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Arthritis Foundation Releases CBD Guidance

The Arthritis Foundation recognizes that approximately 80% of arthritis sufferers have and still use CBD or cannabis, and that such use will continue to grow. The foundation, for the first time ever, released a series of CBD, or cannabidiol, suggestions for adults with arthritis.

The organization’s CBD guidance, which came about as the result of a national survey, seeks to provide arthritis sufferers with much needed information, especially in view of the fact that many are already using cannabis for pain reduction and to reduce arthritis-related inflammation.

“While CBD is controversial and its effectiveness inconclusive, people with arthritis aren’t waiting to try it to treat their pain,” said Cindy McDaniel, Arthritis Foundation senior vice president of consumer health and impact, in a press release.

McDaniel said that the results of the organization’s national survey, conducted in July 2019, confirmed the need to “push for more regulation and provide useful CBD guidance.”

Of the 2,600 people who responded to the survey, 79% are currently using CBD, have used it in the past or are considering using it as an alternative therapy to help manage their arthritis pain.

“The Foundation recognizes that approximately 80% of arthritis sufferers have now used CBD, and that such use will continue to grow,” according to the Foundation’s press statement released on Sept. 24, 2019. “While so many people benefitting from CBD has helped validate its potential, the Arthritis Foundation recognizes that having guidelines could help inform those with arthritis as the early promising research further develops.”

Physicians agree

“Millions of people in the U.S. are likely trying to use cannabinoids to treat pain…” said Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor of anesthesiology, rheumatology and psychiatry at the University of Michigan and director of Michigan’s Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.

“It’s important that the Arthritis Foundation has taken a stand on CBD,” Dr. Clauw said. “Right now, it appears to be fairly safe and might help certain types of pain. It’s far better to give this guidance, even if preliminary, because otherwise people will have no guidance whatsoever.”

The Arthritis Foundation also sent a formal comment to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July urging the agency to expedite the study and regulation of CBD products to help make them a safe option for the country’s 54 million people with arthritis.

“Listening to people with arthritis – using data, patient listening sessions and testimonies – drives our work, from science to programming to setting our advocacy agenda,” McDaniel said. 

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