There are over 100 different types of arthritis, but they all cause pain and swelling of the joints. Those who suffer from arthritis also experience stiffness and a decreased range of motion. When symptoms become severe enough, they interfere greatly with one's daily activities. The most common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, infections arthritis, and gout. Current treatments involve medications that relieve pain and swelling, physical therapy, and surgery, but research suggests cannabis should be added to the list due to its anti-arthritic effects and ability to manage pain and inflammation.
Preclinical trials reveal cannabis can reduce the damage arthritis causes. In one animal trial, CBD blocked the progression of arthritis. Researchers found CBD projects joints from damage and offers potent anti-arthritic effects. More recently, researchers found cannabinoids prevented osteoarthritis from progressing by inhibiting protease, which is associated with degradation of joint cartilage. Additionally, studies on mice with osteoarthritis have shown synthetic cannabinoids offer anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, thereby reducing joint damage. One study found cannabis-based medicine reduced pain during joint movement, reduced pain at rest, and improved quality of sleep for patients suffering rheumatoid arthritis. Lastly, studies have shown both CBD and THC are capable of managing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
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