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How Does CBD Oil Work For Arthritis?

How Does CBD Oil Work For Arthritis?

According to the Arthritis Society of Canada, over 4.6 million Canadians suffer from arthritis, which equates to one out of every six Canadians. This number is expected to rise significantly by 2031 to include 7 million Canadians. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints and can have a negative impact on the activities of daily life, which affect a person’s ability to work and function.

Arthritis may include a number of debilitating symptoms, including pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in the affected joints. These symptoms may be worsened if a person has a comorbidity such as heart disease, obesity or diabetes.

Although many traditional treatment options exist for arthritis, including anti-inflammatory medication and the use of pain killers, many arthritis sufferers seek a more natural approach to managing their condition. Cannabidiol (CBD) offers a natural alternative to traditional pharmaceutical treatments and has very few side effects and interactions with other medications.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints and can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritic conditions, although two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Symptoms of arthritis include stiffness, joint pain and occasional swelling of the affected area. Most arthritis sufferers report that their pain is the worse in the mornings and once they get moving it improves.

There is no cure for arthritis and the current treatment is to manage the symptoms associated with the condition.

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis and hemp plants. When CBD is derived from the hemp plant it contains less than .3% THC and does not produce the “high” associated with THC and traditional cannabis use. CBD has very few side effects and can be used in conjunction with most pharmaceutical medications.

CBD acts on the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, specifically the CB2 receptors, to reduce pain and inflammation and may provide homeostasis to an endocannabinoid system that is unbalanced.

At the current time, CBD is available for those individuals with a medical recommendation to use cannabis and remains unavailable to recreational cannabis users in Canada.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system that has thousands of CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body, which regulate a number of different functions and systems.

CB1 receptors are located in the nervous system and the brain and regulate functions such as pain, inflammation, hunger and mood. There are also CB1 receptors located in organs such as the liver, lungs and kidneys. CB1 receptors are highly reactive to the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabinoid.

CB2 receptors are located in the immune system as well as the spleen and gastrointestinal system and regulate functions such as appetite, immune functions, pain and inflammation. CB2 receptors are highly reactive to the CBD cannabinoid.

Researchers now believe that when CBD is ingested it acts to reduce the breakdown of anandamide which makes this endocannabinoid more available to the endocannabinoid system. In essence, CBD helps to make endocannabinoids more available to act on CB1 and CB2 receptors, which helps to create a positive effect on the body’s pain and inflammation responses.

The Science Behind CBD for Arthritis

Research on the uses of CBD to treat arthritis is currently sparse, however, more studies are forthcoming. A 2017 study published in the Pain journal looked at the effects of CBD in an animal population and found that CBD decreased joint inflammation and acted as a neuroprotectant, showing good promise for human study.

Another study looked at the role of cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and found that cannabinoid therapies for RA that promote the activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors are the most beneficial in managing arthritic pain and inflammation. The researchers found that CBD caused a down-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokine production and reduced the mobilization and migration of immune cells to sites of inflammation. In essence, CB1 agonists promoted the signalling of pain modulation while CB2 receptors modulated anti-inflammatory effects.

The current research on CBD may be limited, but it shows promise for clinical applications in patients with arthritis. With the recent legalization of cannabis and growing support for the medical uses of cannabis, more research is currently being conducted and the results with be forthcoming in the near future.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

Recreational cannabis was legalized on October 17, 2018, under the Federal Government of Canada’s Cannabis Act, but there still remains quite a bit of question about what products are legal.

As of the date this blog was published, CBD Oil is not legal to purchase recreationally in Canada. However, CBD Oil can be purchased through a Licensed Producer (LP) for patients who have a medical prescription to consume cannabis.

Apollo Clinics Can Help

Apollo Cannabis Clinic is an evidenced-based clinic that has been conducting observational research on medical cannabis and conditions since 2014. The staff includes health care professionals to assist patients of all ages and backgrounds.

In order to access Apollo’s services, contact us to begin the process.

During the initial appointment, individuals are asked to disclose their medical history and past cannabis use, and the doctor will determine an appropriate treatment plan with regards to cannabis and CBD. It is important to be honest and open with the doctor as it will provide them with the best chance at helping individuals to appropriately manage their condition with cannabis or CBD.

If you suffer from arthritis and are seeking a more naturopathic approach to the management of your condition, contact Apollo today to find out how cannabis and CBD may be of benefit to you.


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