Over the last couple of years the marijuana industry has really evolved and medical weed has become an accepted medical substance and solution for many different diseases and illnesses. It is gaining popularity amongst physicians and doctors and is now used by many in their modern day lives. Once, only talked about behind closed doors, Cannabis is now being used to treat numerous diseases and is being used in thousands of research programs worldwide to cure unwanted illnesses. One of those diseases is Lupus.
What is Lupus?
Lupus refers to a number of diseases where the immune system of the body erroneously attacks its ordinarily functioning tissues. This disease is believed to affect about 5 million people around the world. About 90% of these patients are women. For some time now, there has not been major progress on the treatment of Lupus but Marijuana treatments could be changing all of that.
In more definite and scientific terms, Lupus is an autoimmune disease where your body tends to attach other tissues in it and damage them. The most common form of this condition is known as Systemic Lupus Erthematosus (SLE). Just like all other forms of this condition, SLE is unique in that symptoms can vary from an individual to another in a very drastic manner. All the same, some serious health complications that define the condition include:
- Breathing difficulties due to high blood pressure in the lungs.
- Kidney inflammations leading to difficulties in filtering blood.
- Nervous system inflammation leading to various neurological complications and stroke.
- Arteries hardening increasing probability for heart attack.
Other than SLE, Lupus disease has three major categories:
- Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus that normally affects the human skin manifesting through raised and scaly rashes.
- Drug-induced Lupus Erythematosus that results from the use of some prescription drugs.
- Neonatal Lupus, a health condition that affects the baby of a mother with Lupus and is at times long-term.
Attempts made to treat Lupus
The treatment of Lupus has been tried through the management and control of flare-ups as they appear. Mostly, this has been done using drugs that seek to suppress the human immune system. Such drugs as Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have commonly been used for many years but have always brought out negative side effects to the patients’ eyes. In recent times, Belimumab was certified for use through the FDA. However, investigators have found it partially effective and also very expensive tagged at $35,000 annually. Unfortunatley, not many patients are able to afford this hefty price and therefore, they end up suffering more.
Is Marijuana The Most Effective and Cheapest Option?
Based on the challenges that have been experienced in the treatment of Lupus, patients are seeking for an alternative that is cheap, safe and very effective. Cannabis is thought to be a solution looking at how medical marijuana has successfully treated such kinds of symptoms showing through this health condition. As an autoimmune complication, inflammation results when it is not necessary. This leads to the damaging of healthy tissues in the human body. The chemicals found in marijuana, commonly known as cannabinoids, have been found to address issues of inflammation in a very effective way. Looking at the nature of SLE, it can lead to inflammation almost anywhere in the human body. After inflammation takes place in the lungs, kidneys, heart or brain, reducing it becomes quite an uphill task. This is where Cannabis comes into the picture. Certain strains are thought to mediate inflammatory and help patients suffering from Lupus.
A survey conducted in Canada reported that most individuals self-medicate themselves using marijuana for acute, non-cancer related pain. One of the main symptoms of Lupus is chronic pain at the joints. In this regard, marijuana is now expected to effectively help in the management of pain, which results from joint inflammation. Controlling joint pain would make it possible for patients to move around and even get the freedom to exercise, travel or relax in a more comfortable way.
Medical Cannabis of Southern California director, Dr. Sean Breen recommends cannabis to his Lupus patients in order to alleviate a number of symptoms. One of his patients suffered from nausea, abdominal pain and joint spasm, which were side effects from using other prescription drugs. In this case, Dr. Breen recommended weed vaporization to the patient and applying a topical marijuana-based cream purported to mitigate the symptoms significantly. Dr. Breen claims to have helped many other patients in such a manner.
Final Thoughts about Cannabis and Lupus
As of now, the Lupus Foundation of America, which is the national charitable health institute involved in fighting the disease now supports continued scientific research on the use of medical cannabis to treat Lupus. Looking at the side effects of other prescription drugs and the costs involved, marijuana is currently thought to be the next hope for Lupus patients.
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Please note that before using medical marijuana as a treatment for Lupus you should consult with your doctor. This article is not intended to give you recommendations or advice in any way.