In recent years, CBD oil has expanded dramatically in popularity for multiple uses, including arthritis, anxiety and pain. Much of this is due to the anecdotal evidence and growing body of scientific research that indicates the numerous benefits of CBD. Working to relieve pain and discomfort associated with joints is just one of the many ways many people use CBD today.

Understanding CBD

Before an individual can understand how CBD helps joints, they must first gain an understanding of what this substance is. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is one of the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

Cannabis, including CBD, has been part of natural treatments for pain, insomnia, and more for centuries. CBD is just one of more than 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, with the other major one being tetrahydrocannabinol, THC.

How It Works and Potential Benefits

These substances work via interactions with the body’s endocannabinoid system. That system helps regulate a long list of functions, including appetite, pain, mood, and sleep. As such, it can promote numerous benefits, such as pain relief, reducing anxiety, reducing depression, relieving inflammation, promoting relaxation, and improving sleep, among others.

Specifically, the endocannabinoid system has the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD interacts with the CB2 receptors indirectly. These cannabinoid receptors are closely related to anti-inflammatory properties and pain responses due to their location in the immune system. By contrast, CB1 receptors are more associated with mood, memory, appetite, thinking, and coordination.

CBD Is Not Psychoactive

It is also important to note that CBD is not psychoactive. As such, consuming pure CBD products will not show up on a drug test, and it should not get the user high. This makes it a strong option for those who need to maintain all of their mental facilities or pass drug tests but want the medical benefits. When looking for products, shoppers should keep in mind that THC is psychoactive, so its presence is something to consider.

Humans Have Used It For Thousands of Years

Using CBD and cannabis is not new. Humans have been using it since at least 3000 B.C. Experts know this based on Siberian burial mounds that contain charred cannabis seeds. It is also common in traditional Chinese medicine.

Evidence for CBD for Joints 

Before using CBD to treat joints, individuals will likely want to read about some of the evidence that supports using it in this way.

Various research has indicated that CBD has a great deal of potential in treating the pain in joints associated with arthritis. In 2017, a study published in Pain confirmed that CBD was able to prevent joint neuropathy and osteoarthritis pain. Both of these benefits were due to the ability of CBD to protect the nerves and to decrease joint inflammation.

Arthritis and Inflammation Studies in Animals

Most of the research into CBD for arthritis symptoms so far was conducted in animal studies, but it shows promise. These studies tend to rely on observing pain-related behaviors and nerves since there is no way to ask the animals about pain levels. In 2011, scientists found that CBD reduces inflammatory pain by affecting the response of pain receptors to stimuli. A 2014 review of past research concluded that CBD might effectively treat osteoarthritis.

A 2016 study indicated that topically applying CBD can potentially relieve inflammation and pain linked to arthritis. In 2017, another study indicated that CBD might be useful and safe for treating osteoarthritis pain.

There was also a 2006 study involving Sativex, a cannabis-based oral spray. The study indicated that it could relieve pain from arthritis, but the spray in question included THC as well as CBD.

CBD for Other Chronic Pain Conditions

Although not particularly related to joints in, several other studies indicate that CBD has the potential for treating chronic pain. One study in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management shows that cannabinoids like CBD can help ease the pain for those with cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Other studies have looked at the abilities of CBD to treat the pain associated with fibromyalgia. These indicated that it does indeed help and most patients only experienced minor negative effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, and dry mouth. A 2008 research review found that CBD may have the potential to help with chronic pain management.

Research into CBD for Other Purposes

In addition to its ability to reduce pain and inflammation, research has shown several other uses of CBD.

CBD for Seizures

One of the few areas in which there is sufficient evidence to indicate the potential of CBD for treatment is seizures. In fact, the FDA approved Epidiolex, an oral CBD to treat rare forms of epilepsy that affect children and are resistant to other treatment methods.

CBD for Migraines

There is a growing body of evidence that CBD can help with the treatment of migraines as well. For those unfamiliar with them, migraines tend to worsen with strong smells, movement, noise, or light, and they can spread to the sinuses, neck, and eyes. One study found that those treating migraines using a formula with cannabis and nabilone experienced relief.

CBD for Depression and Anxiety

The benefits of this natural substance extend to depression and anxiety. Most of the research related to anxiety and CBD is on adults, but one study from The Permanente Journal found that it can lower anxiety for young children as well. There are also multiple studies indicating that CBD can assist with depression.

The ability of CBD to lessen symptoms of depression is also important to those with arthritis given the fact that those with certain arthritis types experience depression at a rate that is two to 10 times as much as the general population.

CBD for Autism

Some early research in Israel shows that CBD can help reduce some of the more severe symptoms associated with autism, including problematic behaviors.

CBD for Insomnia and Sleep Problems

CBD also has a great deal of potential in treating sleep-related conditions. Taking CBD can help those with insomnia fall asleep more easily and help them stay asleep. This is a combination of CBD’s ability to regulate sleep along with its ability to help with stress and pain, both of which can interrupt a good night’s sleep.

CBD for High Blood Pressure

 Multiple studies have shown that CBD can help lower blood pressure. One study gave participants either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo. The researchers found that small quantities of CBD could reduce the resting blood pressure and decrease the rate of stroke.

CBD for Cancer

There is strong evidence that CBD can help with the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment, including nausea and pain. Some early evidence even shows that it may have the potential to help treat cancer. It may be able to induce cell death in active cancer cells and decrease cancer’s spread. Experts still need to conduct much more research in this respect.

CBD for Weight Loss

There is also some indication that CBD may be able to help with weight loss by affecting the appetite. More research is needed in this regard.

Other Uses

There are also some connections between CBD and reducing heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

Legality of CBD 

Given that CBD comes from marijuana, it is natural to wonder whether it is legal. Most CBD oils will be legal at the federal level thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill makes hemp plants and hemp-based products, including cannabidiol oil, legal, provided they have less than 0.3 percent THC. This law means hemp-based CBD should be legal.

Those who live in areas with legal recreational or medical marijuana can use cannabis-based CBD as well, including that with a higher percentage of THC. Users should always remember to follow their local laws.

Safety of CBD

CBD is completely safe for the average healthy adult. The World Health Organization reported that CBD does not seem to have any potential for abuse, nor does it seem to cause harm. Even better, users cannot overdose on CBD. At worst, those who consume too much will feel drowsy.

Potential Side Effects

Most people who use CBD do not notice negative effects. Some people, however, may experience changes to their weight or appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, or dry mouth.

Do Not Use It While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

While CBD is safe for most healthy adults, there has not been enough research on its effects on breastfeeding or pregnant women. There is also limited research into its effects on the children of women in these categories. As such, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use CBD.

Be Careful of Medicinal Interactions

The other caveat is that CBD can interact with certain prescription medications, reducing their effectiveness or causing potential negative effects. Because of this, anyone who is considering taking CBD should first consult with their doctor. They can also let patients know if the CBD has the potential to worsen any medical conditions.

Those With Cannabis Allergies Should Avoid It

Of course, CBD could cause an allergic reaction to those rare people who suffer from cannabis allergies. Anyone who is allergic to marijuana should avoid CBD unless they are certain that their allergy is to another specific component in the plant. In the latter case, they should always opt for pure CBD products that do not contain other elements of the plant.

Stay Safe by Choosing the Proper Products

CBD should be safe except in the rare previously mentioned exceptions. The important thing to remember, however, is that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate CBD at the moment, and treats it like dietary supplements instead. This means that no federal agency confirms the claims made by various retailers and manufacturers. As such, shoppers must complete their own research. Choosing reputable products with confirmed lab testing allows shoppers to confirm the quality of their products and stay safe.

Advantages of CBD Over Traditional Medications

Numerous pharmaceutical medications aim to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with joint problems. These have varying degrees of effectiveness but tend to have more negative effects than CBD. As such, the use of CBD can reduce the risk of negative effects. Additionally, CBD is all-natural, which appeals to some people.

A word of caution, however. Those considering CBD for joint pain should never suddenly stop their current medications and switch to CBD. The swap should begin with a test and be done with the consultation of a doctor familiar with the patient’s current condition and medical history.

How Much CBD to Take for Joints

Unfortunately, there is no standard dose for CBD for joints or any other use. There simply has not been enough research into this area yet to determine the ideal amount of CBD. Additionally, the dosage depends on the individual’s body chemistry and the severity of symptoms.

Ideally, users should start with a low dose, of around 5 mg or so. From there, users can increase the dose as needed. Keep in mind that taking a larger dose may lead to an increase in the potential for sedative side effects. For this reason, it is advisable to start with a lower dosage.

Choosing the Right CBD Oil for Joints

To ensure the best results, those suffering from joint issues should keep a few factors in mind while shopping for CBD oil.

Planned Use

Most people will use the oil sublingually, but some people may want to vape it instead. Those who plan to vape the oil should look for a product designed for this. Shoppers should also consider whether they want an oil with flavoring.

Many people do not realize it, but there are also CBD options available for pets suffering from joint problems. Those who plan to give their pet CBD oil should always opt for a product targeted for this use, as it will be formulated for pets.

Extraction Method

There are several extraction methods used to turn CBD into oil. The CO2 method involves pushing carbon dioxide through the plant with a low temperature and high pressure. This creates a very pure form of CBD. This method tends to be the most expensive, but users describe the taste as “cleaner.”

Some manufacturers will use ethanol or other high-grain alcohols as a solvent during extraction. It can destroy certain beneficial natural oils but increases water-soluble components. There is also a small chance of the solvent used remaining in the final product, in very small quantities.

Extraction can also use a carrier oil. This method is growing in popularity due to its lack of residue and potential additional benefits from the carrier oil.

Hemp or Cannabis Source

Shoppers should also consider whether the CBD comes from cannabis or hemp, both of which are Cannabis sativa. Remember that hemp-based products will have lower quantities of THC and be legal across the country. Cannabis-based products will vary in concentrations and legality.

Isolate or Full Spectrum

Shoppers will have to make the important decision of choosing between an isolate or pure CBD or full spectrum oil for their joints. Pure oil or an isolate only contains the CBD and carrier oil. By contrast, the latter oil has a full range of flavonoids, cannabinoids, and terpenes in the marijuana plant. As such, it will contain some THC.

Those with allergies or those who need to pass a drug test should stick to isolates. Those who want to maximize the positive effects of CBD should consider a full-spectrum product instead. That is because the various natural chemical compounds in cannabis work together to enhance the effects of each other.

Certificate of Analysis

As mentioned earlier, there is no regulatory body that tracks CBD, leaving the shoppers to make their own decisions. The best companies will offer certificates of analysis of their products from third-party laboratories. These will confirm the concentrations of active ingredients and the lack of potentially harmful ingredients. Always look for a certificate before buying CBD.

CBD Alternatives to Oil

 Those who need joint relief but are unsure about using CBD oil or a tincture can also find this natural substance in numerous other forms. In addition to the oils for direct ingestion and vaping, there are other options.

Shoppers can opt for edibles, such as gummies. These will take longer for results to begin, but the benefits tend to last longer. Those in search of convenience and portability can consider capsules.

Topical CBD treatments are also popular among those with joint issues. These include patches, balms, salves, and lotions infused with CBD. These products let the user target the area of the body to receive the CBD benefits, such as a sore or inflamed joint.

Of course, for those who live in states where marijuana or medical cannabis is legal, there is also the option to smoke a marijuana plant with high CBD content. For this use of cannabis, consult a dispensary.


Whether the joint pain and inflammation comes from rheumatoid arthritis, another form of arthritis, fibromyalgia, or another condition, CBD shows a great deal of promise in providing relief from the symptoms. There is already sufficient early research to indicate the potential health benefits of CBD oil in this respect, as well as its limited negative reactions. Using CBD will not result in any psychoactive effects and is legal. Anyone considering using CBD for their joints should consult their doctor first, as this will help confirm the lack of medicinal interactions. By using CBD, patients can experience relief from joint problems and a range of other conditions.

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