Arthritis Foundation CBD Guidance for Adults with Arthritis
Learn more about our advocacy position on CBD oil.
The Arthritis Foundation is aware of the growing popularity and availability of CBD-based products. Industry reports show that people with arthritis are among the top buyers, and pain is the leading reason for purchase. Our July 2019 survey of 2,600 people with arthritis shows significant use of and interest in CBD(cannabidiol).* Earlier surveys have shown repeatedly that pain is the most burdensome arthritis symptom.
The Arthritis Foundation Position
As the largest organization representing the voice and needs of people with arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation has always welcomed new treatment options because no single drug, supplement or therapy works for everyone. We believe patients should be empowered to find safe management strategies that are appropriate for them. The more options available, the likelier it is that more people will benefit.
We are intrigued by the potential of CBD to help people find pain relief and are on record urging the FDA to expedite the study and regulation of these products. While currently there is limited scientific evidence about CBD’s ability to help ease arthritis symptoms, and no universal quality standards or regulations exist, we have listened to our constituents and consulted with leading experts** to develop these general recommendations for adults who are interested in trying CBD.
- CBD may help with arthritis-related symptoms, such as pain, insomnia and anxiety, but there have been no rigorous clinical studies in people with arthritis to confirm this.
- While no major safety issues have been found with CBD when taken in moderate doses, potential drug interactions have been identified.
- CBD should never be used to replace disease-modifying drugs that help prevent permanent joint damage in inflammatory types of arthritis.
- CBD use should be discussed with your doctor in advance, with follow-up evaluations every three months or so, as would be done for any new treatment.
- There are no established clinical guidelines to inform usage. Experts recommend starting with a low dose, and if relief is inadequate, increase in small increments weekly.
- Buy from a reputable company that has each batch tested for purity, potency and safety by an independent laboratory and provides a certificate of analysis.
* Read the survey results, “Patients Tell Us About CBD Use.”
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