How Cannabis for Medical Purposes Is Helping Patients With ArthritisJune 19, 2018
The growing awareness about the benefits of CBD oil is an exciting development for arthritis patients. In fact, many of them have been speaking out for years about the health benefits they claim to have experienced from using medical cannabis.
One in five Canadians live every day with arthritis, a condition which causes pain and limits movement by attacking a person’s joints and tissues. There is no known cure for arthritis, which means that any progress in limiting its symptoms is seen as a significant medical breakthrough. Medical cannabis could be an avenue for such progress, so here’s what has been established about its potential so far.
Students in Medical Cannabis Training Are Focusing on CBD
Much of the skepticism surrounding the use of cannabis for medical purposes surrounds its potential to cause a psychoactive ‘high’. It’s important to note, however, that the cannabis plant contains a variety of different chemicals. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC, is the chemical associated with psychoactive symptoms sought during recreational use of the drug.
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is the chemical which offers potentially exciting health benefits. This doesn’t cause a ‘high’ and its concentration in cannabis plants varies. CBD oil is most commonly extracted from hemp rather than cannabis plants, because it contains lower levels of THC. Healthcare professionals know it’s important to make the distinction between CBD and THC when discussing this topic. Cannabis still carries a social stigma due to its recreational use, but many arthritis patients have already spoken out about their own success stories with CBD.
The Benefits Experienced by Arthritis Patients Using Medical Cannabis
CBD is commonly sourced by patients as an oil, powder, or spray. As well as being taken orally, it can be mixed into a gel which is rubbed into areas of pain on the body. The chemical attaches to particular receptors in the brain and body. The CB2 receptor helps to manage pain and inflammation in the body and research suggests that CBD can play a positive role in increasing the ability of that receptor to do its job.
Many anecdotal reports exist regarding these benefits. Indeed, most recent official figures show that two thirds of people registered for medical cannabis in 2013 were using it to deal with arthritic symptoms.
How Canada’s Changing Cannabis Laws Will Affect CBD Oil Use
Use of CBD oil remains illegal, except for those with a prescription for its medical use. The repercussions of recent new cannabis legalization in Canada should be considered, however, by students in medical cannabis training. CBD oil is likely to be legal within the law, but efforts are being made to prevent the promotion of misleading health benefits.
The Arthritis Society is warning patients that recreational cannabis, which the law will focus on, is “not a safe substitute for receiving medical cannabis from a licensed producer” under the direction of a physician. The organization is supporting ongoing research into the potential of cannabis for medical purposes.
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