Feature Article: August 2020 – Five Ways Medical Marijuana Can Be Useful for Inflammation

Five Ways Medical Marijuana Can Be Useful for Inflammation

Crystal Willson

For many years people have rejoiced that marijuana has calming and intoxicating effects, but now researchers across the globe have put forth numerous medicinal effects of the herb. Moreover, many other people are appreciating these effects as well. For many patients, medical marijuana provides the relief they need to enjoy a pain-free life.

Many astonishing new aspects of the plant are continuously cropping up. For example, people are rapidly learning about its anti-inflammatory properties. Considering the damaging effects of NSAIDs used for inflammation, researchers have started looking into an exciting treatment alternative – Medical Marijuana. Fortunately, many states have approved medical marijuana as therapy for several disorders from inflammation.

Scientists have also labeled Cannabis as an anti-inflammatory drug, owing to its novel window of opportunity to treat inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Here, we discuss how medical marijuana can help you combat inflammation.

Inflammation and Medical Marijuana

A part of our autoimmune system, inflammation is a reaction to injury or illness. Some of the diseases that cause inflammation are Otitis media – infection of the middle ear, Bronchitis — bronchial inflammation, Dermatitis — skin inflammation, and Cystitis — bladder inflammation.

Inflammation is not a major problem, but persistent inflammation is. Inflammation for an extended period may eventually lead to many serious conditions and diseases, including Psoriatic arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and even some types of cancer. The lines of treatment include exercise, diet, medications, and surgery. In the case of arthritis, medicines are needed to boost the damaged autoimmune system to treat inflammation.

Medical Marijuana is one of the recently accepted alternate lines of treatment for certain inflammatory conditions and diseases. Since it contains cannabinoids including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), medical marijuana is found to be effective at both reducing the pain associated with inflammatory-related conditions and decreasing chronic inflammation. Although the benefits are numerous, make sure to pick a suitable strain before you mail order marijuana.

So, how does it fight inflammation?

Medical marijuana triggers two receptors — the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) present in your body’s endocannabinoid system. First, it activates the CB2 receptors, which reduces the production of cytokine (pro-inflammatory signal substance) to decrease the immune cell mobilization. Secondly, it activates the CB1 receptors, which influence the perception of inflammation in the joints and other lymphoid organs.

To summarize, medical marijuana might treat inflammation and reduce pain by controlling the inflammatory actions in association with the endocannabinoid system. Now, let’s know more about the five ways medical marijuana can be useful in fighting inflammation.

  1. It Can Reduce Joint Pain/Arthritis

Medical marijuana is well-known and used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The constant joint swelling that occurs in this condition makes the everyday movements very painful. Marijuana, on the other hand, reduces the inflammation by targeting the pain and improving the range of motion.

According to a study (1), CBD helped those suffering from osteoarthritis. It helped in the protection of the nerves from future stressors and decreased joint inflammation. Another study (2) revealed that patients treated with medical cannabis reported decreased pain intensity.

2. Can Relieve Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD affects millions around the world. It is an autoimmune disease that affects people over the age of 45 that can become apparent at any time, even if you’ve led a healthy life.

The primary cause of IBD is inflammation. Intestinal swelling causes bloating, gas, and other gastrointestinal problems that can be embarrassing and painful. Medical marijuana works as an anti-inflammatory and relieves the pain. It can heal people struggling with IBD to regain control and normalcy in their lives.

3. Might Reduce Diabetes-Related Pain

Diabetes stems from high blood glucose and a loss of insulin sensitivity, chronic inflammation, and increased risk of infection. CBD, being a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, may alleviate peripheral neuropathic pain and neuroinflammation arising from nerve damage in the extremities commonly observed in people with diabetes.

Also, some people found that THC cannabinoids can reduce diabetes-related pain. A study (3) revealed that inhaling marijuana flowers can reduce diabetic neuropathic pain.

4. Can Treat Skin Problems

Skin problems like acne and psoriasis are two of the most common conditions that are caused due to inflammation. Acne is an overproduction of sebum and swelling of the pores. While psoriasis is triggered by the overactivation of the immune system.

CBD offers a safer and more effective option for acne and psoriasis. It has a proven record of being effective at reducing inflammation and promoting healing, especially cystic acne. Cannabis alleviates psoriasis by regulating the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system.

5. Might Improve Mental Health

A variety of mental illnesses stem from chronic inflammation. It is the cytokines (immune system proteins) that begin and organize an inflammatory attack on foreign invaders. These cytokines are also responsible for sickness behaviors such as loss of appetite, fatigue, sleep disruptions, and depression.

Depression is the most common condition that accompanies people with chronic inflammation. Inflammation also causes anxiety and other mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or obsessive-compulsive disorder. CBD can alleviate conditions like anxiety and depression.

Conclusion

Now that you know how CBD works in the treatment of inflammation, you should also know the perfect way to take medical marijuana or cannabis. Some tips include:

  • Start with minimal doses
  • Track how your body responds to a specific dose.
  • Many methods are available for the ingestion of marijuana including vaping, CBD oil, CBD edibles, or tinctures

Marijuana certainly treats inflammation from many autoimmune diseases. So, if chronic inflammation is bothering you, and you have tried other treatments, medical marijuana just may be the perfect fit for you.

References:

  1. D.C. Hammell, L.P. Zhang, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis, 2015 Oct 30. doi: 10.1002/ejp.818.
  1. Mark A. Ware, MBBS, Tongtong Wang, PhD, et al. Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial, 2010 Oct 5. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.091414.
  1. Mark S. Wallace, MD,1 Thomas D. Marcotte, PhD, et al. Efficacy of Inhaled Cannabis on Painful Diabetic Neuropathy, 2015 Apr 3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2015.03.008.

 

Crystal Willson, Content Strategist-CBD Health, is a full-time content marketing specialist. She has been closely monitoring the cannabis industry trends for quite some time. She has worked in various domains before the cannabis industry. On her off days, she likes to spend her time with her family, lift weights, and reading novels.

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