Medical Marijuana for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is the commonest type of autoimmune arthritis. It is a chronic progressive disease that causes joint inflammation. It is characterized by painful immobility and deformity in the ankles, feet, wrists and fingers.

There are various treatment courses that doctors recommend to patients suffering from this condition. They include occupational and physical therapy, medications, surgical interventions and reduction of joint stress.

Medical marijuana may be used to ease the inflammation and pain associated with the condition, according to some of the patients.

For a very long time, doctors specializing with RA had not fully explored the benefits of cannabinoids, an active ingredient in marijuana, as a possible treatment for arthritis. This is according to a 2014 survey published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorder Journal.

Findings from the survey revealed that out 4 of for rheumatology doctor in the sample group, 3 of them had no confidence in the understanding of cannabinoids molecule. In addition, 45 percent of the doctors believed cannabinoids had no place in the treatment of rheumatology cases.

70 percent of the doctors claimed that they had never used recommended or prescribed cannabinoids as a treatment. One feature that stood out was the fact that there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding good prescribing practices of cannabinoids.

In 2015, the San Francisco Chronicles reported that preclinical research and patient surveys increasingly pointed to cannabinoids as a bona fide therapy for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Research conducted as early as 2005 revealed that cannabinoids were an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis. Researchers established that Savitex, cannabis –based spray effectively treated multiple sclerosis and had the potential of easing inflammation and pain in RA patients.

The problem, however, is that Savitex was not approved for medical use in the United States. This is according to reports by GW Pharmaceuticals, British manufacturer for drugs.

The million dollar question is whether smoking pot is the best delivery options for cannabinoids.

The safety and effectiveness of herbal marijuana as a treatment option for RA has been questioned based on an Arthritis Care and Research Journal in 2014.

Rheumatologists are warned against succumbing to the societal pressure for medical marijuana. Also, they are cautioned against prescribing it on demand for their patients.

After the study, medical marijuana has been legalized in many states including the District of Columbia.

However, most Canadian researchers have stated that there is scanty information on the effectiveness of marijuana as a treatment option for RA. The report was published in MedPage. Sometimes patients need to find a podiatrist for evaluation of foot ankle pain / arthritis.

The absence of accepted medical protocols for administering and prescribing medical marijuana was a major of the area of concern for the researchers. Also, the doctors and patients were cautioned on the well -document effects of marijuana such as short-term memory lapses and slowed reactions time.

The debate will not end anytime soon. The leading medical marijuana advocates, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana, have a say in the issue too. They agree with the researchers that it is important to conduct more clinical research on the issue as it would be helpful in buttressing claims for cannabinoids as a treatment for RA.


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