Because it has such a great effect on inflammation in the body, medical marijuana use is about more than simply getting a high. Among the conditions that may benefit is osteoarthritis, a disease of inflammation. A study conducted at the University of Edinburgh suggests a strong link between osteoarthritis and the endocannabinoid system.
Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in joints and is the most common form of arthritis. The synovial tissue and fluid that surround joints is rich in cannabinoid receptors (which are more popularly known for managing the body’s response to the psychoactive effects of cannabis) and endocannabinoid ligands.
In this study, mice with destabilized knee joints showed that cartilage degeneration was 40-60% more severe in mice who were deficient in CB2 receptors, when compared to ‘normal’ mice. Additionally, the study also demonstrated that a synthesized cannabinoid ligand, HU308, inhibited the progression of arthritis in younger mice with normal levels of CB2 but had no effect on those with CB2 receptor deficiency. A CB2 receptor deficiency results in a higher likelihood of developing osteoarthritis, and supplementing cannabinoids in normal mice offers additional protection against osteoarthritis inflammation.
Activating CB2 is a potent defense against the osteoarthritis inflammatory cascade.
European Calcified Tissue Society.