Cannabis As A Treatment For Arthritis
Contributed by MattJackson on Monday, January 19 @ 18:15:58 UTC
Marijuana has been used as a reliable medication for nearly 5,000 years and was listed as being a cure for over 100 illnesses or symptoms.
The effects of cannabinoids on the body mean that marijuana is especially useful in the fight against arthritis and its symptoms.
Medical cannabis use is far from being a new phenomenon. In fact, the ancient Chinese were using the plant to help cure, treat, and ease the symptoms of many an ailment. Chief among the uses of cannabis is its ability to help reduce inflammation and pain in the patient. It was cited as being a beneficial drug in the fight against rheumatic pain and has been used for decades to help treat sufferers with chronic pain, such as sufferers of arthritis.
There are, in fact, many types of arthritis but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the degradation and eventual loss of cartilage from the joints; this leads to bone rubbing against bone and is typically associated with considerable pain levels. It is most commonly experienced in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease; its main symptom is inflammation of the synovial lining around the joints. It can lead to serious pain as well as long term disability.
There is no cure for either form of arthritis and treatment, therefore, centres on the alleviation of symptoms that present. Generally this means reducing inflammation and reducing the pain that usually accompanies both forms of the illness.
Medical marijuana has already been legalised in 18 states with more expected to follow suit. Strictly speaking, cannabis does not reduce the pain suffered by arthritis patients but it does make the pain more bearable for sufferers. Cannabinoids present in THC bind with receptors in the brain as well as the immune system and this means that the brain is unable to transmit feelings of pain in the same way.
Furthermore, cannabis works as an anti-inflammatory. Receptors in the immune system bind with the cannabinoids present in marijuana and this reduces inflammation because it prevents the immune system from fighting the body. In rheumatoid arthritis, this is one of the principle causes of inflammation – the immune system fights against otherwise healthy areas of the body causing inflammation and pain.
There are more than 400 components to be found in cannabis and research is still being conducted as to the potential medical benefits of each of these. Synthetic cannabinoid drugs like Marinol and Sativex can and are used to effectively treat many conditions in countries throughout the world but there is a growing body of evidence that points to the use of marijuana as a means to fight pain and other diseases.
There have been no reported cases of fatality caused by marijuana overdoses. The use of the drug may interact with other sedative related drugs and possible side effects include a rapid heartbeat and short-term high blood pressure. The immune system may be weakened and smoking the drug can lead to a number of lung and breathing problems as well as problem associated with smoking tobacco.
Cannabis can be taken in a number of forms, most commonly it is smoked or it may be combined with other ingredients in cannabis cooking techniques. Synthetic cannabinoid related drugs are available and these are considered safe for use by most health authorities and groups.
For arthritis sufferers, it can seem that there is no way of relieving the inflammation and pain associated with the disease. Cannabis can be viewed as a viable treatment for these ailments because it reduces both inflammation and pain while also dampening the immune system. With few side effects and an overdose level so high that it is a negligible consideration, medical marijuana could prove a highly beneficial form of treatment.
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