According to the Arthritis Society of Canada:
- One of every 5 Canadians lives with arthritis
- Arthritis is Canada’s most common chronic health condition
- It affects people of all ages, including children
- Arthritis is painful and debilitating
There are more than 100 kinds of arthritis and related conditions. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most well-known types. Fibromyalgia, gout, and lupus are other common forms of the disease.
Osteoarthritis happens when the cushions (cartilage) between bones break down. Joints can get painful, swollen and hard to move. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in hands, knees, hips, lower back and neck. It can happen at any age, but usually starts in our 50’s and affects women more than men.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain as a result of swelling in the wrist and small joints of the hand and feet.
With any kind of arthritis, the individual experiences pain which is often severe. Loss of mobility is also a side effect which in turn can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other ailments associated with less-active lifestyles.
There is no cure for arthritis and those afflicted can only manage their symptoms with varying degrees of success. But now, medicinal cannabis is giving hope to arthritis patients.
Arthritis and CBD
The Arthritis Foundation, a US non-profit that advocates on behalf of arthritis sufferers, says this on its website:
Managing the chronic pain of arthritis every day can be a major balancing act. Those suffering from arthritis are desperate to find ways to decrease pain and improve sleep and their overall ability to function. Today, it’s common for people with arthritis to be asked: “Have you tried CBD for your arthritis pain?”
The Arthritis Foundation did a survey (no date identified) to gather information on how many arthritis patients are using CBD and why they are using it. Over 2,600 people responded. While not large enough to be statistically valid, the survey provided valuable insight into attitudes towards CBD in the treatment of arthritic conditions.
Here are some things the survey found:
- 79% of those surveyed are using CBD, have used it in the past, or are considering using it.
- The primary reason for using CBD is to relieve pain (94%).
- Several respondents indicated CBD products seem less addictive than opioids; a few said they have also used CBD to help wean off opioids following joint replacement surgery.
- Over 30% said it provided relief from morning stiffness.
- 71% reported improvement in their ability to sleep.
- Over 30% said CBD helped relieve symptoms of fatigue.
- Of those surveyed, 62% use a liquid form of CBD and 55% use a topical product applied to their joints.
Like the Arthritis Foundation in the US, the Arthritis Society of Canada (www.arthritis.ca) plays a key role in advocating on behalf of Canadians with arthritis. It’s Position Paper (October, 2018) states:
The Arthritis Society is committed to ensuring that government decision makers have a clear understanding of the impact of medicinal cannabis on patients and that public policy is shaped to support individuals living with arthritis.
The Arthritis Society of Canada recognizes medicinal cannabis as a “potential alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals for the treatment of chronic pain and other symptoms of arthritis.” The Position Paper goes on to say, “There is growing evidence for the use of cannabis to treat a variety of medical symptoms.” It adds however, that there are “considerable gaps” in the research into medicinal cannabis and its impacts on arthritis.
Thinking About CBD for Arthritis?
If you’ve been thinking about taking CBD for arthritis, be assured that the information to date is very supportive. Yes, the science isn’t quite there yet. But the evidence is strong. And the two most trusted agencies in North America that advocate on behalf of arthritis patients are cautiously optimistic.
Because it doesn’t have any psychoactive side effects, it’s best to start with an oral CBD product; no THC. Start with a small dose and gradually increase it until a benefit is felt. Follow this pattern until an increase in the dosage doesn’t provide any greater benefit. At this point, the optimum dose will have been realized.
Complement the oral medication with a topical product. In this case, you can choose one with THC in it because THC applied topically won’t get you high.
Lune Wellness is very excited about the future of medicinal cannabis. We eagerly await the research that will confirm what many arthritis sufferers already know.
We’re Here to Help
If you’re looking for help choosing a CBD product for arthritis, we’d be happy to answer your questions.