An August 2022 research study entitled "Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Arthritis and Joint Pain: An Exploratory Cross-sectional Study" that was published in the Journal of Cannabis Research explored the efficacy of the hemp-derived cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) for arthritis.
"The purpose of this study was to explore patient perceived effects of cannabidiol on symptoms of arthritis," reported the research. It noted that patients who have "exhausted conservative measures" and conventional treatments suffer chronic pain and may "resort to symptomatic management with anti-inflammatories, acetaminophen, opioids," and CBD.
The design of this scientific investigation was that of an anonymous questionnaire that was created "to evaluate perceived efficacy of cannabidiol for the treatment of arthritis." It involved a self-selected convenience sample of 428 participants who were recruited "through online methods, including social media accounts and newsletters (The Arthritis Foundation and Savvy Cooperative) between May 5, 2020 and November 5, 2020."
For people aged 18 to 64, nearly one in three (both men and women) have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
Statistical analysis, including regression analysis, was performed "to determine differences between types of arthritis and improvements in quality-of-life symptoms" and to "identify variables associated with decreasing or discontinuing other medications."
The researcher's analysis of the data collected from the questionnaire revealed that the study participants reported improvement in pain resulting from their use of CBD. 83 percent of study subjects reported a decrease in pain, 66 percent an improvement of physical function, and 66 percent improvements in sleep quality.
Improvements in physical function occurred most commonly in subjects suffering osteoarthritis. Overall, the participants reported a 44 percent "reduction in pain after CBD use." Also significant, 61 percent of subjects (259) reported a "reduction or cessation of other medications after CBD use."
CBD Reduced Opioid Consumption
Of these, 31 percent reported reductions in anti-inflammatories (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs), 18 percent reduced acetaminophen, and nine percent reduced their opioid consumption. Eighteen percent of participants were able to fully discontinue their use of anti-inflammatories, 18 percent quit acetaminophen, and nearly 19 percent of subjects stopped consuming opioids.
The study's authors concluded that the results of their research mean that both medical professionals and their patients "should be aware of the various alternative therapeutic options available to treat their symptoms of arthritis" and that this awareness is especially important "in light of the increased accessibility to cannabidiol products."
The study stated that its data reveal "associations between CBD use and improvements in patient's arthritis symptoms and reductions in other medications.
The study stated that its data reveal "associations between CBD use and improvements in patient's arthritis symptoms and reductions in other medications." Like thousands of other studies that have investigated the efficacy of hemp, cannabis, and its constituent cannabinoids such as CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it recommended ongoing research that focuses on "the benefits of CBD use in this patient population with clinical trials."
View the original study.