CBD also known as cannabidiol is one of the hundred cannabinoids derived from cannabis plants. CBD oils do not contain THC or tetrahydrocannabinol which is a psychoactive compound that makes its users high. Researchers have recently started focusing on the effects of cannabidiol on many health conditions including rheumatoid arthritis.
In a 2006 trial to evaluate the effects of CBD based medicines on Rheumatoid Arthritis found that a cannabis based medication called Sativex alleviated inflammation and significantly improved pain. Subjects also reported that they experienced improvement in sleep and also encountered mild side effects.
According to a 2008 review, authors concluded that CBD helped in treating chronic pain and improved sleep quality without any side effects.
An animal study conducted on rats in 2016 found that CBD gel reduced both joint pain and inflammation without any negative effects.
All of the research mentioned above are very promising. Furthermore, many more studies, especially on humans are required to fully understand the effects of CBD oil and other cannabis based medications in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms.
CBD oil affects the brain but not in the same ways as THC does. CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, consequently alleviates pain and inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis involves your immune system attacking the tissue in your joints. On the other hand CB2 receptor also plays a role in your immune system. So this relationship could explain why CBD oil seems to work for rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
CBD oil comes in the form of both capsules and liquids. You can swallow capsules or can mix the oil with your food. You can also mix it up with your lotion and apply it on the affected area. Some companies produce therapeutic salves you can apply directly to your skin.
Before starting to use CBD talk with your doctor to figure out the dosage. It is best to start with a low dose. Then monitor how CBD affects you. If you do not see any side effects, increase it slowly. This will help you avoid potential side effects (if any) of cannabidiol.
Usually, CBD oil does not come with any potential side effects. But if you are a rookie you might encounter some mild side effects like fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, changes in appetite.
If you are already taking other medications you need to be careful about the drug interaction. CBD has interaction issues with other medications. Talk to your doctor before using CBD along with other medications you probably are taking.
Cannabis products like CBD oil are legal for medicinal and recreational use in some of the parts of the United States. If it is legal only for medicinal use, you will need a recommendation from a doctor before you purchase CBD oil. Otherwise you should be able to purchase it from dispensaries and even online.
So far, studies on the effect of CBD on people with rheumatoid arthritis is promising. But more human trials are needed to fully understand the effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Remember, CBD oil is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and remains illegal in several states.