Cannabis arthritis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

The cannabis-based drug Sativex (GW Pharmaceuticals) has been shown to have beneficial effects in rheumatoid arthritis in a controlled trial. (Blake DR, Robson P, Ho M, et al. Preliminary assessment of efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology 2006; 45:50-52.)

The product is cannabis-derived but is not psychoactive, and comes in the form of an oromucosal spray composed primarily of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Investigators tested Sativex for the relief of pain in RA over a five-week period. Patients had active RA not adequately controlled by standard medications, with disease of extended duration and there was poor analgesic control.

Patients continued to take stable doses of the drugs they were already using (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], disease-modifying antirheumatic agents [DMARDs], and steroids).

The primary efficacy was pain on movement, measured each morning on a numerical rating scale (0-10). A significant difference was found between the Sativex and placebo groups. Statistically significant differences were also measured on several secondary efficacy end points, including pain at rest, quality of sleep, and the disease activity score (DAS28).

The product was well tolerated, the researchers commented. The most commonly reported adverse events were dizziness (eight patients on Sativex vs one on placebo), light-headedness (three vs one), dry mouth (four vs zero), and nausea (two vs one).

This product is not available in the U.S yet.

Cannabis has a long history of being used—unofficially—to help with medical symptoms, and a recent UK survey showed that arthritis (type not specified) was the fifth most common reason for such use, after multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, chronic pain, and depression.

Get more information about cannabis arthritis as well as...

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• And much more...

Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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