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January 16, 2020

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A new survey from the Arthritis Foundation supports CBD consumption to help ease the symptoms of arthritis.

A new survey from the Arthritis Foundation reveals that the knowledge about CBD for arthritis runs far wider than anyone realized. In fact, it’s practically gone mainstream. Arthritis affects over 50 million Americans and is a leading cause of disability. So, the fact that so many are getting relief from cannabis is very hopeful.

The survey captured the response of 2,600 patients. A whopping seventy-nine percent of the surveyed arthritis sufferers are already using CBD, have used it in the past, or are considering using it in the future. This holds true across the spectrum of the condition, from osteoarthritis to rheumatoid, and even post-trauma arthritis.

As interest in CBD is fanned by media reports, viral patient confessions, and word of mouth, the Arthritis Foundation has begun to take CBD for arthritis seriously. The organization has even created its own CBD guide for people with arthritis.

According to an official press release, the Arthritis Foundation holds the following position on CBD use:

“We are intrigued by the potential of CBD to help people find pain relief and are on record urging the FDA to expedite the study and regulation of these products. While currently there is limited scientific evidence about CBD’s ability to help ease arthritis symptoms, and no universal quality standards or regulations exist, we have listened to our constituents and consulted with leading experts to develop these general recommendations for adults who are interested in trying CBD.”

What the Science Says About CBD

Arthritis means “inflammation of the joints.” It refers to any condition where joints in the body become aggravated by an immune response. Arthritis affects people in myriad different ways and cannabis may help with many, if not all, of these.

While the official position of the Arthritis Foundation is that there is only “limited scientific evidence” about CBD for arthritis. This is what we know so far.  First and foremost, CBD helps control inflammation. While the mechanisms are still poorly understood, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to achieve this effect. Whereas THC binds directly to CBD receptors in the ECS, CBD does something else that researchers are only beginning to understand. The result, however, is an increase in circulating 2AG (endocannabinoid) and this compound binds to CB2 receptors to dampen the body’s inflammatory response.

A study. published in the European Journal of Neuroscience (2014) has shown that ingesting CBD oil under the tongue effectively treats osteoarthritic inflammation in animal subjects. Other works have noted that topical creams, when applied directly over affected areas, may significantly reduce inflammation and pain.

Pain relief is the other big way that CBD combats arthritis.  A 2017 study, published in Pain, demonstrated that regular doses of CBD soothe the pain that so often accompanies joint degradation. CBD accomplishes this by both inhibiting painful inflammation and by preventing the development of osteoarthritic pain.

It doesn’t hurt that CBD also reduces anxiety, calms nausea, and helps people transition to sleep, all of which often accompany an arthritis diagnosis.

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