Sjogren’s Syndrome & Medical Marijuana Research

Updated on January 3, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Characterized by the manifestation of dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that inhibits moisture-secreting glands from functioning properly. While patients with this syndrome can often lead a healthy life, a treatment plan can help prevent further complications from developing. Since saliva and tears play a crucial role in managing inflammation and damage, finding a medicine that reverses these effects can be necessary, too.

How Can Medical Marijuana Bring Relief From Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms?

Many patients with Sjogren’s syndrome can find relief through CBD-enriched products, including tinctures, topical ointments and oils. Because pain is another symptom of Sjogren’s syndrome, the analgesic properties of cannabis offer pain relief caused by inflammation. However, the field is still lacking significant research studies that focus on clinical trials of medical marijuana administration to Sjogren’s syndrome patients.

Nonetheless, the following case studies hold implications for the therapeutic benefits of cannabis medications that could be helpful for those with this condition.

2004: Barbara Costa et al.

As an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome patients experience higher levels of inflammation. The body’s immune system attacks itself in a way that promotes swelling and discomfort, leading to potential pain and inflammation in the joints.

A 2004 study induced rats with arthritis-mimicking symptoms to more closely study the effects of non-psychoactive CBD varieties on pain and swelling. The results of this study demonstrate a positive correlation between CBD administration and reduced levels of inflammation. The cannabinoids within marijuana, such as CBD, stimulated the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Because these receptors are crucial in managing pain and inflammation, it’s vital to examine products, such as those containing CBD, which can assist in normalizing the endocannabinoid system.

Although this study does not directly examine Sjogren’s syndrome, it beckons further research into the possible therapeutic benefits of cannabis for Sjogren’s syndrome patients.

2005: D. R. Blake et al.

For patients with Sjogren’s syndrome, it’s crucial to develop a treatment plan that effectively targets join pain, swelling and stiffness — three primary symptoms of this condition. Scientists and researchers believe one of the major causes of these symptoms stems from a disorder in the endocannabinoid system, a system in the body responsible for ensuring homeostasis. Homeostasis is crucial for guaranteeing the body performs its daily functions with ease. However, cannabinoids and receptors within this system may not always work correctly.

Although this study does not explicitly mention Sjogren’s syndrome, it focuses on the effectiveness of cannabis-based medications on treating pain from autoimmune diseases. Published in 2005 Oxford Academic’s Rheumatology Journal, D. R. Blake et al. compared the effects of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis against those with placebo.

The results of this study concluded pain was effectively managed in patients during rest and movement. Patients taking Sativex also experienced improved sleep. This study supports the notion that future research studies aimed explicitly toward Sjogren’s syndrome patients could provide insight into the benefits of cannabinoid medications on their symptoms.

2015: Mark A. Ware et al.

In a 2015 case study, researchers strove to understand cannabis’s ability to manage chronic non-cancer pain and inflammation. Within this study, 215 participants with chronic pain received a dose of 2.5 g of cannabis over the course of a year.

Cannabinoids within marijuana stimulated CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system. Due to this interaction, these crucial receptors could more adequately release neurotransmitters and immune cells in the nervous system to manage pain.

This study produces hopeful results for those with Sjogren’s syndrome because it displays evidence of cannabis as a valid treatment option for managing pain. The cannabinoids within marijuana lowered pain levels for the participants in the study mentioned above, suggesting that further research on cannabis as an analgesic is warranted.

Need to Connect to a Medical Marijuana Doctor in Your City?

If you or a loved one is currently suffering from the side effects of Sjogren’s syndrome, consider reaching out to a health professional to receive the care you deserve. At, we help you connect with medical marijuana doctors in your city, so you can start developing your treatment plan today.