Medical Minute; Can cannabis help repair arthritic Joints?

Can Cannabis Help Repair Arthritic Joints?

As our nation’s baby boomers age, they’re facing a multitude of health-related ailments and costs. One of the most prominent concerns is the prevalence of chronic arthritis, an ailment that affects 52.5 million adults today, and that number is expected to increase to 67 million by 2030. There’s no cure for arthritis, and limited treatment options exist for the painful and limiting disease.

One alternative that’s gaining popularity among the aging population is the use of cannabis to get full-bodied pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Although arthritis is considered a qualifying condition in at least two states, there’s a remarkable lack of data and research behind the effectiveness of cannabis as a treatment alternative for arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis is an uncomfortable and often unavoidable disease that often results in severe symptoms:

  • Injuries that don’t heal properly
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and peripheral neuropathies (tingling or numbness in extremities)
  • Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the forefoot)
  • Persistent joint pain
  • Locked joints
  • Morning stiffness

A study published in the journal Rheumatology from Dr. Sheng-Ming Dai of China’s Second Military Medical University found that CB2 receptors are found in unusually high levels in the joint tissue of arthritis patients. The use of cannabis is shown to fight inflammation in the joints by activating the pathways of CB2 receptors.

Canadian researcher Dr. Jason McDougall, a professor of pharmacology and anesthesia at Dalhousie University in Halifax, has undertaken a new study to find out if medical marijuana can help repair arthritic joints and relieve pain. The study is supported by the Arthritis Society and is awarding a grant for a comprehensive, three-year study to investigate if cannabis is not just dampening the pain in the brain, but also working to fight inflammation and repair the joint itself.

When asked to describe the nerves of an arthritis sufferer, McDougall told CBC Radio’s Information Morning the following information:

“[The nerves are like] wires that have been stripped of their coating. They’re all bare, they’re all raw and responsible for feeling a lot of pain. What we hypothesize is that by locally administering these cannabis-like molecules to those nerves, we’d actually be able to repair them and reduce the pain of arthritis.”

McDougall’s research is focused on non-psychoactive cannabinoids, but so far, his findings has shown that cannabis molecules can attach themselves to nerve receptors and control the firing of pain signals in the joint. Indeed, it’s been proven in certain anecdotal circumstances, such as the case of Katie Marsh of Madawaska, Maine. A sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, she was on a prescription of prednisone and antibiotics and was encouraged by her doctors to try disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS), but the side effects were severe enough that she sought a natural way to ease her pain and swollen joints.

After seeking the advice of a physician that specializes in dietary cannabis, Marsh began juicing raw cannabis, blending it into a smoothie and consuming the whole raw plant. She began to see results almost immediately — within days, Marsh was off the prednisone and even pain killers. After 11 months of regular cannabis juicing, her condition is in remission.

Now that Health Canada has approved the study, titled the CAPRI trial (Cannabinoid Profile Investigation of Vaporized Cannabis in Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee), researchers in Halifax and Montreal are seeking volunteers over the age of 50 who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee to participate in the year study, which will be a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that involves visits to the physician and exposure to six different types of cannabis through a vaporizer, all with varying levels of THC and CBD.

Two Canadian licensed producers of medical marijuana, Aphria, Inc. and the Peace Naturals Project, contributed $100,000 each to the Arthritis Society to fund the grant, and the research project has been approved by Health Canada. Researchers hope to start the study by September, and preliminary results will be collected by the end of 2016.

If you’re interested in cannabis for arthritis, check out our list of cannabis strains that may help treat arthritis symptoms.

 

Article from:

Leafly (2017). By Lisa Rough

marijuana plant blossoming

The Best Cannabis Strains for Focus and ADD/ADHD

Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, sometimes we need a little help concentrating. You’ve probably noticed that certain varieties of cannabis help you stay focused and productive while others can send your mind completely off the rails. Finding that perfect focusing strain requires a little self-analysis first: What is it that’s impeding your concentration? Are you disengaged? Do your thoughts race? Think of the below sections as your roadmap to the right strain.

We’re still waiting for research to provide more guidance on why cannabis might or might not help someone with ADD/ADHD, but we’re limited mostly to personal anecdotes. It’s not a bad idea to try a few different strains – a high-THC strain, a low-THC strain, high-CBD, balanced THC-CBD, and so on. At the end of this list, you’ll also find some appetite-boosting, sleep-inducing strains for those of you experiencing the negative side effects of stimulant ADD/ADHD medications.

 

Strains for Mental Energy and Engagement

Sative - Cinex
Sative [CNX] Cinex
Cinex is the strain you reach for when that cup of coffee didn’t do the job. Providing wired euphoria that feeds creativity, this sativa can rekindle interest in tasks that may otherwise be a drag. Take caution with this one if you’re prone to anxiety and racing thoughts; Cinex
canturn that up in some individuals.


 

Sative - Sour Diesel
Sative [Sd] Sour Diesel
It’s famous for a reason. Sour Diesel is one of the highest-rated strains on Leafly for treatment of ADD/ADHD, quite possibly due to its ability to shine a new, engaging light on activities and tasks. Speedy euphoria lets your mind stay nimble, but remember that dosing is key. Overdoing a potent sativa like Sour Diesel can have the opposite of your desired effect.

 

Mr. Zimbardo on Leafly

“It makes your frontal lobe act in ways you could never have imagined. It’s almost like Sour Diesel is a key, a key that opens up whole realms of your mind that you were once ignorant of.”


Sative - Green Crack
Sativa [Gc] Green Crack

According to lore, this sativa was dubbed Green Crack by Snoop Dogg because its effects were so intensely stimulating. Green Crack had to make the list because, in my experience, few other strains can match its energy and focus. It sharpens the senses and brings vibrancy to the dull, all with an enticing tropical citrus flavor.

Click here to browse more strains with stimulating, focused effects.


Strains for Calming Focus

Indica - True OG
India [Tru] True OG
Sometimes what you need to concentrate isn’t a strain that speeds your brain up, it’s one that can slow the brain down. The indica-dominant True OG is touted among reviewers for knocking down stress and distractions for easier focus.

 

littleweird7 on Leafly

“Comes on kind of slowly. Is a chilling high, but you can easily focus and do things like schoolwork, cleaning, etc.”


 

Hybrid - Blueberry Headband
Hybrid [Bh] Blueberry Headband
Blueberry Headband captures the perfect synergy of its two parents. From Headband, it inherits a supercharged cerebral effect that lends a spark of creativity. The Blueberry parent softens the euphoric intensity of Headband, providing a mellow, full-body experience that allows your thoughts run at a more manageable pace.

Click here to browse more strains with relaxing, focused effects.

 

medicineman7 on Leafly

“A good herb for relaxation. Not much of a cerebral high, but what little high you do get is focused and energetic but calm. Its good to mix with some powerful indicas to even it out.”


Strains for Cognitive Clarity

Hybrid - Harle-Tsu
Hybrid [Hts] Harle Tsu

Calming physical sensations coupled with agile cerebral focus, Harlequin is another high-CBD strain that should be on your radar if concentration is hard to come by. Although this ratio can fluctuate, Harlequin typically expresses a 5:2 ratio of CBD:THC, so expect some euphoric stimulation in the mind.
Click here to browse more strains with a high CBD content.


 

Strains for ADD/ADHD Medication Side Effects*

Indica - Goo
Indica [Goo] Goo
A genetic cross between Blueberry and Hindu KushGoo provides the golden trifecta of effects for those treating ADD/ADHD: appetite, sleepiness, and focus. This strain is meant for winding down, which can be difficult if you’re prescribed psychostimulant drugs that may stunt the appetite and keep you tossing and turning at night.

 

lorax0420 on Leafly

“Currently one of my favorite strains. When my brain is too active I smoke this and it helps calm it down.”


 

Indica - Jupiter OG
Indica [JUP] Jup
Jupiter OG is another indica strain that can help restore appetite and restfulness when the side effects of your medications are at their worst. This indica may still provide a little kick of focus, but it should definitely be saved for later in the night when you’re ready to help your brain shut down.

Click here to browse more appetite-enhancing, sedating strains.

 

*Please consult with your doctor if you are being prescribed medication to treat your ADD/ADHD or another medical condition and ask if it’s advisable to supplement your regimen with medical marijuana.

Cannabis and ADD/ADHD

Sources:
Leafy