When combined with appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes, CBD can play a supportive role in addressing the causative factors underlying arthritis.

The word “arthritis” literally means joint inflammation. There are many kinds of arthritis, but they are all characterized by chronic pain and swelling at the places where two bones meet. Arthritis is an unfortunately common condition. About one in five people will develop arthritis in their lifetimes. Arthritis is more common among women than men, and it is also more common among those with heart disease and diabetes. 

Arthritis is often treated with a host of over-the-counter and prescription medications directed at reducing inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, celebrex, and acetaminophen are taken to ease daily symptoms. Many people take stronger, opiate based painkillers to address more severe chronic pain.

These medications pose health risks, and they are not always effective in treating the condition. NSAIDs are associated with possible side effects, including damage to the lining of the GI tract, renal toxicity, and elevations in liver enzymes. Meanwhile, opioids foster dependency and present many complications, including difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia.

CBD modulates the inflammatory cascade, thereby reducing pain and improving joint function. When combined with appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes, CBD can play a supportive role in addressing the causative factors underlying arthritis. CBD works with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to affect the inflammation response1. Additionally, CBD modulates the pain response2. In one study, CBD was shown to reduce pain on movement and at rest, and improve quality of sleep.3 CBD also demonstrates promise in helping to slow the progression of certain forms of arthritis4.

Topical preparations containing CBD can address pain and inflammation at the affected joints directly5, while oral ingestion of CBD modulates inflammation throughout the whole body. Considering that every joint in our body is connected to the same blood supply and the same immunological and inflammatory network, combining oral and topical formulas is the most effective strategy for managing arthritic conditions.

One limitation with many CBD topicals on the market is that CBD has difficulty penetrating the skin barrier to reach the source of swelling and discomfort. Our Green Earth Medicinal topical formulations, including Topical Cream, Muscle Spray, and Roll-On, are especially effective due to the synergistic effects of our multi-herb formulas, which allow for enhanced penetration. Limonene and cayenne are examples of two ingredients we use in our topical formulas to enhance penetration and improve efficacy. Finally, our Extra-Strength Sublingual Drops are an excellent complement to a comprehensive pain and inflammation management regimen.

It is important to note that with a condition such as arthritis, there may not be a ‘magic bullet’ to cure all symptoms and underlying causes. Additional strategies to employ are regular gentle exercise, maintaining healthy body composition, plenty of rest, a healthy diet, and quitting smoking.


  1. Philpott HT, O╩╝Brien M, McDougall JJ (2017). Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain, (12):2442-2451. 

  2. Schuelert N, McDougall JJ (2011). The abnormal cannabidiol analogue O-1602 reduces nociception in a rat model of acute arthritis via the putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55. Neurosci Lett. 1;500(1):72-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.06.004.

  3. La Porta C, Bura SA, Negrete R, Maldonado R (2014). Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in osteoarthritis pain. Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Feb;39(3):485-500. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12468.

  4. Blake DR, Robson P, Ho M, Jubb RW, McCabe CS (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 (Oxford). 2006 Jan;45(1):50-2. Epub 2005 Nov 9.

  5. D.C. Hammell et. al. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016 Jul; 20(6): 936–948.

By: Doug Williams | October 30, 2019


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