According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to one quarter of adults in the United States – some 23% – have arthritis. It’s the leading cause of work disability, with symptoms that include pain, aching, stiffness, and joint swelling. Other symptoms can include slowed healing times, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and stiffness in the mornings. There’s no cure at this time, and treatments include rest, occupational or physical therapy, drugs, exercise, and even surgery. It’s no surprise that baby boomers are increasingly turning to alternatives. And CBD is one of them.
How Does it Work?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is quite the little compound. It can promote feelings of relaxation and calmness, and unlike THC, it’s entirely non-intoxicating. That means full-body pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits without the head high. CBD interacts directly with CB1 and CB2 receptors, which can reduce pain and inflammation. The research relating to arthritis is limited, due to federal restrictions, but it’s out there.
- A study in a 2017 issue of a journal called Pain linked CBD oil with a reduction in joint pain for those suffering with osteoarthritis.
- A study in a 2016 issue of Arthritis Care and Research linked it to a reduction in pain and an improvement in both sleep and quality of life for people living with rheumatoid arthritis. Full disclosure – this was a very small sample, so the study may be considered insignificant.
- A 2018 study published in Current Opinion in Pharmacology found cannabinoids can treat pain associated with osteoarthritis.
This is a great start, and the anecdotal evidence is just as compelling. We hear regularly from patients find great relief with CBD products, including the Kynd Balm (particularly effective, as it combines gentle massage with CBD) and the 300mg CBD tincture. There are other ways to consume cannabis as well. It’s available in capsule form and as a liquid.
Finding an effective CBD is often a process of trial and error. Ask a trusted budtender for a recommendation, but first, consider the consumption methods with which you’re most comfortable. Being clear on whether you’d prefer a topical, a capsule, or a sublingual will help narrow down your options.