- May 31, 2023
There are about 80 diverse varieties of autoimmune diseases that affect around 50 million Americans. They are usually chronic in nature and can make your life miserable. Autoimmune diseases range from organ-specific to systemic in nature and include systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, thyroiditis, arteriosclerosis, scleroderma, inflammatory bowel disease, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, fibromyalgia, certain types of infertility, and schizophrenia. Although many of them are not fatal, there rarely are some, and they come with good days and bad days. These diseases may show periods of resolution, as well as exacerbations. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1566249/pdf/envhper00522-0014.pdf)
A person suffers from an autoimmune disease when their immune system erroneously attacks its own body cells and tissues. The clinical manifestations of the autoimmune disease differ greatly with some having local manifestations, while others are widespread or systemic. The success of treatment of each sort is unpredictable. Each autoimmune disease has no particular cause and no definite solution, so in many cases their management is a lifelong journey. Medical therapy or immunosuppressive therapy brings about remission and can also slow the disease progression, but there may be mild to serious adverse effects. (https://www.jci.org/articles/view/78088)
Since patients with autoimmune diseases experience a range of symptoms, marijuana can sometimes help them get rid of these symptoms. (https://www.dovepress.com/cannabis-and-autoimmunity-possible-mechanisms-of-action-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-ITT)
Marijuana is recognized for its role in treating symptoms of particular autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis and others. (https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2020.0183)
People suffering from autoimmune diseases can also consider marijuana for its ability to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and modulate the immune system. (https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4923/14/2/389)
Please discuss medical marijuana with your healthcare provider to see if it would be a good option for you.