Arthritis is the collective name for over one hundred different types of joint diseases with joint pain and -inflammation as the main symptoms. It is the largest cause of disability in the United States according to the Arthritis Foundation. Many pharmaceuticals for arthritis are ineffective as opposed to CBD for arthritis, which has proven to be very effective according to many anecdotal reports.
According to the Arthritis Foundation more than 50 million US adults and 300.000 children have some form of arthritis.
Besides other types, there are two main groups of arthritis:
Osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis- The degradation of cartilage with time
Rheumatoid arthritis or Inflammatory arthritis – An immune system attack on joint tissue
Almost 23% of overweigth and 31% of obese US adults are diagnosed with arthritis according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Despite arthritis being the leading cause of disability and the ineffectiveness of regular ‘big pharma’ medication, there has been disappointingly little research done on CBD’s potential for arthritis. A lab study in 2000 on CBD treatment of rodents with artificially induced arthritis, with promising results, did not induce the quantity of further research that still is necessary to scientifically prove the efficacy of cannabidiol on arthritis.
However, during the last 18 years, several studies have been done, all contributing to the assumption that CBD has great potential as an anti-arthritis medication. Even the synthetically produced FDA approved cannabis-based drug Sativex, showed substantial improvement in arthritis pain and significantly suppressed disease activity, although anecdotal evidence suggests that herbal cannabis is much more effective than such biochemical forms.
A year-2000 lab study on mice with two forms of collagen-induced-arthritis showed that cannabidiol treatment effectively blocked progression of the disease, independent of the dosing method (by injection or orally). The study results were very positive and concluded that CBD has a potent anti-arthritic effect, due to its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties.
In 2011 a study on rats clearly showed that atypical cannabinoid receptors are involved in joint nociception (spontaneous firing of joint sensory nerves) and that these novel targets may be advantageous for the treatment of inflammatory pain.
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Acute transient joint inflammation was reduced by local CBD treatment and prophylactic administration of CBD prevented the development of joint pain at later time points, are the results of a 2017 lab study on rats.
However, during more than a decade Dr. Jason McDougall, BSc, PhD, who is, besides being a professor of Pharmacology and Anaesthesia, Pain management & Perioperative Medicine at the Dalhousie University in Halifax, the chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of The Arthritis Society, has researched and studied along with several colleagues the role of cannabinoids on arthritis pain.
By testing, he proved that the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are both present in our joints. Further research showed that the increased firing of electrical impulses during painful joint movement can be significantly reduced to the level of normal movements with cannabis.
The natural endocannabinoids that our body uses to, amongst others, mitigate pain, are only produced in our bodies when we have pain or inflammation. These endocannabinoids should accumulate in the painful joint and mitigate the pain, but in arthritis patients, they do not get a chance to do that because of enzymes that are produced and that are attacking the endocannabinoids. Dr. McDougall discovered that by using an enzyme blocker, the natural pain mitigation work of the endocannabinoids proceeds with a reduction of pain as a result and besides that, the inflammation is stopped and reduced to the point it is gone.
“Cannabis and the endocannabinoid system could be a very useful way of treating joint inflammation and joint pain” according to Dr. Jason McDougall, BSc, PhD
Dr. Jason McDougall, BSc, Ph.D. presented at the recent (Jan 2018) Windsor Forum on Arthritis (video in the video section of this article: Medical Cannabis and Chronic Disease – 2/9/2018), that they discovered new information on osteoarthritis (Arthroses). He and his team recently found that in osteoarthritis, joint nerves themselves can become damaged, which can lead to neuropathic pain.
This is something very important because most of the pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed by doctors to try and treat arthritis do not address this nerve damage. The lab tests of Dr.McDougall, however, showed that CBD (cannabidiol) prevented or repaired these damaged nerve coatings. This is a significant breakthrough for the future treatment of arthritis with CBD.
Dr. Mark Ware, PhD presented at the 2016 Quebec Forum on Arthritis (following Dr. McDougall from minute 22:00 in the above video), some clinical evidence of cannabis effects on arthritis, referring to the 2005/6 clinical test on 58 arthritis patients. This is the only clinical research of cannabis in relation to arthritis done so far.
A 2006 clinical test on 58 arthritis patients, 31 of which were treated with the synthetical cannabis medicine Sativex and 27 with placebos, produced statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest and quality of sleep. For the first-ever test of this kind, impressive results. Immagine the results with herbal cannabis or full spectrum CBD, which are more effective than these pharmaceutical clones according to anecdotal examples.
There have been very promising pre-clinical data, but limited clinical evidence to support the therapeutic use of cannabinoids. A 2014 review summarizes the promising results that have been recently obtained in support of the therapeutic value of cannabinoids for osteoarthritis management.
Lisa de Rose from the Netherlands suffered from arthroses (Osteoarthritis) and rheumatism, but she didn’t want to take the regular medication that the doctors prescribed her because she read the medicational instructions and understood the terrible side effects. At the age of 82, she started taking cannabis and CBD oil and spent the last six years of her life without pain and in her own home until she died at 88. (see video below with English subtitles, “The story of Lisa de Roos -Because we all die”)
CBD Oil Dosage for Arthritis
Our experience, including the experiences shared by our readers, is that although everyone is different, the main dosage determining factor is the severity of the condition. We do however get a lot of anecdotal evidence that full spectrum CBD oil or hemp oil is more effective than 100% CBD oil.
When the hemp oil contains also small amounts of other cannabinoids, a supplementing effect is added to the CBD health boost, making it overall more effective. Arthritis dosing is no exception to these basic rules and therefore we recommend, based on user experiences, to start for mild forms with 50 mg per day and for severe cases with at least 100 mg daily.
Generally, best results are achieved by dividing the daily dosage in two, for a morning and evening intake. Both with the mild dosing and severe dosing, evaluate the effects of CBD after two or three days and increase by adding 25 mg or 50 mg respectively, every couple of days until you get the desired effects.
CBD has virtually no side effects and cannot be overdosed, even with extreme dosages like 1500 mg per day. For example, it is not uncommon for people who cured themselves of cancer, with a combination of CBD oil dosing and cannabis oil dosing, to report that they had taken as much as 200 or 400 mg daily for three months.
The most common way to consume CBD oil is to put the CBD oil drops under your tongue and let them sit there for about one minute so they can get absorbed by your body. This way the effects are felt quicker because it doesn’t have to go through your digestive tract.
However, if this is uncomfortable for you or if you don’t like the taste there are other ways how to take CBD oil. You can also mix it with water, for example, or with food. Adding the drops to a teaspoon with some honey is one example of simply taking the oil, avoiding the taste, which some people don’t like.
The effects are just the same but it will take a little longer for them to take effect.