Arthritis is extremely common, in the United States alone, 23% of all adults (over 54 million people) have arthritis. Arthritis refers to more than 100 diseases and conditions that affect the joints including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, and gout. Pharmaceutical medications like narcotics, steroids, and injections are often used to treat arthritis, but they often have harmful side effects and can even result in dependency.

That’s why so many people turn to CBD to manage the pain and inflammation associated with their arthritis naturally.

Arthritis is one of the most proven applications of CBD. In order to understand CBD’s anti-arthritic effects, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past eighteen years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of arthritis.

Study Results

A 2000 study looked at the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD), the major nonpsychoactive component of cannabis, in murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). CBD was administered after onset of clinical symptoms, and in both models of arthritis the treatment effectively blocked progression of arthritis. CBD was equally effective when administered i.p. or orally. The dose dependency showed a bell-shaped curve, with an optimal effect at 5 mg/kg per day i.p. or 25 mg/kg per day orally. Clinical improvement was associated with protection of the joints against severe damage. Taken together, these data show that CBD, through its combined immune suppressive and anti-inflammatory actions, has a potent anti arthritic effect in CIA.

A 2006 study assessed the efficacy of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine containing a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, in the treatment of pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. In the first ever controlled trial of a cannabis-based medicine in arthritis, a significant analgesic effect was observed and disease activity was significantly suppressed following Sativex treatment.

A 2015 study looked at the efficacy of applying CBD via a transdermal patch as opposed to orally. Transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain, immune cell infiltration and thickening of the synovial membrane in a dose-dependent manner. These data indicate that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a multifactorial joint disease, which includes joint degeneration, intermittent inflammation, and peripheral neuropathy. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-euphoria producing constituent of cannabis that has the potential to relieve pain. The aim of this 2017 study was to determine whether CBD is anti-nociceptive in OA, and whether inhibition of inflammation by CBD could prevent the development of OA pain and joint neuropathy. The data presented here indicate that local administration of CBD blocked OA pain. Prophylactic CBD treatment prevented the later development of pain and nerve damage in these OA joints. These findings suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating OA joint neuropathic pain.

As indicated by the studies above, topical CBD products are extremely beneficial in the treatment of joint pain and arthritis.


National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). (2017, December 27). Retrieved from

Malfait, A. M., Gallily, R., Sumariwalla, P. F., Malik, A. S., Andreakos, E., Mechoulam, R., & Feldmann, M. (2000, August 15). The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Retrieved from

Blake, D. R., Robson, P., Ho, M., Jubb, R. W., & McCabe, C. S. (2006, January). Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Retrieved from

Hammell, D., Zhang, L., Ma, F., Abshire, S., McIlwrath, S., Stinchcomb, A., & Westlund, K. (2016, July). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Retrieved from

Philpott, H. T., OʼBrien, M., & McDougall, J. J. (2017, December). Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Retrieved from