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Can CBD Help Tendonitis Patients?

Who can get Tendonitis?

Tendinitis or tendonitis may sound like a complicated medical term. But most of us have suffered from this condition at some point in our lives.

It’s simply the injury and inflammation of the fibrous connective tissue, called tendon, that joins a muscle to a bone. Usually, severe pain accompanies tendonitis.

Tendonitis can occur during gaming or other outdoor activities at school, on the playground, from falling from a flight of stairs, tripping on something, or any injury that’s big enough to rupture the tough yet flexible, collagen-bound connective tissue between our bones and muscles.

A common occurrence among sportsmen, who are into running, tennis, swimming, basketball, golf, bowling, and baseball, tendonitis is caused by overuse of a particular tendon.

Besides, certain professionals, required to carry out repetitive movements of certain body parts or keep those joints at odd angles or awkward positions for a prolonged period, are more prone to tendonitis than others.

Age is another factor. With age, tendons become weak and vulnerable to injuries. Besides, medical conditions, like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can also trigger the onset of tendinitis. These are usually caused by prolonged metabolic degeneration and not an injury.

You can get tendonitis in any part of the body where there is a tendon. It usually occurs in the elbow, wrist, finger, knee, thigh, shoulder, hip, or other such joints, like above the heel (Achilles tendon).

Conventional vs. CBD For Tendonitis

Usually, a break from the activity that caused the damage and a bit of hot-cold compress treatment are enough for the tendon to heal on its own.

Your doctor may recommend a splint or a brace, ask you to undergo physiotherapy, and prescribe some anti-inflammatory drugs to address the symptoms. In some rare cases, surgery may become necessary, if all else fails.

This means – more pill-popping.

We all know that prescription drugs aren’t without adverse effects. In most cases, they bring only temporary relief but come with loads of side-effects.

Patients suffering from pain and inflammation often search for more natural, pain-free, and safe alternatives that don’t involve any adverse events.

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While nothing is without any side-effects, there is proof of CBD being a safer, yet a potent pain-killer and anti-inflammatory agent.

So, Can CBD Be An Effective Treatment For Tendonitis?

CBD is a natural, plant-based chemical compound that both scientists and users have found proof of efficacy in dealing with inflammations and pain – both of which are associated with tendonitis.

Besides, researchers have also found proof of CBD’s abilities to promote the natural healing process of the human body.

Let’s elaborate on that.

CBD is a cannabis extract and a cannabinoid – quite like the endogenous cannabinoids (or endocannabinoids) found in the human body – such as – Anandamide. This phytocannabinoid is known to promote the natural chemical balance within the brain and nervous system, as well as other parts of the body – thus establishing and regulating homeostasis.

As part of maintaining homeostasis, it regulates the immune responses of the body through the body’s inflammatory and pain responses.

Benefits of CBD for Tendinitis Patients

  1. Fights inflammation: Prolonged inflammation, caused by tendonitis, may lead to severe pain and loss of mobility. A common problem among sportsmen, tendonitis can become a permanent disability if not treated properly. CBD is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. We’ll discuss its veracity in a later section.
  2. Relieves pain: CBD is also known for its potent pain-relieving properties. This may help people with tendonitis do away with other medications by letting CBD promote the release and retention of more anandamide – the body’s natural pain reliever.
  3. Regulates sleep: Besides pain and inflammation, CBD also has a nerve-calming effect, which promotes quality of sleep. A good night’s sleep helps your body heal naturally.
  4. Alleviates anxiety: Pain causes anxiety and an increased heart rate. CBD is also known to reduce these two problems, associated with tendinitis.

Scientific Evidence of CBD’s Effects on Tendonitis Symptoms

There is hardly any direct evidence to prove CBD’s effects on tendonitis, but quite a few studies do indicate that it can address the causal factors and symptoms of this condition.

Several animal trials and a few human clinical trials that have been conducted to find a link between CBD and the symptoms and causal factors of tendonitis have found credible proof of CBD’s efficacy in managing this uncomfortable condition.

Let’s dive into some of those studies

  • According to a 2011 study, published in the Neuroscience Letters, CBD certainly has a positive impact on rat models with inflamed and painful joints.

It was also found that CBD doesn’t do this directly through CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, but rather through some atypical receptors, like the GPR55.

  • A 2017 review, published in the European Journal of Rheumatology, which studied CBD’s impact on pain and inflammation, also found that this cannabinoid does not directly bind with cannabinoid receptors in the body.

It is its indirect interaction via other receptors makes the healing process much safer than any other pain-relieving substance or drug.

However, it also added that the findings of other studies were not always consistent with each other.

  • Researchers of a 2012 study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, reported that “systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD)… significantly suppress(es) chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain, without causing apparent analgesic tolerance in rodents”.

Systemic refers to the administration route where the substance reaches the bloodstream and intrathecal refers to the route that takes it to the cerebrospinal fluid.

This study showed a direct interaction between CBD and the α3 glycine receptors. In the animal model of trials conducted by the scientists, it showed that CBD reduces neuropathic pain by targeting the α3 GlyR. Those mice that did not have these glycine receptors, failed to respond to CBD administration.

  • In a 2015 study, published in the European Journal of Pain, a team of American scientists found evidence of topical cannabidiol effectively reducing inflammation and pain-related behavior in a rat model of arthritis, “without evident side-effects”.
  • An old review, conducted as far back as 2008, and published in the Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, found that the use of cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, for pain treatment “shows promise”. The review studied the different types of cannabinoid-based medications created so far, including Sativex®, and their ability to manage difficult-to-treat pain, like cancer pain, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of neuropathic pain.
  • Another 2018 study, published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology, throws a comprehensive light on how CBD indirectly inhibits the actions of CB1 and CB2 receptors and directly interacts with non-endocannabinoid receptors like GPCRs (e.g. 5-HT1A), and other atypical targets, like ion channels (TRPV1, TRPA1, and TPRM8, α3 glycine receptors), and PPARs, to reduce pain sensations. Besides, it also threw light on CBD obstructing the breakdown of the body’s own cannabinoid anandamide by inhibiting the enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH).

There is plenty of such indirect proof of CBD’s role in helping manage pain and inflammation associated with tendonitis. So, it’s no wonder that many naturopaths and alternative medicine doctors started recommending CBD for Tendonitis, ever since it became legal to buy CBD products in the US.

How Best to Use CBD for Tendonitis

If you’re thinking of using CBD for managing tendonitis symptoms, there are many ways you can use it. However, the most effective and popular CBD administration method for joint pain and inflammations is topical (transdermal) use.

In the case of joint pain and inflammation, people have found topicals or “over-the-skin-surface” administration of CBD most beneficial. CBD directly enters the tissues and cells in and around the affected joints, without having to go through the blood-brain-barrier or the first-pass effect to reach the target. That is why even a low dose of this potent substance seems to work. Topicals are available in different varieties, like creams, salves, lotions, balms, and moisturizers. But for tendonitis pain, balms and creams are usually the most effective.

Other methods include:

  • Tinctures/Oils: Sublingual use, i.e. liquid CBD extract placed under the tongue with the help of a dropper to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the sublingual glands.
  • Edibles: Consumed like any other food item. It has to pass through the first-pass effect, breaking it down in the digestive system to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This leads to a reduction in its bioavailability and potency.
  • Capsules: Similar to any other capsule in usage, similar to CBD edibles in its effects.
  • Vape liquids: Through the lungs (like any other vape liquids). Faster absorption into the bloodstream through the alveoli of the lungs. Not suitable for people with weak pulmonary systems.

However, all these methods force CBD to go through either or both the first-pass effect and the blood-brain barrier.

As for dosage, it varies from person to person as well as depends on the type of CBD product used (as explained above).

Warning: It is best to start with a small dose and titrate upwards gradually to find your right dose.

Disclaimer: Not everyone may find adequate relief from CBD use. Besides, CBD is not a well-regulated substance and is NOT APPROVED by the FDA. So, make sure you buy from only the most reputed and reliable source.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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