Medical Marijuana For Rheumatoid Arthritis? Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Steve is a horticulturist of sorts. Arthritis and marijuana raises orchids, Japanese maples, and other plants at his southern Rhode Island home.
If my pain is at a 10, it will take it down to a 6 or 6. I’m an old-man weight lifter. After I smoke I am able to work my shoulders and arms to keep my joints healthy. It gives me the desire and ability to get through a workout.
Steve has had permission to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes since 2006. His home state is 1 of 16, along with the District of Columbia, where marijuana is permitted for medicinal use. Cannabis may be useful for people with RA and other chronic pain conditions because it can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote sleep. But unlike other pain-causing conditions, such as osteoarthritis, RA is associated with a higher risk of lung problems and heart attacks.
RA is an autoimmune condition that attacks the joints and causes multiple health problems. It’s not clear if smoking marijuana is a relatively safe pain reliever for people with RA, or if it could increase the risk of RA-associated conditions. And if cannabis is safe, it’s still debatable whether it’s safer to take it as a pill or mouth spray rather than smoking it. Smoking marijuana raises the heart rate and one study found that heart-attack risk rises fivefold in the hour after lighting up, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Medical marijuana remains controversial — and thus under-studied — in part because it is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the U. There are hundreds of chemicals in marijuana, but the best known is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
THC is what produces the high that comes with smoking or eating products made from marijuana. But THC also binds with receptors in the brain that produce an analgesic affect. It may also reduce anxiety experienced by some people dealing with chronic pain. Marijuana is typically smoked, which produces the most rapid delivery into the bloodstream, says Kathryn Cunningham, Ph.
Center for Addiction Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston. THC in pill form that are available by prescription for AIDS patients and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and a newer product called Sativex, a mouth spray with THC and cannabidiol. Sativex is not yet available in the United States, but is used in Canada and Europe for pain relief in people with cancer and multiple sclerosis. Marijuana is illegal on the federal level, but medicinal marijuana is permitted in some states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
Marijuana can be purchased through dispensaries, but most states also allow people to grow the product. Medicinal marijuana isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and there aren’t large-scale studies of its safety and efficacy for chronic pain conditions. It doesn’t help that there are few manufacturers to fund research. But there have been some small-scale studies looking at its use. A 2006 study in Rheumatology looked at 58 RA patients over a five-week period. They were split into two groups — one taking Sativex and the other a placebo. The group on Sativex had improvements in «morning pain on movement» and sleep quality compared to placebo users.