CBD as Arthritis Treatment?

CBD or cannabidiol is one of more than 80 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, which means it will never make you feel high. 


Research suggests cannabis has been used in medicine as far back as 3000 BC. George Washington himself is known to have grown cannabis plants at his estate in Mount Vernon. 


Since its legalization in 2018, CBD has been used to treat everything from insomnia to pet anxiety.


Today, CBD is sold in a variety of forms including: pills, powder, smokables, gummies, topical creams, oils, and tinctures. CBD oil is commonly added to smoothies and baked goods. 


CBD proponents believe CBD creates pain relief by altering the way pain receptors respond to stimuli. In the case of arthritis, CBD affects immune system receptors (called “CB2s”) that help manage pain and inflammation.


To compare, THC produces a “high” by affecting CB1 receptors, which are associated with coordination, mood, thinking, memory, and appetite. 


Arthritis is the leading cause of work disability in the United States, and CBD is a particularly attractive pain medication as doctors seek to move away from traditional painkillers.


While it hasn’t been approved by the FDA as a medical treatment for arthritis, studies suggest CBD oil can reduce joint pain in people suffering from osteoarthritis (OA).


A 2017 study published in the journal Pain found that CBD oil could effectively prevent OA pain and joint neuropathy by decreasing joint inflammation and protecting nerves. Other studies support the use of CBD oil to manage pain caused by multiple sclerosis and cancer.


CBD oil is completely safe. According to the National Institute on Drug abuse, “CBD appears to be a safe drug with no addictive effects.”


The risks associated with CBD are extremely low, with mild side effects including: drowsiness, diarrhea, changes in weight, and changes in appetite. 


CBD has been shown to increase liver toxicity when taken with certain medications including: Prilosec, testosterone, Prevacid, Valium, Motrin, codeine, Xanax, Allegra, and morphine. 


Since there aren’t any government regulations concerning the sale and manufacture of CBD, it’s important to do your research before you buy. 


As with any other medication, we urge you to check with a doctor before you start using CBD. Start with a small dose and work your way up as needed. 


By April Kuhlman

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