The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis
Many cannabinoids, the biologically active components of marijuana, are known to interact with and modulate human’s immune system. Among the 2 major marijuana-derived cannabinoids, (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) THC also acts on human’s brain and is therefore responsible for the “high” sensation while cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t. These reasons have prompted interest into CBD as a potential safe and effective therapy for diseases that involve abnormal activities of the immune system, most noticeably arthritis.
To study the therapeutic effects of CBD in arthritis, researchers employed murine models. Mice were induced to exhibit either acute arthritis or chronic arthritis and after onset of clinical symptoms, were given CBD. In both models of the disease, the treatment was found to effectively block disease progression, as evidenced through its protection of the joints against severe damage. Further experiments elucidated the mechanism of these therapeutic benefits: Draining lymph node cells from CBD-treated mice showed a diminished IFN-ɣ production, as well as a decreased release of TNF-ɑ, both of which are small molecules responsible for inflammation through activating the immune system. Furthermore, CBD suppressed the proliferation of lymphocytes - the main cells of the immune system. Finally, experiments also suggested that in mice, CBD was equally effective when administered intraperitoneally (i.e. inject into the body cavity) or orally.
In short, research has shown that CBD, through its combined immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions, possesses a potent anti-arthritic effect. Since it also boasts a good safety profile and can be easily administered orally, CBD is a promising drug candidate for patients suffering from painful symptoms of arthritis.
Have you found CBD to be helpful for your arthritis pain? We'd like to hear about your experience!