MMJ Medicinal Marijuana vs Lupus

Cannabis is effective against lupus for several reasons. Many of the anti-inflammatory benefits it delivers are closely related to the relief gained by rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who medicate with the herb. Chiefly, marijuana is a very effective analgesic (pain killer) and anti-inflammatory agent. Because the inflammation associated with lupus can produce considerable pain in the hands and knees, cannabis can both treat the source of the symptom — the inflammation and swelling — while also decreasing one of the main symptoms — pain.

Some lupus patients report gaining the most efficacy from their symptoms from strains and extracts of cannabis that are high in the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol). Others claim relief from juicing the leaves of cannabis plants, with CBD-rich strains being indicated as more therapeutic. Most strains and concentrates of cannabis are extremely effective at dealing with the nausea experienced by some lupus patients. Those suffering from insomnia should consider smoking or vaporizing a potent indica before sleep.

The fact that lupus sufferers gain the greatest relief from cannabis strains high in CBD is no surprise. The disease affects the immune system, the areas of the body in which the greatest number of CB2 receptors are found. CB2 receptors are the microscopic chemical parking spaces located throughout the body that features what researchers label a “high binding affinity” for the CBD cannabinoid molecule. THC, the cannabinoid most responsible for the psychoactive effect of cannabis that’s so great for depression and PTSD, binds with a different cannabinoid receptor, CB1, which is found mostly in the brain and nervous system.

Because so many lupus patients suffer from skin conditions, the use of cannabis topicals is one of the most effective treatments for varieties and symptoms of this disease that affect the epidermis. This is especially true based on the stigma of highly visible skin conditions in western cultures that value physical beauty. Topicals and the improvement of skin quality are also an approach that considers psychological, emotional, and self-esteem issues, especially in young and middle-aged women typically afflicted with lupus.

Conventional pharmaceutical treatments for lupus include steroids and immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate. In some patients, methotrexate can cause pulmonary fibrosis, among many other negative and severe side effects. Many drugs used to treat lupus also result in extreme nausea and abdominal cramping.

Cannabis, on the contrary, conveys no severe or negative side effects, unless one considers an improved mood, an appetite, and better sleep undesired results of one’s medicine. Given the extreme efficacy of cannabis for inflammation and pain, especially top-shelf strains high in CBD — and the almost complete lack of negative side effects from the herb — one must question the moral and ethical validity of the anti-cannabis stance of the medical establishment.

In some cases, chemotherapy (and, specifically, a pharmaceutical drug called cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan] that is also used to treat cancer) is used to treat patients suffering from lupus. This avenue of therapy brings a slew of negative and controversial side effects to lupus patients, including severe nausea and vomiting, hair loss, lack of energy, and depression, among many others.

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