For example, CBD is a blood-thinning agent. By lowering your blood pressure, CBD oil can result in harmful levels of hypotension.
CBDPure sells both full-spectrum and pure (THC-free) oil. The pure version is better for those who want to benefit from CBD without any THC in their system. Some people just want to err on the side of caution, whereas others can’t use full-spectrum products because they’re subject to regular drug tests at work.
Finally, a 2016 study showed positive correlation between the use of CBD and reduced inflammation in arthritis patients. In this study, the researchers applied CBD topical to rats for four consecutive days.
Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil
If you take any prescription drugs, it’s best to consult with a doctor prior to buying any CBD product.
Please remember that higher potency doesn’t mean the oil will work better for you. As noted, some people benefit from low doses, so if a 250 mg bottle does the trick for your pain, there’s no need to look for stronger options.
CBD is extracted from the flowers of mature cannabis flowers and then processed into an oily extract. The extraction process, as well as the solvents involved, can heavily impact the quality of the end product.
Using CBD topicals on painful areas is a good option if the pain is shallow. Using CBD topicals on painful areas is a good option if the pain is shallow. CBD topical creams only work on anatomical structures that are located up to one-centimeter under the skin.
A CBD isolate refers to a product that is composed of the CBD compound only and is extracted from the marijuana plant. CBD isolates can be extracted from both hemp and non-hemp species of marijuana. Remember, for it to be federally legal, it must come from the hemp species. In states where medicinal marijuana is legal, you can find CBD isolates in a marijuana dispensary. Additionally, certain CBD isolates are synthetic forms, such as those used in the pharmaceuticals Marinol and Syndros – both FDA approved to relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and to improve appetite in people with AIDS. 3
Proponents of full spectrum cannabis products refer to something called the entourage effect, which basically means that the compounds in marijuana work synergistically or cooperatively. 11 Think of marijuana like a plant (which it is). Just like vitamin supplements don’t offer the same benefits as consuming whole foods, CBD isolates may not offer the same benefits as whole-plant extracts. 12
HOW TO USE CBD FOR PAIN: WHICH PRODUCTS TO TRY
Ingesting CBD can be more beneficial for people with systemic inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or Multiple Sclerosis [MS]), autoimmune conditions, and full body pain, caused by neurological conditions such as fibromyalgia or cancer pain.
10. O’Sullivan SE. An update on PPAR activation by cannabinoids. Br J Pharmacol. 2016;173(12):1899–1910.
Clear? You likely still have questions. Read on for specific products and which symptoms they aid.
Of course, there is anecdotal evidence and testimonials galore, including reports of dramatic improvement by people who tried CBD in its various forms (including capsule, liquid, topical, and spray) for their pain. But we are still waiting for well-designed, scientifically valid, and rigorous clinical trials (such as this one in progress) that are so badly needed to answer the question of just how helpful CBD may be to people with chronic arthritis pain.
As with any treatment, there can be downsides. CBD is generally considered safe; however, it can still cause lightheadedness, sleepiness, dry mouth, and rarely, liver problems. There may be uncertainty about the potency or purity of CBD products (since they are not regulated as prescription medications are), and CBD can interact with other medications. For pregnant women, concern has been raised about a possible link between inhaled cannabis and lower-birthweight babies; it’s not clear if this applies to CBD. Some pain specialists have concerns that CBD may upset the body’s natural system of pain regulation, leading to tolerance (so that higher doses are needed for the same effect), though the potential for addiction is generally considered to be low.
Are there downsides to CBD treatment?
Until recently, little guidance has been available for people with arthritis pain who were interested in CBD treatment. Depending on availability and interest, patients and their doctors had to decide on their own whether CBD was a reasonable option in each specific case. To a large degree that’s still true, but some guidelines have been published. Here’s one set of guidelines for people pursuing treatment with CBD that I find quite reasonable (based on recommendations from the Arthritis Foundation and a recent commentary published in the medical journal Arthritis Care & Research):
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There is one definite downside: cost. Prices range widely but CBD products aren’t inexpensive, and depending on dose, frequency, and formulation, the cost can be considerable — I found one brand that was $120/month, and health insurance does not usually cover it.