Arthritis Sufferers Are Turning to CBD

 

Most people know someone with arthritis. You may be suffering from it yourself. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in the United States, 23 percent of all adults, or more than 54 million people, have arthritis. It is a leading cause of work disability, with annual medical care costs and lost earnings of $303.5 billion. Sixty percent of US adults with arthritis are of working age, 18 to 64.[1]

While you may think of arthritis as one condition, there actually are over 100 different types. Symptoms of arthritis are pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints. Two of the most common types of arthritis are noninflammatory and inflammatory.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of noninflammatory arthritis. The cartilage that covers the ends of your bones breaks down from wear and tear, making movements painful. While osteoarthritis is not inflammatory, you still can experience inflammation in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of inflammatory arthritis. It is a chronic autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system becomes overactive and attacks healthy tissue. It can affect more than just the joint and damage skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.[2] Gout and lupus are other types of inflammatory arthritis.

CBD Adoption Grows

To ease the pain of arthritis, many consumers are turning to cannabidiol (CBD). A Gallup poll found that 14 percent or one out of every seven Americans personally use CBD products. Among CBD users, eight percent indicated that they used CBD for arthritis.[3]

The adoption of CBD for arthritis relief is part of a consumer trend to transition from over-the-counter or prescription drug use to natural remedies to treat health conditions. CBD is one of the over 60 cannabinoids or naturally occurring chemicals found in industrial hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids work with the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS), a neurotransmitters network that sends chemical messages between the neurons or cells that transmit nerve impulses.

A properly functioning endocannabinoid system ensures that cells maintain optimum performance for your health and well-being. When something in your external environment causes a cell to become out of balance, the ECS comes into play to make immediate adjustments to bring things back into balance. That balance is called homeostasis.[4]  CBD interacts with ECS receptors to regulate sleep, appetite, mood, immune function, inflammatory disorders, and pain.

What Research Tells Us About CBD and Arthritis

A study reported in the European Journal of Pain looked into the effectiveness of a topical CBD gel on animal subjects to reduce inflammation and arthritis pain. The CBD was applied to animal subjects for four consecutive days. Results indicated a significant drop in joint swelling and signs of pain. The data indicated that topical CBD has therapeutic potential to relieve arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side effects.[5]

Findings from another animal study suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for addressing osteoarthritis joint neuropathic pain. The data indicate that local application of topical CBD blocked osteoarthritis pain. Further CBD application helped to abate the later development of pain and nerve damage in the osteoarthritis joints.[6]

How Arthritis Sufferers are Using CBD

To understand exactly how arthritis sufferers are using CBD, the Arthritis Foundation conducted a survey [7], and more than 2600 arthritis patients responded. Of these arthritis patients, 52 percent are living with osteoarthritis and 45 rheumatoid arthritis. Regarding CBD, among the respondents:

  • 79 surveyed are currently using CBD, have used it in the past, or are considering using it.
  • 29 percent report they currently use CBD to manage their arthritis symptoms.
  • Daily use is reported by 63 percent of those currently using CBD, and 26 percent use it several times per week.
  • Of those surveyed, 62 percent use a liquid form of CBD, and 55 percent use a topical product they apply to their joints.

Most of the people currently using CBD report relief of pain (94 percent) as their primary reason.  Of those currently using CBD to manage arthritis symptoms, roughly three out of four reports it was either effective or very effective in relieving several symptoms.

  • 67 percent report improvement in their physical function.
  • Over 30 percent say it provides relief from morning stiffness and helps get them moving.
  • Three-fourths report improvements in their ability to sleep (71 percent).
  • Over 30 percent say it helped relieve symptoms of fatigue.

Other Reported Benefits:

  • 41 percent report a better overall sense of well-being with the use of CBD.
  • Relieving symptoms of anxiety were reported by 77 percent of those currently using CBD.
  • 67 percent report effectiveness in improving depressed mood.

Lab+Blends has many topical CBD products for joint pain relief, including CBD Pain Relief Lotion, CBD Pain Relief Gel, and CBD Pain Relief Cream.  Find out more about them.

 

[1] “Arthritis: How CDC Improves Quality of Life for People with Arthritis,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/arthritis.htm
[2] “Rheumatoid arthritis,” Mayo Clinic, Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353648
[3] Brenan, Megan, “14percent of Americans Say They Use CBD Products,” Gallup, August 7, 2019. https://news.gallup.com/poll/263147/americans-say-cbd-products.aspx
[4] Nunley, Kim, “Here’s How CBD Can Help Whether You’re Healthy Or Not,” Medical Marijuana, Inc., September 17, 2019. https://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/heres-cbd-can-help-whether-youre-healthy-not/
[5] Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936‐948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
[6] Philpott HT, O'Brien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017 Dec;158(12):2442-2451. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001052. PMID: 28885454; PMCID: PMC5690292. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28885454/
[7] “Patients Tell Us About CBD Use,” Arthritis Foundation, August 8, 2019. http://blog.arthritis.org/news/patients-tell-us-cbd-use/