People with arthritis may consider CBD products for pain relief. Learn what science and experts say about CBD’s benefits, risks, different ways the product can be used and how to be a smart shopper. Many people are curious to know if CBD can help relieve back pain. This is a first-hand account of how CBD helped Sarah manage her back pain. Read it now! Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis – CBD – Anyone have experience with it for RA pain? ✓ Thousands of discussions.
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CBD for Arthritis Pain: What You Should Know
Learn what the science says about the risks and benefits of CBD use for arthritis and what to shop for.
What is CBD? CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an active compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is not intoxicating but may cause some drowsiness. The CBD in most products is extracted from hemp, a variety of cannabis that has only traces (up to 0.3%) of THC, the active compound that gets people high.
Does CBD work for arthritis? Animal studies have suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but these effects have not been validated in quality studies in humans. Anecdotally, some people with arthritis who have tried CBD, but not all, report noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement and/or anxiety reduction.
Is CBD safe to use? Research evaluating the safety of CBD is underway. At this point very little is known. So far, no serious safety concerns have been associated with moderate doses. CBD is thought to have the potential to interact with some drugs commonly taken by people with arthritis. Talk to your doctor before trying CBD if you take any of the following: corticosteroids (such as prednisone), tofacitinib (Xeljanz), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), tramadol (Ultram), certain antidepressants, including amitriptyline (Elavil), citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and certain medications for fibromyalgia, including gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica).
Are CBD products legal? CBD products derived from hemp are no longer considered Schedule I drugs under the federal Controlled Substances Act, but they still remain in a legal gray zone. There are changes underway on federal and state levels that will ultimately clarify the laws and regulations related to CBD-based products and sales. Despite that, they’re widely available in nearly every state and online. People who want to use CBD should check their state laws.
Taking the First Step
Should I give CBD a try? Without quality clinical studies on CBD and arthritis, doctors have not been able to say who might benefit from CBD, at what dose and in which form, who likely won’t benefit and who should avoid it. Still, there is agreement on several points:
- CBD is not a substitute for disease-modifying treatment for inflammatory arthritis.
- Patients who are interested in trying CBD should first talk to the health care provider who treats their arthritis before trying CBD. Together, they can review what has worked or not worked in the past, whether there are other options to try first, how to do a trial run, what to watch for and when to return for a follow-up visit to evaluate the results. Keep a symptom and dose diary to track effects.
- Quality CBD products can be expensive, especially when used for prolonged periods. To avoid wasting money, be completely sure that the product is truly having a positive effect on symptoms.
What type of product should I consider? CBD-based products can be taken orally, applied to the skin or inhaled. There are pros and cons for each.
By mouth. CBD that is swallowed, whether in capsules, food or liquid, is absorbed through the digestive tract. Absorption is slow and dosing is tricky due to the delayed onset of effect (one to two hours), unknown effects of stomach acids, recent meals and other factors.
Capsules can work for daily use after a safe, effective capsule dose has been established. Experts discourage taking CBD via edibles, like gummies and cookies, because dosing is unreliable, and they are appealing to children but do not come in childproof containers. Like any medicine, edibles should be secured out of sight and reach of children.
CBD can also be absorbed directly into the bloodstream by holding liquid from a spray or tincture (a liquid dosed by a dropper) under the tongue (sublingual) for 60 to 120 seconds. The taste may not be pleasant. Effects may be felt within 15 to 45 minutes.
On the skin. Topical products, like lotions and balms, are applied to the skin over a painful joint. Whether these products deliver CBD below the skin is unknown. Topical products may also include common over-the-counter ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin or camphor, making it difficult to determine if a positive effect is due to the CBD or another ingredient.
Inhaled. CBD can be inhaled via a vaporizing, or vape, pen. However, inhalation of vapor oils and chemical byproducts carry unknown risks, particularly for people with inflammatory arthritis. For this reason and because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating vaping in association with widespread hospitalizations and deaths from severe pulmonary disease, vaping is not recommended.
How much CBD should I use? While there are no established clinical guidelines, the medical experts consulted by the Arthritis Foundation recommend the following for adults:
- When preparing to take a liquid form, be aware that the CBD extract is mixed with a carrier oil, so there are two measures to know: the amount of the liquid product to take (the dose) and the amount of CBD in each dose.
- Go low and slow. Start with just a few milligrams of CBD in sublingual form twice a day. If relief is inadequate after one week, increase the dose by that same amount. If needed, go up in small increments over several weeks. If you find relief, continue taking that dose twice daily to maintain a stable level of CBD in the blood.
- If CBD alone doesn’t work and you are in a state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, talk to your doctor about taking CBD with a very low-dose THC product. Be aware that THC, even at low levels, may get you high, creating cognitive, motor and balance issues. Try THC-containing products at home or at night first, so you can sleep off any unwanted effects.
- After several weeks, if you don’t find relief with CBD alone or with a combination of CBD and very low THC, CBD may not be right for you.
- If you experience any unwanted side effects when using a CBD product, immediately discontinue use and inform your doctor.
What to Look for When Shopping
There is good reason to be a cautious shopper. CBD products are largely unregulated in the U.S. market. Independent testing has shown mislabeling and lack of quality control. The biggest issues are strength of CBD (significantly more or less than the label says), the presence of undeclared THC, and contamination with pesticides, metals and solvents. Here’s what to look for:
- Find products manufactured in the U.S. with ingredients grown domestically.
- Choose products made by companies that follow good manufacturing practices established by the FDA for pharmaceuticals or dietary supplements (a voluntary quality standard because CBD products are not federally regulated under either category) or required by the state where they are manufactured.
- Buy from companies that test each batch and provide a certificate of analysis from an independent lab that uses validated standardized testing methods approved by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), or the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC).
- Avoid companies that claim their products have disease benefits.
- Be aware that marketers and people behind retail counters are not health professionals; they are salespeople. That’s why your doctor is your best source for guidance and monitoring when using an unregulated product.
Our gratitude to the following experts for their guidance and review:
Kevin Boehnke, PhD, a researcher at the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, focuses on medical cannabis as an analgesic and opioid substitute in chronic pain.
Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor of anesthesiology, rheumatology and psychiatry at the University of Michigan and director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, leads research on arthritis pain and fibromyalgia, and the effects of cannabis, particularly CBD, in pain.
Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, MD, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, conducts research on pain and rheumatic diseases. She is the lead author of the 2019 Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) position statement for medical cannabis.
During Pain Awareness Month in September and all year long, we’ve got you covered with unique pain management tools and resources you won’t find anywhere else.
How CBD Oil Helped My Back Pain
Cannabis medicine is an anecdotal game – the people using cannabis may have a different perspective than the scientists doing the research—and the scientists doing the research are often working under legal restrictions. It’s also important to know the way science works—small, steady steps examining specific questions. While this method can result in reliable information—it is often not a speedy method of getting the information.
Read this post to find out how a beautiful and smart woman from the UK named Sarah used CBD for her back pain.
It all started with my job where I work as a care assistant in a care home.
As part of my job, I had to do some pretty hefty lifting where patients were concerned and that put a strain on my back.
I started to develop persistent back pain and I had to quit my job and stay at home.
The back pain affected my mobility, and I was started on a course of physiotherapy and when that didn’t help a friend gave me a Tramadol pill to try, just to see if the pill would help relieve some of the pain.
I took the Tramadol pill and within an hour the back pain had gone away.
I decided to continue on the Tramadol even though it meant I was suffering from fatigue, dizziness, and general fogginess.
Back Pain is Miserable
I wished I could find something that was more natural with fewer side effects.
Don’t get me wrong I was grateful for the relief it brought me, but I was still unwell in other ways due to the medication I was taking.
A friend of mine who suffers from anxiety started to do some research and read on a health forum that CBD was helpful in the treatment of anxiety and she bought some to try out for herself.
While she was researching the properties of CBD she also read about its pain-relieving properties and immediately thought about me.
The CBD oil she bought online worked to treat her anxiety so I thought it might work for me and my back pain.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD , is the second most common cannabinoid found in cannabis or marijuana. The other well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC .
CBD acts differently from THC. It doesn’t get you high as it has no hallucinogenic qualities. It also reduces the hallucinogenic effects of THC when both compounds are taken together (THC in trace amounts, of course).
CBD has few significantly negative side effects. It’s generally considered safe to take which is why you can find it for sale in places like Walmart, 7 Eleven, and other retail stores.
Quality does matter and you need to be knowledgeable in how to identify good quality brands from the fly-by-night CBD companies who are simply putting a label on a wholesale product.
People don’t use CBD just for pain. Other known uses of CBD include 1 :
The good thing about CBD which comes from hemp is that it is legal in all 50 states in the USA and some parts of the EU. It’s also freely available to buy online as long as it contains ≤0.3% THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid 2 .
I was curious and started reading up on the research surrounding CBD and its pain-relieving properties.
A problem my friend and I had was that of finding a regular, reputable supplier of CBD oil and finding the correct dosages and other relevant information we needed on the internet.
Our doctors had never heard of CBD here in the UK but that is slowly changing. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency ( MRHA ) declared CBD a real medicine with real benefits. which means doctors now have to be knowledgeable on the health benefits of CBD. When I embarked on this path, little was known about legal medical cannabis in the UK.
My research convinced me that it was safe to take and I had nothing to lose so I decided to give it a try.
It came in a syringe loaded with hemp-based oil or paste, a dark paste-like substance with a distinct smell and taste to it.
Another problem I had to face was the cost of the CBD as I had to pay for the medicine out of my own pocket and it came to quite a notable sum of money each month.
Results of Taking CBD Oil for Back Pain
On my first day of trying the oil and taking a dose of roughly 30-40 mg, I managed to go all day without taking any other pain medication.
That was absolutely superb! I usually had to take my medication more than once or twice throughout the day.
I continued to take a dose of CBD for back pain every morning without fail. Within two hours, my back pain was gone, and I had no side effects at all, just a feeling of total relaxation and well-being.
Another plus side to this medication is that it enhances your mood so that over time your mood improves. I personally found that my cognitive abilities were also boosted.
It comes as no surprise that CBD helps with back pain as it has a strong anti-inflammatory action and it helps to relax the muscles in the body 3 .
I found that all I needed to take was the CBD oil to feel fit and healthy and I have recently returned to my job feeling better than ever.
I can wholeheartedly recommend CBD products to anyone that has pain management problems.
Whether they are dealing with pain that is difficult to treat or maybe just want to come off pharmaceuticals or avoid surgery, they most definitely need to think about trying a course of CBD hemp oil to treat the pain before resorting to trying other remedies which can be harmful to the body.
CBD is a non-toxic substance that has few side effects. These side effects can include (for ingested CBD) 4 :
CBD – Anyone have experience with it for RA pain?
anyone have experience with cbd either oral, cream or oil with severe RA? Already taking simponi, plaquenil, steroids 10 mg daily for 13 yrs. On fentynal 12 patch. What if I tried cbd? Can I hope to replace the fentynal?thanks, Mary
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Hi @Mbuletza – great question and I am sure some members will be responding to you; however, I want to bring your attention to some of the top discussions were CBD was discussed as a method for treating pain. Feel free to check out these discussions and comment, as these are already on going discussions. Not each is in the RA group, but still may be of assistance as most of the conversations are about pain.
I also would recommend you join the chronic pain group by clicking here and clicking the Join Group button. I would also recommend posting your question in that group as well – That group is dedicated for anyone, no matter what the cause (RA, OA, lupus, etc.), who is dealing with chronic pain.
Here are some of the top discussions about CBD (feel free to also use the Search at the top left of the screen)
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CBD – Anyone have experience with it for RA pain? https://www.carenity.us/forum/rheumatoid-arthritis/your-opinion-on-rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment/cbd-anyone-have-experience-with-it-for-pain-1052 2019-05-29 04:24:12
@Mbuletza how has the fetanyl patch worked for you? Did it help with pain? What about side-effects?
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CBD – Anyone have experience with it for RA pain? https://www.carenity.us/forum/rheumatoid-arthritis/your-opinion-on-rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment/cbd-anyone-have-experience-with-it-for-pain-1052 2019-09-20 02:42:41
Yes it helps. It’s better than pills that have a roller coaster effect. It’s now been over 2 yrs on fentynal and the pain is mostly controlled but not eliminated. I don’t have any side effects that I’m aware of. I just worry because it is an opioid and the nature of RA is good and bad days. I’m just so tired of dealing with pain every day.
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CBD – Anyone have experience with it for RA pain? https://www.carenity.us/forum/rheumatoid-arthritis/your-opinion-on-rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment/cbd-anyone-have-experience-with-it-for-pain-1052 2019-09-20 15:04:54
Hi @Mbuletza I started looking for some cbd products a while back as a solution to manage my mom’s arthritic pain which has gotten worse over the years and so glad I came across CBD Infusion’s products. Their cbd cream for pain is excellent stuff and works fast. This stuff has dramatically improved my mom’s life as she can now take longer walks at the park and play with her grand kids. I got it at [link removed by moderator for violating community standards] – worth a try!
- Helpful response | 0
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CBD – Anyone have experience with it for RA pain? https://www.carenity.us/forum/rheumatoid-arthritis/your-opinion-on-rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment/cbd-anyone-have-experience-with-it-for-pain-1052 2020-08-04 09:09:28
How are you doing? I thought I’d revive this older discussion as there’s been more and more talk about CBD and its benefits in the medical community in recent years.
For those who may not know, CBD , short for cannabidiol , is a chemical compound extracted from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant. CBD is a naturally occurring substance used in products like oils or edibles which gives a feeling of relaxation or calm when consumed. Unlike its relative, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) , which is the major active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive . Research is still underway into the efficacy of topical CBD, but initial findings have shown that it may be helpful in managing chronic pain and inflammation .
Have any of you tried CBD for your RA? Has it worked for you? And for those that haven’t, is it something you’d be interested in trying?
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