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Lupus and Medical Cannabis Treatment


The Lupus Foundation of American reports that up to 1.5 million Americans suffer from the depilating autoimmune disorder. Up to 90% of sufferers are women, who slowly watch their bodies attack their healthy cells and tissues, causing pain, swelling, fever, and rash. With no known cause, lupus treatment is limited, only easing symptoms rather than curing the autoimmune disorder.

Yale Medicine points out how medical cannabis can help lupus with rheumatologist and Lupus Program Director and Dr. Fotios Koumpouras “exploring a candidate for a new lupus treatment option: a molecule with a cannabinoid template structure that binds to cannabinoid receptors, the same receptors involved in the chemicals found in the marijuana plant.”

One believer is famous singer Toni Braxton, who uses CBD oil to ease her lupus, telling Essence magazine when she couldn’t find her prescription medication. “I’m looking under my bathroom sink and I found a product I had been gifted called Uncle Bud’s. I put it on, and 20 minutes later I was like, ‘Oh wow, I feel better,’” she said.

Lupus Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine periodical MedlinePlus, there is no known cause of lupus, adding several types of the condition including systemic lupus erythematosus, considered the most common, discoid, subacute cutaneous, drug-induced, and neonatal. While lupus is most common in women, specifically African Americans, they are more likely to have the most severe forms.

Signs of lupus vary, all lowering the quality-of-life. Along with inflammation, fevers, chronic pain, hair loss, rash, mouth ulcers, sufferers also have chest pain with deep breaths and sensitivity to the sun. “Besides taking medicines for lupus, you may need to take medicines for problems related to lupus such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or infection,” reports MedlinePlus. Some treatments include drugs that ease swelling, flareups, and help strengthen the immune system. 

Leveraging Cannabinoids to Alleviate the Symptoms of Lupus

Yale Dr. Koumpouras says “reducing inflammation is crucial for patients with lupus because it is what causes the buildup of scar tissue in vital organs that can eventually lead to their deterioration and malfunction,” and Pure Green Chief Medical Officer Dr. Debra Kimless told Veriheal the same.

“Most disease processes are based on inflammation, so when you are looking at everything from acne to autoimmune to high blood pressure, really everything is based on inflammation,” Dr. Kimless said. “Chronic inflammation does a lot of deleterious things to our bodies.” Furthermore, Dr. Kimless notes, “the reason why cannabis is truly a medicine is because the purpose is to maintain homeostasis, or a physiologic balance, and tries to work with all the other biologic systems.”

One hopeful when it comes to medical cannabis and the condition was reported in 2017 by Lupus News Today:

“Two of the active cannabinoids that are useful in medical marijuana are delta-9-THC and cannabidiol. Delta-9-THC is psychoactive and is the property that gives users the “high,” whereas cannabidiol can help the central nervous system and immune system by decreasing inflammation without any high for the user,” reports the news source. With more medical cannabis research proving it can ease lupus, more sufferers may soon find hope.

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Data Last Updated 12/07/2022

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