Using CBD oil for knee pain is all the rage nowadays. And if you are wondering if this natural method is right for you, you have landed in the perfect place.
Research suggests that CBD oil helps reduce inflammation as well as pain. It may ease anxiety as well, but knowing how to use it correctly is crucial to reap its potential benefits. (1)
Here we will explore what’s known so far about the benefits of cannabis oil for knee aches. As well as dosage and side effects associated with it. Tap on any bullet below to navigate easily through the sections:
- What is it, how it’s made, and types
- How does it work
- How to use for knee pain
- Side effects
- Other conditions that benefit from CBD
What is CBD oil and how is it made?
Cannabidiol oil is made by extracting CBD from the Cannabis sativa plant. It is then diluted with a carrier like coconut or hemp seed oil.
The cannabis plant contains a wide range of chemical compounds apart from cannabidiol, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is also of medical interest.
The type of oil varies depending on its CBD content but all of them share similar benefits.
Types of CBD oil include:
- CBD isolate oil – The purest form, contains no other compounds.
- Full-spectrum CBD – Mostly CBD with 0.3 percent THC tops. Some prefer this for the entourage effect which, in theory, makes it more effective.
- Broad-spectrum CBD – Mostly CBD with even fewer amounts of THC and other compounds found in cannabis.
EYES HERE! THC has psychoactive properties, so CBD oils with higher amounts of this compound will likely get you high.
So how does CBD oil work?
CBD oil works through a specialized system in our body, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids that bind to receptors of the ECS. This, in turn, helps regulate pain and mood, among many other functions.
Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant (e.g. CBD and THC) can bind to these same receptors to produce similar effects.
Furthermore, what receptors CBD or THC binds to will determine their effects (2, 3):
- If they bind to CB1 receptors present in the brain, they affect pain, appetite, mood, emotion, and others.
- If they bind to CB2 receptors, usually present in the immune system, they help manage inflammation which also has positive effects on pain.
Full disclaimer: While there’s certainly evidence showing the potential benefits of hemp-derived CBD products, the truth is that these studies are still limited. So, it’s hard to accurately gauge the effectiveness of these products.
How to use CBD oil for knee pain
Some common ways to use CBD oils include:
- Topically: Rub it onto the affected area for at least a few minutes. Use generous amounts because the skin slows down absorption. Mix with massage oils if you prefer.
- Sublingually: Hold it under your tongue for 30 seconds to a few minutes before swallowing. This ensures maximum absorption and quick effects.
- Orally: You can add the oil to your food and drinks.
Learn more: Tips for applying CBD oil directly on your knee.
CBD oil dosage to aid knee pain
There are no documented dosing recommendations for CBD oil. So, you will have to figure out what works best for you with trial and error. However, the Arthritis Foundation recommends starting with a low dose.
In practice, this would mean placing just a few milligrams of the CBD product under your tongue twice a day. If you feel like you’re not getting enough pain relief after a week, you can increase your dosage but only in small increments.
When you find the dose that works best for you, note it down and continue taking it twice per day.
If CBD alone is not sufficient for you, talk to your healthcare provider about adding a very low dose of THC with it. But, first, make sure you are in a state where medical marijuana is legal.
Know more: CBD vs THC – which one is better for knee pain?
Side effects of CBD oil
When used topically, CBD oils may cause an allergic reaction. So, test it on a small area of skin before using.
That being said, CBD is generally considered safe but it is not without a few adverse reactions, such as (4):
- Dry mouth.
- Loss of balance.
Learn more: Safety and side effects of CBD for knee pain.
What types of pain and diseases is CBD oil effective on?
In 2015, a study used topical CBD products on animals with arthritis. Researchers concluded that they significantly relieved joint pain and swelling. No evident side effects were observed either. (5)
These results give us hope that like CBD creams and gels, cannabidiol oil may also provide relief from arthritis pain. Furthermore, it can target the problem area directly.
CBD oil also holds promise as an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. But, there is only preclinical evidence to date.
Additionally, there is a single study that reports positive effects on the symptoms of osteoarthritis. (6)
Further reading: Applying CBD oil directly on your knees
A study that tested the effects of CBD oil on people with peripheral neuropathy found that those using it reported a significant decrease in pain intensity. The cold and itchy sensations also diminished, without any side effects. (7)
These results give light to those suffering from neuropathic pain due to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus.
Other conditions CBD oil might be effective for:
Apart from chronic pain, arthritis, and neuropathic pain, CBD oil also has positive benefits for these conditions:
- Cancer (chemo- and radiotherapy) – CBD might help with managing the side effects of cancer treatment due to its effects on neuropathic pain. Additionally, it may also help with appetite and nausea. (8)
- Sleep and anxiety issues – A study says that CBD oil is a safe and effective alternative for treating sleep disorders and anxiety. (1)
Note: Topical CBD oil for knee replacement might not be effective right after the procedure, according to one study. However, further testing is needed before any conclusive statements are made. (9)
What to consider when purchasing CBD?
The most important thing to consider when purchasing nonprescription CBD products is the third-party certificate of analysis (COA).
This confirms whether the product contains the quantities that the manufacturer claims. Also, look out for potency and the type of CBD.
What is CBD oil good for?
CBD oil is good for a lot of things, including the potential to ease the symptoms of different types of pain, anxiety, sleep problems, and neurological disorders.
Conclusion: CBD oil and knee pain relief
CBD has been studied for its potential role in easing the symptoms of pain, along with the associated anxiety and sleep issues.
Additional research investigating its effects on arthritis symptoms is required, and there is still so much to learn about medical cannabis yet. But with what we know so far, it does seem like a decent option.
Even though CBD is considered to be quite safe for most people, check with a healthcare professional first. They can help you decide if it is appropriate for you and will also assist in choosing the best product for you.
- Shannon, Scott, and Janet Opila-Lehman. “Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report.” The Permanente journal vol. 20,4 (2016): 16-005. doi:10.7812/TPP/16-005
- Lu, Hui-Chen, and Ken Mackie. “An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System.” Biological psychiatry vol. 79,7 (2016): 516-25.
- Darkovska-Serafimovska, Marija et al. “Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases.” Journal of pain research vol. 11 837-842. 23 Apr. 2018.
- Whiting, Penny F et al. “Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” JAMA vol. 313,24 (2015): 2456-73. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6358
- Hammell, D C et al. “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis.” European journal of pain (London, England) vol. 20,6 (2016): 936-48. doi:10.1002/ejp.818
- Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann et al. “A cautious hope for cannabidiol (CBD) in rheumatology care.” Arthritis care & research, 10.1002/acr.24176. 7 Mar. 2020, doi:10.1002/acr.24176
- Xu, Dixon H et al. “The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities.” Current pharmaceutical biotechnology vol. 21,5 (2020): 390-402. doi:10.2174/1389201020666191202111534
- Velasco, Guillermo et al. “The use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents.” Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry vol. 64 (2016): 259-66. doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2015.05.010
- Haffar, Amer et al. “Topical Cannabidiol (CBD) After Total Knee Arthroplasty Does Not Decrease Pain or Opioid Use: A Prospective Randomized Double-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Trial.” The Journal of arthroplasty, S0883-5403(22)00383-7. 4 Apr. 2022,doi:10.1016/j.arth.2022.03.081