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Cannabis as a Treatment for Arthritis

knee pain

At least 52.5 million Americans suffer the pain and limitations of arthritis. Family history, obesity, joint injuries, joint infections, and lifestyle factor into the development of arthritis. Physical therapy, medications, and in severe cases, surgery, are current treatments. Unfortunately, the long-term usage of medications such as Analgesics, NSAIDs, DMARDs, and Corticosteroids results in adverse side effects. Increased risk of heart attack and strokes, ulcers, cataracts, weight gain, increased blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, nausea, headache, and even damage to the liver, kidneys, eyes, lungs, heart, GI, and neuropathy are some of the many risks.

How can cannabis help those who suffer from arthritis?

Recent studies offer a safer alternative. Cannabinoids reduce inflammation, control and relieve pain, and prolong the effects of endocannabinoids. THC, the most common cannabinoid, influences how pain is perceived by the brain and directly acts on the CB1 receptors to produce anti-inflammatory effects. It also generates the “high” associated with cannabis use. CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, stimulates the receptors responsible for pain and inflammation, while also suppressing and deactivating the enzyme that metabolizes THC.

CBD Treatment for Arthritis Symptoms

In a recent study, Mice with induced arthritis symptoms were given CBD. Results showed a marked decrease in type II collagen in their lymph nodes, a reduction of tumor necrosis in the knee synovial cells, and an effectively blocked progression of the arthritis. Whether administered orally or by injection, there was equal improvement from CBD.

In a double-blind five-week study of 58 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, 31 received cannabis, while 27 were given placebo treatments. Oral spray was administered at night and each morning, their pain, stiffness, and quality of sleep was assessed. Those who received cannabis demonstrated significant improvement in their symptoms as compared to those who received a placebo.

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