Did you know that one in three American adults experience chronic joint pain? We recently heard from Marta from Minneapolis, who suffers from acute arthritic pain and has struggled to find relief using traditional methods. In an attempt to help her find comfort, friends encouraged her to try CBD. After discussing her options with her physicians she settled on our Purelix CBD with Curcumin Softgels, as they offer both broad spectrum CBD and anti-inflammatory properties. It came as no surprise to me that she experienced an almost immediate decrease in pain and, after a few days, declared herself a true believer in the power of CBD. If you, too, endure chronic pain caused by arthritis you may already be wondering about cannabidiol (CBD) as a form of treatment. If so, you undoubtedly have a number of questions regarding CBD, how safe it is and if it truly works to relieve chronic pain.
First, A Word About Arthritis
It must be recognized at the outset that there are over 100 types of arthritis and no two conditions act exactly alike, making it unlikely that one treatment will cure all patients. All forms of arthritis do, however, share the common element of pain. Treatment is usually focused on reducing this pain and preserving function and mobility. In some cases, as with rheumatoid arthritis, conventional prescription drugs are both recommended and often effective in preventing permanent joint damage and maintaining mobility. But people respond to different treatments in different ways. While prescription medications may be the answer for some sufferers, many arthritic patients continue to search for relief when traditional methods prove unsuccessful. That’s where CBD comes in.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the cannabis plant that is used in products such as oils, topicals and edibles to help relieve, among other things, chronic pain, anxiety and sleeplessness. In 2018, a piece of legislation called The Farm Bill used specific language regarding THC levels in order to distinguish between “industrial hemp” and marijuana. This allowed Americans to take advantage of the many benefits of CBD products which contain <0.3% THC (considered to be only a trace amount) as opposed to marijuana which contains 0.3% or more of THC and is still considered a Schedule 1 drug. CBD products can be created with or without THC and are completely safe.
Who is Using CBD for Arthritic Pain?
According to a Gallup poll taken in August of 2019, around 14% of Americans report using CBD products with most of them doing so to relieve pain. In relation to pain specifically caused by arthritis, a recent poll conducted by the Arthritis Foundation found that:
- 79% surveyed were “currently” using CBD at the time of the poll, have used it in the past or were considering using it.
- 29% report they were “currently” using CBD to manage their arthritis symptoms.
- Daily use was reported by 63% percent of those “currently” using CBD and 26% used it several times per week.
- Of those surveyed, 62% used a liquid form of CBD and 55% used a topical product they applied to their joints
More importantly, of those who were using CBD to manage arthritis symptoms, approximately 75% reported that it was either effective or very effective in relieving several symptoms.
- 67% report improvement in their physical function.
- Over 30% say it provides relief from morning stiffness and helps get them moving.
- Three-fourths report improvements in their ability to sleep (71%).
- Over 30% say it helped relieve symptoms of fatigue
What’s the evidence that CBD is effective for chronic arthritis pain?
Although there are recent laboratory studies and preliminary reports showing promising results and highlighting CBD’s safety and pain-relieving effects, well-designed studies that offer solid medical evidence simply don’t yet exist. It logically follows that there is no rock solid conclusion regarding the effectiveness of CBD not because it doesn’t work but simply because definitive studies haven’t yet been undertaken and the resulting data isn’t yet available.
There are, however, a growing number of physicians who recommend CBD for their patients suffering from arthritic pain and are reporting phenomenal success. In a recent article published by the American College of Physicians, medical professionals who studied arthritis and other chronic ailments stated, “(W)e cannot ignore the reality of cannabis’s growing use as medicine, especially for chronic pain.” When compared to traditional prescription drugs there is also a trend emerging in favor of CBD. Kevin Boehnke, a PhD and research investigator at The Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan Medical School surveyed over 1300 patients who tried CBD as an alternative treatment for their suffering. A vast majority reported reduced pain and milder symptoms following a CBD routine than with traditional remedies and, of the nearly 700 opiod users, 72% experienced so much success with CBD that they stopped using opioids altogether.
Are there downsides to CBD treatment?
As with any treatment, there are downsides to using CBD instead of traditional prescription medicines. As stated above, there isn’t a ton of medical evidence supporting the use of cannabinoids for arthritis and present-day users must depend upon anecdotal evidence and testimonials when choosing which forms of treatment to choose. There are also thousands of CBD brands available right now and, because of the lack of action on the part of the FDA, some brands practice false advertising and don’t adhere to stringent testing protocols for potency and purity. This doesn’t mean that CBD isn’t safe, just that care needs to be taken before settling on a daily CBD regimen.
Can You Help Me Decide on a CBD Treatment Plan?
We sure do! Here is a list of dos and don’s that can serve as a guide when considering CBD as a treatment solution.
- Always consult with your doctor if you’re on an existing regimen of medication or treatment. Although CBD is safe, it is wise to find out about any potential drug interactions, especially with antibiotics and antidepressants
- When choosing a CBD product make sure your brand adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices.
- Also make sure that each and every product sold by that brand has been independently tested for safety, purity and potency. There are a LOT of brands out there – you want to use one that practices transparency!
- Start with a low dose in the evening and work your way up to a “maintenance” dose that works for you.
- Don’t be afraid to try different forms of CBD in your daily regimen. While some find the quickest relief from tinctures or softgels, others prefer topicals and edibles such as gummies. There is something for everyone!
- Don’t make CBD your first choice for pain relief if you haven’t consulted with medical professionals.
- Don’t depend upon solely on packaging or price when choosing a CBD brand. While there are many reputable brands out there, do your research before settling on one.
- For people with rheumatoid arthritis or related conditions, do not stop prescribed medications that may be protecting your joints from future damage and discuss any changes to your medication regimen with your doctor.
- Don’t be afraid to try a few different forms of CBD. Remember, they’re ALL safe if they are manufactured by a brand that practices transparency!
The Bottom Line…
If you’re interested in CBD treatment for chronic arthritis pain or if you’re already taking it, review the pros, cons, and latest news with your healthcare providers, and together you can decide on a reasonable treatment plan. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, it may be quite important to continue your conventional, prescribed medications even if you pursue additional relief with CBD products.
Although we don’t yet have all of the evidence we’d like because of the lack of clinical tests and are still waiting on the FDA, it is a fact that many people have found major relief through the use of CBD. We know it’s safe and effective so why not give it a try?And if you need more proof, listen to what Marta from Minneapolis had to say:
“I just had to write and tell you how pleased I am by the results of your Purelix CBD soft gel supplement. I am a 55 year old woman who was starting to get those middle age aches and pains. Over the past few years the pain has become more acute. I was finally diagnosed with arthritis in both hips and some nerve damage in my calf. I had been prescribed Vicodin and Flexeril, both of which did not agree with me and made me feel out of it. So, I decided to take Advil for the pain. I was taking up to 12 Advil per day and most certainly taking 4 at night to ease the pain so I could sleep. I know I was probably tearing up my stomach, but it offered relief. A few people suggested I try CBD supplements. After doing some research and checking with my doctor, I settled on Purelix due to the quality and purity of the product. Well, after ONE DAY on the supplements, the mobility in my hips increased. I walked 4 flights of stairs with no pain. That hadn’t happened in months. I took my 4 Advil that night in addition to the supplement, just to be safe and get a good night’s sleep. By the next day, no Advil, that night, no Advil, the next day, no Advil. I truly can’t believe the difference! I have been in pain to the point of tears and so frustrated with doctors. For me, this has been a miracle. Thank you Purelix!”
A ringing endorsement, indeed!
Have you tried CBD for chronic pain? If so, please help others by sharing your experience comments below.