What Is Psoriactic Arthritis: How Can Cannabinoids Help?

5 Minute Read

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) paints a challenging picture, where the canvas is both skin and joint. Affecting those already grappling with psoriasis, this condition orchestrates inflammation's painful symphony in joints, fingers, toes, and even eyes. With its complex interplay of genetics, infections, and lifestyle, PsA lacks a cure, but not hope. Amidst conventional treatments' array, there's an alternative horizon emerging – cannabinoids. These compounds from the cannabis plant whisper promises of taming inflammation, soothing pain, and possibly restoring some quality of life. As we delve into the tantalizing realm of cannabinoids, let's journey through the evolving landscape where science meets relief.

What Is Psoriactic Arthritis (PsA)?

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of arthritis that affects some people who have psoriasis, a chronic skin condition that causes red, scaly patches on the skin. PsA causes inflammation, pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints, especially in the fingers, toes, spine and heels. PsA can also affect the nails, eyes and other organs. PsA is a long-term condition that can worsen over time, but it can also have periods of remission when the symptoms improve or go away temporarily. There is no cure for PsA, but treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent joint damage. Treatment may include medications, physical therapy, surgery and lifestyle changes.

Symptoms of PsA are:

  • Swollen fingers and toes that look like sausages (dactylitis)
  • Pain and tenderness in the back of the heel (Achilles tendinitis) or the sole of the foot (plantar fasciitis)
  • Lower back pain due to inflammation of the spine (spondylitis) or the joints between the spine and pelvis (sacroiliitis)
  • Nail changes such as pitting, crumbling or separation from the nail bed
  • Eye inflammation that can cause pain, redness and blurry vision (uveitis)
  • Fatigue, fever and reduced appetite

Causes and risk factors of PsA are:

Genetics: PsA tends to run in families and is more common in people who have certain genes, such as HLA-B27

Psoriasis: PsA usually develops in people who have psoriasis, but it can also occur before or without any skin symptoms

Infections: Some infections may trigger or worsen PsA by activating the immune system

Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing PsA and make it harder to treat

Smoking: Smoking can worsen both psoriasis and PsA by increasing inflammation and damaging the skin and joints

Complications of PsA are:

Joint damage: PsA can cause permanent damage to the joints if left untreated, leading to disability and reduced quality of life

Cardiovascular disease:PsA can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart problems by affecting the blood vessels and increasing inflammation

Metabolic syndrome: PsA can increase the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity by affecting the metabolism and hormones

Depression:PsA can affect the mental health of people who have it by causing stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and social isolation

Conventional Treatments For Psoriactic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic condition that causes inflammation, pain, and damage in the joints and skin. There is no cure for PsA, but treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent complications. Some of the conventional treatments for PsA are:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These are medications that can relieve pain and inflammation for people with mild PsA. They can have side effects such as stomach irritation, heart problems, and kidney damage.
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): These are medications that can slow down the progression of PsA and prevent joint damage and skin lesions. They work by suppressing the immune system and reducing inflammation. They can have side effects such as liver damage, bone marrow suppression, and lung problems.
  • Corticosteroids: These are medications that mimic the effects of natural hormones produced by the adrenal glands. They can quickly reduce inflammation and pain in people with PsA. They can have side effects such as weight gain, osteoporosis, diabetes, cataracts, and mood changes.

Exploring Cannabinoids as an Alternative

Cannabinoids are chemicals found in the cannabis plant that can affect the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates inflammation, pain, and other functions. Cannabinoids may have several benefits for people with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a chronic condition that causes joint and skin inflammation. Some of the possible benefits are:

  • Reducing inflammation and pain by blocking proteins or cells that mediate inflammatory responses
  • Slowing skin cell growth and reducing scaling by inhibiting the proliferation of keratinocytes, the main type of skin cells involved in psoriasis
  • Controlling itching by affecting cannabinoid receptors in the skin
  • Healing wounds by modulating inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Improving mental health by alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression

Research On Cannabinoids And Psoriactic Arthritis

  • A 2022 study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research explored the effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, on the symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. The study found that CBD use was associated with improvements in pain, physical function, and sleep quality. The study also found that CBD use reduced or discontinued the use of other medications, such as anti-inflammatories, acetaminophen, and opioids.
  • A 2021 article from Verywell Health reviewed the current evidence and potential benefits of CBD oil for psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a chronic condition that causes joint and skin inflammation. The article noted that CBD may have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipruritic, and wound-healing properties that could help people with PsA.
  • A 2020 article from Greatist discussed the possible benefits and risks of using CBD for PsA. The article explained that CBD may reduce inflammation and pain by affecting the endocannabinoid system in the body, which regulates various functions. The article also mentioned that CBD may help reduce some triggers of PsA, such as stress.A 2017 article from Medical News Today explored the potential role of cannabis in treating psoriasis, a skin condition that often precedes PsA. The article cited a 2015 study that showed that cannabinoids can relieve pain, which could help people with psoriasis and PsA. The article also suggested that cannabinoids may slow down skin cell growth, reduce itching, and heal wounds, which are common symptoms of psoriasis.

How to consume CBD for Psoriatic Arthritis?

Cannabinoids can be consumed in different ways, such as applying topically or taking orally. The dosage and frequency of use depend on various factors, such as the type of cannabinoid, the severity of symptoms, the body weight and metabolism of the user, and the potential interactions with other medications. It’s also better when you purchase good quality Cannabis leaf extracts such as  CannaBliss Arthritis Relief. This oil can provide therapeutic relief naturally, through penetrating absorption and fast relief from painful arthritic symptoms.

Conclusion

In the intricate tapestry of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), where joint and skin unite in discomfort, the search for relief is unceasing. As this condition intertwines genetics, infections, and lifestyle factors, a lack of cure casts a shadow, but not without a glimmer of hope. Amidst conventional treatments, an alternative dawn beckons – cannabinoids. Emerging from the cannabis plant, these compounds hold promise in taming inflammation, easing pain, and perhaps restoring some quality of life. As we navigate this captivating realm of cannabinoids, a convergence of science and solace offers a tantalizing journey towards potential relief.

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