Arthritis can cause endless discomfort as we age. Swelling and inflammation lead to acute pain and degrading cartilage can lead to uncomfortable grating, clicking, or popping. Joints get creaky and stiff, and mobility can be compromised.
There are plenty of ways doctors can treat osteoarthritis, from over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to opioids to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. Massage therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, and other options can all be part of a well-rounded treatment plan.
CBD can also be part of this plan, delivering a holistic, complementary therapy that works well in conjunction with most traditional treatments. CBD is used by millions of Americans who suffer from arthritis, thanks to its natural properties which address some of the most severe symptoms of the disease.
The secrets behind CBD
CBD is nothing new. Cannabidiol has long been known to exist in the Cannabis sativa plant, as one of the most common phytocannabinoids. Other cannabinoids include cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN) as well as the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
All of these cannabinoids belong to the phytocannabinoid family, which means cannabinoids made naturally by plants. Human bodies make endocannabinoids, which work with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is connected to receptors on the central and peripheral nervous systems. Endocannabinoids produced by the body bind with these receptors and act as regulators for a whole swathe of natural functions like body temperature, appetite, sleep cycles, mood, and sensory signals to the brain.
As it turns out, phytocannabinoids are similar enough to endocannabinoids that they can have positive effects on the human body. While most don’t interact directly with receptors, phytocannabinoids do boost the efficacy of endocannabinoids and help them last longer.
The THC barrier to CBD legality
For many, many years, CBD was unavailable as a therapy option for people in the United States because of the presence of THC in the C. sativa plant. Of course, that didn’t stop people from taking CBD, but it was risky.
However, as it became more and more obvious that CBD can have a beneficial effect on health and wellness, demands for legalizing CBD led to the U.S. government making a distinction in classifications.
Today, cannabis plants are divided into two groups. One classification is industrial hemp, which includes strains with less than 0.3% THC. These strains are typically cultivated to have higher amounts of CBD than other strains, to maximize CBD potency.
All other cannabis plants (meaning any with a THC level over 0.3%) are classed as marijuana. Industrial hemp can be used as a source for CBD that is legal at the federal level. Marijuana cannot.
This change in the legal status of CBD – allowing industrial hemp to be grown and CBD extracted and used to manufacture various products – has been a game changer for people wanting to legally take CBD for their arthritis.
The three kinds of CBD across the spectrum
Once you’ve decided that you want to try CBD as a complementary treatment for arthritis symptoms, you get to choose which type of CBD to buy. There are three types of CBD, which fall along a spectrum of potency and purity.
CBD isolate is the purist’s choice when it comes to basic CBD. It’s cannabidiol (CBD) that has been isolated as a single compound from the industrial hemp plant, purified, and infused into a basic carrier oil. CBD isolate should be sold with extensive documentation that proves it was not only sourced from industrial hemp, but that it contains zero THC.
Surprisingly to some, CBD isolate isn’t the most popular choice for people suffering from arthritis. That’s because of something known as the entourage effect. Basically, this means that all of the chemical compounds in the C. sativa plant work together to have a bigger effect than the single components do.
Think of CBD isolate as a plain beef patty. It gives you great nutritional value, but there’s something missing. Add in a few other non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBG and/or CBN, and it’s like you’ve suddenly got cheese and a bun. Sprinkle in a few other compounds like flavonoid and terpenes that also exist in the cannabis plant, and you’ve got a complete cheeseburger with all the trimmings.
A cheeseburger is great, but without fresh salty fries, you’re just not getting the entire effect of a – dare we say – happy meal. Using all of the chemical compounds in the industrial hemp plant, including that legal trace amount of THC (less than 0.3%) kicks the CBD product into high gear and makes all of the compounds work together even better.
When you buy full-spectrum CBD, you’re making a choice to use the entire plant to holistically boost your ECS system. If you have arthritis, the benefits can be extremely noticeable and supportive of whole body health.
Third-party CBD testing
A lot of CBD products for sale on the market haven’t been tested or regulated correctly. This makes it extremely important to make sure your CBD is obtained from a reputable vendor. This helps ensure you don’t get a product high in THC or manufactured from industrial hemp that has been contaminated with chemicals or heavy metals.
The best way to ensure CBD product potency and legality is to buy from a company that uses a third-party lab to test every batch of product. Ask to see the documentation that shows the CBD potency and THC content.
All Yummy CBD products are sourced from legally grown, organic industrial hemp to ensure a clean, safe, effective, and legal end-product. Every batch is tested by a third-party laboratory, and we link to the specific documentation for that batch via a QR code on the packing of each product.
This makes it very easy for you to see how potent the CBD product is and to verify that the THC content is under the legal limit. If you can’t access the QR code, just ask and we’ll supply the documentation to you in another format.
Living with arthritis
Nearly one in four Americans will suffer from arthritis in their lifetime. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition caused by degeneration of soft tissue, cartilage, and bone inside the joints, resulting in grinding, grating, clicking, and scraping as components inside the joint endure friction.
There is no cure for arthritis, so the focus is on alleviating the symptoms of inflammation, stiffness, and pain associated with the condition. The main route of treatment is non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, but overuse of these frontline drugs can cause gastrointestinal issues.
However, without appropriate therapies to manage discomfort, patients with arthritis move less and less. This reduction in activity leads to more stiffness, which can further limit mobility and allow swelling to increase.
Inflammation is at the core of arthritis discomfort. For many arthritic patients, a vicious cycle develops in which pain and stiffness make them unwilling to move around, and that lack of movement allows the pain and stiffness to worsen.
The potential for CBD to reduce arthritis symptoms
CBD should not generally be used as a stand-alone solution, but it is an excellent supplemental option that dovetails nicely with standard medical treatment for arthritis.
You can discuss the potential for CBD with your doctor, but here are some basics about why CBD is considered a good options for people with arthritis:
Cannabinoid receptors in joints
Research has revealed that cannabinoid receptors are found both in healthy joint tissue and in degenerated joint tissue. Interestingly, concentrations are greater in degenerated chondrocytes (joint cells) than in healthy ones. This leads many scientists to believe that CBD could have a favorable effect on joint discomfort caused by arthritis.
Anti-inflammatory properties of CBD
One of the biggest advantages of CBD is that it contains natural anti-inflammatory properties but doesn’t carry the same risks as NSAIDs do when it comes to gastrointestinal side effects like stomach ulcers or bleeding.
The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD can help reduce common symptoms of arthritis like visible or invisible swelling of joints, especially in the hands and fingers. Many people take CBD orally as well as using it topically for arthritic joint inflammation.
Sensory dampening benefits
Over time, the pain signals being sent from degenerated joints to the brain can feel overwhelming and constant. The pathways get overloaded, and the person can feel trapped in a never ending cycle of painful twinges and aches.
CBD helps boost endocannabinoids that can support dampening of discomfort signals to the brain. This can help you shift your focus away from feelings of pain and onto more positive aspects of life.
Sleep benefits of CBD
For many people inflammation and discomfort associated with arthritis can make it hard to sleep at night. CBD is well known for helping to regulate sleep, and can be combined with natural sleep aids like melatonin to help the body and brain naturally cycle down into sleep mode.
This can be highly preferable to taking over prescription sleep aids and/or muscle relaxers long term to force the body into sleep despite discomfort and restlessness. Natural options like CBD can be less likely to result in dependence, as well.
Anxiety and stress reduction
Having arthritis can take a mental and emotional toll. Worries about being able to take care of one’s self, home, pets, family, and work can be demoralizing when arthritis is making simply getting dressed in the morning feel like a chore.
CBD can help smooth out the jagged edges of stress and anxiety, helping you feel calmer and more in control of your life, even if arthritis is forcing you to make some changes in how you manage your day-to-day activities.
Choosing a CBD product
Deciding on a CBD product means thinking about how, when, and where you want to take CBD, as well as how much you plan on taking at one time. Some people with arthritis take a morning dose, some take an evening dose, and some take both. It all depends on what your needs are.
CBD oils let you adjust your dose by fractions of an mL at a time, and give you the option to take your dose sublingually.
Letting the oil sit under your tongue for around 60 seconds means the CBD has a chance to enter your bloodstream instantly through the capillaries in the sublingual tissue.
CBD oil can of course also be simply swallowed or added to food. Taking it this way will just means it takes a while longer to get into your bloodstream as it has to be metabolized as it goes through the digestive system.
CBD gummies are designed to be taken one at a time or a few at a time to arrive at the desired dose. They can simply be chewed and swallowed, without measuring, since the dose is already known for each gummy.
There isn’t quite the precision across a range of dosage options as with oil, but it’s certainly easier and often more yummy to pop a gummy in your mouth versus measuring out a dropper of oil.
CBD gummies should of course be kept in a safe place, especially if there are children in the home who could mistake them for a gummy candy.
Yummy CBD products
Our CBD oil tinctures come in a 30 mL bottle with a marked dropper for ease of measuring and administration. We add orange or mint flavor to ensure the experience is refreshing. Each mL of oil contains 33 to 67 mg of CBD.
For our CBD gummies, we provide a combination of delicious fruit flavors to make the taste enjoyable. Gummies have 24 mg of CBD, letting you easily adjust your dose as needed.
Both oils and gummies come in an original option and a “sleep” option. The sleep CBD products have a small amount of melatonin added, which is a natural, safe sleep aid that your own body produces.
Taking CBD for arthritis isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It may take experimenting with dosing to find the right amount for you.
Learn more about CBD products Buyer’s Guide. Then head over to our SHOP page to make your first purchase!