Medicinal Cannabis: A new hope for patients with rheumatoid arthritis
28 Apr 2016
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Medical Marijuana
The benefits of medical marijuana in a vast number of conditions are undeniable. A number of scientific studies also prove that the cannabinoids present in marijuana can have multiple benefits in conditions including cancer, stress, and even AIDS. However, when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, the scientific community seems to be divided.
Most of the patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who use medical marijuana have reported that it really helps with the pain as well as the swelling associated with the conditions. However, most of the specialists in treating the conditions seem to be unaware of the scientific benefits of cannabis on rheumatoid arthritis.
Lack of cannabis knowledge among arthritis specialists
A 2014 survey published in the esteemed Journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, sheds light on the lack of knowledge about cannabis in most of the arthritis specialists. According to the report, as many as 3 out of 4 specialists said that they lacked enough knowledge about the effect of cannabinoids on rheumatoid arthritis. The report also revealed that an alarming 45% of the specialists actually believed that there is no role of cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
This is especially interesting as there is many studies both preclinical and patient survey studies that indicate that cannabis may play a significant role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Another fact that the study uncovered was that almost 70% of the specialists had never prescribed or recommended cannabis or cannabinoid treatment ever.
According to a 2015 report published in the San Francisco Chronicle, there is a growing evidence in many preclinical studies that cannabinoids can be of great help in the treatment of arthritis.
An earlier report also found similar results with Savitex, an oral spray containing cannabinoids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Although Savitex was developed to treat multiple sclerosis, the researchers found that it had great potential in the treatment of arthritis as well. Although, Savitex is a British product that is not yet approved in the United States.
Scientists voice their concerns about marijuana and arthritis
Although there is a growing evidence that cannabinoids can actually help in the treatment of arthritis, the scientific community seems to be divided on the issue. According to a 2014 study conducted by Canadian researchers, the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of arthritis is doubtful.
The researchers go on warning the practitioners that they should not feel compelled to prescribe medical marijuana for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
The study claims that the evidence of any medical benefit of using medicinal marijuana in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is quite small. According to a report in MedPage Today, the researchers have also voiced their concerns about the lack of proper medical protocol when it comes to using medicinal marijuana for rheumatoid arthritis. They went on saying that the well-documented evidence of side effects of marijuana including memory loss and slowing or reflexes should be taken into considerations.
Major organizations working toward legalization of medical marijuana including the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, also agree that there needs to be more research done in the field.