Arthritis

How Does Medical Marijuana Help with Arthritis?

Considering the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana and the increased scrutiny this drug has come under in light of recent legal developments relating to its use and purpose, researchers have also begun exploring whether there is any truth to claims that medical marihuana can help relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

The claim of many medical professionals is that marijuana is a natural means to alleviate arthritis symptoms along with the symptoms related to a wide variety of other conditions that cause chronic pain.

arthritis pain in elbow

What is arthritis?

It is a medical condition affecting the musculoskeletal system and particularly affects the joints, which is why it is the main reason many people over the age of 55 become disabled. A person having arthritis will find that there is a problem with either the cartilage covering their bones that stops one bone from rubbing against another or the capsule that surrounds the joint and nourishes the joint and the cartilage. Depending on the type of arthritis a person has, the cause of the condition can be a lack of sufficient fluid, autoimmunity, infection or two or more of these factors combined. Arthritis can be caused due to a person’s genetics, the strenuousness of their job, previous injuries, infections and obesity.

Treatment with Medical Marijuana

Considering the painful nature of this disease and the pain alleviating properties of medical marijuana, there are no surprises why the use of the drug has been associated with treating arthritis. There was a ‘Joints for Joints’ scientific debate on whether marihuana should be used for the alleviation of pain in people suffering from arthritis. The debate was a constructive one, which allowed people to understand how this mechanism works in the first place.

Arthur Kavanaugh, MD, stated that the strongest point in favor of marijuana is that it has the least amount of side effects when you consider the use of normal painkillers that we take on a day-to-day basis. This means that marijuana is less harmful that the painkiller tablets we tend to take so carelessly every day for the alleviation of joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, migraines or the like.

Cannabis also eases chemotherapy induced nausea and lack of appetite. Several compounds in medicinal marijuana help by activating several pathways known as CB2 receptors. These CB2 receptors are present at very unusually high levels in the joints of a person who suffers from arthritis.

arthritis research

CB2 receptors are originally one of the two different types of pathways, which can be triggered using the chemicals and the compounds that are present in medicinal marijuana. The CB1 receptors are responsible for the feeling of lightness or the ‘high’ that marijuana gives the person who is taking it.

Marijuana is generally used to treat a broad and large spectrum of diseases, be it Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, intestinal problems, even PTSD or other mental issues. The CB2 in the marijuana suppresses the inflammation between the joints. Many medical experts are now working towards making a chemical compounds that only activates the CB2 receptors in the medicine instead of activating both pathways which is the major concern of people who speak up against the use of medicinal marijuana.

Human beings have a natural pain regulating system in their bodies, which is known as the endocannabinoids system. This system has placed receptors in the nervous system tissues, the bone and joint tissues, and in the immune cells of the human body. These receptors have a strong and good response to cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a set of compounds that are inclusive of endocannabinoids. This is what the body creates on its own.

THC is one of the best-known cannabinoids in modern medicine. They have a complex structure and mechanism and they are responsible for reducing and alleviating any kind of a pain in any part of the human body that has endocannabinoids receptors in place. THC is a basic ingredient in marijuana, which is why it is so effective in its work. They seem to have a very positive and fast effect on patients who are suffering from arthritis.

Many studies have been conducted to test this theory as to how the inflammation in the joints of patients who are suffering from arthritis is reduced by the use of medicinal marijuana. Jason J. Mcdougall is a PhD associate professor in the department of pharmacology and anesthesia at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is of the opinion that by blocking a few set of enzymes and injecting the patient suffering from arthritis with cannabinoids right in the joint that is causing the problem; the pain and the sensitivity can be significantly reduced. This is why people suffering from Osteoarthritis can be very hopeful to the use of medicinal marijuana in treating their condition.

The use of medicinal marijuana also has a good effect on the immune system. It eases inflammation and makes your quality of life better than it was before. You can perform day-to-day tasks with ease, which means that many different aspects of your life are greatly and significantly improved by making use of medicinal marijuana to treat your arthritis.

TIME magazine has recently revealed that the American government has expressed an intention to buy 12 acres of marijuana plants for the purposes of conducting research about the medical properties of the drug. This is very consoling to people suffering from the condition that is the nation’s leading cause of disability.

Medical marijuana is effective in helping with joint pain, arthritis in hands and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. It works towards reducing inflammation and joint pain as well as helping people with RA sleep.

Research and Development at work

Cannabis Technologies Inc. of Vancouver, Canada is happy to inform that they are developing a treatment containing a blend of cannabinoids and non-cannabis forms of active constituents “CTI-091″ for alleviating swelling and joint pain which is mostly connected to arthritis as well as joint disease. Initial laboratory studies have shown CTI-091 subdues the human macrophage which is a major founding cause of inflammation (interleukin-6), showing convincing evidence that extracts of cannabis can reverse the progression of the disease.

CTI-091 has been designed to boost retention and soaking up of the major ingredients near the marked site and plan to ease of swelling and joint pain.

Right now the preparation is in its preclinical phase of its development. The researchers at the company are also at work to improve the system that delivers the drug in order to improve the chances for more successful treatment. The company is expecting to start clinical stage 1 trials when these phases are completed.

The management at the company is extremely thrilled to announce another treatment in their upcoming projects. The arthritis and pain therapy elevates the company to a higher level of development, establishing a basis for their Cannabinoid Drug Design Platform. The program is made to better identify and quicken novel drug therapies. According to the company’s plan, they will have many therapies in the upcoming year in development, aiming at other areas such as metabolic diseases, Orphan diseases as well as Angiogenesis and Cancer.

 

Sources:

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2013/12/09/marijuana-for-arthritis-pain-new-study-explains-why/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16282192

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