Arthritis is a common joint problem that affects around 350 million people around the world. It causes painful joints, stiffness and a loss of mobility.
There is currently no cure for arthritis, but there are ways to manage the symptoms on a day-to-day basis.
Alongside pharmaceutical options, many people have started to explore the possibility of using CBD oil to improve their wellness.
In this guide, we will answer the following questions around arthritis and CBD oil:
- Is CBD oil good for arthritis?
- How do you use CBD for arthritis?
- What is the best CBD oil for arthritis?
In this guide:
What is arthritis?
Arthritis can affect people of all ages, from children to the elderly. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain, swelling of the joints, and stiffness. Although arthritis can strike at any age, symptoms typically get worse as you get older.
The recommended treatment will vary from patient to patient. Some patients may need medication or even surgery in severe cases, while others can manage their symptoms with lifestyle changes and natural supplements.
In many cases, a combination of medical and supplemental solutions will be most effective.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to treat the condition, and natural health supplements can also be helpful. That’s when using CBD oil for arthritis relief comes into play.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:
Osteoarthritis is closely linked to age and commonly occurs in older people. However, joint injuries, obesity, and other health conditions which put a lot of pressure on your joints can also cause inflammation in one or more of your joints, leading to osteoarthritis.
This condition mostly affects the spine, hips, knees, and feet. With osteoarthritis, the pain in your joints typically develops gradually and worsens over time and with age.
As part of this condition, the cartilage that provides support to your joints breaks down. The damaged cartilage becomes inflamed and painful, which will affect your mobility and make it difficult to move.
The symptoms of this chronic medical condition depend on the joints affected but common symptoms include:
- Difficulty with movement
- Severe pain
- Stiffness in the joints
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means it is not linked to secondary conditions such as obesity or injury.
With rheumatoid arthritis, your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells and organs, leading to inflamed and swollen joints.
Common symptoms include:
- Severe pain
- Swelling in the knees and ankles
- 1 in 5 people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis also get severe lumps on the affected area
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are typically more severe than osteoarthritis. And since rheumatoid arthritis is caused by your immune system, all joints can become inflamed. You might notice pain and stiffness in your knees and ankles, but it can also affect your elbows, wrist, feet, shoulders, and neck.
Both types of arthritis can be debilitating year-round, but symptoms may get worse in the cold weather.
Is CBD oil good for arthritis?
So, does CBD help with arthritis?
CBD is a plant compound extracted from the hemp plant. It is one of over 100 compounds found in the plant, the most famous of which is THC.
THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that causes the “high” and is also a controlled substance in the UK. While it is from the same plant, CBD will not get you high and is perfectly legal in the UK.
CBD is capable of interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This is an integral human system responsible for regulating and balancing many body processes.
But what does that have to do with point pain?
Well, the endocannabinoid system is involved in many processes, including immune response, inflammation, memory, appetite, pain and metabolism.
Using CBD oil regularly can help to support the endocannabinoid system and allow it to function more effectively, promoting general health and wellness and possibly providing relief of some arthritis symptoms.
However, it’s important to remember that CBD is not a medicine or a cure.
What’s the evidence that CBD is effective for treating arthritis pain?
Early research into the potential uses of CBD oil for arthritis has looked at its potential to help reduce inflammation and pain. You can learn more about studies on CBD oil for joint pain and CBD to help with arthritis here.
If you are thinking about using CBD oil to help with arthritis, the good news is that you don’t need a CBD prescription to get started. CBD is available to purchase in shops and online in the UK.
How does CBD oil help with arthritis?
CBD is thought to help support health and wellness by helping the endocannabinoid system to work more efficiently.
It is hoped that it could one day provide an effective treatment option for painful inflammatory conditions like arthritis. CBD could also be effective for tackling stress, anxiety and sleep problems related to arthritis.
CBD should not be seen as a treatment. Instead, it should be used as a supplement that could help promote general wellness.
How to use CBD oil for arthritis
If you’re looking for a quick start guide to taking CBD oil for arthritis and joint pain, we have included a few tips below. You can also explore a full list of dos and don’ts in this article.
When consuming CBD in any form, here are some tips to ensure safe usage:
- Keep the dosage low: It’s best to start low and take only a few milligrams (usually a drop or two of CBD oil).
- Do not replace medication with CBD oil: Cannabidiol shouldn’t be confused with medication that could prevent joint damage or relieve pain. CBD oil is believed to be effective in promoting general wellbeing, but this is a health supplement.
- Beware of drug interactions: Some medicines can interact with CBD so this is one of the reasons why you must keep your doctor fully informed of your CBD consumption.
- Shop carefully: CBD can now be found in spas, salons, restaurants, and even retail stores. It is important to thoroughly research products and only buy from a reputable supplier.
Methods to take CBD oil for joint pain
CBD is suitable for internal and external use. When taken internally, it will enter the bloodstream and produce body-wide effects. When used externally, it can be applied directly to the source of pain.
As with any health supplement, consistency is key. You need to take your CBD supplement every day for at least a month before you will start to see the benefits.
How soon you will see its effects on arthritis symptoms depend on how your body responds to CBD oil and everyone is different. It also depends on the product and how you take it – also known as CBD bioavailability.
If you are thinking about using CBD oil for joint pain induced by arthritis, these are the most common methods:
The sublingual method is one of the most common. This involves using a CBD oil or tincture and placing drops under the tongue. Then, you hold the product in place for up to 90 seconds before swallowing it.
Taking CBD oil under the tongue offers great bioavailability, as the CBD has a faster route to your bloodstream and you should notice the effect within 15 to 40 minutes.
This can be useful if you have a constant imbalance and are looking to restore balance quickly and for the long term.
Edible CBD & CBD capsules
If you take CBD capsules, gummies, and other edibles by mouth, then the CBD oil will enter your bloodstream through the digestive tract.
Even still, many people prefer CBD capsules as these are easy to take, store, and keep dosage consistent.
While this form of CBD is easy to use, absorption through the digestive system is a bit complex and this can take longer than some other forms of CBD.
Topical balms & creams
Topical CBD products can help those struggling with arthritis pain because the CBD can be applied directly to the source of pain. Massage is also effective for improving joint mobility.
Many turn to CBD cream for pain because the cannabinoids in topical products will interact with cannabinoid receptors found in the skin rather than entering the bloodstream.
CBD balms also often include other soothing and pain-relieving ingredients which can reduce the discomfort. This could include ingredients that induce a warming or cooling sensation.
Another consumption method is to vape CBD oil. Vaping offers the highest bioavailability, as the CBD compounds pass directly into your bloodstream through the lungs.
However, it’s important to find a high-quality CBD vape juice. You cannot add ordinary CBD oil to a vape device as the carrier oil is not suitable for vaping.
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Finding the right dosage of CBD for arthritis pain relief
So, now that we know how to use it, what is the right CBD dosage for arthritis?
Once you have discussed using CBD for arthritis with your doctor, you can then establish your ideal dosage. Keeping a symptom diary can help you to identify when you have reached your ideal dosage.
When taking CBD oil for the first time, it is recommended to start with a low CBD dosage and gradually increase. Around 10mg to 15mg is a good place to start.
You can then gradually increase the dosage every few days until you have achieved the desired result. The Food Standards Agency recommends that healthy adults do not take more than 70mg of CBD per day.
The strength of the CBD oil will have a significant impact on the dosage. CBD strength is explained in more detail here.
Remember that CBD oil is not a medicine, so you shouldn’t expect overnight results.
If you notice any adverse side effects, stop taking the CBD and speak with your GP or pharmacist.
For more information about the right dosage of CBD oil for arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation may be able to help.
Safety & side effects of using CBD oil for arthritis
While CBD is generally well-tolerated by most people, there are still safety considerations to think about before adding CBD to your daily routine.
So far, no serious side effects or risks have been found when taking moderate doses of CBD.
However, some people should avoid CBD, including pregnant women, people taking other medications and those with other health conditions. If you fall into any of those categories, be sure to consult your doctor before taking CBD.
It is important to remember that CBD isn’t a substitute for medicines and other treatment options for arthritis.
While it may help promote wellness and restore balance, you should never replace your medicine with CBD. You should also consult with your GP or pharmacist to make sure that the CBD won’t interact with other medications.
Which CBD oil is best to buy for arthritis in the UK?
When purchasing CBD oil there are a few things to look for that will guarantee you are purchasing safe, effective, and legitimate products:
Know which type of CBD oil to buy
Make sure you know which type of CBD product you are purchasing.
There are three variations of CBD oil, including broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and CBD isolate. The key differences are how much THC and cannabinoids they contain.
- Full-spectrum: contains a small, legal level of THC. Yet, it will not offer a high effect. There is a large number of cannabinoids to offer wellness and well-being effects.
- Broad-spectrum: contains no added THC and offers full benefits from the hemp plant.
- CBD isolate: this variation leaves behind the purest form of CBD with no other cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids.
Avoid the cheap option
Cheap CBD products are widely available on the market. These will typically have low levels of CBD, poor-quality CBD, or simply contain hemp seed oil, which is not the same as CBD.
Which CBD oil is best?
Know your types of CBD
The type of CBD determines cannabinoid and THC content
Look for a certificate of analysis
Third-party lab testing will verify the contents of your CBD
Don't go for the cheapest option
Lower cost CBD may indicate lower quality CBD
Check the ingredients
It should only contain cannabidoil, carrier oil and natural flavourings
Why should you be wary of companies selling CBD oil for arthritis?
It is against the law to sell CBD oil as a cure or treatment for any condition, including arthritis. Be wary of any company promising to cure or treat any condition.
CBD can help to restore balance in the body and promote a sense of wellness, but it is not a medicine and cannot be sold as such.
CBD oil does work to promote wellness and restore balance, which can be useful for managing the symptoms of arthritis.
Using CBD-infused topical products may offer the greatest effects as you can rub it into the affected areas. Other CBD forms can offer results and help restore balance and maintain normal homeostasis to help with arthritis.
It is critically important to note, however, that CBD is not medicine and is not a replacement for medical arthritis treatments.
It may also interact with your other medications, so be sure to consult your doctor before starting to take CBD oil for arthritis.