Marijuana is becoming increasingly popular as one of the arthritis herbal remedies used by hundreds of thousands of the over 30 million sufferers across the United States to control the pain and other symptoms that come with the disease. Apart from being effective, marijuana has few of the side effects like nausea and lack of appetite that are associated with pharmaceutical drugs.
To appreciate how this herbal remedy helps to improve the lives of those who suffer from arthritis, you first have to understand how the ailment attacks bones, joints, and the body in general.
The human body has between two hundred and three hundred joints, depending on age and the method of counting. These joints move over one another, causing friction.
Normally, the body has a natural mechanism of minimizing the harm caused by this friction. Between two bone surfaces in a joint lies a synovial membrane or cartilage. When this membrane is destroyed or deteriorates, bare bone surfaces rub over each other, leading to chronic inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to injury. This is a very painful condition and is what arthritis is all about.
There are different types of arthritis, differentiated by the causes of the cartilage erosion. One of the most common is Rheumatoid arthritis, in which the body’s immune system malfunctions and attacks the cartilage instead of bacteria, viruses or other harmful pathogens.
The other most common cause of cartilage destruction is wear and tear due to many years of use. This latter form of arthritis is called Osteoarthritis or arthritis of the bones and is more common than the former.
Marijuana and Arthritis Herbal Remedies
All forms of arthritis, besides being sources of extreme pain, also lead to loss of joint functions and are most prevalent among the elderly. In most cases, they cannot be permanently cured but are manageable through medications and alternative remedies, of which marijuana is now one.
One of the aspects of arthritis that marijuana is used to treat is the pain. It is used either alone or alongside other medications. For instance, marijuana has been found to be effective in easing medically induced nausea and loss of appetite.
Arthritis also denies most of its victims sleep, and this exacerbates the pain. Marijuana use reduces insomnia, so patients do not spend long nights feeling and fighting pain.
As mentioned earlier, the body’s immune system is a major factor in the development of, particularly, Rheumatoid arthritis. Marijuana, especially its cannabidiol (CBD) element, can be a powerful immune modulator that is critical in protecting the cartilage from the body’s immune system. It also has anti-inflammatory effects that may help control the swelling, burning sensation and pain in the joints.
Although there are many aspects of cannabis that are not yet clear, the plant is gaining acceptance as one of the arthritis herbal remedies that are working for many patients around the globe.