Can People Use Marijuana For Arthritis?

A new study from Canada found that one in five people who consult with an orthopedic surgeon for chronic musculoskeletal pain, including arthritis, have turned to a cannabis product to treat the pain.

They also reported that marijuana for arthritis has proven highly effective in fighting pain, with many patients noting it works better than prescription drugs. These findings back up another study that found marijuana for seniors is on the rise.

Dr. Timothy Leroux, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toronto, authored the study. He told Health Day that 20% of people surveyed for the study “reported past or current use of cannabis with the specific intention to manage pain.”

That included not just those who purchased recreational cannabis, but those who specifically wanted marijuana for arthritis to improve pain management.

Even More People Want To Give Cannabis a Try

The study involved 600 people who visited an orthopedic clinic in Toronto. In addition to the 20% who said they use cannabis for pain, two-thirds of the non-users said they want to try it themselves.

That’s because those who have tried marijuana for arthritis and to treat pain from other conditions report it as being remarkably effective. The study found that:

  • 9 out of 10 people said cannabis effectively managed their pain
  • 4 out of 10 said it decreased their reliance on other pain medications
  • 6 out of 10 found cannabis more effective than other drugs.

Dr. Yili Huang, director of the Pain Management Center at Northwell Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., told Health Day that the news is welcome for those searching for opioid alternatives to treat pain.

“Cannabis may help decrease, or in some cases completely replace, the amount of opioid medication necessary to control pain,” he said.

Marijuana For Pain Management

In recent years, many people have come forward to advocate for the use of cannabis to treat chronic pain. They include pro athletes, celebrities and seniors. While everyone supports using cannabis for different issues, a study from Colorado found seniors reported using marijuana for a variety of pain management issues.

They included arthritis and chronic back pain. However, others said they use cannabis for anxiety, depression and to get better sleep.

In the Canadian study, most seniors had decided to use a CBD product, not one with THC, the chemical component in marijuana that causes the high feeling. Some of the respondents were not sure if what they were taking contained THC, which is one reason why researchers urged seniors to seek a doctor’s advice before using cannabis to treat pain.

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