More than 540 different compounds have been identified in the cannabis plant, including more than 100 cannabinoids, which are active molecules that can only be found in the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol are the two cannabinoids that are most prevalent (CBD).
The term “marijuana,” which is slang for substances that contain sizable levels of the psychoactive component THC, is frequently used to describe such substances. In this article, we refer to any products made from the cannabis plant using the correct scientific name “cannabis” throughout.
Anecdotally, many patients claim that cannabis relieves their arthritic pain, although the majority of the scientific data has come from lab or animal studies. The benefits of cannabis for treating pain and other illnesses including anxiety and sleep disturbances are still being researched.
Continue reading as we go deeper into the most recent analysis of the relationship between medical cannabis and pain from arthritis. We also look at possible adverse effects and the most effective cannabis dosages.
What Is Medicinal Marijuana?
Any cannabis or cannabis-derived substance used to treat a medical problem is known as medical cannabis. Cannabis is frequently used to treat a variety of medical issues, including chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep problems. 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. THC is the primary component responsible for the recreational effects of cannabis, despite the fact that it also has medical uses.
Epidolex is the only CBD medication FDA-approved at this time to treat a specific medical condition. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome are two uncommon kinds of epilepsy for which it is licensed for treatment.
The FDA has approved the use of the drugs Marinol and Syndrol to treat nausea brought on by cancer chemotherapy and weight loss in AIDS patients. These drugs include dronabinol, a synthetic version of THC.
A medicinal cannabis card that enables you to legally purchase and possess cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation is available in places where medical marijuana is permitted. For instance, in California, medical professionals may advise cannabis use to treat the following ailments:
- enduring pain
- muscular spasms brought on by multiple sclerosis, for example
- extreme nausea, such as that brought on by chemotherapy
Can Cannabis Be Used to Treat Arthritic Pain?
There is no proof that medical cannabis helps treat arthritis, and the FDATrusted Source and Federal Trade Commission have issued warning letters to several cannabis businesses that make such claims.
Cannabis can help ease some arthritis symptoms, but it cannot treat the condition. There isn’t much high-quality research confirming its usefulness in treating joint disorders in humans, claims a 2020 assessment by Trusted Source. Several anecdotal reports or animal studies indicate the use of cannabis to relieve arthritic pain.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabinoid CBD may help to lessen the discomfort associated with arthritis. A 2020 study trusted Source 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 in 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 under 700 participants said they used CBD to treat arthritis or joint pain and over 700 said they took it to control discomfort.
The Scientists Discovered:
35.8% of participants in the research said that CBD was effective in treating their illness on its own.
30.4 percent said it worked effectively when used in conjunction with traditional medicine.
But in a 2021 study by trusted Source, scientists aimed to pinpoint CBD’s potential advantages for persons with hip or knee osteoarthritis. In 48 persons who tried CBD before surgical consultation, as opposed to 152 people who didn’t, the researchers observed no discernible effect of using CBD.
Another 2021 Investigation
According to Trusted Source, scientists reviewed all of the human studies that were conducted to examine the advantages of using medicinal marijuana to treat noncancer pain. They came to the conclusion that, based on the available evidence of its efficacy, medical professionals should see cannabis as a third- or fourth-line medication, meaning that alternative treatments should be explored before turning to cannabis.
To completely comprehend the possible advantages and drawbacks of using cannabis to treat arthritis, more research is required. To determine the ideal dose, additional study is also required.
How Can Cannabis Be Used Medically to Treat Arthritis?
Cannabis may be consumed, inhaled, or topically used. Various varieties of cannabis products are available, including:
- capsules & pills
- tinctures and oils
- lotions & creams
A Joint and A Blunt
There hasn’t been much research on the kind that cures pain the best. Researchers compared the effects of smoking cannabis containing 3.56 percent THC to taking 20 milligrams (mg) of dronabinol (synthetic THC) orally for pain relief in a small 2013 study trusted Source.
In comparison to a placebo, they discovered that both medicines reduced pain sensitivity, but the benefits of oral dronabinol lasted longer. It’s advised to start low and increase slowly while using cannabis products. Before the effects of cannabis taken orally reach their peak, several hours may pass.