The Science of CBD in Treating Arthritis

CBD is the abbreviated form of cannabidiol oil, which is a medicinal compound extracted from hemp plants. CBD is one of over 113 cannabinoids identified in hemp and often takes up the bulk of the plant’s extract when it is cultivated for pharmaceutical usage.

While hemp and marijuana come from the same derivation of the cannabis plant, they have different effects on brain activity. The phytochemical composition of hemp differs from marijuana because of its higher concentration of CBD as opposed to marijuana’s higher concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, which is the psychoactive component of cannabis. This difference in composition allows CBD to have a myriad of different effects that often prove beneficial for those experiencing medical complications.

The many medicinal effects of CBD are most concentrated around its efficacy as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, preliminary research into CBD has found some promising results.


In a peer-reviewed study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, researchers found that CBD oil reduces both inflammation and other pain-related reactions without psychoactive side effects in rats with rheumatoid arthritis. Spontaneous pain ratings of the rats, as archived through limb posture, were significantly reduced depending on the dosage of a transdermal CBD oil. The study concluded that cross-body application of CBD has potential as an effective treatment for arthritic symptoms and may be a good candidate to improve therapies to seek to alleviate the effects of RA.

Additionally, a 2006 study also published by the NCBI found that disease activity associated with rheumatoid arthritis was significantly suppressed through cannabis-based medicines. It also found a modicum of pain relief. However, this research included an extract that included both CBD and THC.

While more research is needed, these studies lends credence to the efficacy of CBD oil as a pain reliever and supplement for elderly sufferers of RA and other inflammatory diseases. There is already considerable research to suggest CBD oil is beneficial to those who experience epilepsy and other seizure-inducing ailments.


It is important to note that CBD oil is not without consequent. Though it is generally understood to be well-tolerated, like with any medicinal remedy, there are potential mild side effects to CBD oil:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Weakness


In states that have legalized marijuana products, CBD oil is available for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Currently, there are several quality CBD oils on the market ranging from salves and lotions to capsules and liquids all evangelizing about the benefits of CBD oil. The capsules and liquids are taken orally while the salves and lotions are applied dermally. These remedies help with achy joints and targeted pain locations.

For additional questions about dosage, contacting a trusted medical professional is recommended. Dosages of CBD can vary and, as noted above, can have noticeable side effects if not administered properly. The common idea is to start on a low dosage and then increase incrementally.

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