How to Safely Use THC for Arthritis Pain Relief

Learn how to safely use THC for arthritis pain relief. Find out what dosage is recommended and how it interacts with receptors in the brain and immune system.

How to Safely Use THC for Arthritis Pain Relief

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the component in cannabis that can cause consumers to “get high”. For most chronic patients, the recommended starting dose is 5 mg of CBD per day, which can be increased by 10 mg every two to three days as needed to relieve pain. To limit adverse effects, it is suggested to keep total THC intake below 30 mg per day. In many states that have legalized cannabis, 10 mg of THC is defined as a serving. Medical cannabis has been gaining traction as a potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

This chronic autoimmune disease can cause inflammation and pain in the joints, as well as other health problems. CBD oil has shown promise in treating arthritis-related pain. If it interacts with receptors in the brain and immune system as researchers believe, it can reduce inflammation and pain. Additionally, taking THC at night may improve sleep quality, which is often an issue for those with chronic pain. A review of studies in various indications, including chronic pain, found that in most patients, the analgesic effects of THC begin between 2 and 2.5 mg of THC (Beal et al.).

It is important to note that the analgesic effects of THC in chronic neuropathic pain in humans have been shown to occur at plasma levels well below those associated with euphoria (Ware et al.).When discussing the use of THC, there was debate about the minimum age recommendation but no consensus was reached. The delay in drug effect when THC is ingested orally and the duration of the effect are important considerations for patients receiving treatment with medical cannabis. Unexpectedly, experiencing the psychotropic effects of THC may be undesirable for the patient, and treating physicians should always be aware of the concentration of THC in any given product. A crossover study examining 17 healthy adults who had not used recreational or medical cannabis for at least 60 days found that ingesting 0, 10, 25, or 50 mg of THC (Schlienz et al.) had different effects. This suggests that a patient may not need to experience the psychotropic effects of THC to achieve pain relief. If you are considering CBD treatment for chronic arthritis pain or are already taking it, discuss the pros, cons, and latest news with your healthcare providers.

Together you can decide on a reasonable treatment plan. Initial and titrating doses of THC differ between conservative and routine dosing and administration protocols due to potential psychotropic effects.