In the second of their new Medical Casebook Series, the team at Integro Medical Clinics explore living with and managing arthritis.
Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints.
In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other similar conditions. It is a disease that can affect people all ages including children, and at this time of year is exacerbated by the cold and damp of the winter months.
Although there is no cure for this condition, cannabis medicines can both help control inflammation and rebalance the body’s endocannabinoid system and regulate its immune response.
There are many different types of arthritis and related conditions, but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Rarer forms include psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and others. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting nearly nine million people. It generally develops post mid-40’s or later.
Initially, it affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint and makes movement painful and feel stiff. Once the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the muscles, tendons and ligaments may have to work harder, causing further swelling, inflammation and pain around the joint.
Severe loss of cartilage leads to bone rubbing on bone, which alters the shape of the joint and can change the shape of the joint. You normally find this type of arthritis in hands, hips, knees and spine.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects over 400,000 people in the UK, and often starts at around 40 years of age, with women three times more likely to be affected than men.
In this type of arthritis, the body’s immune system targets the affected joint, which leads to inflammation, pain and swelling. This can lead the cartilage bone to weaken, and change the joint shape to alter, sometimes causing the direction of the fingers to drift sideways.
People suffering rheumatoid arthritis can also develop problems with other tissues and organs.
Cannabis medicines not only have an anti-inflammatory affect but in this form of arthritis they can actually rebalance the bodies endo-cannabidiol system and help manage the immune system response.
“Cannabis medicines can help manage the pain associated with arthritis by rebalancing of the body’s natural endo-cannabinoid pain-processing system. Cannabis medicines may also have some anti-inflammatory effect, helping to soothing the inflamed body tissues,” says Dr Anthony Ordman, Senior Clinical Adviser and Hon. Clinical Director Integro Clinics.
“Integro Clinics Ltd always recommend remaining under the care and treatment of your GP and specialist for your condition, while using cannabis based medicines, and the Integro clinical team would always prefer to work in collaboration with them.”
Sophie Hayes Specialist Cannabis Nurse at Integro Clinics adds: “The insomnia and low mood associated with the pain can also be really helped by the correctly-balanced prescription of cannabis medicines.”
The patient’s story
Martin is a 67-year-old retired Church of England Vicar, whose story of arthritis began with a sports injury when he 15 years.
“When I was playing rugby at school, I suffered a terrible knee injury, which I was treated properly for, but it went on to cause
huge problems,” he says.
“Once I appeared to be better, I continued to play but it became obvious that I had really weakened and damaged the knee. Over time this affected my gait.
“I started to suffer terrible pain from arthritis in my knee, that spread to all my main joints, leading to full knee replacement surgery. You can imagine the chronic pain I was in.”
If this wasn’t enough, Martin was then diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago. One might imagine that with these terrible adversities Martin could easily be forgiven for feeling depressed or sorry for himself.
However, this is far from the case, and Martin does not like to refer to himself an arthritis sufferer.
Instead, he used his own energy and initiative to effectively manage his arthritis and associated conditions pain through cannabis medicines.
Martin continues: “As soon as it was legalised, I got a prescription and found the purity and consistent quality way better than any of my previous experiences. Within five minutes of vaping cannabis, I can physically see the tension and rigidity of my arthritis relaxing – the muscles and joints begin to ease and open.
“Over time the anti-inflammatory effect of the cannabis eases the inflamed joints and as it accumulates in the fatty tissue, it naturally dials down my pain and little by little it subsides.”
He adds: “In addition, the cannabis really helped with my Parkinson’s symptoms – it stops my trembling, modulates my body temperature and helps make my speech clearer. I am now able to mostly rely upon Cannabis for my pain relief, it won’t completely take it away, but it makes it manageable.”
Read the first in the Medical Casebook Series here
If you would like further information, or to make an appointment for a medical consultation, please contact us at Integro Clinics:
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Beckham-backed cannabis brand floats on LSE
A UK cannabis company, backed by David Beckham, has been valued in excess of £25 million in its first day trading on the London stock market.
UK-based Cellular Goods has become the first provider of consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids to join the London stock market.
The company has been admitted to the Official List following a significantly oversubscribed initial public offering that raised £13 million before expenses.
More than 6,000 valid applications for shares were received in respect of the IPO.
Shares will commence trading on the main market of the LSE from 8am on Friday 26 February, under the ticker symbol CBX.
A total of 260,000,000 ordinary shares have been issued at five pence each to institutional and retail investors, valuing Cellular Goods at a market capitalisation in excess of £25 million.
Cellular Goods was established in August 2018 to develop efficacy-led and research-backed cannabinoid products.
The initial focus is on premium skincare and topical athletic recovery products to be launched from this autumn.
Earlier this month it was revealed that former England footballer, David Beckham’s investment firm, DB Ventures had bought a stake in the company.
The purpose of the flotation on the LSE is to raise the public profile and provide new funds for the company’s expansion and long-term growth.
“Cellular Goods’ debut on the London Stock Exchange is a major step in the company’s development and provides a strong foundation to execute our long-term growth strategy,”commented Alexis Abraham, chief executive officer
“We are delighted with the strong support from a wide range of institutional and retail investors to build premium consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids under the Cellular Goods brand.”
First study of cannabis in veterans with PTSD
The first observational study to determine the efficacy of cannabis for veterans with PTSD has gained approval from regulators in the US.
US charity, The Battle Brothers Foundation has received approval to launch an observational study on the use of medical cannabis to help combat PTSD in veterans.
The two groups received approval to proceed with the study from the national Independent Review Board (IRB), the independent committee that reviews the methods proposed for research to ensure that they are ethical.
“This news could not come at a better time,” Bryan Buckley, founder and president of the board for Battle Brothers Foundation.
“Every day, 22 veterans are dying due to effects of post-traumatic stress from opioid addiction to depression. Through anecdotal experiences, we know that cannabis can alleviate symptoms and provide relief.
“We appreciate that the IRB recognises the validity of and the need for this study.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, the rate of PTSD among returning service members varies widely across wars and eras.
In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5 percent of deployed and non-deployed veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20 to 30 percent.
As many as 500,000 US troops who served in these wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD.
The study will enroll 60 California veterans, with moderate or severe PTSD over the next year.
Participants will dose and titrate individually purchased products under their own discretion and will be followed for 90 days to evaluate the safety and efficiency of cannabis on their symptoms.
Results of the study will be documented and monitored at that time.
The Battle Brothers Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Helmand Valley Growers Company (HVGC), a cannabis company founded by disabled United States Special Operations veterans that donates 100 percent of its profits to fund research on the medical use of cannabis for veterans.
Can CBD improve your fitness?
The market is full of products which promise weight loss, muscle gain and recovery benefits, with glowing endorsements from all kinds of sportspeople. Here we explore what CBD has to offer.
From reducing risks of conditions such as heart disease to improving overall mood, getting the right amount and right kind of exercise provides numerous benefits for both physical and mental health.
With the likes of gyms, leisure centres and exercise classes closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have resorted to home workouts for the first time and are looking for the perfect supplement to aid these sessions – could CBD be the one?
One of the most popular reasons for using CBD as part of your exercise routine is the effect it has on recovery and pain relief. Whether you’re suffering from a slight niggle or a long-term injury, the remedy has been proven to speed recovery and fight fatigue, with one study finding that by reducing oxidative damage – which is caused by physical stress – CBD can help us recover faster and perform better.
Topical CBD products such as creams can be particularly beneficial to those who are prone to joint pain, by providing highly targeted relief to ensure that those unavoidable twinges don’t negatively impact your overall workout.
In addition, CBD may also be effective in relieving muscular aches and soreness thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2009 study into the effects of cannabinoids on the body found that they can suppress inflammatory response, leading to less tension in the area and, in turn, less of a break needed between your workouts.
One of the biggest pre-workout struggles is building enough motivation and momentum to get started and keep your routine going. While it hasn’t been shown to be a performance-enhancing product, the research into CBD’s effect on areas such as mental health and sleep quality leads us to believe that it can be a great supplement for breaking down mental barriers.
Several studies have linked CBD to overall improvement in mood, while it has also been well documented that the remedy can effectively ease symptoms of depression thanks to its positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain. While CBD doesn’t necessarily boost these levels, its impact on the brain’s receptors may affect how we respond to the serotonin already in our systems.
Research backs up these claims, with a 2014 animal study finding that CBD’s effect on the receptors produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects – both of which can be extremely helpful when gathering motivation to exercise.
Too tired for a workout? A review of studies in 2017 found that CBD “may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia”, meaning it’s likely to improve sleep quality, allowing us to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a workout.
While research into certain areas is still ongoing, and it’s worth noting that effects will depend on external factors such as dosage, it would appear that CBD has several pre- and post-workout benefits.
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