Arthritis Foundation CBD Guidance For Adults With Arthritis
Arthritis Today|Winter 2019-2020
The Arthritis Foundation is aware of the growing popularity and availability of CBD (cannabidiol)-based products. Industry reports show that people with arthritis are among the top buyers, and pain is the leading reason for purchase. Our July 2019 survey of 2,600 people with arthritis shows significant use of and interest in CBD. Earlier surveys have shown repeatedly that pain is the most burdensome arthritis symptom.

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.

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 (Kevin Boehnke, PhD, Daniel Clauw, MD, and Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, MD) to develop these general recommendations for adults who are interested in trying CBD.


What is CBD? CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an active compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is not intoxicating but may cause some drowsiness. The CBD in most products is extracted from hemp, a variety of cannabis that has only traces (up to 0.3%) of THC, the active compound that gets people high.

Does CBD work for arthritis? Animal studies have suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but these effects have not been validated in quality studies in humans. Anecdotally, some people with arthritis who have tried CBD, but not all, report noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement and/or anxiety reduction.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine