Can CBD Help with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

For those dealing with symptoms and pain associated with arthritis, it seems like there aren’t many lasting solutions out there. And, there are approximately 54 million adults (and several hundred thousand children) that have been diagnosed with some sort of arthritis or similar diseases that cause joint pain. The number is staggering and yet it only accounts for those that have been officially diagnosed.

When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, this condition affects more than just joints. This condition can affect anything in a number of body systems, from the skin to your eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels to name a few. It’s more of an autoimmune disorder, which means the body mistakenly attacks itself rather than harmful viruses, cells, or bacteria.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Young woman grasping her leg on a couch

The way that this type of arthritis differs from something like osteoarthritis is in the lasting effects. Instead of general wear & tear, rheumatoid arthritis causes a painful swelling that results in permanent things like bone erosion and general joint deformity.

It starts with the smaller joints, like fingers and toes, but can eventually spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips, shoulders, etc. And that’s just the joints. As we already mentioned, this autoimmune disease can affect a number of different, non-joint structures. In addition to those listed above, rheumatoid arthritis can potentially affect the kidneys, salivary glands, nerve tissue, and bone marrow. The severity of symptoms comes in waves known as flares, with different types of remission where the pain is virtually nonexistent. But, that doesn’t mean you’re quite in the clear.

The bottom line is: if you feel persistent joint pain, discomfort, or notice swelling, check in with your doctor ASAP.

CBD Oil & Rheumatoid Arthritis

In 2017, a study was published that evaluated the effectiveness of CBD oil on traditional osteoarthritis, as well as with joint neuropathy. They found that CBD helped with both, acting as a protectant to the nerves while also decreasing general joint inflammation.

(For more information on CBD and general arthritis, check out this page published by

Close-up of a small vial of CBD oil with the cannabis plant behind it.

According to Healthline, the first scientific and controlled trial using CBD to treat rheumatoid arthritis happened in 2006. This study followed participants over the course of 5 weeks, using a cannabis-based medication called Sativex. They found that it reduced inflammation and “significantly” improved pain. The participants reported improved sleep and mild side effects (ranging from bad taste, oral stinging, dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, to nausea) during the trial as well.

Next, in 2008, a review of the same cannabis-based Sativex noted that there was “great promise” that CBD could be a good addition to treating chronic pain, without any notable negative side effects.

Now, more recently in 2016, researchers used CBD gel on rats and found that still, CBD reduced joint pain and inflammation without side effects. On another hand, in 2016, a study was conducted that found results inconsistent and therefore they could not wholly recommend CBD for rheumatic diseases.

Things To Consider When Exploring CBD Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Middle-age man meeting with a doctor

According to The Arthritis Foundation, there are a number of things to keep in mind when evaluating CBD as a potential treatment for you and your arthritis pain.

First, while it’s safe to use, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to say that it absolutely will help every individual patient with their specific pain. CBD should not replace doctor-recommended treatment or medication but can be used as a supplement to it. You should talk with your doctor beforehand to learn of all the risks and potential side effects before trying CBD so that you can keep them informed on how things are working regarding your specific pain problems.

The Arthritis Foundation also recommends consulting with your doctor if you’re taking any of the following arthritis medications due to some history of different interactions between the two:

  • corticosteroids (such as prednisone)
  • tofacitinib (Xeljanz)
  • naproxen (Aleve)
  • celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • tramadol (Ultram)
  • certain antidepressants, including amitriptyline (Elavil), citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft)
  • certain medications for fibromyalgia, including gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica)

While there are no serious safety concerns with low-to-moderate doses and usage, it’s always best to consult with medical professionals before taking matters into your own hands.

Herbal Mana Is Your Go-to for Quality Grade CBD

At Herbal Mana, we seek to help people improve their quality of life with premium, natural pain relievers. Everyone deserves to live pain-free, and chronic pain shouldn’t be a barrier to that belief. We carry everything from oils to creams so that there’s a product for everyone’s personal pain. If you’re ready to skip the pharmacy and try something more natural, give some of our CBD-infused products a try today!

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