During the 19th century, cannabis tinctures were common on pharmacy shelves throughout North America and administered as a pain killer – often for arthritis. There are a couple of cannabinoids found in cannabis that have especially profound efficacy for those with arthritis: CBD and THC. Not only do these cannabinoids provide an analgesic effect but they have also been shown to have powerful immune-modulation and anti-inflammatory properties.
The psychoactive cannabinoid is known for producing the feeling of being “high,” tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is also a very effective analgesic (pain reliever). It also acts to reduce inflammation, stimulate the appetite and can even help to maintain a positive mental state for patients in severe pain.
Like THC, cannabidiol (CBD) reduces pain and inflammation, but unlike THC, it is not psychoactive so patients are able to remain clear-headed. CBD also produces a calming, comforting effect in patients that is known to relieve the stress and anxiety associated with severe pain.
Cannabinol (CBN) is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that acts as a sedative, so it can help to promote restful sleep where RA pain may not normally allow. CBN also provides anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. Cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol-acid (CBDA) also work to relieve inflammation.