How To Use Medical Marijuana for Treating Bursitis
- Patients across the country are having success treating bursitis with medical marijuana.
- Bursitis pain is caused by inflammation of tissues meant to lubricate joints.
- Cannabinoids found in medical marijuana help treat chronic pain in some patients by reducing inflammation and modulating pain response.
- Cannabinoids can be applied locally at the site of pain using topical preparations or used systemically via oral and inhaled delivery methods.
Can medical marijuana help treat bursitis and relieve the pain that often accompanies this chronic medical condition? Many medical marijuana doctors and their patients think so. Increasing numbers of doctors are awarding medical marijuana cards to patients treating chronic bursitis pain giving them access to their local medical marijuana dispensaries.
Bursitis pain is caused by inflammation of sacs of tissue called synovial bursa located around joints between tendons, muscles, and bones. Synovial bursae add lubrication and help to reduce friction in joints.
Compounds found in medical marijuana called cannabinoids help to reduce chronic pain in some patients suffering from bursitis by reducing inflammation. The reduction in inflammation also helps to slow the progression of the condition.
Cannabinoids also have the ability to modulate the brain’s pain response in some bursitis patients suffering from chronic pain.
Medical marijuana offers a safe and natural remedy that’s completely non-toxic and non-addictive. Medical marijuana also has very few if any unwanted side effects when used properly.
How does medical marijuana help treat bursitis pain?
The human body contains a system of signaling molecules produced by the brain and receptors on cells with which those chemicals interact. When the brain senses an imbalance, it produces a class of chemicals known as endocannabinoids — or cannabinoids produced naturally by the human body.
These endocannabinoid compounds transit the bloodstream and interact with receptors on the surface of neurons and other cells throughout the body. The purpose is to relay instructions such as initiating and extinguishing inflammatory response and pain response.
Compounds found in medical marijuana known as phytocannabinoids have the ability to mimic the effects of endocannabinoids. Many types of phytocannabinoids have the ability to regulate the inflammatory response. The two most common being THC and CBD.
Moreover, these cannabinoids can also have an effect on a patient’s perception of pain by regulating the transmission of pain signals in the brain.
Is there any scientific evidence that medical marijuana can help treat bursitis?
In 2016, researchers applied cannabinoids transdermally (on the skin) to patients with joint pain. The authors of the research report concluded that CBD significantly reduced inflammation and joint pain.
The Hebrew University in Jerusalem conducted a similar study. Researchers reported that patients treated with cannabinoids were able to decrease the use of pharmaceutical pain killers such as NSAIDs.
Links to these and several other studies can be found below.
How to treat bursitis with medical marijuana
There are two ways that medical marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain due to bursitis — locally and systemically.
Locally means applied at the site of pain — usually through topicals such as cannabinoid-infused skin creams. Topical applications also produce systemic effects.
Systemic refers to treating the whole body which can be done using inhaled applications such as smoking, vaping, dabbing, and inhalers, or via oral applications such as oils, tinctures, capsules, and edibles.
Patients need to keep in mind that cannabis is an herbal remedy, as such its effects can vary significantly from patient to patient. Some experimentation might be required to find an ideal ratio of CBD (non-intoxicating) and THC (intoxicating in sufficient dosages).
Each strain of medical marijuana produces its own ratio of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN. This ratio can not only vary from strain to strain, but also from batch to batch.
Smoking and vaping cannabinoids offer the fastest onset time. However, it’s more difficult to control the dosage of each cannabinoid.
On the other hand, oral applications such as capsules and edibles can be produced with specific levels and ratios of individual cannabinoids for more accurate dosing.
Bursitis patients should consult with a doctor who is knowledgeable in the use of medical marijuana to treat bursitis pain for medical advice.
Qualified budtenders at nationwide medical marijuana dispensaries can also help patients choose an appropriate application for their condition and lifestyle.
VIDEO: Cannabis and Chronic Pain, stories from The Medical Cannabis Community
VIDEO: Marijuana and chronic pain
Sources and additional reading
Research studies on medical marijuana for chronic pain
- Medical Marijuana and Chronic Pain: a Review of Basic Science and Clinical Evidence
- Medical Marijuana for Treatment of Chronic Pain and Other Medical and Psychiatric Problems
- Journal of Pain – A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of cannabis cigarettes in neuropathic pain
- Neuropsychopharmacology – Comparison of the analgesic effects of dronabinol and smoked marijuana in daily marijuana smokers
- The Journal of Pain – Low-dose vaporized cannabis significantly improves neuropathic pain
- British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology – Cannabinoids for treatment of chronic non-cancer pain; a systematic review of randomized trials
- Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study
- The effect of medicinal cannabis on pain and quality of life outcomes in chronic pain: A prospective open-label study
- Medical cannabis use is associated with decreased opiate medication use in a retrospective cross-sectional survey of patients with chronic pain.