Cannabis and Arthritis: What You Need to Know - The Smiling Heart

Cannabis and Arthritis: What You Need to Know

With over 52.5 million adults dealing with arthritis, this is no small problem. If you would ask 5 of your closest friends, it is likely one of them or someone they know has arthritis that impedes upon their lifestyle and inhibits their quality of life. In this article, we are going to talk about cannabis and what you need to know about how it affects arthritis.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis isn’t a single disease and is most often a term that is used to refer to joint pain and disease. Arthritis comes in over one hundred different types. This leading cause of disability in America is painful and keeps many people from living the lives they deserve.

Some of the symptoms you might notice are swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. These symptoms may come and go, be mild, moderate or severe. There are many different variations to arthritis and what it will do to you and your body.

What Do We Know About Marijuana and Arthritis?

There was a study done in England where they had made a pharmaceutical drug with marijuana. They gave half of the people the medication and the half they gave a placebo to see if the medication was truly effective. After the test subjects tried both, the ones that took in the medication came back and noted they had experienced less pain.

For people in the US, this drug is not available, and many people instead opt to use a topical, so they can get relief legally. If you are in the state of California, you may choose to go to a dispensary in San Francisco or another area to get marijuana for your arthritis relief needs. While the medication and pure marijuana are not the same, it is the chemicals in the marijuana that allow arthritis sufferers to get the relief they need.

With limited means of treating arthritis and no cure, many people are desperate to learn about ways to make the pain go away. If you speak with a marijuana user who has arthritis, you will often learn they credit their ability to function to the marijuana whether it be medical marijuana or if they are self-medicating with their recreational marijuana.

There are currently two states where arthritis is considered a qualifying condition, but there is so much lack of research behind its effectiveness that many people are not convinced.

When you look at someone that has symptoms like locking joints, pains that keeps them from moving, injuries that don’t heal and more, and you see they can function, it makes you a believer. While you may be a believer, for progress to be made, studies and proof are necessary.

A study published in the journal Rheumatology from Dr. Sheng-Ming Dai of China’s Second Military Medical University noted that CB2 receptors are high in joint tissue with arthritis. When cannabis is used, it is shown to fight inflammation in the joints by activating the pathways of CB2 receptors.

More studies are underway to champion the cause and get marijuana into the hands of people who have arthritis. By the year 2030, over 67 million people are expected to have arthritis, so there is no better time than the present to start working on this major challenge.

There is a list of cannabis strains that help arthritis. Many people have no idea that there are multiple strains of cannabis or the differences between them. Getting educated before you start using a substance is important, and when you can do this with cannabis, you may find yourself experiencing relief from the terrible symptoms of arthritis. In terms of consumption, those with arthritis may find a small glass pipe or vape pen easier to use than a large item like a beaker bong or dab rig.

Do I Have to Smoke Marijuana to Get the Benefits?

Some people have a problem with smoking cannabis and wonder if there are other ways to get the benefit of cannabis without having to inhale it from a joint. The answer is yes; there are different ways that you can consume cannabis to be able to get the results that you want.

While some people might enjoy smoking marijuana, it is noted that this is not the healthiest way to get the benefit of this plant. While smoking, it will give you instant relief and is rather inexpensive; you have to think about the harmful effects of smoke on the lungs.

You can also vape marijuana to get instant relief which is less harsh on the lungs than smoking it. The vaping units can be expensive, and you will need to take time to warm up the device. If you are in a hurry to get pain relief, this can slow you down some.

Edibles are another option. You may find marijuana baked into brownies or in candies. This provides long-lasting relief and is a tasty treat many times, but it can take a while to kick in.

Sprays and patches are other options but are varying in how quickly they give pain relief when it is needed. These can be expensive, and some people are allergic.


You may need to take some time and do some testing to figure out how much you need and how you want to take it in. Once you know what you are doing and how well it works for you, it is easy to keep going. The hard part is figuring out how you are going to use it and what is legal where you live.

If you are a MMJ patient who has found relief from arthritis from arthritis through medical cannabis use, share your experience and tell us your story in the section below.