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Fifty million Americans have some form of arthritis. This painful condition is not only painful but it’s also the leading cause of disability in the United States.
Depending on the severity, arthritis can make day-to-day life extremely difficult. Unfortunately, many of the current treatments are not enough.
CBD oil provides powerful pain relief for arthritis suffers without dangerous side effects. This article explains how marijuana can be used to find relief from arthritis pain.
What is arthritis
Arthritis is a common disease among the elderly, but it can happen to people of any age. When it does, it can have a major negative impact on quality of life.
Arthritis (from the Greek word arthron, for joint) is a well-known disease, that leads to painful joint stiffness and inflammation. There are more than a hundred types of arthritis, and with more than 50 million sufferers, it’s the most common disability in the US.
What causes arthritis
There are many risk factors for arthritis. These include being overweight, a previous injury (such as tearing the ACL), or a family history of arthritis. Injury or an infection can also cause arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis
The most common symptoms of arthritis are joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Those symptoms can be consistent, or they can fluctuate. They can be mild, or severe. They can progress over time, or stay stable. At its worst, arthritis can even make it difficult for a person to engage in daily activities.
Types of arthritis
There are four primary types of arthritis:
Degenerative arthritis – is the most common type, also known as osteoarthritis. The cartilage between bones wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other. Over time, the joints lose strength, leading to chronic pain.
Inflammatory arthritis – occurs when the body tries to protect itself. The immune system often generates inflammation to prevent infection. However, sometimes, the body makes a mistake and causes unnecessary inflammation, eventually leading to joint erosion or even damaging internal organs and eyes.
Infectious arthritis – is caused by bacteria, fungus, or a virus triggering inflammation. The infection can enter the body in a wide range of manners, such as through food poisoning, sexually transmitted diseases, or a blood infection. It can often be treated with antibiotics, but sometimes it can be chronic.
Metabolic arthritis – happens when the body creates too much uric acid. The naturally occurring acid is produced when the body breaks down purines, but too much of it can build up and form crystalline structures in the joints, leading to pain or even disability.
Current treatments for arthritis
There is some potential for mitigating the symptoms of mild arthritis through lifestyle choices, such as staying in shape, using heat and cold treatments, and making sure to give muscles enough rest.
There are also other physical therapies available for arthritis. These include hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy, all of which can help your body put less pressure on your joints and relieve pain.
Additionally, there are a wide range of prescription drug therapies for arthritis. In the case of inflammatory arthritis, if the treatment is prescribed early enough, it can prevent long-term damage. In most other cases, the drugs simply treat the symptoms of the disease, rather than making any effort to heal the arthritis.
Some doctors prescribe painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroids. While these drugs can be helpful, they all come with side effects. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, all of which have a major impact on your long-term health. Steroids can lead to osteoporosis, further degrading your bone health.
If arthritis gets bad enough, surgical joint replacement might be needed. That puts the individual at risk for a wide range of potential complications from surgery. It also guarantees side effects of the time necessary to recover. On top of that, your joint replacement may not last for your entire life, and additional surgeries may be required in the future.
CBD as a treatment for arthritis
If you want a simple, natural treatment for your arthritis, CBD oil might be the answer. CBD is a naturally occurring ingredient in the cannabis plant that does not lead to a high. It’s been found to reduce pain and inflammation. But, you don’t have to take our word for it. Researchers have considered the potential uses of CBD to treat arthritis and found very promising results:
Cannabinoid CB2 receptors and osteoarthritis of the knee joint
This fascinating study created arthritis-like symptoms in rats and mice. They then treated these rodents with either an injection of a cannabinoid or saline (a placebo). After a week, the behavior of the rodents receiving cannabinoid injections varied drastically from those that weren’t. They were more comfortable putting weight on the affected limb and could move around more easily. Plus, those effects lasted throughout the study. This shows that the use of cannabis in rats can influence the amount of pain they feel, and suggests that the same goes for human.
Sativex for rheumatoid arthritis pain
This study looked at the effects of cannabis on humans who suffer from arthritis. The 58 patients were split into two groups, either receiving a cannabis-based medicine or a placebo. Over the course of the study, those who took the cannabis slept better and felt less pain overall. Plus, they didn’t experience any negative withdrawal effects, which shows that the medicine could be successfully used without causing addiction.
CBD vs THC
There are two main ingredients in marijuana. These are cannabidiol (or CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). Both ingredients are cannabinoids, and both can be found in most marijuana plants, but in different concentrations. Because they have a different impact on the human body, it’s important to understand the difference between the two compounds.
THC is a psychoactive ingredient that helps reduce pain and inflammation but also causes the high associated with marijuana use. Most strains are high in THC; however, these strains are not always best for medicinal users because of the potential to cause anxiety or hunger. Many patients choose a strain that also includes CBD to reduce these side effects
CBD is non-psychoactive and works to counteract the potential side effects of THC, such as anxiety or sleepiness. You won’t get high, or tired from consuming CBD, and you can receive similar relief. Because it is non-psychoactive, CBD oil is a safe way to treat arthritis. In fact, CBD oil, and CBD-only strains are used to treat young children, for this reason.
How to take medical marijuana for arthritis
If you want to take medical marijuana, there are a few different ways to do it. It is all based on what you prefer, and there are different benefits to each. Try out a few methods to see which way you like best.
One popular option is smoking, which involves heating the plant to a high point and then inhaling the smoke through a pipe or joint. This method is cheap and delivers instant results, but the smoke can cause lung damage, and people around can smell the marijuana.
Vaporizing, or vaping, does not make you smell and is easier on the lungs. This technique uses a machine (these range in prices) to heat up the dried cannabis or cannabis extract to the point that you can inhale its vapors. Vaporizers are available in a variety of sizes, including portable and pocket-sized.
Edibles are an extremely popular way to ingest marijuana, since it can be baked into a wide variety of foods, including cookies, ice cream, crackers, chocolate bars, and more. The dosage will take longer to kick on (so, be sure to wait and not eat more than recommended) but the effects will also last longer.
There are other, less popular, options available as well. These include sprays, patches, suppositories, topicals, teas, and even eating the plant raw. While the three methods explained above are the most popular, you might find that one of these works better for you depending on your preferences.
Grow your own medical marijuana
The use of marijuana for treating arthritis and other diseases is becoming more popular and more widely understood. If you’ve been struggling with joint pain for years, or if you are just beginning to, growing your own medicine may be a great way of ensuring a constant supply of getting some relief without all the negative side effects of other pharmaceuticals.
You can grow your own marijuana to help ease your arthritis.
It’s easy to do, simply start by ordering some seeds. There are many different strains, each with a unique effect on the body, so choose one that is high in CBD to treat arthritis. Some great strains include Afghan and California Dream.
Once you have your seeds, learn how to grow the most marijuana by visiting our blog or forum. A single plant can provide supply powerful pain relief for weeks – if not months.
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The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]