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Arthritis is inflammation of the joints that results in pain, discomfort, stiffness, and decreased mobility. Arthritis and joint pain are debilitating and prevent people from performing, better yet enjoying, everyday activities. It’s because of this that countless studies, pharmaceuticals, and medical experiments have been created in search of some sort of relief. Naturally, one of these experiments contained Cannabidiol (CBD).
In this 2016 study, CBD was given to rats with arthritis (Fleur does not condone animal testing, nor test our own products on animals). My reasoning for sharing this study is not that I think testing CBD on animals is appropriate, instead that it gives strong scientific evidence on the effectiveness of CBD in reducing real inflammation due to arthritis and joint pain. This study was looking into CBD as an alternative form of arthritis pain relief due to the many side effects associated with other arthritis remedies. CBD was applied transdermally to the infected areas and the joints were measured for reduction in inflammation. The rats were also monitored for any potential side effects associated with the CBD treatment. The results of this study concluded that CBD not only greatly reduced the levels of inflammation around the joints but did so without producing any recognizable side effects. “These data indicate that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.”
CBD has been trusted to reduce inflammation in labs, pets, and of course, you and I. While this specific study explored the use of topical CBD relief and the application of CBD oil to the targeted area, there is also evidence that taking CBD sublingually or orally produces similar results. It truly is personal preference.
Methods for using CBD for joint pain relief
CBD comes in many different forms, and as we continue to explore CBD’s many uses and medicinal properties, we will educate on each form of CBD “consumption” for lack of a better word. For now, as it pertains to the relief of pain, we will primarily focus on CBD oil. CBD oil is a highly concentrated liquid whose primary ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then infusing oil with the extraction. Coconut and hemp seed oils are commonly used as the carrier oil. I also want to take a moment here to make something clear that was not clear to me when I began my own CBD education. CBD oil, and CBD tincture, while often used interchangeably, are not always the same. A tincture comes in the form of a tincture, duh, but it also may have additional ingredients for flavor, and different compounds depending on intended use. CBD oil, on the other hand, while it can be in the form of a tincture, it may also come in the form of soft gel, capsule, a topical solution (as in the aforementioned study) and oil to be vaped (ie. a cartridge).
Anyways, here are the ways that we recommend using CBD oil for arthritis and joint pain relief:
Orally: First, in my opinion, the easiest way to consume CBD is in the form of a capsule or soft gel. You would take this form of CBD in the same way that you would take a vitamin or daily medication, just wash it down with a nice glass of water. Or you could add some CBD oil to your food or drink and consume it that way, many of the oils developed now are virtually tasteless, so no worries there. The one downside to oral consumption of CBD is that it’s not as fast-acting as the other methods that we’ll dive into in a moment. Digesting CBD orally essentially means that the CBD’s pain relieving properties will kick in as soon as your body metabolizes it, which is different for everyone.
Under the Tongue (Sublingually): Administering CBD oil under the tongue is one of the faster ways to experience relief. The active ingredients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, nice and fast acting. Of course when dropping CBD oil under the tongue you will get a taste of the CBD oil, I don’t think it’s bad, but this is very much so personal preference.
Topically: Finally, perhaps the most common way CBD is used, especially for joint pain, is in topical form. CBD oils can be infused into your daily moisturizers or creams that you already use or you can purchase premade topical salves, roll-ons, lotions, etc. Topical application is great because you can target the specific pain point; achey, stiff joints, sore muscles, etc.
Dosage: as a general rule of thumb, start low and increase in small increments (5mgs to 10 mgs) if you’re not getting the relief you’re looking for. We recommend starting with 25 mgs!
As always we like to add a blurb about potential risks and side effects associated with using CBD. In general, CBD is understood to be a remarkably safe alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. Though no serious or life threatening side effects have been found with using CBD there are some side effects to be aware of. The most common side effects of CBD include drowsiness, gastrointestinal issues, dry mouth, reduced appetite, nausea, and interaction with other medications.
Drowsiness: I’m hesitant to list drowsiness as a side effect of CBD because it is often a welcomed and desired effect. CBD has sedative qualities that are not only known to make for better, more restful sleep, but also to combat over stimulation and anxiety. The relaxing and sedating effects of CBD however, could get intense if combined with other sedative drugs. If you’re currently on other medication, make sure you ask your doctor if it’s okay to supplement with CBD.
Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea and gastrointestinal issues are a pretty common side effect of CBD oil. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and other symptoms associated with a digestive problem (think how you would feel after eating something that disagreed with you). In part, some people simply don't digest CBD oil well. This is not uncommon with oils and supplements.
Dry Mouth / Reduced Appetite: Ironically, perhaps, for a cannabis product, CBD oil has been linked to loss of appetite in some people. (Again, think eating something new that your body didn’t agree with.) Along with dry mouth, a rather non-ironic effect of a cannabis product. CBD can simply leave you feeling unpleasant after ingesting. As with most other side effects, this will pass in time.
Again CBD poses no significant side effects, but does have a few mild ones. Mild side effects will pass with time. It is important to understand CBD as medicine when it comes to adding it to your regimen. That being said, be sure to consult your doctor if you have a pre-existing health condition or take other prescription or OTC medications regularly.