One of the biggest reasons medical cannabis has become widely used among patients with chronic conditions is its reported anti-inflammatory properties. According to the Lambert Initiative For Cannabinoid Therapeutics, about 25% of the Australian population with inflammatory bowel disease use medical cannabis to help alleviate their symptoms.
Inflammation is necessary to allow our body to communicate when an issue arises. Once it turns into chronic inflammation, we have a problem. Over time, this constant irritation can cause an array of matters to a patient’s quality of life. As a result, patients rely on alternative solutions such as medical cannabis to help alleviate symptoms of the condition.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s response to experiencing discomfort, and medical cannabis can help reverse this issue. This is how your system communicates that something is wrong. There are two types of inflammation which are acute and chronic, depending on the severity of the issue. Acute inflammation typically lasts for hours to days before the body goes back to its healthy state.
An example of acute inflammation typically occurs when you get a cut. Chronic inflammation can remain in the body for months to years, which is when it is much more challenging to return to your healthy state. Examples of these chronic conditions include Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Heart Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, etc.
In the following sections, we will look at these conditions in depth to determine how medical cannabis can assist these cases.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is the presence of inflammation that occurs in the digestive tract. About 1 in 250 people aged 5-40 are affected with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) across Australia.
Most specifically, around 75,000 of the population are experiencing Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, which by 2022 will advance to 100,000.
In addition to long-term gastrointestinal inflammation, IBD can cause symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, and stress, causing further problems to an IBD patient’s quality of life. While traditional medicines can assist, patients are putting their focus on medical cannabis as an alternative solution to help alleviate the condition.
Arthritis is a group of conditions whereby your joints, such as your back, hands, and knees, are affected. This condition is quite common, with 1 in 6 Australians experiencing some form of arthritis. Types of arthritic conditions include gout, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Arthritis can cause various symptoms, such as discomfort, swelling, redness, weight loss, tiredness, and much more.
Because conventional treatments can cause damage to your internal organs from prolonged use, more arthritis patients are looking for substitute treatment options. It has been suggested that medical cannabis can relieve arthritis pain due to its anti-inflammatory effects, making it a highly sought-after solution.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease whereby tissue is grown externally via the uterus. This tissue develops in organs such as the appendix, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, etc. The breadth of areas affected by endometriosis can lead to various symptoms, including discomfort during sexual intercourse, bowel movements, menstruation, and around the body, such as the pelvic area and lower back.
Various studies have showcased the benefits of medical cannabis for treating endometriosis symptoms, most specifically chronic pain. As it contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, more women are using it for pain relief.
Medical cannabis could help improve the quality of life of those experiencing inflammatory conditions.
*As a disclaimer, it is pivotal to please speak with a healthcare practitioner regarding proper dosage and treatment, as well as if you are experiencing side effects.