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CBD for Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief

CBD or Cannabidiol for joint pain

Arthritis is a debilitating disease that causes chronic pain and affects millions of people. Often, it is difficult to find an effective relief solution for joint pain in traditional treatments, due to their limited efficacy or the occurrence of side effects.

This Cannactiva article explains the latest research on the use of CBD for arthritis, its properties and potential benefits, at what dosage it is being used and its safety.

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is a potent natural anti-inflammatory obtained from hemp, which is a non-psychoactive variety of cannabis.

Unlike THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, CBD does not produce a “high,” making it attractive for therapeutic uses.

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of this component of hemp have made it a potential ally in the treatment of arthritis and joint pain.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by persistent joint pain, which mainly affects women (70% of cases). Its exact causes are unknown, but factors such as overweight, pollution and smoking are considered to increase the risk of developing it.

Conventional treatment of arthritis

Conventional treatment for arthritis depends in part on how the disease presents. The most common are rheumatoid arthritis (which is an autoimmune disease), osteoarthritis (resulting from cartilage wear and tear), psoriatic arthritis (associated with psoriasis) and ankylosing spondylitis (mainly affecting the spine), among others.

In general, therapies include the use of medications to reduce inflammation and pain, such as glucocorticoids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids and anti-rheumatic drugs.

While conventional treatments offer some relief from arthritis and joint pain, effective management of chronic pain remains a considerable challenge for many patients.

The persistent and often debilitating nature of pain associated with arthritis can significantly limit quality of life, leading some patients to explore options such as surgery in search of relief. However, these interventions, although potentially effective, carry risks, recovery periods, and do not guarantee complete elimination of pain.

It is important to understand that chronic pain is a complex condition, which cannot be measured objectively, and its treatment must be personalized, with various therapeutic approaches and strategies. Listening to and trusting the people who experience pain is fundamental, as they are the ones who can best describe it and collaborate in its appropriate management.

Arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by persistent joint pain, which mainly affects women (70% of cases). Pain management should be personalized.
Pain is a complex experience, in which different factors intervene, and its therapeutic management must be personalized.

Use of CBD in the Treatment of Arthritis and Joint Pain

Research suggests that cannabinoids, such as CBD, may decrease joint pain. This is due to the presence of the endocannabinoid system in the synovial joints (1). Synovial joints are those where bones connect and allow range of motion. These joints are encapsulated in a cavity filled with synovial fluid, which lubricates and reduces friction, and protected by cartilage at their bony ends. They are the most common and mobile joints of the body, found in various parts, such as knees, elbows, wrists, vertebrae, etc.

Efficacy of CBD for Arthritis: Clinical Evidence

Clinical evidence shows that CBD can be effective for arthritis. In a survey of more than 400 people with arthritic conditions, 60.5% of people taking CBD reported less use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.In addition, CBD was found to be somewhat more effective in people with osteoarthritis compared to people with rheumatoid arthritis (2).

On the other hand, studies suggest that CBD may fight arthritis not only by relieving pain and inflammation, but also by promoting the elimination of cells that contribute to the disease.

For example, CBD has been shown to induce the death of certain inflammatory cells in laboratory experiments, offering a potential anti-arthritic effect. (3, 4).

CBD has also been shown to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts(RASF), cells involved in the degradation of articular cartilage (3).

Ways to Use CBD for Arthritis

CBD for arthritis, can be used in different forms; either in the form of CBD oils, CBD physiotherapy oils, tinctures, and CBD edibles.

To treat joint pain, CBD cream or gel is recommended, as these products have shown good results in the local treatment of joint pain (1, 5) and allow direct application.

Physiotherapy CBD Creams for Pain Relief
Physiotherapy CBD Creams for Pain Relief

The use of CBD creams or gels provides a localized effect, which has advantages in terms of few adverse effects and treatment safety.

How to Take CBD for Arthritis?

Effective doses of CBD for arthritis vary widely. Successful cases have been reported with amounts ranging from less than 25 mg per day to more than 75 mg of CBD per day orally (9, 10).

Another option is the use of gels or creams to relieve joint pain. It appears that topical use of CBD may provide relief from joint pain in people with arthritis (5, 6).

It should be considered that the legality of CBD varies from country to country, which makes it difficult to standardize its quality and purity, and thus the safety of CBD use. We recommend you to find suppliers with quality products.

Side Effects of CBD

Side effects of CBD include mild symptoms that disappear with discontinuation of CBD use, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue or nausea (7).

Although the safety profile of CBD is favorable for various conditions, it is important to be aware of its potential drug interactions. This emphasizes the need for medical consultation prior to use.

To learn more about this topic, visit: CBD and Drug Interactions

And, above all, consult your medical practitioner for guidance on whether CBD can help you before using it.


CBD can help some types of pain, avoiding the psychoactive effects of other cannabinoids with analgesic effects such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Scientific reports point to CBD benefiting people with arthritis or joint pain, and that, although there is no standard dosage, it is a safe option to help people with chronic joint pain.

Consult with a healthcare professional about dosages and frequency of use of CBD for arthritis, especially if you are taking any other medications.

Note: This is an informational article and is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. Its contents may complement, but should never replace, any diagnosis or treatment of any disease or symptom. Cannactiva products are not medicines and are intended for external use. Cannactiva is not responsible for the misuse of this information. Please note that new scientific evidence may become available since the date of publication. Therefore, consult your doctor before using CBD.

  1. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England), 20(6), 936-948.
  2. Frane, N., Stapleton, E., Iturriaga, C., Ganz, M., Rasquinha, V., & Duarte, R. (2022). Cannabidiol as a treatment for arthritis and joint pain: an exploratory cross-sectional study. Journal of cannabis research, 4(1), 47.
  3. Lowin, T., Tingting, R., Zurmahr, J., Classen, T., Schneider, M., & Pongratz, G. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD): a killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. Cell death & disease, 11(8), 714.
  4. Winklmayr, M., Gaisberger, M., Kittl, M., Fuchs, J., Ritter, M., & Jakab, M. (2019). Dose-Dependent Cannabidiol-Induced Elevation of Intracellular Calcium and Apoptosis in Human Articular Chondrocytes. Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society, 37(12), 2540-2549.
  5. Hunter, D., Oldfield, G., Tich, N., Messenheimer, J. & Sebree, T. (2018). Synthetic transdermal cannabidiol for the treatment of knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. Available at:
  6. Heineman, J. T., Forster, G. L., Stephens, K. L., Cottler, P. S., Timko, M. P., & DeGeorge, B. R., Jr (2022). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Topical Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Thumb Basal Joint Arthritis. The Journal of hand surgery, 47(7), 611-620.
  7. Pramhas, S., Thalhammer, T., Terner, S., Pickelsberger, D., Gleiss, A., Sator, S., & Kress, H. G. (2023). Oral cannabidiol (CBD) as add-on to paracetamol for painful chronic osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The Lancet regional health. Europe, 35, 100777.
  8. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139-154.
  9. Miles, S. J., Peer, M., Ladha, K. S., & Clarke, H. (2024). Cannabinoids dosing for osteoarthritis. The Lancet regional health. Europe, 38, 100850.
  10. Boehnke, K. F., Häuser, W., & Fitzcharles, M. A. (2022). Cannabidiol (CBD) in Rheumatic Diseases (Musculoskeletal Pain). Current rheumatology reports, 24(7), 238-246.

Masha Burelo
Investigadora en cannabinoides | Doctoranda en Neurociencia

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