The Arthritis Foundation has released cannabidiol (CBD) guidance for adults with arthritis who seek to ease their chronic joint pain.
The Arthritis Foundation’s senior vice president of consumer health and impact, Cindy McDaniel says that CBD is controversial and its effectiveness is inconclusive, but many people with arthritis have not been hesitant to try and use it to treat their pain.
To better understand how people with arthritis feel about using CBD, the Foundation conducted a national survey in July, the results of which indicated a need for more regulation and useful CBD guidance.
Of the 2,600 people who responded to the survey, 79 percent indicated that they currently use CBD, have used it previously, or are contemplating using it as an alternative pain-relief therapy for arthritis.
During the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) public comment period in July, the Arthritis Foundation submitted a formal comment, urging the agency to expedite the regulation and study of CBD products to provide a safe option for the 54 million people living with arthritis.
“As the largest organization representing the voice and needs of people with arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation has always welcomed new treatment options because no single drug, supplement or therapy works for everyone,” reads the statement. “We believe patients should be empowered to find safe management strategies that are appropriate for them. The more options available, the likelier it is that more people will benefit.”
To create practical guidance to answer the most common questions, the Arthritis Foundation collaborated with a team of CBD and arthritis pain experts which included Daniel Clauw, MD, Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, MD, and Kevin Boehnke, PhD.
The team says that CBD may help with arthritis-related symptoms such as pain, insomnia, and anxiety, but there have not been validating clinical studies.
They also say that there are no major safety issues associated with moderate doses of CBD, though potential drug interactions have been identified.
The guidance states that CBD use should be discussed with one’s doctor in advance and should never be used to replace disease-modifying drugs which prevent permanent joint damage from inflammatory types of arthritis.
The guidance also recommends buying certified CBD from a reputable company whose products have been tested for purity, potency, and safety by an independent lab.