Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative join disease, wears down the protective cartilage on the ends of bones, commonly within the joints of the knees, hips, hands, and spine. Osteoarthritis causes pain during or after movement, joint tenderness and stiffness, decreased flexibility, a grating sensation, and sometimes swollen joints. Damage from osteoarthritis is irreversible, so many treatments focus on slowing the progression of the disease and managing pain. Cannabis has been found to reduce joint pain and damage.
While research surround cannabis and osteoarthritis is limited, studies have found cannabis has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, and the endocannabinoid system alleviates osteoarthitis pain. In one animal trial, CBD halted the progression of arthritis. Researchers also found CBD protects joints from severe damage. Another animal trial on mice with osteoarthritis found cannabinoids provide anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, which reduced joint damage. Another animal study found CB1 receptor activation reduced pain sensitivity in the osteoarthritic knee joints of rats, and another animal study found activating the CB2 receptor reduced pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis.
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