Great Neck, NY: Arthritis patients frequently report symptom improvements and reductions in their use of prescription medications following the use of CBD products, according to data published in the Journal of Cannabis Research.
A team of investigators affiliated with the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University in New York and with the Banner University Medical Center in Arizona surveyed a convenience sample of patients with either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Most of the participants (70 percent) acknowledged having used CBD products for symptomatic relief.
“The overall cohort reported significant reductions in pain after CBD use, with a 44 percent reduction in numerical pain score and 2.58-point reduction [on a zero-to-ten numerical pain score],” authors reported. “Pairwise comparisons demonstrated that the osteoarthritis group had greater percentage reduction and point reduction compared to RA and other autoimmune arthritis.”
Consistent with other studies, authors reported that many patients either reduced or eliminated their use of medications following their use of CBD products. They acknowledged, “Most respondents using CBD for joint pain reported a reduction or cessation of other medications due to CBD use (60.5 percent), including a reduction in anti-inflammatories (31.1 percent), discontinuation of anti-inflammatories (17.8 percent), reduction in acetaminophen (18.2 percent), discontinuation of acetaminophen (17.8 percent), reduction in opioids (8.6 percent), and discontinuation of opioids (18.9 percent).”
Most participants taking CBD products acknowledged experiencing either mild or no adverse effects.
Authors concluded: “In terms of the perceived effects of CBD on pain, physical function, and sleep quality, many patients using CBD reported symptomatic improvements. … These findings suggest that CBD could be an alternative to opioids for the treatment of arthritic pain. … Clinicians and patients should be aware of the various alternative therapeutic options available to treat their symptoms of arthritis, especially in light of the increased accessibility to cannabidiol products.”
The administration of a topical form of CBD has been previously shown to be effective in patients with thumb basal joint arthritis, according to placebo-controlled trial data. Arthritis patients who consume medical cannabis have similarly reported reductions in their opioid intake and improvements in their quality of life.
Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol as a treatment for arthritis and joint pain: An exploratory cross-sectional study,” appears in the Journal of Cannabis Research. Additional information on cannabis and arthritis is available from NORML.