People hear a lot of bad things about marijuana, however, the health benefits of the plant are not so readily touted. It seems until recently, doctors have been avoiding the use of pot to treat chronic health conditions.
In an evidence based society, doctors and citizens both demand proof before any new medicine is marketed, especially one with a bad reputation usually used as a drug to get high.
However, in the case of arthritis, cannabis might be the magic bullet to help send the disease into remission. In one study in China, the CB2 receptors of arthritis patients, which are particularly high in this demographic, were stimulated by cannabis, effectively fighting inflammation.
Other researchers are still not convinced and are looking into whether cannabis truly has healing properties or if it just dampens receptors in the brain. In Canada, researcher Dr. Jason McDougall has received a grant for a 3 year study funded by the Arthritis Society to look into this exact matter further.
Some patients with arthritis have already been trying to juice the plant to extract health benefits. Katie Marsh of Madawaska, Maine has been blending the entire plant into her drinks. She attests that the plant worked within a matter of days for her. She was off her prednisone and pain killers within a few weeks. It has been a month shy of an entire year, and Marsh's physician has categorized her condition as "in remission".
Health Canada is taking wind of these medical efforts and anecdotal testimonies to launch the CAPRI trial studying the use of vaporized cannabis with osteoarthritis of the knee. The researchers are looking for participants for their trials based in Halifax and Montreal.
This studied is funded by the Arthritis Society through generous donations from two producers of medical marijuana. Health Canada has given the study a green light.
While there are opposing views regarding this venture, the Arthritis Society wants to see that patients are given a fair chance at exploring alternative cures through conventional medicine.
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