May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, and while that might be five months away, you don’t need to wait until May to start exploring pain relief options for your arthritis. In particular, our team wants to highlight medical marijuana and how it’s providing pain relief for arthritis sufferers at the Texas Herbal Clinic in Houston, Texas.
Here’s what you need to know, courtesy of Darryl Camp, MD.
Did you know there are over 100 different types of arthritis? While they all vary slightly, there is one underlying thread that ties them all together: joint inflammation and pain. Nearly any joint in your body can be affected by arthritis, but your hips, hands, shoulders, back and neck, and knees are the most common.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, and it’s caused by wear-and-tear. Other types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.
Medical marijuana can help you manage your arthritis symptoms in many ways. It can:
THC, a compound in marijuana, combats inflammation by reducing immune signaling proteins. These proteins are created cytokines, which are cells in your immune system. When cytokines are disrupted, your immune response slows down. This makes inflammatory responses slow down, too. Because joint inflammation is what causes arthritis to hurt so much, targeting your body’s inflammatory response is a great way to help manage arthritis pain.
Because of medical marijuana’s anti-inflammatory effects, you can expect a reduction of arthritis pain. Less inflammation equals less pain. Studies show that you can achieve pain relief from medical marijuana, and the best pain-relieving dose is the dose where you feel pain relief with minimal side effects.
According to a 2020 study, researchers determined that a compound in marijuana, cannabinoid (CBD), reduces the production of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. These synovial fibroblasts are molecules that promote cartilage deterioration. If the rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblast production slows down, then the cartilage deterioration slows down. When cartilage deterioration slows down, your joint functions better.
Arthritis pain, or any pain for that matter, can increase your stress levels. Medical marijuana can help reduce your stress levels by reducing your cortisol levels (your stress hormone) and by helping you manage your pain.
Less pain leads to better sleep! According to the Sleep Foundation, medical marijuana can help you get a good night of sleep. This is true for individuals with any chronic pain condition, including arthritis.
Don’t wait until May to do something about your arthritis. If arthritis is affecting your quality of life, book your consultation to find out if medical marijuana is right for you.
Want to learn more about the Medical Marijuana program in Texas? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.