Can Medical Marijuana Be Used To Treat Arthritis?
Before we get into the details and longitudinally analyze the concept of treatment in Arthritis let’s understand the disease and chemistry of Marijuana.
Arthritis is a combination of two words, ‘Atheros’ which means joints and ‘itis’ is a suffix which in medical terminology is referred to as inflammation. Therefore, Arthritis is a condition of inflammation in one or more joints in a body. This inflammation results in frequent pain in joints called arthralgia. Arthritis is a general term used by medical practitioners; however, it is further classified into different types according to immune response, change in osteological structure (bone/cartilage form), muscles spasms and many more. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis are few types giving a common symptom of “Pain”. Pain is excruciating to such an extent that no analgesic/pain reliever is able to help unless the cause is not treated. Moreover, this disease is regarded as a degenerative one with no medicine to cure except to alleviate the symptoms. Studies found that around 38% of the population in North America is suffering from one of the kinds of Arthritis.
Chemistry of Marijuana and its mechanism to relieve pain:
Due to the stiffness, muscle spasms, swelling, and pain in the joints, doctors treat the arthritis patients by giving corticosteroids, immunosuppressant, analgesics and certain gel and herbal oil in order to subside the pain felt by the patients. As these medications never served a long term relief rather many side effects are observed, hence scientists, researchers kept working to find an alternative to the conventional therapies. Marijuana caught attention when a lakeland marijuana doctor and a few other Doctors in the US found that cannabinoids have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabinoids are actually chemical agents which work by activating the endogenous cannabinoid system, a complex structure of cell receptors and molecules that help to relieve the pain.
The study suggests that cannabinoids are 20 folds more effective than analgesic at reducing pain and twice as powerful as hydrocortisone. The two types of cannabinoids which took attention named as Cannabidiol (CBD) and Caryophyllene which has potent anti-inflammatory properties and at the same time were found help in subsiding extensive pain says a lakeland marijuana doctor. The most promising factor which was noticed in these types was non-sedative action.
The mechanism of CBD and caryophyllene acts by activating the endogenous cannabinoid system’s CB2 receptors present in tissues of the whole body and involved in regulating inflammation. It has been observed in the study that by activating CB2 receptors in the body with cannabinoids can reduce inflammation and slow the progression of certain inflammatory diseases.
While discussing above we mentioned that gels and herbal oils are too helpful to reduce inflammation. Similarly, an effect of cannabidiol (CBD) in its oil and gel form was found while conducting research on rats that CBD oil could reduce inflammation by changing the way pain receptors respond to stimuli.
Recent research found that CBD interacts with digestive processes to reduce pain and inflammation; therefore it was most probable that the same interaction would be found to reduce inflammation in other systems of the body. CBD is anti-inflammatory in a sense as it actually blocks the production of inflammatory molecules being produced in our immune system. The medical properties of marijuana are muscle relaxing, anti-inflammatory and promotion of homeostasis, so theoretically help immensely with arthritis patients.
The use of medical marijuana for in relieving the pain associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis has been proven to be quite effective and successful in both women and men. The types of arthritis like ankylosing spondylitis are often times painful as well as distressful where medical marijuana appears to alleviate and relieve the chronic pain related to arthritis.
There were several scientific tests carried out by involving medical scientists and renowned state doctors of Florida proving that medical marijuana is successful in fighting arthritis. Stiffness of joints, mobility, and range of motion has been proven to increase and pain has been reduced. When using medical marijuana, people with different kinds of arthritis were taking less non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications that have a number of side effects on digestive tracks and blood chemistry.
There is an ever-increasing hiatus between people who advocate about the use of medical marijuana as a therapeutic agent in rheumatic conditions and the medical evidence for efficacy and side effects. This serious shortfall covers many angles as a therapeutic agent, including the uncertainty of amount present in a compound, dosing, interactions, pharmacodynamics, and possible side effects. However, further research and its implementation at a larger scale will give an alternative to the traditional allopathic medicine used to treat arthritis.