Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Are Using Medical Marijuana — Here’s Why

Tuesday, Jun 6, 2017

As the greying of America occurs, more and more baby boomers are retiring, and the country is facing a deluge of health-related costs from its aging population.

Chief among those costs is the burden of treating chronic arthritis — a painful, common joint disease for which there is no cure and limited treatment options.

But the greying of America is coinciding with a revolution in the understanding of how medical cannabis works on arthritis pain.

There is a large body of both pre-clinical and patient-reported support for the use of cannabinoid therapy for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A few clinical trials also exist. The active ingredients in marijuana —“cannabinoids” like THC and CBD — work to suppress immune system over-activity, and this type of over-activity causes the inflammation and pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease associated with cartilage degradation resulting in multiple forms of pain including neuropathic pain — one of cannabinoids’ chief indications.