Arthritis is extremely common; in the United States alone, 23% of all adults (over 54 million people) have arthritis. Arthritis refers to more than 100 diseases and conditions that affect the joints including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, and gout. Pharmaceutical medications like narcotics, steroids, and injections are often used to treat arthritis, but they often have harmful side effects and can even result in dependency. That’s why so many people turn to CBD to manage the pain and inflammation associated with their arthritis naturally.

Arthritis is one of the most proven applications of CBD. In order to understand CBD’s anti-arthritic effects, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past eighteen years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of arthritis. We will address the results below.

Study Results

A 2000 study looked at the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive component of cannabis, in murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). “CBD was administered after onset of clinical symptoms, and in both models of arthritis the treatment effectively blocked progression of arthritis. CBD was equally effective when administered i.p. or orally. The dose dependency showed a bell-shaped curve, with an optimal effect at 5 mg/kg per day i.p. or 25 mg/kg per day orally. Clinical improvement was associated with protection of the joints against severe damage. Taken together, these data show that CBD, through its combined immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions, has a potent anti-arthritic effect in CIA.”

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A 2006 study assessed the efficacy of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine containing a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, in the treatment of pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. “In the first ever controlled trial of a cannabis-based medicine in arthritis, a significant analgesic effect was observed and disease activity was significantly suppressed following Sativex treatment.”

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A 2015 study looked at the efficacy of applying CBD via a transdermal patch as opposed to orally. “Transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain, immune cell infiltration and thickening of the synovial membrane in a dose-dependent manner. These data indicate that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.”

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Here we analyze a 2017 study: “Osteoarthritis (OA) is a multifactorial joint disease, which includes joint degeneration, intermittent inflammation, and peripheral neuropathy. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a noneuphoria producing constituent of cannabis that has the potential to relieve pain. The aim of this study was to determine whether CBD is anti-nociceptive in OA, and whether inhibition of inflammation by CBD could prevent the development of OA pain and joint neuropathy. The data presented here indicate that local administration of CBD blocked OA pain. Prophylactic CBD treatment prevented the later development of pain and nerve damage in these OA joints. These findings suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating OA joint neuropathic pain.”

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As indicated by the studies above, topical CBD products are extremely beneficial in the treatment of joint pain and arthritis.

Recommended CBD Regimen for Arthritis

When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness like Arthritis, it’s important to understand that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. Meaning it should be used as a preventative first – it can also be used to manage acute symptom flare-ups, but the preventative maintenance is most important! Think about it like any other dietary supplement or medication, you want to establish a baseline concentration in your system.

Daily Maintenance

In order to manage the symptoms associated with various types of arthritis, we recommend using a multi-prong approach that relies on ingesting oral CBD and applying CBD locally in the form of a topical salve for maximum relief. We suggest ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of Tinctures or Gel Capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same; the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures. We suggest those suffering from Arthritis start with 15mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. You’ll notice that the Gel Capsules are pre-filled and contain either 15mg or 25mg of CBD per pill. There is no harm in starting above the 15mg CBD threshold as you cannot overdose on CBD, nor are there any serious side effects. These ingestible products provide sustained symptom relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.

We recommend supplementing the orally ingested CBD oil with a CBD infused topical salve. Salve should be applied directly to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation. The effects of the salve should be felt very quickly, simply re-apply as needed.

Managing Acute Symptom Flare-Ups

In addition to the daily arthritis management program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage acute flare-ups. Regardless of the triggers, we recommend vaporizing CBD to combat these acute arthritis flare-ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. We suggest either the 99% pure CBD isolate or the pre-filled CBD vaporizer cartridges because they provide a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.

You can also apply the additional topical salve, or ingest more CBD in the form of tinctures or pills to combat these episodes; just keep in mind that the onset time will be significantly longer than vaporizing.