What is Lupus?
Lupus can be defined as s a chronic inflammatory disease which affects the immune system of the body, pushing it to become hyperactive. It usually affects various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, kidney, and brain. It should e noted that the system produces proteins (antibodies) in order to fight antigens (viruses & bacteria). Lupus attacks the immune system by causing it to confuse the antigens and healthy tissue, attacking and killing both which results to chronic pain, swelling, and long-term tissue damage.
The most common form of the disorder that largely affects the skin, joints, kidney, and brain is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Lupus occurs in multiple forms and this version of the disorder is referred to as, “systemic,” due to its potential of affecting multiple organs. This version of lupus is further complicated by inflammation, which occurs in the CNS, brain, kidneys, and blood vessels which at times develops abnormal deposits in the kidney cells of some patients, which might trigger kidney failure.
Another version of the disease known as, Lupus Nephritis, typically results in dialysis or a kidney transplant. Several patients have equally reported cases of another version of lupus that affects exclusively the skin, known as Cutaneous Lupus. It manifests in form of typically swollen lymph nodes and a distinguishable scaly, red rash on the cheeks and bridge of the noses of the patients known as the butterfly rash. The rash is circular in shape, like discs and as such this version is also known as Discoid Lupus.
There is another version of this disease known as Drug-Induced Lupus which occur as a result of adverse reactions from certain legal prescription drugs such as a heart arrhythmia medication called Procainamide, a hypertension medication called Hydralazine, , and Isoniazid, a medication used to treat tuberculosis.
Medical Marijuana & Lupus
Marijuana is considered an ideal medicine for the treatment of the symptoms of the disorder like nausea and pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties and potential suppressing certain parts of the immune system.
A medical director of Medical Cannabis of Southern California, one of the most professional medical marijuana clinics in the industry called Dr. Breen reported that that he has evaluated tons of patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and that their extremely professional staff is dedicated to serving the community by evaluating patients who may benefit from the use of medical cannabis.
Dr. Breen reported that he evaluated one woman who had been suffering from the side effects of the Plaquenil she was taking to relieve her joint inflammation and swelling. It was noticed that while the drug worked great, it was associated with side effects such as “debilitating abdominal cramping, nausea and occasional vomiting.” Her friend who had treated her own lupus arthritis with marijuana convinced her to try some to see if it would help.
After using marijuana her abdominal cramping and nausea subsided and her joint pain significantly improved with no noticeable side-effects. Dr. Ben then stated in his article on MCSocal that he has prescribed she try vaporizing an indica strain at night to help with sleep, and a topical cream during the day to treat joint pain. He also reported that the patient claimed she will most likely never stop using marijuana, as there is no permanent cure for arthritis (aside from joint replacement).
There is no doubt that marijuana has some medicinal benefits, and helps patients to cope with symptoms of Lupus. The problem faced by most patients is that medical marijuana is only legal in a number of states and remains illegal on a federal level, so users should consider the law and its consequences before deciding to self-medicate. Even those who live in a state where marijuana is legal medicinally should always consult their doctor before using marijuana to treat your condition.