Research on CBD Oil for Arthritis
Research on CBD Oil for Arthritis focuses on the effects of Cannabidiol (CBD), which is one of the principal compounds found in the cannabis plant. It is emerging as a potential novel approach to managing chronic pain, including pain resulting from both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. More and more research is documenting the anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects of CBD, without the adverse effects often experienced with conventional treatments for arthritis. For a full list of the medical conditions for which CBD may be useful, please consult our research page.
What we know about CBD Oil and Arthritis
When introduced into the body, CBD, and other phytocannabinoids, interact with our own endocannabinoid system, or ECS (Learn more about the endocannabinoid system). Phytocannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors which are densely populated in areas of the central and peripheral nervous system that modulate pain processing. They also interact with cannabinoid receptors on immune cells signaling those cells to stop producing the inflammatory chemicals that result in pain and inflammation. Non-cannabinoid receptors and other mechanisms are still being explored.
Pre-clinical studies involving animals have documented the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil. In experimental models of arthritis – where the arthritis is artificially induced in laboratory animals – CBD has been shown to reduce tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and other inflammatory mediators, reduce pain and slow the progression of both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.1-3 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10920191, https://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=53912, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28885454) Pain and inflammation were also reduced in a rat model of arthritis using a topical CBD preparation.4 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26517407)
While fewer in number, human studies have also found positive results using CBD to reduce arthritis-related pain and inflammation. For example, in one randomized, double-blind parallel group study among individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, CBD, combined with THC, was effective at reducing pain at rest, during movement and improving sleep. It had no effect on morning stiffness. The majority of adverse effects were mild or moderate, with no withdrawal symptoms.
The evidence in support of CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects continues to mount. The aforementioned studies suggest that CBD has therapeutic benefits in the setting of both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, without the intoxicating effects normally associated with THC, or the adverse effects associated with conventional arthritis treatments.
Below is a list of available studies concerning the use of CBD, and other phytocannabinoids, in treating arthritis.
Research Studies on the effects of CBD oil to treat Arthritis:
- Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis
- The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis
- Involvementof the endocannabinoidsystemin osteoarthritis pain
- The abnormal cannabidiol analogue O-1602 reduces nociception in a rat model of acute arthritis via the putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55
- How do I find the right dosage of CBD for arthritis-related symptoms?
- What is CBD and how does it work?
- What is the endocannabinoid system and why it matters to your health?
What is arthritis?
There are two main types of arthritis, namely; osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis that affect people of all ages, races and sexes, and forming the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
First is Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative condition that destroys the cartilage and bones, causing stiffness and pain. This condition affects the joints in the knees, hips, and thumbs.
On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease whereby the immune system attacks and destroys joints causing inflammation and pain. RA normally attacks joints in the hands and feet, leading to swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion and pain in the joints.
The symptoms brought by arthritis may stay the same for years or get worse over time. Severe forms of the disease lead to chronic pain and make it impossible to complete normal activities such as climbing stairs. Although the available medical treatments can help to halt the progression of the disease, they come with adverse side effects, including immune suppression, liver damage, severe lung infections, etc. Up until now, however, there is no cure for arthritis, and many patients end up living with the condition for life.
1. Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla PF, et al. The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2000;97(17):9561-9566.
2. Gallily R, Yekhtin Z, Hanus L. Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by using Cannabis extract enriched in Cannabidiol. Pharmacology & Pharmacy,. 2015;6:75-85.
3. Philpott HT, O’Brien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442-2451.
4. Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936-948.
Chief Medical Advisor at Green Flower BotanicalsDr. Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH is the founder and Medical Director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Education, and Chief Medical Advisor at Green Flower Botanicals. Dr. Corroon is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, peer-reviewed clinical researcher and industry consultant with a focus on medical Cannabis. He has completed certification programs from both the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine. He is a member of both organizations and serves on the Research committee for the SCC. Dr. Corroon is committed to investigating the important clinical and public health questions resulting from the broadening acceptance of Cannabis in society. He lives in San Diego, California.
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This page has been submitted in cooperation with our Medical Advisor, Dr. Jamie Corroon. Dr. Corroon has reviewed and approved the information contained on this page for general accuracy, authenticity, and relevancy of the stated research. While it is our intent to publish the most up-to-date research available, this review is limited to the material submitted on this page and does not take into account research which may currently exist or supersede this content. This review is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine. CBD products are not approved by the FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. You should always seek the advice of your physician before adding any supplement to your diet.
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