CBD for Tendinitis: Can It Help?
If you’re struggling with your tendinitis, then you might want to consider incorporating some CBD into your routine. This tiny compound has shown a lot of promise in helping to target the causes of tendinitis.
What is tendinitis?
Tendinitis occurs when there is inflammation or damage to a tendon. Generally, tendinitis feels like a dull, achy, and often tender pain. You can also experience swelling with the condition. You may have heard tendinitis called other names such as tennis elbow or swimmer’s shoulder. As these names suggest, tendinitis typically occurs at a joint (like at the shoulder, elbow, wrist, or knee).
While tendinitis can have many causes, repetitive movements over a long time tend to be the main reason for the condition developing. The alternative names also help to explain tendinitis here: the repetitive motions in “swimmer’s shoulder,” “tennis elbow,” or “golfer’s elbow.”
Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for tendinitis and common treatment options can come with their own complications. Pain medication, corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy are often recommended to help manage tendinitis. However, many pain medications often come with an addiction risk and corticosteroid injections can lead to joint, nerve, and cartilage damage.
How can CBD help?
There is no easy fix for tendinitis, but CBD may be able to offer some help. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that can be found in both hemp and cannabis plants. CBD belongs to a family of compounds called cannabinoids and has garnered quite an impressive reputation for its therapeutic properties.
Studies tell us that CD has demonstrated an impressive ability to improve a range of conditions, and importantly for patients with tendinitis, reducing inflammation and pain are some of CBD’s most impressive qualities.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory power
Inflammation is a normal and important process in our bodies, but when it goes haywire, it can be painful and limiting. Tendinitis is one example of this, where inflammation leads to pain, swelling, and a reduced range of movement. The good news is that CBD has demonstrated impressive anti-inflammatory properties that could help to manage the symptoms.
For starters, we know that CBD can activate a specific glycine receptor called GlyR, which is known to induce the suppression of inflammation (1). We also know that CBD is able to suppress the production of factors that induce inflammation like IL-1β, chemokines, and tumor necrosis factor (2). It’s likely that CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects occur through the activation and suppression of these systems.
But what results can CBD actually deliver? Research into CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects tell us that this compound has demonstrated an ability to improve the following inflammatory conditions:
Inflammation plays a large role in the development of acne, and one study found that CBD reduced inflammation in skin culture, reducing the production of pro-inflammatory factors (3).
As diabetes develops, patients can develop an insulin resistance that leads to pancreatic inflammation which then intensifies the insulin resistance. A 2016 study found that CBD significantly reduced inflammation in the pancreas of diabetic mice models (4).
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
A 2019 study concluded that CBD could play an important role in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease thanks to its ability to reduce inflammation in the gut (5).
Inflammation also plays a key role in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The good news is that CBD can stop the production of pro-inflammatory factors that contribute towards neurodegeneration (6). Research has even shown that CBD can significantly improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (7).
While specific research is needed into the potential anti-inflammatory effects of CBD in patients with tendinitis, these examples highlight the ability of CBD to improve inflammation in a range of conditions.
CBD’s pain-reducing properties
The pain that comes with tendinitis can be one of the most difficult symptoms to manage, but CBD may be able to help. CBD has shown a lot of promise as a pain reliever and has even shown an ability to treat chronic pain (8). This is important as chronic tendinitis often comes with chronic pain, a hard symptom to effectively and safely manage.
How to use CBD for tendinitis?
If you’re interested in trying CBD for your tendinitis, there is a range of product types to choose from.
Topical CBD products like lotions or balms are a great option for tendinitis patients as they offer a targeted approach to localized pain and inflammation. Because of the structure of CBD, it’s best to look for a topical product that contains fats/oils to help improve the transfer of CBD through the skin (12).
Vaping CBD is a faster and more effective way to deliver the effects of this cannabinoid. With vaping, you should start to feel the effects of CBD within minutes (13). However, vaping CBD can be complicated and intimidating to new users.
Edible CBD products like oil, gummies, and supplements are a fuss-free way to consume CBD. While their effects might not be as strong as vaping, edibles offer long-lasting effects that can be ideal for people experiencing chronic pain as a side effect of their tendinitis (14).
Another benefit of CBD is that it has a high safety profile, but some side effects can occur from its use. Side effects from CBD tend to be mild and can include dizziness, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and tiredness (15).
One side effect that you don’t have to worry about with CBD is intoxication. While CBD is present in cannabis, it is not the compound responsible for the psychotropic effects of the plant.
The bottom line
While research is needed into the effects of CBD on tendinitis specifically, studies involving CBD and inflammatory and pain conditions tell us that the cannabinoid is a very promising treatment option for tendinitis.
**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**