How Does Cannabis Treat Lupus-Related Inflammation?


How Does Cannabis Treat Lupus-Related Inflammation

Lupus is a disease affecting more than a million Americans alone. Each year, more than 10,000 new cases are added to that number.

There’s no cure for this auto-immune disease. As far as treatments go, the best doctors can hope for is to manage symptoms and give patients the best quality of life possible. Medical marijuana has proven itself to be an effective treatment for many of lupus’ side effects. One of the more severe complications patients experience is inflammation.

If you or a loved one struggle with lupus-related inflammation, cannabis could alleviate this symptom.

What Is Lupus-Related Inflammation?

The side effects of lupus vary from patient to patient. Some only experience mild symptoms due to the disease. Others struggle with life-threatening complications. One of the most severe symptoms lupus patients experience is inflammation to various parts of the body.

Lupus is similar to other autoimmune diseases — the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. This creates inflammation in the:

  • Joints
  • Skin
  • Kidneys
  • Blood cells
  • Brain
  • Lungs
  • Heart muscle (pericarditis)
  • Chest cavity (pleurisy)
  • Blood vessels (vasculitis)

This inflammation can lead to chronic pain in these areas or even permanent damage.

How Can Medical Marijuana Treat Lupus-Related Inflammation?

Some of the treatments used to help with inflammation cause severe side effects of their own. Corticosteroids are a common medication for lupus-related inflammation. However, this can cause bruising, weight gain, osteoporosis, risk of infection, diabetes, skin problems, mood changes, insomnia and high blood pressure.

Medical marijuana treats the key features of lupus — pain and inflammation. It has anti-inflammatory properties without the risk of unpleasant or dangerous side effects. Marijuana reduces a natural protein that causes inflammation called interleukin-2. At the same time, it raises levels of interleukin-10, an anti-inflammatory protein.

Since the inflammation caused by lupus is the main cause of pain that patients experience, cannabis effectively targets both symptoms at once. Because of this, many lupus patients have found medical marijuana is a more effective treatment than their prescribed medications.

Cannabis Strains to Treat Lupus-Related Inflammation

Strains high in both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) have properties that help patients manage both pain and inflammation caused by lupus. The following are commonly used by patients as an anti-inflammatory:

  • Cannatonic. This hybrid is specifically grown for its high CBD content. It both treats and prevents inflammation.
  • Charlotte’s Web. This strain is the most common used to treat lupus as well as other conditions. It’s a sativa strain with a high CBD content, making it excellent for day-time medicating.
  • Harlequin. This sativa strain is also high in CBD. It’s perfect for daytime use as it allows patients to remain clearheaded for daily tasks. It’s great for pain caused by inflammation.
  • NYC Diesel. If you want to marry anti-inflammation properties with relaxation, then this hybrid is for you. It also provides relief without causing feelings of anxiety.
  • Mother of Berries. If you need to relax after a long day of work, this indica-dominant hybrid is for you. It’s recommended for night-time use as it may cause drowsiness.

Finding cannabis medication for lupus-related inflammation isn’t an exact science. Patients may find a certain strain that works for another person doesn’t work for them. That’s why it’s important to speak to your marijuana doctor about cannabis recommendations. You can also visit a dispensary to speak to a budtender on staff.

Additional Lupus & Cannabis Resources

For more information about how cannabis can be used to treat Lupus, check out our resources: