CBD Flower For Arthritis [2023 Guide]

Published July 31, 2023
CBD Flower For Arthritis [2023 Guide] - Secret Nature

Arthritis is as common as it is painful. This inflammatory condition primarily affects the joints of older people, and it progresses from mild, occasional stiffness to a persistent state of excruciating pain. In this guide, learn more about the causes and symptoms of arthritis, and discover the research that has been conducted into the potential benefits of CBD flower for arthritis.

What is arthritis?

“Arthritis” is a general term that is used to refer to swelling and pain in the joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis with the most common being rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), and gout. Arthritis can also be caused by diseases like lupus and psoriasis, and each type of arthritis has different symptoms and is treated differently.

In most cases, arthritis begins in a single joint, but it usually spreads throughout multiple joints as this condition progresses. The small, delicate joints in your hands and feet are more susceptible to arthritis than joints in other areas of your body, but this condition can occur in any joint. 

What causes arthritis?

While each type of arthritis is different, these conditions are united by the fact that they are inflammatory in nature. Inflammatory conditions are characterized by swelling, redness, and pain, and as arthritis inflammation progresses, it can also reduce the range of motion of the affected joint.

The source of the inflammation that causes arthritis varies depending on the type of arthritis in question. One of the most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis, occurs when normal activities gradually wear away at the cartilage that buffers your joints. This cartilage damage is generally referred to as “normal wear and tear,” though recent research indicates that observing proper nutrition can prevent cartilage degeneration.

Until recently, medical scientists also believed that it was impossible to regenerate joint cartilage, but recent research indicates that antioxidants and other therapies may cause the cartilage to regenerate in arthritic joints. As a result, it’s starting to look like the primary cause of osteoarthritis isn’t “wear and tear” or old age but rather poor nutrition and failure to pursue practices that repair cartilage.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an immunomodulatory condition that causes your immune system to mistakenly identify your joint cartilage as a foreign substance. This immunological error causes your joint cartilage to wear away and leads to joint inflammation. To further illustrate the widely disparate causes of different forms of arthritis, gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals that occurs due to sub-par kidney functioning.

Symptoms of arthritis

The primary symptom of arthritis is joint pain. In advanced stages of arthritis, moving affected joints even slightly results in severe pain. Initially, however, arthritis is unlikely to cause severe pain. Instead, this condition usually first makes itself known with mild stiffness that evolves into pain over time.

In addition to being painful, arthritis also causes your joints to swell. The amount of swelling that occurs depends on the severity of the case of arthritis, but in some cases, arthritic swelling can utterly deform affected joints

This swelling also makes it hard to move joints that have been affected by arthritis. Individuals with severe cases of arthritis may lose some or all of the range of motion of their affected joints. In some cases, the swelling and inflammation that arthritis causes can be viewed through the skin as reddening.

Research into CBD flower and arthritis

Unlike THC, CBD does not have any significant activity at the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which helps explain why this cannabinoid does not produce intoxicating effects. Instead, CBD mainly interacts with the nervous system’s 5-HT1A and TRPV1 receptors, which are both involved in the sensation of pain.

In addition to modulating the sensation of inflammatory pain, the TRPV1 receptor also appears to have anti-inflammatory qualities. Not only does TRPV1 reduce the pain associated with arthritis, but this critical neuroreceptor also appears to mitigate this condition’s underlying symptoms.

Due to this cannabinoid’s intriguing relationship with the TRPV1 receptor, a significant amount of research has been conducted into the potential anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. A 2015 review of the evidence, for instance, compiled all the available research on CBD and inflammation. The authors of this study found that there were significant grounds to continue research into CBD and its potential anti-inflammatory qualities.

Certain types of arthritis are caused by immune issues, and research has also been conducted to determine the potential immunomodulatory effects of cannabidiol. Over time, it’s likely that further research will be conducted into the potential impact of CBD on the underlying causes of arthritis, but studies have also been performed to determine the effects of CBD on arthritis symptoms.

A much-cited 2000 study, for instance, looked into the direct arthritis-fighting action of CBD in animals. The authors of this study concluded that further research into CBD for arthritis symptoms is warranted, but at present, no clinical studies have been conducted into this potential CBD application. Instead, another animal study was published in 2015 that cited similar results.

CBD flower vs. marijuana for arthritis

Along with CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has also been researched for its potential impact on arthritis. A 2018 animal study, for instance, found that THC might reduce arthritis symptoms, but there are some significant issues surrounding the use of THC for arthritis or any other condition.

Unlike CBD, THC is highly intoxicating, and this substance can cause intoxicating effects even when it is applied topically. Regardless of how you ingest THC, this cannabinoid can also be habit-forming, so using THC for arthritis could cause more problems than it solves.

Arthritis patients seeking to use THC for arthritis may also face regulatory or legal hurdles depending on where they live. CBD, on the other hand, is widely available in all 50 states, and this substance is often offered in areas outside the United States where THC is fully illegal.

Furthermore, CBD does not appear to be toxic even at incredibly large doses while the toxicity of THC is comparably high. Patients with arthritis can, therefore, use as much CBD as they want, but they will encounter side effects or toxicity issues if they use THC for arthritis in high doses.

CBD flower vs. conventional arthritis treatments

Arthritis is generally treated with a mix of drug therapy, natural therapies, and basic self-care practices. Natural arthritis treatments, such as massage, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture, do not have any significant downsides. The same can be said for weight loss, tai chi, yoga, and getting more exercise, all of which can help with arthritis symptoms.

The pharmaceutical drugs that are commonly prescribed to help with arthritis, however, all have serious side effects. Opioids, for instance, are commonly prescribed to help with advanced arthritis pain even though they don’t reduce inflammation. Approximately 70,000 people die from opioid overdoses every year, and these highly toxic and addictive drugs cause serious harm even when they don’t directly inflict death.

Arthritis drugs that target inflammation, the underlying cause of this condition, are generally less harmful than opioids. Even NSAIDs, however, which are supposedly less harmful than corticosteroids, cause side effects like gastrointestinal distress, heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation. Corticosteroids, for their part, can cause glaucoma, hypertension, and severe psychiatric distress.

Side effects of CBD flower for arthritis

CBD stands in stark opposition to traditional arthritis drugs due to the fact that it does not cause any significant side effects. Studies have found CBD to be tolerated in human subjects in doses as high as 1,500mg per day, and even at these incredibly high doses, the only reported side effects were tiredness and mild gastrointestinal distress. Regardless of how much CBD you consume, this cannabinoid will not get you high.

Smoking CBD flower could potentially cause more side effects than consuming this cannabinoid in other ways. Even though organic, well-grown CBD flower doesn’t contain any additives or contaminants, every type of smoke contains compounds that could harm your lungs. If these mild risks concern you, consider vaping CBD flower or using CBD vape cartridges instead.

CBD flower vs. other types of CBD products for arthritis

People with arthritis use CBD in a variety of different ways. Plenty of people try CBD topicals for arthritis, and there’s reason to believe that this approach might have its merits. Inhaling CBD, however, might be the most effective way to deliver the benefits of this cannabinoid where your body needs them the most.

When you inhale CBD flower vapor or smoke, this cannabinoid bypasses your liver and enters directly into your bloodstream. The CBD you ingested then passes throughout your entire body with a special emphasis on your central nervous system, which controls sensations of pain.

If you have arthritis pain in multiple parts of your body, inhaling CBD disperses this cannabinoid equally to each of your sites of arthritic pain while also interacting with the TRPV1 receptors in your brain. Therefore, smoking or vaping CBD flower is a much more effective and efficient way of dispersing this cannabinoid to multiple sites of arthritic pain than applying a CBD topical to multiple parts of your body.=

While oral CBD products, such as tinctures and capsules, also disperse CBD throughout your entire body, orally ingested CBD has relatively low bioavailability. Plus, smoking or vaping CBD flower offers much faster effects than ingesting this cannabinoid orally, and quick relief is a big priority for anyone who suffers from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or any other type of arthritic condition.

Interactions between CBD flower and arthritis medications

If you’re already using certain arthritis medications, you might want to exercise caution when you start using CBD flower. In your body, CBD is mainly metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme, which is produced by your liver. This enzyme is also used to metabolize about 50% of the prescription drugs that are currently on the market, and when CBD is using these enzymes, this cannabinoid effectively acts as a CYP3A4 inhibitor.

As a result, drugs that rely on this drug for metabolization may stay in your system longer than normal, which could lead to toxicity issues or increased effects. Some opioids, for instance, are metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme, so you should consult with your doctor before trying CBD flower if you’re currently using opioids for arthritic pain. The same goes for corticosteroids since some of these drugs are metabolized by this enzyme.

NSAIDs, on the other hand, are not metabolized by CYP3A4. Therefore, using CBD does not interfere with the action of these drugs. If you are at all unsure whether a drug you’re taking might conflict with CBD flower, consult with your doctor.

Why it’s important to test CBD flower

Regardless of how well CBD helps with arthritis, you’ll set yourself up for failure if you use the wrong CBD products. While the hemp market has stabilized to a significant degree over the last few years, some CBD products are still better than others. Looking for lab testing is one way to find out if a CBD product you’re considering is worth your time.

All CBD products should be tested for purity and potency by independent labs. Ideally, a lab report for a CBD flower product should list the concentrations of each of the cannabinoids it contains, and information on terpene concentration is an added bonus. CBD flower should also be tested for common contaminants such as solvents, pesticides, and mycotoxins. If you can’t find the lab report for a CBD product you’re considering, you might want to shop with a different brand.

CBD flower for arthritis: the bottom line

Smoking or vaping CBD flower offers the fastest and most potent effects of any CBD administration method, and research into the potential benefits of CBD for arthritis continues to gain steam in the arena of medical science. CBD flower doesn’t have any serious side effects, and high-quality, independently-tested CBD products don’t contain any contaminants.

If you suffer from arthritis, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try CBD flower after consulting with your doctor. While this cannabinoid affects everyone differently, there are no drawbacks to giving CBD a shot for this common inflammatory condition. To learn more about CBD and this cannabinoid’s potential benefits, visit the Secret Nature blog, and contact us if you have any lingering questions.
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