Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, affecting some 50 million Americans, or 1 in 5 adults.
Many patients with arthritis live with chronic pain and may turn to cannabis or other alternative remedies to supplement or replace the many conventional painkillers and other medications prescribed by physicians.
While there are no definitive studies conclusively showing that marijuana can help arthritis patients, there are scientific reasons for believing that cannabis holds promise. Humans and other mammals have a pain-regulating system, the endocannabinoid system, which has receptors that respond to cannabinoids.
That includes plant-based compounds found in marijuana, of which THC and CBD are the best known. In addition, cannabis may help reduce inflammation, which is a significant cause of joint pain for arthritis patients, according to an article in Arthritis Today, a publication of the Arthritis Foundation.
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