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Managing chronic arthritis pain can be a challenge. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has recently made headlines playing a role in easing pain related to stiff joints. Here, we're going to discuss using CBD for arthritis.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an all-natural compound derived from the hemp plant. Like tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, it’s a type of cannabinoid. However, while the two might be closely related, CBD produces very different effects than THC. CBD products offer many potential health benefits without the same intoxicating effects as its cousin.
Both THC and CBD come from the Cannabis sativa plant. However, according to the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, THC is a controlled substance and is illegal to grow, produce, and sell in the UK. Because of this, CBD must come from a specially approved hemp strain that’s low in THC. CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC, according to UK law.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a versatile form of cannabinoid that’s safe and easy to take. People can add oil to pill capsules, drinks, food, or even topical products. CBD oil also offers an easy way to help pets suffering from chronic pain.
Harvesting and processing hemp through extraction yields concentrated CBD oil. You'll also find other compounds present, such as THC or CBN. Subsequent treatment and filtering can remove these cannabinoids as well to create 100% CBD oil. The pure end product is known as a CBD isolate. It produces a mild effect and won't create an intoxicating effect, as it contains no THC.
In some cases, products may contain trace amounts of other cannabinoids and terpenes to take advantage of what’s known as the “entourage effect.” These natural compounds act in concert within our brains to produce stronger effects than CBD alone could.
Broad-spectrum oils, unlike isolates, contain other cannabis compounds to enhance the effects of CBD. They’ll often include CBD and terpenes, but not THC. While broad-spectrum oils are often stronger than isolates, they still won’t produce an intoxicating effect.
How Does CBD Work?
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell-signaling system that reacts to all-natural endogenous cannabinoids that our bodies make. Though the ECS is poorly understood, experts believe that it plays important roles in functions ranging from digestion to fertility.
Cannabis-derived compounds such as THC and CBD mimic our natural endocannabinoids, interacting with cannabinoid receptors throughout our bodies. CB1 receptors, concentrated in the brain, affect sleep, memory, appetite, and mood. CB2 receptors exist in and around the immune system. These are the receptors that work to deal with inflammation and pain around the body.
THC produces its intoxicating effects by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain, improving sleep, mood, and appetite while impacting memory. CBD, on the other hand, binds poorly to receptors. Instead, it encourages the body to produce more natural endocannabinoids, which primarily attach to CB2 receptors associated with pain management.
In addition, CBD oil has a variety of benefits including mood regulation, aiding in trouble sleeping or staying asleep, and stress reduction.
How to Use CBD Oil for Pain and Arthritis
Many UK residents suffering from arthritis wonder how to use CBD oil for pain relief. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to use CBD oil both internally and topically to help manage pain and discomfort.
One of the most common ways to take CBD oil is orally. You can ingest straight oil, with measured drops. You can also consume CBD oil through vaping or edibles for a more discreet option.
Many people choose to take CBD oil sublingually, which involves placing a few drops under the tongue. You can find CBD tinctures with droppers to allow for accurate dosing. CBD oil can also come in spray form for quick and easy medicating.
For those who don’t want to ingest CBD for pain, you can also use it topically. You can find balms, moisturizers, body oils, and more infused with CBD oil. Rubbing this onto your skin may help to provide local relief for arthritis pain.
The best CBD oil for pain offers relief from discomfort with few other unwanted effects. For a targeted option, you may want to consider using lotion or cream which you can directly apply to the joint or area where you feel discomfort.
How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work for Pain?
Users can feel the effects of CBD anywhere between fifteen minutes to two hours after the fact. How quickly you feel pain relief will depend on factors such as dosage and application. Factors such as metabolism also come into play.
You can feel the effects of CBD for pain relief most quickly when taken through inhalation or sublingually. Vaping acts almost immediately, as CBD is absorbed quickly through the lungs. Alternately a vast network of blood vessels under the tongue is able to absorb CBD almost immediately when taken sublingually as well, delivering relief in a matter of minutes. Ingestible sprays work quickly as well by making contact with blood vessels in the nose or mouth.
If you choose to ingest your CBD, however, it may take longer to feel. When you take CBD oil orally, cannabinoids have to travel through the digestive system before entering the bloodstream. Ingestible CBD products can take anywhere between one to two hours to take effect. Those with a fast metabolism will feel pain relief more quickly than those with a slow metabolism.
Applying CBD topically can take anywhere from fifteen to forty-five minutes to take effect. A more concentrated dose will provide faster relief than a diluted one. Products that penetrate the skin well, such as moisturizing balms, are the best carrier option.
How Much CBD Oil for Arthritis?
When it comes to CBD dosage, there’s no single “one size fits all” solution. Everybody reacts differently to pure CBD, and so everybody needs a different dosage to manage their day-to-day arthritis pain.
The best way to figure out how much CBD oil is right for you is by experimenting. Always start with the lowest possible dose before working your way up to higher concentrations. If you don’t feel adequate pain relief, increase your dosage until you achieve the desired effect.
You can take CBD daily to manage chronic pain, or you can dose it as needed throughout the day. Be sure to monitor your symptoms and reactions carefully to ensure that you aren’t experiencing any unwanted effects. If you are, you may want to cut back on your CBD dosage. You may also want to switch to an isolate if you’re using full or broad-spectrum options.
CBD Oil Benefits
Before trying CBD for arthritis, many people ask: what are the benefits of CBD oil?
Most users report that CBD oil helps with pain relief and pain management. People across the UK use CBD for inflammation conditions like arthritis, helping to soothe pain by reducing swelling. CBD may also have the potential to help ease pain in other afflictions listed in this chronic inflammation study, including diabetes, allergies, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and cardiovascular disease.
Because it reduces inflammation, CBD oil can also help with acne management. It may reduce inflammation around the face and neck while also reducing the activity of oil-producing sebaceous glands. Without these glands pumping out as much sebum, pores have a much smaller chance of getting clogged, reducing the appearance of pimples and blackheads.
While CBD is perhaps best known for its pain management applications, it may offer additional health benefits in moderate doses. Because of its uplifting effects on mood, some people turn to CBD as an anti-anxiety supplement. Not only can it help to ease stress, but CBD may even help mitigate physiological symptoms such as high blood pressure and an increased heart rate.
CBD oil may also offer neuroprotective properties that can help to improve focus and mental clarity while reducing the risk of conditions such as dementia. By targeting CB1 receptors with concentrated CBD, researchers have found that it may be able to slow or stop cognitive decline. CBD oil has the potential to help with conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease to multiple sclerosis (MS).
Aids in Epilepsy
People who have epilepsy and other seizure disorders may find relief by using CBD. Though still a relatively new treatment option, cannabinoids show great promise as an effective way to treat seizures without the unwanted symptoms that come alongside alternative medications.
It's important to note that patients experienced adverse effects when taking CBD oil for seizures in some studies. Reactions to large medical trial doses of CBD included extreme fatigue, decreased appetite, severe diarrhoea, and convulsions. Despite these potential symptoms, The American Epilepsy Society promotes research into cannabinoids as a potential treatment for seizures.
May Prevent Cancer Cell Growth
CBD may even have protective properties against some common forms of cancer. It can help to prevent cancer cell growth, stopping the growth and spread of malignant tumours. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), CBD may help ease common cancer symptoms such as nausea and insomnia. CBD might also alleviate adverse effects from treatments such as chemotherapy.
For those taking anti-cancer drugs, CBD oil may improve uptake. CBD can increase the concentration of certain drugs in the bloodstream, and thus, the potency. People who take CBD in conjunction with prescribed cancer medications may see stronger results more quickly during treatment and should be in constant communication with their health care provider.
If you use CBD for arthritis, you may be doing more for your body than just managing pain. CBD can offer a safe, all-natural treatment alternative for a wide variety of conditions. Just remember that research on the topic is still in its early stages.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
For most people, CBD oil offers a safe treatment option for arthritis pain. In most cases, it produces no adverse reactions. Many CBD products are even safe for pets.
Taking CBD oil may be risky for people on certain types of medications. It can compound symptoms such as drowsiness or indigestion. There are several types of medications to be wary of if you plan on using CBD for pain:
- Depressants such as opioids, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, antihistamines, and alcohol can increase fatigue.
- Herbal supplements, including kava, melatonin, and St. John’s wort, can increase the sedative effect.
- Stimulants further decrease appetite.
- Certain diabetes medications and heartburn treatments may increase the risk of diarrhoea.
- Blood thinners may concentrate in the bloodstream.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your physician before starting a CBD oil regimen. Make sure to tell them any medications you’re on and any underlying health conditions that you have. Your doctor will be able to help you determine the dosage that’s safest for your body.
CBD Oil Side Effects
Before seeking treatment, many people battling arthritis wonder: what are the side effects of CBD?
CBD products produce no adverse reactions in the vast majority of the population. However, as with any medication or supplement, there are always exceptions. Most reactions to CBD oil tend to be mild, including:
- Diarrhoea and digestive upset
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Dry mouth or “cottonmouth”
- Reduced appetite
In extremely rare cases, researchers have linked CBD use to liver damage. This occurs primarily in people already suffering from liver damage. If you have hepatic issues, it's best to speak to your physician before taking CBD oil.
Arthritis causes daily discomfort for millions of UK residents. Fortunately, using CBD for arthritis offers a safe and effective way to soothe pain around the joints.
If you're thinking about using CBD oil, it's important to know the potential benefits and health risks. For most people, CBD offers a safe and effective pain management option. It's always a good idea to speak to your doctor to develop a CBD treatment plan that will work for you.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD Oil.
Contributor | Angus Taylor CEO
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.