One of the most common reasons people use cannabis is to treat chronic pain. When it comes to choosing products, most people focus on the THC content. Studies have shown that THC may help to block pain signals, making your discomfort more bearable. As it turns out, CBD may also play a role in chronic pain relief. But does CBD help with arthritis pain?
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis isn’t a single disease. The term refers to the more than 100 arthritis and arthritis-related conditions. It affects millions of adults and thousands of children, but it’s most common in older people.
While there are multiple types of arthritis, there are some common symptoms, which include:
- Decreased range of motion
Symptoms range from mild to severe, and they can worsen over time. For some with severe forms of arthritis, it may be difficult to move or perform normal living activities.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage between your joints begins to deteriorate. Without that padding, your bones rub together when you move, which can lead to severe pain in the affected joints. Other forms of arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Doctors prescribe various treatments to help manage arthritis pain and improve quality of life. Common solutions include light exercise, over-the-counter medications, assistive devices, and prescription medications. Another solution many people are beginning to consider is CBD.
How Does CBD Help with Arthritis Pain?
Several studies suggest that CBD may help alleviate arthritis pain, providing an alternative to conventional medications. Not only that, but CBD products don’t have the same side effects as popular medications. In general, most people tolerate CBD well and experience no side effects.
Many studies involve research on animals. For instance, a study in 2011 found that CBD affected how pain receptors respond to stimuli, helping to reduce inflammatory pain in rats. A 2014 review looked at various animal studies and suggested that CBD may help alleviate arthritis. A 2017 study on rats again found that CBD could be a safe and effective treatment for osteoarthritis-related joint pain.
Some studies have looked at the effects of CBD on humans with arthritis. These studies are limited, however, so more research is needed to determine the complete benefits. Many people who use CBD products swear by them and say they’re effective.
Which Products are Best to Use?
You may be wondering which products are best for treating arthritis-related pain. No one particular type is better than another. The best product for your pain depends on you. Smoking and vaping, both methods of inhalation, provide relief in about 30 minutes. Sublingual tinctures work quickly, too. Edibles take longer to kick in but last longer than other methods. You can also use topicals, which provide relief without any cannabinoids entering your bloodstream.
It’s not only THC that plays a role in alleviating arthritis pain. CBD can help as well, reducing inflammation and pain so that you can function more normally. No matter if you’re looking for a bud to smoke, a vape pen, an edible, or a topical, your local dispensary will have the CBD products you need for relief. If you’re not sure where to start, your budtender can help point you in the right direction.