Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Medical Marijuana
Medical cannabis can be an effective treatment for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and related conditions. If you have EDS, you may be able to get a medical marijuana card. In some places, you may be able to get a cannabis card simply for having EDS; in other places, you may be able to qualify for additional conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness. Medical cannabis can help alleviate the symptoms of EDS and improve your quality of life.
EDS is a group of physical ailments characterized by abnormalities in the joints, skin, and other bodily connective tissues. Extremely flexible skin and readily dislocated joints are two of the most recognized symptoms of EDS. Cannabis has been shown to help with a variety of pain and inflammation symptoms, including severe discomfort and suffering from fragile skin and other connective tissues, in individuals with EDS.
The endocannabinoid system is activated as a result of cannabis usage. The endocannabinoid system is made up of fatty neurotransmitters that are formed in the body and can affect our neurotransmitters, hormones, and other systemic processes’ regulation. Cannabis and its cannabinoids can get into the endocannabinoid system through CB1 and CB2 receptors. We understand that we may influence pain, inflammation, the immune response, and other functions through these receptors.
When it comes to treating Ehlers-Danlos, cannabis plants are often the most researched cannabinoids, such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), because of their potential to improve quality of life.
Please go here for our page on endocannabinoids.
Cannabis and Managing EDS Symptoms
The following are some of the symptoms that Ehlers-Danlos patients may experience. Some people use cannabis to help with the following:
Some EDS patients struggle to fall asleep or remain sleeping. Cannabis activates the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which control our sleep and wake cycle, known as the circadian rhythm. THC before bedtime has been shown in trials to aid in improved sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, we’ve put up a page dedicated to the topic. For further information, see our insomnia page.
Many EDS individuals experience severe discomfort as a result of their joints’ being extremely flexible, which might easily dislocate or slip out of the socket. CBD and cannabis can both assist with pain management, especially neuropathic pain. If you’re concerned about THC’s psychoactive effects, start with CBD rather than THC.
Patients frequently use medical marijuana as a substitute for opioid pain relievers or other prescription medications. It’s critical to consult with your doctor about using medical cannabis for pain because you could get benefits from certain classic treatments, such as physical therapy.
For more information about treating this symptom, see our neuropathy and chronic pain pages.
The second group of patients, which accounts for about a third of all US cannabis users, is the migraine-prone. This group’s headaches and migraines are quite common. Cannabis flowers or other products that include a mix of THC and CBD can provide comfort to these individuals.
For additional information on cannabis and migraines, see this guide.
Patients who have chronic pain and suffer from a chronic health condition are also vulnerable to anxiety and sadness. CBD can help to relax patients who are anxious, but too much THC might induce anxiety.
Please visit our guides on anxiety and depression if you or someone you know is affected by these disorders.
Seizures are possible in people with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. Medical marijuana activates neurons in the body, which can help people who aren’t responding to conventional therapies stop having seizures.
If you’re thinking about using cannabis to treat seizures, be sure to speak with the physicians who are treating the condition. Furthermore, in certain people suffering from seizures, marijuana can cause them to get worse.
Please visit our Epilepsy page for more information.
If you have any of these Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, it’s critical to speak with your doctor about using cannabis for the treatment of your symptoms. Many subtypes require distinct therapy choices and dosages due to their varied symptoms.
Ehlers-Danlos Symptoms Generalized
Patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may experience a range of symptoms. Connective tissues throughout the body are affected by a genetic mutation of type V collagen, which results in this condition. The following are some of the signs and symptoms that patients with Ehlers-Danlos have:
- Hypermobility at the junction of the fingers and hand.
- Subluxations and dislocations of the joints.
- Pain in the joints or Joint pain
- Hyperextensible joints
- Velvety and soft skin
- The elasticity of your skin may be increased, or it might be stretchy.
- Visibly susceptible to tearing or bruising.
- Extreme scarring
- Slow healing and scarring are common.
- Molluscum contagiosum: Development of fleshy tumors on the skin’s high-pressure zones (molluscoid pseudotumors)
- Early-onset musculoskeletal pain, Chronic, and debilitating
- Intestinal, Arterial, and uterine fragility or rupture.
- Scoliosis in newborns.
- Toned muscles
- Gum disease
- Protrusions of the heart valves
EDS Types: Understanding their differences
There are 13 different types of Ehlers-Danlos. The following is a list of the most significant diagnosis criteria for each type:
Classical EDS (cEDS)
- Hyperextensibility and atrophic scarring of the skin
- Generalized joint hypermobility (GJH)
Classical-like EDS (clEDS)
- High skin extensibility without atrophic scarring and velvety skin texture
- Associated with GJH and/or recurrent joint dislocations
- Skin that bruises easily or ecchymoses (discolorations caused by bleeding beneath the skin)
Cardiac-valvular EDS (cvEDS)
- Progression of aortic valve or mitral valve disease
- Hyperextensibility, atrophic scarring, thin skin, and the tendency to bruise easily
Vascular EDS (vEDS)
- VEDS family history
- Arteriole ruptures that occur at a young age.
- Spontaneous colonization without any other issues with the bowels
- The rupture of the uterine lining was observed in the third trimester of pregnancy without the need for a cesarean section and with severe perineal tears
- The traumatic injury does not cause carotid-cavernous sinus fistula (CCSF)
Hypermobile EDS (hEDS)
- GJHGeneralized joint hypermobility (GJH)
- Two or more of the following:
- Connective tissue disease that presents as a systemic manifestation
- Associated with family history
- Musculoskeletal issues
Arthrochalasia EDS (aEDS)
- Dislocation of the hips on both sides at birth
- Hypermobility of generalized joints (GJH)
- Hyperextensibility of skin
Dermatosparaxis EDS (dEDS)
- Confirmation through genetic testing
- The fragility of the skin
- A characteristic craniofacial feature of dEDS
Kyphoscoliotic EDS (kEDS)
- Diagnosed at birth with muscle hypertonia
- Kyphoscoliosis congenital or early-onset
- The GJH is dislocated or subluxated
Brittle Cornea EDS (BCS)
- Cornea too thin
- Progressive keratoconus with early onset
- Progression of keratoglobus at an early age
- Sclerae are blue
Spondylodysplastic EDS (spEDS)
- Small stature
- Hypotonia of the muscles
- Bowed limbs
Musculocontractural EDS (mcEDS)
- Including clubfoot, multiple contractures are congenital
- Typical craniofacial features from birth or during infancy
- Increased palmar wrinkling, hyperextensibility, easily bruised, and atrophic scarring of the skin
Myopathic EDS (mEDS)
- Congenital hypertonia of the muscles
- Associated with proximal joint contractures
- Hypermobility of the distal joints
Periodontal EDS (pEDS)
- Intractable and severe periodontitis
- Without attached gingiva
- Pretibial plaques
- This criterion requires a first-degree relative to have a family history similar to this.