Medical Marijuana and Arthritis Pain: Is It Safe for Me? 

Arthritis is a form of joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis, hemophilia, and gout are a few examples., and a variety of inflammatory and neurological types are just a few examples of other forms of arthropathy. 

The most typical form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It’s a persistent and unpleasant condition characterized by inflammation and discomfort in the joints, particularly the hands, feet, knees, hips, and back. For many individuals suffering from persistent pain, standard prescription medications like opioid and other painkillers (pain relievers) are insufficient. When medical marijuana is used appropriately, many people get relief from their chronic pain.

Cannabis contains approximately 150 distinct cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most important two. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) interact with the endocannabinoid system, a system that employs self-created cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) to activate and regulate other neurotransmitters in the body. When THC and CBD come into contact with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors,

According to experts, cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, as well as other cannabinoid-sensitive receptors like TRPV, are found in joints, bone, skin, and nerve tissues. Synovial biopsy samples of individuals who have had total knee arthroplasty with OA and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well as animal models demonstrate this. Furthermore, these patients have higher amounts of endocannabinoids AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which can be significantly influenced by cannabis intake.

Cannabis activates CB1 receptors in the knee joint tissue and nerves, which may help to decrease pain and inflammation by activating these receptors. Furthermore, CBD has been found to slow the development of RA in animal experiments by employing an immunosuppressive mechanism.

Check out our pages about the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis can help with chronic pain.

How Cannabis Can Reduce Arthritis Pain

Cannabidiol has the ability to bind with both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, among other things, allowing it to regulate systems involved in pain sensation and immune responses. This is why cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory effects are so powerful.

If you’re concerned about the psychotropic and perception-altering effects of THC, CBD alone might be an excellent option since it counteracts the harmful effects of THC when taken together.It also has anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce pain sensation.

A 2015 preclinical study discovered that topical CBD gel relieved pain, edema, joint space narrowing, pro-inflammatory indicators, and immune cell infiltration in arthritic mice. Cannabidiol (CBD) did not have any psychoactive or other harmful effects in the study, suggesting it may be a viable option for future arthritis research. If you’re having new issues after using CBD.

Those who have never used marijuana should start with a low dose and gradually increase it over the following days and weeks, according to the Canadian Arthritis Society. Cannabis strains with higher amounts of CBD, such as 20:1, 2:1, or 1:1 CBD to THC ratios, are also recommended.

They recommend using oils, tinctures, and capsules since these cannabis products are easier to dose precisely. Oral and sublingual methods of administration give many hours of benefits (which sets in after a few minutes but generally only lasts one to several hours). Over time, cannabinoids can accumulate in the body, and the long-term effects of this are unknown. Lotions, creams, and oils with low THC and high CBD amounts, such as those that contain cannabidiol (CBD), may help you feel better without getting you high.

What Are the Different Types of Arthritis?

It’s worth noting that there are more than 100 distinct types of arthritis, and what works for one person may not work for another when it comes to joint pain treatment and stiffness. It’s always a smart idea to consult with your rheumatologist or doctor about how medical marijuana might be used alone or in combination with other medicines to manage arthritis.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis should continue to take traditional medications since they might help prevent long-term joint damage. The Canadian Rheumatology Association cautions against using cannabis to treat RA in individuals under the age of 25 because of the risk of cognitive impairment from high-THC products.

Arthritis is divided into five categories. It’s vital to note that arthritic symptoms can manifest themselves in a variety of ways throughout the body.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

  • Osteoarthritis is the most frequent form of arthritis.
  • When the cartilage in a joint wears down and the bone deteriorates, it’s known as osteoarthritis.
  • Arthritis occurs in the hip and knee joints as a result of wear and tear.
  • It is typically found in the hands, hips, and knees.
  • Causes joint pain, stiffness, edema, and range of motion limitations.
  • It can reduce a person’s ability to function every day and result in debilitating illness.
  • It can be inherited genetically.
  • Women over 50 are more likely than males to develop osteoarthritis.

For more information, see our post on osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

  • An autoimmune disease is a disease where the immune system attacks healthy tissues by mistake.
  • Usually, an attack on the joints includes the hands, wrists, and knees.
  • Joint tissue inflammation and damage, chronic joint pain, stiffness, edema, weight loss, fatigue, and weakness are all possible side effects.
  • Can cause damage to tissues throughout the body, including the lungs, heart, and eyes.
  • Research shows that RA is 2 to 3 times higher in women than men.
  • Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes can be hereditary.

For more information, check out our page on treating rheumatoid arthritis.


  • Pain that radiates all over the body as a result of abnormal pain processing
  • Pain, stiffness, tiredness, depression, and anxiety; sleep difficulties; migraines; and difficulties with thinking and concentration are all associated.
  • Other symptoms include tingling in the hands and feet, as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
  • It can also contribute to digestive issues including abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Find out more about fibromyalgia on our website.


  • Hyperuricemia is a disease in which the body produces too much uric acid and uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints, fluids, and tissues throughout the body.
  • This condition occurs in one joint at a time.
  • The knee, ankle, and toe joints are all susceptible.
  • Swelling, severe joint discomfort, edema, and redness are all common symptoms.
  • People who are overweight, diabetic, and drink alcohol are more likely to have this skin disorder.
  • Purines, which may be found in red meat, sardines, mussels, tuna, scallops, and trout soup, are believed to cause the condition.
  • Flares and remissions are common.

Here’s some information on how marijuana might help with gout treatment.

Childhood Arthritis

  • In children, it may induce significant physical injury to the joints.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most prevalent type.
  • It’s incurable, but it may come back into remission.
  • Symptoms flare, including joint pain, swelling, stiffness, fever, rash, tiredness, loss of appetite, and eye irritation. 
  • Although the reasons are unknown, autoimmune conditions are considered. 

What Are Cannabis Doctors Discovering in the Field?

A study from 2019 in Australia researched the effectiveness of THC in treating RA and ankylosing spondylitis, both inflammatory chronic illnesses. This study was a 24-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that stretched over a 36-week period and involved a 12-week extension phase, followed by an 18-week observation period and lastly, a 24-week post treatment follow-up. Many of these individuals had not seen results from CBD alone before taking part in the study.

This study’s findings are encouraging since patients reported pain relief at the end of 12 weeks, and many said that their quality of life scores had improved after 24 and 36 weeks. This study, combined with the preclinical transdermal CBD gel study from 2015, suggests that THC and CBD may help relieve arthritis symptoms.

*DigiDrs is not offering this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided in these pages. Consult a physician before making decisions on the treatment of any of these medical conditions.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This