Cannabis could relieve the pain and swelling caused by arthritis without the unpleasant side effects often experienced with conventional treatments such as NSAIDs, painkillers, and steroids. There are more than 100 disorders classified as ‘arthritis’, but all share common factors such as the inflammation and pain of joints. The cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant are strong anti-inflammatories and ease the pain.
Marijuana as a Strong Anti-inflammatory
Marijuana has been legalized for medicinal and recreational use in more than half the United States. Canada also legalized cannabis and there is talk that Mexico will follow. In such regions, you can purchase marijuana products that are rich in both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) to treat a variety of medical conditions such as arthritis. It is believed that the combination of THC with CBD and other plant cannabinoids is more effective due to the ‘whole plant’ or ‘entourage phenomena’ which means that the human body’s endocannabinoid system responds well to all the cannabinoids found in marijuana. However, if you live in a state where marijuana is not legal for recreational or medicinal use, do not despair because CBD gathered from the hemp plant that contains less than 0.03 percent THC is also an extraordinarily strong anti-inflammatory that can relieve arthritis conditions when vaped, ingested, or applied topically.
What is Arthritis?
In the United States, 50 million people suffer from arthritis according to the Arthritis Foundation. Sufferers experience painful and inflamed joints. Often the hips, knees, wrists, and fingers are the most widely affected parts of the body. Many people mistakenly believe that arthritis is a disorder that only affects older individuals but even children can suffer from arthritis.
The two main types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): Rheumatoid arthritis is believed to be caused by a malfunctioning immune system. For some reason, the body’s immune system attacks its own synovial membranes which destroy cartilage and erodes bones. RA is very debilitating due to the chronic pain and discomfort caused by the condition.
- Osteoarthritis (OA): Osteoarthritis occurs primarily in elderly individuals. The body’s cartilage starts to wear away due to a lifetime of use. The lack of cartilage causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Unfortunately, there is no way to treat the condition and physicians are faced with producing ways to manage chronic pain and reduce inflammation.
The Body’s Endocannabinoid System – CBD and THC to Relieve Inflammation and Pain
The human body is home to a diverse physical system known as the ‘endocannabinoid system.’ It has receptors that regulate certain things such as the nervous system, immune response, endocrine system, gastrointestinal system, and brain. The cannabinoids found in marijuana bind readily the with endocannabinoids receptors. Researchers have found that THC binds with the receptors and changes molecules to reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, CBD is also a strong anti-inflammatory. CBD, even when applied topically reduces swelling and pain. One study showed that CBD prevents pain and nerve damage often sustained by osteoarthritis sufferers.
Undoubtedly, both THC and CBD are valuable allies in the fight against arthritis. If you decide to use marijuana products to treat the symptoms of your arthritis, then remember that you have a variety of options. You can purchase whole plant (in areas where dispensaries sell medical and recreational marijuana) that contains THC/CBD, or you can purchase concentrates, edibles, pills, or topicals to treat the condition. In regions where THC-laden marijuana is not legal then you can choose to use CBD products that have been derived from hemp. Such items contain less than 0,03 percent THC so cause no psychoactive response. CBD items are widely available both online and at local retailers.