Can CBD help with arthritis? 

  • A study in Neuroscience Letters in 2011 found that CBD might help reduce acute joint inflammation in animal models by affecting the way pain receptors respond to stimuli(1).
  • Data from a 2016 study in The European Journal of Pain indicated that a topical application of CBD could help relieve arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation in animal subjects without evident side-effects(2).
  • Researchers of a study published in the journal Pain in 2017 noted that local administration of CBD blocked osteoarthritis pain in rats(3). They concluded that CBD’s therapeutic benefits were due to its nerve-protective and anti-inflammatory properties on the joints.
  • A 2018 study in Arthritis Care & Research found that people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder in their lifetimes than those who have not been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease(4).
  • A study published in the journal CNS and Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets noted that CBD, a Cannabis Sativa component with psychiatric benefits, had therapeutic uses as an anti-anxiety-like and an antidepressant-like compound(5).

Why Some People Are Turning to CBD for Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. It describes more than a hundred medical conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the following types of arthritis: osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia, gout, and childhood arthritis(6). 

Although specific symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis,  they usually include joint pain and stiffness(7). 

CBD for Joint Pain and Inflammation 

Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder, can affect not only the joints. In some people, the condition can also harm a variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels(8).

A study done on animal subjects found that cannabinoids, particularly CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), are useful in the management of challenging-to-treat pain(9).  

Another study in Neuroscience Letters in 2011 found that CBD helped reduce acute joint inflammation in animal models by affecting the way pain receptors respond to stimuli(10).

CBD’s potent anti-inflammatory properties were also demonstrated in a 2018 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics(11). 

Published by Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, a clinical study examined Sativex, a combined cannabinoid medicine constituted by THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio(12). 

Sativex mouth spray has shown its efficacy not only for helping with pain management in patients with chronic conditions, including pain due to nerve damage, advanced cancer pain, and rheumatoid arthritis but also for spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS)(13). 

Comparable results were obtained from another review published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2018(14). 

A 2016 study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using rats as animal models, CBD applied on the skin might help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis(15).

Researchers applied CBD gel to the rats for four consecutive days, with the animals receiving different doses per day. 

The researchers noted a reduction in inflammation and overall pain in the animals’ affected joints without noticeable side effects.

The rats that received low doses of CBD did not show improvement in their pain scores. Results found that 6.2 mg/day was a high-enough dose to reduce the rats’ pain and swelling symptoms.

Also, rats who received 62.3 mg/day had similar outcomes to the rats that received 6.2 mg/day. Thus, receiving a substantially larger dosage did not result in them having reduced pain.

The researchers believe that the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory characteristics of CBD gel could potentially help individuals with arthritis. However, more human studies are needed(16).

A 2017 study from the journal Pain looked at the ability of CBD to prevent joint neuropathy and joint pain associated with osteoarthritis(17). 

Neuropathy is the damage or dysfunction of nerves that results in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, burning, and pain in the affected area(18). 

Osteoarthritis, a common form of arthritis, occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time. With osteoarthritis, the joints can get painful, swollen, and hard to move(19).

The researchers of the said 2017 study found scientific evidence to support both of the neuropathic and osteoarthritic functions of CBD. 

They concluded that these abilities of CBD were due to its nerve-protective properties and anti-inflammatory properties on the joints.

CBD for Anxiety and Sleep Problems 

Having an autoimmune disorder, such as arthritis, may take a toll on the brain, as well as the body. 

A study published in Arthritis Care & Research in July 2018 found that people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder in their lifetimes than those who have not been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease(20). 

Fighting the pain and expense of a long-term health problem can be a significant burden to carry, leading to sleep problems, changes in behavior, anxiety, and depression. 

CBD, meanwhile, has been shown to possess anti-anxiety and anti-depression characteristics that may help ease the increased burden of psychiatric disorders or associated symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis.

A study published in the journal CNS and Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets noted that CBD, a Cannabis Sativa component with psychiatric benefits, had therapeutic uses as an anti-anxiety-like and an antidepressant-like compound(21).

CBD’s potential for anxiety relief may also be attributed to its ability to help with sleep problems and reduce stress.

Studies have shown that CBD might help alleviate anxiety. Researchers of a 2019 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry found that CBD’s anti-anxiety effect could help reduce the response to stressful environmental factors(22).

Authors of a 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal measured anxiety and sleep scores of the participants and noted that CBD could hold benefits for anxiety-related disorders(23).

Given CBD’s anti-anxiety and sleep-inducing, it may also be useful for individuals dealing with the emotional burden that comes with arthritis. 

How CBD Oil Works to Help with Arthritis

To understand how CBD works to help with arthritis, one must understand how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) works. 

The therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, like CBD, are realized by their active interaction with the body’s ECS and its cannabinoid receptors. 

The ECS is mainly responsible for regulating various body functions, including pain sensation, immune response, anxiety, sleep, mood, appetite, metabolism, and memory.

Researchers of a 2014 study in The European Journal of Neuroscience reported that the prevalence of receptors in the body and the critical role of the ECS in the regulation of pain, inflammation, and joint function further support the therapeutic use of cannabinoids for osteoarthritis(24).

Receptors CB1 and CB2 are the two main types of receptors found in specific parts of the human body. These receptors each have specific roles in the ECS.

CB1 receptors influence motor regulation, memory processing,  appetite, pain sensation, mood, and sleep(25).

Various studies of the cannabinoid receptors have shown that endocannabinoids attenuate and suppress the perception of pain(26).

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are usually found on cells in the immune system and its associated structures.

When CB2 receptors are triggered, they trigger a response that fights inflammation, reducing pain, and minimizing damage to tissues.

These anti-inflammatory responses have been found useful in treating inflammation-related conditions, like chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome(27).

A 2019 study published in the journal Current Opinion in Rheumatology found that cannabinoids showed anti-inflammatory effects by activating CB2 receptors, which decrease cytokine production and immune cell mobilization(28). 

Cytokines are small proteins released by various cells in the body, including those of the immune system where they coordinate the body’s response against infection and disease.

In addition to its effects on CB1 and CB2 receptors, there is evidence that CBD impacts the TRPV-1(29) and GPR55(30) receptors. Both of these receptors are found in the skin and play a role in pain signaling and inflammation.

Also, CBD interacts with several other receptors in the body, such as the 5-HT1A receptor, which is linked to serotonin.

It is through this interaction with the neurotransmitter serotonin that these cannabinoids promote healing and balance(31). 

Research published in the Neurochemical Research Journal demonstrated that CBD might inhibit the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, making serotonin more available for the body(32).

Serotonin, also called the “feel good” chemical, influences a variety of body and psychological functions and impacts the levels of anxiety, mood, and happiness. 

The researchers believe that with better regulation of serotonin, CBD may help reduce anxiety and stabilize mood.

In the Translational PsychiatryJournal, a 2012 study demonstrated CBD’s potential ability to trigger the ECS to produce more of its natural cannabinoids, like anandamide, which regulates emotions(33). Results showed that anandamide levels increased in volunteers who were given CBD.

Increased anandamide levels in the brain protect against the effects of stress and reduce behavioral signs of fear and anxiety, according to a 2019 animal study published in the Journal of Neuroscience(34).

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Arthritis


  • Human and animal studies have demonstrated that CBD possesses characteristics that may be beneficial in treating arthritis or its symptoms, including anxiety, sleep problems, depression, lethargy, and changes in mood and behavior.
  • CBD has been well-received by many distinguished health agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), stating that CBD “is generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile.”(35) 
  • CBD does not give the users a euphoric high, unlike its psychoactive cannabinoid counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
  • CBD is non-addictive, says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in a 2015 article(36). This characteristic makes CBD safe for daily consumption.
  • CBD oil can be purchased without a prescription in locations where they are legally available.


  • Cannabis has been a Schedule 1 drug, which has limited the type and scope of research needed to figure out how best to use it therapeutically.

Under the U.S. Federal Controlled Substances Act, Schedule 1 drugs have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse(37).

  • Studies are not substantial enough to determine whether or not CBD is a useful and effective treatment for conditions other than the ones already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To date, Epidiolex, a drug prescribed for epilepsy, is the only CBD product on the market that the FDA has approved(38).

  • There are risks involved in using CBD. According to the Mayo Clinic, possible side effects may include drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, and reduced appetite(39).
  • CBD has been shown to interact with other drugs. These drug interactions alter how the body breaks down certain medications, a 2017 research revealed(40). 
  • The lack of regulation on cannabis products in a dynamic CBD industry makes it difficult to determine if the CBD gummies, tinctures, patches, balms, and gelcaps contain what the product label claims.

A 2107 review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed labeling inaccuracies among CBD products. Some products had less CBD than stated, while others had more(41).

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Arthritis

Several herbal remedies are promoted today for treating arthritis, including Boswellia serrata, turmeric, ginger, devil’s claw, willow bark extract, and feverfew, says the Arthritis Foundation(42).

Some herbal remedies are available in the form of a cream, gel, patch, or compress that one can rub on or apply to the skin. 

  • Arnica and comfrey are useful for relieving arthritis pain. Creams made with the chili pepper extract, capsaicin, can also help with pain. However, they can cause side effects, like a burning sensation and skin irritation(43).
  • Capsaicin is a substance found in hot peppers. A study in Clinical Therapeutics found that, after four weeks of capsaicin treatment, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients showed mean reductions in pain of 57% and 33%, respectively(44).
  • Studies have shown that curcumin, the active component in turmeric, and ginger might be useful in reducing chronic pain associated with arthritis(45). 
  • Clinical trials with Boswellia gum-resin have shown that the herb could help improve symptoms in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients(46).

Meanwhile, CBD has been shown to possess characteristics that could be used for natural pain relief and combat inflammation.

Some CBD products come in the form of lotions, creams, and transdermal patches infused with capsaicin, turmeric, ginger, arnica, and Boswellia extracts. 

The natural extracts in CBD topicals combine with the natural pain-relieving benefits of CBD oil for targeted relief.

Massages can also help with arthritis. Regular massaging of arthritic joints is known to help reduce pain and stiffness and improve an individual’s range of motion. 

CBD oil tinctures may be used or combined with massage oils. Most CBD oils are infused with natural herb extracts that can add to CBD’s therapeutic benefits for arthritis symptoms.

Meanwhile, simple hot and cold treatments can make a significant difference when it comes to arthritis pain. CBD bath bombs may be used in bath and soaking therapies for added relief. 

Bath bombs infused with CBD and other therapeutic herbs can help provide relaxation and relief from physical tension and emotional stress. Long, warm showers or baths, particularly in the morning, can help ease stiffness in the joints. 

Meanwhile, an individual’s body weight can make a significant impact on the amount of pain experienced from arthritis. Extra weight puts added pressure on the joints, particularly the knees, hips, and feet. 

Reducing the stress on the joints by losing weight can improve one’s mobility, decrease pain, and prevent future damage to the joints. 

Studies have shown that CBD can help with weight management. In a study in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, researchers found that CBD might interfere with the secretion of cortisol, reducing blood levels significantly(47).

Researchers believe that chronic stress and persistently high cortisol levels may be associated with increased appetite and weight gain(48).

In a 2008 animal study published in the PLOS One Journal, it was noted that CBD inhibits a receptor in the brain so that ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite, is unable to act(49).

A study published in Nature Journal has reported that CBD could increase the levels of leptin in the brain(50). 

Leptin is the hormone that makes an individual feel full or satiated. The reduced cravings for unhealthy, calorie-dense foods may help individuals achieve their weight loss goals fast.

A healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also help individuals deal with arthritis pain. 

Theramine, an amino acid blend, could be useful in reducing pain and inflammation linked to chronic back pain, according to a 2016 study in the American Journal of Therapeutics(51). 

Hemp oil produced from cannabis seed is an excellent source of essential amino acids and fatty acids(52).

How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Arthritis

There are three types of CBD oil: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate.

The full-spectrum variety contains a complete range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds naturally present in cannabis, including other compounds and minerals, such as a variety of fatty acids and beneficial fiber. 

Terpenes are the compounds in cannabis plants that give it distinctive aromas and flavors, while flavonoids are responsible for the vivid colors in most plants.

The combination of all these components creates a synergy known as “entourage effect,” where all of the constituents working together are more efficient than their isolated elements(53).

CBD is not the only cannabinoid found in cannabis that has therapeutic benefits. Hence, when choosing a CBD product, one may opt for one that contains full-spectrum CBD oil.

Still, it is up to the discretion of the physician whether to suggest trying full-spectrum formulations. No research is available on their efficacy and safety outside of specific components in separate contexts(54).

Meanwhile, those with allergies to THC may choose broad-spectrum CBD oil, which is like full-spectrum CBD but THC-free or contains trace amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC. 

CBD isolates, on the other hand, carry only pure CBD. For people who are allergic to specific components of the hemp plant and do not want any THC in their system, CBD isolates are an option.

Regardless of the form of CBD oil products, careful consideration must be employed in selecting the best CBD oil that is suitable for one’s lifestyle and preferences.

The following factors are essential to ensure the safety and reliability of the CBD products purchased:

  • Research on the exact legal stipulations applicable to CBD in the area where it would be bought and used.
  • Purchase only non-GMO, organic hemp-derived CBD oil products from legitimate and reliable CBD brands known for their high-quality CBD oil products. The majority of CBD companies that manufacture the best CBD oil products grow their hemp from their own farm, or they purchase from licensed hemp producers.
  • Research product reviews before buying from an online store. When purchasing from a physical store or dispensary, check whether the store is authorized by the government to sell CBD.
  • Knowing the extraction methods used in making the CBD oil is also essential.

Researchers of a study indicate that the Supercritical-CO2 extraction process is recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in pharmaceutical manufacturing(55).

The supercritical CO2 extraction method allows for the highest purity and potency because the process does not extract any unwanted ingredients and impurities.

NuLeaf Naturals is only one of several companies that use the supercritical CO2 extraction method to extract CBD oil for their tinctures. The most natural carrier oils that may be used include MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil), hemp seed oil, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Nuleaf extracts its CBD from hemp plants of the highest quality, grown on licensed farms in Colorado, USA. NuLeaf uses organic hemp oil as its carrier oil, for the most natural connection to the body’s endocannabinoid system and the most compatible oil for CBD.

  • One important thing to look for in CBD products is certification codes.

Several certification authorities approve certain products only after some thorough screening tests. A certificate of analysis (COA) is a laboratory report regarding the contents of a product.

In the case of CBD, a COA includes cannabinoid content and other tested compounds, such as pesticides, mold, and heavy metals. COAs ensure the customer knows what is in the product they are purchasing.

This piece of information does not only promote transparency, but it also ensures that the product contains what it claims. A reputable CBD company always ensures its products have passed lab testing and offers the most recent COAs of the products they provide.

After all, a COA is as much for the customer as it is for the manufacturer to make sure that consumers get only high-quality products. COAs ensure that consumers get only products of the highest quality with every purchase.

Apart from the COA, another certificate that is worth checking is the U.S. Hemp Authority Certification, which is the CBD industry’s initiative to provide high standards, best practices, and self-regulation. 

  • Compare company claims about their products’ potency with that of the third-party lab testing reports. Look for a certificate of analysis for every product purchased.
  • Consulting with a trusted medical professional experienced in the use of CBD is ideal before using any CBD product.

Additional Tips on Shopping for the Best CBD Oil Products

  • Consider CBD-rich, high-quality products derived from high-resin cannabis grown sustainably following with certified regenerative organic standards.
  • Be wary of CBD brands that claim their CBD is derived from the seed and stalk of hemp plants. CBD is not present in hemp seed, and there is barely any CBD in the stalk of the hemp plant.
  • Avoid CBD hemp oil vape cartridges containing flavor additives, toxic thinning agents (such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol), and other harmful ingredients.
  • Avoid poor quality CBD-infused gummies made with artificial colors and corn syrup. 
  • Reach out to CBD companies directly to ask questions. Try another brand if they do not communicate.

CBD Dosage for Arthritis

While there are no established clinical guidelines on dosing with CBD for arthritis treatment, the medical experts consulted by the Arthritis Foundation recommend the following for adults(56):

  • CBD extract is mixed with carrier oil. When taking CBD oil or tincture, it is essential to determine not only the amount of oil or tincture to take (the dose) but also the amount of CBD in each dose.
  • Go low and slow. Start with a few milligrams of CBD sublingually (under the tongue) twice a day. If relief is inadequate after one week, increase the dose by that same amount. 

If needed, gradually increase the dose over several weeks. Once relief has been achieved, continue taking that dose twice daily to maintain a stable level of CBD in the blood.

  • When using full-spectrum CBD oil, note that THC, even at low levels, may get the user high, creating cognitive, motor, and balance issues. 
  • If no relief from arthritis is achieved even after several weeks of using CBD alone or with a combination of CBD and very low THC, or if unwanted side effects are experienced when using a CBD product, immediately discontinue use and inform a doctor(57).

How to Take CBD Oil for Arthritis 

CBD-based products can be taken orally, applied to the skin, or inhaled. Each method of administration or consumption has its advantages and disadvantages for individuals with arthritis. 

Taking CBD by Mouth

CBD taken orally is swallowed or ingested in the form of capsules, food, or liquid, which are convenient and straightforward ways to take CBD oil (cannabidiol oil), especially for beginners.

CBD oil in these forms gets absorbed through the digestive tract. However, absorption is slow, and dosing is tricky due to the delayed onset (one to two hours) of effect, unknown stomach acids, and recent meals, among other factors.

Capsules can work for daily use after a safe, effective capsule dose has been established. Experts discourage taking CBD via edibles, like gummies and cookies, because dosing is unreliable.

CBD can also be absorbed directly into the bloodstream by holding liquid from a spray or tincture (a liquid dosed by a dropper) sublingually for 60 to 120 seconds. 

The taste may not be pleasant, but effects may be felt within 15 to 45 minutes and last for 4 to 6 hours(58).

CBD oil tinctures or drops may be practical for those who seek fast results and maximum dosage control. 

A syringe, marked dropper, or easily-calculated number of drops is used for consistent and accurate dosing. 

Topical CBD Application

A topical CBD cream, CBD transdermal patch, or CBD massage oil is ideal when dealing with pain or inflammation in a specific area of the body. 

When applied in this way, the CBD can target localized clusters of cannabinoid receptors, rather than interacting with the ECS as a whole.

The CBD in topicals goes to work instantly after rubbing the product onto the affected area, and relief can be felt in about 15 minutes. 

One option is to take CBD oil topically alone or combined with lotion or cream(59)

For topical products, look for keywords on the product labels that indicate that the product uses nanotechnology, encapsulation, or micellization of CBD. 

These words indicate that their solution can carry CBD through the dermal layers, rather than just staying on the skin.

Many CBD creams, salves, patches, and massage oils are also infused with other elements, such as essential oils, that may supplement CBD’s health benefits for pain relief.

Topical products may also include common over-the-counter ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin, or camphor, making it difficult to determine if a positive effect is due to the CBD or another ingredient.

Inhaling CBD

CBD can be inhaled via a vape pen. CBD oil vapes are one of the quickest ways to get CBD into the body since it enters the bloodstream through the lungs, without going through the digestive system. 

When vaping CBD, effects can be felt in minutes. However, the effects last for only 30 minutes to an hour or two. Also, with CBD vapes, it is difficult to determine precisely the amount of CBD is in each draw. 

As a 2018 study published in Molecules indicated, the primary limitations of inhaling are the variability in individuals’ inhalation techniques and respiratory tract irritation during inhalation(60).

Although labels for CBD oil vape products usually indicate the amount per inhale, this amount may vary in individuals. Thus, getting the dose right requires a bit of experimentation at first. 

Vaping is not for everyone. Experts are not sure whether or not vaping causes lung problems. However, they believe that the most likely culprit is a contaminant, not an infectious agent. 

Possibilities may also include chemical irritation or allergic or immune reactions to various chemicals or other substances in the inhaled vapors(61).

Also, inhalation of vapor oils and chemical byproducts carry unknown risks, particularly for people with inflammatory arthritis. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating vaping in association with widespread hospitalizations and deaths from severe pulmonary disease(62).

Individuals contemplating vaping CBD for the first time must proceed with caution and first consult with a doctor experienced in cannabis use.

Types and Symptoms of Arthritis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the following types of arthritis: osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia, gout, and childhood arthritis(63). 

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Some experts call it a degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. It happens most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees.

The cartilage within a joint begins to break down, and then the underlying bone begins to change. These changes develop slowly, becoming worse over time. OA can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) usually attacks many joints at once. RA typically affects joints in the knees, hands, and wrists. 

With RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, damaging the joint tissue. This damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity (misshapenness).

An autoimmune disorder, RA occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues.

Autoimmune diseases are associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease(64).

Fibromyalgia causes pain all over the body (also called widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and mental and emotional distress. 

Individuals with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia. This heightened sensitivity is called abnormal pain perception processing.

Gout usually affects only one joint at a time, oftentimes the big toe joint. There are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when there are no symptoms, referred to as remission. 

Repeated periods of gout can lead to gouty arthritis, a worsening form of arthritis.

A common type of childhood arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Childhood arthritis can lead to permanent physical damage to the joints. This damage can make it hard for the child to do everyday things like walking or dressing and can result in disability(65). 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and hemp-derived products at the federal level in the United States, removing them from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 

The law defined “agricultural hemp” as cannabis strains that contain less than 0.3% THC. Additionally, the Farm Bill explicitly legalized the “extracts, cannabinoids, and derivatives” of hemp. 

Many states and Washington, D.C. have passed cannabis-related laws, making medical marijuana with high levels of THC legal. 

Still, marijuana may require a prescription from a licensed physician(66).

To get more information on state laws and penalties, click here(67).

For a complete list of legal medical marijuana states and D.C., including the corresponding laws, fees, and possession limits, click here(68).

CBD Is Not the Same As Marijuana

CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of medical cannabis or medical marijuana. However, CBD, by itself, does not cause a “high.” 

While CBD is an essential component of marijuana, most CBD oil products on the market use cannabidiol oil derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. 


Human and animal studies have shown that CBD might be useful in alleviating arthritis symptoms, such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, and sleep problems. 

CBD has also been shown to help with weight management. Excess body weight puts added pressure on the joints, particularly the knees, hips, and feet. 

However, studies on CBD use for arthritis in humans are limited, and the long-term effects of CBD use remain unknown. 

More longitudinal research is needed to gather more scientific evidence and validate results from previous studies.

It is essential to consult with a medical professional experienced in cannabis use before starting a CBD regimen or combining CBD with current prescription medications.

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  2. Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936‐948. DOI:10.1002/ejp.818.
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