In 2016, Stats Canada reported that approximately 6.1 million people in Canada were suffering from a form of arthritis; that’s 20.6% of Canada’s total population. With the multitude of possible treatments to help control the pain a patient with arthritis has to live with on a daily basis, most of which are pharmaceutical in nature and some of which are dangerously addictive, many patients are turning to other forms of pain control to help them live the quality lives they deserve to live.
The emergence of the use of medicinal cannabis as part of a treatment plan for arthritis pain is significant. One study performed in 2015 has shown that a Cannabidiol (CBD) gel preparation for topical use can help relieve symptoms of arthritis pain with no significant side effects. Another study performed in 2017 has shown that taking prophylactic CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic treatment for osteoarthritis joint neuropathic pain. Though these studies are preliminary in nature, they are still strong evidence that continued research needs to be conducted in order to make this treatment widely available for those suffering from arthritis.
The Arthritis Society reports that an estimated two-thirds of Canadians using medicinal cannabis are using it to manage their arthritis pain. They do provide resources on their website to help those interested in exploring the use of medicinal cannabis for pain management. However, they clearly state that the clinical evidence to support the use of medicinal cannabis for arthritis pain management remains limited. The Arthritis Society names itself a lead advocate for continued research and development into using medicinal cannabis for the purpose of arthritis management.
Do you suffer from arthritis and have a story to tell about medicinal cannabis? Please share your story with us! It could help influence change in the life of another.
Health Facts Sheet – Chronic Conditions 2016 – Arthritis. Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-625-x/2017001/article/54858-eng.htm
Medical Cannabis – Arthritis Society. https://www.arthritis.ca/treatment/medication/medical-cannabis
Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain (London, England), 20(6), 936–948. http://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.818
Philpott HT, OʼBrien M, McDougall JJ (2017). Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain Journal. 158(12):2442-2451. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28885454?report=abstract