Is CBD Good For Bad Knees? | Yes, Here Are 3 Ways It Helps (Evidence-Based)

Written By on June 14, 2022 — Medically Reviewed By Mich Torres (PT)

This supplement is widely known for its anxiety-relieving properties. But, is CBD good for bad knees? As per multiple studies, yes, it can be.

Research shows CBD possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-numbing effects. All of which can help relieve knee pain in different ways.

We’ll expand on that further down, along with other things you should know if you want to take a CBD product for knee joint pain relief. Here are the topics we cover, tap on any of them to go to its section:

3 ways CBD works for bad knees

Recent studies have shown that CBD (short for “cannabidiol”) can be effective for acute and chronic pain management.

This is due to its many benefits, but the most relevant for knee joint pain include:

1) Pain management

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This is a huge network of chemicals that regulate several bodily functions, like our pain levels. (1)

This interaction can ultimately result in a decrease in symptoms.

That’s why CBD is such an interesting treatment option for chronic pain – it can provide relief with fewer side effects, compared to common medications for knee issues.

Learn more: CBD for knee pain – full guide.

2) Improvements in mood and sleep

Both mood and sleep also play a huge role in pain. For example, research shows that depression, pain catastrophizing, and insomnia can amplify symptoms in knee osteoarthritis patients.

Yet, taking a high-quality CBD product can (2, 3, 4):

  • Improve mood by acting similarly to serotonin – the happy hormone.
  • Help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.

This in turn can help joint pain. They can also make it much easier for you to do other treatments for your knee pain, like joint strengthening exercises.

3) Anti-inflammatory properties

CBD can help inflammation through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, as well as its antioxidative properties.

According to research, those mechanisms help reduce inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis and those with chronic pain. (4, 5, 6)

Yet, research is still ongoing regarding its effectiveness in acute inflammation. (5)

Also, although less studied, CBD may help prevent further breakdown of joint cartilage in people with rheumatoid arthritis. The why behind this isn’t fully understood, though. (7)

Read more: Can CBD help with knee arthritis?

Effective forms of CBD for knee pain

Many CBD products can be used for treating joint pain and other arthritis symptoms, such as:

CBD oils

CBD oil is generally made by mixing cannabinoid extract with hemp seed or other edible oils. A full-spectrum CBD oil is preferred for knee pain relief, though.

This is because it contains all the beneficial components of cannabis, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but in a concentration of 0.3% or less. Meaning that you can rip some of the therapeutic effects of THC without the “high.”

Oils are the most versatile form, making them the best CBD product for knee problems. They can be taken as:

  • Topical – apply it directly on the knee.
  • Oral – add it to foods or beverages.
  • Sublingual – placing a few drops under the tongue for quick effects.

Note: Both THC and CBD can help knee pain, but in different ways.

CBD tincture

This is like the previous form but uses alcohol instead of oil as a carrier of CBD. This has other added benefits, as some brands mix vitamins in it.

But it can’t be used topically. Its taste is also more bitter than CBD oil.

CBD topicals

Topical CBD products include creams, lotions, emollients, and also oils. You apply them directly to the skin.

They often contain carrier oils, which facilitate the absorption of CBD extract. But for those with sensitive skin, this may not be an ideal option as it may cause irritation and rashes.

CBD vapes

Vapes are an inhalable form of delivering CBD. Pens used for inhalation are filled with cannabinoid e-juices or oils.

They are one of the fastest-acting forms. But, they are not recommended for chronic treatments, as they may cause adverse effects on the lungs.

CBD gummies

These are CBD-infused edibles that are frequently taken to manage anxiety, insomnia, and pain.

This form contains either full-spectrum or broad-spectrum forms blended with different flavors to make them a tasty snack.

Unlike full-spectrum, broad-spectrum does not contain THC.

What’s the best dosage of CBD for bad knees?

Honestly, there is no standardized dosage. It should be calculated based on:

  • Your weight.
  • The condition you want to treat.
  • Form – oil, tincture, topical…
  • The concentration of the extract.

As you can see, it should be extremely customized. It’s always best to start with the lowest dose possible. More so if you haven’t taken CBD previously.

This is to avoid side effects like stomach aches. Increase the dose weekly until you get the desired results.

Risks and side effects of CBD for knee issues

CBD is generally well tolerated. Side effects can happen in people taking high doses, but even then, they tend to be mild and easily managed. The most common include (8):

  • Dry mouth or cottonmouth.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Tiredness and fatigue.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Upset stomach.

You can prevent them by taking the supplement in small doses and increasing them slowly.

Yet, it’s worth noting that these side effects may also happen in people taking other medications.

Some drugs interact with CBD, increasing the risk of adverse reactions.

Some of the most common drugs that can interact with cannabidiol include (8):

  • Blood thinners such as warfarin.
  • Amiodarone, used for arrhythmias.
  • Levothyroxine, a thyroid medication.
  • Anti-seizure medications.

So, if you’re taking other drugs, consult with your doctor first before supplementing with cannabidiol for arthritis pain.

FAQs

Will CBD oil help knee pain?

Yes, through oral, sublingual, or topical application.

What is the best form of CBD for joint pain?

Organic CBD oil is believed to be the best form for joint pain, due to its versatility. It can be used as an oral, sublingual, or topical supplement.

Conclusion: Does CBD help bad knees?

Yes, it can. Research shows CBD products can help with chronic knee pain and rheumatoid arthritis.

The mechanism through which it helps includes pain management, improvements in mood and sleep, as well as its anti-inflammatory properties.

While further research is required to provide concrete evidence, we can say that the benefits of CBD outweigh its easily preventable side effects.

Resources

  1. Rahn, Elizabeth J, and Andrea G Hohmann. “Cannabinoids as pharmacotherapies for neuropathic pain: from the bench to the bedside.” Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics vol. 6,4 (2009): 713-37.
  2. Huang, S M et al. “Identification of a new class of molecules, the arachidonyl amino acids, and characterization of one member that inhibits pain.” The Journal of biological chemistry vol. 276,46 (2001): 42639-44.
  3. Scavone, J L et al. “Cannabinoid and opioid interactions: implications for opiate dependence and withdrawal.” Neuroscience vol. 248 (2013): 637-54.
  4. Klein, Thomas W. “Cannabinoid-based drugs as anti-inflammatory therapeutics.” Nature reviews. Immunology vol. 5,5 (2005): 400-11.
  5. Kraft, Birgit et al. “Lack of analgesia by oral standardized cannabis extract on acute inflammatory pain and hyperalgesia in volunteers.” Anesthesiology vol. 109,1 (2008): 101-10.
  6. Fichna, J et al. “Selective inhibition of FAAH produces antidiarrheal and antinociceptive effect mediated by endocannabinoids and cannabinoid-like fatty acid amides.” Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society vol. 26,4 (2014): 470-81.
  7. Gui, Huan et al. “Activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 attenuates synovitis and joint distruction in collagen-induced arthritis.” Immunobiology vol. 220,6 (2015): 817-22.
  8. Iffland, Kerstin, and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” Cannabis and cannabinoid research vol. 2,1 139-154. 1 Jun. 2017.

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Author
Sony Sherpa (MD)
Sony Sherpa is a board-certified clinical doctor and currently, she is working as a medical officer in the emergency department of a renowned hospital. With a medical degree completed at a young age, she writes medical articles with accuracy owing to her medical knowledge and thorough background research.

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