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How cannabis may help to relieve Rheumotologic disease symptoms: A list of studies

The pain management implications for medical marijuana and cannabis may be far-reaching. Two new studies in France and Brazil add additional insight into a growing body of evidence that could link cannabinoids to positive health outcomes. This article discusses rheumatologic illnesses, the results of the studies, and how cannabis affects your body. You can learn more about the types of cannabinoid products available in Colorado at our Denver dispensary.



Examples of Rheumatologic diseases include the following:

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Lupus

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Gout

  • Ankylosing spondylitis

  • Scleroderma

  • Psoriatic arthritis

  • Sjogren’s syndrome

  • Infectious arthritis

Symptoms vary from condition to condition, but these illnesses affect your ability to complete everyday tasks. For example, rheumatic conditions impact the bones, muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments. Medical practitioners believe these musculoskeletal diseases cause the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain

  • Vision problems

  • Reduced range of motion in joints

  • Swelling, redness and pain in joints and surrounding structures

Common causes may center around issues with the immune system. A compromised immune system can lead to attacks on your muscles and joints. Doctors are still puzzling out why this happens. They believe that the causes include genetic predisposition and environmental causes such as pollution, use of tobacco products, and infections. The condition seems to affect more women than men.

Fibromyalgia impacts the daily lives of those with this condition in many ways. Researchers believe that overstimulated nerves impact the brain and spinal cord, resulting in an increase in brain chemicals that signal pain. Fibromyalgia may result from a tendency of receptors in the brain that overreact to nerve signals. Like other rheumatic diseases, this condition runs in families. Triggers include infections and physical or emotional stress. For example, a car accident or exposure to psychological stress may trigger the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Risk factors include the following:

  • Gender: women suffer from FM more often

  • Family history

  • Certain diseases: Those with osteoarthritis, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis often have FM too.

  • Symptoms such as pain and trouble sleeping can affect your ability to perform tasks at home or work. Co-occurring disorders could include depression and anxiety.

A French study involving participants with rheumatic disease reports that nearly 20% of participants use cannabis for pain management. Here are a few highlights of the study:

  • Researchers in Clermont-Ferrand, France, reviewed the scientific literature on the prevalence of cannabis use in the relief of rheumatologic diseases.

  • The review included nearly 11,000 patients, and nearly 3,000 said they used cannabis for pain management and receive relief from it, according to the authors.

  • Further, the investigators noted the potential for clinical therapeutic use, presumably involving medical marijuana.


A Brazilian study also published in 2020 concluded that cannabis oil provided relief for participants with fibromyalgia (FM), characterized by pain and fatigue.

To understand the potential for pain management with cannabis, consider your body’s endocannabinoid system and the entourage effect.


Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

This system manages numerous functions in your body, including memory, pain, mood, and other factors. Cannabinoids impact your endocannabinoid system, resulting in the favorable effects reported following cannabis use. CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are found in your brain and nervous system. Your body produces chemical compounds that bind to these receptors to maintain hormonal balance. Cannabis may enhance these effects.

The entourage effect describes the combined effect of terpenoids, flavonoids, and cannabinoids supported by some studies and cannabis enthusiasts.


Stop by Standing Akimbo to discuss the potential pain management implications of medical marijuana use for rheumatological conditions.

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