How Medical Marijuana Help With Arthritis Treatment
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention , around 23% of American adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. For effective treatment, the world is turning to medical marijuana.
This data also shows disparities in genderwith higher age-adjusted incidences recorded among women as compared to men . Also, the records show the prevalence of arthritis increases with age.
Cannabis Soothes Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is the most common form of disability in the United States. It affects 54 million people in the U.S., according to the CDC, and 350 million worldwide. Unfortunately, there is no known cure, and the harsh pharmaceutical painkillers often prescribed for it have their own awful side effects. The good news is, cannabis eases the pain.
Theres plenty of anecdotal evidence. Its been folk knowledge for a while now that medical marijuana is an effective treatment for arthritis-related pain. But finally, science is adding its voice to the chorus. In recent research, cannabis has been shown to reduce both inflammation and pain in patients afflicted with arthritis.
Can Medical Marijuana Help With Arthritis
Medical marijuana is all the rage today and used by many with medical conditions, including arthritis. According to research, about 1 in 5 who have chronic musculoskeletal pain are using medical marijuana to treat and manage pain. We found 20% had reported past or current use of cannabis with the specific intention to manage pain, said study author Dr. Timothy Leroux, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toronto. Not just recreational users, but patients who said, Im using cannabis because I want to improve pain with this condition.
Many people with arthritis report that medical marijuana not only decreased their arthritic pain, but it decreased their reliance on other pain medication. Thats good news in the era of the opioid epidemic.
Recent research has shown that medical marijuana is an effective alternative treatment for arthritis. It was revealed that cannabis is an effective pain-killing agent.
Read Also: Cabbage Good For Arthritis
Cbd As A Preventative Treatment
Arthritis is incredibly common and affects individuals from all walks of life. With the rise in the prevalence of different types of arthritis, significant attention has been given to preventing this disease.
The causes of arthritis are complex and can result from several risk factors that create a compounding effect . These include:
- Your family history and genes. This makes you more susceptible to environmental factors, and because of this, you may be more likely to develop arthritis if an immediate family member has the disorder.
- Your age. Risk factors generally increase with age.
- Your gender will affect what type of arthritis you develop. For example, women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
- A previous joint injury can increase the probability of that joint developing arthritis.
- Being obese and carrying extra weight can stress joints, mainly your knees, hips and spine.
While patients cannot control most of these risk factors, one that can be monitored is obesity. It is well acknowledged that obesity is highly influenced by lifestyle choices like diet, exercise, sleep and even stress levels . This means incorporating a healthy and well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing the frequency of exercise, practising mindfulness, and getting good quality sleep.
Is Cannabis Right For You
The best way to answer this is to ask your doctor. They can tell you about possible side effects and drug interactions, legal considerations, and which form and at which dose may help you the most.
More than half of the states have legalized marijuana for medical use. More than a dozen other states allow limited medical uses of CBD.
The FDA doesnât regulate marijuana or CBD, so you might not know exactly whatâs in the products you buy. One batch of pot or edible marijuana may have a much higher or lower amount of THC than another, or affect you differently. CBD also can be unpredictable.
Also Check: Side Effects Of Arthritis Medications
Medical Marijuana For Arthritis
Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. It is a condition that leaves the patient in chronic pain, stiffness, and sometimes unable to work.
Since it is a chronic condition, people who have it must seek ways to manage their pain to improve their quality of life.
Some of them endeavor to manage the condition by using medical marijuana, which is widely gaining acceptance as a new way of managing chronic conditions. CBD and THC help in the management of arthritis in different ways.
Joint Pain And Inflammation
If inflammation and joint pain get you down, the following strains can help:
- Burmese Kush: Burmese Kush is a potent pain-relieving hybrid strain. Although it can take a while to take effect, its a long-lasting and strong choice.
- Girl Scout Cookies: Girl Scout Cookies is a high-THC hybrid strain renowned for providing full-body pain relief.
- Canna-Tsu: Canna-Tsu gives you clear-headed pain relief. Its a hybrid strain thats low in THC and high in CBD. The strain works on reducing inflammation and pain without making you feel groggy or tired.
Recommended Reading: Arthritis Articles
Rheumatoid Arthritis Osteoarthritis And Systemic Sclerosis
Cannabis and cannabinoids were investigated as substances that can ameliorate chronic pain and other symptoms associated with rheumatic disease. However, it had also been suggested that cannabinoids have an inflammatory-modulating quality that could exert a therapeutic effect in such conditions, as cannabinoids were shown to have an overall anti-inflammatory effect on immune cells these results were reinforced by studies in animal models of RA and systemic sclerosis .
In RA and osteoarthritis , for example, the hypothesis that cannabinoids may have a disease-modifying quality is based on animal models, as well as in vitro studies that have shown that the synovia of RA and OA patients contained two endocannabinoids that the synovia of healthy controls did not. Results of the same study showed that, in fibroblast-like cells obtained from RA and OA patients, cellular receptors ERK-1 and ERK-2 underwent phosphorylation in response to cannabinoid stimulation, an effect which was attenuated by a cannabinoid receptor antagonist.
The use of cannabinoids for the relief of pain associated with RA has been assessed by one study which showed that, in comparison with placebo, the cannabis-based drug was associated with significant improvements in certain pain parameters and quality of sleep. With regard to drug safety, the study found no serious adverse effects in the active treatment group, with most adverse effects being mild or moderate.
How Can Cannabis Help With Arthritis
Although most studies are recent, historical evidence suggests that humans have been using cannabis as an arthritis treatment for nearly 3,000 years.
We know now that cannabis contains chemical compounds called cannabinoids, which work by activating the endocannabinoid system, a complex network of cell receptors and molecules that modulate everything from mood to sleep, appetite, motor control, and immunity. The endocannabinoid system also regulates inflammation and pain, the two most prevalent symptoms of arthritis.
Read Also: Arthritis In Lower Right Side Of Back
The Cannatonic Cannabis Strain
Go into any dispensary and ask about this marijuana strain and youll get an immediate response: This cannabis strain is great to treat pain and inflammation. Cannatonic has a low THC, high CBD content and produces a mellow high that is typically short-lived. Its the perfect marijuana strain for pain relief and wont get you couch-locked.
What Are Side Effects Of Marijuana For Back Pain
While medical marijuana is very effective at treating back pain, there is the potential of experiencing side effects. They are usually mild and go away once your treatment wears off. In any event, itâs good to know what they are, so you can sit down with your doctor to discuss them. There are certain side effects each patient should know about the use of marijuana for back pain, or any other pain. The side effects are usually mild and can go way as a treatment wears off. Patient should discuss the side effects with their doctor. Some of the common side effects are as follows:
Redness of Eyes: Commonly patients will experience redness of eyes. This is not harmful and can be treated by using eye drops such as Visine.
Short-term memory loss: This is a temporary side effect and does go away as the treatment wears off. Some patients may be more susceptible to it than the others.
Heightened sensory perception: This side effect can impact a patient’s site, hearing, sense of taste and smell.
Fatigue: This side effect is common with high THC strains. One can balance it with the use of low THC strains.
Don’t Miss: Arthritis Rash On Hands
A Bit Of Background On Arthritis
Arthritis is a catch-all term for several distinctive conditions that cause swelling and tenderness in the joints, resulting in pain and stiffness. The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in your joints to break down, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack the joints, beginning with the linings of the joints, most commonly in the hands and wrists.
In both cases, the course of treatment is to manage the symptoms of arthritis to make the patient more comfortable, which often involves reducing pain and inflammation. This is where the relationship between MMJ and arthritis comes into play.
Cannabis And Arthritis Pain
By preventing inflammation, cannabis may also prevent the pain that comes with it. It may also be effective against both acute and chronic pain due to its analgesic, or pain-relieving properties.
A Canadian study, led by McGill Universitys Dr. Mark Ware, and the largest ever to consider the long-term safety of cannabis for chronic pain found no evidence of harmful effects on cognitive function, or blood tests among cannabis consumers and we observed a significant improvement in their levels of pain, symptom distress, mood and quality of life compared to controls.
South of the border, data from user-reported studies in states that have legalized medical cannabis demonstrate a reduction in the use of opioid painkillers, with patients substituting cannabis instead.
You May Like: What Relieves Arthritis Pain
Final Thoughts About Cannabis As A Treatment For Arthritis
Medical marijuana is only now coming into the light in regards to its therapeutic benefits. We have heard many stories about how it is helping people with their day to day conditions. One of those conditions is arthritis. Share your experience with us by commenting below or tell your story on our Facebook post.
Can Medical Marijuana Help With Arthritis Pain
Can marijuana help arthritis? Yes! It appears as though medical cannabis can be highly beneficial in helping those ease their arthritic pains.
Anecdotes from arthritis patients and lab studies have shown that marijuana helps in relieving arthritis pain. As a matter of fact, arthritis is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana usage in US legal states. In Canada, medical cannabis has been a legal treatment option for arthritis since 2001.
LEARN MORE: Medical Marijuana and Rheumatoid Arthritis |
Recommended Reading: What Works For Arthritis Pain
Cannabis And Arthritis Inflammation
Two cannabinoids in particular have captured recent research attention: cannabidiol and caryophyllene . Neither CBD nor caryophyllene have psychoactive effects in other words, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol , a potential anti-inflammatory in its own right, they wont get you high.
CBD and caryophyllene work by activating the endocannabinoid systems CB2 receptors, which are found in tissue throughout the body and involved in regulating inflammation. Research over the years has shown that activating CB2 receptors with cannabinoids can reduce inflammation and slow the progression of certain inflammatory diseases, and a 2014 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology concluded that CB2 receptors offer a promising therapeutic target for the development of novel pharmacological approaches to treat RA .
So Exactly How Does Marijuana Fall Into The Medicine Category
Lets answer that question with another question: Would you put marijuana in the same bucket as LSD? How about heroin? The federal government says yes to both. In fact, in 1970, the US Controlled Substances Act classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug, due to its addictiveness and propensity for abuse. Fifty years later, its still illegal on the federal level. But its legal for medicinal use in 33 US States and the District of Columbia. California was the first state to permit legal access to and use of botanical cannabis for medicinal purposes under physician supervision with the enactment of the Compassionate Use Act.2
That schism makes navigating marijuana potentially confusing for consumers, and the federal classification creates many obstacles in the scientific study of marijuana for medicinal use.
But understanding how marijuana works and how to use it for maximum benefit requires more information, and sometimes a bit of trial and error. Theres still a lot we dont know, but we do know that medical marijuana is a beneficial option for many.
You May Like: Ra Pain In Hands
How We Can Help
Do you need a lifeline in the treatment of arthritis? Get in touch with MMJdoctor. Other than helping with the diagnosis of your condition, our certified physicians can provide you with the relevant guidance and recommendations you need.
We can also help you obtain your medical marijuana I.D. card. Once you have this card, you can purchase your medicinal marijuana supplies from a variety of licensed marijuana dispensaries. Reach out to us today!
Strains Of Marijuana Used For Back Pain
Here are some of the strains of medical cannabis which may help to reduce back pain:
Bubba Kush : This strain contains up to 22 percent THC and up to 0.1 percent CBD. It is good for decreasing stress and decreasing muscle spasms.
Candyland : With around 24 percent of THC and one percent of CBD and CBN. Candyland is good for reducing muscle spasms and tension, to reduce pain. It does have a stimulating effect, so it also helps with fatigue.
OG Kush : Contains up to 23 percent THC and around one percent CBD. Indica is a better strain to reduce muscle spasm while providing pain relief.
ACDC : Sativa is high in CBD but low in THC. It contains up to 24 percent CBD and around 1.2 percent THC, this allows one to be more functional during the day, without causing psychoactive side effects.
Read Also: Do You Get A Rash With Rheumatoid Arthritis
How To Tell If You Have Arthritis
If you are an overly conscious person, almost every little joint pain or discomfort in any part of the body might feel like arthritis to you. However, you may be wrong or right. So, how do you know you have arthritis? Is there a guide on how to tell if you have arthritis?
Depending on the various stages of arthritis and affected body part, what arthritis feels like depends on the type a patient suffers. On a general note, you can tell if you have arthritis if:
- You feel intermittent or sharp pain in the joints, ankle, wrist, neck, hands, muscles, back, fingers, etc.
- You have swollen joints
- Your joints feel stiff or tender
- You suddenly have difficulty moving, or your muscles feel weak
- Your skin starts becoming red, or you develop flares, stiff neck, or deformities.
On a less general note, people are often curious about the causes and signs of arthritis in their hands. A few things that may give away arthritis symptoms in your hands include stiff joints, bump-like swellings on hand, pitted nails, deformities on the affected hand or finger, etc.
It is often better to visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis if you feel you have arthritis.
Why Your Mental Health Matters When Using Medical Marijuana
Many people use medical marijuana for psychological ailments, such as PTSD and anxiety. While cannabis can ease symptoms of these conditions, some people may experience additional feelings of anxiety and paranoia so youll need to track your response. If you end up spiraling out, call your doctor right away and be sure to note which strain/brand caused the effect so that you dont take it again.
People with psychoses may wish to avoid medical marijuana as it can increase the risk of or symptoms of these disorders.12
One collection of studies associated heavy use of marijuana during adolescence with increased rates of mental illness and cognitive impairment. This may be due to the endocannabinoid systems important role in brain development. This does not necessarily preclude young adults from medical marijuana use but it should be taken into consideration.
And remember, medicinal or not, marijuana can still get you high. If you dont do well feeling out of control, cannabis may not be the best choice for you.
Don’t Miss: Mayo Clinic Arthritis
Best Cannabis Strains For Arthritis:
- ACDC: At only 1 percent THC and 20 percent CBD, this hybrid has no psychoactive effects, but treats pain without altering consciousness. As such, its great for arthritis patients who need to keep a clear head.
- Cannatonic: A top choice among arthritis patients, this 17 percent CBD, low THC hybrid has a short, relaxing, understated high. It helps with pain without resulting in disorientation or couch lock. It has a sweet taste and smell.
- Harlequin: Usually has a 5:2 CBD to THC ratio, which helps make it an effective strain for treating painful conditions such as arthritis. This clear-headed Sativa-dominant doesnt reduce functionality. It allows patients to relax without being sedated.
- Pennywise: This high CBD indica cross has a great reputation for being effective at relieving arthritis pain. Its psychoactive effects are mild, due to the CBD.
- White Berry: This indica dominant hybrid combines a sativa head effect with an indica body high. Its great for arthritis pain. This strain clocks in at 18 percent THC and negligible CBD. Expect to get quite high, along with the pain relief, which, along with its cherry and blueberry aromas, make it popular among pain patients.