What can you recommend for arthritis?

by HelloMD

I hear that marijuana can be effective. Do I have to worry about getting high?


Answers


Answer - Dr Patricia Frye

Arthritic joint pain can be effectively treated with topical cannabis salves massaged into the effective area or by using cannabis tincture or flower. A variety with a 1:1 ratio of THC: CBD will give maximum anti-inflammatory and analgesic action.


Answer - Doctor Mark Edmunds

Ibuprofen can be helpful for decreasing joint inflammation and pain due to arthritis, but it is important that you follow the dosing on the label and take with food to prevent damage to your gastrointestinal system.

Cannabis is also an analgesic and has anti-inflammatory properties. In particular, patient have found that products high in CBD can be effective for treating a variety of different types of chronic pain, including pain associated with arthritis. Strains or products with a high CBD / THC ratio may be somewhat sedating but typically lack the psychoactive effects of THC, such as the "high" or "stoned" effect.

Furthermore, many patients with arthritis have found that topical cannabis, in the form of salves or lotions, are helpful for treating local / joint pain and inflammation. One benefit of this approach is that very little, if any, of the medicine gets into the blood stream, so there is no psychoactive effect whatsoever. Topicals, therefore can be applied anytime of day without limiting your cognitive functioning.

Hope that helps!


Answer - Dr Sherellen Gerhart

General consensus is that cannabis use can result in dependence in approximately 8-10% of users which is lower than most other substances, however, symptoms of withdrawal from cannabis use tend to be much less upsetting to the system than other habit forming substances.

Using cannabis for treatment of arthritis is not likely to result in "addiction" and cannabis can be used as needed for symptomatic relief.

Here are two articles that address the issues specific to your question. You may have to decide if cannabis is right for you based on you responses to other substances, and whether or not you have a history of additive behaviors. There needs to be more longitudinal study of this issue, but cannabis addiction in adults who use it for symptomatic management on an as needed basis is not generally concerning.

Hasin DS, Saha TD, Kerridge BT, et al. Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(12):1235-1242. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1858.

Winters KC, Lee C-YS. Likelihood of developing an alcohol and cannabis use disorder during youth: Association with recent use and age. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2008;92(1-3):239-247. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.08.005.


Answer - Hans Park MD

I think all the recommendations here have been excellent for arthritis treatment so I'll just add some thoughts of my own. I am a huge fan of topical salves like most of the other MD's answering this question. There are two products I particularly like: Arni-Cann, which also has arnica gel, a favorite in my practice. I'm also a huge fan of cannabis-infused epsom bath salts for soaking extremities (or the whole body). I have been recommending epsom salt soaks for many years now for my pain management and sports medicine/physiatry patients. If you have health insurance, I also recommend asking for a physical therapy referral or referral for other modalities like acupuncture, etc There is also a fair amount of literature supporting the use of omega-3 supplements as an adjunct for fighting inflammation. Keep those joints moving!


Answer - Dr. Cheryl Bugailiskis

Arthritis means you have inflammation in your joints. I would recommended 3 products used simultaneously if needed: (1) CBD:THC ratio of 20:1 tincture used under the tongue twice a day. It will take 2-3 weeks before you have the full effect, as it takes time to decrease inflammation. You have to be patient and keep taking this ratio every day, the longer you take it the better you will feel. Increase the dose as you see fit, but you may build tolerance every 3 weeks and need to increase it. In the mean time, while your waiting for the full effect, I would use a CBD:THC ratio of 1:1 as needed and a CBD topical cream.


Answer - Leslie Elkind MD

It is always useful to have some idea of the kind of arthritis the patient has. For osteoarthritis, the wear and tear kind that accumulates with age or develops following injury, cannabis can be helpful in reducing the discomfort of chronically painful joints. The “entourage effect” is often cited as important in reducing pain, and refers to using preparations involving all the cannabinoids and other constituents of cannabis, so called “whole plant” preparations, as the interaction or cumulative effect seems to be associated with better pain relief. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune inflammatory conditions have also reported benefit in using cannabis preparations high in CBD, which may have particular activity in both the immune system and the inflammatory cascade to help reduce the level of inflammation, as well as lessening discomfort. As CBD is generally without psychoactivity patients can often use high-CBD, low THC preparations while functioning at work and in other situations where focus and attention are required.


Answer - Doctor Sharon Olson

Please keep in mind that cannabis can work well for some people and a different formulation of cannabis will work well for others so you must always evaluate how the cannabis is working for you as an individual. Generally, for arthritic pain I recommend the topical cannabis salve in a CBD: THC of 2:1, applied topically on the arthritic joint but also the corresponding area of the spine to block the pain signals but in addition I think it's wise to consider taking a nonalcoholic CBD tincture especially at bedtime but the dose would be dependent upon your response. With hi CBD and low THC you should not experiencing any psychoactive effect but if you actually would like a psychoactive effect you can try going up on the THC level. Also, keep in mind that most people are vitamin D deficient and supplementing with vitamin D3 maybe indicated to get your body out of pain but this needs to be followed with your physician. You can resolve the pain of arthritis using cannabis but it will take a little bit of experimenting on your part.


Answer - Doctor Sharon Olson

Yes, CBD cannabis has the potential to completely get rid of your arthritic pain.I encourage you to consider vaporizing a high CBD, like AC/DC,As well as applying for CBD dominant topical salve at least three times a day or more frequently on the arthritic joint as well as the corresponding area of the spine and at night before you go to bed you may want CBD tincture or THCa as a strong anti-inflammatory. Please, eliminate cow dairy and cow dairy products since they are so inflammatory and greens are a better source of calcium as well as other minerals. If you treat your arthritic pain frequently and aggressively with CBD's you should be out of pain or at least the pain will be greatly reduced within a week but you may also need additional Vitamin D3 for your bones.


Answer - Dr. Persaud

if your mother has tried other modalities with no improvement then MM may be an option. It will depend on her medical history. There are different modalities that can be tried such as- oil/vape/pill.