Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Is Medical Marijuana Effective Against RA Pain?

The use of medical marijuana remains a hot topic in the United States.  Although twenty states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana, in the majority of the country marijuana is still an illicit drug.  Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2012.  Despite state laws allowing for medical or recreational use of cannabis, the US federal government continues to list marijuana (cannabis) as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act which makes it illegal to possess, use, or sell marijuana throughout the United States.

The Arthritis Foundation, an advocacy organization representing patients with all types of arthritis, featured a discussion on issues related to medical marijuana in its May/June 2013 issue of Arthritis Today. See “Medical Marijuana: RX or Risk?” (pdf) by Camille Noe Pagán.
- See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/c/72218/168517/marijuana-pain#sthash.WqcLgwoe.dpuf
The use of medical marijuana remains a hot topic in the United States.  Although twenty states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana, in the majority of the country marijuana is still an illicit drug.  Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2012.  Despite state laws allowing for medical or recreational use of cannabis, the US federal government continues to list marijuana (cannabis) as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act which makes it illegal to possess, use, or sell marijuana throughout the United States.

The Arthritis Foundation, an advocacy organization representing patients with all types of arthritis, featured a discussion on issues related to medical marijuana in its May/June 2013 issue of Arthritis Today. See “Medical Marijuana: RX or Risk?” (pdf) by Camille Noe Pagán.
RA Pain, Disease Activity, and Cannabis

In a phase II double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, 5-week study of 58 rheumatoid arthritis patients, researchers assessed the efficacy of Sativex administered at night up to a maximum of 6 sprays per evening (16.2 mg THC + 15 mg CBD) in 31 patients compared with placebo in 27 patients.  The primary outcome measure was morning pain on movement. Secondary outcomes included measures of pain at rest, sleep quality, morning stiffness, the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) and the 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28).  Baseline scores (an average of the last 4 days of a 14-day baseline period) were compared with the average of the last 14 days of treatment (Blake 2006).

Sativex produced statistically significant improvements in morning pain on movement, morning pain at rest, quality of sleep, disease activity (measured by DAS-28), and SF-MPQ pain at present, as compared to placebo.  However, researchers found that Sativex had no effect on morning stiffness in this group of RA patients (Blake 2006). Authors did point out that baseline scores for morning stiffness had been low initially.  No serious adverse effects occurred in the active treatment group and the large majority of adverse effects were mild or moderate, including dizziness, light-headedness, dry mouth, and nausea.  More studies are warranted.
Read this post in its entirety:

Can Medical Marijuana Help Reduce RA Pain?