People use marijuana for a variety of reasons, from leisure to the advantages of its therapeutic capabilities. Due to cannabis’ capacity to reduce the inflammation and joint pain associated with the condition, arthritis is one of the numerous conditions that patients frequently use to treat.
CBD Vs. THC and Marijuana
You might think about using CBD to treat your arthritis if you don’t want the euphoric effects of marijuana or reside in a state where cannabis is prohibited. It has been associated with many of the same advantages, but in the United States, it is permitted at the federal level.
To recap, THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, with CBD serving as its primary non-psychoactive counterpart. Although hemp-derived CBD is permitted by the 2018 Farm Bill, THC is prohibited at the federal level. It must have a THC content of less than 0.3% in order to be considered hemp-derived.
CBD is available in a range of products, including tinctures, capsules, edibles, and more. Even some CBD hemp flowers are available.
Research Is Limited
It’s important to remember that there hasn’t been much study done on the use of medical marijuana for any ailment, including arthritis. This occurs as a result of marijuana being listed as a Schedule I drug in the United States. Despite so, some preliminary study has been conducted in the US and in other nations with fewer legal restrictions.
However a lot of the evidence regarding marijuana’s ability to treat arthritis is anecdotal. This is helpful, but you should also treat it with caution because anecdotal evidence is dependent on self-reporting.
Criticism on the Research
A 2014 study in Arthritis Care & Research decided against recommending medical marijuana for arthritis because of the paucity of information on the subject. The relevant research made mention of marijuana’s potential negative effects as well as fluctuations in THC levels in plants.
Yet, arthritis sufferers may not always concur. After all, the problem with variances in THC level is resolved by carefully selecting the marijuana you consume or by picking an oil or edible with a pre-dosed amount. Furthermore, some negative effects, like as lung problems, only occur if you smoke or vape the marijuana.However, there is a ton of anecdotal evidence that suggests marijuana’s adverse effects may be less severe than those of prescription medications, particularly when it comes to those that pose a danger of addiction.
A few studies recommending marijuana for arthritis
As previously said, there hasn’t been much done in the way of conclusive study on marijuana’s potential to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Nonetheless, the following are a few of the promising studies.
A Large Review
There is “strong evidence” that cannabis can effectively treat chronic pain, according to one of the largest evaluations, “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Suggestions for Study,” released in 2017.
Synthetic Transdermal Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Knee Pain Related to Osteoarthritis, a trial on topical CBD, showed conflicting findings.
A well-known 2006 study examined Sativex, an oral spray containing CBD and THC. It demonstrated the potential of this spray to lessen arthritic discomfort.
Animal experiments are used extensively in cannabis and CBD research. According to these findings, CBD lowers inflammation and soothes discomfort. There is also a ton of anecdotal evidence in favor of this in people.
For instance, a 2017 study on rats with osteoarthritis discovered that CBD inhibits nerve damage and discomfort. Similar findings from a 2016 rat study that also found CBD to be analgesic to pain and inflammation in arthritis-prone animals. In rats with arthritis, a 2011 study also discovered that CBD lowers inflammation. Based on research in mice, a different study from 2014 found that CBD showed promise for treating osteoarthritis.
Marijuana and CBD for Arthritis Are Popular
Even though there isn’t any official study on marijuana and arthritis, it is quite well-liked.
University of Toronto Survey
According to a 2020 study from the University of Toronto, 20% of patients who seek treatment from an orthopedic surgeon for persistent musculoskeletal pain do so using cannabis or a substance derived from it.
One crucial qualification: The majority of these individuals utilized CBD, which is non intoxicating. Only roughly 25% ingested THC-containing products.
Two-thirds of individuals who don’t currently use it to alleviate joint and muscle pain are interested in giving it a try, according to the survey. Many of these respondents said that they were looking forward to learning more about it.
The majority of those who used cannabis to treat arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions-related pain were satisfied with the outcomes, according to the same survey. 90% of people said their discomfort was adequately controlled. 40% more claimed it lessened reliance on different painkillers. About 60% even claimed that cannabis was more effective for them than other medications.
Arthritis Foundation Poll
Also, a recent survey by the Arthritis Foundation looked especially at arthritis sufferers’ use of CBD. Among those polled, 29% currently use CBD. Of those, 26% used it frequently throughout the week, and 63% used it everyday.
Moreover, 79% of respondents said they either used CBD now, had used it in the past, or were considering using it.
94% of people who indicated they now use CBD for their arthritis stated it was to control pain.
How Marijuana May Help Arthritis
There are various ways that marijuana may benefit persons with arthritis, according to both anecdotal evidence and the few research that have been done.These include:
- Improving sleep
- Reducing morning pain
- Reducing joint inflammation
- Reducing fatigue
- Improving physical function
According to the aforementioned Arthritis Foundation survey, 30% of those who presently use CBD claimed it helped them feel less tired, and 67% of those who do stated it enhanced their physical function.