J Med Food. 2021 Feb 10. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2020.0178. Online ahead of print.
Symptom-alleviating therapies for osteoarthritis (OA) management are inadequate. Long-term application of first-line treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, is limited due to associated side effects. We believe that a combination of traditionally used botanical extracts, which have diverse active components that target multiple inflammatory pathways, may provide a safe and efficacious alternative to address the multifactorial nature of OA. Recently, cannabidiol (CBD), the major nonpsychoactive component of the hemp plant, has gained renewed global attention for its pharmacological actions. It has shown promise in reducing pain and inflammation in preclinical models of arthritis. In this study, widely employed inflammatory and noninflammatory animal pain models, such as the hot plate test, visceral pain model (writhing test), and carrageenan-induced rat paw edema model, were utilized to evaluate the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity of CBD alone and in combination with standardized bioflavonoid compositions. CBD was tested at 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg/kg orally and at 5% topically. Administered alone, CBD produced dose-correlated, statistically significant pain inhibition in all the models. Enhanced performance in pain and inflammation reduction was observed when CBD was orally administered in complex with the bioflavonoid compositions. Data from this study show that for clinically meaningful efficacy against OA, CBD may have to be delivered in higher dosage or formulated with other medicinal plants with similar activities.