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Medical Marijuana Uses & Treatments: Arthritis


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Medical Marijuana for Arthritis Treatment and Arthritis Pain

Medical marijuana contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds as well as natural analgesics, providing a one-two punch that makes medicinal marijuana an excellent part of an arthritis treatment plan. Medical marijuana can relieve joint pain while at the same time reducing the inflammation that precipitated that pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and even juvenile arthritis may be treated with the help of cannabinoids naturally occurring in marijuana.

Medical Marijuana is an Effective Treatment for Arthritis Pain and Inflammation

27 million Americans have osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. This condition, also known as degenerative joint disease, causes breakdown of joint cartilage resulting in pain and inflammation where bare joints rub together. A further 1.3 million Americans are living with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that causes severe pain. In addition, 300,000 children in America have juvenile arthritis. While most doctors do not recommend use of medical marijuana for young children, adults and older teens can treat their arthritis with medicinal marijuana.

In a 2005 study, THC and cannabidiol were found to produce notable improvements in pain, quality of sleep, and to reduce disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Both these compounds are among the cannabinoids naturally occurring in medical marijuana. In 2000, researchers found that cannabidiol "effectively blocked progression of arthritis" in animal trials.

Although both these studies involve cannabinoids administered as drugs isolated from marijuana, medicinal use of cannabis by smoking, vaporizing, or eating, may be a better delivery method for the same potent analgesics and anti-inflammatories. When smoked, medical marijuana enters the smoker's blood stream immediately and is distributed evenly. In addition, smoking medical marijuana provides the body with all the cannabinoids present in marijuana, not one or two isolated components. Thirdly, in some states patients can legally cultivate marijuana plants, but the average patient cannot extract cannabinoids from marijuana, meaning patients who choose drugs that isolate particular cannabinoids must remain dependent on the pharmaceutical industry for their medicine.

Choosing Medical Marijuana to Treat Your Arthritis and Pain

Before trying medical marijuana for your arthritis treatment, make sure medical marijuana is legalin your state, city, and county. If medicinal marijuana remains illegal in your area, consider getting involved in local efforts to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. If it is legal, talk to your doctor about writing a recommendation for medical marijuana. Some doctors have limited experience with medical marijuana and may recommend you see a medical marijuana specialist.

Once you have a recommendation in hand, you will need to acquire your medicine. You'll need to either hire a medical marijuana caregiver or locate a medical marijuana dispensary in your area. Both options are not available in all areas, even where medical marijuana is legal. You may not have the option to use a dispensary or your medical marijuana caregiver may be forced to serve only a limited number of patients. Again, know your laws!


Disclaimer:This text is for informative purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice from a physician. Always consult your doctor before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.