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May 15, 2020

Using Marijuana For Arthritis Pain – What You Should Know?

According to the national arthritis statistics, about 54.4 million adults in the United States (annually) had been told by doctors they experience some form of arthritis, gout, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia from 2013-2015.

Some of the common symptoms of arthritis are pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced range of motion, etc. These symptoms may worsen with age.

Research says that medical marijuana can help relieve pain and other symptoms associated with chronic conditions such as arthritis. In this post, we are going to discuss how cannabis works for managing arthritis pain, is marijuana treatment right for you, and what’s the safest way to talk to a medical marijuana doctor Chino Hills?

What’s Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition, which can cause inflammation on one or multiple joints. There are about 100 types of arthritis, and the two most common ones are—osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Arthritis can affect a patient’s life in different ways. For example, the condition can make it difficult for patients to manage their daily tasks. Major risk factors for arthritis include family history, obesity, previous joint injury, and age.

Treatment Options For Arthritis

There’s a wide range of medications that can help in managing arthritis symptoms. For example, painkillers can help change the way the brain responds to pain. For reducing severe pain, doctors often prescribe opioids—tramadol (Ultram, ConZip), oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone, others), or hydrocodone (Hysingla, Zohydro ER). Opioids work with the central nervous system to reduce the sensations of pain. However, when used for a long time, opioids may lead to dependence or other side-effects.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that NSAIDs are the most prescribed medications for arthritis treatment. Some of the common NSAIDs are ibuprofen (Motrin, naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).

Other commonly used medications for arthritis are—counterirritants, DMARDs, biologic response modifiers, and corticosteroids.

Regular exercise can also help improve joint flexibility, reduce pain, and fatigue. It also provides psychological benefits, such as reduced stress and boosted mood. Some of the best exercises for arthritis patients are—strengthening exercises, range-of-motion exercises, and aerobic exercises.

Medical Cannabis For Arthritis

While marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug by the DEA along with heroin and LSD, 33 states allow its medical use. You require a recommendation letter signed by a medical marijuana doctor Chino Hills to access dispensaries for buying cannabis products.

Cannabis can help relieve chronic pain and inflammation without causing any unpleasant side-effects associated with medication or opioid use. It’s also effective in managing common mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, stress, and PTSD.

Also Read- How Can Marijuana Help in Managing Depression Symptoms?

The marijuana plant has more than 100 cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, which causes high effects and changes the consumer’s mental state.

On the other hand, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which is proven helpful for managing pain and other symptoms of arthritis. When you consume CBD, it attaches to the receptors in the brain & the immune system. 

CB2 receptors play an important role in managing pain & inflammation. When CBD enters the body, it may attach to the CB2 receptors or produce natural cannabinoids that bind to these receptors.

What do Studies Have to Say?

According to a study published in the Journal of Opioid Management, 80 percent of the cannabis users in a pain clinic in the United States were using it for managing myofascial pain.

According to an article published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology in 2005, researchers reported that cannabinoids can help in treating inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

Some animal studies suggest that CBD can help in managing arthritis pain and inflammation.

A 2011 study confirmed that CBD helped in reducing inflammatory pain in rats. In 2016, researchers found that transdermal cannabidiol reduced pain and inflammation associated with arthritis in rats.

With scientific evidence on the therapeutic value of cannabis available, more people are willing to use the herb for health benefits. According to a national poll conducted by CBS News in January 2014, 86 percent of the people in the United States think that doctors should be allowed to prescribe cannabis for serious illnesses such as arthritis.

Another national poll by the American Association of Retired Persons concluded that 72 percent of the older adults support permitting the doctor-recommended marijuana.

Is Marijuana Treatment Right For You?

Well, it’s hard to answer this question as everyone has a different condition. However, you should talk to a professional doctor to seek professional advice for using cannabis for arthritis.

In some cases, cannabis use may lead to unpleasant side-effects that may affect physical & mental health. For instance, smoking provides quick effects, but it can cause lung problems. Thus, you can go for safest consumption methods such as edibles.

Some of the common side-effects of CBD use include dry mouth, diarrhea, appetite loss, tiredness, etc.

So, always consult a licensed doctor before starting cannabis treatment for arthritis.

Also Read- Why Should You Switch to Cannabis Edibles During COVID-19 Pandemic?

How to Access Medical Marijuana Legally?

In California, medical marijuana is legal for patients who hold valid MMJ recommendations. In the state, a medical marijuana card is valid for 12 months and after that, you need to renew it.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting a doctor’s clinic physically is full of risks. However, you can opt for seeing a medical marijuana doctor Chino Hills online through telemedicine. It’s 100 percent safe. Here’s the complete process-

  • Sign up an account
  • Talk to the doctor through the HIPAA-compliant platform
  • Receive your MMJ recommendation letter in PDF format via email instantly

However, if you want to use CBD products for managing arthritis pain, you don’t require a medical marijuana card. As per the Farm Bill of 2018, hemp-derived CBD products (which contain no more than 0.3 percent THC) are legal. So, when buying CBD products, make sure you check the label carefully.

The Takeaway

For managing arthritis symptoms such as pain and inflammation, cannabis can be used as a natural alternative to NSAIDs and painkillers. In the marijuana plant, there are more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, which have amazing medicinal properties. When these cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) are delivered into the body, they attach to the receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, thus regulating pain, inflammation, etc.

As per the Farm Bill of 2018, hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal in the United States. However, if you want to use THC-based products for arthritis pain, you require a medical marijuana card signed by a medical marijuana doctor Chino Hills.

The COVID-19 Alert!

We urge everyone to stay home and take care of their families. Prefer telemedicine to get MMJ recs and home delivery services to get cannabis products. Maintain good hygiene—wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose, and clean the frequently touched surfaces at home. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to stay fit & reduce the risks of the COVID-19.

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