In 2015 The Arthritis Society issued a grant to conduct studies to explore breakthrough therapies, utilizing medical cannabis. They were looking to discover whether cannabis-based medicine could provide more benefit than just dulling the pain. The idea was to look into its potential in reversing damage. One of the world’s foremost pain researchers, Dr. Jason McDougall, received the Grant to complete a three-year study on cannabis potential to repair arthritic joints. McDougall is a professor of pharmacology and anesthesia at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“A previous study had indicated that extremely high concentrations of CB2 receptors are found within arthritic joints – which suggests a pathway for treatment. In simple terms, a CB2 receptor functions as a doorway into the cell wall, allowing cannabinoids to enter. While the body produces its own endocannabinoids that enter these CB2 receptors, another study found that outside cannabinoids influence the body’s endocannabinoid system to release antioxidants which help to repair cell damage. Cannabis-based medicines act directly on CB2 sites to suppress pain and inflammation by mediating immune responses at the site of inflammation.”
Since funding, over 3 years ago, there have been two papers published by McDougall.. The study was published in December 2017 in the journal Pain. According to McDougall’s findings, “… local administration of CBD blocked OA [osteoarthritis] pain. Prophylactic CBD [cannabidiol] treatment prevented the later development of pain and nerve damage in these OA joints.”
In, other words, CBD, when applied topically, worked for acute pain. Moreover, when it was used as a preventative measure (prophylactically), it was able to help avoid pain and nerve damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis.
The Take Away?
CBD from cannabis can help with acute pain, but it also has the potential to help prevent further arthritic development.
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