Arthritis is characterized by the abrupt or gradual development of inflammation and stiffness around one or more joints. One treatment alternative gaining popularity is medical marijuana for arthritis. It provides full-bodied pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 53 million Americans struggle with arthritis, which is an umbrella term used to describe more than 200 different rheumatic diseases that affect our joints and their surrounding tissues.
What Is Arthritis?
Although arthritis is more common in seniors, the appearance of arthritic symptoms can severely impair the ability of patients of any age. In the United States alone, arthritis is one of the most common causes of disability and associated with high levels of stress and depression in patients.
Genetics typically play a part in the appearance of arthritis, as does obesity, joint damage, various infections, and occupations requiring repetitive bending and squatting. Though a combination of factors causes most rheumatoid diseases, dysfunction from within your immune system, or an abnormal metabolism can also lead to certain forms of arthritis.
Types of arthritis
- Inflammatory arthritis occurs when a patient’s joints become suddenly and painfully inflamed for no apparent reason.
- Degenerative or mechanical arthritis happens when the body tries remodeling the bone to restore stability. Osteoarthritis is an example.
- Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain occurs when a patient feels pain in the tissues rather than joints or bones, affecting overused body parts. “Tennis elbow” is an example.
- Back pain is an unspecified pain typically associated with muscles, discs, nerves, ligaments, bones, or joints in the back. Osteoporosis is an example.
- Connective tissue disease occurs when the pain in tendons, ligaments, and cartilage is characterized by inflammation of the skin, muscles, lungs, and kidneys.
- Infectious arthritis is when inflammation in a joint is caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Antibiotics can usually treat it. Examples of causes of infectious arthritis include food poisoning, STDs, and Hepatitis C.
- Metabolic arthritis occurs when too much uric acid causes the formation of sharp crystals in a joint that causes sudden, excruciating pain. Gout is an example.
When it comes to treating arthritis, prescribed analgesics like Tylenol, Percocet, or Vicodin may be used to reduce pain, along with topical creams containing menthol or capsaicin. Patients also take Advil, Motrin, Aleve, and other over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is treated medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that work to prevent a patient’s immune system from attacking inflamed joints. Corticosteroids like prednisone and cortisone are also prescribed to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system’s response to inflammation.
Medical Marijuana for Arthritis Relief
Despite the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug by the federal government, a modern scientific consensus has emerged regarding the therapeutic value of medical marijuana for arthritis based on a growing body of successful clinical and preclinical studies.
These studies have shown cannabis to have anti-inflammatory effects that can help arthritis patients live happier and healthier lives. Researchers have found that medical marijuana can ease pain and reduce swelling for arthritis patients—without the life-threatening side effects caused by frequent NSAID and opiate use.
At a time when opiate abuse has reached epidemic proportions both in the US and abroad, cannabis treatment is proving to be a far less harmful and addictive treatment method for those struggling with the chronic pain associated with arthritis.
As more professionals from within the medical industry recognize the therapeutic value of cannabis, the public has become more receptive to medical marijuana treatment as well. As of June 2017, more than half the states in the US have legal medical marijuana laws on the books while five states and Washington D.C. have effectively decriminalized cannabis consumption by adults by June 2017.
Get the Strain That’s Right for You at Las Vegas ReLeaf
If you have been suffering from arthritis pain and are looking for a safe, legal alternative to NSAIDs or painkillers, talk to one of our budtenders. The products and releaf you need are just a conversation away. Find out how you can become a medical marijuana patient today.