September is Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada, and to round out the month, we’re presenting peer-reviewed research into the potential therapeutic applications of medical cannabis for arthritis.

While many of us may just think of arthritis is being simple “joint pain”, according to the Arthritis Society (one of our partners in the Canadian Medical Cannabis Council):

Arthritis consists of more than 100 different conditions which range from relatively mild forms of tendinitis and bursitis to crippling systemic forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It includes pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia and arthritis-related disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, that involve every part of the body.

Many patients report using medical cannabis to treat arthritis. A survey conducted by Tilray among its patients revealed a large proportion using medical cannabis due to arthritis and chronic pain-related issues. See the table below for a breakdown of self-reported illnesses and symptoms from our patients.

Primary IllnessPrimary Symptom
36% Chronic Pain73% Chronic Pain
12% Arthritis60% Stress
7% Psychiatric Disorder57% Insomnia
7% PTSD47% Depression
7% Insomnia32% Headache
6% GI Disorder29% Appetite Loss
5% Headache29% Nausea
4% Chron’s Disease27% Spasm
4% Multiple Sclerosis5% Memory Loss
3% Cancer/Leukemia4% Seizures
2% Brain Injury3% Intraocular Eye Pressure

Arthritis and Medical Cannabis: Research

Below is a list of links to ongoing research into the use of medical cannabis (including cannabinoid extracts and terpenes) for arthritis.
Anti-Arthritic and Anti Inflammatory Activity of Beta Caryophyllene against Freund’s Complete Adjuvant Induced Arthritis in Wistar Rats
Expression of cannabinoid receptor 2 and its inhibitory effects on synovial fibroblasts in rheumatoid arthritis
Cannabinoid-mediated antinociception is enhanced in rat osteoarthritic knees
Immunoactive cannabinoids: Therapeutic prospects for marijuana constituents
The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis