Medical cannabis made its legal debut in the United States when California broke ground on the topic in 1996. Legalization has since gained popularity, spreading across other U.S. states to help treat various medical issues and symptoms. One popular application of medical cannabis is pain relief. Its popularity should come as no surprise since, historically, cannabis has been used to manage pain for thousands of years.
One source of pain commonly alleviated by medical cannabis is arthritis pain. According to the CDC, 24% of American adults have arthritis, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Cannabis use for arthritis is not a new concept. Many people living with arthritis have sought pain relief through medical cannabis. An Arthritis Foundation survey found that 79% of respondents currently use, have used, or are interested in using cannabis for arthritis relief.
How to Use Medical Cannabis for Arthritis Pain — and Why It May Work
No authority currently claims medical cannabis to be a cure for arthritis itself. Nonetheless, numerous anecdotal reports indicating a link between arthritis and cannabis use have been published, with many people confirming medical cannabis offers relief from arthritis symptoms.
The Arthritis Foundation asked people with arthritis about their use of cannabidiol — or CBD. They found that of the 29% who currently use CBD to manage arthritis symptoms, 63% use it daily, and many more respondents expressed an interest in using CBD to manage their pain.
Another recent scientific survey found the most common medical condition associated with medical cannabis usage is chronic pain. Nearly 39% of the survey respondents reported pain as their primary medical condition, while 3.9% specified arthritis.
Many Americans use medical cannabis to help treat symptoms of arthritis. There are several ways to use medical cannabis for arthritis pain, including to alleviate:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Opioid reliance
- Sleep problems
Additionally, people use medical cannabis for relief from feelings of anxiety and depression. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is often linked to mental health issues. These issues most commonly manifest as anxiety and depression.
Medical cannabis is approved for use in many U.S. states. However, the scientific research on humans is still scant. To date, most of the scientific research comes from animal studies conducted in a lab setting.
Arthritis and Cannabis Use and Why It May Provide Relief
The scientific thought behind arthritis and cannabis use is well-documented. Numerous respected medical organizations have written about the potential of cannabis for pain relief.
Some scientific evidence suggests that cannabis can be used to reduce pain. Using cannabis to control pain rests upon the interaction of THC and CBD with your body’s cannabinoid receptors to reduce pain signaling and perception.
THC and CBD are two therapeutic cannabis substances that may reduce pain. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis may reduce chronic pain caused by the systemic inflammation of arthritis.
According to a review article, the results of research on medical cannabis for arthritis pain, specifically osteoarthritis pain, are promising. It can reduce osteoarthritis pain, inflammation, and nerve damage in animals. Moreover, medical cannabis substances become part of the body’s innate endocannabinoid (ECS) system, which has a major role in osteoarthritis pain relief in humans. However, more research is needed.
Few Ways to Use Medical Cannabis for Arthritis Pain
Today, you can choose from a variety of medical cannabis options to suit your needs. The most popular products include:
- Edibles and capsules
- Pre-rolled joints and flowers
- Syringes, concentrates, and tinctures
Topicals can be applied directly to reduce localized pain. Alternatively, ingested, vaped, or smoked products offer a full-body medicinal effect. The inclusion and percentage of THC and CBD can also be adjusted.
You can have control over the psychoactive ingredients of your treatment — choose how to include THC and CBD in their treatment, such as whether they wish to include, exclude, or microdose ingredients as needed.
Choosing Medical Cannabis for Arthritis Pain
In Florida, arthritis symptoms may qualify you to use medical cannabis. The first step is to speak with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and request for your medical cannabis card. Next, you should visit a medical dispensary to choose a product. However, this is the stage where people may feel overwhelmed. It’s best to consult your doctor about product types, ingredients, and dosages.
After speaking to your doctor, you may find talking with your budtender to be informative and helpful. The same product can affect people in different ways. If you are sensitive to THC or hesitant to include it, the budtender can recommend products with minimal-to-zero THC ingredients or products that offer localized pain relief without crossing the blood barrier.
Potential Side Effects of Medical Cannabis
While medical cannabis products offer a plethora of options for arthritis pain relief, it’s important to understand potential side effects. The occurrence of side effects is often linked to high THC doses. While CBD is generally tolerated in high doses, the greater the THC dose, the higher the likelihood of experiencing side effects — particularly if you aren’t used to high doses. However, even with a high THC dosage, not everyone will experience side effects in the same way.
The side effects of CBD may include a change in appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea, whereas those of THC may include increased heart rate, dry mouth, red eyes, coordination problems, reduced reaction time, memory loss, and anxiety.
Legality of Medical Cannabis Use
In the United States, though medical cannabis is not currently legal under the federal law, it has led to an impressive movement in state laws. Medical cannabis is approved for use in 32 additional states, including Florida, as well as District of Columbia. For up-to-date information on Florida’s medical cannabis laws, contact the Florida Department of Health, Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU).
Find the Best Medical Cannabis for Arthritis Pain
If you’re searching for the best medical cannabis to help ease your arthritis pain, VidaCann offers a vast selection of products to help you manage your arthritis-related symptoms.
VidaCann is one of the largest and most advanced medical cannabis providers in Florida. Our commitment to producing high-grade medical cannabis while offering store locations throughout Florida allows us to provide easy access to high-quality, all-natural products. So, browse our selection of VidaCann products online or at a VidaCann dispensary near you.