The stigmas associated with the use of cannabis are still prevalent in our society to some extent. This is due the popularization of recreational marijuana accredited to its narrow depiction in media. As a result, many people aren’t aware of the medicinal benefits of marijuana. However, as the research on medical marijuana expands, people have started exploring it as an alternative treatment for their ailments. This article would discuss the role of cannabis in the treatment of arthritis and diabetes.
Cannabis and Arthritis
Arthritis refers to the inflammation of one or more joints, which causes stiffness and pain to those suffering from it. There are various types of arthritis which occur due to different causes. The two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). Medical cannabis cannot cure arthritis or slow its progression, however, studies show that it helps alleviate the symptoms associated with the condition. Patients have reported that CBD oil is particularly helpful in reducing the inflammation and stiffness of the joints. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and is one of the many cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant Cannabis Sativa. CBD works within the body and reduces the inflammation of the joints. The body’s endocannabinoid system has two cannabinoid receptors, namely: CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are associated with cognitive functions. On the other hand, the CB2 receptors are found in our immune system, and are responsible for controlling the pain and inflammation within our bodies. While THC attaches itself to the CB1 receptors and causes ‘the high’, CBD impacts the CB2 receptors. By simulating the endocannabinoid system, it helps in reducing pain and inflammation.
A study published in a journal called Pain in December 2017 examined the effects of CBD on the patients experiencing osteoarthritis pain and joint neuropathy. Through their findings, they concluded that it helped reduce both because it mitigated joint inflammation and impacted the nervous system in a positive way.
For the treatment of arthritis, medical cannabis can be used in various forms such as sprays, topical creams, and the most commonly used cannabis oil. It has to be noted that these products should have a higher ratio of CBD than THC, for them to be able to be more effective.
Cannabis and Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the blood sugar levels are too high. However, it needs no introduction since the twenty-first century has seen a sharp increase in the number of diabetes patients world-wide. Studies have shown that certain compounds, namely: tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabidiol (CBD) positively affect the blood sugar level and the metabolism in diabetes patients.
Research conducted by the Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) has suggested that cannabis can help diabetes patients in the following ways:
Cannabis would help stabilize the blood sugar levels among people with diabetes.
Since CBD helps in reducing inflammation by effecting the endocannabinoid system, it would suppress the arterial inflammation which is commonly experienced by diabetes patients. The arterial inflammation leads to cardiovascular diseases, therefore, by reducing the former, cannabis might mitigate the possibility of an occurrence of the latter.
Cannabis stimulates receptors within the body and brain which help in preventing the nerve inflammation and lessens the pain of neuropathy. These are two common complications that diabetes patients face.
The high blood sugar in diabetes patients can cause numbness or tingling sensations in their hands and feet. This happens due to the aforementioned diabetic neuropathy. Topical creams with higher levels of CBD provide relief for such discomfort.
Cannabis can lower blood pressure over time, which reduces the risk of heart related diseases accompanied by diabetes.
Since Cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties, it helps relieve muscle cramps and spasms associated with diabetes.
From the discussion above, it is clear that cannabis can prove to be helpful for those struggling with diabetes and arthritis. A medical health professional should be consulted before replacing the ongoing treatment with cannabis for the same. Once prescribed by a professional, cannabis is worth trying because of its long term benefits in association with the aforementioned conditions.