There are millions of people worldwide who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these autoimmune conditions are extremely painful and can make it difficult for people to get around or perform daily activities.
Medical marijuana is an excellent option for treating pain and inflammation associated with these inflammatory conditions. It’s been shown to be safe and effective when used as directed by a healthcare professional.
CBD, a major nonpsychoactive compound found in cannabis, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, with some studies reporting its effectiveness in reducing inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis. While research into the effects of cannabis as a treatment for chronic arthritis is still limited, it has the potential to become an important option in the future.
In a murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model, CBD at doses of 5 mg/kg per day i.p. and 25 mg/kg per day orally was effective in both classical acute CIA and chronic relapsing CIA. The results of this study suggest that the dose dependency of the effects of CBD may be relevant for a variety of diseases, including arthritis.
A significant reduction in TNF release was observed when synovial cells from CBD-treated mice were cultured in vitro compared with control synovial cells. This suggests that CBD could reduce TNF production as an anti-inflammatory agent.
The mechanism of this effect is unclear but it may involve the interaction of CBD with endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, which are expressed on immune cells in the body. The interaction of CBD with these receptors is thought to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects of cannabinoids.
We also showed that CBD suppressed the proliferation of mouse granulocytes in vitro by inhibiting Con A-induced cell proliferation and the production of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs). This was a dose-dependent suppression. The same effect was also seen when draining lymph node cells (LNCs) from arthritic mice were stimulated in vitro with bovine CII and in the presence of increasing CBD concentrations.
Another interesting finding was that the ability of CBD to reduce cytokine production was mediated by the TNF pre-stimulation of RASF. RASF, which produce high amounts of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and IL-8, were protected from cell death by CBD and these effects were enhanced by the TNF-induced mPTP activation. The reduced cytokine levels were accompanied by an increase in PoPo3 and intracellular calcium concentrations in RASF. This may be due to the increase in cellular hydration caused by the decreased cell viability.
Approximately 350 million people worldwide suffer from osteoarthritis, which is a debilitating condition that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. It is also associated with a number of psychological issues, including anxiety and depression. Fortunately, it is now possible to use medical cannabis to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
The potential of cannabis to reduce arthritis pain has been investigated in a range of studies. For instance, a 2021 systematic review of animal studies found that CBD and THC reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines (molecules that trigger the inflammatory process) in rats. In addition, a 2006 study of 58 RA patients found that Sativex, a spray made with an equal mix of THC and CBD, reduced pain and improved sleep quality when used in the evenings.
As well as being a powerful anti-inflammatory, CBD is also an excellent analgesic. This is because it interacts with a receptor called CB1 in the brain, which controls pain. In addition, it interacts with CB2 in immune cells, which may also affect the inflammation.
In vivo tests suggest that CBD suppresses the CII-specific proliferation of lymphocytes from mice with arthritis. This was accompanied by a marked decrease in IFN-g release. Moreover, it also suppressed Con A-induced proliferation of purified lymphocytes.
Similarly, in vitro experiments show that CBD has potent immunosuppressive effects. This is because it significantly inhibits the CII-specific proliferation of LNCs from arthritic mice in a dose-dependent manner, and it also suppresses the release of IFN-g in cultured lymphocytes.
This is in contrast to the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs, which can lead to a variety of side effects, including liver damage. Additionally, they can be addictive and can cause negative drug interactions with other medications.
Therefore, patients who are interested in treating their osteoarthritis with cannabis should consult their healthcare professional. They should ask their doctor to prescribe an appropriate dosage for them and discuss the risks and benefits of this type of medication.
The most effective way to treat arthritis with cannabis is to start with a small amount and then increase it in increments over time. This is a practice that experts recommend.
Cannabinoids in Cannabis
Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disorder that afflicts 30 million Americans, is a major source of chronic pain. It affects the joints, especially the knees and hips, causing pain that can be debilitating. It is typically treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids that are often addictive, but can cause serious side effects if taken over the long term.
Cannabinoids may help alleviate pain from osteoarthritis through several cellular mechanisms, including by modulating the immune system and by preventing inflammation in the joints. This potential to reduce symptoms is a reason why so many patients with OA are turning to medical cannabis to manage their condition.
The cannabinoids in marijuana work with your endocannabinoid system to relieve the symptoms of arthritis and other conditions that involve inflammation or pain. This system, which is commonly referred to as your ECS, communicates with other systems in the body and keeps them functioning at a proper level.
Your ECS also regulates a wide variety of bodily functions, including sleep and memory. This system is also linked to mood and appetite.
When it comes to inflammatory diseases like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the cannabinoids in marijuana act as natural anti-inflammatory agents. They aren’t as effective as pharmaceutical drugs, but they can still be used to relieve symptoms.
Studies have shown that a specific cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and another cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) relieve arthritis pain by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. They can even prevent the progression of arthritis.
CBD can be found in a number of strains, but it is most common in the Sativa variety. It is known for uplifting effects and a sedative effect, so it can help to ease stress and anxiety.
A 2022 StatPearls article reported that the FDA has approved a drug called Epidiolex, which is a purified form of CBD to treat seizures in people with rare forms of epilepsy. However, most marijuana products remain unregulated.
When using unregulated products, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re taking them correctly and safely. Your doctor can help you determine whether it’s the right time to use marijuana, and how much to take.
The Entourage Effect
The potential of cannabis as a treatment for osteoarthritis is growing in popularity, and it’s no surprise: the plant contains cannabinoids that have been proven effective at treating a range of ailments. One of the most popular theories about the effects of marijuana is The Entourage Effect, which explains that the many components of the plant work synergistically to provide greater efficacy than just THC and CBD alone.
The entourage effect isn’t just limited to dried flower, though; many products like concentrates and tinctures are also full-spectrum with other cannabinoids and terpenes that can also contribute to its effects. It’s important to remember that this theory is only theoretical right now, but it’s being studied and supported by thousands of consumer testimonials and medical trials.
For example, research has shown that a specific terpene called PEA can act as a “cannabinoids” in the body, reducing pain via the CB1 and TRPV1 receptors and interacting with PPAR-a (peroxisome proliferator activated receptor a). These findings demonstrate a complex, yet well understood mechanism of the entourage effect, with the terpenes delivering a range of antinociceptive effects.
Similarly, another study found that PEA and 2-AG, two endogenous cannabinoids, can interact with opioid receptors in the spinal cord, producing a potent vasodilator response via the TRPV1 channel. This can lead to a decrease in pain and may even improve sleep quality!
Although this isn’t a definitive conclusion, the results are promising. The use of a combination of terpenes and cannabinoids is thought to be beneficial to people with osteoarthritis by targeting the inflammation in the joints.
As with any new therapy, it’s crucial to discuss the benefits of medical marijuana with your physician before attempting it for yourself or your loved ones. This is because the medication can have negative side effects when used with other medications or conditions, so it’s essential to talk with your doctor about how best to take it safely.
In addition, if you’re taking any other medicines for your osteoarthritis, it’s important to speak with your doctor about how cannabis might interact with those drugs. It’s especially important to make sure that your medications don’t have any interactions with THC, as the two can increase one another’s effects and cause side effects like drowsiness.