Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the lining of the joints. Not only does this cause pain and deformation in the joints, it can also affect other parts of the body. In fact, up to 40% of people with RA experience symptoms in places other than their joints, including skin, lungs, bone marrow, nerve tissue, and heart.
1.5 million people in the United States have RA, and about 75% of those are women. The average age of onset is between 30 and 60 years old. The effects of RA, including pain, changes in physical function, and stress, have been shown to reduce people’s quality of life.
Can Marijuana Help?
Before we can dig into that question, let’s break down two of the key components of marijuana: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). These are both cannabinoids, two of the naturally occurring substances found in cannabis plants. There are at least 60 different cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are important because scientists have discovered that the human body has an endocannabinoid system. This means that part of the way your body keeps itself in a healthy balance is by producing its own cannabinoids. There are receptors for these molecules all over the body. Much of the current research on the endocannabinoid system is looking into how cannabinoids such as THC and CBD can help regulate and support this system.
What is THC?
This is probably the cannabinoid people are the most familiar with. It’s the one that produces the high that comes with marijuana use. It also shows promise as a sleep aid.
How about CBD?
CBD is another important cannabinoid. It doesn’t have the psychoactive properties of THC, but it has been widely studied for possible health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, immune regulation, anti-anxiety, and more.
So can marijuana help with RA? The evidence looks promising. There is scientific research suggesting that THC and CBD may reduce pain, even in difficult to treat cases. They have even shown promise in treating RA pain specifically. Anyone who has lived with chronic pain knows how vital pain control is.
But pain control isn’t all they offer. They may also reduce inflammation and even positively impact the immune system. Scientists are studying how these cannabinoids may help regulate the immune system, which would help treat inflammatory diseases. There even seems to be cannabinoid receptors in the joints of people with RA that may reduce inflammation. Much of this research was done using either CBD alone or a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC.
Medical vs. recreational marijuana
When choosing between medical and recreational marijuana, the choice comes down to the results you want. As the name would suggest, recreational marijuana is optimized for enjoyment, with a higher amount of THC. However, if you are looking for the health benefits of both THC and CBD, medical marijuana has a more balanced proportion of the two. Given the documented importance of CBD for health, this is the preferred marijuana for people with medical issues. For people who want the CBD without the psychoactive properties of THC, there are CBD products that are made from hemp. Hemp is a cannabis plant like marijuana, but it has less than 0.3% THC, so CBD that is sourced from hemp has negligible amounts of THC.
Trill Cannabis Centers Products
Trill Cannabis Centers have a wide variety of products to meet any cannabis need. For those who are looking for CBD products, Trill Pills contain a whole plant extract of hemp in coconut oil.
If you’re interested in medical marijuana, we have a wide range of options on our medical menu. Not only are there many different strains of medical marijuana available, there are also different ways of consumption. As well as smoking marijuana, there are also extracts, resins, and edibles. People often find that inhaled forms of marijuana have a faster effect, while edibles last longer. The best way to figure out what works best for you is to experiment.
Many people who live with RA have found relief from medical marijuana. If you would like to try this all-natural approach to reduce pain and inflammation, we invite you to take a look at what we have to offer. Trill Cannabis Centers were born out of a desire to educate and help. Come and see us in either Denver or Boulder, or check out our website for more information.