Joint disease, better known as osteoarthritis, is a condition which leads to inflammation of the joints and a breakdown in the cartilage in and around them. This condition causes intense, unyielding pain and can be debilitating in severe cases.
Cannabis use has, for decades, been associated with substance abuse, addiction and crime. However in more recent years, this association has slowly been replaced with a newer one; chronic pain.
As increasing numbers of celebrities and public figures talk openly about how they’ve used cannabis to manage their chronic pain conditions, the public has sat up and taken notice.
From multiple sclerosis to fibromyalgia, lyme disease to cancer, the causes of chronic pain are as varying as they are complex. However, joint disease is one of the most common. Perhaps one of the greatest problems in relation to this is the side effects of persistent use of pain medications.
Pain medications have been linked to ulcers, headaches, kidney damage, liver damage and even opiod addiction. This is the main reason why many chronic pain patients have turned to cannabis, a drug which they say is just as effective without the potentially dangerous side effects.
Research has shown that pain modulation is regulated by a system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system. This is a system comprising of receptors which are scattered throughout the brain, skin and other areas of the body.
When this system is working at its best, scientists believe it reduces pain levels. The chemicals that are found in cannabis, known as cannabinoids, are thought to support the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of pain.
The findings of numerous studies and clinical trials have supported this theory. The administration of medical cannabis and its constituents has significantly reduced pain levels in chronic pain.However, there is still much we don’t understand about the effects of different strains and doses of cannabis on the body.
Until more research is conducted, we cannot conclusively state that cannabis is safe for use as a treatment for the pain caused by joint disease, or any condition. However, the evidence which does exist suggest it could be highly effective, safe and likely to become a mainstream treatment in the years to come.