Patients who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis have a number of treatments available to them to get some relief from chronic pain and inflammation. As an autoimmune disease, RA affects all of the body’s connective tissues, but, unlike disorders affecting the joints, inflammation occurs all over the body1.
With the onset of RA, the immune system goes into an extreme level of activity and begins attacking the joints of the body, agitating them with swelling and inflammation, which becomes long-lasting and difficult to eradicate. Rheumatoid arthritis progresses at a slow rate, but once there is joint damage, it can’t be reversed, and there is no cure.
Symptoms Treated by Cannabis
- Joint Pain – Certain strains of marijuana have been found to be effective in treating and providing relief from pain. They contain the cannabinoid compounds of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The best strains are Canna Tsu, Death Bubba, and Girl Scout Cookies2.
- Inflammation – To help in minimize the pain of inflammation, marijuana contains numerous cannabinoids to help reduce it. Some of the more prominent cannabinoids are CBD and THC, along with CBC, CBDa, CBG, CBN, and THCa. The best strains of marijuana to help treat the condition are Blue Dream, Granddaddy Purple, and Gorilla Glue #43.
- Fatigue – With RA, the debilitating effects of chronic pain and malaise are common symptoms associated with the disorder. Certain strains of marijuana can help with sleep-related problems, which in turn can help improve remission chances due to benefit of adequate rest. The best strains for combatting fatigue are Skywalk, God’s Gift, and Afghan Kush4.
- Anxiety and Depression – RA patients may also be coping with symptoms related to anxiety and depression as the result of a flare-up. Because of the chronic pain associated with the disorder, RA can often contribute to patients feeling hopeless about life. Cannabis used for medicinal purposes to treat RA has been shown to provide some relief from anxiety and depression. Strains that have shown to be beneficial in treating symptoms are Holy Grail Kush, Tahoe OG Kush, and Afghan Kush5.
According to Jahan Marcu, PhD, who is the chief scientific officer for Americans for Safe Access, with chronic pain being a primary symptom that Rheumatoid Arthritis patients seek relief from, 9,000 patient years of data have shown that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, has been an effective treatment. “Cannabinoids stop the transmission of pain and decrease inflammation, and that’s very important for people with joint issues.”6
It’s important that patients coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis seek out effective ways to treat the condition. And while so many treatments have been shown to be effective—but expensive, the use of medicinal marijuana as a viable alternative is showing promise as an effective, all-natural medication that helps relieve some of the symptoms closely connected with the affliction.
In fact, medical marijuana has been shown to offer relief of some of the symptoms of RA, without the unfavorable side effects that can accompany more traditional medications.
If you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and need some advice on how medicinal cannabis can help you, seek out the advice of qualified marijuana doctors in your area.