Because there is so little information published about treating arthritis with Cannabis, I am posting my own therapies. Hopefully this may give you some ideas about how Cannabis might improve your own condition, but please contact your health provider before making any dosage considerations. Our bodies metabolize medicines very differently.
In my own case, my Doctor was mostly unfamiliar with the therapy and could not make any recommendations. But he was certainly surprised when I showed up with conclusive results – without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. He is presently encouraging me to continue these therapies.
After one year of being diagnosed with a fairly severe case of Rheumatoid Arthritis, my X-rays are still: NORMAL
I am currently taking in the range of 50 mg of Hemp CBD paste, or Hemp Paste Edibles a day. I choose paste because when processed using low heat, the majority of the other cannabinoids and terpenes are left undamaged. While we aren’t yet sure how big a difference this makes, Dr. Mechoulam, the Godfather of Cannabis research, has already suggested that the Entourage Effect is real, and that ALL of the cannabinoids help each other as a team.
I have read that it takes several weeks of medicating for CBD to begin affecting Rheumatoid Arthritis. And right around the two month mark of daily dosing, I noticed a marked improvement in my symptoms.
I would note that I began by taking CBD in the 15 – 20 mg range per day, and slowly increased from there. Initially there were times when I took larger doses, but got a headache. So at least for me, it seemed like I had to let my body slowly adjust to larger dosages with small increases. Some say headaches occur as the body detoxifies.
Get plenty of Vitamin D
The easiest way to get Vitamin D is directly from the sun. Dr. Mercola says that a sunburn is not necessary. By the time your skin is barely pink, you have probably already received enough.
Adding THCA and THC
Being fortunate enough to live in a medical marijuana state, I am able to legally add THC to my diet. I juice when I can but otherwise take about a half of a teaspoon of THCA via powdered Cannabis leaves (not buds) in the morning (I began by taking a quarter of a teaspoon and gradually increased from there). Unfortunately, I have NO idea how much THCA I am consuming, so for this reason I am very careful about increasing my dosage. But Dr. William Courtney says that we can safely consume 60 times as much THCA as we can THC, and suggests juicing (and consuming) an entire cannabis plant per day.
In addition, I will often consume an edible in the evening, but usually in a non-psychoactive dosage. Because most canna edibles will have been decarboxylated (and become psychoactive), I take a low dose edible that contains THC in the 2 – 4 mg range.
Update: I have found a Cannabis Strain, Nordle that has roughly a 1:1 THC / CBD ratio and have been adding it raw to my (unheated) food twice a day. I am taking approximately .25 grams total (each day) and it seems to have made a surprising effect on my symptoms. Will update when I am more certain of the results.
After reading about Dr. Courtney’s work and suggestions, I began dosing with Cannabis at more frequent intervals. I still maintain my planned total daily dosage, but try to break it down into more individual doses. I am now dosing about four times a day – and I definitely noticed an improvement in my symptoms after making this change. Dr. Courtney says Cannabis is metabolized in about 50 minutes, so multiple doses will keep the cannabis working in your body throughout the day. Update: I have started on occasion breaking the doses down even smaller, sometimes dosing up to 6 times a day.
I have cut back on, but not eliminated glutens, sugar, and wheat. I certainly eat less bread, sweets and grains. And eliminating the majority of the dairy products that I was eating brought a lot of relief. Many Doctors will tell you dairy does not affect RA, but I have found that to be untrue.
Breaks in Medicating
I have never read about anyone else having issues with long term effects, but I feel the need to take a break from dosing every few months. CBD has a dampening effect on the emotions, something very good for treating PTSD, and seems to act as a buffer for the emotional body. So I sometimes cut back on occasion to let the Cannabis clear out of my system.
This is my current but constantly evolving plan for managing Rheumatoid Arthritis. I hope it helps. I do want to point out that my symptoms haven’t gone into complete remission, but my Doctor has now downgraded my case from initially being moderate to severe RA – down to MILD.
I continue to make changes in the medication I am taking and I am more than amazed and most grateful that I am currently able to avoid the riskier pharmaceutical drugs with dangerous side effects.
Please consult your own health care providers before adopting a similar therapy.