Tonight I went to play poker with my honey for his birthday. The usual suspects were all in attendance. I ran into my RA friend, and we had a brief discussion about medical marijuana. It was not a detailed talk or debate, but really just about whether it was available in Arizona where we both plan on residing in the not to distant future because the climate is favorable for our arthritic conditions.
This got me to thinking about the benefits/side effects of marijuana on PA specifically. I fired up the computer as soon as I got home and got to reading. I won't say I have never smoked marijuana, but it has been some time since I have. I am not against it. In fact I feel that it's probably less damaging than alcohol and cigarettes which are legal. I haven't experimented with it's effects on my PA because it is not legally available in Texas and I can't afford to lose my job due to the legal issues of using it for pain relief.
So here is what I found in a brief search. MJ is believed to have immune-modulation and anti-inflammatory properties. So not only assisting in pain relief, but may actually act as a immuno inhibitor and reduce painful inflammation. Studies are limited, but Chinese medicine has used MJ as a rheumatism cure for centuries. Studies done in states where medical MJ has been legalized it has been proven to improve mobility and reduce morning stiffness. Some info on these facts is available at Americans for safe access. A study done in 2005 states that a medication formulated with plant extracts of MJ taken in the form of a mouth spray actually blocked progression of RA and increased quality of life in study participants. More info on this study can be found here.
I realize that studies are limited at this point due to the legality of MJ in most places. This is the info I was able to find in a brief google search over the last couple hours. I'll probably do a follow up blog at a later date when I've had time to delve a little deeper into the big bad world of weed. In the meantime it's something to think about and research on your own if it's an option for you. A list of current states with medical MJ can be found at ProCon.org . This link has a chart of states, when it was legalized, and some of the stipulations involved in the laws for that state.