Do you and your doctor smoke pot together? Drug and Alcohol Dependence conducted a study in September 2017 that concluded that although the use of medicinal marijuana has been decriminalized in 29 states and the District of Columbia, the vast majority of physicians are not adequately trained to prescribe it to their patients. Despite its legality in certain places, “most physicians don’t know much about marijuana,” says Rav Ivker, DO, a holistic family doctor in Boulder, Colorado, and author of Cannabis for Chronic Pain: A Proven Prescription for Using Marijuana to Relieve Your Pain and Heal Your Life.
Lack of an Alternative Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Experts in the field of rheumatoid arthritis agree that the disease is best treated with a combination of aggressiveness and traditionalism if it is caught early (RA). Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medications (DMARDs) have been shown to effectively change the course of RA, hence their usage should never be substituted by CAM treatments. As far as we know, DMARDs are the only medication that can decrease inflammation, halt joint deterioration, and lessen the likelihood of long-term problems in RA patients.
Learn about other people’s tried-and-true methods for dealing with RA by reading about them online. Let’s get them on Tippi!
What Effect Does Marijuana Have on Relieving Arthritis Pain?
But what about incorporating marijuana and other forms of alternative medicine into your conventional treatment plan? Despite the apparent effectiveness of cannabis in relieving the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, the medical community has been hesitant to embrace this treatment option. However, physicians who recommend medical marijuana to their patients disagree and argue that the drug has enormous therapeutic potential. At least 80 distinct cannabinoids have been discovered, each with the ability to modify the brain’s neurotransmitter release in its own unique way. When it comes to medical applications, “the most successful ones are THC [tetrahydrocannabinol], which is the most psychoactive, and CBD [cannabidiol], which is likely the most highly therapeutic,” explains Ivker.
Potential Marijuana Effect Mechanisms
Proponents of the medicine point to hypotheses about the herb’s potential benefits in order to argue that it is an effective treatment for persistent joint pain. Dr. Matthew Roman, head of the alternative medicine clinic Nature’s Way Medicine in Wilmington, Delaware, claims that medical marijuana may treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis in two different ways. It’s possible that cannabis users would have a calming, anti-inflammatory effect “similar to ibuprofen or an ice pack,” he adds. Furthermore, marijuana may have an effect on immune cell activity. The investigation continues.
Cannabidiol and Long-Term Ache
Almost all of the 7,000 medicinal marijuana patients Dr. Ivker has treated have been dealing with chronic pain. Rheumatoid arthritis patients often use THCA (9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), another nonpsychoactive cannabinoid. Transdermal patches that deliver the drug straight to the bloodstream are another delivery method. CBD is also available in topical forms, such as lotions and balms, which may be applied directly to the affected areas.
How Marijuana Dispensaries Work, Depending on Where You Live and Who You See
Dr. Ivker recommends that patients in states where medicinal marijuana is permitted get a referral from their physician before purchasing any marijuana. After it is processed, you will be issued a paper valid for use in a medical dispensary. But “you first have to go via a physician, and there are many who are still hesitant to offer the advice,” he adds.
Dr. Roman agrees and suggests being forthright with your doctor about this treatment choice. “Tell them you want to try it and ask them where they stand on the issue.” After all, you should see your doctor before trying any new supplement or cure, as she can assess the risks involved, including any interactions with the drugs you are currently on. In other words, if you want to responsibly experiment with pain therapies, you can’t escape this discussion. If your primary care physician is unable to suggest medical marijuana, you may want to visit a website like Happy MD, which lists physicians in your region who are comfortable treating patients who use cannabis.