Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a medicinal plant derived from marijuana. Many of the main chemicals making up marijuana are cannabidiols. But because it does not contain the other popular cannabis chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD oils do not make you high.
In the recent years, researchers have focused on the effects of CBD oil on several health problems that cause pain, including chronic arthritis. So far, we are seeing some promising results. Read on to know more about these recent studies and learn tips on how to properly use CBD oil.
Recent Studies on CBD Oil
The first trial that looked in the use of marijuana-based medication to treat chronic arthritis first happened in 2006. After the study, researchers concluded that a cannabis-based medication called Sativex reduced inflammation and improved pain, and even improved sleep, after five weeks of use. The participants of the study also reported mild side effects.
A review in 2008 on the use of CBD in treating chronic pain also had the same conclusions, with the participants also reporting improved sleep and reduced pain without any negative side effects. Another study in 2016 looked into the effects of CBD gel on rats. Similarly, researchers found out that the gel reduced joint inflammation and pain without side effects.
The studies stated above truly are promising, but it is important to note that existing research are still small. There is still a need for more studies, particularly on a big number of human participants, to better understand the effects of CBD oil as well as other marijuana-based treatments on arthritis pain.
How CBD Oil Works
CBD affects brain activity. However, its effect is not the same as THC, which is the main psychoactive component in cannabis. CBD acts on two receptors – CB1 and CB2 – to reduce pain and inflammation. CB2 also affects the immune system. Because arthritis involves the immune system, this relationship can also explain why CBD works for arthritis.
Aside from these, the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD can also help slow down or even stop the progression of chronic arthritis, which can lead to permanent damage in the joints over time. All these effects can also reduce many other inflammation-related symptoms of arthritis, including fever and fatigue.
How CBD Oil is Used
CBD oil is available in a liquid and capsule form. The oil can be added to water or oil, while the capsule can be taken by mouth. CBD oil can also be mixed with lotions or creams and applied directly on the skin to help with stiff and achy joints. Other brands have therapeutic salves that can be directly applied to the skin.
Talk with your doctor on figuring out the right dosage for you. CBD doses in products in the market can be as low as 2.5 milligrams of CBD per dose, and go as high as 1000 milligrams. It is recommended that you start with a low dose and see how your body reacts, and then slowly increasing the dosage as you go.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Just like most things, CBD oil also comes with some side effects. However, these are not potentially serious. Still, expect some mild effects, particularly for first-time users. Those who have been using arthritis medication for some time can experience some profound side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, fatigue and appetite changes.
So far, research that are looking into the benefits of CBD oil among people with chronic arthritis pain are very promising. Still, there is still a need to more and bigger human studies to completely understand its effects. Remember that CBD oil is not approved by the FDA and is only legal for use in selected states and countries.