Posted on

cbd oil and rheumatoid arthritis

Dr Alexander in an interview with the Congress News said “We know there’s a broader story, and that it’s not just pain itself – it’s all the ancillary things that go alongside it, such as anxiety, depression, comorbidities, and so on. I think, therefore, that the message is one of tentative hope.”

Dr Steve Alexander, Associate Professor in molecular pharmacology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, said that some of the effects – or side effects – of these medicines might be relevant to rheumatology patients. For example, the drowsiness that has been associated with some cannabis preparations could be beneficial, since improved sleep does affect people’s subjective scores of pain.

The use of cannabis-based products to treat pain in RA is a topic that comes up regularly in discussions on Facebook and our online community on HealthUnlocked, so I thought it would be useful to share a summary of the lecture here.

By Clare Jacklin, CEO

In conclusion, NRAS will keep a watchful eye on developments in this controversial topic but as it stands today our position is that there is still no proven scientific evidence of benefit for those living with inflammatory arthritis. I would highly recommend that extreme caution should be taken when purchasing any CBD products or indeed any other ‘complementary’ products, online or via high street retailers without due-diligence and research into the producers of the product and always tell your rheumatology team what you are taking alongside your usual RA medication/s.

While at the European League Against Rheumatism congress in Madrid in June Iain, our Head of RA Services and I attended a lecture on the topic of cannabis and cannabis-based derivatives such as CBD cannabidiol.

The question is, can medical cannabis be recommended as a new analgesic option in musculoskeletal conditions? The answer is not simple or clear-cut according to Professor Serge Perrot, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Paris Descartes University and a rheumatologist and Head of the Pain Centre at Cochin-Hotel Dieu Hospital, Paris. “All the meta-analyses (examination of data from a number of independent studies of the same subject, in order to determine overall trends) and literature reviews have demonstrated that, for example in fibromyalgia, in back pain, in neuropathic pain, “it was not very different from placebo.” That said there are “specific clinical cases” where cannabis-based treatments may be useful on an individual basis, which “speaks in favour of authorising the products”, said Prof. Perrot. He went on to say that emerging data suggests that cannabis-derived medicines may prove to be more effective for conditions such as anxiety, sleep disorders, and loss of appetite, rather than specifically for pain.

Cannabis and cannabis-based derivatives such as CBD cannabidiol are often used or enquired about for pain management in RA, but is there evidence that they are effective as painkillers?

But now, there is.

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling

What’s the evidence that CBD is effective for chronic arthritis pain?

Perhaps you’ve been tempted to try it. After all, most types of arthritis are not cured by other treatments, and CBD is considered a less addictive option than opiates. Or maybe it’s the marketing that recommends CBD products for everything from arthritis to anxiety to seizures. The ads are pretty hard to miss. (Now here’s a coincidence: as I was writing this, my email preview pane displayed a message that seemed to jump off the screen: CBD Has Helped Millions!! Try It Free Today!)

As with any treatment, there can be downsides. CBD is generally considered safe; however, it can still cause lightheadedness, sleepiness, dry mouth, and rarely, liver problems. There may be uncertainty about the potency or purity of CBD products (since they are not regulated as prescription medications are), and CBD can interact with other medications. For pregnant women, concern has been raised about a possible link between inhaled cannabis and lower-birthweight babies; it’s not clear if this applies to CBD. Some pain specialists have concerns that CBD may upset the body’s natural system of pain regulation, leading to tolerance (so that higher doses are needed for the same effect), though the potential for addiction is generally considered to be low.

You might also be interested in…