Can Cannabis Really Treat Lupus- Related Inflammation?
Lupus, according to Lupus News Today, is also known as the great imitator. It earned this term due to its difficulty in diagnosis. They continue to state that it takes at least six years to correctly diagnose the disease. Note, that this is after the patient starts exhibiting symptoms that suggest the likelihood of the disease.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, there at least 1.5 Americans suffer from Lupus. Moreover, over five million people globally suffer from this disease as well. It is said to be largely a female disease and is said to occur mostly in women of color.
Regardless of the statistics above, over 75% of American individuals are unaware of the disease. That said, what exactly is Lupus? Let us take a look.
Lupus is a disease that is classified as an autoimmune disease. Our body is commonly protected from diseases and different types of infections by our immune system. However, an autoimmune disease causes our immune system to not function properly.
In other words, your immune system will instead attack and destroy healthy cells in your body. Your immune system mistakes healthy cells as foreign and harmful substances. Hence, it releases antibodies that work towards attacking healthy cells in your body.
In this case, Lupus is an autoimmune disease that targets the entire body. It especially focuses on attacking parts of the body like the skin, joints and even the brain. As a result, most individuals suffering from this condition experience chronic pain and inflammation due to tissue damage.
Chronic pain and inflammation can considerably impact one’s life negatively. To the extent that one can no longer be productive if this condition is left untreated. Moreover, studies have shown that inflammation can lead to Alzheimer’s when one gets older.
Types of Lupus
There are four different forms of Lupus. They include Systemic Lupus, Drug-Induced Lupus, Neonatal Lupus and Cutaneous Lupus. Let us take a look at them in detail.
Systematic Lupus: This type is more common and likely to occur among individuals. In fact, among all the cases of the lupus diseases, systematic lupus accounts for at least 70 percent of them.
It attacks the major organs of the body, such as the brains and the heart. Hence, it can ultimately lead to death if left untreated or is diagnosed at an advanced stage. Neonatal Lupus: This is where the baby develops lupus from birth, hence the name. The disease occurs when the mother’s antibodies affect the growing fetus in the womb. However, this type of lupus, including the symptoms are said to disappear after a period of six months or more.
Please note that the Neonatal lupus is a rare condition.
Cutaneous Lupus: This type of lupus disease affects and attacks the skin only. Hence, the symptoms often manifest on the skin. For example, the individuals will likely develop a skin rash, skin lesions and so forth.
Drug-induced Lupus: This type of lupus is often caused by specific medications. The symptoms that accompany this form of lupus may decrease if the medication is discontinued.
What Causes Lupus?
As previously mentioned, lupus is an autoimmune disease, where the white blood cells end up attacking healthy body cells. However, there is no known cause for this. Some studies have, however, revealed that some medications can cause it. Hence, leading to the development of Drug-induced Lupus.
Moreover, certain infections can increase the risk of one contracting the disease. Additionally, women of color are more likely to develop this disease. More specifically, African- Americans, Asians, Native Americans and Hispanics just to name a few.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 1 in 540 African- American young women is affected by the lupus disease. This condition can be passed on or inherited genetically. In other words, if you have a family history of lupus, you are likely to develop the disease.
Regardless of your family history, whether or not there is a history of lupus, it’s better to be sure. Get checked if you suspect that you or your family member may be suffering from it.
The Treatment of Lupus
There is no known cure for the lupus disease. However, there are different treatments that can help alleviate symptoms. Most of the treatments include the use of certain medications. However, over the long term, some medications have been shown to be ineffective.
This is especially true when it comes to alleviating pain and inflammation. Other medications have been shown to lead to uncomfortable side- effects as well. Side effects may include weight gain, Osteoporosis, High Blood Pressure and liver damage just to name a few.
The treatment of this disease also includes a change in lifestyle. Patients are advised to eat healthier, exercise and sleep more.
Lupus and Cannabis Treatment
The use of cannabis in the medical world has risen over the last few years. More and more research proves its effectiveness in treating certain diseases and conditions. This is largely due to its high content in CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
THC once consumed is known to interact with certain receptors in the body. These receptors are said to control appetite, mood and pain. Hence, the reason it can help alleviate and treat pain caused by the lupus disease.
CBD works the same way that THC does, and achieves the same results as well. According to cannabis.info, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our body. The endocannabinoid system consists of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These two receptors are known to control memory, pain and even mood.
Hence, CBD has been used in the treatment of epilepsy, anxiety and pain relief. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of CBD and its medical relevance. Its discovery and uses led to the inception of Charlotte’s Web, a company started Josh Stanely following a successful epilepsy treatment.
Both THC and CBD have been found to reduce and treat inflammation considerably as well. Hence, cannabis can be used in treating the two major symptoms of lupus: inflammation and pain.
According to the Marijuana Doctors, THC changes certain proteins in the body. Hence, giving it the ability to interrupt the genetic expression that causes inflammation.
If you want to know if medical marijuana can help you with your condition, call our compassionate and caring team. We can help patients in Maryland who wants to be evaluated and certified in the medical marijuana program.
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