Can cannabis help with arthritis?

Arthritis is an unpleasant and often unavoidable disease that often leads to severe symptoms. Studies show that cannabis helps with arthritis and its symptoms.

cannabis and arthritis

Arthritis is a term commonly used to describe any condition that affects the joints.There are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common types are osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually occurs with age and affects the fingers, knees and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that often affects the hands and feet. Other types include gout, lupus, fibromyalgia and septic arthritis. They are all types of rheumatic diseases. Symptoms usually include joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling and limited mobility of the affected joints. In some types of arthritis, other organs are also affected. The onset may be gradual or sudden.

Arthritis is an unpleasant and often unavoidable disease that often leads to severe symptoms:

  • Injuries that do not heal properly
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and peripheral neuropathies (tingling or numbness in the extremities)
  • Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the forefoot)
  • Persistent joint pain
  • Blocked joints
  • Morning stiffness
  • A study published in the journal Rheumatology by Dr Sheng-Ming Dai of China’s Second Military Medical University found that CB2 receptors are present in unusually high concentrations in the joint tissue of arthritis patients. Cannabis use has been shown to fight inflammation in joints by activating CB2 receptors.

The baby boomers are getting older and facing a host of health complaints and costs. One of the biggest problems is the prevalence of chronic arthritis, a condition that now affects 52.5 million adults and is expected to increase to 67 million by 2030. Arthritis has no cure and there are few treatments for this painful and limiting disease.


One alternative that is gaining popularity among the ageing population is the use of cannabis to provide comprehensive pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Although arthritis is a recognised disease in at least two states, there is a notable lack of data and research on the effectiveness of cannabis as a treatment alternative for arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Canadian researcher Dr Jason McDougall, professor of pharmacology and anaesthesiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, has conducted a new study to find out if medical marijuana can help repair arthritic joints and relieve pain. The study is supported by the Arthritis Society and is awarding a grant for a comprehensive, three-year study to see if cannabis not only dulls pain in the brain, but also fights inflammation and repairs the joint itself.

When asked to describe the nerves of an arthritis patient, McDougall gave CBC Radio’s Information Morning the following information:

“[The nerves are like] wires that have been stripped of their sheathing. They’re all naked, they’re all raw, and they’re responsible for a lot of pain. We hypothesise that by locally delivering these cannabis-like molecules to these nerves, we would be able to repair them and reduce the pain of arthritis.”

McDougall’s research focuses on non-toxic cannabinoids, but so far his findings have shown that cannabis molecules can attach to nerve receptors and control the firing of pain signals in the joint. Indeed, this has been demonstrated in certain anecdotal circumstances, as in the case of Katie Marsh from Madawaska, Maine. She suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, was prescribed prednisone and antibiotics, and was encouraged by her doctors to try disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS), but the side effects were so severe that she sought a natural way to relieve her pain and swollen joints.

After seeking advice from a doctor specialising in dietary cannabis, Marsh began juicing raw cannabis, blending it into a smoothie and consuming the whole raw plant. It showed first results almost immediately – within a few days Marsh was able to stop taking prednisone and even painkillers. After 11 months of regularly taking cannabis juices, her disease is in remission.

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Published by Sakul

  1. Cannabis is an all-powerful medicine, so it really helps.

    My grandmother has arthritis and she takes cannabis, she feels much better.

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