Medical Marijuana and Arthritis: Benefits and Side Effects

Medical Marijuana and Arthritis - Benefits and Side Effects

The use of the cannabis sativa plant remains a controversial topic.

There’s more to this flowering plant that even experts don’t know yet. It has over 100 chemicals — two of which are cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD compound is not intoxicating but may make someone feel drowsy. On the other hand, the THC compound causes a high or psychoactive effect.

When consumed, the CBD will interact with your endocannabinoid system. This affects a person’s memory, mood, pain, inflammation, immune function, heart function, and appetite. Although experts don’t know how cannabis affects the body, there is enough evidence showing that it helps relieve chronic pain, which is a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Does this mean that marijuana and arthritis are a good combination?

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It makes the joints tender, painful, and stiff. It can also affect the skin, lungs, eyes, and other body parts. It is best to understand there are different types of arthritis, and although pain is their common ground, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one treatment plan will work on the other.

Different bodies respond to different treatments. There is no single CBD product that will work for all arthritis sufferers.

Can Marijuana Help With Arthritis?

Studies about marijuana and rheumatoid arthritis still have a long way to go. With the ban on marijuana, there’s little to no research done with humans as test subjects. Experts are still in the dark whether marijuana has a role to play in easing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms or none. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are only animal studies proving the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of marijuana.

Quality human studies don’t exist to prove that they, in fact, provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis. There are people who use CBD, reporting that they experienced adequate pain relief, less anxiety, and improved sleep.

An article published in May 2014 in Arthritis Care & Research, entitled The Dilemma of Medical Marijuana Use by Rheumatology Patients, discussed that the risk/benefit profile of herbal cannabis is inferior to all analgesic classes (pain-relieving medications) other than opioids. It also mentioned that there is little to no scientific evidence that it relieves pain caused by rheumatic conditions.

Now, “is marijuana good for arthritis?” The article published in Arthritis Care & Research advises medical professionals to discourage arthritis sufferers from using medical marijuana. There are statistics showing that medical marijuana is effective in relieving myofascial pain and arthritis pain. There’s no substantial efficacy data and potential harm from long-term use. However, there are other effective medications to manage arthritis pain.

What Is Medical Marijuana Useful For?

Although it isn’t enough to manage severe pain from a broken bone or post-surgery, marijuana is primarily used to manage chronic pain. The aging population mostly benefits from medical marijuana. It is safer than opiates.

It is a suitable replacement for NSAIDs like Advil if an individual has ulcers, GERD, or kidney problems. Aside from that, it also works wonders in nerve pain and multiple sclerosis. Such health conditions only have a few medication options available. More often than not, these options are sedating.

People who have been using medical marijuana in place of their go-to medications say that they can do their routine without feeling out of it. People suffering from Parkinson’s disease also say that they experience lesser tremors with medical marijuana.

The list of uses of medical marijuana goes on and on. Other health conditions where it will provide relief include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Nausea
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Endometriosis
  • PTSD
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Crohn’s Disease

Medical Marijuana and Arthritis: Are There Guidelines for Using CBD as Treatment?

People who have been interested in seeking CBD treatment have found little to no guidelines. It’s up to doctors and patients whether CBD treatment is reasonable compared to other prescription medications. Here’s a guideline based on the Arthritis Foundation and a commentary entitled Brief Commentary: Cannabinoid Dosing for Chronic Pain Management:

  • Choose a CBD product that underwent thorough testing.
  • CBD shouldn’t be the sole treatment. It should be in conjunction with a pain management plan, non-medication treatment options, and psychological support.
  • Opt for oral CBD products rather than products you need to smoke or inhale.
  • Consult your doctor for other treatment options before seeking CBD treatment.
  • Your pain management plan should be between you and your primary doctor. Don’t let a non-medical practitioner manage your pain.

Altitude Organic Cannabis Can Help

We are a reputable marijuana dispensary in Dillon, CO.

This will help people have a better understanding of the uses and limitations of medical marijuana. At Altitude Organics Cannabis, we advocate for the responsible use of marijuana. When you visit us, bring your ID and medical marijuana card. You can also present it when purchasing online.

We highly encourage consulting your primary care physician before trying new strains or products. Our staff is well-versed with both recreational and medical marijuana. We’re more than happy to attend to your inquiries. Pay us a visit today!