Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common inflammatory disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, including joints. Its earliest and major symptoms are pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, both in arms and legs. Rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblast (RASF) is a type of cell with an important role in the disease pathway of RA through mediating the inflammatory responses at joints and joint destruction.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has recently been shown to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules by RASF. Furthermore, it also increases intracellular calcium levels – which trigger the cell-death pathway, thereby reducing the viability of RASF. It does so by activating transient receptor potential ankyrin (TRPA1) – an ion channel located on the plasma membrane of many human and animal cells and central to RASF’s destructive activities. These effects of CBD on RASF are especially magnified under inflammatory conditions.
Although CBD has been known to demonstrate anti-inflammatory power in several inflammatory conditions for a long time, this is the first definitive evidence of its anti-inflammatory mechanism in rheumatoid arthritis. Noticeably, CBD – unlike many other cannabinoids found in the plant cannabis – is not addictive due to its lack of influence on the nervous system. As a result, CBD might be a very beneficial ingredient to be incorporated into current drugs for and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.