CBD is one of many compounds in cannabis that has recently garnered much attention for its health benefits. Now, what about CBD for knee pain?
This chemical is well-known for its pain-relieving and relaxing effects. And it doesn’t have psychoactive properties, like THC. So, for those with knee pain looking for a non-addictive and low-risk treatment for knee pain, CBD may be worth a try.
Below we’ll expand on this topic. Here’s what we’ll cover, tap on any of these bullets to quickly navigate through the content:
- What is CBD?
- Does CBD help knee pain?
- CBD sources
- CBD vs. THC
- Forms of CBD
- Risk and side effects
- How to buy CBD?
- Other supplements for knee pain
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol – or CBD – is a compound found naturally in the cannabis plant. It doesn’t have any intoxicating properties. But, it may cause slight drowsiness in some people. (1)
CBD has shown significant promise for (2):
- Chronic pain management.
- Muscle relaxation.
- Managing seizure disorders.
- Relieving anxiety.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Minimizing oxidative stress.
How does it help with knee pain?
The exact mechanism of CBD in relieving joint pain is not clear. But multiple studies show it may help reduce knee pain. (3)
From what is understood, it does so by inhibiting the pain signal itself and reducing inflammation.
CBD can do this because it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
This system is a complex network of pathways that plays a vital role in pain sensation. It has receptors all around the body, which are activated in the presence of chemicals called “endocannabinoids.” (3, 4)
Now, CBD is chemically similar to the body’s endocannabinoids. That’s how it can interact with the endocannabinoid system. (4)
And through these receptors, CBD can alter pain perception and provide pain relief in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or knee OA. (5)
Further reading: The 3 ways CBD helps bad knees.
Where does it come from?
CBD is a naturally occurring compound extracted from hemp. It is not the same as medical marijuana, though.
See, the cannabis plant itself contains both CBD and THC – the latter stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol. (6) Both are cannabinoids found naturally in the resin of the marijuana plant.
How is CBD different from THC?
CBD and THC have the same molecular structure. They are only slightly different in terms of the arrangement of atoms, which is why their actions on the body vary.
So, even though both can interact with the endocannabinoid system, they do so in different ways. (7)
First – THC has psychoactive effects, CBD doesn’t. (1, 6)
Also, these compounds are present in different amounts depending on the plant.
For example, medical cannabis usually has a higher percentage of THC and CBD.
But the hemp plant (a sub-species of cannabis) contains high levels of CBD, but little THC. This is the plant used to extract CBD.
Yet, both CBD and THC can be used for similar purposes and medical conditions.
Some uses for both include (1, 2, 6):
- Pain management.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
However, one key matter surrounding THC and CBD is their legality. Each country has its laws and regulations on it. For the US, the federal government has legalized hemp-derived CBD products since 2018.
Learn more: CBD or THC for knee pain – which one is superior?
Forms of CBD
CBD can be extracted from either cannabis or hemp. Once extracted, CBD can be consumed in various forms, such as (8, 9):
This can be made by dissolving extracted CBD in a solvent, which is usually alcohol. This helps prolong the shelf life.
The tincture form of CBD comes as a liquid in a bottle. A dropper is usually used to get the required dose.
CBD oils are formed by blending the cannabinoid with an oil, like coconut. They also come in bottles and can be mixed with food. You can also consume them directly, by placing a few drops on or under the tongue.
In contrast to tinctures, this form can also be used like topical CBD products.
Learn more: Benefits of CBD oil for knee pain.
Topical products are those which can be applied directly to the skin. They are available in various forms, such as cream, lotion, balms, and transdermal patches.
For knee pain, this specific form can help reduce inflammation, pain, and other arthritis symptoms. (10)
CBD edibles are those that you can take orally and are absorbed through the digestive system. These include gummies, mints, and brownies. Their onset of action is slower, compared to the forms mentioned above.
Adequate dosage of CBD
There is no fixed or recommended dose for CBD. But the amount to be taken depends on multiple factors, such as:
- The condition for which it’s being used.
For beginners, it’s best to start with a small amount – from 20 to 40 mg per day. If there are no side effects, you can increase it by 5 milligrams after one week. (3, 11)
How much CBD should I be taking?
The concentration of CBD may vary from one product to another. For example, pills usually come as 5 mg tablets.
CBD gummies usually mention the amount in the packaging itself. Other products such as oils and tinctures also mention the dosage per drop or for the entire bottle.
How long does it take to provide benefits?
The amount of time needed to provide benefits not only depends on the dosage but the form as well.
Inhaled CBD tends to act faster than topical or oral forms. But, the effects won’t be specific to the knee.
For local effects, topical application is the best choice.
Learn more: How long does it take for CBD oil to ease knee pain?
Side effects of CBD
Like any supplement, CBD can lead to some unwanted symptoms if you exceed the dosage. Some common side effects that may occur include (11):
- Changes in weight and appetite.
Contraindications to CBD
This supplement shouldn’t be taken by people with (11):
- Allergies to cannabidiol or sesame oil.
- History of drug or alcohol addiction.
- History of mood disorders.
Keep reading: Is CBD safe to use for knee pain?
How to shop for CBD: Things to look out for
There are various factors to look out for while shopping for CBD.
You will first need to confirm the authenticity of the product. Check the quality and source, and whether or not it is lab certified. They should be heavy metals-free and organic to prevent unwanted side effects.
Finally, make sure that what you buy is not tampered with. A CBD product worth its salt will be tested by a third-party lab for quality control.
Before you buy CBD, go through the list below:
- Look up the name of the manufacturer or distributor to see if they are a reputable company.
- Confirm if the product has a certificate of authenticity.
- Check the amount of CBD per serving.
- Check the ingredients on the label to make sure they fit your needs.
Other supplements for knee pain
Aside from CBD, several other supplements can be beneficial for knee pain. Some known to help provide relief from arthritis pain are:
Can CBD provide relief from knee pain?
CBD can help provide relief from knee pain. It can do so because of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-numbing properties.
Which CBD product is the best for knee pain relief?
There is no single best CBD product for knee pain. But topical and edible forms can be a great combination for knee pain relief.
Can I take CBD with other supplements for knee pain?
CBD is relatively safe, but it may interact with certain medications and supplements. If you’re not sure, please consult with your physician before combining it with your prescription drugs.
Conclusion: Does CBD work for knee pain?
CBD can help manage knee pain. This is because of its anti-inflammatory and pain-numbing effects. (12)
20 to 40 mg per day is the starting dose of CBD for knee pain. This can be gradually increased over time. It is important to consult your doctor before combining it with other medications.
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- Gusho, Charles A, and Tannor Court. “Cannabidiol: A Brief Review of Its Therapeutic and Pharmacologic Efficacy in the Management of Joint Disease.” Cureus vol. 12,3 e7375. 23 Mar. 2020.