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.
In addition, individuals experience pain and respond to treatment in different ways. As a result, it’s highly unlikely that there is a single CBD-containing product that works for all people with all types of arthritis.
Are there guidelines about the use of CBD for chronic arthritis pain?
What’s the evidence it works? And what do experts recommend? Until recently, there’s been little research and even less guidance for people (or their doctors) interested in CBD products that are now increasingly legal and widely promoted.
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!)
Are there downsides to CBD treatment?
Until recently, little guidance has been available for people with arthritis pain who were interested in CBD treatment. Depending on availability and interest, patients and their doctors had to decide on their own whether CBD was a reasonable option in each specific case. To a large degree that’s still true, but some guidelines have been published. Here’s one set of guidelines for people pursuing treatment with CBD that I find quite reasonable (based on recommendations from the Arthritis Foundation and a recent commentary published in the medical journal Arthritis Care & Research):
This article contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
Top 5 CBD Topical Brands for Pain
As the CBD industry has blossomed since the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, there's a number of different pain topicals out there that use hemp, CBD, or other cannabis products. With that being said, our focus was on CBD topicals that specifically help with pain. Furthermore, this list is designed to be a litmus test against other CBD brands. Well you might have a CBD product that you use regularly, it might not be a bad idea to compare it to what's on our list as an education lesson in what CBD is all about.
Best CBD Topical Brands For Pain 2021
For our final list of criteria, we narrowed down the list of CBD topicals based upon the biggest key factors. Here's what we ended up choosing: