CBD For Arthritis

Approximately 54 million adults and 300,000 children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with arthritis or some other type of rheumatic disease causing joint pain according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Arthritis is any acute or chronic inflammation of a joint accompanied by pain. Arthritis may be the result of injury, autoimmune condition (rheumatoid), infection, or crystal deposition (gout). The most common symptoms of any type of arthritis are pain, stiffness and swelling. Depending on the affected joints, arthritis can be episodically aggravating to extremely debilitating.  


CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural chemical found within the cannabis (hemp) plant. It is one of more than 120 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD is non-psychoactive; thus you do not get high from it. It is a natural compound that works symbiotically with your Endocannabinoid System. The therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested by scientists and doctors around the world.


Research suggests that CBD (cannabidiol) may be helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with all types of arthritis. Many studies conducted on CBD have found that it offers individuals diagnosed with arthritis several potential benefits. In laboratory studies, CBD and other cannabinoid derivatives have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammatory chemicals and cells and may help with the regulation of the immune response to injury. By decreasing inflammation, the amount of pain--both acute and chronic--may be significantly reduced.  A study published in the Journal of Pain in December 2017 analyzed whether CBD could prevent osteoarthritis pain and joint neuropathy. Based on their findings, researchers affirmed that it did both because it decreased joint inflammation and served as a protectant to the nerves. Research on CBD and other cannabinoids continues to expand, and the favorable findings persist. Furthermore, the antidotal evidence of the value of CBD for arthritis is strong.

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CBD Topicals

CBD topicals can be extremely effective for providing pain relief to targeted joints.  CBD topicals come in several forms, balm or salves, creams, and lotions. The most important aspect of any CBD topical is the carrying agent. For a topical to be effective it must be able to penetrate through your layers of skin to provide direct relief to point of pain. Salves or balms are popular options because they can be massaged directly into the joints and are quickly absorbed.  Topicals made with Emu oil are also found to be quite effective with pain reduction, as Emu is a natural oil, rich in antioxidants, and has long been used in aboriginal cultures because of its healing properties.  

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CBD Oils

CBD oils or tinctures are another option for managing arthritis pain.  CBD oils, when taken sublingually (under the tongue) go directly into your bloodstream, enabling a more immediate and systemic benefit.  A daily regimen of CBD oil is an effective way of building up the cannabinoids in your Endocannabinoid system to help modulate pain perception. A CBD oil can be a positive compliment to a CBD topical.


Being a CBD consumer can be an ominous endeavor. There are so many products, so many claims and not a lot of guidance as to how to select a product that might work for your specific issues. Here are some tips to consider when purchasing CBD.

  • Look for products manufactured in the U.S. with ingredients grown domestically.
  • Choose products made by companies that follow good manufacturing practices established by the FDA for pharmaceuticals or dietary supplements (a voluntary quality standard because CBD products are not federally regulated under either category).
  • Buy from companies that test each batch and provide a certificate of analysis (COA) from an independent lab that uses validated standardized testing methods approved by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), or the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC).
  • Avoid companies that claim their products have disease benefits.


Early research on CBD and arthritis is very promising and many people suffering from all types of arthritis have found CBD to be helpful, yet it is not a substitute for disease-modifying treatment for inflammatory arthritis.  We recommend you consult your doctor or health care provider who treats your arthritis before beginning a CBD oil regimen and consult an expert when selecting a CBD product.

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