Medical marijuana for treatment of arthritis + Best strains
Is medical marijuana good for arthritis patients? Is it effective at reducing joint damage caused by arthritis or relieving the symptoms? In this post, we’ll briefly talk about what arthritis is and how Cannabis might offer some arthritis patients a measure of relief as well as the best strains for treatment.
A bit about arthritis
Recent studies indicate more than 31 million Americans suffer the effects of arthritis. If you have arthritis, then you’re probably well aware of what arthritis is and the health problems that it can cause. You can skip to the next section.
There are two major types of arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both diseases cause swelling and pain in the joints and limit movement. Interestingly, arthritis also decreases the body’s ability to fight off viruses and bacteria.
Rheumatoid arthritis is most commonly known to affect the elderly with weak immune systems. RA is caused when the immune system malfunctions and attacks what are known as synovial membranes between joints. This malfunction causes inflammation and pain by compromising the integrity of the joints, destroying cartilage, and causing the degeneration of bones.
Osteoarthritis affects more than 10 million people globally and is the most common type of arthritis. At this time, there are no medications to cure this affliction and the treatment is focused on pain killers, some of which have a myriad of hazardous side effects.
Many elderly folks suffer from OA, which is the wearing away of cartilage after a lifetime of use. Cartilage forms a protective, lubricated barrier between bones in every joint in our bodies.
Injuries to joints can also be responsible for the onset of arthritis and may cause chronic inflammation over time.
Maintenance of healthy bones is a highly important factor in arthritis pathology. Side-effect-free treatments that can address chronic inflammation and pain that come with arthritis are of the greatest importance.
Medical marijuana for arthritis
Medical marijuana holds great promise as a treatment for arthritis. Marijuana has been shown in numerous studies to reduce inflammation and pain as well as to modulate bone maintenance and growth.
Recent research has indicated the importance of cannabinoids when it comes to bone health in transgenic mice that are missing either cannabinoid receptors. Mice lacking in these receptors develop osteoporosis more rapidly and also tend to have severely weakened bone structures. A correlation between bone and cannabinoids, based on genetic screening, is being indicated in human subjects as well.
The use of cannabis for joint pain in western medicine dates back to the 1700’s. The well-documented analgesic properties of cannabis have been shown to be highly effective in arthritis patients either as a stand alone treatment, or in conjunction with opioid painkillers, as they appear to enhance their efficacy.
In fact, an ancient Chinese document dated at around 2000 BC reads that cannabis “undoes rheumatism,” suggesting its strong anti-inflammatory properties were well known centuries ago.
Today, modern research is showing CBD (cannabidiol), a major cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana, could play a large part in immune system modulation and inflammation reduction in arthritis patients.
In studies with rats and mice CBD was shown to suppress the immune response known to cause arthritis symptoms and prevent further joint damage. The benefits of cannabis ingestion include the reduction of inflammation and stiffness and increased mobility.
If properly administered in the right doses, medical marijuana patients can gradually reduce their intake of over-the-counter painkillers called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAID’s are known to create unpleasant or even dangerous side effects, such as stroke, heart attack, liver damage, and weakened bones.
Researchers at Hebrew University in Jerusalem made a startling discovery when they noticed the metabolization of CBD can create compounds with strong anti-inflammatory properties comparable to those of a pharmaceutical known as indomethacin, but without the unwanted side effects that generally come with the drug.
But is marijuana safe? Remarkably, in its 5,000-year documented history not one death has been reported from overdose of cannabis.
It’s important to note that cannabis therapy is not meant to take the place of anti-rheumatic or DMARDS (disease modifying drugs) that can retard the progression of the condition. It’s usage should be an adjunct to allopathic protocols utilized in the reduction of inflammation and pain.
Getting a medical marijuana card for arthritis
Arthritis pain is one of the qualifying medical conditions for obtaining a medical marijuana card in some states.
Thirty-three states including Florida, Ohio, Missouri and Texas as well as Washington DC have some form of legalized marijuana. There are different rules and legal ramifications for each individual state. It’s imperative to be aware of all local laws, requirements and regulations prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card or purchasing cannabis products.
Qualifying conditions will differ from state to state, and certain conditions recognized in some states, may not be allowed in others. It’s advisable to educate yourself on the requirements and restrictions ahead of time to avoid pitfalls and surprises in the future. Updated lists of accepted conditions can be obtained from your state’s health service office.
Sign Up for Medical Cannabis Today!
For potential medical marijuana patients we make it easy to connect with a recommending doctor near you or a MedCard doctor online.
If you are interested please fill out the MMJ patient registration form to get the certification process started. See if you qualify today!
MedCard Registration Form
Best Marijuana Strains for the relief of arthritis pain
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. These are the top strains recommended for treating arthritis.
Black and White
A hybrid of White Widow and Afghani, Black and White provides euphoric effects and acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic, perfect for those suffering from any type of arthritic discomfort. It allows full body relaxation as well as offering relief from depression associated with chronic pain.
A marriage between ruderalis strains and Cannatonic, ACDC is famous for enabling focus during work hours. It’s also known to enhance evening social skills. ACDC offers a good balance of CBD and THC, a combination traditionally used for alleviating anxiety and chronic pain.
A direct descendant of Colombian Gold, Harlequin is hugely popular due to its relaxing properties without the sedative or intoxicating effects. Harlequin has a ratio of CBD to THC of 5:2 and has been shown to help tremendously with joint pain and inflammation.
A high THC content (20%) and indica-dominant derived from its Sensi Star origins, Death Star is perfect for the relief of chronic pain and stress in those suffering from all types of arthritis.
Ingrid is a blend of Swiss Big Bud and Hash Plant, with a strong indica ancestry. It is referred to as the “Ambien” of cannabis strains. Pain from chronic arthritis often interferes with sleep patterns, causing a no-win loop of pain and fatigue. It’s an effective muscle relaxant with strong sedative qualities. It takes about 20-30 minutes for the full effect to kick in. Don’t leave the house or stray too far from the bed or sofa! Great for nighttime use.
A sweet union of sativa-heavy NYC Diesel and Indica-heavy Blueberry, Blue Diesel brings on a non-invasive buzz that lasts for hours. A perfect day time blend for joint pain. The CBD content has also shown to slow bone and joint degradation. It’s a smooth, daytime buzz, steady with no rollercoaster effect.
Girl Scout Cookies
This strain is known for its high THC content and is said to provide full-body pain relief.
This strain has a low THC, but high CBD content. Users claim that it provides pain relief without a heady high.
Another high CBD, low THC strain, many medical marijuana patients claim Canna Tsu provides potent pain relief without the high.