In this comprehensive guide we are going to explore the benefits of taking CBD oil to help with the symptoms of arthritis. For the many of us who suffer from arthritis and similar painful conditions, CBD may be part of the answer.
CBD is reported to help alleviate symptoms that are prevalent in arthritis and other painful chronic conditions and diseases. Suffering from a chronic illness can be stressful and painful, so anything that we can do to help is worthwhile.
Let us have a look at what arthritis is and how CBD can help with the symptoms..
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation and pain in an anatomical joint. Arthritis and similar conditions affect more than 10 million people in the UK alone.
They affect both the young and the old and can be debilitating without pain relief or other treatments. Such treatments include:
- lifestyle changes
There are two main types of arthritis:
Affecting nearly 9 million people, this is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. Osteoarthritis usually develops in adults in their mid 40’s and can be passed down genetically.
This type is more commonly found in women and can also develop as a result of an injury. Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth lining of cartilage and can eventually lead to bone deformation and rubbing.
The other most common type of arthritis affects more than 400.000 people in the U.K alone. It is three times more common in women than in men. This type of arthritis begins when the body’s immune system starts attacking the outer covering of joints (the synovium).
It can then spread by attacking the rest of the joint, causing swelling and changes in the shape of the joint. Eventually this can lead to breaking down of the bone and cartilage.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
The symptoms for arthritis vary depending on what type you have and can be similar to those of other conditions, for which CBD can also help.
It is important to note that there are more than the common two types of arthritis and symptoms can include:
- Restricted movement of joints
- Inflammation of joints
- Joint stiffness, pain and tenderness
- Weakness and muscle wastage
- Warm red skin over the affected area
Over a long period of time symptoms like these can also have a negative impact on our mental health. Restricted movement, stiffness and pain understandably can eventually lead to stress and anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and impacting on self confidence.
Be sure not to self diagnose; it is important to get an accurate diagnosis from your GP as this can lead to better treatment and results.
What are the benefits of taking CBD for arthritis?
- Natural alternative
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Easy to add to your routine
Although there are common treatments already in place, many people are looking for an effective and natural approach to help deal with the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis. CBD has been reported as useful for an abundance of uses, including many ways in which it can help treat the symptoms and discomfort related to arthritis and other similar conditions.
One obvious benefit of CBD is that it is a natural alternative to more commonly used opioid pain relief and anti inflammatory medicines. Opioid use can result in unwanted side effects and dependency. The World Health Organisation have previously stated that “[i]n humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
It is also very easy to add to your routine with flexible options on dose, type of CBD (isolate, full spectrum), and ways to take (vaping, edibles, drops in fruit juice or water, or under the tongue).
How does CBD help to fight pain?
In our body we have a system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and it has two known receptors. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2.
A large percentage of the CB1 receptors are found in the brain and are associated with cognitive functions, such as mood balance, appetite, coordination, thought process and memory.
The CB2 receptors can be found mostly in our immune system, thus making them responsible for our body's response to pain and inflammation. CBD entices our CB2 receptor to produce more of our own endocannabinoids, which in turn helps create a positive effect on our inflammation and pain responses.
Did you know that our body is under constant attack from oxidative stress? When in the body, oxygen splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, so these atoms which are called ‘free radicals’ scour the body to find other electrons to make up a pair. This causes damage to DNA, proteins and cells. Free radicals are associated with diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, cancer and many others.
CBD contains a ‘free’ oxygen atom that is donated to the free radicals and in turn neutralises them. It is the presence of this free oxygen atom that gives CBD the ability to help get rid of the free radicals.
CBD is a much more potent antioxidant than vitamins C and E, which are the antioxidants many of us are more commonly aware of.
The science behind CBD and arthritis
CBD is shown to be an agonist of the adenosine (A2A) receptor. Research suggests that the A2A receptor can down-regulate overactive immune cells, resulting in protection of tissues from collateral inflammatory damage. This study conducted by Burstein of the University of Massachusetts Medical School revealed that ‘CBD has the ability to enhance adenosine signaling through inhibition of uptake and provide a non cannabinoid receptor mechanism by which CBD can decrease inflammation.’
What this means is that CBD helps aid our body's ability to reduce inflammation and the damage it causes by helping to increase the function of the A2A receptor. The A2A receptor helps down-regulate overactive immune cells. This is very relevant as rheumatoid arthritis is caused by our immune system attacking our joints.
Not only can CBD positively affect the body directly by helping to reduce inflammation and treating the symptoms of inflammation, but it can have a positive effect on our mental health. Stress and anxiety can increase when people suffer from chronic pain and illness because you have to find a way to cope. It is easy to sometimes miss out on usual daily routines, to get out of bed or be as active as family and friends want.
CBD can be the natural remedy to help alleviate symptoms of discomfort and pain, as well as providing an uplifting boost by reducing stress and anxiety.
How long does CBD take to work for arthritis
- It depends on the strength of the product
- It depends on bioavailability
- It depends on personal factors such as weight
- Generally high strength oils and vapes work faster than edibles and balms
Taking CBD for arthritis can be as simple as massaging in a balm, ointment or cream or as pleasant as enjoying tasty CBD chocolate. The wonderful thing about CBD is that you can control how much you take, when you take it and how you take it.
Firstly, choose a product that can be easily incorporated into your individual lifestyle, routine and schedule. If you’re a regular tea or coffee drinker, it will be an easy transition from a standard breakfast tea to a CBD brew. If you prefer to have an oral CBD oil (which takes little to no time to prepare or take) to treat arthritis, these can be more concentrated and potent depending on the strength and brand.
Secondly, when choosing how to take CBD, it’s important to consider that different products take different amounts of time to work. We also need to take into account factors like body weight, diet, metabolism and exercise routine which can all play a factor in how fast a CBD product can work.
As an example, a highly bioavailable full strength CBD oil can be felt faster than, for example, a low strength balm or chocolate bar as these products have to be metabolised or absorbed by our bodies.
Be aware that some products take longer to work so if you need a quick fix then a faster- working stronger CBD oral oil or a vape oil could be the answer. If you suffer from a chronic pain and can anticipate when we will need it, then edibles and oil capsules could be the right product for you. Just ensure you start with a low dose and build up over time within the recommended dosage from manufacturers to find out what works best for you.
The best CBD products for arthritis
Shopping for CBD to treat arthritis is like shopping for anything else. There is an abundance of products of all sizes, shapes, smells and tastes and it can be tricky to decide the right product for you.
Firstly decide if you would like a pure ‘isolate CBD’ or a ‘full or broad spectrum CBD.’
This means that the CBD cannabinoid has been extracted to a pure state and that it contains no other cannabinoids or terpenes. People tend to choose these products for their purity guarantee and peace of mind about the absence of THC (the psychoactive compound found in cannabis).
Full or broad spectrum CBD
This means the CBD contains some other cannabinoids and terpenes, which people tend to choose for the ‘entourage effect’ and a fuller, more organically complete product. Although some of these products contain trace amounts of THC they do not get you high and they comply with European law.
We all like to know that when we buy something we get good value for money. One key thing to be said about buying CBD for treating arthritis is that it is worthwhile investing in products that are made by reputable, trusted brands with lab tested products. These are the products that give us peace of mind about quality.
CBD oils are popular products for the treatment of chronic pain and similar chronic conditions. Lots of these are lab tested and the variety of strengths available means that there is a product for everyone.
Some can be held under the tongue and others dropped into juice or water. Stronger and more concentrated oils can give faster and fuller effects for those of us who need substantial relief.
CBD oil takes very little time to prepare (if any) so can be used as part of an active or busy lifestyle and perfect for a discreet way to take CBD oil.
Edible CBD products can be anything from coffee and tea through to chocolate bars and gummy bears. These are great products for when you’re either on the move or at home relaxing. We all enjoy a decent cuppa or a tasty treat.
Like CBD oil, CBD edibles can be great for treating discomfort and chronic pain but may take longer to work as they have to be metabolised. Try starting your day with a CBD brew or have an afternoon or evening boost with a gummy bear or two. These can be gobbled up on the move or nibbled on in front of the telly, the choice is entirely yours.
CBD balms and lotions
Using CBD balms and lotions to treat arthritis is simple and soothing. Most are topically applied and can be sprayed on or massaged in. Apply to the affected area and let your body soak up the CBD goodness.
These are perfect for treating aches, pains and discomforts that come with arthritis, as well as post physical activity. Also available in varying strengths, choose the balm, lotion or cream that suits you, some even come with delightful scents.
How to dose CBD for arthritis and more tips
CBD can be a great supplement for helping treat the symptoms of arthritis. It is effortlessly integrated into our lives and is shown to have no detrimental effects to our health. CBD is a perfect supplement and wonderful addition to part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
How to start
Find the CBD product that suits your individual needs best (be it an edible, balm or lotion or any one of the hundreds of products available) and enjoy it. Always start low within the recommended dosage and then top up until your desired effects are reached, not exceeding the recommended maximum dosage.
You can also:
- Invest time researching products and brands including looking at lab reports
- Keep a journal to note the impact of your dose and things like time of day etc
- Stay consistent with dosage once you know the right amount for you and your symptoms
As part of this, always read the product guidelines and be sure to seek advice from your GP if you are taking other medications.
Contact ICE Headshop
Our team is on hand to help advise on any of our products and to provide assistance wherever we can. Speak to us on the phone or email us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Email: [email protected] (24/7/365) Phone: Mon-Fri, 10am - 4.00pm Phone orders: 01626 903101 General enquiries: 01626 903102
Disclaimer: Please note that you must be 18 years or older to purchase CBD products. All claims and effects of CBD have been regulated by the MHRA since 2016 and distributors require a license from the MHRA to make any medical claims. Claims are opinion based and non-scientific, and while we may discuss the opinions people share, they are not our own. Our CBD is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease. Although we can advocate its calming & healthy properties it is in no way intended for medicinal use.