Today’s article seeks to answer a simple query. Does CBD oil work for Tennis Elbow? In order to successfully answer this query and establish the effectiveness of CBD oil and cannabis-based treatment, we first need to understand what Tennis Elbow is.
What Is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow is a form of Tendonitis. It affects the tendons connected to your outer elbow and forearm. The medical name for Tennis Elbow is Lateral Epicondylitis. It’s a condition where the tendons connecting your outer elbow to your outer forearm become damaged. This is mostly due to overuse and/or misuse. This causes pain, inflammation, and tenderness from your outer elbow to your outer forearm to your wrist.
Despite the name, only 5 percent of people get Tennis Elbow from playing Tennis. The remaining 95 percent of people get it from jobs that have repetitive, one-sided movements such as electricians, carpenters, gardeners, and a majority of desk-bound jobs.
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow is caused by injury (or damage) to your forearm muscle tissue called the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB). Your ECRB helps stabilize your wrist when your elbow is straight. When your ECRB is weakened due to overuse or misuse, microscopic tears form in your tendon attached to your Lateral Epicondyle. This is the bony ball-like area of your outer elbow. Microscopic tearing and your body’s repair system can lead to macroscopic tearing and structural failure in your ECRB, where the condition originated.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow?
The primary symptom of Tennis Elbow is pain. Pain associated with Tennis Elbow is felt in your outer elbow and outer forearm through to your wrist. Other major symptoms of Tennis Elbow include inflammation, tenderness, weakened grip strength, weakened finger extension, and a loss in-range of motion.
What’s The Common Treatment For Tennis Elbow?
About 80 to 95 percent of patients recover successfully from Tennis Elbow with non-surgical treatment. Rest is the most common form of non-surgical treatment. Resting your elbow for several weeks at a time allows your body to repair and heal itself. Other common forms of treatment include:
- Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs for pain relief and inflammation
- Wearing a brace to limit movement and reduce pain
- Physical therapy to strengthen forearm muscles
- Steroids injections as directed by your medical professional
- Surgery followed by rehab as directed by your medical professional
Does CBD Oil Work For Tennis Elbow?
Yes, CBD oil does work for the treatment of Tennis Elbow. More specifically, CBD oil will help with treating pain and inflammatory symptoms associated with Tennis Elbow. However, you’ll still need to give your body time to rest, heal, and repair itself from any injury or damage.
How Effective Is CBD Oil For Pain Relief In Tennis 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 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 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 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 are 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 As An Anti-Inflammatory In Tennis 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 cannabinoids such as CBD in inflammation. And, state why cannabis may be 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 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.
CBD oil and cannabis-based medicines are effective and useful for the treatment of Tennis Elbow. Specifically in regards to providing effective pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. The studies and peer-review journals highlighted in today’s article clearly show how effective cannabis-based treatment is for treating the major symptoms of Tennis 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. 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 variables 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.