Navigation Links
Herbal cannabis not recommended for rheumatology patients
Date:3/2/2014

Patients with rheumatic conditions are in need of symptom relief and some are turning to herbal cannabis as a treatment option. However, the effectiveness and safety of medical marijuana to treat symptoms of rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or fibromyalgia is not supported by medical evidence. A new article published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), explores the risks associated with using herbal cannabis for medicinal purposes and advises healthcare providers to discourage rheumatology patients from using this drug as therapy.

The reason for the medical interest in herbal cannabis is that the human body has an extensive cannabinoid system comprising molecules and receptors that have effects on many functions including pain modulation. Medical cannabis is commonly used to self-treat severe pain associated with arthritis and musculoskeletal pain. In fact, previous research reports that 80% of marijuana users in a U.S. pain clinic are treating myofascial pain with the drug. In population studies in the U.K. and Australia, up to 33% of individuals report using marijuana to treat arthritis pain. As of June 2013, estimates from the office of Information Commissioner of Canada list "severe arthritis" as the reason the 65% of Canadians who are allowed to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes.

"With the public outcry for herbal cannabis therapy, governments around the world are considering its legalization for medicinal use," explains lead investigator Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, a researcher and rheumatologist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Research Institute of the MUHC in Quebec, Canada. "Physicians caring for patients who are self-medicating with marijuana need to understand the health implications of using this drug. Our study aims to provide health care professionals with that medical evidence related to medical marijuana use in patients with rheumatic conditions."

In the U.S. twenty states, including the District of Columbia (DC), have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. The present study examines the dosing, administration, efficacy and risks of herbal cannabis in pain management for patients with rheumatic conditions. The health issues with recreational marijuana use in this patient population are not covered.

Concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)the substance found in Cannabis sativa that provides pain relief and alters brain function (psychoactive effect)vary in the plant material by up to 33% and absorption rates are between 2% and 56%, making the dosing of herbal cannabis unreliable. While cannabis may be ingested, most users prefer to inhale the compound for a quicker response. However, smoking a "joint" is not recommended by the medical community due to adverse effects on the respiratory system from hydrocarbons, tar and carbon monoxide.

Furthermore, there is no formal short-term or long-term study of the effectiveness of herbal cannabis in patients with rheumatic diseases. Studies that show good efficacy of cannabinoids for cancer and neuropathic pain may not be extended to rheumatic diseases because of the differing mechanism in the types of pain.

The study authors highlight that use of medical marijuana comes with inherent risks such as compromised cognitive and psychomotor function. Long-term use of cannabis may lead to mental illness, dependence, addiction and memory issues. In fact, a prior U.S. study of 8,000 adults who used cannabis in the previous year found that the odds of depression were 1.4 times higher in cannabis users compared to non-users.

"At this time, we cannot recommend herbal cannabis for arthritis pain management given the lack of efficacy data, potential harm from the drug, and availability of other therapies for managing pain," concludes Dr. Fitzcharles. "Physicians should discourage rheumatology patients from using medical marijuana as a therapy."


'/>"/>
Contact: Dawn Peters
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Herbal Remedy Ingredient Tied to Cancer, Kidney Failure
2. Efficacy of herbal remedies for managing insomnia
3. Herbal remedy used to treat hepatitis C proves ineffective, Penn study finds
4. Can herbal products provide sun protection?
5. Young researcher on the trail of herbal snakebite antidote
6. Bioforce USA Announces Herbatint Herbal Hair Color Selected For Tips and Trends Again
7. Herbalist.com Launches Largest Natural Health Database Connecting Local Businesses with Local Consumers
8. SpiritDetox.com Announces Addition of Herbal Clay Teas to Detox Product Lineup
9. Chinese Herbal Medicine Can Reach into Prostate Gland and Treat Prostatitis Successfully As A New Option for Prostatitis Sufferers, States Wuhan Dr.Li's Clinic
10. The Center for Anti-Aging Will Now Be Offering Its Vitamins and Herbal Supplements on Amazon
11. A Earthy Addition; Natural Health Store Herbal Path in Dover, NH now Carries Unique Native Remedy Kanwa Whole Body Detox Products for Daily Purification.
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... of Justice jointly issued a letter to withdraw previous guidance issued ... their gender identity. The guidance issued in May 2016 by the Obama Administration ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... with a clinician-based audience, will be participating in Rare Disease Day events, hosted ... D.C. In addition, Rare Disease Report, a website, weekly e-newsletter and quarterly publication, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... Hamlin Dental Group ... that they are sponsoring a raffle. Throughout the month of February, patients who visit ... a gift card for a dinner for two at the Cheesecake Factory. , ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) , ... February 23, ... ... for Global Sports Development will host a diverse symposium on “Doping ... School of Law and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. The symposium will ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... ERT, a global data and technology ... Research, a leading clinical development service provider, has selected ERT’s Trial Oversight suite ... in part to an array of circumstances including the use of multiple data ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 Nevro Corp. (NYSE: NVRO), a global medical ... treatment of chronic pain, today reported financial results for the ... 2016 Accomplishment & Highlights: Achieved ... increase of 228% as reported, over the prior year ... of 612% over the prior year International ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Calif. , Feb. 23, 2017 ... company focused on the development and commercialization of ... pain, announced that it will release fourth quarter ... Thursday, March 2nd, 2017. AcelRx management will host ... Time (1:30 p.m. Pacific Time) on March 2 ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb 23, 2017 ... Research and Markets has announced the ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... of around 1.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $12.8 billion ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as well ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: