cannabidiol arthritis research

CBD Effects On Arthritis Inflammation

This study summary provides fact-based answers about CBD benefits for arthritis.

  • learn exactly how CBD affects Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • know the optimal CBD dosages tested and possible adverse effects
  • find out how CBD may benefit your arthritis pain

If you don’t find an answer in this guide to a question you have, leave us a comment below. We’ll search the published studies to see if an answer exists and get back to you.

Let’s get started.

2019 Study: CBD has anti-inflammation properties that may benefit Rheumatoid Arthritis. #cbd #arthritis tell a friend

cannabidiol nih study

Published May 23, 2019



Study Results  

  • CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which may treat pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • THC has some pro-inflammatory properties which can be decreased by CBD
  • CBD has some anti-arthritic properties beyond decreasing inflammation (1)


How does CBD work?

CBD decreases arthritic pain through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

knee joint

Study Summary

 Activation of the CB2 receptor (the CBD receptor) in the endocannabinoid system causes a “decrease cytokine production and immune cell mobilization” both of which play a role in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

On the other hand, activation of the CB1 receptor (the THC receptor) causes an inflammatory response. 

CBD down-regulates the CB1 receptor when it is activated by THC.  This downregulation of the CB1 receptor may provide an anti-inflammatory response “by increasing β2-adrenergic signaling in the joint and secondary lymphoid organs.” (2)

rheumatoid arthritis study


Pain Reducing Properties

Cannabidiol has also been shown to have anti-arthritic properties beyond reducing inflammation.

  • Cannabinoids, in general, have shown the ability to reduce pain by “activating central and peripheral CB1, peripheral CB2 receptors and CBD-sensitive noncannabinoid receptor targets.” (3)
  • Even though THC may cause inflammation, it may be the case that its pain-relieving properties still make it suitable to take in the context of relieving joint pain. (4)

Interaction CBD vs. THC

CBD has been shown to “down modulate” how THC interacts with the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system.

In the context of Rheumatoid Arthritis, CBD appears to have a number of beneficial properties.

It is likely the case that CBD taken together with THC would be the most helpful cannabinoid course for symptoms of RA.


knee and hand



“Cannabinoids might be a suitable treatment for RA, but it is important to target the right receptors in the right place.” (5)

CBD rheumatoid arthritis

2019 study results show that topical CBD cream significantly improves neuropathic pain.  See the results summary here.


Video: Science behind CBD benefits for arthritis.


Download The CBD Research

Keywords: CBD; Cannabis; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Inflammation; Joint Pain



Lowin T, Schneider M, Pongratz G. Joints for joints: cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2019;31(3):271–278. doi:10.1097/BOR.0000000000000590

Study Authors


Lowin T

Poliklinik, Funktionsbereich & Hiller Forschungszentrum für Rheumatologie, University Hospital Duesseldorf

Schneider M

Poliklinik, Funktionsbereich & Hiller Forschungszentrum für Rheumatologie, University Hospital Duesseldorf

Pongratz G

Poliklinik, Funktionsbereich & Hiller Forschungszentrum für Rheumatologie, University Hospital Duesseldorf

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This