The Arthritis Foundation just became the first major health organization to issue CBD guidelines

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The Arthritis Foundation, the nation’s largest arthritis advocacy group, has become the first major health organization to issue CBD guidelines. Called CBD Guidance for Adults with Arthritis, the Foundation was motivated by the real-life needs and experience of their constituents, which come down to this – it’s all about the pain. The encouraging news is that Foundarion research says CBD works for the majority of arthritis sufferers:

The prevalence and impact of pain among people with arthritis is startling. Our surveys show that 91% said pain interfered with their day-to-day activities … [and thus] people with arthritis are disproportionally affected by emotional and mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression, as well as sleep problems.

Over 70% reported it to be ‘very effective’ or ‘effective’ in relieving each of the following symptoms: anxiety, nausea, inability to sleep, and pain. … they use CBD products because it seems less addictive and risky than other pain management options like opioids.

A key takeaway from the guidelines is to use CBD under the guidance of the doctor treating you for arthritis: “Be aware,” they say, “that marketers and people behind retail counters are not health professionals; they are salespeople. That’s why your doctor is your best source for guidance and monitoring when using an unregulated product.” Moreover, “CBD should never be used to replace disease-modifying drugs that help prevent permanent joint damage in inflammatory types of arthritis.”

However, the doctor recommendation comes with a caveat. The Foundation concedes that physicians are still coming to grips with cannabinoids: “Interestingly, we were also starting to hear … from the doctors we work with, who were asking for guidance on how to answer their patients’ questions about CBD.”

The Mayo Clinic would agree. They released a report last month called Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils, that says physicians need to be better informed about CBD and encourages them not to disregard their patients’ interest in it. So if you’re running into difficulty with your doctor about CBD use we urge you to tell them about the Clinic’s guidance for physicians (an excellent review of the cannabinoid literature that’s easily understood by non-physicians as well).

There are 3 other key takeaways from the guidelines:

  • Buy from a Reputable Company: Analyses of CBD products have found significantly more or less CBD than the label says, the presence of undeclared THC, and contamination with pesticides, metals and solvents. Vaping is not recommended because of the recent spike of vaping related illnesses & deaths.
  • Go Low & Slow: Start with just a few milligrams of CBD in sublingual form (it’s more effective than oral dosing) twice a day. If relief is inadequate after one week, increase the dose in small increments until you find relief.
  • Watch Out for Drug Interactions: No serious safety concerns have been reported. However, there’s potential to interact with some drugs commonly taken by people with arthritis such as naproxen (Aleve), corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone), and certain antidepressants.

Finally, notice that the Arthritis Foundation isn’t endorsing CBD. Rather, their decision to issue guidelines is grounded in the well-respected experience of people living with arthritic pain:

People are using this (CBD) whether they have real firm guidance or not … we felt an obligation as an organization to step up and provide as much guidance as we could … for adults who are interested in trying CBD. … 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.

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