Is CBD good for Arthritis? What does the latest research say?

The NHS confirms that roughly 20.3 million people have musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as arthritis or back pain in the UK. Almost one-third (32%) of the adult population in the UK (including several children) suffer from one of the many varieties of this group of conditions, which are numerous, but the most common of which is catgorised as arthritis. Examples of this range of chronic infammation conditions include Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Lupus, Bursitis, Gout, Fibromyalgia, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.


We ask - Is CBD good for arthritis?


CBD for Arthritis

Cannabidiol Molecule 

It is forecasted that in the year 2040, the number of people aged 18 and up who have a doctor-diagnosed arthritis condition in the UK, could double.


How is Arthritis Indicated and What Are the known Causes? 

Arthritis is often indicated by the swelling and soreness of the joints, generating discomfort and a limited range of motion. Common signs of the condition are agony in the joint, bloating, fever, rigidity, skin rash, exhaustion, loss of appetite, and inflammation or redness seen in the eye area. It can be a cause of chronic pain. 


The cause of chronic inflammation is not one single factor, although genetics and illness could be minor elements. The greatest contributor, however, is the Standard Western Diet.

This diet is laden with animal proteins, fats, oils, and sugars, all of which are inflammatory and lack fibre, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. An inactive lifestyle also plays a role in this unhealthy condition. In its most serious stage, arthritis can cause deformities of the hands and feet, a disabling restriction in mobility, and be the source of persistent pain.


Two Varieties of Arthritis

Two distinct types of arthritis affect people: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder.

There are numerous varieties of arthritis, however, the two most prevalent are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). RA is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints, resulting in inflammation, pain, and sometimes limited mobility. This type of arthritis is known to mostly affect hands and feet, and it is also referred to as "inflammatory arthritis." 

Severe cases of arthritis can cause one's hands and feet to be deformed, significantly restrict mobility, and bring about persistent pain.


In contrast to other arthritis types, OA is a degenerative illness that affects the cartilage and bones in joints. Areas of the body affected by it are typically the hips, knees, and joints of the thumb. This condition is referred to as "articular cartilage degradation," and thus, is sometimes called "degenerative arthritis."



Is CBD Oil good for Arthritis?

What do the studies say?

Wellness practitioners must comprehend the biochemical means through which phytocannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), can provide helpful 

A 2008 study reported that CBD could suppress the production of inflammatory mediators and even TNF-α in a rat model of rheumatoid arthritis, leading to a decrease in inflammation. 

Studies suggest that CBD has many advantages, primarily its anti-inflammatory effects. 

It was confirmed that endocannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-arachidonyl glycerol were present in synovial fluids from both OA and RA patients, suggesting that the endocannabinoid system is activated after tissue injury.

Pain and swelling relief, as well as a halt to joint deterioration and disease progression, have been demonstrated to be the effects of CBD. Frontiers in Pharmacology published a 2018 research paper, "Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules", which further details how CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system.

In 2020, a study found that CBD assisted in reducing joint pain and quality of life in dogs, furthermore a veterinary study published in the journal 'Pain' also found CBD lead to a decrease in canine pain andan increase in mobility.


The Significance of the Quality of CBD Product

Full spectrum CBD oil is generally considered to be the most beneficial type of CBD oil available, as it contains all of the active cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis plant, which work together to create an "entourage effect" in the body.

This means that the effects of all the cannabinoids are increased and intensified, providing an enhanced experience. By contrast, isolate CBD only contains the isolated CBD molecule and does not contain any of the other active compounds, so their effects are much weaker and less intense. Broad spectrum oils go through a process to remove a very small amount of THC, it's not yet known what other beneficial compounds are removed during this process, but it's clear that a full spectrum product is most likely to be most effective. You can easily check if a CBD product is really full-spectrum (a lot of companies market their products as full spectrum when they are not) is to look at the 3rd party laboratory results and seeing a measured value over 0.05% THC. If the value is less than that, I couldn't with a straight face describe it as 'full spectrum' or 'whole plant'.


Organic CBD UK


The Significance of CBD Administration and Dosage 

The administration and dosage of CBD is an integral part of reaping the benefits of this substance. Understanding the right amounts to take, as well as when and how to take it is vital in order to maximize the effectiveness of CBD.

To get the most out of CBD products, titration is an essential factor. Whereas tinctures may be easier to handle in certain circumstances, capsules may lead to doses that are not suitable. Finding the right dosage requires experimentation, along with keeping a record of your results and getting advice from a medical professional. Doing this can bring about the greatest relief and efficiency, and even help reduce costs due to less wastage of the product.

When it comes to dosing, not only is the volume of a herbal extraction relevant, but also the frequency of consumption and the length of time it is taken for. It has been observed that the highest efficacy is achieved when the supplement is taken regularly for a month or more, as is the case with CBD.


CBD for Arthritis UK


Alasdair Clarke MCMA, the writer of this article, voices a similar stance to health professionals with the notion of "start low and go slow" when it comes to the dosage of CBD. The qualified and experienced cannabis professional, advises readers to take the following steps to determine the right amount of CBD tinctures, or any other wellness product:

1. Choose the right product - Full spectrum CBD products will have more benefits.

2. Chose a medium to high strength full spectrum CBD product for human pain symptoms (for oil we recommend a minimum 10% or 1000mg/10mls, maximum 30% or 3000mg/10mls)

3. Ensure you speak to a professional (Doctor, Pharmacist, Qualified Cannabis Professional) to rule out or gain advice surrounding any interacting medications.

4. Start with one drop, 3 times a day spread throughout the day for the first 5-7 days, taken under the tongue and held there for 2-3 minutes before washing down whatever remains in the mouth with a flavoured drink.

5. Add a small amount, minimum one drop, maximum one drop per dose every 5-7 days until the full spectrum CBD is making a significant difference.

6. Dial down the dose to the minimum amount of CBD, whilst still gaining the maximum benefit - this ensures that no product is wasted by taking more than what is required.

Due to ageing, injury, seasonal changes and environmental stress, it may also be necessary to adjust the dose at various points in time to accommodate any metabolic alterations.


Exploratory Investigations


CBD for Arthritis


Investigations have been conducted to evaluate the effects of hemp-derived phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) on arthritis, especially regarding their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving advantages.


In August 2022, a cross-sectional study titled "Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Arthritis and Joint Pain: An Exploratory Cross-sectional Study" was revealed in the Journal of Cannabis Research. This research looked into the potential of the hemp-derived cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) for treating arthritis.


Research has indicated that CBD, which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, has the potential to reduce the pain and inflammation related to arthritis.


This research looked into how patients with arthritis perceive the effects of cannabidiol. It was observed that those who had already tried conventional treatments and had no success in managing their symptoms resorted to using anti-inflammatory medicines, acetaminophen, opioids and CBD for symptom management.


Psychoactivity in Contrast to Intoxication

Psychoactivity and intoxication are two distinct phenomena that have been the focus of research. Psychoactivity is defined as the ability of a substance to cause mental or psychological changes, while intoxication is the state of being affected by a substance, usually to the point of impaired functioning. Psychoactivity is the result of a chemical reaction that alters brain chemistry, while intoxication is the result of an excess of a chemical in the body that results in impairment.


The researchers pointed out that CBD is a cannabinoid without intoxicating properties which has been found to potentially reduce inflammation and pain related to arthritis in pre-clinical studies. Still, many scientists and investigators, including those at Bio Med CBD, regard CBD and other cannabinoids as psychoactive due to their capacity to alter the mental state of a consumer. According to some studies, CBD has been observed to be effective in cutting down anxiety in some patients and professionals. Technically, this would be classified as a psychotropic response.


By utilizing this approach, both researchers and patients separate CBD from its infamous relative, THC, by terming the latter " intoxicating." This description does not imply that people consuming THC necessarily feel intoxicated (which is a very debatable issue that has caused a lot of disagreement).


Arthritis for CBD UK


The researcher's examination of the information gathered from the survey revealed that the participants experienced a decrease in pain due to their utilization of CBD. 83% of the study members reported a reduction in pain, 66% stated an amelioration of physical function, and 66% had better sleep quality.


The most frequent development seen in people with osteoarthritis was an increase in physical capacity. The group of participants on the whole stated there was a 44 per cent drop in discomfort after taking CBD. Furthermore, a noteworthy 61 per cent of people (259) revealed a decrease or discontinuance of other medications following CBD ingestion.


The authors of the study suggest that medical personnel and their patients need to be conscious of the diverse alternative treatments for the signs of arthritis, especially given the improved access to cannabidiol products.


The research indicated that "connections exist between CBD use and alleviation of arthritis symptoms and decrease of other medicines." In the same vein as many other studies on the potency of hemp, cannabis, and its components such as CBD and THC, it suggested more research focusing on "the advantages of CBD in the subjects who are afflicted with arthritis with clinical trials."


CBD for Arthritis UK


31% of participants reported a decrease in the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), 18% decreased their intake of acetaminophen, and 9% decreased their opioid intake. Additionally, 18% were able to fully cease taking anti-inflammatories, 18% no longer took acetaminophen, and 19% quit consuming opioids.


The authors of the study underscored the need for medical personnel and their patients to be conscious of the various alternatives to conventional treatments for symptoms of arthritis, particularly in light of the more widespread availability of cannabidiol products.


The study reported that the data collected showed a correlation between the usage of CBD and improvements in the symptoms of arthritis as well as a reduction in other medications. Just like the thousands of other studies that have looked into the advantages of hemp, cannabis, and its components such as CBD and THC, the research suggested carrying on with further probing that concentrates on "the advantages of CBD use in this patient population with medical trials."


A research study from 2017, titled "Attenuation of Early Phase Inflammation by Cannabidiol Prevents Pain and Nerve Damage in Rat Osteoarthritis" and published in the journal Pain, looked into whether CBD could serve as a painkiller and neuroprotector.


The authors of the research reported that CBD not only diminished inflammation in the joints and pain, but it also had a neuroprotective quality. They stated, "The results showed that the local application of CBD produced a decrease in short-term inflammation in the joints. Moreover, the prophylactic usage of CBD inhibited the emergence of joint pain and had a protective effect on the nervous system."


In 2016, the European Journal of Pain published research called "Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis". This study showed that CBD could treat arthritis without side effects. The researchers noted that "CBD attenuates inflammation and pain".


Research revealed that CBD had an anti-inflammatory effect, which led to a decrease in swelling and pain. Results showed "that a transdermal CBD gel diminished the level of joint swelling and spontaneous pain, as well as the infiltration of immune cells."


The authors of the study concluded that, according to the data, utilizing topical CBD appears to be a viable option for managing arthritis pain and inflammation without any negative side effects.



A research paper from 2014, titled "Involvement of the Endocannabinoid System in Osteoarthritis Pain", which was published in The European Journal of Neuroscience, looked into the part played by the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in controlling pain in those with OA.


The research team noted the ECS's "active involvement" in OA. The study mentions that "pharmacological experiments have demonstrated the anti-pain effects of cannabinoids in various rat models of osteoarthritis, and robust evidence suggests the endocannabinoid system is actively part of the pathophysiology of this condition," 

Detailed research shows the endocannabinoid system has a role to play in the development of this disorder.

 The researchers who conducted the study noted that the wide-spread presence of cannabinoid receptors, as well as the endocannabinoid system playing a physiological role in moderating pain, inflammation, and joint functioning, points to the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids for osteoarthritis.


Neuroscience Letters published a 2011 research paper entitled "The Abnormal Cannabidiol Analogue O-1602 Reduces Nociception in a Rat Model of Acute Arthritis via the Putative Cannabinoid Receptor GPR55" which examined how certain cannabinoids attach to receptors in the ECS, other than the CB1 and CB2. 

The authors of the research determined that the outcomes of the study pointed to the role of atypical cannabinoid receptors in joint pain and that they could be potentially beneficial in relieving inflammatory pain.

Dr Ethan Russo

In 2008, renowned California-based endocannabinoid researcher Dr Ethan Russo released a report in the journal Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management entitled "Cannabinoids in the Management of Difficult to Treat Pain", examining the potential of CBD and other phytocannabinoids to reduce pain.

According to Russo, a study was conducted that showed that the endocannabinoid system can control pain. The study concluded that the ECS is "active peripherally where CB1 stimulation reduces pain, inflammation, and hyperalgesia." It was discovered that the CB1 antagonist SR141716A could induce hyperalgesia when administered to mice.

The study highlighted CBD's capacity to provide more than just pain relief. According to Russo, CBD has anti-emetic effects, the ability to induce apoptosis in malignant cells, the capability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, its neuroprotective antioxidants, and the potential to improve sleep.

Collectively, the evidence suggests that CBD displays an effective anti-arthritic effect, owing to its combined immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effects.


In 2000, a research report titled "The Nonpsychoactive Cannabis Constituent Cannabidiol as an Oral Anti-arthritic Treatment in Murine Collagen-induced Arthritis" was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. This research study explored if CBD could be beneficial for arthritis.

The study found that after the intake of CBD, the condition of the patients improved. According to the research, "the utilization of CBD after the clinical indications had started, successfully prevented the advancement of arthritis in both models".

The investigation team reached the finding that, when taken into consideration, the evidence reveals that CBD has a powerful anti-arthritic effect because it combines immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions. 


Thank you for reading :)


If you have any questions or need any help with anything surrounding CBD use for joint issues, the qualified cannabis professionals at Bio Med CBD are always happy to answer any questions and help as much as possible to ensure safe effective use of CBD products.

Contact us here for further information or to ask any questions.