A new study conducted by researchers from Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark has shown that CBD has no significant benefits in pain treatment. The study was titled, “Cannabidiol treatment in hand osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial” and published in the Pain Journal in June 2022.
The study examined the efficacy of CBD as an analgesic therapy for patients suffering from hand osteoarthritis or psoriatic arthritis with moderate pain intensity after conventional pain therapy. This was a randomized and placebo-controlled study with 129 participants. One group received 20-30mg of synthetic CBD daily for 12 weeks while the control group received a placebo. After the 12 weeks, the researchers concluded the following:
“We found neither clinically nor statistically significant effects of CBD for pain intensity in patients with hand osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis when compared with placebo. In addition, no statistically significant effects were found on sleep quality, depression, anxiety, or pain catastrophizing scores.”
This takes us back to the days of “reefer madness” and cannabis does not have any known medical benefits, right? That’s either the case or someone desperately wants that to be the case, for whatever reasons. A closer look at this study will reveal that the latter is indeed the case.
Very Low CBD Dose
The CBD dosages used for the study were very low (10-30mg/day) compared to dosages that have been used in other studies. For schizophrenia, the recommended CBD dosage is 300mg -1,200mg per day while that of epilepsy is 10-20mg/kg/day. Even a 10kg child would be receiving at least 100mg of CBD per day. It is therefore questionable why these researchers would opt for 20mg of CBD per day to alleviate chronic intractable pain.
Synthetic CBD Isolate
Recent research has shown that full-spectrum cannabis extracts provide better efficacy with a reduction in adverse effects. Pure isolates, such as the one used in this study, are likely to exhibit the “inverted U-shape curve response.” This means that the CBD is effective at a certain optimal dose. Higher or lower doses have a declining effect. It’s highly likely that a full spectrum CBD extract would have produced different results for pain, anxiety, and sleep.
Oral formulations of CBD and especially tablets have a low bioavailability due to the first pass effect (liver metabolism). Some studies have shown that oral formulations may have as low as 40% bioavailability. This brings down the already low dose of CBD even lower.
Was this study set up to “fail” from the start and for what reason? We shall continue this discussion in a subsequent post. Keep checking back.