How Does CBD Oil Help with Arthritis Pain?

Arthritis is a progressive condition marked by increasing inflammation within the joint. There is no cure for arthritis.  This condition is due to natural wear and tear of the cartilage between two bones in a joint. Once the cartilage has been worn to a certain point, the bones rub on each other causing inflammation. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory medication. It can decrease the inflammation, and thus, the pain caused by arthritis.   Effective CBD preparations for this can be topical or oral.

What is CBD?

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the active ingredients found in many plants, but the richest sources are from the hemp and marijuana plants. CBD has no psychoactive effect; there is no “high” from CBD. CBD is natural and its chemical counterpart is found in all mammals including humans. It has many beneficial properties such as decreasing inflammation, decreasing pain, improving anxiety and insomnia and helping to prevent seizures.

How does CBD work?

CBD works by interacting with the Endocannabinoid receptors in the body, CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors, when activated, are involved with many processes transmitting information back to the brain such as pain. These receptors are almost everywhere within the body – the brain, spinal cord, eyes, skin, intestines and nerves just to name a few. This is how CBD can help with so many different health problems.

How are CBD and THC different?

CBD and THC share many of the same properties, but the biggest difference is that THC can cause a “high”, the main reason it is used recreationally. CBD does not cause a high effect. Both are used for pain relief, anxiety reductions, improving sleep, but many times, CBD alone is enough to help with symptoms. When symptoms are more advanced, THC is used in addition to CBD for symptom control.

What are the different preparations of CBD that are available?

These products come in a variety of forms and, many times, depends on the patient’s preferred method of administration.

  • Tinctures or Oils: These are placed under the tongue for 30 seconds, then swallowed. They take 60-90 minutes to start working. The effects can last for 6-10 hours.
  • Inhalation: While this method provides the fastest onset of action, 10-15 minutes, it only lasts 2-3 hours.
  • Topical (lotions, balms, transdermal patches): This formulation is mainly used for localized effects such as joint pain. The onset of action and duration vary per individuals.
  • Capsules or Gummies: similar to tinctures or oils but are just swallowed (or chewed and swallowed in the case of gummies).

What are the side effects of CBD, if any?

There are no serious side effects from CBD. It a natural compound found in all mammals. If they do occur, the most common are nausea and/or loose stool.

Is CBD legal?

Yes. It is sold over the counter with the only restriction being that it contains 0.3% or less of THC, a dose so low that there is no psychoactive effect.