Pain ReliefTreatments

CBD – 79% of surveyed OA Patients have tried it

Should you try it too?

Should you try CBD too?

Cannobidiol – commonly abbreviated to CBD – is a constituent of cannabis. There seems to be plenty of anecdotal evidence about the benefits of CBD for pain relief and inflammation. But before you light up a joint, read a little more. Cannobidiol is one of more than 100 cannabinoids – or active compounds – found in cannabis. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and is the non-euphoric constituent of cannabis. The compound associated with the high of marijuana is called THC, and is a different constituent entirely.

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CBD oil is different to THC
CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the hemp plant

Promising studies for arthritis

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, you have probably heard of CBD, or know someone who swears by it. But what does the research say about the effects of CBD on osteoarthritis, pain and inflammation?

Various laboratory studies have been carried out on rats, and while those results look promising, we are still waiting for clinical trials to be done on humans.

In one rat study it was proven that CBD, when injected into the osteoarthritic joints of rats, suppressed pain and reduced nerve sensitivity. In the same study, they also found that topical treatment with CBD in early stage osteoarthritis (OA) led to reduced joint swelling and leukocyte trafficking. In case you want to know what that means, leukocyte trafficking is the body’s complex protective response to infection and injuries, which, when out of balance leads to tissue damage as seen in inflammatory and auto-immune disorders.

Amazingly, by weakening the initial inflammatory response using CBD, the end-stage OA pain and peripheral neuropathy were done away with. This groundbreaking study concludes that CBD may be a safe therapeutic treatment for OA pain locally in the joint, in addition to actually blocking the acute inflammatory processes, which eventually lead to the progressive joint degeneration seen in end stage osteoarthritis. 

What about humans and cannabidiol?

CBD oil is examined by a laboratory technician
Comprehensive human research trials, are yet to be done

So while the osteoarthritis community impatiently awaits human clinical trials, it seems that many OA sufferers have decided to simply take matters into their own hands and give it a try. As a result there is a huge amount of anecdotal evidence supporting the use of CBD oil. No doubt if you have complained about joint pain, someone has recommended that you try this “miracle treatment”. 

In fact, the Arthritis Foundation carried out a poll asking “Have you tried CBD for your arthritis pain?” They had more than 2600 people respond to their question, and you may be interested to know some of the results…

How often and in what form are OA sufferers using CBD?

  • 79% of participants surveyed are either currently using CBD; have used it in the past; or are considering using it
  • 63% percent of the respondents who are using CBD use it daily. 26% use it several times per week.
  • 62% use a liquid form, while 55% use a topical product, which they apply to their joints.

OA sufferers are mostly using CBD for pain relief with less addictive side effects 

  • 94% of CBD users say that their primary reason for using it is to relieve pain
  • Some respondents say that they have used it to help wean off opioids following joint replacement surgery.
  • Several people use CBD products for pain because they feel that they are less addictive than opioids 
Cannobdiol is made from the hemp plant
CBD is mostly used by OA sufferers to relieve pain

Have OA sufferers experienced other beneficial effects?

  • 67% of CBD users report an improvement in their physical function
  • More than 30% say that it helps them to get moving in the mornings, due to a decrease in morning stiffness.
  • 71% report improvements in their ability to sleep 
  • More than 1/3 or participants in the survey report an improvement of fatigue symptoms.

Body, mind and spirit

  • 41% of CBD users report a better overall sense of well-being 
  • 67% report an improvement in their depressed mood.
  • 77% of users report less feelings of anxiety

What does the Arthritis Foundation say about CBD?

  • The Arthritis Foundation are advocating for human trials on CBD oil. They state that CBD may indeed help with pain, insomnia and anxiety but that further human studies are required. While it seems safe in moderate doses, they caution that there may be drug interactions with other medications you are using, and also that it should not replace disease modifying medications which you may be taking. 
  • As always it is therefore advised that you speak to your trusted healthcare provider about potentially using these products
  • Dosage should be gradually increased in order to see how you respond  
  • Due to the lack of regulations and standards it is important that you source it from a reputable company where each batch is tested for potency, purity and safety by an independent laboratory, the laboratory should also provide certification thereof.

Participate in the Arthritis Foundation survey 

A hemp plant likes lots of sunshine
More human studies of CBD are needed

The Arthritis Foundation continues to gather input and information from people suffering from OA who have tried cannobidiol. If you would like to participate in their survey you can simply click here to take part.

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Be kind to your joints!

The Joint Gurus


Carron Howard

Carron is a physiotherapist with over 20 years of experience, specialised in orthopedics, rehabilitation, sports injuries, backs and necks. She is a qualified Pilates instructor with a strong focus physical fitness, injury prevention and recovery. B Physt UP, OMT 1, SPT 1
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