How to Use Medical Marijuana In the Treatment of Arthritis
Arthritis is a category of painful and often debilitating conditions. There are more than 100 specific conditions in this category. Arthritis affects joints and surrounding tissues causing inflammation, stiffness, and swelling. It often damages nerves resulting in chronic neuropathic pain. There is no known cure for arthritis, but many medical arthritis patients report that medical marijuana provides them with substantial pain relief, better mobility, and an improved quality of life.
Research Studies on Medical Marijuana and Arthritis
Recent research studies have shown that cannabis can reduce inflammation and neuropathic pain associated with the most common types of arthritis. For example, a report out of the University of South Carolina showed that THC can affect changes in critical epigenome molecules which suppress of inflammation.
Dr. Sheng-Ming Dai of China’s Second Military Medical University also studied the effects of marijuana on arthritis patients. His report, published in the Journal of Rheumatology, claimed that the joint tissues of arthritis patients expressed unusually high concentrations of the CB2 receptors. The report concluded the THC found in cannabis was effective at combating inflammation by activating the pathways of these CB2 receptors.
Treating Arthritis With Medical Marijuana
Painkillers such as NSAIDS often come with serious unwanted side effects such as increased risk of heart attack, stroke, weakening of bones, liver damage, and addiction. Medical marijuana has been shown to be as much as 20 times more effective than aspirin at reducing inflammation and pain without these side effects.
Despite the evidence for the efficacy of marijuana in treating arthritis, most medical school graduates are not knowledgeable enough about the use of medical marijuana to recommend it to their patients. In fact, a research report published in 2017 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence claimed that nine out of ten graduates were not educated enough on the topic to prescribe it to their patients. And, here in Florida, medical marijuana can only be ordered by a doctor who has been certified by the state to recommend its use.
Medical marijuana should not be used as a replacement for disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) which can slow the progression of the disease. Rather, medical marijuana should be used as an adjunct to traditional arthritis therapies to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Best Marijuana Strains for Arthritis
Not all strains of medical marijuana are ideal for treating arthritis. Each strain has its own cannabinoid and terpene profiles with a particular set of effects. According to an article on this topic published by MarijuanaBreak.com, these are the top five strains recommended for treating arthritis.
Girl Scout Cookies — This strain is known for its high THC content and is said to provide full-body pain relief.
Cannatonic — This strain has a low THC, but high CBD content. Users claim that it provides pain relief without a heady high.
ACDC — This sativa-dominant strain is known for its low THC, high CBD ratio. Patients claim that ACDC provides immediate pain relief without the high.
Harlequin — This sativa dominant hybrid strain has a 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC. Users claim that it is effective for treating arthritis without significantly altering consciousness.
Canna Tsu — Another high CBD, low THC strain, many medical marijuana patients claim Canna Tsu provides potent pain relief without the high.
Aside from these cannabis strains which provide a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, CBD and THC isolates in the form of tinctures and capsules, as well as topical preparations can also be used to treat arthritis.
How To Get Medical Marijuana for Arthritis
If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat pain due to arthritis or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.