On Tuesday, 9/24/2019, the TODAY show aired a segment on the recent updates or realization that The Arthritis Foundation now has on the use of CBD for treating arthritis pain. This week the foundation released guidelines for the 54 million suffering from the debilitating disease. Even though the evidence still isn’t there that it helps, users beg to differ.
CBD oils, lotions, etc. are all derived from the cannabis plant. It has exploded in sales over the past year due to the legalization of the product becoming available in drug stores, vitamin shops, and even curb markets. This is why The Arthritis Foundation decided to release guidelines for clarity on the use of the product.
“It was important to acknowledge the public’s interest, and put out some guidelines on the state of the science,” said Kevin Boehnke, a research investigator who works in anesthesiology at the University of Michigan. Boehnke helped develop and write the guidelines for the Arthritis Foundation.
They are not saying for you to ever abandon your prescribed medication for arthritis. “The guidelines are not saying, ‘you should try this.’ They’re saying, ‘if you want to try, here’s how you should do it,'” said Boehnke.
CBD was introduced and passed in the Farm Bill of 2018 when hemp was removed from the plant which causes “a high.” Those effects came from THC which is not in the CBD oils. Therefore, it is legal to use as recommended for insomnia, stress, and pain. After the bill was passed, it fell on the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the product. So far, this has not been done. The only CBD product that has been researched and approved by the FDA is Epidiolex which is used to treat severe forms of epilepsy in children.
Studies on the product have shown that the amount of CBD listed on the bottles may not match up completely to its contents. The Foundation suggests that anyone considering using the oils need to start slowly and consult their physician on reputable retailers who have tested and used the products.
“People have to do their homework. It’s a wild west situation. Studies have shown the amount of CBD inside a product doesn’t always match up with what’s on the label,” Boehnke told NBC News.
“Before CBD supplements are recommended, we need to have a marketplace where the label reflects what’s inside them, and we know that the dose is safe,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, who studies drug ingredients in the marketplace at the Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance. “We don’t have any of that in place right now.”
The Arthritis Foundation recommends the kind of CBD oil found in sprays or liquid drops that patients hold under their tongue for at least one minute. This method allows the product to go directly into the bloodstream.
The Foundation says some of the edibles can interact with other medications and to stay clear of those products. It also recommends you never vape CBD which can possibly cause respiratory illnesses.
“I’m not concerned so much about CBD,” said rheumatologist Eric Westerman. “I’m way more concerned about potential contaminants.” Westerman sells CBD lotions in his own practice.
Ref. NBC/TODAY, today.com
Photo courtesy of Bing via projectcbd.org