
Seed2System offers CBD salves with cayenne and peppermint and another with relaxing lavender essential oil. Both CBD salves also contain arnica, a homeopathic treatment that has been shown to reduce swelling and pain in joints.
Topical salves may begin to relieve pain in as few as ten minutes. The only potential side effect of CBD arthritis cream is an allergic reaction, so test a small patch of skin before proceeding with treatment.
CBD SERVING SIZES
One of the keys to successfully managing inflammation with CBD is finding the right serving for your body. This could depend on your level of pain and inflammation, other treatments you are using, and the progression of your condition. Relief from the symptoms depends on a variety of factors that are highly individualized to each person. Your body is a complete system—the serving, frequency, and more will be unique to you.
It’s also crucial to note that while the levels of THC in CBD products for arthritis are legal, you should always talk to your doctor and employer before taking it. There is a chance that trace amounts of THC could appear in a drug test. Further, talk to your doctor to discuss any potential side effects of this treatment. Side effects of CBD oil for arthritis are minimal.
The best way to titrate your serving size is to talk to your doctor and pay attention to how your body responds to treatment. Working with a reputable CBD provider can also help you learn more about your treatment and serving options.
FINDING THE BEST CBD OIL
If you are considering CBD oil for arthritis, start with your doctor to discuss any potential adverse interactions with your current medications.
Another key to effectively incorporating CBD oil for arthritis into your treatment plan is making sure you are using the highest quality CBD oil available. The FDA issued warning letters to companies for claiming higher levels of CBD than were present. It’s important that your producer is transparent and open about their CBD products.
The best way to avoid poor quality CBD oil is to work with a company that follows its product from the seed to you. Seed2System starts with High Grade Hemp Seed, an established hemp seed producer that works with Colorado State University to ensure a high-quality, consistent product.
We extract our CBD oil using vapor distillation, a process that captures CBD and other beneficial compounds without using chemicals or solvents. The resulting product is rich in natural terpenes and cannabinoids that work together in the “entourage effect,” with each compound enhancing the effectiveness of the other.
Finally, Seed2System’s products don’t contain sugar or artificial flavors (except the gummies). Our high-quality, full-spectrum CBD oil is as close to the whole plant as we can get it, preserving its beneficial properties with a mild, nutty flavor.
Want to see how it all works? Come visit our farms in Longmont, Colorado, or get in touch with our team if you have questions!