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Rheumatoid Arthritis May Soon Be Treated with Medicinal Marijuana

photo from: http://directorsblog.nih.gov/Medical marijuana has been used for a variety of different reasons. Doctors across a variety of states are prescribing marijuana to be used for glaucoma, chronic pain, to alleviate side effects from cancer treatments, and much more. It is also being used for rheumatoid arthritis in several states.

In many instances, rheumatoid arthritis can drop the pain threshold significantly, allowing people to work their joints to keep them healthy.

Marijuana is currently permitted for medicinal use in 16 states as well as the District of Columbia. While some states do not allow rheumatoid arthritis on the list of reasons for a doctor to prescribe medicinal marijuana, there has been significant research over the past year to show that, when smoked, it can enter the bloodstream quickly and produce an analgesic effect. It can also reduce anxiety for those dealing with chronic pain. The THC found within the marijuana binds with receptors in the brain to produce this effect.

Cannabis will alleviate pain, promote sleep, and reduce inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis has a higher risk of lung problems and heart attacks, however. Other pain causing conditions such as arthritis do not have these same risks. As a result, doctors struggle with trying to come up with the right solution for treating patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, commonly known as RA.

The debate is still in the air as to whether it’s safer for patients to smoke the marijuana, take it as a mouse spray, or take it is a pill. As mentioned before, smoking it will allow the THC to enter the bloodstream faster. However, when marijuana is smoked, it can raise the heart rate and increase a heart attack fivefold.

While it can help a person, doctors are still trying to figure out which method should be prescribed for the rheumatoid arthritis. For now, in many instances, it is up to the patient to determine how they will ingest the marijuana after it has been prescribed to them.

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