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Arthritis (arthro = joint, itis = inflammation) encompasses a broad array of chronic diseases that cause inflammation in the joints or other areas of the body. Unchecked, inflammation can lead to significant, often irreparable damage resulting in loss of function and disability. Arthritis most often affects the hip, knee, spine or other weight-bearing joints, but also fingers and other non-weight-bearing joints.
Arthritis Conditions are Grouped in Two Categories:
This type affects more Canadians than all other forms of arthritis combined. It results from the body’s failed attempt to repair damaged joint tissues which occur through deterioration associated with aging, or to an injury.
A breakdown of cartilage and the resulting bone-on-bone contact can cause pain, stiffness, swelling and reduced range of movement in the affected joint(s). The joints most commonly affected by OA are the knees, hips and those in the hands and spine.
Inflammatory arthritis (IA)
Most forms of IA are also autoimmune diseases – a condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly starts to attack and break down healthy tissues. Inflammation from these conditions can result in pain, stiffness, restricted mobility, fatigue and damage to joints and other tissues.
IA includes every form of arthritis except osteoarthritis – This includes lupus, gout, (yes, these ailments are actually forms of arthritis), rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and more1)https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.
Will Cannabis Help Me With my Arthritis?
Medical cannabis is most often utilized to self-treat acute pain. As a matter of fact, an estimated two thirds of Canadians who use cannabis for medical purposes do so to help manage arthritis symptoms and it has been a recognized and legal treatment option in Canada since 20012)https://arthritis.ca/treatment/medication/medical-cannabis.
If you are considering the use of medical cannabis to ease your arthritis symptoms, first speak to you doctor or MD who specializes in the use of cannabidiols to learn if it’s suitable for you.
CBD Pain Relief Creams
CBD creams can provide relief for pain levels, but because it is absorbed directly through the skin, it is important to use the correct dosage levels. Remember, marijuana has side effects, you need to be aware of. Creams which produce a relaxed, euphoric state can provide greater relief from pain and tension. That means you will may need to avoid driving or activities that require your full alert attention.
Ingesting Cannabis for Pain Relief
Raw marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), compounds that must go through a process known as decarboxylation (from heating) to turn into the active forms, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)3)https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-weed#is-it-edible.
These technical terms simply mean cannabis must be cooked in order to receive the full effects. Although you can eat raw marijuana, which does offer some health benefits, it won’t produce the same effect as consuming marijuana that has been exposed to heat.
The Appeal of Cannabis for Arthritis
Arthritis is among the main causes of disabilities worldwide. Constant pain due to inflammation can lead to a multitude of health complications, especially as sufferers run a gamut of drugs and medications in a desperate search for pain relief. Quality of life, emotional outlook, relationships: everything can be negatively impacted when enduring pain.
Discovering How Cannabis Helps You
Since arthritis affects everyone differently, you’ll need to try a variety of combinations and consumption methods before in order to fully understand which is the very best for your body. Be sure to involve your doctor if (s)he is willing.
Pain Relief without Euphoria
Sufferers who wish to avoid the euphoric high often associated with marijuana will be encouraged to know scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University have pinpointed the effective dose of marijuana plant extract cannabidiol (CBD) for safe pain relief without the typical “high” or euphoria produced by the THC4)https://muhc.ca/newsroom/news/safe-cannabis-pain-relief-without-%E2%80%9Chigh%E2%80%9D. This and other scientific studies have cast a new light on cannabis as a secure and efficient treatment for arthritis.
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