Arthritis is a common chronic health condition that refers to a number of distinct (but related) illnesses. By definition, it refers to a disease that causes joint inflammation and pain, often affecting the weight-bearing parts of the body. The common parts where arthritis is likely to attack are the spine, hips, and knees. However, other areas, such as the fingers, wrists, and toes, are also prone to attack. While the chronic joint pain is often resistant to pain management therapies, studies suggest that cannabis helps with arthritis pain and inflammation.
Contrary to what many people believe, arthritis can affect anyone of any age, from the very old to the very young. As a chronic condition, arthritis has no single cure. Instead, a selection of different medications and therapies are often prescribed to help manage the symptoms. If arthritis progresses unchecked, it can lead to impairment of movement and other body functions over time.
Numerous research and studies on medicinal cannabis brought to light its many health benefits. These benefits contributed to its increasing recognition as medication and growing legalization in the US. Here, we’ll discuss how cannabis helps with arthritis. We’ll lay out how the properties of medical cannabis can be applied to different types of arthritis to successfully alleviate symptoms.
Cannabis Acts as a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory
The two cannabis components (called cannabinoids) primarily responsible for the anti-inflammatory role of medical marijuana are cannabidiol (CBD) and caryophyllene. These two components differ from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): they are not psychoactive, meaning that consuming them won’t cause a “high.” Caryophyllene and CBD function by activating the CB2 receptors, both directly and indirectly. These receptors are among the numerous receptors found in the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for many vital regulatory functions within the body, such as sleep patterns, hunger and satiety, mood, immune response, temperature, pain perception and signaling, and inflammatory response. By acting on these receptors, medical cannabis can help to reduce the swelling associated with arthritis.
Science backs up the anecdotal reports of patients as well. A recent study demonstrated that the cannabinoids found in cannabis are up to 20 times more effective compared to aspirin at curbing inflammation. Additionally, THC can help in suppressing inflammation as it changes critical molecules during metabolism by the body.
Cannabis Helps to Manage Osteoarthritis (OA)
The term “osteoarthritis” refers to the damage of joint tissues (often over time, though causes vary). This damage can cause pain, and occurs when the cartilage wears off of the ends of bones, causing them to grind against each other. In healthy joints, the elastic cartilage serves to prevent these bone ends from friction against each other. In its absence, joints become painful, swollen, and stiff.
CBD oil, which can be derived from both marijuana and hemp, aids in the reduction of joint pain by acting as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. CBD, and therefore cannabis, helps with arthritis pain by dulling pain perception and reducing the inflammation causing it. It also acts as a neuroprotectant, helping to prevent damage to nerves in osteoarthritic joints.
CBD also carries an added benefit for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis (or RA). It works to suppress T-cell function, a major cause of the progression of RA (an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own tissues). CBD can reduce this destruction of cartilage and joint tissues, protecting the body from further damage.
Cannabis Eases Anxiety & Depression
Arthritis is closely connected to anxiety and depression. This is because any form of arthritis can cause debilitating pain that can lead to feelings of despair. Also, anxiety and depression can worsen your arthritis. Thus, by managing anxiety and depression, you are on your way to curbing some of the common signs of arthritis.
Rates of anxiety and depression vary in people with arthritis depending on factors. Some of the factors include the size of the population under study. Generally, the data points to the presence of anxiety and depression in two people among ten with arthritis. It is easy to understand why this pain has depressing effects on an individual.
People with medical cannabis prescriptions in many countries are allowed to grow their own hemp plants. Authentic sources such as ILGM US seed bank and many other stores have been allowing patients to grow these plants and utilize their pain-relieving effects to treat their severe anxiety caused by chronic pain.
CBD Oil is rising in popularity due to its effectiveness in calming anxiety and depression. It does this by engaging with the brain’s receptors. CBD triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating social behavior and mood. The effectiveness of CBD in calming anxiety can be seen in its reduction of social anxiety symptoms among people with a social anxiety disorder. The consumption of CBD oil not only reduced the anxiety in these patients but also altered how their bodies responded to stress.
Cannabis Helps with Arthritis & Sleep
Sleep deprivation is very prevalent among people with arthritis, affecting over 80% of sufferers across all types. It is mostly due to the stiff and aching joints, which makes it hard to get comfortable, fall asleep, and sleep through the night.
Poor sleep can increase your arthritic pain and also expose you to the likelihood of developing depression and disability. Sleep disruption affects pain. It is because sleep disruption leads to abnormalities in pain processing and its pathways. Hence, arthritis patients end up having a tougher time trying to sleep.
You can use CBD for sleep to ease your anxiety, relieve your pain and inflammation, and it also interacts with melatonin in your system. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin is sometimes referred to as the ‘darkness hormone’ because its production is triggered by darkness. The anxiolytic and hypnotic effects of CBD help reduce emotional and subconscious anxiety. Its anticonvulsant effects create a sense of relaxation in the body by minimizing muscle tension. Thus, the combination of CBD and melatonin can be very beneficial in improving sleep for people with arthritis.
Cannabis offers a safer and more natural approach towards managing different types of arthritis and the symptoms accompanying them due to its useful components. There are numerous ways you can consume Cannabis, depending on your preference. For pain in the joints, you may apply CBD Oil creams and gels on the skin. You can also ingest CBD by taking capsules or tinctures orally. Furthermore, you can have a bath rich in CBD products for extra refreshment. To manage your arthritis and any other medical condition, ensure you get the best CBD products available in the market from licensed sellers.