If you suffer from chronic arthritis pain, you've probably considered CBD as a treatment at some point. There’s also a good chance you’ve already tried it: according to a Gallup poll in August 2019, 14% of Americans report using CBD products with the number one reason being pain. The Arthritis Foundation conducted a poll and found 29% of respondents reported current use of CBD, and nearly 80% either currently use CBD, had used it in the past or were considering using it. And most importantly, of those using it, the majority reported improvement in physical function, sleep, and well-being.
One of the many draws to CBD is it's a much less addictive option than opiates and has very few side-effects.
Is there evidence it works? There's been little research until recently and even less guidance for people interested in CBD.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and pain is a consistent issue in all of them, however it's highly unlikely that there is a single CBD product that will work for all the different arthritis types. CBD is a very individualized experience and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another.
Laboratory studies suggests CBD is a promising approach and animal studies demonstrate anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. One of the largest reviews examined health effects of CBD, and concluded that there is “substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.”
As with any treatment, there can be side-effects. CBD is generally considered safe; however, some experience light-headedness, sleepiness and dry mouth. CBD products are not regulated like prescription medications so it's important you get it from a trusted source who has a positive track record and can provide lab results. CBD can interact with other medications so consulting your physician is recommended.
There's very few guidelines available when it comes to CBD, however below is a set of guidelines based on recommendations from the Arthritis Foundation and a recent commentary published in the medical journal Arthritis Care & Research:
Choose CBD that has been independently tested for purity, potency, and safety.
CBD should be one part of an overall pain management plan that includes non-medication options, such as exercise and psychological support.
Choose an oral treatment rather than inhaled products and start with a low dose.
Establish initial goals of treatment within a realistic period of time.
Tell your doctor about your planned and current CBD treatment, monitor your pain and adjust medications with your medical providers.
Stop in any Phoenix location to talk to one of our Certified CBD Specialists to determine which product(s) will work best for you and as always, we offer free samples so you can try it before you buy it.