Among the most common conditions associated with aging, arthritis affects millions of Americans and is increasing in prevalence every year. It causes everything from minor pain to debilitating chronic issues, often worsening the older we get, and it’s a leading cause of disability – with traditional treatments that may sometimes be effective, but also often cause significant side effects.
At Whole Leaf Medical Dispensary and CBD, we’re proud to present another alternative in the form of medical cannabis. Whether through edible forms of cannabis, tincture products, vapes and cartridges or traditional flower marijuana, numerous arthritis patients have found improvements in pain management and quality of life by going this route. Let’s go over some basics on arthritis, the issues with many of its traditional treatments, and how medical cannabis helps.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, roughly 54 million American adults suffer from arthritis. But many feel this estimate is low – it’s only based on those with diagnosed arthritis cases. If you also include millions of non-diagnosed cases, the number is probably closer to 90 million.
Arthritis, despite its reputation, is not a single disease. Rather, it’s a broad term to describe several conditions involving joints or their surrounding tissue, with varying symptoms depending on the type. The most common symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints, making daily life more difficult or even impossible in certain areas.
While healthy lifestyle and other related adjustments are often part of arthritis treatment, this area also involves several possible prescription drugs. And while some of these help to varying degrees, they also often come with associated side effects:
The body’s response to pain is controlled in large part by the endocannabinoid system, namely CB1 and CB2 receptors. The latter, CB2 receptors, have been associated with chronic inflammatory pain like arthritis, and research has shown that cannabinoids control inflammation through activating these CB2 receptors. They also may trigger certain CB1 receptors that relieve specific pain from arthritis – and both these benefits come without the significant side effects associated with prescriptions.
It’s important to note that further research is needed to cover the full scope of arthritis cases, but all reviews so far are highly positive. Medical cannabis has shown significant success with fibromyalgia, a form of arthritis, and much of the delay in research involves legality issues and matching the proper strains and dosages with varying arthritis symptoms.
For more on how medical cannabis benefits those suffering from arthritis, or to learn about any of our pain management services, speak to the staff at Whole Leaf today.