Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the types of arthritis that primarily affects the joints. These are swollen, very painful and feel warm and stiff. The joints that are affected are typically on both sides of the body.
The most common symptom in RA is pain in the joints. This can occur in small joints, like those of the hands, feet and cervical spine, or in larger joints like the shoulder and knee. Besides mainly affecting the joints of the body, AR can also lead to complications of the skin, lungs, kidneys, heart and blood vessels.
AR seems to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The underlying mechanism involves the body’s immune system attacking the joints resulting in inflammation and pain.
THC and CBD have both shown to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effectsviii. Additionally, CBD has demonstrated anti-arthritic potential in murine collagen-induced arthritisix.
Due to the workings of both cannabinoids on the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a 1:1 THC:CBD strain is a good start for patients. Also called “medical” strains offer a good balance and CBD also lessens the psychotropic effects of THC.
Suggested methods of use are diluted extract in vegetable oil (drops make titration easier), tinctures and the use of a vaporiser.
Salves made of cannabis are also applied topically directly on the place of where the pain originates and offer immediate relief. Coconut oil extracts out of cannabis roots have also been shown to be extremely effective. Cannabis roots do not contain any cannabinoids but do contain several alkaloids. These are in very small amounts but the “entourage” effect of all these compounds has an immediate effect on pain and reduces inflammation.
Research and anecdotal evidence has also shown, that patients are able to reduce or totally get rid of their usage of potentially harmful Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) when regularly using cannabis.