Year by year, our understanding of the wonders of the cannabis plant continues to grow. Researchers are constantly uncovering new ways in which cannabinoids could offer unmeasured therapeutic potential, and innovations in the CBD industry follow closely behind.
CBD has now seeped its way into the world of health, wellness, sports, and even cosmetics. With hundreds of products to choose from it can be hard to know how CBD could best be tailored to your needs. Here, we discuss whether CBD-infused creams could be used to manage joint pain. Though the hard evidence is lacking, the testimonials are there – so let’s take a look at what the science says.
What is CBD cream?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of over 100 naturally-occurring cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike THC, the plant’s mind-altering molecule, CBD is non-psychoactive and cannot get you high. For this reason, CBD can legally be bought and used as a health supplement. It is proving hugely popular amongst those seeking some of the benefits of whole-plant cannabis, without the intoxicating effects.
Clinical research has even found CBD to have promising therapeutic potential in numerous mental and physical health conditions, largely due to the cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory properties.
One of the more popular reasons for using CBD is to relieve minor aches and pains, particularly in the joints. A hugely effective way of doing this is with topical CBD products, such as CBD-infused creams or gels. When applied to the skin, CBD can penetrate the skin surface and get right to the source of discomfort. It’s an efficient way to get direct anti-inflammatory relief.
Although there are countless anecdotal reports to suggest that CBD can reduce joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, there are very few studies to confirm these effects. So let’s take a look at what the scientists are saying about CBD creams for joint pain.
CBD & joint pain: looking at the evidence
Joint pain, whether injury-induced or due to a more long-lasting problem, is not uncommon – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t debilitating. Although resting or icing the joints may help, many people are forced to turn to strong painkillers to manage their discomfort. In recent years, more and more people are choosing to use CBD as a way to naturally relieve joint pain and inflammation, but does it work?
Currently, the best evidence that researchers have found for using CBD to treat joint pain is through animal studies. One particular study that applied CBD gel to rats with arthritis found that both 6.2mg and 62.3mg doses significantly reduced swelling, inflammatory pain, and inflammatory blood markers after four days of daily application.
Another, more recent study found that daily CBD treatment reduced pain levels and improved mobility of dogs with osteoarthritis, a form of joint degeneration that causes pain and stiffness. Due to the growing evidence in favour of using CBD to relieve joint pain in dogs, many owners are choosing to give their pets CBD to help them through later life. These products could include hemp treats or salmon-flavoured CBD oil, specifically tailored to support canine health.
In humans, however, the scientific evidence is limited. That said, the Arthritis Foundation has released survey data showing that 29% of 2,600 survey respondents confirmed they were currently taking CBD, approximately 3 out of 4 of whom reported that it was either effective or very effective in relieving several symptoms. So whilst we await the results of more rigorous human trials, it may be that CBD could be a beneficial health supplement to those living with joint pain.
There are other ways in which CBD could indirectly help to support the health of our joints. Sleep deprivation and heightened levels of stress are both known to increase inflammation and could subsequently worsen joint damage. With evidence to suggest that CBD can help to reduce stress and improve sleep quality, this could either prevent or reduce pain and inflammation in the joints.
How does it work?
CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), an intricate signalling network that is responsible for coordinating countless bodily functions to keep the body in a state of balance. The ECS helps to regulate our mood, memory, sleep, immune system, pain levels, appetite, and much more.
Within the ECS are cannabinoid (CB) receptors, CB1 and CB2, which span the brain and body and help to regulate these biological processes. There are even CB receptors in our skin barrier, which is thought to be how CBD can directly target our joints and muscles.
CBD creams are infused with full-spectrum hemp extract which, when absorbed by the skin, can activate CB receptors in the target area. Since the ECS is involved in immune cell signalling and inflammation, CBD may provide local anti-inflammatory relief directly at the source of pain.
How to use CBD cream
At UK CBD oils, our CBD creams are created using natural, plant-based ingredients. Each product is slightly different, loaded with vitamins and nutrients to preserve the health of the skin, as well as provide direct anti-inflammatory relief to joints and muscles.
Our CBD heat cream is formulated to combine the benefits of CBD with deep heat. Although not specifically designed to be a medical product, many users choose to use CBD heat cream to soothe inflamed muscles and joints, as its deep warming sensation can help blood flow to the area and may help to reduce joint stiffness.
For those after the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD but without the heating effect, you may wish to try natural CBD skin cream. Just like the CBD heat cream, each 50ml jar contains 300mg of full-spectrum CBD.
How much do I take? Our recommended amount of CBD cream is about 1ml per area. Each jar should last you about five weeks, but if you experience more severe pain, it is recommended that you use 2-3ml per area.
The beauty of CBD cream is that its light, mousse-like texture leaves the skin feeling fresh, soft and hydrated – unlike a balm, which often leaves a waxy residue on the skin. However, if you’re after a more concentrated topical CBD product, you may wish to try whole-plant CBD paste.
CBD paste, or raw hemp extract, is a high-strength product that can either be taken like a CBD oil or applied to the skin. Available in 800mg and 1000mg strengths, our paste can provide 25-50mg of full-spectrum CBD per application, so may help to provide more powerful anti-inflammatory action.
Is it safe?
The World Health Organisation has declared that CBD is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile,” even at high doses. Studies have found the side effects of CBD to be rare and mild. These could include, reduced appetite, nausea, diarrhoea, or fatigue, and are typically remedied with the correct dosage. Since our CBD creams contain lower doses per application than our CBD oils, this reduces the risk of experiencing these adverse effects.
As with any supplement, it is always best to consult a doctor or medical professional before adding CBD to your routine. This is especially important if you are on any other medications, as CBD has been shown to have some mild drug interactions.
It is also important to consider that not every product on the market will be right for you. To ensure that you’re using a pure, certified, and reviewed product, always buy your CBD from a reputable and trustworthy brand.
All UK CBD oil products are tested at random by third-party labs every 2 to 3 months and our lab reports are available to see on our website. This is to help you know exactly what you’re putting in your body – that is, high-quality products with no harmful ingredients.
Other ways to take CBD
There are countless ways to take your daily dose of CBD. Whilst CBD cream may provide optimal results for people living with joint pain, each other method of administration has its benefits, depending on your needs. Here are just a few of the many ways to take CBD for joint pain:
Oils are one of the most popular ways to take CBD. There is a wide range of types, strengths and flavours available, some with added ingredients for your benefit. CBD oils are usually taken by placing a few drops under the tongue. This allows the product to be absorbed into the bloodstream almost instantly. If you’re keen to try CBD oil alongside CBD cream for the ultimate anti-inflammatory relief, why not try one of our bundles?
If you’re looking for a more tasteless and odourless way to take CBD oil, then capsules are the thing for you. Just like any pill, they’re easy to take and give a consistent daily dose. Though remember, the CBD needs to go through the digestion process, so it takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours to feel the effects.
Again, if you prefer a more convenient CBD dose then perhaps opt for edible products, such as hemp tea or CBD gummies. These are both great ways to get your daily dose in. One thing to note, however, is that these products tend to contain slightly lower doses of CBD, so you may need to adjust your serving size, if necessary.
You may also wish to take CBD alongside other beneficial health supplements, such as krill oil capsules, for instance. These contain omega-3s, which help to protect our joints and regulate inflammation in the body. When taken alongside CBD, this could help to keep your joints fighting fit throughout life.
Whilst the jury is still out on whether or not CBD could be an effective treatment for joint pain and arthritis, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence to say it could be a beneficial addition to a supplement regime. Not only could it help to relieve minor aches and pains, but CBD may also work wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing.