Freedom of movement is vital to living a good life. Everyone wants to have the ability to travel wherever they like, to enjoy exercising, and have fun exploring hobbies. For some, arthritis due to age, illness, or injury holds them back from enjoying such freedoms. The Mayo Clinic defines arthritis as inflammation of one or more joints. While we all experience some minor inflammation here and there, we can tell arthritis apart because the main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, in which cartilage in the joints wears away, and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that first targets the lining of joints. To help ease the inflammation and pain brought on by arthritis, many turn to prescription drugs or pain relievers. These may help with some of the symptoms of arthritis, but they often give rise to new problems with their own uncomfortable symptoms and do not always work well with other medications. In these cases, an effective way to treat arthritis and avoid additional side effects is cannabis. 

UNDERSTANDING ARTHRITIS

Arthritis is much more than simply aching joints. It comes in many forms with a variety of sometimes debilitating symptoms. Arthritis can be classified as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia, just to name a few. Despite the many types of arthritis, some common symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and a decreased range of motion. No matter the type or symptoms of arthritis someone is suffering from, the effect on their life can range from frustrating to incapacitating. There are a number of reasons someone might develop arthritis. Genetics may cause arthritis, along with obesity, joint damage, infections, and occupations requiring repetitive movements, bending or squatting. Other things like dysfunction of the immune system or an abnormal metabolism can also lead to various forms of arthritis, though many rheumatoid diseases are caused by a combination of factors

The pain of arthritis can make enjoying life difficult or even impossible and the cost of treating the condition can be expensive. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2013, the national arthritis-attributable medical costs were $140 billion, that’s $2,117 in extra medical costs per adult with arthritis. For those on a limited or fixed income, having to choose between paying for treatment and other necessities can be a stressful and heartbreaking choice. That said, those who live with arthritis do not suffer in solitude. From 2013–2015, an estimated 54.4 million US adults (22.7%) annually had been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, according to the CDC. There is a wealth of knowledge out there on how to best live with arthritis and different ways to treat it.

TREATING ARTHRITIS

Many who develop arthritis turn to prescription drugs or over the counter medications. Certain drugs known as analgesics, including Tylenol, Percocet, and Vicodin, treat the pain brought on by arthritis, while drugs called NSAIDS, Advil, Motrin, and Aleve, can help reduce pain and inflammation. Those with rheumatoid arthritis may use disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to stop their immune systems from attacking their inflamed joints. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone and cortisone, can be prescribed to help with inflammation and minimize the immune system’s effects on joints. 

Analgesics are potent pain killers and many of the commonly prescribed analgesics are opioids which can be very addictive. Lastly, DMARDS, the drugs most commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Taken over a long period of time these traditional pharmaceuticals often lead to a wide range of negative and destructive side effects. All of these drugs may treat the symptoms of arthritis, but they can do harm to other parts of the body and bring on new health problems with their own conditions. Arthritis may make life more difficult, but the medicine used to treat the symptoms often serve to only make things worse. Fortunately, there is an alternative that can take away the pain without bringing some of its own, cannabis.

HOW CANNABIS TREATS ARTHRITIS

Cannabis appears to be an effective medication for treating arthritis. The most prevalent and active chemicals in cannabis, THC and CBD, reduce inflammation and pain, calm the body and mind, and all without debilitating side effects. According to the British Society of Rheumatology, both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory effects, and CBD was found to block progression of [the] disease. Another study found THC is 20 times more anti-inflammatory than aspirin and twice as anti-inflammatory as hydrocortisone. THC and CBD work with a system in the body to tell particular cells to stop making chemicals that cause inflammation and send fewer pain messages to the brain so joints do not hurt quite so much. The human body is built to work with these cannabinoids, the chemicals found in cannabis. Furthermore, THC helps relax the mind and bring on a feeling of bliss, while CBD helps the body relax muscles that can tense up when part of the body is in pain, and help in sleep, the most important element to good health.

An important aspect of using cannabis to treat arthritis is choosing the right type of cannabis. Some cannabis strains have a higher THC concentration, which is effective against pain and inflammation, but can come with unwanted psychoactive effects. Other strains have higher CBD concentration, meaning it works well to curb pain, but does not give the user the blissful feelings of THC. 

SENSI PRODUCTS FOR ARTHRITIS

Sensi has a number of products that work well to treat arthritis. Sensi Chew Hybrid and Sensi Chew Indica are cannabis infused chocolate caramels with a high THC concentration and trace amounts of CBD. For a less psychoactive experience, Sensi Chew CBD Gold 1:1 (equal parts THC to CBD) reduces the intensity of arthritis pain, as does Sensi Chew CBD Platinum, a non-psychoactive edible. If a user is more comfortable with capsules, Sensi Caps CBD Softgels are a convenient and familiar way to get a dose of CBD. For more information on Sensi Products and how cannabis can help, go to https://sensiproducts.com/

QUOTES

 “My mom suffers from chronic joint and arthritis pain and has been unable to sleep. She started using Sensi Chew CBD and she feels so much better.”

– GG, Los Angeles, CA

“The only thing that works for my arthritis is Sensi Chews. I take ½ to 1/3 dose in the evening and it relieves swelling and inflammation and helps me sleep. The effects last for almost 2 days. I’ve recommended it to many of my friends who have the same needs.”

– JJ, Santa Barbara, CA

REFERENCES 

Baron, Eric P et al. “Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort.” The journal of headache and painvol. 19,1 37. 24 May. 2018, doi:10.1186/s10194-018-0862-2

Kossen, Jeremy. “Cannabis and Arthritis.” Leafly, 28. Mar. 2016, 

www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-and-arthritis.