Posted on Leave a comment

CBD for Arthritis

CBD for Arthritis

Arthritis is a general term that refers to inflammation of the joints.  Large fraction of the world population suffers from this debilitating and painful condition.  Arthritis may result from normal or occupational wear and tear or may be a result of autoimmune disorders.  The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness.  Degeneration and destruction of joints will occur over the period.

Many conventional medications are available as treatments.  However, these medications show some adverse side effects.  Especially, patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure and chronic kidney disease are not recommended to use these treatments.  This leaves those patients with very few options for treatment of arthritis.

Use of cannabis and CBD based medicine is a very effective treatment among most patients around the world to manage pain and inflammation with very few side effects.  Data from some surveys say that approximately 25% of medical cannabis or CBD are used by patients seeking relief from arthritis [1-2].

  1. How CBD interacts with arthritis treatment?

The endocannabinoid system present in our body is responsible for balancing upregulated endocannabinoid receptors and increased endocannabinoid levels occur during the inflammation due to arthritis.  The balancing is regulated by combining endocannabinoid system with endocannabinoids present in human body.

Some compounds in cannabis found to have anti-inflammatory properties and capable of controlling the inflammation on human body.  These compounds are called phytocannabinoids.  These phytocannabinoids can mimic the activity of endocannabinoids present in human body to combine with the endocannabinoid system.  Some of these phytocannabinoids are effectively used as medication to reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis, that leads to pain, immobility, and destruction of joints.  In addition to that some terpenoids present in cannabis and CBD such as beta-caryophyllene also show anti-inflammatory effects on human.

  1. Cannabinoids to treat arthritis

Numerous studies conducted during the last two decades clearly show that some cannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory effects, which can be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis.  These studies are mainly focused with animal models [3-7].  Unfortunately, there are no data on human trials on the benefits of cannabis for arthritis.  This may be due to the long-term prohibition of CBD based clinical research.  However, one human clinical research has been conducted using synthetic cannabinoid drug, Nabiximols (CBD:THC-1:1) on patients with rheumatoid arthritis.  This study shows that this synthetic mixture helps significantly to reduce pain and improve sleep quality of the patient [8].

Even with limited number of scientific studies about the use of cannabis for arthritis treatment on human, a large number of independently observed results show that cannabis treatment for arthritis is effective with significantly less side effects.  Most of these observations are based on THC and CBD dominated or THC+CBD combined cannabis, cannabis consumer products or extracts.  Almost every patient who uses medical cannabis claims having better pain relief and better sleep.  In addition to that similar claim were reported by patients use cannabinoid-based consumer products including THC, CBD, their corresponding acids and other phytocannabinoids.

  1. How to use CBD as arthritis medicine?

Effectiveness of cannabis as arthritis medicine is always dependent on the way of use.  Cannabis can be inhaled (smoke or vaporize), sublingual use, ingested, or use as a topical product.  Each format has different benefits and drawbacks. But what is more interesting is the use and effectiveness of CBD in relation to arthritis.

Inhalation or sublingual use of THC rich cannabis products especially CBD helps to obtain quick action with the onset of sleep.  Ingestion of cannabis edibles often provides a long-lasting effect.  However, it can take about one to two hours to be effective.  Therefore, this medicine should be ingested at least few hours before the desired time.  In addition to that, all patients using cannabis based topicals to help with arthritis must experiment with different dose and times, to find their individual needs. That is where CBD comes in.

  1. Summery

CBD is widely used as a medication for arthritis by both recreational and medical cannabis users.  Numerous individual observations on the effect of cannabis and cannabinoids for arthritis have been reported.  Pain relieving and sleep promoting effects of synthetic cannabinoid-based drugs on human have also been reported.  All these information tell us that cannabis and some cannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory effects, which can be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis.  Therefore, these valuable natural medicines will be a choice to use as effective treatment to save people from arthritis related unnecessary suffering.

  1. References

[1] W. Swift et al., Survey of Australians using Cannabis for Medical Purpose, Harm Reduction Journal, 2, No 1, 18 (2005)

[2] M. A. Ware et al., The Medicinal use of Cannabis in the UK: Results of a Nationwide Survey, International Journal of Clinical Practice, 59, No 3, 291-295 (2005)

[3] A. M. Malfait et al., The Nonpsychoactive Cannabis Constituent Cannabidiol is an Oral Anti-arthritic Therapeutic in Murine Collagen-Induced Arthritis, PNAS, 97, No 17, 9561-9566 (2000)

[4] P. F. Sumariwalla et al., A Novel Synthetic, Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoid Acid (HU-320) with Anti-inflammatory Properties in Murine Collagen-Induced Arthritis, Arthritis and Rheumatism, 50, No 3, 985-998 (2004)

[5] D. C. Hammell et al., Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviors in a Rat Model of Arthritis, European Journal of Pain, 20, No 6, 936-948 (2016)

[6] H. T. Philpott et al., Attenuation of Early Phase Inflammation by Cannabidiol Prevents Pain and Nerve Damage in Rat Osteoarthritis, Pain, 158, No 12, 2442-2451 (2017)

[7] L. J. Gamble et al., Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs, Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 5, No 165, 1-9 (2018)

[8] D. R. Blake et al., Preliminary Assessment of the Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of a Cannabis-Based Medicine (Sativex) in the Treatment of Pain Caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatology, 45, No 1, 50-52 (2006) 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *