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CBD for Rheumatoid Arthritis

In 2006 a group of scientists had the first randomized controlled trial to evaluate the use of cannabis-based medicine to treat RA. “Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.” After five weeks of use, researchers concluded that Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine, significantly improved pain and reduced inflammation. Participants in the study also reported improved sleep and had mild side effects. 

Another study in 2008, Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain, concluded that the use of CBD to treat chronic pain had similar effects and found that CBD improved sleep and reduced pain without any adverse side effects.

In 2015 a study conducted by a group of scientists looked at more than fifty data points on the use of cannabinoids precisely dosing with CBD in treating pain and found that Cannabinoid can be therapeutic in enhancing the quality of life of people, including individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. The study included 325 individuals who were experiencing chronic pain. This double-blind research study was conducted over five weeks. It identified that CBD had better outcomes than a placebo in improving the participants’ sleep quality and alleviating pain. 

In 2016, another Cannabinoids in the management of a difficult-to-treat pain study using CBD gel on rats. Scientists again found that a CBD gel reduced both inflammation and joint pain without any side effects.

Although some studies are extremely promising, the existing research has been relatively small and early with minimum data. Therefore, much more research is needed with more human subjects to fully understand the effects of CBD and other cannabis-based treatments for RA symptoms. 

In summary, Cannabinoids may have beneficial effects in reducing inflammation with minimum or no side effects compared with conventional over-the-counter medications like aspirin or prescription drugs. 

Resources and Studies

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7176325/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16282192