Cannabis for Arthritis: How Much THC is Needed?

If you're concerned about getting high or have never consumed THC before, it's best to start with a lower dose of both compounds. Unlike THC, CBD is not “psychoactive”, meaning it won't cause the intoxication or high associated with marijuana use. People younger than 25, those who have had a substance use disorder, and those who use THC frequently are at a higher risk of developing a cannabis use disorder (cannabis addiction). Carolina Landolt-Marticorena, MD, PhD, rheumatologist at FRCPR Rheumatologist Summertree Medical Clinic Runnymede Healthcare Center. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-euphoric chemical that won't make you feel “high” and may even help counteract some of the negative effects of THC when used together.

When taken in sufficient doses, THC can affect sensory processing, cognition and fine motor coordination. Studies using mice and rats have shown that THC interacts with the CB1 receptor, while CBD interacts with the CB2 receptor, both endocannabinoid receptors responsible for pain pathway signaling. When consuming cannabis-infused foods, it's important to be mindful and take small amounts with lower doses of THC as the effects of edibles can be stronger than other types of cannabis and cause more pronounced side effects. In some trials, patients with arthritis took 10 mg of CBD and 10 mg of THC (the same proportion used in the pharmaceutical cannabinoid called Sativex) twice daily. Marijuana is a type of cannabis plant that contains THC (the chemical responsible for “drugging” people) as well as some CBD or cannabidiol.

It's important to always check with your doctor before adding CBD and THC to your treatment plan in case of any interactions with other medications. This allows the patient to benefit from both CBD and THC while promoting efficacy by taking them together. While CBD and THC don't cure arthritis, they can go a long way in reducing pain, improving sleep and reducing inflammation throughout the body. CBD and THC can even be used to treat the side effects of your current medication by promoting weight loss, relieving anxiety and promoting better sleep. The amount of time needed before driving depends on the method of administration and the THC content of the cannabis that has been consumed.

Preliminary studies suggest that CBD and THC can also improve fracture healing in patients with arthritis, but more clinical trials need to be conducted first.

Tasha Falsetti
Tasha Falsetti

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