Today’s article seeks to answer a simple query. Does CBD oil work for Golfers Elbow? In order to successfully answer this query and determine the effectiveness of CBD oil and cannabis-based treatment, we first need to understand what Golfer’s Elbow is.
What Is Golfers Elbow?
Golfers’ Elbow is a form of Tendonitis. It affects the tendons connected to your inner elbow and forearm. The medical name for Golfers Elbow is Medial Epicondylitis. It’s a condition where the tendons connecting your inner elbow to your inner forearm become damaged. This is generally due to overuse and/or misuse. This causes pain, inflammation, and tenderness from your inner elbow to your inner forearm to your wrist.
Despite the name, Golfers Elbow is not exclusive to Golfers. Any form of repetitive hand, wrist, or forearm movement can lead to Golfers Elbow. Golfers Elbow is similar but not as popular as Tennis Elbow. The difference is that Tennis Elbow develops from tendon damage in your outer elbow. And, Golfers’ Elbow comes from tendon damage in your inner elbow.
What Causes Golfers Elbow?
Golfers Elbow is caused by injury (or damage) to the tendons connected to your Medial Epicondyle and your inner forearm muscles. The Medial Epicondyle is the bony ball-like area of your inner elbow. Applying excessive force to the tendons that bend your wrist (irrespective of the activity) causes Golfers Elbow. Activities that could potentially cause of Golfers Elbow include but are not limited to:
- Weak shoulder muscles
- Weak wrist muscles
- Carrying a heavy suitcase
- Serving in Tennis with excessive force
- Using a Tennis Racket that is too short, too heavy, or tightly strung
What Are The Symptoms Of Golfers Elbow?
The primary symptom of Golfers Elbow is pain. Pain associated with Golfers Elbow is felt in your inner elbow and inner forearm muscle leading to your wrist. Other major symptoms of Golfers Elbow include inflammation and weakened grip strength in your pinky and ring fingers. You may also experience the following minor symptoms:
- Stiffness in your elbow
- Numbness and tingling in your pinky and ring fingers
- Limited range of hand motion
- Pain when you bend your wrist towards your palm against light resistance
- Pain when try squeezing a small rubber ball
What’s The Common Treatment For Golfers Elbow?
Rest is the most common treatment for Golfers Elbow. Resting your elbow for several weeks gives your body time to repair and heal itself. Other forms of treatment include:
- Applying ice to the injured area to reduce swelling and inflammation
- OTC drugs for pain relief and reducing inflammation
- Performing stretching exercises to strengthen your tendons
- Wearing a brace to limit movement and reduce pain
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in your forearm
- Steroid injections as directed by your doctor
- Surgery as directed by your doctor followed by rehab
Does CBD Oil Work For Golfers Elbow?
Yes, CBD oil does work for the treatment of Golfers Elbow. More specifically, CBD oil will help with treating pain and inflammatory symptoms associated with Golfers Elbow. However, you’ll still need to give your body time to heal and repair itself from any injury or damage.
How Effective Is CBD Oil For Treating Pain In Golfers Elbow?
To answer this question, we need to look at the results of a 2019 fibromyalgia patient study. And, we can also look at the results of a 2010 cancer patient study. The results of both studies will help you understand just how effective cannabis-based treatment is for pain relief.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, muscle tenderness, joint stiffness, physical sensitivity, fatigue, constipation, nausea, anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, and a few other symptoms. However, the focus of the 2019 study was to investigate the impact cannabis-based treatment had on pain symptoms caused by fibromyalgia.
The study tested 3 variants of cannabis-based medicines and 1 placebo on the patients. The first group of patients was administered Bedrocan, which had 22.4mg THC and less than 1mg CBD. The second group of patients was administered Bediol, which had 13.4mg THC and 17.8mg CBD. The third group of patients was administered Bedrolite, which had less than 1mg THC and 18.4mg CBD. The fourth and final group of patients was administered a placebo, which had neither THC nor CBD in it.
Results from the study found that patients who were administered THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio (Bediol) experienced the most significant pain relief effects. The minimum amount of pain relief was measured at 30 percent or more. The next group to experience significant pain relief effects was the THC-dominant group (Bedrocan). And, the last two groups, the CBD dominant group (Bedrolite) and the placebo group, reported similar pain relief results. Though similar, the CBD dominant group reported slightly more pain relief effects than the placebo group.
The study concluded that significant pain relief effects are experienced in cannabis-based treatments. The most notable being in the 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD followed by the THC dominant solution and then by the CBD dominant solution. The researchers pointed out that, in their experience, and in that of other researchers, patients with chronic pain report beneficial effects from CBD-only treatment. Hence, either a single administration of CBD is insufficient or the dose amounts of CBD in this study were too low to elicit pain relief effects.
Now, if you’re unaware, cancer can cause pain in your joints, muscles, soft tissue, and bones. The type of cancer that causes these ailments is called ‘blood cancer’. Examples of blood cancer include leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
The focus of the 2010 cancer patient study was to investigate the effectiveness of cannabis-based treatment on patients with advanced cancer pain. These patients got inadequate pain relief effects from prior strong opioid treatment. The study tested 2 variants of cannabis-based medicine and 1 placebo. The cannabis-based variants included a CBD and THC extract (in a 1:1 ratio), and a THC dominant extract.
After analyzing symptoms before and after treatment over a 2-week period, the study found that the patients taking the CBD and THC extract reported a minimum reduction in pain by 30 percent or more. In this study, the patients taking the THC dominant extract showed similar pain relief results to the placebo group. The study concluded that THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio is effective for pain relief in patients with advanced cancer pain who were not fully relieved via strong opioid treatment.
In addition to the above studies, a 2017 peer-review journal states that:
There are also numerous anecdotal reports of the effectiveness of smoking cannabis for joint pain. However, these reports generally do not extend to regulated clinical trials… Nevertheless, the preclinical and human data that do exist indicate that the use of cannabis should be taken seriously as a potential treatment of joint pain.
How Effective Is CBD Oil For Treating Inflammation In Golfers Elbow?
To answer this question, we need to look at the findings of a 2019 peer-reviewed journal. The authors of the journal provide an overview of the overall effects of CBD in major conditions inflammatory in nature. This enables the authors to make a case as to why cannabis is useful for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis..
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes joint damage, joint pain, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness throughout your body. The authors found that cannabinoids demonstrate anti-inflammatory effects by activating what is known as Cannabinoid Type 2 Receptors (CB2) in our body. This decreases cytokine production and immune cell mobilization to produce anti-inflammatory effects.
Furthermore, the authors found that cannabidiol (CBD) demonstrated anti-arthritic effects independent of cannabinoid receptors. And, in addition to controlling inflammation, cannabinoids reduced pain by activating:
- Central and Peripheral Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptors (CB1)
- Peripheral Cannabinoid Type 2 Receptors (CB2)
- CBD-Sensitive Non-Cannabinoid Receptor Targets
The authors concluded by stating that:
Cannabinoids might be a suitable treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but it is important to target the right receptors in the right place. (For clinical studies,) we propose a combination of a CB2 agonist to decrease cytokine production, a peripheral CB1 antagonist to prevent detrimental CB1 signaling and to support anti-inflammatory effects of CB2 (via activation of β2-adrenergic receptors), and CBD to induce cannabinoid-receptor-independent anti-inflammatory effects.
In addition, the executive summary of an extensive 2009 peer-reviewed journal reviewing the use of cannabinoids as anti-inflammatory drugs states that:
Cannabinoids have been tested in several experimental models of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and hepatitis and have been shown to protect the host from the pathogenesis through induction of multiple anti-inflammatory pathways.
The authors share how cannabinoids provide anti-inflammatory effects by stating that:
Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and subsequently attenuate disease symptoms. This property of cannabinoids is mediated through multiple pathways such as induction of apoptosis in activated immune cells, suppression of cytokines and chemokines at inflammatory sites and upregulation of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells.
And finally, the authors conclude their review by stating that:
Cannabinoids may also be beneficial in certain types of cancers that are triggered by chronic inflammation. In such instances, cannabinoids can either directly inhibit tumor growth or suppress inflammation and tumor angiogenesis.
Cannabinoids such as CBD exhibit a very strong potential for use in novel anti-inflammatory agents. Specifically targeting CB2 receptors in our body holds the key promise of moderating immunosuppressive effects without a patient experiencing the effects of being ‘high‘ from cannabis treatment.
CBD oil and cannabis-based medicines are effective and useful for the treatment of Golfers Elbow. Specifically in regards to providing effective pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. The studies and journals highlighted in today’s article clearly show how effective cannabis-based treatment is for treating the major symptoms of Golfers Elbow.
There should NOT be a doubt in your mind, moving forward, that you will be able to achieve effective treatment results from CBD oil use for inflammation and pain. Your only challenge is in finding a suitable CBD oil solution that will assist you in getting results.
Regarding inflammation, CBD alone has been scientifically proven to provide anti-inflammatory effects. However, regarding pain, the best scientifically proven solution is CBD and THC in a 1:1 ratio. This will be challenging to find commercially as current regulation limits the amount of THC availability to either 0.3% or 0.2% in a given CBD oil product based on your location.
However, some researchers have stated that high enough doses of CBD-dominant solutions can provide pain relief effects. Yet, what those dose levels look like is unknown at the moment. Hence, it is best to work with a pro-cannabis medical professional to guide you through the process of finding your optimal dosage levels so you can achieve your desired results.
If a pro-cannabis medical professional is inaccessible to you in your area, then you may need to consider micro-dosing as your next option. As an example, micro-dosing marijuana is the practice of taking small amounts in order to reap the medical benefits of THC while avoiding its psychoactive effects. However, instead of micro-dosing marijuana, you may look into micro-dosing CBD oil to find your optimal dosage that produces the desired effects.
You would need to keep an active journal on hand to take note of a few variants such as:
- The type of cannabis product purchased (oil, vape, flower, edibles, etc)
- The CBD and/or THC concentration levels (number of mg’s per bottle)
- The date of treatment commencement (start date)
- The times of treatment administration (times of day, AM and PM)
- The frequency of treatment administration per day (number of times per day)
- The dosage amounts per administration (number of milligrams or drops per dose)
- The noticeable effects after administration (positive, negative, or neutral)
- van de Donk T, Niesters M, Kowal MA, Olofsen E, Dahan A, van Velzen M. An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia. Pain. 2019 Apr;160(4):860-869. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001464. PMID: 30585986; PMCID: PMC6430597.
- Johnson JR, Burnell-Nugent M, Lossignol D, Ganae-Motan ED, Potts R, Fallon MT. Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010;39(2):167-179. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.06.008
- Miller RJ, Miller RE. Is cannabis an effective treatment for joint pain?. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2017;35 Suppl 107(5):59-67.
- Lowin T, Schneider M, Pongratz G. Joints for joints: cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2019 May;31(3):271-278. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000590. PMID: 30920973.
- Nagarkatti P, Pandey R, Rieder SA, Hegde VL, Nagarkatti M. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Med Chem. 2009 Oct;1(7):1333-49. doi: 10.4155/fmc.09.93. PMID: 20191092; PMCID: PMC2828614.