Can CBD Oil Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms?
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil, is a medicinal product derived from cannabis. Many of the primary chemicals in cannabis are cannabidiols. However, CBD oils do not contain THC, the compound in cannabis that makes you “high.”
Researchers have recently starting focusing on CBD oil’s effects on several conditions that cause pain, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). So far, the results are promising. Keep reading to learn more about what recent studies suggest about CBD oil as well as tips on how to use it.
The first controlled trial to evaluate the use of cannabis-based medicine to treat RA happened in 2006 . Researchers concluded that, after five weeks of use, a cannabis-based medication called Sativex reduced inflammation and significantly improved pain. Participants also reported improved sleep, and most of the side effects were mild.
A 2008 review of the use of CBD to treat chronic pain similarly concluded that CBD reduced pain and improved sleep without any negative side effects.
In 2016, another study was done using CBD gel on rats. Researchers again found that the CBD gel reduced both joint pain and inflammation without any side effects.
While all of this research is very promising, the existing studies have been relatively small. Many more studies, especially on large numbers of human participants, are still needed to fully understand the effects of CBD oil and other cannabis-based treatments on RA symptoms.
CBD oil affects brain activity, but not in the same way that THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, does. CBD oil interacts with two receptors, called CB1 and CB2, to reduce pain and the effects of inflammation.
CB2 also plays a role in your immune system. RA involves your immune system attacking the tissue in your joints. So this relationship to the immune system could explain why CBD oil seems to work well for RA symptoms.
In addition, CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects could also help to slow down or stop the progression of RA, which causes permanent damage to your joints over time. These effects could also reduce several other inflammation-related RA symptoms, such as fatigue and fever.
CBD oil comes in the form of both a liquid and a capsule. You can take a capsule by mouth or add CBD oil to food or water. You can also mix CBD oil with your favorite lotion and apply it directly to your skin to help with stiff, achy joints. Some brands also offer therapeutic salves you can apply directly to your skin.
Work with your doctor to figure out the best dosage for you. It’s best to start with a very small dose so you can see how your body reacts. If you don’t notice any side effects, you can try slowly increasing your dosage.
CBD oil doesn’t come with any serious potential side effects. However, you might experience some mild side effects, especially when you use it for the first time. If you have been on RA drugs for some time, these side effects may be more profound. These include:
- appetite changes
If you’re considering trying CBD, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. CBD may interact with your current medications or supplements.
CBD and grapefruit both interact with enzymes that are important to drug metabolism, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs). Be extra careful if any of your medications or supplements come with a grapefruit warning.
In a study performed on mice, receiving CBD-rich cannabis extract was associated with an increased risk of liver toxicity. However, some of the study mice had been given very large amounts of the extract via force-feeding.
Cannabis and products derived from cannabis, such as CBD oil, are legal for medicinal or recreational use in certain parts of the United States.
If cannabis is only legal for medicinal use in your state, then you’ll need a recommendation from your doctor before you can purchase CBD oil. If cannabis is also legal for recreational use, then you should be able to purchase CBD oil in dispensaries or even online.
Check this map to see what the laws are in your state. Also check the laws in places you may visit.
So far, studies looking at the benefits of CBD oil for people with RA are promising. However, there’s a need for larger human studies to fully understand its effects. Keep in mind that CBD oil isn’t approved by the FDA and remains illegal in several states.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.Cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil, is a medicinal product derived from cannabis (marijuana). There’s a lot of ongoing research about the effects of CBD oil on rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Learn about the results of the latest research and whether CBD oil could be right for you.
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Researchers still donвЂ™t know a lot about how marijuana affects your body. But there is substantial evidence that it can help relieve long-term pain. And pain is a major symptom of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
HereвЂ™s whatвЂ™s known so far about how medical marijuana and a marijuana extract called CBD (cannabidiol) might affect RA.
Benefits for RA
The Cannabis sativa plant has more than 100 chemicals that can affect your body and mind. The two that scientists know the most about are THC and CBD.
THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is what gets you high when you smoke, vape, or eat marijuana. CBD doesnвЂ™t affect your brain that way. For that reason, some people prefer the oil form of CBD for medical uses.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can make your joints stiff, tender, and painful. RA also can affect your lungs, eyes, skin, and other body parts.
The federal ban on marijuana and CBD means studies on humans have been few. So researchers donвЂ™t know for sure that cannabis eases RA symptoms. But the results from several very small studies suggest that in people with rheumatic diseases, including RA and osteoarthritis, it may help:
- Curb morning pain (but not the overall level of pain)
- Improve sleep
- Lower inflammation in joints (but not joint stiffness)
Some lab testing suggests that cannabinoids may help tamp down the bodyвЂ™s immune response. But the studies have been limited to animals, not humans.
Doctors will need more proof before they can recommend cannabis products to treat rheumatic diseases. For example, we know very little about the effects on RA from smoking marijuana or other uses of herbal marijuana.
Is Cannabis Right for You?
The best way to answer this is to ask your doctor. They can tell you about possible side effects and drug interactions, legal considerations, and which form and at which dose may help you the most.
More than half of the states have legalized marijuana for medical use. More than a dozen other states allow limited medical uses of CBD.
The FDA doesnвЂ™t regulate marijuana or CBD, so you might not know exactly whatвЂ™s in the products you buy. One batch of pot or edible marijuana may have a much higher or lower amount of THC than another, or affect you differently. CBD also can be unpredictable.
Cannabis can affect you mentally and physically. THC can impair driving, so you shouldnвЂ™t get behind the wheel for at least 8 hours after you take it. Smoking or vaping (inhaling) marijuana will hit you more quickly than if you eat it. ItвЂ™s also not good for your lungs or respiratory system.
If you use marijuana regularly, it could make you more likely to get anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses.
CBD side effects are usually mild or moderate. They can include:
- Dry mouth
- Drop in appetite
- Interactions with blood thinners
Medical marijuana has similar side effects, including:
- Increased appetite
- Dissociation (feeling disconnected)
- Dry eyes
Where to Get It
Depending on your state, you may need to buy medical marijuana and CBD at specific dispensaries or pharmacies from approved vendors. Your doctor may need to certify that you have a condition that may benefit from marijuana.
Marijuana is available it many forms, like pills, prepared foods, teas, nasal sprays, and as something you smoke or vape.
In some states, CBD is sold at many all-natural food stores and online. It can be taken by mouth as oil or extracts, or applied to your skin.
Chemistry & Biochemistry: вЂњHistory of Cannabis and Its Preparations in Saga, Science, and Sobriquet.вЂќ
Mayo Clinic: вЂњMayo Clinic Q and A: Treatment with medical cannabis,вЂќ вЂњMarijuana,вЂќ вЂњWhat are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?вЂќ вЂњRheumatoid arthritis.вЂќ
News release, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: вЂњThe Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids.вЂќ
Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience: вЂњCannabis, Cannabinoids, and Health.вЂќ
Arthritis Care & Research: вЂњEfficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Cannabinoid Treatments in the Rheumatic Diseases: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.вЂќ
Nature Reviews Rheumatology: вЂњCannabinoids for the treatment of rheumatic diseases — where do we stand?вЂќ
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration: вЂњDrug Scheduling.вЂќ
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research: вЂњCannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review.вЂќ
Journal of Medical Toxicology: вЂњMedical Marijuana and Driving: A Review.вЂќ
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: вЂњMarijuana and Cannabinoids.вЂќ
National Institute on Drug Abuse: вЂњMarijuana as Medicine,вЂќ вЂњMarijuana.вЂќYou may be wondering if marijuana may ease the pain and discomfort from rheumatoid arthritis. HereвЂ™s what to know. ]]>