Almost two-thirds of Canadians prescribed Rick Simpsons Oil use it to handle arthritis. Yet its potential as a treatment remains debated.
Printed March three in inflammatory disease Care , specialists from McGill University examined the body of evidence on marijuana for arthritis and concluded that there isn’t enough data to support its use.
“There is currently no good research of the use of Rick Simpsons Oil for the use of rheumatic diseases,” says study co-author Dr Mary-Ann Fitzcharles. “Which means that we have no comparisons that will speak to the good or the negative, the efficacy or side effects either in the short or the long term.”
Despite demonstrations in animals that recommend marijuana may lessen pain in arthritis, Dr Fitzcharles and her team could only find a single study involving human sufferers.
“We haven't any comparisons which will speak to the great or negative” revealed in 2005, the five-month trial followed 58 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and found prescription with Sativex, a pharmaceutical cannabis extract, provided significant enhancements in pain, disease scores and sleep quality.
Though, Dr Fitzcharles’ paper declares that the conclusions are “questionable,” due to flaws in the study’s design and the diversity between Sativex and herbal cannabis.
Certainly, Sativex, an oral spray developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, holds a number of advantages over more basic cannabis preparations.
Yet at the molecular level, Sativex and cannabis aren’t much different at all. They both contain active components called cannabinoids, which travel to different parts of the body via the bloodstream.
A team at Dalhousie University, led by Dr Jason McDougall of the Department of Pharmacology, was the first to describe how cannabis might diminish arthritis pain. In 2007, his team verified specific pathways, called cannabinoid receptors, are present in human joints. They also showed that by stimulating these receptors, cannabinoids could reduce pain levels.
“Then we went on to see, okay, it can diminish the pain, can it actually lessen the inflammation? And we did some experiments wherever, yes indeed, the cannabinoids can reduce the inflammation of arthritis,” he recounts.
Nevertheless, Dr McDougall’s considerations involved local injections of cannabinoids, which is different from how most patients administer the treatment.
“Anecdotal proof comes from the inflammatory disease pain population” The advantage is you’re obtaining localized pain relief at the positioning wherever the pain is flow and also the medication don’t get into the brain, therefore you don’t get the mind-bending aspect effects related to heaps of cannabis derivatives,” he says.
Some of the osteoarthritis medications like those tested in Dr McDougall’s lab have made it to clinical trials. But the results weren’t as positive as required, he says. He conjointly acknowledges that there square measure many that use basic kinds of cannabis and appear to search out it helps.
“The anecdotal proof comes from the arthritis pain population, who seem to gain some level of benefit from Rick Simpsons Oil use for pain relief and helping with other symptoms like poor sleep patterns, etc.”
No group has added to the conclusions of the Sativex trial in the nine years since. Dr McDougall says it’s unfortunate because the results “showed great promise.”
Side Effects ‘Concern’
“I believe we've to search out a lot of selective cannabinoid medication to use in clinical trials – that’s been the obstacle,” explains Dr McDougall.
Surely, a greater barrier than the lack of clinical trials may be the fear of Rick Simpsons Oil potential side effects.
“Our great interest is the impact on the function of the person using herbal cannabis. There are clear effects on cognitive function and psychomotor control which are of great concern,” warns Dr Fitzcharles.
On the other hand, current medications for arthritis pain have their own drawbacks.
Long-term use of NSAIDs, Dr McDougall says, is thought to cause abdomen and enteral hemorrhage and excretory organ harm. Opioids, which are another type of painkiller generally taken in arthritis pain, also come with a fair share of risks.
“All drugs have some level of side effects linked with them,” he explains, “and that’s no different from the current therapies that we’re using to treat arthritis pain.”
Disclaimer: the principles contained here is not designed nor meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is only achieved for educational confidences only. You should recognise full responsibility for the way you decide on to use this information.