Healthy Living

Medical Marijuana and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Medical Marijuana and Rheumatoid Arthritis

In recent years, the use of marijuana has become a huge political issue. Medicinally, many believe it offers an array of benefits, from pain relief to alleviating emotional stress surrounding chronic or fatal diseases. For rheumatoid arthritis, it seems that more information and research will be necessary before a final verdict can be drawn on its potential benefits.

Potential benefits of marijuana

Medicinal marijuana has taken the medical community by storm in its claims to be able to fight against insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, glaucoma, vomiting, and nausea. While many disapprove of the use of marijuana altogether, for any purpose, it is becoming increasingly difficult to negate the potential benefits. As a result, the use of medical marijuana is skyrocketing.

Legality

When many people hear about the concept of using marijuana for medical purpose, their initial response is "but isn't that illegal?" While cannabis is still classified as an illegal drug with high potential for dependency, according to the federal government, it is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia for medical purposes - even though they consider the medical value minimal. It is also likely that more states will follow this trend in upcoming elections, allowing the drug to be used medicinally - or in some states, even recreationally.

Marijuana and rheumatoid arthritis

But how does marijuana impact rheumatoid arthritis specifically? Well, scientists are still trying to figure that out. It has been proven that in many other cases, medical marijuana can offer a valuable treatment, but there is not yet enough conclusive evidence to say the same regarding rheumatoid arthritis.

Professional opinions

Dr. Bharat Kumar is an immunologist in Iowa City, Iowa, who specializes in rheumatology and allergies. He is also a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. This background makes him a bit of an expert on the topic, and he explains his views on marijuana use for rheumatoid arthritis: "There haven't been any well-conducted studies on medical marijuana and RA." He goes on to explain that if there were more data on the topic, it might be worth looking into, but the only studies available are "small and inadequately designed for reviews. The data are just not out there, so there's no way to say one way or another."

So, what does he tell his patients when they are wondering whether to give medical marijuana a try to offer some relief to their symptoms? He explains, "I tell my patients I can't vouch one way or another because there's no good evidence. And I always advise them to be aware of the laws."

More research needs to be done about the potential benefits of medical marijuana when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis. Read on to learn more.