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Benefits of Cannabis for Treating Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you may be wondering if cannabis is right for you. Only you and your physician can make that call. However, medical cannabis has been shown to ease a number of medical symptoms including nausea, muscle spasms, digestive disorders, loss of appetite, and pain and inflammation, both of which are common in patients with arthritis. Here’s a look at the benefits of using medical cannabis to treat arthritis.
Pain Relief and Inflammation
According to the Arthritis Foundation, the human body has its own pain-regulating system called the endocannabinoid system. Receptors, which are located throughout the body in nervous system tissue, joint tissue, bones and immune cells, respond to compounds known as cannabinoids. These compounds respond to certain receptors, reducing pain as a result.
As you may have guessed, cannabis contains cannabinoids. What you might not realize is that the body also creates its own endocannabinoids as part of its pain-regulating system. The plant-based cannabinoids found in cannabis are similar to the end cannabinoids produced by your body.
The two most common cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
- THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the so-called “high.”
- CBD does not produce a high, but is beneficial in reducing inflammation and easing pain.
Cannabis species have varying levels of these compounds. For example, cannabis sativa has higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD while cannabis indica has higher levels of CBD and lower THC levels. In simplified terms, for treating arthritis pain and inflammation, medical cannabis derived primarily from cannabis indica would be CBD rich. In fact, Tikun Olam’s proprietary Avidekel strain, which won the Canadian Cannabis Awards #1 Top High CBD Flower and #1 Top High CBD Oil awards, has a CBD range of 16-19 percent and a THC range of less than 1 percent. Avidekel is non-psychoactive and a popular choice for treating arthritis pain and inflammation.
Does it Work?
In 2011, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Review concluded that cannabis was safe and modestly effective in neuropathic pain and had the potential to help treat rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia pain. It also noted that cannabis was effective in improving sleep.
Also in 2011, a Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin study provided insight on cannabis’s potential in easing inflammation. The study revealed that six different cannabinoids (there are more than 80 known cannabinoids) inhibited COX-2 enzyme activity, which plays a role in arthritis-related inflammation.
A 2015 laboratory research study, The Anti-Inflammation and Anti-Pain Properties of Cannabis Extracts, examined the effects of the main strains developed by Tikun Olam on pain and inflammation compared to placebo and isolated CBD in rodents. The study, which was published in Pharmacology & Pharmacy, verified that Tikun Olam Avidekel had a strong effectiveness compared Tramadol and Aspirin and a strong reactive strength compared to pure CBD.
Avidekel is a medical cannabis strain bred and developed to maximize desirable cannabinoid traits known for their effectiveness in treating pain and reducing inflammation. Learn more at Tikun Olam California.