Arthritis refers to joint pain/inflammation or joint disease of which there are many different types. There are two main types of arthritis:
Rheumatoid Arthritis: when the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, which then becomes inflamed and swollen.
Osteoarthritis: the most common form of arthritis, a degenerative condition caused by aging bones, obesity, or injury.
Symptoms my come and go, as well as be mild or severe, and can cause permanent joint changes including: joint swelling, pain, stiffness, redness, tenderness and warmth; fatigue; decreased range of motion.
Cannabis has shown to be beneficial to those suffering with any form of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its regulation of pain. People suffering from RA find it alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and aids with sleep. With the use of cannabis, patients have reduced or even eliminated their use of pharmaceutical drugs, which means eliminating the negative side effects and risks that come with them.
Although there is no treatment of osteoarthritis, through its pain regulation and anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis can improve the overall quality of life.
A combination of THC and CBD is most effective, subject to time of usage as well as pain intensity. Strains higher in CBD help with pain management and inflammation throughout the day without any psychoactive effects. Strains with higher THC are much stronger analgesics and are better suited for the night as they help with sleep as well as pain, but they do have a temporary psychoactive effect. Microdosing with tinctures with trace amounts of THC can be used throughout the day as they provide more pain relief than just CBD, but still allow for a clear head.
Treatment can also include a combination of methods such as inhalation, edibles and topical use. Inhalation delivers rapid pain relief although it does not last as long. When smoking, strains with the terpenes caryophyllene and myrcene will work synergistically with the cannabinoids to alleviate more pain. Topicals can be placed on the hands or superficial joints where the creams can penetrate deep enough to reach the arthritic joint. Tinctures can provide longer lasting relief and can be microdosed throughout the day to provide relief from deep joint pain.