Canada’s Arthritis Society has been holding a national medical roundtable in Vancouver to discuss marijuana from a science perspective as well as the funding model for research.
Joanne Simons, the chief mission officer of the Arthritis Society indicated that the objective was to “understand both from a basic science perspective, a clinical science, health services and policies...how we should be thinking about investing as a community, with medical cannabis.”
Simons indicated that while the evidence behind the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating arthritis is anecdotal, that almost two-thirds of medical marijuana users are using it for arthritis. She indicated that most of those users are using it for a specific type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, for which there are not as many treatment options as for other types of arthritis.
Simons also stated that since some scientists believe that osteoarthritis pain is the result of damage in the nervous system, and not the degeneration of joints, that medical marijuana may directly target the source of the pain.
Her conclusion is that medical marijuana is not effective due to a dulling of the the senses that helps with the pain, but that marijuana is actually reducing the activity of the pain nerves within a joint.