Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. It is, therefore, perfectly normal to experience inflammatory symptoms from time to time. Living with chronic inflammation, however, often proves a painful existence. Pharmaceutical medications can and do work. However, a potential novel treatment has emerged that may be far more effective at combating inflammation with virtually no side-effects in comparison. In this article, we discuss the research and the possibility of medical cannabis as a valid treatment for inflammation.
The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabis
According to a review published by the Journal of Pharmacological Research, cannabinoids have several mechanisms in which to act upon the human body’s endogenous endocannabinoid system (ECS). The report demonstrates that compounds such as THC and CBD – arguably the two most medically significant cannabinoids – could both trigger an anti-inflammatory response by acting upon the body’s natural immune functioning.
A separate review conducted by the University of South Carolina demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids stem from a direct interaction and activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system.
Cannabis for Inflammation
More promising cannabis-related research focuses on CBD (cannabidiol), one of the many cannabinoids produced by cannabis. A 2016 review published in BioMed Research International cites CBD as a critical tool (possibly) in helping control the growth and spread of cancerous cells. The literature additionally calls for a strong need for more in-depth research.
The University of Colorado, Boulder, has risen to answer this call with a clinical trial aimed at testing how inflammation levels are affected by medical cannabis. The trial remains in early preliminary stages at the time of writing, as researchers continue to recruit willing participants.
Symptoms commonly associated with lupus are swollen joints, prolonged fatigue, and skin rash. An anonymous survey conducted by Lupus Corner reported results from 781 lupus patients on the topic of cannabis use for a variety of reasons, including as a self-treatment for their condition. Of the 36% of respondents that claimed cannabis use, a staggering 83% said that they would recommend cannabis to other lupus patients. Furthermore, an unbelievable 96% of the cannabis-consuming respondents reported seeking medical marijuana on their own accord with no doctor’s approval.
How to Get Cannabis to Treat Inflammation
While cannabis remains illegal on a federal level, a total of 33 states (plus Washington D.C.) have enacted state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs. Meet with a licensed medical marijuana doctor in your area to find out whether you qualify. A doctor can answer your questions and help find a treatment that works best for you.
A plethora of studies indicates the potential of medical cannabis as a novel treatment for inflammatory-related conditions and symptoms. While data gained at this early stage is undoubtedly promising, all researchers are in unanimous agreement that more in-depth studies are required before any cannabis-related health claim can be substantiated.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
This post was originally published on July 21, 2020, it was updated on July 23, 2020.