Relieve Arthritis Pain, Improve Patient QOL With CBD

Patient confidence in CBD products—and pharmacist ability to provide counsel—increased during the study.

CBD may be an effective option to relieve arthritis pain and improve patient quality of life, according to a poster presented at the APhA 2022 Annual Meeting and Exposition.

In clinical trials, CBD use has been associated with a general decrease in inflammatory processes that cause arthritis-related pain. As a result, researchers set out to measure the changes in arthritis symptoms, quality of life (QOL), and the perception of CBD among patients with arthritis who are using oral CBD.

A prospective, uncontrolled, longitudinal cohort study across independent community pharmacies in a North Carolina metropolitan area included patients 18 or older who had a self-reported medication history, treatment, or diagnosis of rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. Patients were either enrolled in, or willing to enroll in, medication synchronization.

Eligible patients provided baseline symptomology, QOL, and a CBD knowledge/perceptions survey. CBD was provided according to a specific dosing schedule across 4 weeks, with weekly up-titration as needed; patients underwent check-ins on a bi-weekly basis with their pharmacist and completed bi-weekly follow-up surveys to assess changes in study metrics.

Among 17 participants, 65% were women, 88% had osteoarthritis (vs 22% with rheumatoid arthritis), and 59% reported using another form of pain relief.

Over the course of the study, 44% of participants reported an improvement in QOL, compared with 37% who reported no change and 19% who reported worsened QOL. Mean arthritis symptom scores decreased, representing an improvement, and both patient understanding of CBD products and patient confidence in their pharmacists’ ability to answer CBD-related questions increased. Additionally, there was a “slight improvement” in patient confidence that CBD is safe, despite a lack of FDA regulation.

Study limitations include the uncontrolled nature of the study, the small sample size, and the use of other medications to manage arthritis pains.

Reference

Beddoe S, Rhodes LA, Schimmelfing L. Use of oral cannabidiol for arthritis pain in a community pharmacy setting. Presented at: American Pharmacists Association 2022 Annual Meeting & Exposition; March 18-21; San Antonio, TX.