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Cannabis and Arthritis: Can Marijuana Help Relieve Joint Pain?

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May 14, 2018 9:00 AM

Cannabis_and_Arthritis_Can_Marijuana_Help_Relieve_Joint_PainArthritis is just one way to refer to rheumatic diseases that wreak havoc on the body, causing swelling, pain, and inflammation around different joints. Marijuana is a beneficial alternative for combatting joint pain. Here’s why.

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How It Helps

Joint pain impacts your everyday movements and leaves you feeling pain as you attempt to complete daily tasks. Cannabis relieves this discomfort by reducing inflammation in the specific areas where you feel pain. Patients with this authorization can choose to inhale it, if they receive it in dried form, or they can apply its oil form as a topical salve—similar to over-the-counter products people buy now. But unlike those over-the-counter products, marijuana does more than reduce joint pain—it calms the immune system and eases related symptoms.

Rampant inflammation causes increased discomfort. Cannabis contains anti-inflammatory compounds that activate along the body’s natural pathways. When those compounds engage with the body’s CB2 receptors, which are notably higher in patients with joint pain, they reduce the amount of pain users feel and provide them with a sense of relief.

Unfortunately, there’s no long-term cure for arthritis, but research is ongoing to reduce the pain users experience. A three-year study, which began in 2015 by researchers at Dalhousie University and in conjunction with the Arthritis Society, is underway to determine whether medical cannabis does more than simply mute feelings of pain in the brain, but actually repairs the joint itself.


Both marijuana components, CBD and THC, alleviate joint pain in their own individual ways. CBD contains anti-inflammatory components that work with the body’s CB2 receptors to alleviate pain without the psychoactive ingredient. THC also contains inflammatory properties to kill the pain, but in addition to that, it contains psychoactive elements that reduce the by-product emotions users with joint pain experience, such as anxiety or depression.

THC helps balance the overactive immune system by engaging apoptosis to those wild immune cells currently attacking the body. It connects directly with receptors, which sparks an anti-inflammatory response. Cannabidiol, or CBD, prevents immune cells from spreading. It increases the body’s endocannabinoids—the human body’s own type of THC, which engages receptors in a different way and contributes to its immune-fighting characteristic. The CBD engagement may allow the body to begin its own self-repair, calming inflammation and pulling in the immune system to allow the nerves and tissue recovery time.

CBD and THC also reduce cytokines production, the pro-inflammatory signal, protecting the body by preventing that signal from overproducing immune cells. Both have antioxidant effects and both work to reduce that uncomfortable feeling associated with joint pain. Although CBD works without the euphoria, it works in conjunction with THC due to THC’s anti-proliferative effects.

Users can try different strains for pain relief: Here are the three best medical marijuana strains for arthritis.

Speak to a Medical Professional

Medical marijuana is a beneficial alternative therapy to reduce joint pain, especially in comparison to more addictive medications available. If your current prescription isn’t providing the relief you want, speak to your family doctor about obtaining this authorization.

Even if they aren’t comfortable with the idea of authorizing this medication, they can refer you to a medical cannabis clinic, where you’ll receive sound advice regarding medical marijuana and arthritis. The doctors and nurse practitioners are dedicated to this subset of medicine, and they can provide you with the latest knowledge and assistance regarding how this medication can work for you.

Science may just be catching on now, but users have known it for years: Medical marijuana helps relieve joint pain. Visit Aleafia Health to learn more about how cannabis combats arthritis and how medical marijuana is improving patients’ lives. For any questions you’ll have, they’ll have the answers.


Topics: medical conditions

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