Assessing the Efficacy of Medical Marijuana in Alleviating Symptoms of Joint Pain

Assessing the Efficacy of Medical Marijuana in Alleviating Symptoms of Joint Pain

Arthritis and joint pain affect almost 60 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This condition can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain in numerous joints, including knees, hips, fingers, and the spine. Chronic pain is one of the top reasons why patients get a medical cannabis card. And many patients with arthritis or joint pain experience persistent inflammation and painful symptoms. So can medical cannabis help as part of a pain management strategy for patients?

There are many different triggers that can cause joint pain. For some people, an injury such as a car accident or fall may damage their joints and lead to painful, ongoing symptoms. For other people, arthritis and other joint problems can show up at any time without a known cause.

For many people, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) starts between 30 and 60. When the condition develops in children and young adults (16-40), it is called young-onset rheumatoid arthritis (YORA). An injury can cause osteoarthritis, but many diagnoses are due to overuse or repetitive stress on one or more joints. As we age, the cartilage between our bones (which insulates the bone against friction) can wear down as we age. And sometimes, it can disappear entirely, which means bone-on-bone contact in major joints.

When your kidneys do not filter out enough uric acid, it can build up in your blood. From there, the excess uric acid can crystalize around bone joints in your body. The uric crystals are very sharp (like glass) and create moderate to severe joint pain.

More research is needed to understand what triggers the development of lupus. What doctors do know is that it is one of the very complex autoimmune disorders where the body’s immune system attacks tissues and organs. And consequently, tissues like cartilage can be compromised causing joint pain.

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a rare disease that causes bones in the spine to connect and grow together. This can create painful inflammation in the joints, including the shoulder area, hip, ribs, fingers, and toes.

Whether you are coping with non-arthritic joint pain or another condition that causes inflammation of the joints, there are many things you can try to reduce pain. And some therapies can even help reduce painful joint movement and help restore the range of motion.

Even with a combination of different holistic or over-the-counter therapies, many patients struggle to manage joint pain. According to the CDC, about one in four American adults have reported severe joint pain that is related to arthritis or a similar joint pain condition. And about half, or 50%, of those individuals have persistent daily pain.

One study back in 2009 stated that cannabinoids have the potential to make transient joint and back pain worse over time. The study “Active Ingredients In Marijuana Found To Spread And Prolong Pain” was conducted by the University of Texas Medical.

However, there are many more studies that suggest cannabidiol (CBD) may help patients with arthritis and joint pain. Cannabidiol can be used by patients with arthritis in multiple ways to provide relief from painful joints.

One of the benefits of cannabidiol instead of pain medications is that it is safer, with a lower risk of becoming habit-forming compared to opioids or NSAIDs. Unlike prescription medications, CBD has not been shown to cause withdrawal.

There are some prescription medications that are contraindicated (in conflict) with cannabidiol. Before you start using any kind of CBD supplements, get a medication review from your physician. And let them know what kind of CBD supplements you plan to use (including the potency of it). It’s the best way to protect yourself from any adverse side effects.

In conclusion, Arthritis and joint pain affect millions of Americans and can be debilitating. While medical cannabis may not be the best option for everyone, it has shown promise in reducing joint pain and inflammation in many patients. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a safer alternative to prescription medications and can be used in multiple ways to provide relief from painful joints. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment, including the use of medical cannabis or CBD supplements.

Dr. Paul Miller, MD

Dr. Miller is committed to finding new and innovative ways to help his patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. He has a particular interest in the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis and is passionate about educating both his colleagues and patients on its safe and effective use. He is also committed to continuing his education and staying up-to-date on the latest advances in neurology and cannabis research.

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