November 17, 2021

CBD For Arthritis

Arthritis can make doing the simplest things, like getting out of bed in the morning or going for a walk after dinner feel impossible. Stiff, achy joints make even the most menial tasks a challenge.

If you’re looking for relief, CBD is worth considering. CBD has been found to have many health benefits including anti-inflammatory effects that can significantly reduce pain.

CBD may also be able to help with sleep struggles and mental health concerns often associated with chronic pain conditions like arthritis.

Today we cover all you need to know about:

  • Why CBD for arthritis?
  • The research behind CBD and arthritis
  • Safe usage
  • Best CBD products to use

What Is CBD & How Does It Work?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It interacts with your body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce various effects, like reducing pain, relieving nausea, supporting sleep, boosting mood, and more.

Indeed, the scientific community has found many potential benefits of CBD.

Why CBD For Arthritis?

Many people with arthritis are looking for natural and complementary remedies for the pain, inflammation, and other symptoms that often accompany the condition.

In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, 79% of those surveyed said they either currently use CBD, have used it in the past, or are considering using it to manage their arthritis pain.(1)

CBD may offer other benefits too. The Arthritis Foundation survey also found that of those arthritis patients using CBD:

  • 67% reported improvements in physical function
  • 71% reported sleep improvements
  • 67% reported improvements in mental health and overall mood

The answers are clear: People with arthritis are already using CBD for pain relief (and more), and many are seeing results!

CBD: An Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse

There's a wealth of research demonstrating CBD's pain-relieving power. Research shows that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-pain effects.(2) It also seems to help modulate immune response and function.(3)

CBD For Arthritis Is A Natural Alternative To Painkillers

Unlike opioids and other painkillers, CBD doesn’t have the same risks or downsides. CBD is:

  • Well-tolerated with fewer and milder side effects
  • Not addictive
  • Extremely difficult to overdose on
  • A more natural product

And if you do take pain medication to manage your symptoms, research on chronic pain suggests that CBD can help reduce the amount of pain medication needed.(4)

For additional insights into alternatives to painkillers, check out our article 7 Natural Ways To Relieve Arthritis Pain At Home.

CBD & Arthritis Research

CBD may aid in managing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Studies have shown CBD to be particularly effective for osteoarthritis joint pain.(5)

A 2016 study found that transdermal CBD (aka CBD cream) reduced joint swelling and pain-related behaviors in rats with arthritis — suggesting that CBD creams may be good at diminishing arthritic joint pain for humans as well.(6)

And in a study on 58 rheumatoid arthritis patients, researchers found that Sativex — a CBD and THC-containing medication — significantly lessened movement pain and pain at rest, and improved sleep quality.(7)

Pro tip: Learn all about CBD creams by gliding on over to our comprehensive explainer:CBD Topical Cream [The Ultimate Guide].

Incorporating CBD To Your Management Plan

As always, you should consult your doctor before trying any new treatments or supplements. CBD may interact with some medications you’re currently taking.

If your doctor gives the OK, follow these tips for safe use:

  • Start at a low dose and gradually increase as needed.
  • Choose only high-quality CBD, with natural ingredients, derived from organic hemp.
  • Buy from a trusted source that's committed to transparency and regulatory compliance.
  • Pick a bioavailable nano-CBD for the most effective absorption.

The Best CBD For Arthritis Pain

We've already mentioned the benefits and uses of a high-quality CBD topical cream. What about other types of CBD? Can you use those?

You sure can! Here's a quick rundown of various CBD products and how they may help alleviate your arthritis symptoms.

  • CBD topicals: A great choice for muscle and joint pain. You use it directly at the location of pain and reapply as needed.
  • CBD oil drops: An all-around fan favorite for general use. CBD oil drops (aka CBD tinctures) are one of the fastest-acting CBD products and are great for those who want to achieve the maximum effects as quickly as possible.
  • CBD water solubles: Another great option for arthritis pain relief. You can mix it with your favorite beverage and drink it when you need to.
  • CBD softgels: A convenient way to take CBD on the regular. You can add it to a pill schedule to easily incorporate into a routine.
  • CBD gummies: These are similar to the other ingestible CBD products, but take a bit longer to get to work. CBD gummies are best if you want a little flavor and fun and don't mind the slow release of CBD.

You may want to give a couple of products a try until you find the one(s) for you. You can also double-up by complementing a CBD topical with a CBD oil for maximum arthritis relief.

CBD For Arthritis: Final Thoughts

CBD is a plant-based remedy that might ease arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory properties that are particularly helpful when it comes to the inflammation-related pain, sleep disruption, and mood challenges associated with arthritis. Surveys show that many arthritis patients are already turning to CBD to soothe aching joints and address other symptoms and arthritis-related complaints. Studies are starting to back up some of these benefits.

Assuming you get the go-ahead from your doctor, CBD may be worth a try. CBD topicals are a great way to target the effects of CBD directly where you need them most. Ingestible formulations of CBD yield more systemic results — targeting your pain and inflammation from the inside out.

The options are endless when it comes to CBD — so try out different types until you find the one (or combo!) that works best for you!



  1. (2021). Patients Tell Us About CBD Use. Arthritis Foundation.
  2. Atalay, S, et al. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants.
  3. Nichols, JM, et al. (2020). Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol. Cannabis and cannabinoid research.
  4. Johnson, J. (2020). Does CBD oil work for chronic pain management? Medical News Today.
  5. Philpott, HT, et al. (2017). Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain.
  6. Hammell, DC, et al. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain.
  7. Blake, DR, et al. (2006). Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology.

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