The most common source of disability in the United States is arthritis. Arthritis impacts millions of Americans. Now that baby boomers are aging and entering retirement, the number of arthritis sufferers will continue to increase.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is just one of dozens of types of arthritis. However, it presents differently than other kinds of arthritis. RA is an autoimmune disorder, not a joint disorder. RA can cause inflammation in your connective tissue throughout your body.
RA sufferers have discovered that medical marijuana can be an effective treatment choice. It acts as a pain reliever, and you may benefit from other medicinal properties of medical marijuana. Below is a brief overview of RA followed by information on using medical marijuana to help alleviate symptoms.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
RA is an autoimmune disorder. When your immune system malfunctions, it may begin directly attacking healthy connective tissues. In addition, RA can affect the young as well as the elderly, whereas other types of arthritis are associated with more advanced age.
When your immune system attacks your joints, they become inflamed, swollen, and painful. The most common joints impacted by RA are:
As RA progresses, it may attack other parts of your body such as:
- Bone and cartilage
- Blood vessels
- Nervous system
While the progression of RA is usually slow, it is irreversible. Typically, a rheumatologist will use a combination of factors to determine if you have RA.
Is Medical Marijuana a Helpful Treatment?
It is critical for RA patients to manage this progressive disorder. Many seek out alternatives to prescription medications both to save money and to try a more natural approach to relief. Medical marijuana has been shown to relieve some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it lacks many negative side effects that some RA prescription medications can have.
Many RA patients are enjoying such benefits as:
- A reduction in pain
- Improved movement
- Lower needs for prescription medication
Research studies have been conducted that show evidence of the efficacy of medical marijuana as an effective treatment for RA. Cannabis has pain-relieving properties that have been proven with scientific evidence. You may use it on its own, or you may use it in combination with other pain relievers. This effectively and safely helps to control the pain of RA.
The primary symptom of RA is inflammation. Both scientific research and personal testimonies show that medical marijuana is an anti-inflammatory. This will alleviate the pain of inflamed joints.
In addition, your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signal system, controls your overall homeostasis by bridging your mind and body. RA and other forms of arthritis can push your endocannabinoid system off-kilter. Cannabis has compounds that pinpoint cannabinoid receptors found in the synovium of your joints. This relieves the painful symptoms.
Symptoms Relieved by Medical Marijuana
An increasing number of RA patients are successfully using medical marijuana to find relief. This is bringing greater acceptance of cannabis as an accepted method of treatment. These symptoms typically show considerable improvement from using medical marijuana:
Many cannabinoids in marijuana act to reduce inflammation. These include CBD and THC in addition to THCa, CBN, CBG, CBDa, and CBC.
The cannabinoid compounds cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that are in marijuana have demonstrated medical properties. This includes pain relief. Some types of cannabis can alleviate pain and bring relief.
RA can cause chronic pain and general malaise. This results in the common RA symptom of fatigue in many patients. Some strains of marijuana have properties that induce sleep. A well-rested patient has a much better chance of relief and remission.
Flare-up and chronic pain can contribute to the development of depression or feelings of anxiety. The chronic nature of RA in particular can dash the hopes of many sufferers. Medical marijuana has been proven to alleviate both depression and anxiety, which gives many RA sufferers a better outlook on life.
What Treatment Methods are Available?
RA can result in lung issues. Therefore, smoking cannabis is typically not an option for patients. There is a multitude of other treatment options, such as:
These are effective, although they may take a little longer to feel the relief. However, the relief has a tendency to last longer. Obviously, this produces longer periods of relief.
Drops and tinctures
These are taken under your tongue, which has a tendency to get the cannabis directly into the bloodstream.
Transdermal patches and topicals
Cannabis patches and creams may be applied to the skin around the painful joints. The medication is absorbed through the skin into the affected joint.
Vaping is an increasingly popular method of using cannabis. It is typically fast-acting without the risk of damage to your lungs.
“Can medical marijuana treat RA?” That’s a common question, and the answer is shown in scientific research and anecdotal evidence. If you suffer from RA, you may benefit from adding medical marijuana to your treatment options. If you think this may help you, call MMJ Doctors at 1-888-578-6704. Or schedule an appointment with us today.