CBD, a compound derived from hemp (hemp), can help ease joint pain. Here’s how to find a product that works for you.
Passionate about cannabidiol (better known as CBD) tell us about the health benefits. Some small studies have shown that CBD may be a remedy for anxiety and may help children with post-traumatic stress disorder sleep. The substance was even approved by the FDA last year as a prescription medication to control rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
Can CBD help people with arthritis and pain-related conditions? Anecdotal patient reports and some preliminary research suggest yes, but the science is still emerging and more research is needed.
Here is what you need to know about how to use CBD to relieve arthritis symptoms, how to find a high-quality CBD product, and how to work with your doctor to incorporate CBD into your arthritis treatment plan.
What is CBD and how it could help you with your Arthritis
CBD is a chemical derived from hemp. Hemp and marijuana are two types of cannabis plants, but they are very different from each other. Each has different amounts of various phytocannabinoids, which are substances found naturally in the cannabis plant.
- Marijuana contains a large amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the cannabinoid that causes a narcotic effect, which means that it acts on the central nervous system, either by exciting or depressing it.
- Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC . This contains CBD, which is a cannabinoid that does not have any narcotic effects. Instead, CBD works in other ways in your endocannabinoid system, which is a group of receptors in the body that are affected by dozens of other documented cannabinoids.
“Cannabinoids can inhibit or stimulate the release of chemicals from the brain and control the body’s natural inflammatory response, which are the two things that concern us when we talk about CBD for arthritis,” says Dr. Hervé Damas, a doctor based in Miami and founder of Grassroots Herbals, a CBD products company.
CBD is thought to work with pain in two parts of the body: the pain site (such as the joints) and the central nervous system, which sends pain signals to the brain when it detects some stimulation or damage to nerves and cells.
CBD’s ability to calm that response is one reason the compound may be a pain reliever for people with arthritis. Another would be the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. Inflammation occurs when your body is fighting a perceived infection. In autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system is attacking healthy parts of your body like your joints.
It is important to note that although early animal research has shown promise for CBD, more research is needed before we can have anything conclusive for humans. However, anecdotal reports from people who have started to incorporate CBD into their arthritis treatment are positive. A CreakyJoints member shared on Facebook that topical CBD “helps better than any other cream I’ve ever used.” It might be worth exploring CBD as a possible pain solution as part of an overall arthritis treatment plan.
Is CBD legal?
CBD falls into a legal gray area. The 2018 Federal Farm Law removed hemp (the cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC) from the list of Controlled Substances. This allows it to be grown and purchased in the United States. CBD extracted from hemp is legal as long as the product does not make claims for therapeutic benefits or violate any other FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) standard.
The problem is that not all CBDs come from plants with less than 0.3% THC. Therefore, some CBD products are still considered illegal under federal law.
State and local laws make the issue even more complicated. Vendors in the states of Maine and New York recently received an order to remove edible CBD products from their stores. Other states, like California and Colorado, have a more liberal view of marijuana and allow the sale of CBD of all kinds of cannabis, even though it may still be illegal at the federal level.
CBD laws are always in the process of changing. The CBD Central website can help you find out if CBD is legal in your state, but you should always check with your local government for the most up-to-date information.
How to find the right CBD product for you
From supermarkets and pharmacies to health food stores and online stores, CBD can be found almost everywhere. But how do you choose the right CBD product for your health needs?
Choose the CBD formulation you want to use
CBD comes in a few different forms. Commonly used ones include:
- Groceries: You can eat CBD in jelly beans, chocolates, sodas, baked goods, and other grocery items.
- Vaporizer: You can inhale CBD through a vape pen that heats the oil
- Sublingual drops: You can place a few drops of a high-concentration CBD solution under your tongue.
- Topics: There are creams, lotions, and other products with CBD.
Different types of CBD have an effect on your body at different times. According to Dr. Damas, this is the time during which you can wait for different types of CBD products to be activated:
- Groceries: 30 minutes to two hours.
- Vaporizer: two minutes.
- Sublingual drops: 15-30 minutes.
- Topics: 10 minutes.
Look for high-quality CBD ads
Don’t just buy the cheapest one on the shelf. There are many poor-quality CBD products on the market (some of which do not contain the proper amount of CBD).
Dr. Damas recommends that if you live in the United States look for CBD products that are made in the United States, use a carbon dioxide-based extraction method, come from organically grown hemp, and do not contain any other extras. Consumer Reports also has a comprehensive guide to buying CBD that can help you find a high-quality product.
Choose the correct dose
As for the dosage of CBD oil, there is still deliberation on how much to take. Start with a low dose (such as 5 to 10 mg) and gradually increase over a few weeks until you notice the effects.
“In general, people find pain relief when they take 20 to 35 milligrams of CBD daily,” says Dr. Damas.
You can take the full dose or divide it throughout the day. Experiment with what makes you feel better. You should start to feel something shortly after starting to use CBD, with more noticeable effects after two weeks.
How to talk about CBD with your doctor?
Talk to the doctor who treats your arthritis before you start taking CBD or any other supplement. It can tell you if CBD can interact with any medications you are currently taking or if it can worsen a chronic condition. For example, “CBD can facilitate bleeding,” says Dr. Damas. “So if you’re going to have surgery, you may have to stop taking it before the procedure.”
Consult this list of possible drug interactions with CBD , and you should always consult your doctor about your personal case.
Please note that your doctor’s knowledge of CBD may be limited. There is not much research on the benefits of CBD or on the ideal doses or formulations, so your doctor may not be too specific about his recommendations. However, you should know that you are taking CBD. You are likely interested in learning about your experience with CBD products and your reports on how CBD can help you manage your pain or other symptoms.
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