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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Arthritis group offers first guidelines for patients who use CBD for joint pain

Sept 24, 2019
As seen on NBC's Today show

By Erika Edwards

CBD has exploded in popularity over the last year, with countless numbers of people trying it as a sleep aid or relief for pain and anxiety. One concern is, there's been no guidance on how to use CBD, or cannabidiol, safely. 

That's one reason why on Tuesday, the Arthritis Foundation released guidelines for people who want to try CBD — the first such guidance on using the cannabis-derived ingredient from any major patient advocacy group.



The recommendations are an attempt to provide some kind of clarity for CBD usage, despite a lack of scientific evidence proving that it works to treat pain.

"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.

The group makes it clear that patients should not abandon arthritis medications already prescribed by doctors.

"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 products became widely available after Congress passed the Farm Bill in 2018, which removed hemp from the controlled substance list. By itself, CBD does not cause a “high.” (Marijuana's psychoactive effects instead come from a different compound, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.)
Since then, the task of regulating CBD products has fallen on the Food and Drug Administration, but so far the agency has not done so.

The result has been a public frenzy around CBD products, which are marketed and sold with a variety of health claims, including relief for pain, insomnia and stress. Those assertions caught the attention of those suffering from arthritis, a condition for which there is no cure. 

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