Osteoarthritis. Cannabis can help.

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I would like to learn more about using cannabis to help manage fatigue and aches associated with osteoarthritis and autoimmune issues,” asked a local woman. We’re glad she reached out, and we’re sorry she is suffering. Chronic pain is the worst. Ouch.

Cannabis can help alleviate her discomfort. For today, let’s look at osteoarthritis. Next week, we’ll look at autoimmune issues.

First, and you know this disclaimer is required, we are giving suggestions, not medical advice. The person to ask for that is your doctor.

The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the result of the cartilage on the ends of bones wearing down. It can happen with any joints, though hands, hips, and knees are most frequent. The Arthritis Foundation refers to osteoarthritis as “wear and tear arthritis.”

As cannabis is valued for its wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, it is becoming a more and more popular pain reliever. THC and CBD are the cannabinoids credited with fighting pain and inflammation. Though they work together, studies indicate that high CBD strains are a better choice for arthritis sufferers. Also note, sativa is excellent for energy and focus, while indica is more for relaxing the body.

Topicals work great for localized pain, as do pain patches. There are tinctures, vapes, and edibles, too. Pay attention to the ratio of THC to CBD, with 1:1 the balance benchmark. Exact ratios of cannabinoid are easier to quantify in topicals, tinctures, vapes, and edibles. The ratio of the flower (the bud we smoke) is tied cultivation and curing.

Again, finding what your body likes takes a little education and patience. 

Although there’s a never-ending argument of whether one can overdose on cannabis, feeling too “high” (high ratio of THC) can be unpleasant for some of us. Good thing it's not long lasting. Start with a small dosage and build up until you find your sweet spot.

It may take a couple of tries to get the right dosage for your body. Be willing to experiment to find what you like. Unlike pharmaceuticals, where one size fits all, one benefit of cannabis is that each person has their own response to the plant. Some love the ointments for skin care and edibles for anxiety and sleep management. Others find tinctures and capsules ideal for their particular challenge.  

If there’s an aspect of cannabis you’d like to know more about, tell us in the comments section. Thanks, and we’ll be talking soon.