BY THE ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION
As interest grows nationally in the use of CBD, or the plant-based compound cannabidiol, more adults with arthritis are asking questions about whether this product may help them with discomfort and related issues associated with chronic joint pain. Curiosity about this product is increasing, and there are important questions patients are asking about its usage and effectiveness.
As a result, experts in healthcare and consumer products are raising concerns that people may be using CBD incorrectly, which can lead to additional problems. That is why the Arthritis Foundation and leading experts are calling for the need for more regulation and conversations about this product.
To guide people who have arthritis pain, the Arthritis Foundation released its first CBD guidance for adults who want to use this product as a way to treat their pain, anxiety, or related issues. Through surveys, interviews with medical professionals, and in-depth conversations with industry leaders, it is clear that patients with arthritis are using CBD actively so the need for clear information and steps to follow when treating arthritis with this product is immediate.
The Arthritis Foundation heard directly from its members as well as people in the community that this subject needed to be addressed. Rather than shy away from the topic, we realized it was essential to find out the truth, have serious dialogs about its usage, and what to do next.
“The Arthritis Foundation values the patient voice,” said Stacy Courtnay, rheumatoid arthritis patient and a member of the Arthritis Foundation Patient Leadership Council. “Some doctors aren’t open to discussing CBD with patients, and it’s fantastic and encouraging that the Arthritis Foundation is helping people with arthritis gain access to whatever treatments might help them.”
While there are no established clinical guidelines for CBD use, the medical experts who worked in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation agree on the following points:
CBD is one of the more than 100 cannabinoids, or active compounds, in cannabis. THC, another compound, is the chemical in marijuana that gets users high. CBD is not intoxicating.
We are intrigued by the potential of CBD to help people find pain relief and are on record urging the FDA to expedite the study and regulation of these products. While currently there is limited scientific evidence about CBD’s ability to help ease arthritis symptoms, and no universal quality standards or regulations exist, we have listened to our constituents and consulted with leading experts to develop these general recommendations for adults who are interested in trying CBD.
It is important to remember that there currently is no federal oversight of CBD products as well as a lack of scientific evidence for safety or effectiveness. There also has been long-term uncertainty about its legality. This may change rapidly, so patients should stay in contact with their medical professionals for updates. The Arthritis Foundation also sent a formal comment to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July urging the agency to expedite the study and regulation of CBD products to help make them a safe option for the 54 million people with arthritis.
Ultimately, 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. 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.
Editor’s Note: The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Live Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The Arthritis Foundation’s goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride towards a cure. The Foundation also publishes Arthritis Today, the award-winning magazine that reaches 4 million readers.