More than 350 million people across the world have it, and there are over 100 different types and related conditions. Can you guess what it is? That’s right, arthritis.
Often thought of as a disease of the elderly, arthritis can actually appear in children and young adults, as well. In fact, two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65.
Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to help manage its symptoms. As people look for more natural ways to relieve arthritis pain, many people are turning to marijuana for long-term pain relief.
What Is Arthritis?
Simply put, arthritis is joint pain or joint disease. This can cause swelling and tenderness in one joint or in multiple joints. Arthritis can be caused by age, wear and tear on the joints, and even certain autoimmune issues.
Symptoms of arthritis include:
- Swelling of the joints
- Pain in the affected joints
- Stiffness and decreased range of motion
- Redness of the skin over the joint
- Knobby-looking joints
As arthritis progresses, it can leave people with mobility issues. The stiffness and reduced range of motion can make it impossible for people with severe arthritis to participate in everyday life with ease.
Risk Factors for Arthritis
While anyone can develop arthritis, some factors may increase your chances of being diagnosed with this disease, including:
- Genetics. A family history of arthritis increases your chances.
- Your age. Although young people can get arthritis, the odds of developing it increase the older you get.
- Your gender. Arthritis is more common in women but can affect men.
- Obesity. Being overweight or obese can put increased stress on your joints, potentially leading to arthritis down the road.
Marijuana and Arthritis
Managing the pain associated with arthritis will be the sufferer’s most important tasks. Marijuana is one option that might help ease the pain arthritis sufferers deal with on a regular basis.
The compounds found in marijuana are said to have anti-inflammatory properties and pain-relieving characteristics. That’s what makes arthritis patients see potential in marijuana.
5 Cannabis Strains to Try to Treat Arthritis
For those wanting to try cannabis to see if it can help with arthritis pain, you may need to try multiple strains to find the one that works best for you. But, here are five suggestions to help you get started.
- ACDC. No, not the rock band. This unique strain is a CBD-dominant one, meaning it does not have an intoxicating effect. This makes it easier for users to go about their day. In addition to helping users feel more relaxed, ACDC could help relieve pain and even help with inflammation.
- Death Star. An indica-dominant strain, Death Star, has a high THC content, coming in around 20 percent. In addition to improving the mood of people living with arthritis, Death Star could also help repress the chronic pain related to arthritis.
- Island Sweet Skunk. A sativa-dominant strain, Island Sweet Skunk, offers users a feeling of energy and euphoria while also delivering possible pain relief. This strain is often available in CBD form, a good option for those who can’t or don’t want to smoke.
- Pink Kush. A potent strain, a little bit can go a long way, and it may be too much for beginner marijuana users. Pink Kush is indica-dominant, making it ideal for evening use. Its most reported effect is a feeling of relaxation; it is also well known for soothing pain, according to users.
- Moon Walk. This indica-dominant cannabis flower also has a high THC content, around 21 percent. It is most noted for the calming effect it has on users. It is also well-known for helping to suppress pain, as claimed by users. Moon Walk typically makes users drowsy and causes some tingly feelings in the limbs, making this strain best for evening or nighttime use.
There are still options available to help you manage your arthritis without smoking, including:
With more and more cannabis products coming on the market each year, it should be easy for users to find the right product type for arthritis relief.
Other Ways to Manage Arthritis
Using marijuana to help with arthritis pain is a great option. But, there are other things people can do to manage their arthritis, including:
- Taking pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications as recommended by your physician
- Making good lifestyle choices such as losing weight and exercising regularly
- Doing yoga or physical therapy (or both) to help improve mobility
- Using heating pads on the affected areas.
In cases of severe arthritis, a doctor may also recommend surgery. If a joint becomes bad enough, a replacement (such as a knee or hip replacement) may be done as well.
A Summary of Marijuana and Arthritis
Arthritis can affect people of all ages but occurs most frequently in older adults. It can cause stiffness, decreased range of motion, and chronic pain.
Arthritis patients have long utilized marijuana for its possible pain-relief properties. But in addition to helping relieve physical effects, marijuana can help with the emotional and mental effects of arthritis too. It helps ease anxiety and lift the spirits of those who may be stuck at home due to their disease.
In short, when combined with healthy lifestyle choices and other treatments as recommended by your doctor, marijuana could help keep arthritis pain manageable so you don’t miss out on life.