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  • Does cannabis help with arthritis and pain?

    Does cannabis help with arthritis and pain
    Chronic arthritis is the leading cause of disability. There is no pharmacological cure and the number of people affected by this disease is steadily increasing in laboratory studies and patients' personal experience confirms that THC and CBD can reduce pain and inflammation when used as a treatment for arthritis, but complete clinical Evidence is missing.


    Arthritis affects joints with pain, swelling and stiffness. The disease usually begins in the Middle Ages when about one in ten people start living with some form of arthritis. The most common forms are osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, fibromyalgia and septic arthritis. Pain is a common symptom in all types of arthritis, and few drugs can reduce this chronic condition. Many patients become addicted to opiate painkillers, risking death or miserable living conditions. In the North American states, where cannabis is now legal, many people have started cannabis therapies instead of painkillers or to reduce their opiate intake. In these states, deaths from medical opiate use have fallen by 25 percent within a few years.


    Cannabis is not a new treatment for arthritis. From ancient Chinese medicine to the western official pharmacopoeia until the late 1930s, cannabis extracts were available in shamans or shelves in American and European pharmacies for the treatment of pain from various sources.

    Evidence from recent research suggests that THC, CBD and the entire cannabis phytocomplex have therapeutic measures in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation. Laboratory tests and some clinical evidence show that the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabinoids can slow down the progress of arthritis.

    This 2007 study shows that our nerves are full of cannabinoid receptors and peripheral CB1 receptors may be important targets in the treatment of arthritis pain. The cannabinoid receptor system is also being targeted for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis pain treatment in this 2008 study. A few years later, in 2014, this other study analyzes how the endocannabinoid system is involved in the modulation of osteoarthritis pain. Much more laboratory research is being carried out, while on the clinical front, the cannabis-based patented medicine Sativex has demonstrated "a significant analgesic effect in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis pain and a significant suppression of disease activity".


    CBD is on the science radar because of its effectiveness as an anti-arthritic agent without the psychotropic effects of THC. One of the earliest studies on CBD suggested a possible oral intake of CBD as an anti-arthritic substance, while recent research has concluded that a CBD-derived synthetic cannabinoid may be a potential novel drug for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases can.

    Topical preparations with CBD are also analyzed for their therapeutic potential without side effects. The effect of cannabis topicals on rheumatoid arthritis was analyzed in a 2016 research, indicating that topical CBD applications produce adjuvant arthritis pain and inflammation in rats with no apparent adverse effects. The CBD receptor CB2 also regulates central sensitization and pain reactions associated with osteoarthritis of the knee joint, according to this 2013 research. We must always remember that animal testing does not necessarily lead to successful human trials and subsequent approved treatments.


    All research evidence tells us that both CBD and THC immune system modulation activity can help autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. These two cannabinoids have proven to be anti-inflammatory and analgesic and can reduce the anxiety and depression that often accompany serious illnesses. At least in laboratory research and in (much) patient experiences, cannabis derivatives can facilitate both the symptoms of arthritis and the adverse effects of painkillers.
    Despite some recent advances in "official" clinical research, the lack of structured data behind the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment alternative for arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is preventing today's health workers from being given specific treatment protocols. At the same time, a number of reliable cannabinoid products for human health is provided, and over the statistics, people find them effectively. This said, the effects of phytotherapy on chronic pain and pain reduction therapies in general, can vary widely depending on the specific condition of the patient.

    Cannabis foods, oils or inhaled extracts can help alleviate various types of joint pain. Balm and cannabis-infused topics allow patients to target only the painful areas. It is reported that these preparations can help with pain relief almost immediately. These initial promising results are pushing research on new cannabinoid-based therapies that will hopefully treat arthritis. Further evidence is needed. Treatment protocols are welcome to help patients get the most out of what they have already experimented with cannabis self-medication.