Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that produces joint inflammation in response to an overactive immune system. As the name of this disorder connotes, psoriatic arthritis typically afflicts patients with the skin condition psoriasis. Common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include stiffness, inflammation and joint pain or swelling. Although the side effects of this condition can be severe, many patients find relief through medical cannabis products.
Since there is no known cure for psoriatic arthritis, many patients turn to medicine to treat or relieve their daily symptoms. Medical marijuana can help patients effectively manage their arthritis symptoms while avoiding the potential for adverse effects created by other medications.
Medical marijuana’s cannabinoids can stimulate endocannabinoid receptors to perform their daily functions when the system presents an imbalance. These include enhancing anti-inflammatory and pain management properties.
To gain a better understanding of marijuana and its various forms of treatment, researchers have initiated multiple studies centered on arthritis patients to better understand the role cannabis plays in symptom management.
In 2000, A. M. Malfait and a team of researchers sought to understand whether or not CBD produced an anti-arthritic effect in patients with arthritis. Due to cannabis’s long history of analgesia and pain-reduction properties, researchers expected to find promising implications for those with chronic pain and discomforts.
Cannabis was found to stimulate two brain receptors: CB1 and CB2. These receptors are essential in performing many necessary bodily functions, including normal responses to pain, inflammation and various immune system functions. The imbalance of these receptors can be realigned when activated by cannabis.
Their research supports the idea that CBD and other natural forms of marijuana provide an effective kind of anti-arthritic relief for some patients. Furthermore, chronic oral administration produced no side effects in patients within the controlled study. This case study backs the notion of CBD as a valuable, and at times necessary, form of treatment for those experiencing chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
In 2005, D. R. Blake et al. studied the use and effects of Sativex — a cannabis-based medicine — on the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
In their study, the researchers administered either Sativex or placebo medications to a group study of 58 patients over a period of five weeks. Administered through oral sprays once per evening, patients in the study group with Sativex demonstrated considerably lower levels of pain and stiffness when compared to those in the placebo group.
These results support the idea that cannabis can produce an analgesic effect during treatment. Researchers saw no adverse effects from withdrawal, nor any severe or unfavorable effects. For patients with psoriatic arthritis, this study provides substantial evidence of the beneficial properties of marijuana when used for pain and inflammatory relief.
In a five-week case study examining 56 rheumatoid arthritis patients, the same researchers examined the effects of Sativex — a cannabis-infused mouth spray, on the management of arthritis symptoms. Although this study does not explicitly focus on psoriatic arthritis, the results provide positive implications for those experiencing any form of arthritic pain.
Cannabis was found to induce an analgesic effect for those experiencing pain during movement and rest. The crucial component in the effectiveness of this medicine rested within the presence of CBD — a cannabis compound known for its ability to reduce pain responses.
Patients did not experience any withdrawal when stopping the medication plan. Rather, the symptoms began to manifest once treatment ended. This fact supports evidence that cannabis brought alleviation without producing dependency or addiction. For patients with psoriatic arthritis, CBD-infused products can potentially bring pain relieving properties while avoiding adverse effects.
Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of cannabis medicine or connect with health professionals in your area, MarijuanaDoctors.com connects you with the resources you need. Our guide to psoriatic arthritis can help you learn more about your condition while educating you on the benefits of incorporating medical cannabis into your treatment plan. Get in touch with a certified marijuana physician in your area using our database today!