The average person in America today lives to be 78.7 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, the CDC says two-thirds of those suffering from arthritis are 65 years of age or younger. While the risk of osteoarthritis increases with age, even children may receive a diagnosis of arthritis. Thankfully, quite a few men and women find they get relief from their symptoms when they use cannabis. How does cannabis benefit these individuals? A person must first understand what arthritis is before they can answer this question. This article talks about marijuana with arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
Many men and women don’t know the term arthritis refers to 200 rheumatic diseases that affect the joints of the body and the surrounding tissues. An individual suffering from arthritis experiences stiffness and inflammation which may suddenly appear or develop over time. Furthermore, arthritis often affects more than one joint. What brings about this common condition?
Causes of Arthritis
Arthritis today stands as the most common cause of disability, and individuals struggling with arthritis suffer from high levels of depression and stress.
Genetics play a role in arthritis but serve as only one factor. Individuals who are obese come with a higher risk of developing arthritis, and the same holds true for those who have suffered joint damage. An infection could lead to arthritis in one or more joints, and men and women who work in a job that requires repetitive squatting or bending put more stress on their joints. This increases the risk of developing arthritis. Other factors that could play a role in the development of arthritis include an abnormal metabolism and immune system dysfunction.
Medical professionals diagnose patients with one of seven forms of arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis occurs when one or more joints become inflamed and doctors cannot find the cause of this inflammation. Individuals with mechanical or degenerative arthritis suffer from a condition in which the body tries to remodel a bone to restore stability.
At times, men and women feel pain in the tissues of the body as opposed to the bones or joints, and this musculoskeletal pain in the soft tissues occurs in overused body parts. Back pain tends to be unspecified and could result from a problem with any of the structures found in the back, including the discs, ligaments, muscles, and joints.
Pain in the connective tissues could result from arthritis. When the skin, kidneys, lungs, or muscles become inflamed, men and women often feel pain in their ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. Infectious arthritis, in contrast, develops when a person develops an infection in a joint. This inflection comes from a bacterium, fungi, or virus and often responds to treatment with antibiotics.
Metabolic arthritis comes in many forms, with gout being one of the most well known. This condition arises when a person suffers from a buildup of uric acid in a joint. This buildup leads to sharp crystals forming in the joint, and these crystals bring about the excruciating pain that comes on suddenly and often stops the person in their tracks.
Arthritis with Merijuana
Individuals often turn to analgesics, such as Tylenol or Vicodin, to control the pain associated with arthritis. They also use menthol or capsaicin creams, but neither creams nor analgesics address the inflammation within the joints. To reduce this inflammation, they use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications purchased over the counter. This includes medications such as Advil and Aleve.
For those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, doctors prescribe disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs designed to stop the immune system from attacking the infected joints. In addition, they often use corticosteroids to minimize inflammation while suppressing the immune system.
Exercise helps to ease the stress and pain associated with arthritis, but many individuals suffering from this condition state they are physically inactive. In fact, approximately one-fourth of those suffering from arthritis don’t get adequate exercise. Changes in the diet help to keep the symptoms under control by reducing inflammation.
Cannabis to Treat Arthritis
Scientists believe cannabis strains such as CBD ACDC 1 to 18 Fem benefit those struggling with arthritis, although the federal government classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug. Studies show marijuana benefits users by reducing the inflammation associated with arthritis, allowing the person to live a happier and healthier life. For this reason, more people now turn to cannabis to get relief, as it eases the pain and swelling seen with joint inflammation. They appreciate not having to worry about dangerous side effects, such as those seen with regular opiate and NSAID use.
The Canadian Arthritis Society opted to fund a three-year research grant to a scientist at Dalhousie University in the summer of 2015. This researcher looked at cannabis and its role in relieving pain or repairing arthritic joints. Nerves responsible for detecting pain come with cannabinoid receptors and oversee the firing of pain signals traveling from the affected joint to the brain. Researcher Jason McDougall explains they do so by attaching to nerve receptors.
The United Kingdom’s Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease likewise conducted a controlled study looking at cannabinoids and how they affect the pain experienced by arthritic patients. This study found that patients witness a significant improvement in their pain while resting, their pain when they move, and their quality of sleep when they incorporate cannabis strains like CBD ACDC 1 to 18 Fem into their treatment plan.
Why Is This Important?
Opiate abuse now stands at epidemic proportions, and medical professionals need alternative ways to treat common conditions to protect the health and wellbeing of their patients. For individuals suffering from arthritis, cannabis appears to be a promising treatment. The risk of addiction and negative health effects decrease when marijuana is used to treat the chronic pain seen with arthritis.
Dr. Mike Hart serves as the head physician of the Ontario Chapter at Marijuana for Trauma (MFT). He believes cannabis serves as a long-term solution for arthritis patients, as it is more effective than opioids in treating the chronic pain seen with this common condition. Furthermore, cannabis strains such as CBD Harlequin Kimbo Kush 1 to 2 Fem come with fewer health risks. Opioids kill people every day, while cannabis has yet to lead to one demise. It even benefits those looking to break an addiction.
Public Opinion about Marijuana with Arthritis
Medical professionals aren’t the only ones acknowledging the medical benefits of marijuana strains like Auto Diesel X Auto Blue Feminized. Public perception continues to improve in this area, with 86 percent of respondents in a January 2014 CBS News poll saying they feel the United States should allow medical professionals to prescribe marijuana to patients with a serious illness. In 2004, the AARP reported 72 percent of seniors approved of cannabis as a medical treatment.
Canadian researchers report one in five patients suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain use marijuana as part of their treatment plan to manage their pain. Of those who haven’t tried it, two-thirds express interest in doing so. However, they want more scientific data before doing so. The researchers surveyed over 600 patients as part of the study.
Of those using it, ninety percent reported it managed their pain. Forty percent stated they didn’t need to rely on other pain medications as much, and 60 percent said cannabis was more effective at treating their pain than prescription medications. Doctors find this promising, as they worry about the ongoing opioid epidemic and how it affects their patients.
Dr. Yili Huang serves as the director of Northwell Phelps Hospital’s Pain Management Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York. He explains cannabis works on the pain pathways found in the human body and believes marijuana interacts with chemical pathways other than those affected by opioids. Dr. Huang had no role in the Canadian study.
Medical Marijuana or Recreational Marijuana?
Men and women must understand medical marijuana doesn’t provide the high people associate with cannabis strains like Skunk Diesel Fem. Individuals who request this as part of their treatment plan aren’t looking for an alternative similar to the weed purchased on the street. Rather, they prefer cannabidiol or CBD, a compound found in the cannabis plant that doesn’t bring about intoxication.
Of those using marijuana to treat their pain, only 25 percent say they use a product containing THC, the compound responsible for the high seen with cannabis purchased on the street. The other 75 percent couldn’t provide information on what product they were taking. Users appeared to prefer a marijuana-derived oil as opposed to other options and often consumed this oil in edibles.
Talk With Your Doctor About Marijuana with Arthritis
Seventy-five percent of marijuana users don’t speak to their medical team before using this substance to treat one or more conditions they suffer from. Men and women need to talk with their physician, as there are potential side effects to watch for. In addition, cannabis could interact with other medications. However, some doctors feel uncomfortable offering this option. If a physician isn’t willing to discuss this topic, ask for recommendations on doctors who may help.
Individuals suffering from arthritis should consider incorporating cannabis into their treatment plans. Only purchase products from reputable suppliers such as i49.net, however, as black market THC products caused many individuals to fall ill in 2019. Some people lost their lives because of these illnesses. It’s best to purchase products manufactured in the United States using ingredients grown in the country.
Make certain the company follows FDA good manufacturing practices, although they aren’t required to do so by law. Ask to see a certificate of analysis from an independent lab to ensure they have tested the product and never purchase from a company that claims their products come with disease benefits. By taking these steps, consumers feel confident knowing they are getting a quality product that may improve their health.