Despite the fact that the majority of the scientific evidence has come from lab or animal studies, many patients have reported anecdotally that medical marijuana helps them with their arthritic pain. Research is currently being done on cannabis’ potential benefits for treating pain as well as other conditions like anxiety and sleep disorders.
Keep reading to learn more about the most current research investigating the connection between medical cannabis and arthritic pain.
What is Medical Marijuana?
Medical cannabis refers to any cannabis or cannabis-derived substance that is used to treat a health issue. Chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep troubles are just a few of the medical conditions that cannabis is regularly used to treat. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t yet given cannabis its approval to treat any of these ailments, though.
CBD or other cannabis products with little to no THC are commonly used by persons who use cannabis for medical purposes. Despite the fact that cannabis also has medical applications, THC is the main chemical responsible for the drug’s intoxicating effects.
Can Cannabis be used to treat Arthritic Pain?
There is no proof that medical cannabis helps treat arthritis, and the FDA and Federal Trade Commission have issued warning letters to several cannabis businesses that make such claims.
Although it cannot cure arthritis, cannabis can help with some of its symptoms. According to a 2020 assessment, there isn’t any high-quality data supporting its efficacy in treating human joint problems. There are a number of anecdotal accounts and animal studies that support the use of cannabis to treat arthritic pain.
The anti-inflammatory effects of the cannabinoid CBD may aid in reducing arthritis-related pain. A 2020 study discovered evidence that CBD lowers the development of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts, molecules that aid in the destruction of cartilage. The precise mechanism of CBD’s impact on the body is unknown.
According to a 2018 study, the pain was the most often treated symptom among the 1,483 respondents who said they used CBD to treat a medical condition. A little over 700 people stated they took CBD to manage discomfort, and just under 700 said they used it to relieve joint or arthritis pain.
The scientists discovered that 35.8% of participants said CBD effectively treated their medical condition on its alone, while 30.4% said it was effective when combined with traditional therapy.
More recently, in a 2021 study, scientists aimed to pinpoint CBD’s potential advantages for persons with hip or knee osteoarthritis. The researchers found no evidence of a CBD-related impact in 48 of the 152 participants who did not use it prior to surgical consultation.
More research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and downsides of utilising cannabis to treat arthritis. To determine the ideal dose, additional study is also required.
How does Cannabis work as a Medical Treatment for Arthritis?
Cannabis may be consumed, inhaled, or topically used. There are numerous types of cannabis products available, such as:
- capsules & pills
- Creams and lotions
- Oils and tinctures
- Blunts and joints
The optimum sort for treating pain hasn’t been the subject of a lot of studies. Researchers compared the effects of smoking cannabis containing 3.56 per cent THC to taking 20 milligrams (mg) of dronabinol (synthetic THC) orally for pain relief in a small 2013 study. They found that both drugs decreased pain sensitivity when compared to a placebo, although the effects of oral dronabinol remained longer.
When utilising cannabis products, it is advisable to start low and build up gradually. It may take many hours for the effects of cannabis taken orally to reach their peak.
Numerous anecdotal reports suggest that cannabis helps reduce arthritic discomfort. Currently, animal research provides the majority of the scientific evidence, although some human studies have discovered evidence that it may be beneficial.
You might want to talk to your doctor about trying medical marijuana. Cannabis may still be worthwhile to try if other treatments don’t work, even though not everyone finds it helps them manage their pain.