Today’s article seeks to answer a simple query. Does CBD oil work for Bursitis? In order to successfully answer this query and determine the effectiveness of CBD oil and cannabis-based treatment, we need to understand what Bursitis is.
What Is Bursitis?
Bursitis is the inflammation of your synovial bursa (or bursae for plural). Your synovial bursa is a lubricating sac located around your joints between your tendons, muscles, and bones. A bursa sac is made up of a synovial membrane (or synovium) that consists of synovial fluid. The added lubrication bursae provide help reduce friction during joint movement.
What Causes Bursitis?
There are a number of scenarios that cause Bursitis. Similar to Tendonitis, Bursitis can be caused by injury due to repetitive overuse and/or misuse of your joints. Medical conditions such as arthritis, gout, diabetes, and kidney conditions caused by alcoholism contribute to developing bursitis. Bacterial infection of bursae close to your skin causes a variation of Bursitis known as Septic Bursitis. Calcium deposition along a tendon or joint can cause Bursitis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bursitis?
Areas of your body where you’re most likely to get Bursitis are your elbows, shoulders, knees, heels, hips, and buttocks. The common symptoms that makeup Bursitis include:
- Localized pain
- Swelling and tenderness
- Warmth around the affected area
- Redness of the skin around the affected area
- Worsening pain with movement
- Potential fever
What Is The Current Treatment For Bursitis?
Bursitis treatment follows a model known as P-R-I-C-E-M, which stands for:
- P is for Protection padding, particularly for bursae close to the skin
- R is for Resting the affected area to allow the body to repair and heal
- I is for Icing the affected area to reduce swelling and inflammation
- C is for Compression to compress the affected area to reduce swelling
- E is for Elevation wherever feasible to redirect blood flow and reduce swelling
- M is for Medication to reduce pain and inflammation.
If your Bursitis is non-infectious, your doctor may provide you with steroid injections to help reduce inflammation. However, if your bursitis is infectious, your doctor will drain your bursae with a syringe and prescribe you antibiotics.
It’s obvious to see that CBD oil falls within the M or Medication section of the P-R-I-C-E-M treatment model. Current bursitis medication aims to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation around your affected joints. However, the problem with the current medication options, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and low-dose steroids, is that they’re full of negative side effects.
The cannabis-based treatment provides hope that patients can achieve positive therapeutic results without negative side effects. As it stands at the moment, cannabis-based treatment such as CBD oil has a positive side effect profile, which is one of the many reasons for their popularity.
Does CBD Oil Work For Bursitis?
Yes, CBD oil does work for the treatment of Bursitis. More specifically, CBD oil will help with treating inflammatory and pain symptoms associated with Bursitis. However, you will also need to give your body time to rest so it can repair and heal any damage.
How Effective Is CBD Oil For Treating Inflammation In Bursitis?
To answer this question, we need to look at the results of a 2005 rheumatoid arthritis patient study, a 2000 rodent model study, and then a 2008 endocannabinoid signaling patient study. The results from these three studies will help you understand how effective cannabis-based treatment is for inflammation in Bursitis.
In the year 2000, a rodent model study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) treatment in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). As you’re now aware, arthritis is one of the major causes of Bursitis. This fact alone aids in the validation of the results this study presents as it relates to Bursitis treatment with cannabis-based medicines.
After inducing arthritis in the mice, CBD was administered as soon as signs of clinical symptoms were clear and evident. The mice were administered CBD daily for 10 days either through injection or orally. The mice that received CBD via injection were broken down into the following groups:
- Group 1: 12 mice received 20 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 2: 17 mice received 10 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 3: 15 mice received 5 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 4: 9 mice received 2.5 mg/kg of CBD in ethanol/cremophor and saline
- Group 5: 23 mice received 0 mg/kg of CBD, just ethanol/cremophor and saline (control group)
The mice that received CBD via oral administration were broken down into the following groups:
- Group 1: 6 mice received 10 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 2: 6 mice received 25 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 3: 6 mice received 50 mg/kg of CBD in olive oil
- Group 4: 6 mice received 0 mg/kg of CBD, just olive oil (control group)
The study found that daily administration of CBD in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in both modes of treatment effectively blocked the progression of arthritis. The study also found that CBD was equally effective for treatment when administered via injection or orally. The optimal daily dosages for the mice were 5 mg/kg via CBD injection, and 25 mg/kg via CBD oral administration.
The study highlighted that clinical improvement was associated with the protection of the joints against severe damage. The data uncovered in this study shows that CBD has a potent anti-arthritic effect through its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory actions. This suggests that CBD is a valuable treatment option for other (chronic) inflammatory diseases.
In the year 2005, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient study set out to investigate the effectiveness of a cannabis-based medicine called Sativex. The study’s focus was on the pain relief effects Sativex could provide patients. However, it’s worth noting that rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes joint damage, joint pain, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness throughout your body.
Sativex is a cannabis-based medicine with a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC dominating the solution. Sativex contains other minor cannabinoids as well. Sativex and placebo were administered to a group of 58 rheumatoid arthritis patients over a period of 5 weeks via an oromucosal spray. 31 patients received Sativex while 27 patients received the placebo.
Results from the study showed that patients who were administered Sativex displayed a significant improvement in the following areas:
- Pain on movement (reduced)
- Pain at rest (reduced)
- Quality of sleep (improved)
However, what was more interesting, and to the point of this article, is that arthritis activity was significantly suppressed following Sativex treatment. If you remember, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. This suggests that Sativex not only showed pain-relief effects but anti-inflammatory effects as well. The study highlights that the suppression of inflammatory activity indicates an influence on the immune effector system. This is consistent with the results from the rodent model study covered earlier in this article, where CBD suppressed the progression of arthritis in mice.
In the year 2008, an endocannabinoid signaling patient study was conducted. The study set out to investigate whether key elements of the endocannabinoid system that produce anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects were expressed in the synovia of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The synovia is important to us because this is the fluid found in your synovial bursae.
The study compared the levels of endocannabinoids present in the synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis versus healthy non-inflamed volunteers as a control. The study first found that CB1 and CB2 receptors were present in the synovial fluid of the patients. Secondly, two endocannabinoids namely AEA (anandamide) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl glycerol) were detected in the synovial fluid of the patients, yet no none were detected in the synovial fluid of the control group.
The study concluded by stating that:
Our data predicts that the cannabinoid receptor system present in the synovium may be an important therapeutic target for the treatment of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
How Effective Is CBD Oil For Providing Pain Relief In Bursitis?
This question may have already been answered in the results of the 2005 rheumatoid arthritis patient study covered in the previous section. However, we will also look at two additional studies for extra support. We’ll look at the results of a 2019 fibromyalgia patient study and the results of a 2010 cancer patient study. The results of these studies will help you understand just how effective cannabis-based treatment is for pain relief Bursitis.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, muscle tenderness, joint stiffness, physical sensitivity, fatigue, 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 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.
CBD oil and cannabis-based medicines are effective and useful for the treatment of Bursitis. Specifically in regards to providing effective pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. The studies highlighted in today’s article clearly show how effective cannabis-based treatment is for treating the major symptoms of Bursitis, which are pain and inflammation.
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. However, if your condition is bacterial in nature, there is no evidence (yet) to suggest that cannabis-based treatment will work. We will know for sure as more studies get released to the public. 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, researchers have stated that high enough doses of CBD-dominant solutions can provide pain relief effects. Yet, what those dose levels look like is unclear 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. For 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)
- Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla PF, Malik AS, Andreakos E, Mechoulam R, Feldmann M. The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Aug 15;97(17):9561-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.160105897. PMID: 10920191; PMCID: PMC16904.
- Brand, D., Latham, K. & Rosloniec, E. Collagen-induced arthritis. Nat Protoc 2, 1269–1275 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nprot.2007.173
- D. R. Blake, P. Robson, M. Ho, R. W. Jubb, C. S. McCabe, Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Volume 45, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 50–52, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kei183
- Richardson, D., Pearson, R.G., Kurian, N. et al. Characterisation of the cannabinoid receptor system in synovial tissue and fluid in patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther 10, R43 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1186/ar2401
- 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