The Question of CBD as a Treatment Aid for Arthritis
Arthritis is a rheumatic condition that is caused by inflammation of tissues in or surrounding one or more joints, leading to constant pain, stiffness of joints, and swelling on and around the affected areas. Some forms of arthritis can even affect several internal organs, like in the cases of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE).
As per the estimates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 54.4 million adults across the United States have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, including 23.7 million people who suffer from debilitating pain and curtailed movements.
Cannabidiol – a cannabis-derived, natural chemical compound – has been found to be adept at helping all vertebrates, including humans, cope with a range of health issues, including chronic pain and inflammation. According to research, cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to target some specific organs of the body, thus bringing about a chemical balance within those organs.
But, unlike THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD has no psychotropic or psychoactive effects that produce the much-famed marijuana “high”. While THC, too, has many benefits, its use as a recreational drug (only to get “high”) has made it a forbidden substance. In the past, CBD’s association with its sister cannabinoid THC had given the former a bad name too, i.e. until researchers were able to establish it as a safe substance (mind you, only natural CBD is safe and has some health benefits).
So much so, quite a large number of people worldwide have benefited from the use of CBD. These are mostly those who have been unable to get relief from conventional treatment methods and have later benefited from CBD products.
That is why, we have tested out the veracity of such claims and tried some of the most-popular reputed brands of CBD products, including CBD oils, to see how well they fare in aiding arthritic people manage their symptoms.
Note: CBD cannot cure arthritis. No amount of research has proven that anything, including CBD, can accomplish such feats. However, cannabidiol has, to a certain extent, been proven to help in easing symptoms of arthritis, like pain and inflammation.
Best CBD Oils for Arthritis Pain: How was this list made?
In this “Review-cum-Top Best” list, TCR’s reviewers have meticulously pored over data about scores of brands of CBD oils to find out the best quality, the safest, most effective products that are truly the best value for money.
1)FabCBD- full spectrum
FabCBD maintains very high standards of quality control and customer support, while providing a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its products – a testimony of its commitment to its customers.
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2) Joy Organics- organic
Most of Joy Organics’ products are vegan and gluten-free. They are all free of preservatives, additives, artificial chemicals, or contaminants.
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3)cbdMD - Organic broad-spectrum
CbdMD is known for its impeccable quality control and organic farming, affordable prices, and free shipping policy across the US.
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4) NuLeaf Naturals - full-Spectrum
NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oils are third-party lab-tested, contain no additives or preservatives, are 100% pure, clean, solvent-free, pesticide-free, GMO-free.
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5) CBDistillery - full-Spectrum
With the aim to make “hemp-derived CBD products” easily accessible to all, CBDistillery initiated its #CBDMOVEMENT mission.
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Parameters used to judge each CBD oil
At “The Cannabis Radar (TCR)”, we understand the issues patients face while trying to combat painful conditions like arthritis. We also understand their frustration when conventional medication and treatment methods fail them, forcing them to look for an alternative, sometimes more permanent and less complicated methods of treatment, preferably ones that would not have adverse side effects that generally accompany conventional medications.
While some have turned to different kinds of herbal remedies, others have been more fortunate to have found CBD. However, not everything is hunky-dory in this fast-growing industry. There are too many brands, many selling fake, or even worse, harmful lab-made chemicals in the name CBD oils.
That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to check the veracity of claims made by different CBD brands, check the products’ ingredients and lab test results, the brands’ reputation and past performances, seek out users’ opinions, and finally, but no less importantly, as our last litmus test, we personally tried out the products. Here’s how we carried out our investigation.
- To make our investigation count, we started with a total of 50 of the best or the most popular brands in the market.
- We pored over more than 5,000 user reviews on the internet, including the brand’s website, external blogs, social media platforms, and open forums.
- We reached out to our readers and over 8,000 of our direct subscribers, asking for their opinion on the different products. This was more of a survey rather than subjective opinions.
- To make sure our final list contains only the very best of products in a certain area or for a particular purpose, we examine them from different angles. They are:
We made sure that the products are adequately high on CBD concentrations so that they can effectively alleviate the pain and inflammation. We also checked to see if the actual effects tally with the amount of CBD (in mg) printed on the labels. Some brands often tend to mislead consumers with falsified information, especially when it comes to the actual amount of CBD present in the product.
We chose organic, all-natural, gluten-free products, devoid of allergens, residual solvents, or other contaminants.
We have chosen only those brands that source their hemp extracts from regulated and organic farmlands in the US or Europe (where regulations are stricter than even those in the US). Other abroad sources are not as safe (owing to the presence of high levels of THC and contaminants, such as heavy metals, GMOs, pesticides, residual solvents, etc.)
Although this may seem to be of less importance, flavors or aromas of CBD oils can enhance or degrade the user experience. After all, pain and other sensory issues are influenced by other sensory stimulants as well. (Why do you think aromatherapy is, in itself, such a big industry?)
We trust only those brands that subject their products to third-party laboratory testing. In-house testing, however, advanced they may be, can’t be completely relied upon, as those results may be adulterated or influenced by vested interests.
This includes Shipping Policies, Return and Refund Policies, and Money-Back Guarantees. We understand their importance to customers looking to utilize the benefits of CBD effectively and at the right time.
This is one of the most important issues. Although we have mentioned this point towards the end, the importance of this point is quite high. High-quality CBD products are expensive owing to the high standards of quality control required to produce them. However, not all expensive CBD brands do justice by the price they charge. Naturally, for brands to survive in a competitive marketplace, they must keep their prices as low as possible to make sure they are easily accessible to common users with critical health issues. In our list of Best CBD Oils for Arthritis, we have recommended only those brands that are fairly priced.
Although people consider this aspect to be one of the primary requisites, a brand’s reputation is usually verified by its performance – all of which becomes clear when you go over the above-mentioned aspects of a product.
The 5 Best CBD Oil Brands for Arthritis : TCR’s List of Selected Brands
- CBD Oil: 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg & 2400mg (all in 30ml bottles)
- CBD Cream: 600mg
- CBD Oil: Citrus, Mint, Natural, Berry & Vanilla
- CBD Cream: Fresh Blood Orange
Lab Test:ProVerde Laboratories
Hemp SOurce:Colorado, US
- CBD Oil: $39 – $129 ($0.05/mg – $0.13/mg)
- CBD Cream: $49 ($0.08/mg)
shipping policy:Free shipping in the US on orders worth $89 and above
return & refund policy:30-day money-back gurantee.
Joy Organics is a family-owned brand, known for its premium-quality, organic, broad-spectrum CBD products that are affordable despite being designed and manufactured with the best available technologies.
The company maintains high standards of transparency and quality control. Most of Joy Organics’ products are vegan and gluten-free. They are all free of preservatives, additives, artificial chemicals, or contaminants. Joy Organics’ products are subjected to a battery of tests by different third-party labs to ensure strict adherence to regulations, purity of extracts, quality of end-products, and safety of the users.
- CBD Oil Tinctures: 225mg – 1350mg (all in 30ml bottles)
- CBD Salve: 500mg (1 ounce) & 1000mg (2 ounces)
- CBD Salve Stick: 250mg (½ ounce)
- CBD Cream: 250mg (1 ounce)
- CBD Oil: Natural, Tranquil Mint, Summer Lemon, Orange Bliss
- CBD Salve: Lavender Eucalyptus
- CBD Salve Stick: Unscented
- CBD Cream: Unscented
- CBD Oil: PIXIS Labs, Botanacor Services, Green Scientific Labs, PhytaTech Metrics & Solutions, and Cloud Labs (depending on which batch of tincture you are buying; the brand makes sure no single brand tests these CBD oil tinctures to make sure there is no duplication in results. Some of the batches are tested simultaneously by different labs)
- CBD Salve: PIXIS Labs, Cloud Labs, Botanacor Laboratories™, Anaresco Laboratories (Some of the batches are tested simultaneously by 2 – 3 different labs.)
- CBD Salve Stick: Cannalysis
- CBD Cream: Cannalysis & Green™ Scientific Labs
- CBD Oil: $29.95 – $99.95 ($0.07/mg – $0.13/mg)
- CBD Salve: $54.95 for 500mg CBD ($0.11/mg) & $79.95 for 1000mg CBD ($0.08/mg)
- CBD Salve Stick: $32.95 ($0.13/mg)
- CBD Cream: $32.95 ($0.13/mg)
Free & fast shipping across the US
return & refund policy:
30-day money-back gurantee
One of America’s most well-liked CBD brands, CbdMD is known for its impeccable quality control and organic farming, affordable prices, and free shipping policy across the US. Its hemp extracts are clean and pure, safe, and potent. The brand also offers a “30-day money-back guarantee”. All its products are third-party lab-tested and free from pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, and THC.
CbdMD’s 100% vegan and gluten-free tinctures are available in six different CBD strengths and four amazing flavors.
The brand’s topicals are also quite useful, especially its Inflammation Formula (Recover). Although it has two other variants (meant for other purposes), we have only mentioned its Recover variant, as it helps in “recovering” from musculoskeletal chronic pain and inflammation and supporting joint health. This formula is available in 3 container variants – tub, squeeze, and roll-on, making it convenient for all to use.
- CBD Oil: 300mg, 750mg, 1500mg, 3000mg, 5000mg, 7500mg (all in 30ml bottles)
- CBD Topical Cream: 300mg, 750mg & 1500mg
- CBD Oil: Natural (hempy/earthy), Mint, Orange, Berry (all derived from botanical extracts)
- CBD Topical Cream: A mild combination of earthy and floral notes
- CBD Oil: $29.99 – $339.99 ($0.05/mg – $0.10/mg)
- CBD Topical Cream: $29.99 for 300mg ($0.10/mg) to $99.99 for 1500mg ($0.07/mg)
Free & fast shipping across the US
return & refund policy:
30-day money-back gurantee.
NuLeaf Naturals, which is one of the pioneering CBD brands in the US, sells only CBD oil tinctures (both for humans and pets). With the help of its company’s superior genetic engineering and high-tech processing, NuLeaf provides only premium-quality, organically grown hemp oil.
NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oils are third-party lab-tested, contain no additives or preservatives, are 100% pure, clean, solvent-free, pesticide-free, GMO-free. These tinctures are fully organic, full-spectrum hemp oils, extracted with the help of the CO2 Fluid Process.
CBD Oil: 50mg/ml (240mg – 4850mg in bottles ranging in size from 5ml to 100ml)
CBD Oil: Natural (earthy, hempy flavor); no options in flavors
$38.50 – $439 ($0.09/mg – $0.16/mg)
Free & fast shipping through USPS Priority Mail across the US
return & refund policy:
30-day money-back policy only on unused products
This Denver-based brand is one of the few brands to provide some of the best quality CBD products at competitive prices. With the aim to make “hemp-derived CBD products” easily accessible to all, CBDistillery initiated its #CBDMOVEMENT mission. Its green extraction technology (Fluid CO2 Process) ensures potent, clean, pure, safe, and effective products. All of CBDistillery’s products are third-party lab-tested.
The brand provides free shipping for all domestic orders worth over $75.
Its CBD full-spectrum oils contain all the natural goodness of industrial hemp extracts (terpenes, flavonoids, omega fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and other phytonutrients), while its THC-free CBD isolate tinctures offer the best option for those who need to regularly undergo drug tests.
The brand’s topicals, especially CBDol Topical CBD Salve (500mg) and CBDol Relief Stick (500mg) are good for acute pain and inflammations, like those caused by sudden exertions or workouts. As per our experience, however, these topicals were not effective for arthritis pain and inflammation.
CBD Oil: 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg, 2500mg, and 5000mg (both full-spectrum and CBD isolates – all contained in 30ml bottles)
CBD Oil: Flavorless, rather natural flavor, i.e. hempy
CBD Oil: $19 (250mg THC-free) – $240 (5000mg full-spectrum) ($0.05/mg – $0.08/mg)
Free shipping in the US on orders worth $75 and above; for orders worth less than $75, Standard USPS shipping fees apply.
return & refund policy:
7-day money-back guarantee but only on return of sealed products (applicable only in cases of delivery issues, damage during shipping, or other errors on part of the manufacturing or logistics company)
As the Arthritis Foundation has pointed out, there is no clear evidence of CBD helping people with arthritis, animal models have certainly established that CBD can have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
Nonetheless, many people who have tried it out for managing chronic pain and inflammation have found positive results. However, this cannot be said for all humans. There have been cases in which CBD has had no effects on the health of a person – positive or otherwise.
The Science Behind It
One needs to understand that just like our minds make each individual uniquely different, so does bodies, owing mostly due to our genetics, effects of medication, the environment we live in, etc. Whether or not CBD will help us, and if it does, then to what extent it will assist in managing pain and inflammation depends a lot on our individual endocannabinoid system and its network of receptors that spread across our entire body.
According to the findings of several studies done over the years, cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with these specialized receptors found in a person’s brain and immune system to influence different bodily functions.
One such receptor, that scientists call a CB2 receptor, interacts with the immune system, thus managing pain sensation and the occurrence of inflammation.
Although how CBD influences this reaction is known for certain, it is believed that when CBD enters a person’s bloodstream or epidermal layers (skin layers), it attaches itself to the CB2 receptors (found in both the brand and skin cells). A separate line of thinking among some scientists is that CBD stimulates the release of the body’s natural cannabinoids that may have been dormant due to some reason and activates them, which in turn interacts with the CB2 receptors to have that effect.
Whichever may be the case, researchers believe that CBD’s presence in a person’s body makes its endocannabinoid receptors behave as a catalyst in decreasing the pain sensation and swelling.
Studies that Suggest CBD Works for Arthritis
Most studies that gave positive results of CBD’s role in treating arthritis symptoms were those that were conducted on animals, like rats and mice. Here are a few mention-worthy studies on animal models:
- A 2011 study proved that CBD can help reduce pain caused by inflammation in rats by altering the way pain receptors respond to stimuli.
- According to a 2014 review of ongoing research on animals, CBD may be an effective treatment for Osteoarthritic pain.
- An interesting discovery that led to CBD being used in topical products was a 2016 study that testified that even topical application of CBD can help alleviate pain and provide relief from inflammation caused by arthritis.
- As per a 2017 study, CBD, when used in time, can effectively prevent pain and nerve damage caused by OA in rats.
* Medical marijuana is not the same as CBD, as the former contains substantial amounts of THC and requires a medical marijuana card to purchase it.
While no verifiable evidence of CBD being effective on humans has been found so far, (mostly owing to laws forbidding its use for lab tests on humans), a 2006 study found that a cannabis-based oral spray, Sativex, provides relief from arthritis pain. Incidentally, its composition includes higher-than-permissible levels of THC and can’t be used by everyone.
CBD can be used in different ways for arthritic patients. While most brands provide usage and dosage suggestions on the labels and also offer information regarding the best use of CBD on their websites, you can select the best-suited method of administration depending on the kind of effects you’re expecting, like time taken to impact and duration of its effects, besides your convenience.
Depending on safety issues, coupled with the effectiveness of each kind of product, we’ve arranged the usage methods as follows:
- Sublingually, i.e. apply a few drops under your tongue. This is ideal for systemic application and offers fast action and higher efficacy.
- Topical, i.e. adding CBD oils to your daily pain or inflammation cream (that usually contain botanical extracts or chemical ingredients meant to ease pain and inflammation) and gently massage it into the skin. This is good for localized pain relief and inflammation reduction.
- Another topical option is to use CBD creams, salves, and balms. This is sold by most big CBD brands. These too help in alleviating localized pain and inflammation.
- Edibles*1, i.e. CBD oils mixed in different food items while cooking or baking. Although this is quite effective, but not as effective as the above methods and takes much longer to reach the target areas, as it must be metabolized by the digestive system before entering the bloodstream. This is also a systemic form of administration.
- Another edible*1 and systemic administration is mixing CBD oils to drinks (cold drinks, cool smoothies, or the like). Same issues with this form of use.
[*1 Edibles aren’t the best form of administration when it comes to treating arthritis, as the substance loses its potency to quite an extent and takes much longer to exhibit action.]
- Yet another method of using CBD for arthritis is by vaping it with the help of a vaporizer. Although this is one of the fastest and the most effective delivery methods, there are a few downsides to it, especially for those who are allergic to vape liquids or have pulmonary issues. Since, this administration method requires the user to inhale it, allowing the liquid to go through the respiratory channels and enter the lungs, there is a risk of the user’s body reacting adversely to it if he or she is allergic to such substances. For instance, those with asthma should avoid it completely.
When it comes to CBD dosage, one cannot give an exact figure – irrespective of the condition or disease. Two patients with the same disease may not experience the same symptoms or experience them with the same intensity. For this reason, to a certain extent, CBD has varying effects on different individuals.
When it comes to using CBD to fight the symptoms of arthritis, you must keep the following factors in mind:
- Bodyweight: The heavier the user’s weight, the higher will be the CBD dosage required.
- Age: Children and aging adults need much less CBD than adults in their prime.
- Gender: Women’s endocannabinoid system is more receptive and sensitive to cannabinoids than those of men.
- The severity of the condition: The more intense the pain/inflammation, the higher the dosage required.
- The extent of the condition: A localized condition needs less CBD, while a widespread condition requires more.
- The intended effect: Are we looking to simply reduce the pain or do away with it completely?
- The convenience of usage vs. bioavailability vs. safety: Sublingual use of tinctures are more effective than edibles (both of which are safe), but you’ll have to smell and taste the substance (which may not be favorable for some). The effects of vaping are instantaneous and highly effective but may be cumbersome and less discreet, besides also carrying with it the risk of harming your throat and lungs.
- Type of extract & potency: Potency of CBD is measured in milligrams. But, its potency is higher when the extract type is full-spectrum instead of being isolated CBD. The other components of cannabis make CBD more potent – a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect”.
- The type of hemp strain used & brand’s unique formulation: Both factors are solely defined by the brand’s selections and also depend on its manufacturing procedures.
- The user’s endocannabinoid system: The sensitivity and receptibility of the person using this substance influences both the extent and the intensity with which the person will react to CBD’s presence in the body. While some show remarkable effects with even a little amount of it, others may not exhibit any effects at all!
Nevertheless, when it comes to dosage, it is always best to remember these rules:
- Consult a medical practitioner experienced in cannabis medicine before trying out CBD for Arthritis.