By Dr. Craig Hauser, Kannavis Medical Director
Sometimes, a little inflammation in the body is a good thing. It’s a sign that your body is working double time to protect you from further harm while accelerating the healing process at the same time.
But it’s a different story when it comes to arthritis.
It’s the type of inflammation that leaves sufferers equally distressed and wondering if there’s a cure for the chronic pain that comes with it.
Apart from debilitating pain, people with the condition have to also deal with anxiety and depression resulting from the condition.
Fortunately, recent scientific literature seems to be in favor of the idea that marijuana is beneficial for patients suffering from arthritis symptoms. Even better — a growing number of patients are also sharing their success stories on the efficacy of cannabis in alleviating arthritis pain. This is good news given that the average American today is twice as likely to get arthritis (knee osteoarthritis to be specific) than our grandparents.
Read on to learn how exactly can cannabis help people alleviate arthritis pain. It could be you, your mom, uncle, or landlord!
What Research Has to Say About Cannabis and Arthritis
How can cannabis help arthritis pain sufferers?
It boils down to cannabinoids. These active chemical compounds in marijuana flowers interact with different receptors in the body (including your body's natural cannabinoid receptors). Currently, cannabis has approximately a hundred different types of cannabinoids. Notable cannabinoids include THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBC ( Cannabichromene) , CBD (Cannabidiol), and CBN (Cannabinol) — all of which are linked to arthritis pain relief.
A 2006 preliminary study found out that cannabis-based medicine has significantly helped patients with rheumatoid arthritis regarding pain relief during joint movement, reducing pain while at rest, and ultimately improving their quality of sleep.
In 2013, University of Nottingham researchers observed that targeting cannabinoid receptors with medical marijuana products can potentially bring pain relief to knee joint pain common in osteoarthritis patients. A year later, additional evidence indicated how marijuana fights inflammation of the joints by activating pathways known as CB2 receptors (present at unusually high levels in the joint tissues of arthritis patients).
The same findings — arthritis pain relief and reduction of inflammation by cannabis— has been linked to CBD oilCBD oil sans the usual side effects of synthetic arthritis medications.
Finally, a 2017 systematic review of medical studies by researchers at the National Academy of Sciences confirmed that “there is substantial evidence that marijuana or cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.” The 395-page review summarized 10,700 research studies and 100 research conclusions.
Marijuana for Arthritis: Beyond Pain Relief
Cannabis has also been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting that it could play a role not just in pain relief but in treating the cause of arthritis itself.
For instance, researchers found out that when cannabidiol or CBD is metabolized, it releases a compound with potent anti-inflammatory action comparable to the drug indomethacin (an NSAID), but without the gastrointestinal side effects associated with NSAIDs.
This research finding is promising not only because of its possible benefit in treating arthritis but also it can help patients reduce their usage of NSAIDS, known to have numerous adverse effects.
Talking to Your Doctor in Maryland
If you or someone you know in Maryland has been suffering from arthritis pain and have been relying on synthetic pills or treatment, it’s high time to consider cannabis as part of the arthritis treatment plan.
Marijuana for arthritis treatment comes in various forms including tinctures, oils, edibles, or vaping. Certain marijuana strains are also more potent in addressing pain relief.
Are you looking for a dispensary in Maryland to talk to about marijuana and how we can help with arthritis? Send us a quick message to learn more.