Use of cannabis in the treatment of autoimmune diseases
Opportunity
20th October 2020

Use of cannabis in the treatment of autoimmune diseases

Elijah Farley
Cannabis is a drug that is drawn from a plant known as Cannabis sativa and is generally referred to as marijuana. Its use has been prohibited in many countries due to its abuse as a recreational drug. In recent years, a few countries have embraced this psychoactive drug for medical purposes only. Research has shown that Cannabis can be used to treat autoimmune diseases such as a skin condition known as psoriasis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis which affects nerves of the eyes, the spinal cord, and the brain.

The latest clinical trials conclude that cannabis can be quite useful in medical treatments due to its ability to provide pain relief and reduce inflammations. Cannabis can be extracted and combined with other drugs to provide medication to autoimmune disease patients. Doctors can now prescribe a recommended dose to patients suffering from these conditions. A lot has changed in recent years where more studies have been allowed to be conducted regarding the use of cannabis in medicine.

Medical research has indicated that cannabis

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune cells fight their healthy cells. The results of this phenomenon are that the immune system is either over-activated or under activated. When the body immunity is highly activated, the immune cells attack tissues and organs such as the skin, eyes, lungs, liver, and kidneys. On the contrary, when the body immunity is under activated, the immune system becomes unable to protect the body against infections. It is estimated that over fifty million Americans suffer from at least one of the hundred known autoimmune diseases.

Medical research has indicated that cannabis can treat some symptoms of autoimmune diseases that provide relief to patients. For instance, patients suffering from psoriasis claimed that cannabidiol oil gave them pain relief and reduced their inflammation. Fibromyalgia patients also indicated that upon using cannabis, they experienced better sleep quality and it also eased their pain. There are overwhelming reports on the therapeutic effects of cannabis in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Unlike regular medicine that mainly suppresses

Cannabis contains a chemical called cannabinoid which are the active chemicals that bind to our cannabinoid receptors found in our bodies. The cannabinoid receptors are found everywhere in our bodies from the immune system to the digestive system, to the nervous system, the respiratory system among others. There are more than a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis of which, only two are vital in treating inflammation that is caused by autoimmune diseases. The two cannabinoids are THC and CBD. At high doses, THC is immunosuppressive while at a lower dose, it is a pain killer and anti-inflammatory. CBD cannabinoid is also an anti-inflammatory and an immunosuppressor.

Unlike regular medicine that mainly suppresses the immune system, cannabis regulates the functioning of the immune system. Most autoimmune conditions have similar symptoms like fever, inflammation, fatigue, and weight loss. Cannabis reduces inflammation which in turn reduces the immune response towards the inflammation. Our immune system plays a vital role in maintaining our health and therefore, making it stop or lower its function can only cause more damage than good. For that reason, cannabis works in conjunction with the immune system without interfering with its work.

Use of cannabis in the treatment of autoimmune diseases

While regular immunosuppressant medications can have adverse side effects such as a higher risk of getting infections, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, cannabis has no known side effects. Cannabis does not cause impairment to the immune system for it to produce its therapeutic effects. It is able to suppress immunity in a subtle way that does not pose a greater danger.

You wonder whether cannabis can also have a drawback in autoimmune disease treatment. So yes, there is a downside and the side effects are as follows; Cannabis is an immunosuppressive drug which means it reduces immune responses, therefore, patients using low or high cannabis doses can have biphasic effects where they can experience an opposite effect where the cannabis is not able to minimize inflammation.

To answer your question, Cannabis has a more beneficial effect than a harmful effect to the treatment of autoimmune diseases. So long as one maintains a healthy diet and consumes the required doses, cannabis treatment is bound to have a positive outcome. While there may be no cure for autoimmune diseases, cannabis has been proven to be a viable solution in managing the diseases.

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