CBD and Arthritis

back pain

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is defined by the NHS as a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint [1]. There are two main types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis can cause a loss of smooth cartilage in the lining of a joint, which can cause movement problems as well as possible pain, swelling and the formation of bony spurs called osteophytes. If the loss of cartilage is severe enough, osteoarthritis can even cause bones to rub against one another, forcing them out of their normal position.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, occurs when the body’s immune system targets the affected joints, leading to pain and swelling. This can then also spread across the whole joint, causing further swelling and possibly even a change in the shape of the joint, possibly leading to the cartilage breaking down.

It is worth noting that, while these two may be the most common types, there are over 100 types of arthritis and while they may have some points in common, they all interact differently with the body. As such it is important to keep in mind what helps with one case of arthritis may not help with another. There is also the chance that CBD might interact with other medications you may already be taking for arthritis so, as always, we recommend you check with your doctor first if thinking about CBD while on other medication.

The research

Unfortunately, due to CBD only truly coming into the public eye in recent years, much of the research on it’s effects with specific conditions is still ongoing, such as this study [2]. That said, there are a number of completed studies about the effects of CBD on arthritis with generally quite positive results. 

This article [3] talks about how the researchers found that CBD has successfully demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in multiple inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, and that CBD possesses anti-arthritic activity.

Similarly to this, this study [4] found that CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling and concluded that CBD has therapeutic potential for relieving the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis without evident side effects.

To further back this up, this study [5] found, with an anonymous questionnaire of participants with arthritis, 83% reported that CBD use led to improvements with pain, 66% reported better physical function and 66% also found better sleep quality with CBD use. The majority of respondents here also reported a reduction or complete stop of other medications after CBD use. They also found greater percentage reduction and point reduction with osteoarthritis than with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune arthritis.

Benefits of CBD as Alternative Medicene

One reason why so many people are interested in CBD as alternative medication for arthritis is the risks that are associated with the typical arthritis medications.

One such mediation is Acetaminophen, which has been used for more than half a century and is commonly used to treat arthritis. While it is generally quite safe it does carry the risk of liver damage and while it might help with the pain, it does nothing to reduce inflammation, a primary biological trigger of the pain sensation. [6]

Some arthritis medications do treat inflammation and reduce pain, such as those of the class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some examples of NSAIDs include both naproxen and ibuprofen. 

Though NSAIDs are generally quite effective in reducing inflammation, they do have a number of potential side effects which carry substantial health risk, especially for older populations, for example NSAIDs can adversely affect kidney functions and lead to bleeding in the digestive system.

While not commonly the first response to arthritis symptoms, potentially the most dangerous medication is Opioid medication, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. These medications attempt to mask the pain, not alleviate it, by acting upon the central nervous system and long-term use of these drugs can lead to physical dependence and addiction, as opiods are highly habit forming. 

In addition to this, opiates are one of the leading causes of accidental overdose death for people aged 45-54, a demographic that incidentally possesses an almost 30% incidence rate of arthritis.

The adverse effects of these medications can bring even greater health risk to older patients, and with 50% of arthritis patients being older than 65, that causes serious issue with the medications they are prescribed.


Given then all the possible risks of the medications seen above in addition to the seemingly anti-arthritic properties revealed by many of the preliminary studies of CBD, it’s very easy to understand why so many people are turning to CBD as a form of medication for different types of arthritis.

Here at HempWell we offer a number of CBD products which can assist with the issues caused by arthritis, from our various CBD oils, to bath bombs for a nice CBD-infused soak in the tub. One of our recommended for arthritis would definitely be our Deep Relief Cooling Muscle and Joint Cream, which can be topically applied to the affected area where there is inflammation and sore joints or muscles.


  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/arthritis/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6561449/
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41419-020-02892-1
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejp.818
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s42238-022-00154-9
  6. https://athmjournal.com/beyondcbd/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/02/Khaleghi.pdf