Jonathan Vela, MD: CBD Shows No Effect in Patients with Chronic Pain

November 8, 2021
Giuliana Grossi

A study presented at ACR 2021 found that CBD had no significant effect on pain intensity in patients with hand osteoarthritis or psoriatic arthritis.

In a new study presented the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2021 Convergence, results showed that there was no statistically significant effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on clinical pain intensity in patients with hand osteoarthritis (OA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

A team of investigators led by Jonathan Vela, MD, Department of Rheumatology Aalborg Denmark, conducted the study, "Cannabidiol Treatment in Hand Osteoarthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis - A Randomized, Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial".

With interest in CBD increasing in Denmark, Vela looked to the literature to see whether or not it could potentially help his patients with chronic pain. He found that there were no proper randomized control trials done on CBD for pain treatment.

"It's being sold to patients as sort of a panacea," Vela said.

If this research were to be continued, Vela said that increasing the dose could be the next step. This study used 20-30mg and it's possible that a higher dose, similar to what's used for childhood epilepsy, is needed to see an effect.

Also, the result could have been different if patients had active arthritis at the time of the study, Vela pointed out. Since there are no preliminary studies showing that CBD reduces inflammation this would be hard to do because there are other proven treatments.

CBD has been shown to be helpful with certain issues, but when it comes to pain the research just isn't there.

"I can see companies going out and making big promises to patients that it will help cure almost anything," Vela said. "It makes me a bit sad that we haven't done the studies before the claims are being made."


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