Around 350 million people worldwide have arthritis. It comes in all shapes and forms, and it affects people of all ages. As so many people live and cope with this condition, it only makes sense the search for more effective therapies continues.
What is the most effective pain reliever for arthritis?
Typical treatments include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen. Acetaminophen is sometimes used as well. While these medications can provide relief, they also have some potential side effects, such as ulcers and damage to the liver. Other people recommend natural or herbal remedies.
There’s been increasing interest in medical marijuana and arthritis lately. What does the science say about this potential treatment?
People Have Questions about Marijuana and Arthritis
The scientific literature on medical cannabis is still relatively limited, as this area of research is in its infancy. One of the best-studied areas is the management of chronic pain. The studies here suggest cannabis might be one of the most effective treatments for chronic pain in a number of different forms.
This leads people to ask about marijuana and arthritis. Arthritis, in all its various forms, is often considered a chronic pain condition. There is some evidence medical marijuana could help alleviate the symptoms associated with forms of arthritis.
Cannabis as a Pain Reliever
Cannabis appears to work as a pain reliever. It does so in a couple of ways. Much like opioid medications, it can help sedate and relax. It can even put people to sleep. THC is particularly renowned for this.
Both THC and CBD appear to have anti-inflammatory properties as well. This makes cannabis similar to NSAIDs in some ways. It achieves many of the same effects as these other medications, meaning it may help alleviate pain for those with arthritis.
It Could Help You Get Moving
Arthritis patients are often told to keep moving. Joints will stiffen when they’re allowed to rest for too long. It’s why so many people with arthritis wake up stiff and sore after a good night’s sleep.
Although it can often seem difficult, staying active is one of the best things you can do for arthritis. The right pain management can make it easier to keep moving through your day.
Medical marijuana might make this possible for more people. CBD, in particular, is known to help people feel more energetic, as well as more focused. It can even make exercise more pleasurable. Combined with its ability to reduce inflammation and help alleviate pain, it could just be the key to staying in motion.
Strain Choice Matters
Marijuana and arthritis appear to be a match for each other. Medical cannabis certainly has the potential to help those living with various forms of arthritis manage their condition and live their best lives.
Not every strain of medical marijuana is right for managing arthritis. Some strains will be more effective at alleviating arthritis symptoms than others.
You’ll want to talk to your doctor or the medical experts at a medical cannabis clinic to ensure you’re selecting the right strain for you. Your strain choice will depend on the type of arthritis you have, the severity of your symptoms, and what you hope to achieve from treatment.
Is Marijuana Right for You?
You should also keep in mind that while marijuana and arthritis seem to go hand in hand, medical cannabis isn’t the right treatment choice for every patient.
Some patients may encounter side effects, while others may not experience the effects they hope to. That said, many people with arthritis have achieved better management of their symptoms with medical cannabis.
Talk to your doctor about your options for arthritis treatment, including medical cannabis, today. Managing your symptoms and getting back to the things you love is possible.