In an effort to increase educational awareness around growing public interest in the CBD-based products now proliferating markets across the U.S., the Arthritis Foundation has released the first guidance to inform consumers and medical practitioners alike seeking out CBD’s potential to treat inflammatory pain.
Acknowledging the need for better consumer resources at a time when scientific studies are limited and federal regulations and quality standards are non-existent, the Arthritis Foundation consulted with leading experts in cannabis and arthritic pain management to convey best practices for CBD sourcing, usage and dosing.
“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,” according to the foundation. “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.”
The foundation’s guidance highlights some key takeaways:
• 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.
Of course, cost-effective applications of CBD alone will not work for everyone. In line with the organization’s recognition that “no single drug, supplement or therapy works for everyone,” the CBD guidelines also include recommendations for consumers who have not found therapeutic benefit from isolated CBD products alone.
In a section titled “How much CBD should I use?”, the Arthritis Foundation lays out the basics for THC inclusion and titration for those with access to medical and adult-use markets. This emphasis on personalized medicine and the broad therapeutic potential of this polymodal plant is an important step toward increasing awareness and decreasing unwanted outcomes.