Arthritis is an umbrella term that is used to describe inflammation of the joints, joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis that keep about 54 million adults—of which 31 million are Americans—with frequent joint pain, swelling, redness, stiffness, and tenderness, among other symptoms. Recently, researchers have been focusing on the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) oil on conditions that cause pain. Luckily for people with arthritis, more and more studies are showing promising results from using CBD oil for arthritis pain. 
Traditional Treatment vs. CBD Oil for Arthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis and usually comes with age. It is also known as “wear and tear” of the joints and is a very painful condition. 
In addition to physical activity, weight management, and stretching, people with OA are given opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for their pain. 
These medications have not been proven effective in the treatment of arthritis, as this condition is listed as the number one cause of disability among adults in the U.S. 
Unfortunately, prolonged use of opioids for pain can cause changes in the brain’s chemistry, and over time, lead to drug tolerance. A chronic pain patient who relies on opioids for long-term pain relief continuously increases the dose to achieve the same effect, sometimes ending up with addiction. 
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), another most common type of arthritis, is an autoimmune disease. The immune system of RA patients attacks different parts of their bodies, especially the joints. This leads to inflammation of the joints, that turns into arthritis. 
Similar to osteoarthritis, the traditional treatment for RA includes NSAIDs.  The problem with NSAIDs is that, if taken for a long period of time, they increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in the patient, among other serious side effects. 
So, the question is, why should a person with chronic arthritis pain rely on drugs that can have potentially fatal consequences? Fortunately, many patients now explore a safer and more natural approach—CBD oil for arthritis pain.
For example, Sativex, a U.K. approved cannabis-based mouth spray that contains delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD)—the non-euphoriant, anti-inflammatory compound of cannabis—showed a significant analgesic effect in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In a 2005 placebo-controlled study, a group of RA patients was given 2.7mg THC and 2.5mg CBD via a mouth spray.
The patients were assessed on:
- pain on movement,
- pain at rest,
- morning stiffness, and
- sleep quality.
After five weeks of use, Sativex reduced inflammation and significantly improved pain.
Although further studies are needed, this study showed “encouraging results,” where “the beneficial effects occurred in the context of a dosing regime restricted to evening dosing in order to minimize any possible intoxication-type reactions.” 
This means that although 24-hour dosing with Sativex resulted in minimal intoxication scores, the best time of dosing was in the evening.
Many people living with arthritis realize that there is a better solution for managing the symptoms. CBD oil is a safe, natural remedy that possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects, and these properties can help with various types of chronic pain.
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Why use CBD oil for arthritis pain? CBD oil is rich in cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical that naturally occurs in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t produce the euphoric high associated with marijuana but is known for its role in managing pain and inflammation.
Studies on Potential Effects of CBD Oil for Arthritis Pain
- A 2000, London-based mice study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, examined the therapeutic potential of CBD in collagen-induced arthritis. The optimal effect of CBD was achieved at 5 mg/kg per day via i.p. (intraperitoneal injection) or 25 mg/kg per day orally. The authors of the study concluded that CBD displays immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions that create its potent anti-arthritic effect. 
- A 2014 Ph.D thesis reviews the therapeutic role of the endocannabinoid system and the cannabinoids in the management of osteoarthritis pain. 
- A 2016 animal study showed that “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.” The doses used in the study that proved most effective were 6.2 and 62 mg/day. 
- A 2017 study in rat osteoarthritis (OA) showed that CBD might be a safe and useful remedy not only for treating osteoarthritic joint neuropathic pain, but also as a prophylaxis. This means that “CBD treatment prevented the later development of pain and nerve damage in these OA joints”. 
- A 2008 article reviewed research on cannabinoid analgesia through the endocannabinoid system, and randomized clinical trials that focus on the effects of cannabinoids in pain management. Dr. Ethan Russo, the author of the article, concludes that the use of cannabinoid analgesics for the treatment of pain shows great promise. 
Recommended CBD Dose for Arthritis
What is the right CBD dose for arthritis? Although further research on humans is needed, from the studies above, we notice that even the smallest dose of CBD—in the Sativex human study, for example, a dose of 2.5mg—was shown effective in reducing arthritis pain. How to determine the right CBD dose for arthritis? Here are some recommendations: 
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- Start slow. Some CBD products contain as little as 2.5 mg of CBD per dose, while others go up to 1,000 mg. Although CBD in the form of both liquid and capsules shows little to no side-effects and is not harmful even in a higher dose, it is best for you to start slow. Make sure to see how your body reacts to the remedy, and if you don’t notice any side-effects, slowly increase the dosage.
- Topical application. For arthritis, use CBD topicals in the form of creams and lotions to apply to the affected area. As we can see from one of the mice studies, the topicals had a significant effect in reducing inflammation. 
- Only buy from trusted providers. When choosing your CBD oil supplier, check for information such as a list of ingredients, where and how where the cannabis plants were grown, what extraction method was used, and more.
The benefits of CBD oil for arthritis pain are promising. Remember to stick to the recommended guidelines when determining your CBD dose for arthritis. Also, make sure you are buying from a reliable CBD provider. Although more studies are needed to understand the effects of CBD on the body entirely, CBD oil is a safe and natural substitute for traditional arthritis treatment.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10920191 [Patients and methods; Discussion]
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