Joint pain affects millions of people world-wide and can is associated with symptoms such as discomfort, inflammation and pain in any part of the joint – cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscles or bone. Most commonly it’s caused by arthritis or arthralgia. The pain can be very mild and only manifests after certain types of activities or it can be very intense, limiting movement.
Current treatments of joint pain mainly consist of drug therapy – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids. Opioids present a risk of addiction and as for NSAIDs, they’re not without their risks as prolonged use is associated with liver and kidney damage, digestive issues and elevated blood pressure. Non-pharmacologic treatments are based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), stress management techniques and patient education programs.
You probably know a couple of CBD enthusiasts who talk excitedly about its health benefits, how it helps their anxiety, they sleep better at night and so on and so forth. Some small samples have indeed found promising results in these areas and the substance has been approved by the FDA in the treatment of some forms of epilepsy.
But if you’re reading this article you probably suffer from joint pain and you want to find out if CBD products can help manage the symptoms of arthritis or other similar conditions.
The short answer is yes, they could. There have been some studies with encouraging results, a lot more research has to be done. We’ll get into that in just a little bit but let’s first clarify what CBD is.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and its one of over 100 cannabinoids found it the Cannabis plant. Most CBD products are derived from hemp (Cannabis sativa) as this type of cannabis plant contains very little THC (below 0,3%). THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and it’s the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana. In contrast, CBD is not psychoactive, it interacts with different cannabinoid receptors so you can rest assured that it won’t have the same effect. For more information you can visit https://nanocraftcbd.com/collections/topicals.
Since CBD oil and capsules have been found to reduce nausea and anxiety, as well as improve symptoms of insomnia and depression, they gained a lot of popularity. Medical research has also found benefits in withdrawal symptoms, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular conditions, diabetes and cancer.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and therefore there’s a strong possibility that with further research, it can be used in the treatment of chronic pain.
Research in the Application of CBD for Pain Management
Because of the side-effects and risks associated with traditional drug therapy for chronic pain, in recent years, there’s been a growing interest in developing CBD based treatments as there have been no reported cases of overdose and side-effects fall into the mild category.
One study published in the European Journal of Pain in 2016 focused on the efficacy of topical CBD treatments in rats. The treatment reduced joint swelling and used limb posture to determine the degree of pain felt by the subjects. The results show that CBD has the potential to reduce inflammation in mammals.
Another study focused on rat osteoarthritis and CBD’s potential in prevention and early phase treatment. The researchers found that CBD could block joint pain and prophylactic administration prevented nerve damage and other inflammatory responses associated with arthritic joints.
CBD has reduced oral bioavailability so, for these conditions, topical products such as CBD creams and lotions are preferred. Since we also have cannabinoid receptors on the skin, the CBD contained in these products can still be effective in reducing inflammation in the areas where they’re applied.