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Can Medical Marijuana Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Medical Marijuana Help Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Those living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) grapple with pain, stiffness, and movement difficulties that significantly detract from their quality of life. In recent years, the conversation around alternative treatments has grown, leading to increased interest in medical marijuana.

In this article, we’ll explore the connection between medical marijuana and rheumatoid arthritis management, unpacking contemporary research to better understand whether cannabis could, in fact, be a viable treatment.

Can Medical Cannabis Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Research indicates that medical cannabis can alleviate some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by reducing pain and improving patients’ sleep quality. However, it’s essential to note that while these benefits can improve RA patients’ quality of life, medical cannabis cannot cure the disease.

Anyone interested in using medical marijuana for RA should consult a healthcare professional before doing so.

What Are the Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Some of the most notable benefits of medical cannabis for rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Pain Relief: The cannabinoids in medical marijuana interact with pain receptors in the brain to alleviate both chronic and acute pain associated with RA.
  • Reduced Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana can help reduce the inflammation that causes joint pain and damage in individuals suffering from RA.
  • Improved Sleep: Many individuals with rheumatoid arthritis struggle with sleep due to pain. Medical marijuana has been shown to improve sleep quality, which can help patients get the rest they need.
  • Enhanced Mobility: By reducing pain and inflammation, medical marijuana can improve mobility and the overall quality of life for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Mood Regulation: The psychological strain of dealing with a chronic illness can be overwhelming. Medical marijuana has mood-regulating properties that can help alleviate the depression and anxiety associated with RA.
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What Are the Risks and Side Effects of Medical Cannabis for RA?

While medical cannabis is often cited for its benefits for RA patients, it’s important to consider the risks and side effects associated with its use. Those risks and side effects include:

  • Altered Mental State: Patients may experience changes in mood, impaired short-term memory, and/or cognitive impairment, which can affect their mental health and ability to perform daily activities.
  • Dizziness: The disorienting effects of cannabis can lead to falls or accidents.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Some individuals may experience nausea, vomiting, or changes in appetite due to their cannabis use.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: Cannabis use can lead to changes in blood pressure and heart rate, which can pose risks to those with pre-existing heart conditions.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: Cannabis can interact with other medications, potentially leading to adverse effects.
  • Dependence and Mental Health Risks: Cannabis use carries a risk of dependence, and users with a history of mental health disorders may experience an exacerbation of their symptoms.

What Are the Best Strains for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Certain cannabis strains have gained popularity for their effectiveness for rheumatoid arthritis. Many patients have reported reduced inflammation, pain relief, and improved sleep thanks to them.

Some of the best strains for RA include:

  • ACDC: Known for its high CBD to THC ratio, ACDC is a strain that can provide pain relief without strong psychoactive effects, making it ideal for daytime use.
  • Harlequin: Another strain high in CBD, Harlequin offers a balance that helps mitigate pain while allowing users to stay alert.
  • Cannatonic: With a CBD to THC ratio of about 1:1, Cannatonic is praised for its ability to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Sour Diesel: For those experiencing fatigue in addition to pain, Sour Diesel can offer an energetic boost.
  • Charlotte’s Web: One of the most popular high-CBD strains on the market, Charlotte’s Web is used for various conditions, including RA, without inducing psychoactive effects.

Can CBD Help with RA?

Research into the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on rheumatoid arthritis is ongoing, but initial findings have shown promise. Studies suggest that CBD can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, which would make it a viable supplement to traditional RA treatments.

That said, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen.


While medical marijuana can’t cure rheumatoid arthritis, its benefits, which range from pain relief and reduced inflammation to improved sleep and mood regulation, can greatly improve RA patients’ quality of life. However, it’s crucial to use medical cannabis with a thorough understanding of its risks and side effects and the guidance of a healthcare professional.

If you suffer from RA or another qualifying condition, the Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help you obtain a medical marijuana card. First we’ll connect you with a medical marijuana doctor, and if they certify you for medical cannabis treatment, our team will guide you through the process of applying for an MMJ card.

Book an appointment today to find out whether you’re eligible for a medical marijuana card.

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