Medical Marijuana Being Used To Potentially Treat Lupus

What Is Lupus?

Medical Marijuana Being Used To Potentially Treat Lupus – A chronic autoimmune condition characterized by the body attacking its own tissues and organs.  This can include inflammation of the brain, kidney, joints and skin. Severe joint pain, fatigue and fever are commonly associated with this condition. Symptoms can also include red and scaly rashes, sharp chest pains while breathing, hair loss, and psychological difficulties such as depression and anxiety.

The most common type of lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which effects multiple organs, while cutaneous lupus strictly affects the skin, and lupus nephritis can result in kidney failure.

Lupus In The Past

There are numerous pharmaceutical treatments, such as steroids and immunosuppressants, utilized in the treatment of lupus. Many of these have severe side effects. These include the steroidal treatments Methylprednisolone and Prednisolone, as well as Cyclosporine, Hydroxycloroquine and Methotrexate.

Sufferers of lupus can be treated by a variety of medical specialists, including rheumatologists, cardiologists, nephrologists and pulmonologists.

There are over 400 known pharmaceuticals that can cause what is known as drug-induced lupus, making traditional prescription methods largely ineffective and oftentimes dangerous.

About Cannabis Plant

Cannabis may offer hope to people with autoimmune disorders such as lupus. Cannabis seems to decrease inflammation in the body by suppressing certain parts of the immune system. Researchers are hoping this finding will lead to new treatments.

The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis has been proven highly successful in the treatment of lupus. CBD-rich strains have been proven to be the most effective.

The Process

The ingestion of CBD-rich cannabis extract oil in capsule form have been the most documented treatment method to date. The smoking and vaporizing of CBD strains have also been documented as successful in the combatting of lupus symptoms.

Difference between CBD and THC in Medical Marijuana

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception. THC attaches to these receptors and activates them and affects a person’s memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception, according to NIDA.

THC is one of many compounds found in the resin secreted by glands of the marijuana plant. More of these glands are found around the reproductive organs of the plant than on any other area of the plant. Other compounds unique to marijuana, called cannabinoids, are present in this resin. One cannabinoid, CBD is nonpsychoactive, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and actually blocks the high associated with THC.

Cannabidiol or CBD, is the cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.   CBD does not cause a high, unlike THC. The reason why CBD is non-psychoactive is due to its lack of affinity for CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors are found in high concentrations in the brain, and are the pathways responsible for the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBD and THC levels tend to vary between different strains and varieties of cannabis.  By using selective breeding techniques, we have managed to create varieties with high levels of CBD and THC.

The Patient

The story of Victoria Zavala, a longtime sufferer of systemic lupus erythematosus, only received an official diagnosis in 2006. However, she had been plagued by debilitating symptoms for many years prior, and has only found proper symptom reduction through medical marijuana.