Arthritis is a debilitating category of disease that afflicts millions of people across the globe. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for arthritis so those who suffer from this condition are forced to take any number of medications to help treat the symptoms. For some arthritis patients, especially those who favor natural medicines, cannabis might be the right choice. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the symptoms of arthritis, their causes and how cannabis is able to provide relief.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a blanket term that is used to categorize over 200 rheumatic diseases that impair the body’s joints and nearby tissue. These nasty diseases cause pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints that can be debilitating. The pain and joint stiffness can make simple acts like opening a jar, walking to a few blocks or just standing up unbearably painful. The symptoms don’t stop there. Rheumatoid Arthritis can symptoms can also include, numbing and tingling in hands and feet, eye problems and gastrointestinal issues. Not only are the symptoms of this disease vast, but so are the numbers of afflicted by it.
Who’s Affected by Arthritis?
Roughly 350 million people worldwide suffer from arthritis, an inflammatory condition that afflicts the joints. In the US 50 million adults, or 1 in 5 people over 18, have been diagnosed by a doctor with this disease. Far from being a solely age based disease, nearly 300,000 children suffer from arthritis. In addition, arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States. As you can see, the impact of this debilitating group of disorders is widespread. Fortunately, research is starting to show that cannabis can play a safe and effective role in managing arthritis. Let’s take a look at how marijuana can ease the symptoms of this inflammatory condition.
How Cannabis Eases Arthritis
Cannabis is able to have a potent therapeutic effect on various forms of arthritis. Medical Marijuana is able to do this by acting on the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is made up of two types of receptors, CB1 and CB2, along with its own natural cannabinoid compounds and the enzymes that break those down. CB1 sites are most concentrated throughout the brain, nervous system and also organ like the liver, lungs and kidneys. CB2 sites, on the other hand, are focused in the gut and immune system. Signaling at CB2 sites can help with irritable bowels and diseases related to the immune system.
When your body’s natural cannabinoids bind to these receptor sites they signal the body to reduce pain, inflammation. This is a huge part of how your body maintains balance. However, this isn’t always enough, especially, for those that suffer from diseases like arthritis. By consuming cannabis, your body receives a rush of plant based cannabinoids that are also able to bind to these sites and supplement your endocannabinoid system. This is why cannabis is able to relieve pain, calm inflammation and relieve irritable bowels. Since arthritis is a painful, inflammatory condition cannabis can be an excellent choice to manage the disease because it relieves a majority of symptoms. Having one medicine that is able to help with the entire condition helps to keep things nice and simple.