Arthritis is a common disease characterized by joint swelling and tenderness. People with arthritis typically complain of joint pain and stiffness that worsens with age. It is estimated that by 2040, some 78 million Americans will have arthritis.
Currently, around 350 million people worldwide have arthritis – that’s the population of the entire United States!
Managing and treating arthritis is a costly affair. In 2005, the CDC put the total costs for managing arthritis and related rheumatic conditions at approximately $128 billion. This was for medical expenses, lost wages, and payouts combined. Arthritis medications are equally expensive, often rivaling those of cancer.
For this reason, many people affected by the condition seek alternative pocket-friendly treatment plans.
In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) has emerged as a natural remedy for many health conditions. It’s touted to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-relieving properties, among many others, which can help alleviate the symptoms of most ailments.
With this in mind, let’s see how CBD can help with arthritis.
Can CBD help with arthritis?
Having arthritis can be dehumanizing, especially when it stops you from engaging in your favorite pastimes like exercising, yoga, or even simple routines like walking. The joint pains and inflammation can cause sleepless nights, further affecting your quality of life.
But with the emergence of CBD, there is hope for people looking for alternative cost-effective treatment options for arthritis.
Even though evidence from animal studies increasingly attests to CBD’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, there are limited well-designed human studies supporting such findings.
That said, randomized topical CBD trials on osteoarthritis patients have yielded mixed results at best. Indeed, in some studies, CBD proved capable of reducing pain and inflammation, while in others, the study participants reported little to no change.
Nonetheless, there is some optimism after one of the largest meta-analyses on the health effects of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concluded that cannabis could help relieve chronic pain in adults.
Furthermore, the Arthritis Foundation, albeit anecdotally, also acknowledged the capability of CBD to “noticeably” reduce pain anxiety and improve sleep quality.
Research is still ongoing to collect conclusive evidence that CBD can effectively manage arthritic pain in humans. At the moment, only a handful of human studies have demonstrated CBD’s effectiveness.
Although such findings are encouraging, more research is needed to prove that cannabidiol can help with arthritis without any doubt.
Arthritis and CBD Oil
For many people with arthritis, using CBD products like CBD oil can be one way of managing chronic pain. Given the side effects of conventional arthritis medications like opioids and immunosuppressants, natural supplements are increasingly gaining traction.
Besides pain relief, another advantage of CBD products is that they can improve sleep and mood. So, they go deeper at resolving your problem than prescription meds.
Having said that, it’s important to consult your doctor before replacing any arthritis medication with CBD. This is particularly important given the grey areas that still shroud CBD’s properties and working mechanisms.
Lastly, it’s crucial to emphasize that CBD is still an unregulated product. This means most of the CBD products on the market are not approved by FDA. So, their content, safety and quality are usually not ascertained.
Nonetheless, based on some study findings, CBD oil may benefit people with arthritis.
Benefits of CBD for arthritis
Even as researchers continue to investigate the beneficial properties of CBD, existing findings, however scant, highlight several benefits people with arthritis can derive from it.
Arthritis is mainly known for severe pain and joint stiffness, so it’s telling that CBD-arthritis studies have tended to investigate its pain-relief properties. For example, a 2020 study showed that CBD could potentially relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation and improve sleep.
Another study indicated that CBD could help people with neuropathic pain. This type of pain is usually caused when nerves that form part of the communication network between the brain and different parts of the body get damaged or injured. It’s described as a “shooting, stabbing or burning sensation” akin to an electric shock.
A clinical study published in the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research showed that 36 percent of the participants who used cannabidiol to treat arthritis and joint pain found it effective. The study also established that CBD might also fight off inflammation and PTSD symptoms, among other conditions.
Despite these positive signs, it must be emphasized that responses to CBD are essentially differential. This could be because the ECS works differently in every person and hence the different outcomes in its interactions with CBD.
Regardless, it’s increasingly feasible that CBD may help reduce pain in arthritic patients. The exact science behind CBD’s ability to reduce pain is unknown because, unlike THC, it has a low affinity for CB receptors. However, it is thought that there are yet-to-be-identified receptors that CBD interacts with to relieve pain.
Benefits of CBD with rheumatoid arthritis
One of the primary symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is chronic pain, especially in the joints. In fact, many people with rheumatoid arthritis (apparently the most painful type of arthritis) simply describe the pain as “crippling.”
So, it’s only natural that people with arthritis will, first and foremost, focus on managing their pain. This is where CBD oil comes in, so let’s understand how CBD influences pain perception.
Cannabinoids like CBD interact with receptors that modulate our perception of pain and inflammation. These receptors form part of an intricate neuromodulatory system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates several processes and functions in the body, including chronic pain, sleep, mood, stress, skin and nerve function, among others.
Because it’s a cannabinoid, THC, unlike CBD, is able to attach itself to endocannabinoid receptors and signal the ECS to perform certain functions. CB1 and CB2 are the two well-known endocannabinoid receptors.
CB1 receptors are predominant in the central nervous system (CNS), while CB2 receptors largely populate the peripheral nervous system and immune cells.
CBD does not bind to ECS receptors. Instead, it’s believed to influence how THC interacts with the CB receptors, modulating its psychoactivity.
As to how it affects pain perception, researchers think CBD interacts with other unknown receptors and ion channels to bring about various positive effects. One of these effects is the activation of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor to mitigate symptoms of nausea, anxiety, vomiting, and pain perception.
Interestingly, CBD mainly interacts with neurotransmitters linked to serotonin, which probably explains why most people using CBD experience anti-anxiety and calming sensations.
For the most part, CBD users often talk about feeling nothing beyond “the cessation of negative symptoms.” As a result, CBD has often been labeled non-psychoactive, though it can be argued to be psychoactive due to its effect on anxiety.
Benefits of CBD oil for arthritis
CBD oil is one of the many CBD products currently being used to treat numerous health conditions. It’s mainly taken orally by placing it under the tongue (sublingually). This method of consumption confers several advantages.
First, CBD gets into your systemic circulation much faster. The digestive system typically starts from the mouth through the stomach to the anus. The digestion process starts immediately after you put CBD in your mouth.
To allow as much CBD to be absorbed as possible, some CBD vendors advise users to hold the oil in the mouth for at least 45 minutes before swallowing.
Second, high-quality CBD products use MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil instead of coconut or hemp oil as the carrier element. One upside of this is that MCT oil is easier to digest thanks to its comparatively shorter chains of fat.
This property increases the bioavailability of CBD oil products and essentially ensures that you absorb more CBD.
MCT oil also has a wide range of benefits. It’s believed to promote weight loss, reduce the build-up of lactate, help manage epilepsy, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce risk factors associated with heart disease. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
When used as a carrier element, MCT oil enhances the overall potency of the CBD product.
You can also add CBD oil to topicals like gels, creams and lotions. This is particularly beneficial if your skin is affected by arthritis. The beauty of this is that topical CBD is seldom associated with any side effects. So you don’t have to worry about the other oral medications you may be taking.
CBD oil dosage for arthritis pain relief
Because there are no clear guidelines on the ideal CBD dosage, the Arthritis Foundation recommends the following:
- When using CBD oils and tinctures, always be aware that the product is a mixture of a carrier element and CBD. So, it’s prudent to understand the correct amount you should take of each substance.
- Start low and slow. Begin with lower doses and if you don’t experience any relief after a week, increase the dosage ideally by an equivalent amount. When you find your ‘sweet spot,’ maintain that dosage to establish a stable CBD level in your systemic circulation.
- Many people often find faster relief when they combine CBD with THC. So you may want to introduce low-dose THC products. But first, find out if medical marijuana is legal in your area and consult your doctor.
Information gathered from arthritis patients who use CBD oil to manage pain and inflammation suggests that 25 milligrams of CBD taken twice daily is an effective dose. But with CBD, no one size fits all. So expect the effective dose to vary from person to person.
You can also calculate the required dosage using animal studies. In these, the researchers often prescribe topical doses of 20-240 mg/kg of body weight (for animals with rheumatoid arthritis) and 0.5-2 mg/kg of body weight (for animals with osteoarthritis).
CBD cream for arthritis in seniors
As the wait for more conclusive findings on the effectiveness of CBD in treating various health conditions continues, there’s early evidence that CBD topicals like creams and lotions may help reduce arthritis pain, jaw pain, and nerve pain.
CBD can be absorbed via the skin, so older adults with arthritis have even more options for integrating CBD into their pain management programs.
It’s also been demonstrated by people in palliative care that regular use of CBD or THC topical products can relieve pain. So, we believe that CBD cream can potentially offer some much-needed relief from inflammation and pain in seniors with arthritis.
Is CBD safe to use?
This has to be the elephant in the house. Most MHRAs generally urge caution while using CBD. However, most research studies give CBD a clean bill of health with regard to safety. However, it may cause sleepiness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, and on rare occasions, liver problems.
There are fears also that CBD may react with other medications, thereby affecting their effectiveness. To be sure, talk to your doctor if you’re on the following drugs:
CBD Dosage for Arthritis
The most recent Arthritis Organization commentary made a raft of recommendations on CBD Dosing for managing chronic pain. For starters, it proposed the usage of oral formulations like capsules for long-term pain relief.
Further, it is recommended that users start with low doses of 5-10 mg twice daily and increase weekly over 1-2 months if pain relief is not achieved.
CBD for joint pain in elderly
The Arthritis Organization points out that cannabinoids like CBD shouldn’t be the first-line treatment for chronic non-cancer pain but should ideally be integrated into the pain management program.
That said, CBD has shown considerable promise in pain management. For this reason, an increasing number of medical experts now contend that if CBD can safely improve pain symptoms, it may be worth trying.
So if you’re considering CBD therapy, here are top-quality CBD products you can consider.
Best CBD for arthritis in seniors
Our Premium CBD Drops are high-quality products made from purest broad-spectrum CBD combined with the highest quality MCT oil. They are designed to help soothe your body and calm your mind. These can also provide instant relief from pain relief or insomnia thanks to their higher bioavailability.
Best CBD cream for arthritis in seniors
For joint pains and aches, why don’t you try our Relief Cream? This product combines 500mg of cannabidiol with powerful menthol and soothing botanicals to eliminate pains and aches quickly. It’s packed with ingredients that repair and nourish your skin, leaving it calm and relieved.
Best CBD gummies for arthritis in seniors
These deliciously formulated edibles are made with organic ingredients and broad-spectrum CBD to ensure nothing stops you from getting that calm and relaxed mien. These will also give you rapid relief from pain and inflammation by getting CBD into your bloodstream faster.
While CBD’s potential to manage and treat various health conditions is promising, remember that nothing is proven yet. So, please take the necessary precautions when using cannabidiol and always give priority to prescribed medications unless they don’t work, in which case, consult your doctor.
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