A Beginner's Guide to CBD and Arthritis
*This article is intended to provide general information about CBD only - it is not intended to provide medical advice.
In the U.S., approximately 23% of adults suffer from arthritis. Globally, approximately 350 million people have this condition. While most people who have arthritis are age 65 or older, there are still many young and middle-aged adults who also have this condition. CBD is getting great attention by many of them.
There is no known cure for arthritis. The best thing that science can currently do is slow down the progression of the disease and alleviate the symptoms. By reducing the body’s inflammatory response, doctors can help manage the pain. While every drug carries some risks and side effects, cannabidiol (CBD) is showing promise as a way to reduce inflammation.
While people may say they just have arthritis, arthritis is actually a term that covers more than 100 different conditions. All of these conditions involve some level of swelling, pain, and stiffness.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. This is the form that causes cartilage to deteriorate. Since this cartilage helps to protect your bones from friction, it can lead to pain and joint damage.
People who experience this condition can develop inflammation as well. Because it takes time for cartilage to deteriorate, this condition typically affects the elderly more than it affects young adults.
Inflammatory arthritis like psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis are connected to autoimmune conditions. These kinds of conditions develop because the immune system thinks that it is under attack from invaders. Instead of attacking invading viruses, the body attacks organs or bones. This leads to severe pain and inflammation.
Once someone experiences joint deterioration, the symptoms tend to get worse over time. Other than treating joint and nerve pain, many patients also need help with inflammation. Reducing inflammation may limit joint soreness and stiffness, which in turn may help decrease levels of pain.
Could CBD Help?
People look to buy CBD oil for pain, does it help? Some studies suggest CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, and so anecdotal claims of related benefits are common, especially by those looking for natural alternatives to inflammation and pain relief. Since cannabis was completely illegal until very recently, scientists are still working to understand the effects of using cannabis, and further studies are needed to gain a more solid understanding of the benefits of CBD.
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing for the growth and processing of hemp in the United States, CBD is now widely available.
CBD is a chemical compound that is naturally found in cannabis plants. While this compound will not make you high like THC, it claims other useful benefits such as stress relief and rest support. CBD is only one out of dozens of different cannabinoids in cannabis, so other cannabinoids may have additional effects as well. Once CBD is extracted from cannabis, it can be used in both edible and topical products such as CBD massage oils.
In the U.S., many can readily buy full-spectrum CBD oil or buy full spectrum CBD cream for pain for sale online.
CBD works by targeting receptors in the human endocannabinoid system. Studies indicate that Phytocannabinoids like those found in CBD may improve the functionality of the receptors in the endocannabinoid system. CBD binds with receptors in the endocannabinoid system such as those in our nervous and immune systems, improving the functionality of these receptors.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is a fairly recent discovery. It was discovered after researchers started learning about the way cannabis affects the body, which is how this system got its name.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system that allows our cells and organs to communicate with each other in order to balance overall activity. A healthy endocannabinoid system enables homeostasis, a state of steady internal physical and chemical conditions maintained within our bodies.
To maintain this balance, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates physical and emotional processes with substances called endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters or signaling molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors not only respond to and interact with endocannabinoids, but with phytocannabinoids (CBD) which are produced by the cannabis plant.
Embedded in cell membranes, Cannabinoid receptors respond to environmental stimuli, producing an effect within the cell. The two main cannabinoid receptors are Cannabinoid Type 1 receptors (CB1) and Cannabinoid Type 2 receptors (CB2).
CB1 receptors are found in the brain and central nervous systems, with more CB1 receptors than all other receptors combined. CB2 receptors are primarily concentrated in the immune system. Similar to CB1 in the brain, CB2 is one of the most abundant receptors in immune tissue.
In short, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining a state of steady internal physical and chemical conditions within our bodies, also known as homeostasis. Some people may equate homeostasis with a feeling of general wellness.
So what is the connection?
Let’s take it from the beginning. Hemp and marijuana are both different types of cannabis. Marijuana contains both the TCH and CBD cannabinoids, while Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC (<0.3%) if any. While both cannabinoids claim wellness properties, THC causes a “high” while CBD does not.
CBD has garnered interest in its effects relating to pain for many reasons. A large number of medical marijuana users seek cannabis with both THC and CBD to deal with issues related to pain relief. In animal research, CBD has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. There is also interest in expanding the study of CBD in humans as an anti-inflammatory, nerve protectant, and for insomnia reduction. This together with mounting anecdotal claims has garnered great interest in CBD for Joint support especially in people over 55 years of age.
It is essential to understand
- The FDA prevents businesses from making health claims about CBD
- Most information about CBD found online is made of anecdotal experiences
- Claims regarding the possible benefits of CBD for chronic pain, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, insomnia, PTSD, and others still need further study
Having stated the facts above, we bring a few points up for the sake of discussion.
Within the wellness community, it is not uncommon to hear about growing numbers of individuals dealing with pain, who, after trying cannabis or high-potency full-spectrum CBD have found some level of comfort, including enhanced relaxation and sleep. While anecdotal, claims like these are prevalent enough to encourage further study of the possible therapeutic effects of cannabis.
It is also worth mentioning the Patent the US Government holds over Cannabinoids under the title “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants,” as well as the release of Epidiolex, the first FDA approved prescription CBD medicine for the treatment of seizures associated with two severe forms of epilepsy.
Is CBD Safe?
One of the biggest problems with CBD is knowing how much to take and which drugs to avoid. Because CBD has not gone through major clinical trials yet, there are still unknowns regarding dosage and other factors. If a medication is strong enough to cause a cure, it is safe to assume that it is also strong enough to cause side effects and drug interactions. Current research and anecdotal reports generally indicate few side effects associated with CBD, but there are some potential risks to keep in mind.
Because of the potential side effects, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking CBD. This is especially important if you have other medical conditions or take any medications. CBD can change how prescription medications are processed in the liver. This means it can potentially cause drug interactions with medications such as anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics. Also remember, CBD should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing.
This article is not meant to replace proper medical advice. We do not encourage anyone to discontinue any type of medication. This is an extremely important decision that must be discussed with your doctor.
There is a wide variety of different methods available for taking CBD such as
- CBD oils, tinctures, and capsules
- CBD topical rubs, lotions
- Broad-spectrum CBD pain cream
- CBD Edibles such as CBD gummies
- CBD Flower for smoking
However, many prefer to use CBD in oil or tincture for sublingually. Usage depends on a large variety of factors, such as the person using it, the wellness goals, the type of product, serving size, and delivery method. We suggest you do your own research and consult with your doctor prior to starting to use CBD or any supplement for that matter. Here is a good resource to start your research.
A common rule of thumb is to start low, go slow, and titrate up. Many individuals start with a low CBD serving of approx. 10 mg per day and adjust up on a weekly basis. Individuals with specific wellness concerns report experiencing improved results after gradually increasing their servings to fit their goals.
Quality is Crucial
Choose high-quality CBD products certified by independent labs
Choose CBD products tested for pesticides, residues, and heavy metals
Buy from a trust-worthy source
With so many unvetted CBD products in the market, choosing the right source is well worth it. From a commercial point of view, when it comes to CBD oil for sale online, not all CBD stores are the same. Did you know Amazon prohibits products containing Cannabidiol? (hemp seed oil contains no CBD). People seek to buy CBD oil online for many reasons. Still, they all deserve the best CBD oil that they can fully trust. While most online CBD stores carry hundreds of brands using no criteria whatsoever, specialized retailers, like Hemp Circle, curate exclusively lab-certified premium CBD products tested for pesticides and residues, made with natural ingredients, and sourced from organizations with elevated standards.
This is just a beginner's introduction into the topic and we suggest you continue your education further. Websites such as projectcbd.org are a great resource. While further study is needed, to buy natural or organic CBD products such as Hemp-Derived CBD tinctures or balms may be a good alternative to explore for your wellness goals. CBD is not a magic cure, but when used appropriately for your individual case and with discipline it may help users support their efforts for natural relief. Just remember the following suggestions:
- Make your research
- Talk it over with your doctor
- Buy a lab-tested product form a trustworthy source
- Buy CBD products made only with natural or organic ingredients
- Be disciplined and be patient