Decades of Rheumatoid Arthritis Still No Prescriptions

RxLeaf August 21, 2018 0 comments

I have had decades of  rheumatoid arthritis, yet I still able to play with my grandbabies and no meds.

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For anyone who was just diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I say this. “Cannabis is my medicine, and it could be yours too.” So, how was I diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis? I was 13 years old when I had my first “arthritis” attack; I could barely walk for 3 days. And, I can remember my brother and sisters telling Mom I was faking it, to which she replied “No she’s not! She’s crying and she never cries!”

Well, I went in to see the doctor and he moved my knee around and said “you have arthritis” and that was about it. Flash forward 10 to 15 years and for the second time, I had a major flare up. This time, the doctor did a blood test to check for the rheumatoid factor, which of course I had.

“The Meds Were Causing More Pain Than the Arthritis Was”

The Doctors prescribed me methotrexate, prednisone, folic acid. Anyways after a few weeks of taking those meds, I began to notice that my face was puffy. Worse, my stomach felt knotted up a lot. I had also been reading the paper that was included with the meds and realized that the meds were causing more pain then the arthritis was. So, I quit taking it.

I started smoking cannabis at about 14. So, even thought when I got the “Rheumatoid Arthritis” diagnosis, I wasn’t sure if I could deal with it, I soon realized that when I was stiff and sore, I could take a few hits of cannabis and I would relax enough to be able to clean house play with my kids.

I smoke everyday, and it has made my life a lot easier.  Even now that I’m a grandmother, I can still play with my grandbabies.  I don’t take any prescription pain killers because I don’t like the feeling I get off them. I do take a muscle relaxer at night if I’ve had a long day on my feet.

The Science On Rheumatoid Arthritis- From RxLeaf

Rheumatoid arthritis is the evil big brother of the common joint disease. People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis have more to fear than just joint pain. The disorder can extend to many other parts of the body, including the skin, lungs, eyes, blood vessels, and heart. It is severely painful.

Officially, it’s an autoimmune disorder, meaning the body attacks itself. It often results in joint deformities and bone erosion and can lead to a lifetime of suffering in afflicted patients.

There is currently no cure for people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and while it can go into remission if caught early, the vast majority of patients endure a continual worsening of pain and symptoms throughout their lives.

That’s why cannabis-based treatments are so exciting. Traditionally, RA patients manage their symptoms with steroids, pain relievers, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. But now, thanks to cannabis, there is a potential new way of handling auto-immune disorders.

The Science on How Cannabis Helps Those Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

A study published in the journal Rheumatology (2006) 1)R. Blake, P. Robson, M. Ho, R. W. Jubb, C. S. McCabe. (2006). Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Volume 45, Issue 1, Pages 50–52, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kei183.found concrete evidence that a synthetic cannabinoid (the medication Sativex) caused significant easing of pain — and prevented future flare ups.

A later study, published in the journal Current Opinions in Rheumatology (2019) took things further. After acknowledging that people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis are turning to cannabis in droves, it sought to pin down the mechanism by which cannabis offers relief.

After reviewing the body’s changes with regard to rheumatoid arthritis after consuming cannabinoids, the authors determined that CBD has strong potential to treat the disorder. CBD, which interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system through the CB2 receptor, was found to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

In fact, as a paper published in the European Journal of Rheumatology (2017) 2)Barrie, N., & Manolios, N. (2017). The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease. European Journal of Rheumatology4(3), 210–218. https://doi.org/10.5152/eurjrheum.2017.17025. shows, the endocannabinoid system plays a vital and under-researched role in the body’s natural response to this disorder. The research finds that the system regulates both inflammation and pain — the primary underlying symptoms of the disorder.

Working With The Endocannabinoid System

For those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, working with the endocannabinoid system could be a good response.

Despite this, many physicians are reluctant to support rheumatoid arthritis patients in consuming cannabis. An article on the site Rheumatology Network openly acknowledges the role of the endocannabinoid system in the disorder, and how cannabinoids can be effective treatment for the disease. Still, the site then urges doctors not to let their patients self-medicate with weed.

Why? Because they fear the side effects are worse than the benefits. Claims that cannabis damages cognitive abilities are untrue, and the evidence that “depression is more prevalent in cannabis users” is misleading — it’s like saying there’s a correlation between depressed people and those taking Paxil. Many people consume cannabis for depression and see brighter days because of it.

Of course, there can be harmful effects from cannabis. Smoking any substance is bad for the lungs. And people with schizophrenic tendencies should be careful around THC.

People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and considering cannabis should come to their own conclusions, however. For a great many sufferers, the benefits of cannabis greatly outweigh the downsides.

Cannabis vs Pain Pills

Speaking of side effects, no drug treating this disorder is without problems. Like the patient above, many people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis are given pain pills to help them get through everyday life.

But pain pills cause problems. They lead to zombie-like mental fog, addiction, depression, constipation, and a lack of sleep. Compare that to cannabis. Green medicine treats pain just as well — and better in some cases — and comes with far fewer difficulties. People who are weary of pharmaceuticals can even make their own cannabis pain pills.

Like the patient above, so many people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis don’t want to go through life high on opioids. An RA diagnosis shouldn’t mean the end of normalcy. And, thanks to cannabis, it doesn’t have to.

References   [ + ]

1.R. Blake, P. Robson, M. Ho, R. W. Jubb, C. S. McCabe. (2006). Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Volume 45, Issue 1, Pages 50–52, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kei183.
2.Barrie, N., & Manolios, N. (2017). The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease. European Journal of Rheumatology4(3), 210–218. https://doi.org/10.5152/eurjrheum.2017.17025.

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