In this article, you will learn how there’s a significant increase in people using CBD for Arthritis to get a pain relief and even reverse the disease.
Why Do We Need CBD for Arthritis?
There are many pharmaceutical drugs that have been developed to treat this disease yet people are still looking for a more integrated, more natural and holistic solution.
For the past few years, CBD oil for treating Arthritis (1) has been known as one of the best if not the best all-natural alternative that could even prove to be more effective and sustainable than any other pharmaceutical prescription drugs.
Putting Arthritis in Perspective
Arthritis is a disease that manifests itself in thousands of people, both in the United States and around the world. There are an estimated 350 million people that are affected by this disorder from around the world.
Both Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis are considered to be incurable, and the treatments available are to manage the painful and debilitating symptoms and to prevent the joint cartilage from further damage and disintegration.
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis:
The Difference and How CBD for Arthritis Can Be Used for Both
Arthritis is a chronic disease that can progress over time, causing damage to the joints and joint cartilage. Usually, people between the ages of 25 to 45 can exhibit the first signs of arthritis and the disorder most commonly manifests in the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, and fingers.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease while Osteoarthritis is thought to be brought on by wear and tear. They are both difficult disorders to live with as they produce painful symptoms.
Whether you are looking to use CBD for Arthritis as an effective treatment for one of the two, both these Arthritis disorders have shown positive results from the use of cannabis products.
These are the two different classifications of the symptoms
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Swelling and inflammation of the joint and joint area
- Stiffness upon waking that could last longer than 30 min
- Fatigue, fever, and malaise
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Symptoms that affect both sides of the body, simultaneously
- Morning stiffness for 30+ min
- Fatigue, fever, malaise
As you can see, the symptoms are very similar however the disorders themselves are essentially different.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune disorder.
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis is focused on preventing the immune system from further attacks on the body’s immune system.
Osteoarthritis is from ‘use’ and lifestyle.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis is aimed at prevention of further cartilage disintegration and providing symptomatic relief.
How Does CBD for Arthritis Fit In?
Taking CBD for Arthritis has proven to be an effective and sustainable anti-inflammatory, so we can immediately see that CBD can be used to treat both these types of arthritis for the inflammation symptoms and the associated pain.
However, there is more to using CBD for Arthritis as an effective treatment option than just for swelling and we will delve further into how it can be used and how it can actually be effective.
First, let us look at a few of the basics:
What Causes Arthritis?
There is a number of possible causes for arthritis that go beyond simple old age and wear and tear.
Causes for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
If you are looking for a plain and simple answer to this question, you are not going to find it.
Basically, we do not know the specific cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, we are aware that it is triggered by a certain auto-immune disorder where the healthy joint tissues come under attack by the antibodies.
But the cause of the autoimmune disorder is still largely a mystery.
Fortunately, we do know that the following factors play a role:
- lifestyle choices
Causes for Osteoarthritis:
Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, seems to be caused by life itself.
Wear and tear over a continuous period of time is known to be the number one factor of this disorder.
This condition is known to worsen with time and it can be spurred on by certain sports or movement that is repetitive and continuous. This type of movement will cause the cartilage to be worn out. Certain joints and other areas where injuries took place are especially susceptible to Osteoarthritis.
Researchers and doctors also suspect that genetics could also play a role in triggering this disorder.
Both varieties of arthritis have their own clinical diagnoses. The symptoms of each can overlap so they can easily be mixed up however they do have their own distinctive diagnosis.
The diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Family history is examined
- Physical symptoms are checked
- A blood test is carried out, in order to identify particular antibodies that are known to be triggers
- Certain tests and image scans are used to locate visual signs of joint inflammation and damage
Osteoarthritis is diagnosed using the following methods:
- X rays and MRI are effectively used to identify damaged joint cartilage
- While blood tests can’t help to singularly identify Osteoarthritis, they are used to rule out Rheumatoid Arthritis or other disorders that may be causing the joint pain and or inflammation.
The Prognosis of Arthritis
The prognosis for both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are similarly bleak.
However, the good news is that with treatment the damage can slow down both forms of arthritis. In some cases even reversing it.
With Osteoarthritis, the main problem is building back up the loss of cartilage.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is more unpredictable and certain drugs are prescribed to halt the attack of the autoimmune system which is the main reason behind the damage and debilitating symptoms.
Both varieties require quite similar medication to assist in dealing with the symptoms, specifically inflammation, and pain.
Treatment for Arthritis
While there are many different treatment options for arthritis, there is no known cure.
Doctors and healthcare professionals recommend pain relievers, exercise, healthy diets and many other things to assist the slowing down of arthritis and to manage the symptoms that can prevent people from living a normal life.
What if the Pain and Swelling are Too Much to Bear?
People don’t want to be stuck on painkillers for the rest of their lives. Relying on prescription pharmaceutical drugs to get through each day.
Also, the damage that comes as side effects of the Pharmaceutical drugs can be huge, and in some cases irreversible.
This is why people are turning to alternative and more natural forms of medicine.
More and more people are using CBD to treat Arthritis.
So let us examine exactly how can CBD for Arthritis play a healthy role in a 100% natural treatment protocol.
But Wait, What is CBD?
In a nutshell, CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the many compounds (called cannabinoids) found in the cannabis plant. It’s a cannabinoid that communicates with the immune system using a complex receptor system called the Endocannabinoid System.
This sparks healing in certain areas and can be helpful in the treatment of autoimmune disorders, including Rheumatoid Arthritis.
When the body assimilates CBD, it acts as an analgesic (meaning it has pain-relieving properties ) as well as having potent anti-inflammatory properties.
There have been quite a few studies that have already highlighted CBD’s effectiveness in treating swelling and pain
While there are over-the-counter medications, what some would call ‘traditional’, many people suffer adverse side effects from these prescription drugs, especially after long-term use.
How Does CBD Work?
You may already have a rough idea of what CBD is – a cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant.
You may also already be aware that we, as a mammal, have our very own Endocannabinoid System. This is obvious from the name itself – Endo meaning internal.
Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system by communicating with specific receptors – the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
However, while THC reacts directly with these receptors, researchers say that CBD does not actually interact with these receptors directly, but acts as a trigger that enables these receptors to essentially do a better job and send the message that something is going on inside the body that needs to be healed.
Put very simply, when we are sick or have a disorder – our body is simply out of balance.
Our endocannabinoid system’s main function is to ensure that our body remains in a state of homeostasis (and that’s just a fancy word for “balance”), and it does so through a complex connection of receptors that sends out signals and communications. These receptors are located all over the body as well as within the brain, including the nervous and the immune system.
Now you can start to see how cannabis can be effectively used to treat the autoimmune disorder Rheumatoid Arthritis.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ready? Let’s dive a bit deeper.
The Endocannabinoid System, CBD for Arthritis and How it is All Connected
The ECS (endocannabinoid system) is the big ball hitter here and is the main connection for Arthritis and CBD.
So what is the ECS?
It is the body’s very own policing system, its regulator.
The ECS has little ‘policemen’ receptors located in the immune system cells, the organs, the glands and the brain.
Its main form of function? Communication.
And here’s the other mind-blowing thing you probably didn’t know: our body is producing its own cannabinoids. Very similar to the cannabinoids that make the cannabis plant what it is.
These cannabinoids – the natural ones produced by our body – are the key to helping relieve inflammation and pain.
This is our body’s natural response.
However, there are various things that cause this response to be less effective or to not take place at all. And that is when our body is low on cannabinoids.
The good news is that we can help our body by supplementing the cannabinoids that fit into the endocannabinoid system perfectly.
We know that people who have arthritis suffer from extreme pain and discomfort, but they also suffer from the following symptoms as well:
- gastrointestinal problems
- and many more
Full Spectrum CBD does not only assist in relieving pain, but it can also assist with the above symptoms as well.
Over the past few years, different cannabis products have been developed. Also, different strains of cannabis have been specifically developed to help with different health issues
Growers and cultivators have learned to grow certain strains with the terpene profiles that make an effective daytime cannabis product, helping to fight fatigue, while there are others that are best to be taken at night in order to help people to fall asleep and combat insomnia.
Cannabis products also help regulate insulin production and the metabolism, thereby increasing or decreasing the appetite – whatever is needed to bring our body into balance.
So, the following is a wrap up of how using CBD for arthritis can benefit you:
- relieve pain
- wean off opiate medication
- improve your joint mobility and hence your life
- improve your sleep
- more energy
- reduce swelling
What’s the best way to take CBD for Arthritis?
There quite a few different ways to medicate with the cannabis plant.
The most common options are:
- Rectal Suppositories
People report that by using CBD for arthritis sublingually in the form of CBD oil, they can manage the inflammation “from the inside”.
At the same time, they are also using a topical cream or salve and “massaging it in” to the main area of pain and inflammation.
While it is important to note this is by no means, a medical advise, it has been an effective method reported by many patients suffering from arthritis.
Here’s a Breakdown of the Most Popular Cannabis Delivery Methods
As opposed to smoking, vaping dry herbs or e-liquid has become increasingly popular in the past few years since there’s no combustion.
There’s no “burning” of the material.
Now we can’t say that this is a healthy version of smoking but it’s definitely a less harmful alternative.
Vaping CBD for Arthritis involves heating it to the point where it’s hot enough so the active ingredients start coming out as a gentle vapor. At the same time, it’s not so hot that it would combust and burn.
That also brings two huge benefits:
- You are not inhaling the harmful smoke that comes from burning
- Plus you are not destroying any of the healthy ingredients
You see it’s estimated that the burning process actually destroys 90% of all the good stuff from the cannabis plant.
The benefit vaping has over other forms of consumption is that it can provide a rapid relief and a quick onset of the CBD effects.
The duration of the pain relief will vary but generally, it can last 3 – 5 hours.
Alternatives to Inhaling (Smoking or Vaping)
Quite a few types of CBD products fall under this category:
- CBD Tinctures
- CBD Extracts
- CBD Oils
- CBD Capsules
- CBD Chocolates and other CBD Edibles
- CBD Topicals, Creams and Salves
- CBD Rectal Suppositories
This is usually done with a CBD Tincture or CBD Oil. It’s also an oral delivery method, so you eat it of course.
However, before you actually swallow it, you place the drops under your tongue and hold it for about a minute. With this, the relief can be much faster. In some cases even instant. This is because a percentage of the CBD (and other cannabinoids) diffuses through the mucous membranes beneath your tongue. And because of the plethora of capillaries there, the medicine has a fairly direct route into your bloodstream. This results in the medicine working faster, and oftentimes, better.
After holding it for a minute or two you can swallow it.
This means you take the CBD for Arthritis in your mouth and swallow it right away. Nothing gets absorbed through the mucous membranes in your mouth.
Taking CBD or other cannabis products orally the absorption and metabolization can take a little longer to manifest relief but the effects are longer lasting.
The effects can also be different and in many cases more potent- so it is advised to start with a lower dose.
Topicals – Applying CBD on to Your Skin
This is the application of creams, salves, and balms where the cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin.
The effects are perhaps more localized. The effects are felt mainly in the symptomatic area and people that need relief from inflammatory and pain symptoms find this an effective way to treat the area often.
This may not be the most popular delivery method but the researchers say that this method will get you a much greater absorption of the cannabinoids than any other method mentioned above.
The benefits of using whole plant CBD for arthritis or the so-called Full Spectrum CBD
Whole Plant CBD vs. CBD Isolate
Whole Plant CBD is also known as Full Spectrum CBD.
Many of the CBD products on the market today are “CBD only” products. This means such products have no other components from the cannabis plant in them. Just CBD.
The main reason for this is because many were so excited about the CBD benefits and did not want to deal with the psychoactive effects of THC. So the CBD isolate was created.
However, if you are using CBD for arthritis or anything else for that matter, cannabidiol (CBD) is most effective when it is in conjunction with the whole plant.
The isolated CBD does not seem to have the same effect. This is known as the entourage effect; where the cannabinoids and terpenes work as a whole to deliver the desired health benefits.
There are more than 87 cannabinoids within the cannabis plant.
The following cannabinoids are the most known and studied. They also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are effective when treating arthritis:
- CBC (cannabichromene)
- THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
- CBG (cannabigerol)
- CBDA (cannabidiolic acid)
- CBGV (cannabigivarin)
- CBGA (cannabigerolic acid)
The above cannabinoids are most definitely lesser known than THC or CBD, however, they also play a significant role in the plants healing potential. This is why the Full Spectrum cannabis products are so great. They encompass the healing potential of all the elements.
The research is showing better results when using whole plant CBD. But putting the “scientific research” aside, there are also numerous CBD success stories out there that show how much better the results are when people use the Full Spectrum CBD (or whole plant CBD) in comparison to the CBD isolate.
Dosing CBD for Arthritis
Generally speaking, when you are starting out with CBD for arthritis, it is advisable that you begin slowly.
Start off with a small dosage and go from there.
Of course, it depends on the type and concentration of the CBD for arthritis that you will be using, so it’s very hard to give a “fit all” dosage advice.
What we’ll do is illustrate a dosage with 4% CBD Oil (Drops).
First, let’s break down what 4% CBD Oil is:
I have to stress that we really recommend you get the Full Spectrum CBD – sometimes also referred to as FECO (Full Extract Cannabis Oil), but that is used more in the case of THC rich cannabis.
So 4% means that even though the product contains other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other good stuff cannabis plant has to offer, 4% of all of the content is CBD. So in every 10 milliliters, there’s 400mg of CBD.
Dosing 4% CBD Oil for arthritis
As you can see this is fairly straightforward.
You got the recommended progression of how many CBD oil drops you should take.
We recommend micro dosing so splitting daily dosage into 3 smaller dosages and spreading it throughout the day with the overnight dosage being slightly bigger.
The chart above shows you drops and milligrams. And the sum per day as well as the total sum – This way you can be perfectly clear about how much of the CBD oil you need for 30 days.
One very important point to add is this:
We recommend you start dosing according to the chart above. But as soon as you get to a dosage that seems to be working for you (for example dosage on day 15 – 10/10/20) you should stick with that dosage. Don’t worry, you can not overdose! We simply recommend that you have reached the dosage that works for you. Now you can certainly experiment with continuing to up the dosage and see how that makes you feel and how it changes the dynamics and balance of your body and mind.
The idea is this:
we have clients doing fine with only a few drops per day.
But we also have clients that need 2 or even 3 milliliters per day to handle the pain levels they have.
Everyone is different and so the dosage of the CBD to be working properly can also be very different.
Listen to your body and how you feel because it’s you who knows best what is good for your self!
Does Cannabis Strain Matter?
Chances are you are just starting with the whole “CBD for arthritis” thing. So the answer to the above question is simply: No.
What matters is that you get the Full Spectrum CBD.
And what also matters is that you start changing your lifestyle for the better.
Yes, Cannabidiol will help a whole lot. But it will help more if you consider also changing to a healthier lifestyle.
We could all eat better and exercise more. But that’s a whole other topic that we’ll cover in another article 😉
CBD for Arthritis – What Do Studies Say
In 2003, a study of the effect of cannabinoids on Arthritis was done to examine the effect that the CBD cannabinoid had on rodents. These rodents were injected with a compound that caused similar inflammatory symptoms to arthritis. In an effort to see the effect that CBD had on this, the rodents received CBD orally. Results showed that the inflammation symptoms in the rodents were decreased after the CBD was submitted.
Another clinical trial, this one performed more recently in 2010, looked at the effect of smoking cannabis. The study was aimed at the treatment of neuropathic pain and the results were also positive. The participants of the study inhaled one drag of a cannabis joint that contained 9.4% THC on a daily basis. The subjects reported better sleep and that the pain was reduced. The results of this test show how the whole compound, not just isolated CBD is effective.
In 2016 Sara L. Dunn and her team made a research titled “Expression of Cannabinoid Receptors in Human Osteoarthritic Cartilage: Implications for Future Therapies” (2) The results were very positive and showed huge potential. The conclusion of the study said:
“Chondrocytes from OA joints were shown to express a wide range of cannabinoid receptors even in degenerate tissues, demonstrating that these cells could respond to cannabinoids. Cannabinoids designed to bind to receptors inhibiting the catabolic and pain pathways within the arthritic joint, while avoiding psychoactive effects, could provide potential arthritis therapies.”
How Does Full Spectrum CBD Compare to Aspirin and Other Anti-inflammatory Drugs?
Studies show that THC trumped the effectiveness of aspirin by 20x.
Yes, you read that correctly, THC is up to 20x more effective as an anti-inflammatory than aspirin.
The great thing about Full Spectrum CBD is that it also contains traces amounts of THC and that seems to be enough to be effective. At the same time, the amount of THC is not enough to get you high.
THC also proved to be twice as effective than hydrocortisone (3), one of the most popular anti-inflammatory drugs due to its effectiveness.
It’s no wonder big pharmaceutical companies tried to keep a lid on this natural medicine.
Drugs like Advil and Aspirin have proved to inhibit certain enzymes (CO-1 and CO-2).
Tese enzymes play an essential role in our bodies, and if they are prevented from manifesting over a prolonged period of time than the result is often in the form of gastro bleeding and ulcers, cerebrovascular problems and even heart attacks.
Researchers specifically studied to see if CBD and THC (as the two most popular cannabinoids) do the same thing – inhibit CO-1 and CO-2 enzymes. And they found that despite being more effective than any of the Synthetic Pharmaceutical drugs, the cannabinoids do not inhibit these enzymes.
Questions about CBD for Arthritis:
So there you have it, the why’s, the how’s and the how to’s of using CBD to treat arthritis.
Using cannabis as a medicine is becoming increasingly popular, and it is only a matter of time before it is officially declared to have the healing properties that ancient cultures knew about thousands of years ago.
Nevertheless, there’s still a ton of questions you might have.
Let us know what are the questions that you need answers to in the comments below.