Based on information from the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans are suffering from some form of lupus But, what is it really?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system goes into overdrive and is unable to tell the difference between healthy tissue and germs, bacteria, and viruses. This causes your immune system to create antibodies that attack and kill healthy tissue.
Symptoms of Lupus
Because it is chronic, lupus is characterized by flares and remissions ie when symptoms worsen and subside. Symptoms include:
- Pain and swelling in the wrists, knees, fingers, and hands
- Mouth sores
- Skin rash
- Mood swings
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
- Chest pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Abnormal heart rate
- Hair Loss
Types of Lupus
The most common type of lupus is called systemic lupus erythematosus and it attacks the organs. Other types include:
- Drug-induced lupus: Caused by any one of over 400 prescription drugs
- Cutaneous lupus: Attacks the skin and presents as a scaly rash
- Lupus nephritis: Attacks the kidneys
- Neonatal lupus: Happens in babies with moms who have lupus
There is no cure for lupus so treatment is mainly focused on managing flare-ups. This is usually done with prescriptions drugs that suppress the immune system.
The problem is, many of these medications come with side effects that are arguably worse than the symptoms associated with lupus itself. For instance, hydroxychloroquine was used to treat lupus for years, but it also was toxic to the eyes.
Thankfully, there is another way out. There are some who say that lupus can be treated naturally through the use of cannabis. Take Mylea for example:
This lupus sufferer was originally diagnosed in 2010. But, she didn’t like all the medications (or their side effects) that she had to take. In fact, at one point, she was on 16 different medications at once.
When she first heard about cannabis, she was hesitant to try it. But with all the side effects from the opiates, steroids, etc., what did she have to lose?
Since taking the leap, Mylea has been thriving and says that she will never go back to taking the medications. Two years ago she was barely surviving and with cannabis’ help, she’s getting her life back.
How Does Cannabis Help Those Suffering from Lupus?
Inflammation and pain are two common symptoms associated with lupus and cannabis has the ability to alleviate both. Additional benefits include:
- Some studies say that cannabis activates our myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which may help those suffering from hyperactive immune systems.
- No nasty side effects like those seen with prescription medications.
- Cannabis helps treat side effects of prescription lupus medications lie like abdominal cramping and nausea
How can I Treat Lupus with Cannabis?
The best strains for treating lupus have high levels of CBD. But, the form of cannabis you should use is dependent on your individual need:
- Not ready to stop taking your prescription meds? Vaporizing cannabis is an excellent way to reduce inflammation, ease pain, and reduce the side effects of prescription drugs.
- Want to make the switch from prescription meds to cannibals exclusively? Consider taking cannabis oil on a daily basis. It’s available in capsule form as well.
- Lupus affecting your sleep? Eating a candy or an edible at night can help.
- Want something topical to help with swelling and joint pain? There are cannabis-infused lotions and creams available.
Like other conditions that can be treated with cannabis, there’s a frustrating lack of research about lupus and this helpful herb. Thankfully there are some great personal testimonies that prove that hope is out there.