If you have had long-term arthritis, you may wonder if cannabidiol (CBD) can help.CBD is one of the chemicals found in marijuana. The only thing that CBD doesn’t do is make you feel high or intoxicated, unlike THC.
According to a Gallup poll in August of this year, most people who use CBD products do so because they have pain. According to an Arthritis Foundation poll, 29% of people with arthritis use CBD, mostly in liquid or topical form.Nearly 80 percent of the people who took the poll either used it, had used it in the past or were thinking about it. Most people who used it said that their physical function, sleep, and well-being got better. A few said that their pain or stiffness got better.
Perhaps you’ve thought about giving it a try. It turns out that most types of arthritis can’t be cured by anything else that doesn’t involve taking painkillers. CBD is also less addictive than opiates. That’s possible, but maybe it’s because the ads that say CBD can help with everything from seizures and anxiety to arthritis
What’s the proof that it works? And what do experts say? If you or your doctor are interested in CBD products that are now legal and widely advertised, there hasn’t been much research and even less advice for you or your doctor about how to use them.
About Arthritis Pain
It’s important to point out that there are more than 100 different types of arthritis. Even though all of them cause pain, these conditions don’t act the same way. What works for one person may not work for another. Getting treatment to lessen pain and stiffness and keep your ability to do things is the goal for all types of arthritis. But for some conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, traditional prescription drugs are the best way to go. These drugs help in preventing long-lasting joint damage.
In addition, people feel pain in different ways and respond to treatment in different ways. Since there are so many different types of arthritis, it’s unlikely that there will be a single CBD-containing product that works for all people with all types of arthritis.
There are rules about how CBD can be used for people who have chronic arthritis pain.
People who have arthritis pain and are interested in CBD treatment haven’t had a lot of help in the past. Patients and their doctors had to make their own decisions about whether or not CBD was a good option in each case based on what was available and what was interesting to them. To a large extent, that’s still true, but some rules have been put in place.
Here are some do’s and don’ts
It’s important to choose a CBD product that has been independently tested for purity, potency, and safety, such as one that has been certified by the GMP.
This plan should also include non-medication options (like exercise) and psychological support. CBD should be part of this plan.
Make sure you use oral products instead of inhaled ones, and start with a low dose that you take in the evening to start.
Establish short-term goals for treatment, like a reduction in knee pain that allows you to walk around the block in two weeks. Later, if things go well, the goals can be changed.
Inform your doctor(s) about your CBD use, both current and planned.Keep an eye on your pain and adjust your medications with your medical providers, not with people who aren’t doctors (such as those selling CBD products).
Don’t make CBD your first choice for pain relief. It’s better to think about it if other treatments haven’t worked well enough.
Don’t let people who aren’t doctors, like people who sell CBD products, manage your chronic pain. Even if your pain management includes CBD, you and your healthcare team should be in charge of it.
People with rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions should not stop taking medications that may be protecting their joints from damage in the future. Talk to your doctor about any changes to your medicine regimen.
The bottom line:
Because CBD can help with chronic arthritis pain, you should talk with your doctor about the benefits and drawbacks. Then you can work together to come up with a treatment plan that works for both you and your healthcare providers. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, it may be very important to keep taking your regular, prescribed medications even if you try CBD products.
Whether or not CBD is safe for you to use may depend on how your symptoms have changed.