Per the Arthritis Society, one out of every five Canadians has arthritis, one of the most common causes of joint pain.
As we age, some aches and pains become common. However, chronic joint pain can disturb your quality of life. It can turn activities you enjoy into challenges, which can wear on mental health.
Luckily, there are ways to treat and manage joint pain. In addition to traditional treatment, many people are looking to cannabis as a more natural way to alleviate chronic pain. Below we’ll explore what causes joint pain and how marijuana may help as part of an overall treatment regimen.
What Is Joint Pain?
You understand what joints in the body are — the places where your bones meet. These junctions comprise tendons connecting muscle to bone, allowing your body to move. Joints exist throughout the body, literally from head to toe.
When you experience pain or discomfort in any of these areas, you are experiencing joint pain. However, pain isn’t the only symptom of poor joint health.
- Joints tender to touch
- Joints emitting warmth
- Sudden fever
- Redness around the joint (erythema)
What Causes Joint Pain?
Many illnesses cause joint pain. Some are related to the musculoskeletal system, while others are not.
- Arthritis: The three most common arthritis types are gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, all of which cause joint inflammation.
- Cancer: There are many different cancers, all of which take a toll on bone and joint health.
- Tendonitis: This is an illness resulting in swelling of the tendons.
- Fibromyalgia: A difficult to identify illness often associated with chronic pain.
- Lupus: An autoimmune disorder with origins scientists are still trying to discover.
How to Treat Joint Pain
Managing joint pain is determined based on the cause of the pain. For any illness ending in ‘-itis’ (meaning ‘swelling of the …’), your doctor may prescribe you prescription-strength anti-inflammatories or steroid packs. But doctors often use these prescription medications in combination with other treatments like eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying active.
Many people are looking for more natural ways to help manage symptoms like these. Many parts of nature offer anti-inflammatory properties, including marijuana and its CBD compound. For that reason, more people are turning to marijuana to help manage joint pain in addition to their doctor’s recommendations.
Best Marijuana Strains for Joint Pain
There are more than 1,000 different marijuana strains on the market today. So how do you know what strains to try to help ease joint pain? You’ll want to look for strains with a relatively equal balance between THC content and CBD content. Although, you should always consult with your primary care physician if you plan to self-medicate, especially if you are already taking prescribed medications that could be contraindicative.
Some strains to consider are listed here.
- ACDC: Not just the name of a famous rock band, ACDC is a marijuana strain famous in its own right. This particular strain of cannabis is unique in that it has a very high CBD content with a low THC content. It averages a CBD:THC ratio of about 20:1. Because it has high CBD amounts, users will get the anti-inflammatory properties CBD offers with a minimal high.
- Harlequin: This popular strain has a very balanced CBD:THC ratio, giving users a consistent high without making users feel sedated or intoxicated. Harlequin typically has a CBD content of about 15 percent, with a THC level ranging from 7 percent to 15 percent.
- Blue Diesel: This strain offers a heavy, pleasant blueberry scent thanks to its genetics. A Sativa-dominant plant, Blue Diesel is known for providing a steady high that will last all day, making it appealing to many. Its CBD:THC ratio lends itself well to joint pain management.
- Death Star: Death Star is a little different than other strains recommended for joint pain as it has a higher THC content and lower CBD content than others. It is known for giving a heavy body high, making it perfect for those looking to use marijuana for joint pain before heading off to sleep.
- Cannatonic: Another famous strain, Cannatonic is a very well-balanced hybrid, offering levels of 12 percent CBD against about 15 percent THC. This even split provides users with a mild high while providing feelings of happiness and euphoria.
If you cannot get these strains in your area, don’t be afraid to ask your online dispensary for recommendations. They’ll need to know what benefits you desire, why you need it, and the tolerance/experience you have.
Get the Most Out of Marijuana for Joint Pain
Though smoking cannabis is the best way to get the effects of pain relief, that isn’t always an option. Those with other health issues may not be able to handle smoking, as it can interfere with conditions such as asthma or seasonal allergies.
In that case, there are other options available to you as well. One recommended way to use cannabis strains for joint pain is to utilize a vaporizer. Users can also purchase cannabis oils that can be applied topically to the skin or placed under the tongue. You’ll want to ensure you are finding CBD oils, as these will give you the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD without the high of THC.
You may find CBD products in general to be an excellent alternative to smoking weed for joint pain. With many CBD products on the market, you are sure to find one that appeals to you. CBD products come in the forms of candy, capsules, oils, and more.
Chronic joint pain impacts your daily life. Though there are ways to treat and manage joint pain, depending on its cause, some people have found using marijuana to be effective as part of their pain management. When choosing marijuana for joint pain, look for strains that have a balance between CBD and THC content or that have a higher CBD content to give yourself a great start.