If you suffer from joint pain, you’ve likely been frustrated by the limited and somewhat contrary options presented by your doctor: Rest, in the case of temporary inflammation; exercise, to gain some relief from chronic conditions like arthritis; or receive steroidal injections or pain-relieving medications that may cause serious side-effects or be addictive.
Or perhaps you’ve gone online to research your symptoms and come across websites selling joint health supplements that make dubious unsubstantiated claims about their benefits.
But despite the growing availability of medical marijuana in the U.S., you likely haven’t been informed or discovered that cannabis products may provide a safe and effective alternative pain treatment for what ails you.
Note the use of the word “may” in the last sentence. It’s important to realize that joint pain has a variety of causes and can itself be a symptom of something else, as in the case of some auto-immune diseases.
CBD and THC for pain
That said, there is a growing body of evidence that the key natural ingredients in cannabis – THC and CBD – are effective at reducing inflammation and decreasing the pain associated with inflammatory-related diseases.
Even the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, acknowledges that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) another molecule found in cannabis, combined in animal studies to produce “inhibition of pain pathway signaling … and anti-inflammatory effects.”
While such studies have not been done on humans, the agency noted in a 2017 report named: Is cannabis an effective treatment for joint pain? “the preclinical and human data that do exist indicate that the use of cannabis should be taken seriously as a potential treatment of joint pain.”
Cannabis vs opioids
Of equal importance to its effectiveness at a time when the scourge of opioids is devastating lives around the nation, is the safety of cannabis products.
A 2017 study by researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and elsewhere published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal found that cannabis “greatly reduces the chance of dependence and eliminates the risk of fatal overdose compared to opioid-based medications.”
It went on to note that patients reported that cannabis was often more effective than opioid-based medications in alleviating their pain.
Yet another study, this one from researchers from the University of South Carolina in 2014, found that THC dampens the immune system and deactivates inflammatory proteins.
Cannabis for joint pain
Americans suffering from joint pain are getting the message. According to a 2017 study, 92 percent would choose cannabis over opioid medication, saying cannabis for joint pain, works just as well and with fewer side effects.
As is always the case when it comes to your health, it pays to learn as much as you can before deciding whether you want to try a treatment that remains outside the medical mainstream.
Greenlight Approved is a consumer education platform dedicated to “guiding the cannabis curious.” We believe when you start something new, it’s best to start slow. Gather all the information you can to make a safe informed decision. Let Greenlight Approved be your guide so your first experience with cannabis is an educated, safe and positive one. Let us direct you to premium product and brand options as well as participating retailers near you, at www.greenlightapproved.com.