With almost 30 million Americans suffering from pain and mobility issues related to osteoarthritis, researchers are continually on the hunt for ways to relieve the pain. Many arthritis sufferers and scientists are finding answers in medical marijuana.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative, wear-and-tear disease affecting the joints. Most sufferers develop osteoarthritis in the hands, hips, spine, and knees, but other joints, like shoulders and ankles, can also be affected.
Over time, the degenerative disease causes pain and stiffness and patients lose range of motion in the affected joints. There is no cure. Patients resort simply to managing symptoms and attempting to limit joint damage as much as possible.
As lubricants in the joints wear away with use, arthritis sufferers face swelling and pain. One Stanford University study estimates that arthritis patients incur more than $56 billion in expenses for medications and in lost wages for missing work.
There are more than 100 medications used to treat arthritis, everything from pain relievers to anti-inflammatory drugs. However, may patients are ditching those treatments for a natural and affordable alternative — medical marijuana.
There are two active compounds in marijuana — THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana. It’s the chemical in the drug that makes people high; it also has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties as well. THC can also be used to mitigate depression and anxiety. However, arthritis sufferers worried about the psychotropic properties of marijuana have another option — CBD.
CBD, or cannabinoid, is naturally occurring in cannabis plants, but unlike THC, it can’t get you high. It is recognized for its pain relieving properties. Most people who utilize CBD for pain relief use it in oil form, and it is often extracted from the hemp plant rather than the marijuana plant, limiting the amount of THC present in the oil. A cannabis dispensary can assist you in finding a blend of CBD oil to treat your arthritis symptoms.
How It Works
There are a number of scientific studies suggesting that CBD may be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis, but the research isn’t conclusive. Scientists suspect that CBD attaches to brain receptors that control for pain and inflammation or that the body responds to CBD by producing natural chemicals that attach to brain receptors. They’re not certain how exactly it works, but evidence is mounting that CBD somehow limits pain and inflammation.
CBD oil is available in a variety of forms. Some users opt for creams and gels that are applied to the skin in the affected areas. Others opt to take CBD oils orally in pill form or as an oral spray.
CBD oil isn’t approved by the Federal Drug Administration as a treatment for arthritis, though it has been approved for usage by the FDA to treat some forms of epilepsy. This means medical experts have some idea of the potential side effects of CBD oil. There are some potential side effects to using CBD oil that users should note. First, experts recommend talking to you doctor before trying new treatments or therapies for any condition, including osteoarthritis.
Potential side effects are mild, but worth noting. Some CBD oil users have reported feeling irritable, having trouble sleeping, or feeling nausea.
CBD oil may be a solution for relieving pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. For the 30 million-plus arthritis sufferers in the U.S., that’s a cause for celebration. For more information, contact Elevele, your go-to cannabis dispensary in Deerfield, IL.