SYDNEY, Australia – The daily application of a transdermal gel containing CBD relieves pain and improves the quality of life of patients with hand osteoarthritis (OA), according to open-label trial data published in the journal Nature: Scientific Reports.

Australian researchers evaluated the self-reported efficacy of transdermal CBD in a cohort of 15 OA patients. Study participants applied CBD-infused gelatin three times a day for four weeks. Self-reported measures were assessed at baseline and throughout the trial via smartphone technology.

CBD application was associated with self-reported improvements in pain, grip strength, fatigue, muscle stiffness, and anxiety.

“Pain, grip strength and QoL [quality of life] measures … were shown to improve over time following transdermal CBD application suggesting feasibility of this intervention in relieving osteoarthritic hand pain,” the study’s authors concluded. “Proof of efficacy, however, requires further confirmation in a placebo-controlled randomized trial.”

The transdermal delivery of CBD has previously been associated with reduced levels of lower back and leg pain in patients with spinal stenosis.

Full text of the study, “An open-label feasibility trial of transdermal cannabidiol for hand osteoarthritis,” appears in Nature: Scientific Reports.