5 Best Cannabis Strains for Pain Caused by Arthritis
In the U.S. arthritis is the most common form of disability. Medical cannabis is slowly penetrating the market gaining acknowledgment as an effective medical treatment. But before we explain the benefits of marijuana as a treatment, let’s understand a little bit about arthritis.
Arthritis is so common that it affects 350 million people worldwide and around 40 million people in the States.
Arthritis is so common that it affects 350 million people worldwide and around 40 million people in the States. Out of those, 2.1 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis which is apparently the most common form of the disease worldwide.
Most people think that arthritis is just about the aches and pains associated with getting older. However, that is far from the truth. Two-thirds of people who suffer are under the age of 65. Also, there are hundreds if not thousands of children worldwide who suffer from some form of arthritis.
Arthritis: What Is This Medical Condition?
Arthritis is a term that describes a group of diseases that affect the joints in our body. Some forms of arthritis will even affect your connective tissues and organs, including your skin.
Those that have arthritis will often experience:
- Swollen or stiff joints
- Reddish joints that are tender and warm
- Mobility problems
- Finding it hard to do everyday tasks
There are different types of arthritis. The most common forms are osteoarthritis, which is a form of degenerative arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, which falls under the category of inflammatory arthritis.
Over time, the cushioning surface on the ends of the bones wears away, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. As time goes by these pains may become chronic. Aging and excessive weight often cause degenerative arthritis, and it is potentially hereditary. Severe cases of degenerative arthritis may lead to chronic pain resulting in limited mobility and affecting the quality of life. Degenerative arthritis is preventable by staying active and maintaining a healthy diet.
Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are examples of inflammatory arthritis. This type of arthritis appears when the body’s immune system is not able to fight off infections and diseases by generating controlled inflammation. Instead, the body goes haywire with uncontrolled inflammation. The inflammation causes joint erosion and can damage internal organs. With any inflammatory arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are critical.
A virus or fungus enters the body and triggers inflammation, resulting in infectious arthritis. Salmonella, Shigella, chlamydia, and hepatitis C are examples of infections that can lead to arthritis.
The high levels of uric acid that humans naturally produce cause metabolic arthritis. Uric acid is formed as the body breaks down purines, a substance found in many foods and human cells. In cases where the body produces high levels of Uric acid, it forms crystals in the joints. The result is joint pain.
What Are the Main Causes of Arthritis?
Most forms of arthritis remain a mystery to most doctors. However, studies have found that the following causes may increase your chances of getting it:
Research suggests that specific forms of arthritis, for example, rheumatoid arthritis, are linked to particular genes.
According to recent statistics, most types of arthritis are more common in women. 60% of people with arthritis are female. Gout is more common in men.
By default, as you begin to age, your joints start to wear down. It is important to exercise frequently to avoid this.
Those that carry excess weight force their joints and body to work harder than usual. The extra pounds tend to lead to arthritis in the knees.
Although injuries aren’t always in our control, they may cause joint damage that leads to specific forms of arthritis.
Arthritis Treatment Methods
Today, there are many forms of Arthritis treatments, including cannabis. Even though most won’t fully heal the condition, they will provide pain relief. Some analgesics include Tylenol, Percocet, and Vicodin. You can also use Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil, Motrin, or Aleve to reduce pain and inflammation.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) often treat inflammatory arthritis. Doctors regularly prescribe corticosteroids like cortisone to reduce inflammation.
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly can significantly reduce the risks of getting arthritis. Dietitians often recommend that you eat less sugary foods that only aggravate inflammation.
Arthritis Affects Even the Famous
According to a recent publication by the Telegraph, Oxford University is preparing to launch a £10m research program around the effects of medical marijuana.
Kingsley Capital Partners will fund the program. The firm is expected to help expand the University’s marijuana cannabinoid research in specific medical conditions such as pain, cancer, and inflammatory diseases.
We all know Sir Patrick Stewart, the head of Kingsley Capital Partners, as Professor X. Unlike his fictional character that has superpowers, Stewart has suffered from ortho-arthritis for years. He uses medical cannabis to help his condition.
According to Stewart, cannabis even helps him in such a way that he can now make fists and sleep at night.
Marijuana Treatment for Arthritis
Over the last couple of years, marijuana has become a popular form of treatment for arthritis patients. It is especially useful if you want to avoid the potentially awful side effects of using pharmaceutical pain relievers such as prescription opioids and over-the-counter NSAIDs.
It is common knowledge in eastern countries that cannabis can effectively treat arthritis-related pain. However, it is only now that scientific studies around the cannabis plant are beginning to confirm those thoughts.
In recent studies, cannabis reduced inflammation and pain in patients with the most common types of arthritis. Thanks to the two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD, patients said their pain eased after using cannabis.
Only a few years ago, researchers from the University of South Carolina discovered that THC could change critical molecules of epigenome. The result is a suppression of inflammation.
There was another relevant study published in the journal Rheumatology by Dr. Sheng-Ming Dai of China’s Second Military Medical University. Researchers discovered that arthritis patients had unusually high levels of CB2 receptors in their joint tissues. This led them to conclude that the use of cannabis had a positive effect in combating inflammation by activating the pathways of CB2 receptors.
Cannabis Cannabinoids: THC vs CBD
There are over 100 different cannabinoids. The two most popular are Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC, and cannabidiol, known as CBD. THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis which gives the effect of what recreational users call the “high.”
CBD is a non-intoxicating component of cannabis that acts as a counter ingredient against THC.
CBD is a non-intoxicating component of cannabis that acts as a counter ingredient against THC. It helps reduce the high. What most people don’t realize is that both cannabinoids have healing properties.
THC is a potent anti-inflammatory and pain killer and could assist patients suffering from arthritis. THC is also an antispasmodic, bronchodilator, muscle relaxant, and a powerful neuroprotectant and antioxidant. It has twice the anti-inflammatory power of hydrocortisone and 20 times that of aspirin.
Similar to THC, CBD comes at all levels. It is generally no more than 12% of the cannabinoid content of the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD provides potent therapeutic benefits without the euphoria.
THC and CBD could have a synergistic effect. This means that when they are both present at therapeutic levels in a marijuana strain, they are more effective than when alone.
While CBD was once constantly in the shadows, giving THC all the spotlight. It is now slowly coming into the light due to its healing properties. Similar to THC, it has versatile benefits and helps patients who suffer from a variety of conditions. These include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Antibiotic-resistant infections
- Neurological disorders
One of the most amazing aspects of CBD is its combined potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. This means it could assist in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Cannabis is now potentially one of the most effective treatments for these conditions.
So, without further ado, here is our list of best marijuana strains that help patients worldwide combat Arthritis.
5 Best Marijuana Strains for Arthritis
#1 The Girl Scout Cookies Cannabis Strain
Girl Scout Cookies, aka GSC, is one of the best cannabis strains on the market to treat pain. This fantastic hybrid strain is known for its high THC content that produces powerful, full-body pain relief.
#2 The Cannatonic Cannabis Strain
Go into any dispensary and ask about this marijuana strain and you’ll get an immediate response: “This cannabis strain is great to treat pain and inflammation.” Cannatonic has a low THC, high CBD content and produces a mellow high that is typically short-lived. It’s the perfect marijuana strain for pain relief and won’t get you couch-locked.
#3 The Famous ACDC Cannabis Strain
As the rock band put it, this is the T.N.T. of all strains. It’s the ultimate powerhouse strain that blows the pain away. ACDC is a sativa-dominant strain and originates from Cannatonic. ACDC stands out for its low THC, high CBD ratio providing its patients with immediate pain relief without the high.
#4 The Harlequin Marijuana Strain
For those of you who need to function during the day and want to avoid a euphoric high, Harlequin is the perfect strain. This Harlequin sativa dominant cannabis strain usually has a 5:2 CBD: THC ratio. This makes it a super effective strain for treating conditions such as arthritis pain.
#5 The Canna Tsu Cannabis Strain
Due to this strain’s magical CBD powers, it is a popular strain used to fight inflammation. Packed with a high CBD, low THC ratio, this strain will keep a clear head. It allows you to focus on other things apart from the pain associated with arthritis.
Recently, we’ve received a ton of emails telling us about the benefits of raw juicing cannabis. Raw cannabis juices contain a horde of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. By juicing cannabis, you can also benefit from cannabinoid acids and larger doses of vital nutrients.
Final Thoughts About Cannabis as a Treatment for Arthritis
Medical marijuana is only now coming into the light in regards to its therapeutic benefits. We have heard many stories about how it is helping people with their day to day conditions. One of those conditions is arthritis. Share your experience with us by commenting below or tell your story on our Facebook post.
Thankfully, there are natural treatments for arthritis to ease the pain. We rounded up the best marijuana strains for instant arthritis pain relief.
Marijuana for arthritis: Latest research, patients’ experiences and best strains
Did you know 15% of Canadians and as much as 56% of arthritis patients in Canada are under the age of 65?
Learn how to use marijuana for arthritis, as well as the best strains to use, and get a simplified look into official scientific research. As a bonus, we are sharing some opinions of arthritis patients who have tried medical cannabis.
Although arthritis is thought to be a disease of 65-year-olds and older, you’ll be surprised to learn that it can affect people of any age, and sometimes even children. There are many medications and ointments that can help with the pain, but they don’t work for everyone, which is why an increasing number of patients want to try medical marijuana.
I wanted to find out more about the weed-arthritis connection, so I figured that the best way to start is to learn all I possibly can about arthritis before hitting Google Scholar and the like. Once I dug through the studies, I visited Reddit for user feedback and, finally, I read strain review websites to find out what people suffering from arthritis actually need in a strain.
Marijuana for arthritis: Latest research, patients’ experiences and best strains Back to video
Here’s what I’ve found.
A quick introduction to arthritis
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints which causes pain and several other symptoms, but it’s not just one single disease, as many people think. Although the term arthritis is used to refer to joint pain, the actual condition includes up to 200 different joint conditions and diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia, gout, lupus, osteoarthritis (OA) and many more.
The statistics say that around 15% of Canadians and 23% of Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. And this number is on a steady rise. Arthritis is a common condition among the aging population (over the age of 65), but it also affects younger people—as much as 56% of arthritis patients in Canada are under 65.
The initial symptoms of arthritis are usually stiffness, especially in the morning, pain and swelling around the joints. Then the other symptoms become more evident: you get tired more quickly than you used to, restless sleep becomes typical, and over time it progressively becomes difficult to move joints and even to use your own hands. There are many different types of arthritis, and equally many causes: improperly healed injuries lead to degenerative arthritis, genetic factors are usually the main cause of osteoporosis, a dysfunctional immune system can lead to lupus or RA, abnormal functioning of metabolism causes gout.
Once again, there is no cure for arthritis. Depending on the type of the disease itself, there are a few more or less effective treatment options. Here are some medications that can be used to keep this condition in check:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Counterirritants (creams with menthol and capsaicin)
How exactly can cannabis help with arthritis
Over the past few years, cannabis has become a popular supplement among people suffering from arthritis. In every country where the plant has been legalized for medical use, arthritis is on the list of medical conditions that allow for the use of cannabis.
Arthritis is caused by the inflammation of the joint tissue, and cannabis is known as a great anti-inflammatory agent. There are many cannabinoids in the plant, but THC and CBD are the ones “in charge” for fighting pain and inflammation.
When researchers first noticed that cannabis has some potential in treating chronic pain, they basically didn’t have a clue how that actually happens. They first discovered that the joints of people suffering from arthritis have extremely high levels of CB1 receptors. That led them to conclude that the substances in marijuana which trigger the activation of those receptors have the potential to reduce inflammation, as well to reduce pain.
The fact that THC was the one binding to those receptors and that it was so effective in reducing inflammation, triggered the further curiosity of scientists. So, in another study, a group of researchers discovered that THC was able to change molecules, leading to suppression of inflammation.
The second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana called cannabidiol (or just CBD), has shown to be effective in treating arthritis symptoms as well. According to a study done by the University of Kentucky, applying CBD topically can relieve inflammation as well as pain in conditions connected to arthritis. What is also important, besides the great therapeutic potential, is that CBD provides relief without any side-effects. Another study found that early CBD treatment can prevent pain and nerve damage in osteoarthritic joints.
What we can take away from these studies is that THC and CBD work in unison, but that high CBD marijuana strains may be the best choice, in this case, giving us the best of both worlds—pain relief with clear headedness and without strong psychoactive effects.
Arthritis patients’ experiences with cannabis
When it comes to experiences of real patients, there are more than a few interesting stories online. Here are just a few of the more interesting ones shared by arthritis patients, but feel free to investigate this yourself.
Best strains for arthritis
Before you start experimenting with different strains for arthritis, think about your lifestyle and what you would like to achieve. What time of the day do your symptoms occur? Would you rather treat inflammation or the pain? Do you have difficulties sleeping? The key here is to choose the right strain: some are energizing, some are sedative, some have a lot of THC, while some are high in CBD. To speed up your search, I made a list of different kinds of strains, for different occasions.
Please take these recommendations with a grain of salt, as the effects of cannabis are notoriously subjective.
Cannatonic: One of the most popular medical hybrid strains, Cannatonic is known for its high CBD levels and low THC content. It’s mainly used for treating all sorts of pain as well as muscle spasms, which makes it one of the favorites among arthritis patients. It’s great for relaxing during the day.
Anesthesia: The name says it all—it kills any type of pain in no time. Anesthesia is an indica strain recommended for nighttime use since it’s very sedating. It will give you a strong body-high and a cerebral buzz, so the best time to use it is only after you have finished with your day.
GSC: Also known as Girl Scout Cookies, GSC is a hybrid known for its high THC levels. It’s usually recommended for severe pain. Besides pain, GSC is good for beating stress and depression (a common condition for arthritis patients).
Harmonia: Although it’s an indica, Harmonia will not make you as sedated and locked to your couch as you would expect. And this is because this strain has slightly higher levels of CBD than THC, which diminishes its psychoactive effects. You’ll be clear-headed and ready for your daily challenges.
Harlequin: What’s so great about this strain is that it relaxes without sedation and intoxication. Harlequin is a sativa-dominant hybrid, with high CBD content. It’s a popular strain for fighting inflammation and pain, especially pain caused by arthritis.
Remedy: A high CBD indica, Remedy has been primarily used for treating nerve inflammation pain. We can freely say that there are almost no psychoactive effects with this strain. Arthritis patients looking for relief can use Remedy during the day without worrying about feeling “high’.
ACDC: One more sativa-dominant hybrid that doesn’t alter the mood and mind. ACDC is a popular daytime strain with plenty of medical properties and almost no psychoactivity at all. What is so special about this strain is that it flushes pain out almost immediately.
Pennywise: A fine choice for an afternoon use, since it provides a mild psychoactive effect. This strain not only blocks pain, but it also helps other conditions and symptoms that come with arthritis, like neurological disorders.
Death Star: A very powerful indica that will make you quite high. Death Star is a perfect late afternoon choice, with high THC levels to take care of pain and will help you fall asleep.
Power Plant: Being a pure sativa, Power Plant is a perfect way to start your day. This strain has bone-protecting properties and, combined with pain-relieving features, is one of the best strains for arthritis patients.
Greencamp.com is an educational website dedicated to shedding the light on many unexplored sides of medical and recreational cannabis. Aside from informing people of safe cannabis use, Greencamp also provides technology for finding optimal cannabis treatment.
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Did you know 15% of Canadians and as much as 56% of arthritis patients in Canada are under the age of 65?