An Analysis: CBD Oils Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Parul Dube

October 13, 2022

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in various parts of your body. It usually attacks the joints of the hands, wrists, and knees. As a result, it causes inflammation in affected joint linings and damages the joint tissue. Tissue damage can lead to lung, eye, heart problems, and chronic pain. 

Modern science has been studying the part of CBD oils on multiple ailments, including weight loss. In addition, several studies have proven the role of CBD oils in reducing stress and improving sleep quality.

This article briefly describes how CBD Oil treats Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

What is CBD Oil? 

CBD oil originates from the cannabis plant. However, unlike other cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it does not generate a euphoric “high” that people constantly associate with cannabis. That is because CBD does not influence the same receptors in the body as THC.

There are numerous CBD oil products available, and the quantity of CBD in them may differ. As many people apply cannabis as an active drug, some distinct evidence proves the remedial use of commodities containing cannabis plant components. Many CBD products also withstand stringent legal inspection.

According to research, hemp is a commodity that also arrives from the cannabis plant. Lawmakers legalised the material under the Farm Bill as long as things contain less than 0.3% THC. Some people apply CBD oil to reduce pain and reduce inflammation. Some research indicates that CBD oil may be helpful for pain relief and other situations.

CBD Oils for Rheumatoid Arthritis: How Does it Work?

CBD oil influences brain activity, but not in the similar way that THC, the central psychoactive component in marijuana, does. Instead, CBD oil interacts with two receptors, called CB1 and CB2, to decrease pain and the consequences of inflammation.

CB2 also plays a crucial role in your immune system. For example, RA affects your immune system by damaging the tissue in your joints. So this connection to the immune system could clarify why CBD oil works adequately for RA symptoms.

In addition, CBD’s anti-inflammatory impacts could also benefit from slowing down or stopping RA’s growth, which results in permanent harm to your joints over time. These consequences could also decrease several other inflammation-related RA symptoms, such as fever and fatigue.

CBD Oil and Arthritis Pain Relief

 Study indicates that arthritis is the leading factor of disability in the United States, affecting around fifty-eight and half million people. Two of the most widespread types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative situation that influences bones and joint cartilage, resulting in stiffness and pain. It always affects the knee, hip, and thumb joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune situation where a person’s immune system strikes their joints, resulting in inflammation. It generally affects the feet and hands and leads to swollen, painful, and stiff joints.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, there is an anecdotal indication to indicate that some people with arthritis who use CBD report improved sleep, pain relief, or reduced anxiety. However, it also asserts that there have been no severe clinical studies in humans with arthritis to verify this. Therefore, the institution has compelled the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate and study CBD products.

What Does the Research Say?

The first controlled examination to assess the use of cannabis-based drugs to treat RA happened in 2006. After five weeks of usage, researchers inferred that a cannabis-based treatment called Sativex decreased inflammation and considerably improved pain. Participants also reported better sleep, and most side effects were few.

A 2008 survey of the use of CBD to treat chronic pain likewise concluded that CBD decreased pain and enhanced sleep without any adverse side effects.

In 2016, another study using CBD gel on rats showed that the CBD gel decreased joint pain and inflammation without any adverse side effects.

While these studies are favourable, the current studies have been moderately small. Many more studies, particularly on large numbers of human participants, are still required to fully comprehend the consequences of CBD oil and other cannabis-based medications on RA symptoms.

Some studies indicate that cannabidiol (CBD) oil could play a part in alleviating arthritis. What are the advantages of CBD oil, and are there any adverse side effects that people should be conscious of before using it? CBD oil includes extracts from cannabis plants. Some people apply it to alleviate pain related to chronic conditions, such as arthritis.

CBD Oils and Inflammatory Pain

Some animal researchers indicate that CBD could help deal with arthritis and reduce associated inflammatory pain. For example:

  • A 2017 study established that CBD might be a valuable and safe treatment choice for joint pain related to osteoarthritis. 
  • A 2016 study established that the topical application of CBD had the potential to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.
  • A 2014 review searching into animal research inferred that CBD might be a beneficial treatment for osteoarthritis.
  • A 2011 study established that CBD helped decrease inflammatory pain in rats by influencing how pain receptors respond to stimuli.

However, there is insufficient definitive scientific evidence to verify that CBD is a beneficial arthritis treatment for humans. Fact notes that a cannabis-based mouth spray known as Sativex may help reduce arthritis pain. However, the cannabis plant extracts that the firm uses to make the rush include both CBD and THC.

Although outcomes have been motivating, more research is essential to confirm that CBD oil is a beneficial treatment for arthritis pain.

CBD Oil and Chronic Pain

Cannabinoids, such as CBD, influence receptors that impact inflammation and pain in the body. Scientists speculate that CBD entails how these receptors react to the signals they obtain, possibly helping decrease inflammation and pain.

The National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health says that cannabis or CBD could have practical benefits for chronic pain. However, much of the study into CBD for chronic pain has started with nerve-related or neuropathic pain. For example, a 2017 study found that CBD assisted with chronic neuropathic pain in humans.

A 2020 study reported that CBD could have advantages for relieving improving sleep, chronic pain, and reducing inflammation. However, the study states that these consequences are limited to specific conditions. The investigators also say that CBD may have hazards, such as drug interactions and harmful elements in unregulated commodities.

Is CBD oil safe?

More research is still essential to analyse the safety and probable effects. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) documents that people generally tolerate CBD well. Therefore, CBD is not accountable for the high that many people may correlate with cannabis. Additionally, this cannabinoid does not have the similar potential for misuse as cannabis.

Additionally, a 2020 systematic study indicates that people generally have adequate tolerance for CBD, and taking it does not arise in any adverse events. However, the survey also reveals that the dosage and administration technique may affect safety.

Currently, CBD commodities do not have FDA approval. That may imply that it is hard to know if a CBD product is effective and safe for everyone to use. If a person is using CBD oil, they should take advice from their doctor.

Using CBD Oil 

CBD commodities are accessible in many different formulations. People can follow the instructions on the packaging and label to help them infer how frequently to use the product, how much quantity to use, and how to apply it. Doses will differ depending on factors such as potency and body weight. Health experts instruct individuals new to CBD to begin with the lowest apparent dosage and slowly increase it if needed.

People can consume CBD oil orally. For example, they can use a dropper or pipette to drop CBD oil under their tongue or into food and drink. In addition, factories add CBD oil to topical products such as gels, creams, and lotions.

As the FDA does not legislate CBD products, finding and using quality products is significant. When selecting a CBD oil, make sure it is from a trusted company and comprises a complete list of ingredients. Then, talk with your doctor to conclude the best dose for you. It is best to start with a minimal amount to see how your body responds. Then, if you do not notice any side effects, you can slowly increase your dose.

Possible Side Effects of CBD Oils

CBD oil does not come with any significant potential side effects. If you have been using RA drugs for some time, these side effects may increase. Small-scale researchers have found that people commonly tolerate CBD well. Some people may encounter mild side effects.

These include:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight

Clinical examinations of Epidiolex, a CBD treatment that the FDA has ratified to treat rare forms of epilepsy, did not discover any evidence of physical dependency. However, there are concerns that CBD may impede an enzyme known as the cytochrome P450 complex. This enzyme benefits the liver’s capacity to break down toxins. CBD may therefore boost the risk of an increase in liver toxicity.

Additionally, people should consult with their doctor before consuming CBD. It may interact with specific over-the-counter dietary additions, aids, and specified medications. Taking CBD and treatments that warn about apparent interactions with grapefruit also compels particular consideration.

In a study performed on mice, obtaining CBD-rich cannabis extract was related to a heightened risk of liver toxicity. However, some research mice were given enormous extract amounts through force-feeding.

Cannabis and commodities originating from cannabis, such as CBD oil, are legal for recreational or medicinal use in specific parts of the United States.

If cannabis is only legal for remedial use in your state, you will require a recommendation from your doctor before you can buy CBD oil. However, if authorities in your region permit cannabis for recreational usage, you should be able to buy CBD oil in dispensaries or even online.

Risks and Considerations

The FDA has authorised one form of CBD, Epidiolex, to deal with two rare forms of epilepsy and attacks due to a rare situation called tuberous sclerosis complex. However, the Arthritis Foundation advises CBD could interact with particular arthritis drugs. Therefore, the organisation proposes consulting a doctor before using CBD when taking any of the given drugs:

  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Tofacitinib (Xeljanz)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Some antidepressants, including amitriptyline (Elavil), fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), and sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Some treatments for fibromyalgia, such as pregabalin (Lyrica) and gabapentin (Neurontin)

People should practice caution when consuming oral CBD products alongside high-fat feasts. High-fat meals can dramatically improve the blood concentrations of CBD, which can heighten the danger of side effects.

CBD is legal in a few states in the U.S., but not all of them. Therefore, people should review the laws in their region before buying or taking CBD oil. Some people may also have an allergic effect to CBD oil, so it is adequate to try applying it to a tiny skin area first. Experts suggest speaking with a doctor before using CBD oil like any alternative medication.

CBD oil indicates promise as a medication for arthritis-related pain. If it influences receptors in the immune system or brain in the means that researchers speculate, it may reduce pain and inflammation. However, there is limited information from human surveys to support the benefits of CBD oil, as there are constraints around the use and research of cannabis. Nevertheless, as the material becomes legalised in several regions, researchers are studying it further, and the studies are generating promising results.

So far, researchers looking at the advantages of CBD oil for people with RA are assuring. However, there is a necessity for substantial human studies to comprehend its effects fully. Remember that the FDA does not permit CBD oil, and it stays illegal in many states. Therefore, more research is essential before studies can say with certainty that CBD oil is a beneficial treatment for arthritis pain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q.1. Is rheumatoid arthritis worse at night?

A. Several research papers suggest that the body’s circadian rhythm may play a role. For example, in people with RA (rheumatoid arthritis), the body discharges less of the anti-inflammatory chemical cortisol at night, boosting inflammation-related pain. 

Q.2. How much is CBD needed for rheumatoid arthritis?

A. Usually, people take twenty to thirty-five milligrams of CBD regularly to relieve pain. You can take the total dosage at once or break it up throughout the day. However, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before deciding on the dose. 

Q.3. Does rheumatoid arthritis cause early death?

A. Patients with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) can face an increased risk of premature death and severe difficulties. However, it happens when the inflammation arising from RA isn’t well-controlled. In expansion to increased mortality rates, RA can result in poorer heart health if not managed well. 

Q.4. Is CBD oil addictive?

A. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not generate psychoactive effects. And while marijuana use can lead to addiction, current research indicates that CBD is not addictive. 

Q.5. Is there a difference in CBD oil quality?

A. Adequate CBD oil made by a respected company will tell you how much CBD you’re getting on the label. You should either look for the concentration or the total number of mg in the bottle. CBD oils should include 250–1000mg per 10ml bottle. 

Q.6. Can CBD oil help autoimmune diseases?

A. Cannabis therapies help people with autoimmune ailments by preventing inflammation with little to no adverse reactions. According to preclinical studies, CBD can increase autoimmune response on top of reducing the gene transcription that stimulates inflammation. 

Q.7. Which is better, hemp oil or CBD oil?

A. Hemp oil generally has more nourishing benefits, while CBD oil is reasonable for treating the ailments like anxiety and depression. And when it comes to CBD oil and hemp oil for pain relief, CBD oil is the best (although hemp oil can benefit too). 

Q.8. Can CBD replace prednisone?

A. The introductory study showed CBD administration either improved the therapeutic impact of steroids or decreased steroid dosage while retaining or enhancing the steroid’s therapeutic effect. In addition, in all patients treated, the steroid dose conducted with CBD slowly reduced over time. 

Q.9. How fast does CBD work for inflammation?

A. That relies on how you use your CBD oil. The most reliable consumption procedure is sublingual, using a tincture or sprays under the tongue. According to the American Arthritis Foundation, you can usually feel the consequences within fifteen to forty-five minutes.

Q.10. Does CBD help with inflammation and joint pain?

A. A study indicates that CBD has anti-arthritic action and may support symptoms by targeting the cells that result in inflammation. In addition, research from 2017 implies that CBD helped enhance markers of pain, inflammation, and nerve injury in an animal criterion of osteoarthritis.

About the Author

Parul holds a Masters of Medical Science in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and has worked across the globe from the U.K to New Zealand (NZ) gaining her License with the Health Professionals Council (HPC, UK) and the NZ Nutrition Council. From being a Gold medalist in Clinical Nutrition to being awarded an internship with World Health Organisation (WHO, Cairo, Egypt) and Contracts with CDC Parul has had a wide spectrum of work experiences. She is very passionate about Nutrition and Fitness and holds strong to her guiding mantras ‘ Move more’ and ‘Eat Food that your grandmother can recognize’!

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