Medical marijuana has come to the forefront of the field of medicine over the past few decades. This speedy and intense spike in popularity that medical cannabis is now enjoying in the United States is primarily due to the number of scientific studies that indicate how effective it can be as a treatment option for many different physical and mental ailments. On top of this, many of the medical conditions that cannabis has shown have some efficacy at combating are extremely difficult to treat with traditional medical techniques. One of these troublesome illnesses is arthritis. Have you ever thought of using medical marijuana for arthritis that you or a loved one is suffering from? Let’s take a closer look at the cannabis therapy options available to you for this cumbersome condition.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a type of joint condition that causes pain and stiffness in affected areas. Unfortunately, arthritis doesn’t describe just one disease; it is a term that is used to characterize over 100 different types of joint disorders that include fibromyalgia, lupus, gout, and septic arthritis. However, there are two types of arthritis that are the most prevalent:
This form of arthritis typically occurs with advancement in age. It primarily affects the joints in the fingers, hands, wrists, knees, hips, and back. Essentially, this form of arthritis is caused by the wear and tear caused by regular use of the affected joints. However, the damage that leads to osteoarthritis can be caused by a sudden physical injury, as well. This is why some people end up developing this type of arthritis much earlier in life.
2) Rheumatoid arthritis
This particular joint condition is quite unique because it is an autoimmune disorder. It seems to typically attack the joints in the fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis also often attacks in a symmetrical fashion and can appear in opposing joints on both sides of the body. If this type of arthritis is left untreated, severe deformity can occur in just a few years.
Unfortunately, forms of arthritis are extremely common. Believe it or not, over 20 million Americans are stricken with these diseases and as a result, are severely limited in their ability to function daily. As a matter of fact, arthritic conditions are the most common grounds of disability in our nation. It should also be noted that while arthritic disorders are often a main cause of joint pain, there are certain forms of arthritis that are actually a secondary feature of another disease. Diseases that can cause arthritis include hepatitis, psoriasis, Lyme disease, and Celiac disease.
What Are the Main Symptoms of Arthritis?
The primary symptom seen in all arthritic ailments is pain. The severity of this pain can vary quite a bit depending on the affected individual. Other common symptoms include:
- Joint stiffness (at any point of the day)
- Fatigue or depression
- Muscle or joint tenderness
- Loss of sleep
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of flexibility
- Weight loss
- Weakness of the muscles
- Decreased overall fitness, both aerobically and anaerobically
What Are the Current Medical Treatment Options for Arthritis?
Most current therapy options for arthritic conditions involve a combination of lifestyle changes and prescription medications. The primary lifestyle changes that are most often prescribed are increasing exercise (to increase mobility and strength in affected joints) while also losing weight (in order to take excess pressure of the joints). It is also often recommended to rest the joint as much as possible and perhaps even apply heat and cold to the affected areas to see how the inflammation and pain responds. Many different medications are prescribed to alleviate the troublesome pain that characterizes most types of arthritis. For most arthritis sufferers, daily use of ibuprofen or acetaminophen seems to help quite a bit. However, regular use of these types of drugs puts a major toll on the body and can eventually damage critical organs. In serious cases of arthritis where the above treatment options don’t seem to help, a joint replacement may be deemed necessary.
What Are the Potential Benefits of Using Medical Cannabis for Arthritis?
Many research studies have indicated that two of the most amazing benefits of using medical marijuana is its ability to counteract sensations of pain and combat inflammation of the tissues. Marijuana does this through compounds it contains known as cannabinoids that can directly interact with a critical biological “computer” known as the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for controlling a wide variety of different functions in the body such as mood stabilization, appetite control, pain management, and inflammation control.
Since two of the main symptoms of arthritis are pain and inflammation of the joints, it makes a lot of sense that so many arthritic people would report feeling such a tremendous amount of relief after using cannabis. Obviously, much more science-backed research still needs to be done in order to fully confirm this anecdotal evidence. But if you or a loved one are suffering from arthritis, it doesn’t hurt to investigate the ways that cannabis therapy could help.
What Are the Potential Benefits of Using Medical Marijuana for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis shares many of the same symptoms with other forms of arthritis that respond favorably to medical cannabis. This is probably why many people with this disorder report lower levels of pain and an enhanced range of motion after using marijuana. However, rheumatoid arthritis has one significant difference from most other types: it is an autoimmune disorder. Essentially, this joint disorder is a malfunction of the immune system that causes it to attack and degrade its own joints. Since this ailment’s root cause is far beyond the typical arthritic pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the joints, medical marijuana cannot be the only therapy used to treat it. However, cannabis can work well to control certain symptoms when used in conjunction with other proven clinical techniques and proper prescription medications.
Potential Pitfalls of Using Medical Marijuana to Treat Arthritis
Physicians note that there are a few things to be mindful of when treating arthritis with medical cannabis. Potential issues include:
- Adverse effects on the lungs and respiratory system from cannabis smoke inhalation
- The lack of long-term studies of medical marijuana on joint disorders
- The high variability in the concentrations of important cannabinoids such as THC and CBD between different plants and strains
- The pain mechanisms involved in certain arthritic conditions can be quite different than other types of pain
- The impaired motor skills that come with cannabis use can impede the already limited motion of some arthritis patients
- There is a risk of developing depression, mental illness, memory recall issues, or addiction with long-term marijuana use
Are you suffering from a type of arthritis and are thinking about using medical marijuana for joint pain? If you happen to be living in the greater Miami area, please contact us at Biofit. Biofit is one of the top medical marijuana education centers in the entire state of Florida; if you are thinking about getting a medical cannabis card in this state, we are the place to go to. Please don’t hesitate any longer if you are dealing with a worrisome condition such as arthritis that medical marijuana can help temper. We also provide a wide variety of medical weight loss solutions to help improve the health of your entire body. Please visit us at https://biofitweightloss.com/ as soon as you can.