CBD for Arthritis. Arthritis is understood to mean various inflammatory joint diseases with different causes. It is important to first differentiate arthritis from arthrosis because they are often confused since both affect the joints. Arthrosis is excessive joint wear due to articular cartilage degradation. Arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the joints, which in rare cases can also affect internal organs.

The term arthritis summarizes inflammatory joint diseases. They may have different causes, distinguishing between infectious arthritis (for example, by bacteria) and non-infectious arthritis. The most common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. It affects around one to two percent of all adults, depending on their age. It is one of the non-infectious-related arthritis: In this, the body’s defense (immune system) is disturbed and attacks the joints and endogenous tissue. The cause for this is not yet clear.

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, plays a role in immune system modulation, which means it can help in treating autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Also, the strong anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and the interaction and inhibition of certain receptors make CBD a potential form of treatment for these conditions. Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) and the by-product of its metabolism have anti-inflammatory and pain-killing (analgesic) properties. However, there are other properties of cannabinoids, especially CBD, such as the ability to suppress T-cells,  

affect the immune system and how cannabinoids affect the so-called GPR55 receptors associated with the development of arthritis. In this article we look at the currently known properties and studies that make CBD and other cannabinoids a potential treatment for arthritis. So stay tuned!

Arthritis: Causes and symptoms

When rheumatoid arthritis affects a person, it attacks normal tissue components as invading pathogens cause inflammation. The inflammation attacks the lining of the joints and then spreads to cartilage and bone while causing destruction therein and making joints immobile and deformed. There are environmental and genetic factors involved in this reaction.

Symptoms vary from one person to another and it may include swelling, pain in joints, persistent fatigue, stiff joints especially in the morning, sleep difficulties owing to pain and weakness in muscles.

Making a diagnosis is not so hard as the disease shows itself over a few months. Only an expert can tell after complete examination and check-up. Blood tests also help identify rheumatoid arthritis factor, which is present in almost 80 percent of people suffering from rheumatoid.

Arthritis: Risk Factors

There are certain factors that increase the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis. These are age (25 to 45), gender (three-quarter patients are female), family history of rheumatoid arthritis, ethnicity (Americans, Caucasians have a higher risk) and obesity.

There are ways, through proper methods and techniques, to alleviate the discomfort.. Physiotherapy that involves heat, cold and exercises to relieve stiffness and pain is an effective way.

Rest and occupational therapy are also effective. Drugs are also available including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to treat inflammation although these have side effects.

Corticosteroids are also used to suppress immune reaction. DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) slow down the progress of the disease but they can bring about serious side effects.

CBD for Arthritis: CBD Oil as a Treatment?

CBD oil has shown lots of improvement in the treatment of arthritis. According to research, cannabidiol helps reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis of all types such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and other types of inflammatory joint conditions.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound (Cannabinoid) that is found in all Cannabis species of this genus of plants. So it is present in countless Hemp and Cannabis Strains.

Doctors have successfully treated rheumatoid arthritis with CBD oil that gives relief from inflammation and pain. According to a study conducted in 2006 where patients used CBD oil for a five-week period.

They experienced improvement in less pain and inflammation. It also slowed down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis considerably. Patients who are fed up with drugs and want to go for a natural treatment of this disease can use CBD oil according to the instructions given by experts.

The Effects of CBD on the Immune System in Arthritis

As mentioned, CBD also affects the immune system of the body. Research has shown that CBD can regulate and balance overstimulation of the immune system. Overstimulation (overreaction) often leads to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, arthritis or, in general, to a chronic inflammation.

People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis usually also have to fight with inflammation in the joints. These inflammations are accompanied by severe pain and immobility. The strong anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may therefore be helpful in chronic inflammatory processes in RA.

  • The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are mainly due to the regulation of an over-stimulated immune system. In chronic inflammation caused by an autoimmune disease, CBD can be very helpful.
  • Inflammation, however, is an important body process that normally serves to localize foreign bodies, isolate them, and heal damaged tissue. Therefore, it is not always advisable to suppress inflammation, not even with CBD.

Since these properties of CBD described above and the resulting advantages in the use of CBD and other cannabinoids in rheumatoid arthritis are well known, some studies have been carried out here as well. We took a closer look at 4 studies that all used a different approach and gave interesting results. Let’s consider the results of these studies.

Cannabis-based Medicine for pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis

This is the first controlled trial of a cannabis-based medicine (CBM) in rheumatoid arthritis. This study is a preliminary assessment of the tolerability and efficacy of Sativex (a pharmaceutical cannabis preparation) in the treatment of pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Sativex is a cannabinoid preparation containing both THC and CBD in a ratio of approximately 1: 0.8. So this is not a pure CBD product. Nevertheless, this study is very interesting and as CBD is also a constituent of this product, we want to take a look at it.

In this study, 58 patients underwent a double-blind study with Sativex and a placebo, to test the efficacy and tolerability of Sativex. The cannabis based medicine (CBM) was administered in the evening and the next morning a review was conducted. Half of the group received a placebo, the other half received CBM (Sativex). This procedure was performed over 5 weeks.

The assessment was based on the following criteria:

  • Pain on movement
  • Pain at rest
  • Morning stiffness
  • Sleep quality

In the evaluation of the 5-week treatment, the following result was found:

The CBM (Sativex) was able to significantly improve pain on movement, pain at rest & quality of sleep when compared to the placebo. There was no difference in morning stiffness. However, the baseline values were also very low and it is more difficult to detect a difference.

There was no adverse effect on the inflammatory symptoms or severe side effects of the cannabis preparation used in this treatment. In general, the side effects were mild to moderate in nature.

The conclusion of this study:

A significant analgesic effect was observed in the treatment of RA patients with Sativex and the disease activity was significantly suppressed. These findings are clinically relevant and suggest that further detailed investigation is required. The cannabinoids THC and CBD obviously have a strong positive effect in the treatment of RA patients. The specific cannabinoids and their respective proportionalities which played a decisive role in this study was not investigated