Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Does Weed Help Arthritis Pain

Learn The Significance Of Different Marijuana Species

Medical Cannabis: What people with arthritis need to know

So, lets say youve decided to try medical marijuana. Now what? You may notice that marijuana dispensaries often break products into three different categories or species:

  • sativa said to be more energizing, sativa was traditionally found in Western Europe and Eurasia, where it was cultivated for its fiber and seeds these plants are tall and have thin leaves

  • indica said to be more relaxing, indica was traditionally found in India, where it was harvested for its fiber, seeds, and hashish production these plants are stout and have broad leaves

  • hybrid said to be more balanced, hybrid types are bred from a combination of sativa and indica

This categorization is related to the relative CBD:THC ratio in each species . However, the scientific communitys growing ability to test the chemical make-up of marijuana plants has shown that many of these species are in fact mixed and no longer true to their origins. Because marijuana has been cultivated over the years, pure strains are rare, and lucky for us, most marijuana strains sold today are a hybrid which makes this information helpful to know, but not necessary to memorize.

Current Treatments Available And Their Side Effects

Currently, health care professionals use more than 100 medications and drugs in the treatment of arthritis. Many of these drugs, however, can cause serious side effects.

There are five main classes of drugs used to treat this condition non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , analgesics, corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and biologics. Here is a brief description of each, along with some information about the potential side effects:

Whats The Evidence That Cbd Is Effective For Chronic Arthritis Pain

While there are laboratory studies suggesting CBD might be a promising approach, and animal studies showing anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, well-designed studies demonstrating compelling evidence that CBD is safe and effective for chronic arthritis pain in humans do not exist. A randomized trial of topical CBD for osteoarthritis of the knee has been published, but in abstract form only the trial lasted only 12 weeks, and results were mixed at best. One of the largest reviews examined the health effects of cannabis and CBD, and concluded that there is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults. But there was no specific conclusion regarding CBD, presumably because definitive studies were not available.

Of course, there is anecdotal evidence and testimonials galore, including reports of dramatic improvement by people who tried CBD in its various forms for their pain. But we are still waiting for well-designed, scientifically valid, and rigorous clinical trials that are so badly needed to answer the question of just how helpful CBD may be to people with chronic arthritis pain.

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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.

Breaking Down Cannabis And Chronic Back Pain

How Does Medical Marijuana Help With Osteoarthritis Pain?

Chronic back pain can be one of the most debilitating conditions an individual can encounter there are very few daily activities that do not involve some kind of movement or even bracing of your back.

Living with Chronic Back Pain can leave you feeling frustrated, incapable, and at times, downright depressed.

The situation can look particularly bleak if you are unable to find any relief for your pain from more traditional medicines and techniques.

Fortunately, there may be another solution your doctor might have missed out on telling you about that may help with your chronic back pain. Cannabis and back pain relief are being strongly linked and the findings look promising.

This article will give you all of the relevant information you might need to know about medical cannabis and back pain to help you make an informed choice about trying it for yourself.

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Other Than Arthritis What Other Ailments Can Marijuana Strains Help Against

CBD-rich medical marijuana is effective against a large number of ailments and medical conditions. One of the most popular uses of medical marijuana is to treat the pain caused by chemotherapy. Medical marijuana is also used to treat symptoms of ailments such as Parkinsons Disease, Crohns Disease, Dystonia, Multiple Sclerosis, etc. It is also a pretty effective option to treat mental health-related ailments such as high levels of stress and anxiety. People with depression and PTSD have also found it pretty effective to consume marijuana. These are some of the uses of marijuana other than treating arthritis.

What Increases The Risk Of Osteoarthritis

It is important to take care of your joints as you age because there are several factors that can increase your risk of developing OA including :

  • Age the risk increases as you get older.
  • Gender women are more likely to develop OA as opposed to men.
  • Genetics once an immune response is triggered after joint damage, it causes an immune response that can change the way that genes are expressed in the body. A genetic change in the COL11A1 gene can lead to OA as it disrupts a central building block of collagen . Collagen is important for maintaining various structures in your body such as in cartilage, tissues, and your skin.
  • Joint injuries & overuse repetitive motions and stress on a joint can damage the cartilage inside the joint and increase the risk of OA.
  • Obesitybeing overweight puts more stress on the hips and knees. Doctors also believe that obesity has metabolic effects that increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Race research has shown that some Asian populations have a lower risk of developing OA.

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Osteoarthritis And Medical Marijuana

Similar to other forms of arthritis and inflammation, medical marijuana has shown potential in treating osteoarthritis. The compounds of cannabis, including THC and CBD, have been shown to have some benefits in treating the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, as well as the psychological side-effects such as anxiety and depression. In fact, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have been shown to cause a potential improvement in pain from osteoarthritis.

Side Effects Of Using Cannabis For Back Pain

Medical Cannabis 101 | Arthritis Talks

Firstly, the way in which you ingest marijuana is going to have a bit of an impact on the side effects you could experience. An obvious example would be to compare smoking against consuming edible variations.

Smoking marijuana is likely to have many of the same potential side effects as regular smoking and could have negative impacts on breathing conditions.

The side effects are going to be slower when ingested orally versus inhaling it, which is something to keep in mind when taking marijuana for your pain. If you wish to inhale it but do not want to be exposed to the health risks of smoking, using a vaporizer might be a viable alternative.

The short-term side effects of medical marijuana include:

Another potential and serious side effect that has been observed is an increased heart rate shortly after taking cannabis, which may increase the risk of heart problems in those with heart conditions within the first hour of taking the drug.

There is some research to suggest that marijuana could be responsible for the onset of schizophrenia in individuals that are already susceptible to it in long term use.

As with any drug, it is always wise to inform your primary care physician before you start taking it.

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Relationship Between Medical Cannabis And Arthritis

One of the main health benefits of using medical cannabis for arthritis is its possible ability to treat pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. There is evidence pointing towards the fact that medical cannabis might help relieve long-term pain which is a major symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.

Out of the hundreds of chemicals found inside the cannabis sativa plant, THC and CBD are perhaps the two most widely studied compounds. Some studies indicate that people suffering rheumatic diseases like osteoarthritis potentially benefit from THC and CBD.

The bodyâs endocannabinoid system has two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. The majority of our CB1 receptors are associated with cognitive actions pertaining to coordination like memory, mood, appetite and thinking. The CB2 receptors, on the other hand, live in the immune system, making them responsible for how your body responds to inflammation and pain.

While THC attaches to CB1 receptors, CBD just impacts CB2 receptors and does not attach to the receptor. Instead it entices the body to produce more of its own cannabinoids, creating a positive effect on the bodyâs pain inflammation responses.

Terpenes For Pain Management And Inflammation

Terpenes have been shown to assist with pain relief and inflammation. They are generally most effective when used with other terpenes and cannabinoids such as THC and CBD due to the entourage effect.

Table 4: Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of specific terpenes found in the cannabis plant

Terpene
Reduces inflammatory pain when applied topically29 Decreases inflammation both orally and topically in animal studies22

Read Also: What Is Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis

If You Have Arthritis Leafwell Makes Getting Your Mmj Card Easier

Prescription medications for arthritis can be dangerous not only from the side effects but for the likelihood of becoming dependent or addicted. This has led many to search for alternatives, like medical marijuana.

If you or a loved one is suffering from arthritis and are considering trying medical marijuana youve come to the right place. Leafwell is prepared to help walk you through the process step-by-step to get qualified to use medical marijuana in your state.

Ways To Use Medical Marijuana For Arthritis

Does Cannabis Really Cure Arthritis?

Now you know more about how medical pot can help alleviate your arthritis symptoms, but how can you take it? If youre new to marijuana, you no doubt have many questions about the best route of delivery. Lets look at some of the most popular ways to take medical pot to help you make up your mind. You may find you want to experiment with any of the following ways of taking cannabis until you find one that suits you.

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Medical Cannabis And Arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic pain condition that has no fixed cure. It can cause painful symptoms, such as joint swelling, which often seem to arise from nowhere. While there are certain therapies and lifestyle changes a patient can make to reduce the severity of their symptoms, many people find little to no relief from pain.

Medical cannabis for arthritis can help manage these painful symptoms. The cannabinoid THC, in particular, is commonly used to help treat neuropathic pain and inflammation. THC acts on our CB1 and CB2 receptors, two G protein-coupled receptors that are found all throughout the body as part of the endocannabinoid system. CB2 receptors are thought to play an important role in pain modulation and inflammation. By acting on these receptors, THC inhibits the release of glutamate, reducing pain signals to the brain and slowing the release of proinflammatory substances from mast cells.

Cbd Oil And Chronic Pain

Cannabinoids, such as CBD, interact with receptors that influence pain and inflammation in the body. CBD may block certain receptors that allow for levels of an endocannabinoid called anandamide to increase in the body.

Scientists believe that CBD affects the way that these receptors respond to the signals that they receive, possibly helping reduce inflammation and pain.

The National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health state that cannabis or CBD could have modest benefits for chronic pain.

Much of the research into CBD for chronic pain has looked at neuropathic, or nerve-related, pain. For example, a 2017 review found that CBD helped with chronic neuropathic pain in humans.

A 2020 review reports that CBD could have benefits for relieving chronic pain, improving sleep, and reducing inflammation, but that these effects are condition specific.

The researchers also say that using CBD may come with risks, such as drug interactions and harmful ingredients in unregulated products.

CBD is available as an oil or powder, which it is possible to use to make creams or gels that people can apply to the skin of the areas that arthritis affects.

People can also take CBD in capsule form or as an oral spray.

It is a good idea to speak to a doctor before using CBD oil. A person should also educate themselves on the local laws regarding CBD oil, as the use of cannabis products is not legal everywhere.

These include:

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What Is Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis is any cannabis or cannabis product used to treat a medical condition. Many people use cannabis to treat medical conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders. However, the Food and Drug Administration hasnt yet approved cannabis to treat any of these conditions.

Many people who take cannabis medically take CBD or other cannabis products that contain little to no THC. While THC does have medical applications, it is also intoxicating and thus is the main ingredient behind the recreational effects of cannabis.

At this time, the only CBD product FDA-approved to treat a particular medical condition is Epidolex. Its approved to treat two rare forms of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

The medications Marinol and Syndrol, which contain a synthetic form of THC called dronabinol, are FDA-approved to treat nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and weight loss in AIDS patients.

In states where medical cannabis is legal, you can obtain a medicinal cannabis card that allows you to legally buy and possess cannabis with a doctors recommendation. For example, in California, doctors may recommend cannabis to treat the following conditions:

and Federal Trade Commission.

What Causes Arthritis

The Science of Medical Cannabis for Arthritis

There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common form is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions your joints wears down over time. This can happen for various reasons, including age, injury, or repetitive motion.

Additionally, if you have arthritis you know that the pain can be debilitating. Fortunately, there is some evidence that medical marijuana may help relieve arthritis pain. One study found that CBD, a compound in marijuana, was effective in reducing inflammation and pain in rats with arthritis.

Of course, more research is needed. But if youre considering trying it, be sure to talk to a healthcare provider first. They can help you understand the potential risks and benefits of using marijuana to treat your arthritis pain.

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Types Of Cbd Products

There are many CBD products available as the market continues to grow. These can be broken down by how you take them. For arthritis or chronic pain, common types include:

  • Topical formulations: There is a range of CBD creams and oils designed to be applied directly to affected joints. Combined with other ingredients, these may help ease inflammation and pain in the area with daily use.
  • Oral formulations: CBD can be taken in pill form and is available in gummies, candies, or other edible forms. Oils can also be added to food or drink or put under the tongue. A prescribed spray is also available. Dosages can be difficult to manage with this route, and its important to keep CBD from children.
  • Inhalation: There are strains of cannabis that are designed to have a very high CBD content and only trace THC, which can be smoked. Concentrations of CBD can also be inhaled by using a vaporizer pen or vaping. Notably, certain ingredients of the latter may pose health risks, and healthcare providers tend to recommend against this route.

Given the wide range of CBD products available, take care to ensure youre taking a good, safe product. This is done by:

Using Cbd Oil To Treat Arthritis

Like THC but without the psychoactive component, cannabidiol oil is also often used to treat arthritis. Studies have found that CBD also offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, all without the worry of the brain fog, munchies, or anything else that might follow THC.

Along with reducing the pain associated with arthritis, CBD is also likely to help improve sleep, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression all while reducing overall inflammation.

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Arthritis And The Endocannabinoid System

Preclinical studies have found evidence of a relationship between the Endocannabinoid System , pain and arthritis.

However, its not clear how this relationship works, or if its applicable to humans.

Endocannabinoid receptors have been found in the connective tissue, cartilage and bone of patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

This suggests a possible role of cannabinoids in regulating inflammation, and cartilage breakdown and bone remodelling processes that take place during the diseases.

Endocannabinoid receptors in immune cells may also modulate immune and inflammatory responses.

A significant analgesic effect

The first-ever controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in rheumatoid arthritis found that cannabis was an effective painkiller.

The 2005 study compared a cannabis-based oral mucosal spray with a placebo in 58 patients over five weeks of treatment.

Patients were treated in the evening and assessments were made each morning.

The study assessed pain on movement, pain at rest, morning stiffness and sleep quality using two measures a questionnaire and disease activity score.

In comparison with placebo, the cannabis-based medicine produced statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, and quality of sleep.

There was no effect on morning stiffness, although baseline scores were low.

Any adverse effects were mild or moderate.

Therapeutic potential of topical CBD

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