What do arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, migraines, inflammation, and psoriasis all have in common? They’re painful and sometimes debilitating medical conditions, but many of their symptoms can be treated with cannabis. Topical products can alleviate several symptoms associated with them while also improving one’s quality of life.
Not only is there medical evidence surrounding cannabinoids’ ability to help treat these conditions and their symptoms, but there’s also a significant amount of anecdotal success stories too. Read on to learn why cannabis can help relieve symptoms associated with these five conditions and the benefits of topically administered cannabis products as a primary delivery method.
A prevalent disease that impacts millions of people, arthritis causes painful inflammation and stiffness of one’s joints. Recently, it was projected the number of arthritis diagnoses will increase to 67 percent by 2030. Even though various pharmaceutical medications are available to help treat arthritis and its symptoms, many of these drugs are ineffective and/or they cause adverse side effects. Whereas, cannabis is a natural alternative that delivers little to no side effects, and one of its cannabinoids (CBD) can help lessen inflammation and pain while improving one’s well-being.
Additionally, in recent years, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties were discovered, which has led to this cannabinoid being used to help treat different types of arthritis including Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Fortunately for arthritic patients, cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are possible targets for alleviating inflammation and pain. Also, CBD has shown a strong potential for treating neuropathic pain and inflammation (two common symptoms of arthritis). Furthermore, CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body, which then leads to pain and inflammation alleviation. It’s also possible for CBD to help slow down the speed of Rheumatoid Arthritis’s progression due to the cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Although consuming cannabis orally can be effective, this method tends to have poor bioavailability. Whereas, the topical usage of cannabis avoids gastrointestinal administration, and this method can deliver localized relief. Overall, topical cannabis products produce faster results, and users can apply infused products in the form of lotions, creams, oils, and/or serums onto their skin and the body parts that need the most relief. Some individuals prefer using CBD-based topical products, especially since CBD is non-psychoactive. Whether a topical cannabis product contains THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids though, it can be directly applied onto the skin for localized and nearly immediate relief.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that impacts the body’s central nervous system (CNS) including the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. MS consists of an abnormal response of the body’s immune system. From here, the immune system targets myelin (a substance that surrounds and insulates the body’s nerves), and myelin gets damaged, which then produces scars (sclerosis). These scars are believed to be the cause of the painful symptoms MS patients experience.
Although MS causes various painful symptoms, over 85 percent of MS patients experience spasticity. Fortunately, though, based on the studies have been conducted on cannabis and MS so far, most indicate that cannabinoids are associated with self-reported spasticity improvements. It has also been found that CBD contains anti-spasm properties. Additionally, the American Academy of Neurology has expressed that cannabis is effective for the treatment of pain and spasticity. Then, one Israel study discovered that cannabis can safely alleviate pain in older MS patients and those with other chronic conditions like Crohn’s Disease.
Currently, 20-60 percent of MS patients consume cannabis, and many use topical cannabis products as their primary delivery method. To help treat muscle spasms and pain, it’s common for MS patients to use cannabis topically, so they can apply the medicine onto specific areas of their body. To achieve localized and rapid relief though, it’s recommended to use topical products with one example being CanniMed’s products, which numerous Canadian MS patients have benefited from.
Centuries ago, cannabis was used to help treat migraines, and it was recommended in Greek, Persian, and Arabic cultures. Over the years, cannabis’s analgesic (pain-relieving) properties were discovered, which can help alleviate migraine pain and relieve related migraine symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. One retrospective study even found that amongst 121 patients who consumed cannabis for migraine pain, 85.1 percent experienced a decrease in migraine frequency.
Annually, around 47 percent of the global population experience headaches including migraines and tension-type headaches. Nowadays though, more migraine sufferers have switched to using cannabis rather than pharmaceutical medications due to the likelihood of those Rx medications delivering negative side effects. Out of all cannabis delivery methods, topically administered cannabis products are being used more to help treat migraine and headache pain. Thus far, numerous migraine sufferers have found success rubbing topical products on their temples and forehead to help alleviate migraine pain.
Inflammation due to IBD and Crohn’s Disease
IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition that includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease, which results in episodes of inflammation involving mostly the gastrointestinal tract. Recently, various cannabinoids have been used more as a potential therapy for IBD. Epidemiologic data and human therapy studies have even found a potential role for cannabinoids being used in the symptomatic treatment of IBD. Additionally, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can be of much help to IBD patients.
Some IBD patients consume cannabis to help reduce their inflammation. Whereas, others consume cannabis to help treat abdominal and joint pain, cramping, and nausea. Fortunately, in multiple U.S. states, IBD is on the list of qualifying medical conditions for patients to legally consume medical cannabis.
Although various cannabis delivery methods are effective, to help reduce inflammation, pain, and cramping due to IBD, topical cannabis products are commonly used. This way, users can experience immediate relief after applying the products onto their abdomen, joints, or other flared up body parts.
Psoriasis is a prevalent autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to quickly accumulate on the skin’s surface thus leading to the production of raised red patches that can crack open and bleed. Annually, around 150,000 new cases of psoriasis occur in America. Although psoriasis can be extremely painful, cannabis and CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can help manage many of its symptoms.
One study found that cannabinoids can help prevent the build-up of dead skin cells while preventing other psoriasis symptoms. The study’s researchers went on to express the following about their findings: “Our results show that cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, and therefore support a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis.” It was also discovered that CBD can soothe irritated, flaky, and dry skin and reduce joint and scalp pain, which are common psoriasis symptoms.
Related: How Do Cannabinoids Quell Anxiety?
Thus, topical cannabis products are an ideal option since users can apply the product directly onto their skin and other achy body parts. Also, this method is often preferred because of the quick relief it provides.
Overall, cannabis’s medicinal and therapeutic properties are valuable to say the least, but certain delivery methods are more suitable than others. If you’re striving to experience localized and fast-acting relief, try using topical cannabis products and experience a quality of life boost at the same time. Which topical cannabis products are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!