A rare autoimmune disorder, scleroderma devastates connective tissues and displays itself in thickening skin, sudden, spontaneous scarring, vascular conditions, inflammation, and an overactive immune system. According to the National Institutes of Health, its main symptom is fibrosis, or the development of scar tissue, which can occur externally and internally, in blood vessels, lungs, bowels, even kidneys.
Scleroderma causes intense swelling, pain, tenderness, redness, and insane itching in the face, neck, fingers, and feet, all of which combines to restrict mobility severely. In many cases, it attacks the esophagus, which in turn causes heartburn. A complex condition, scleroderma comes in various forms of severity, each with their own unique characteristics, but marijuana delivery may just prove a godsend.
Scleroderma is, depending on its severity, classified either locally or systemically. Systemic scleroderma occurs internally, affecting organs, and can be further classified into diffuse or limited scleroderma. Localized scleroderma occurs externally and has two other categories of its own: Morphea or linear. Those suffering systemic scleroderma may also have other connective tissue issues, such as polymyositis or erythematosus.
The disease is not cancerous, contagious, malignant, or infectious, but every case is unique. Scleroderma may present as more life-threatening in some patients than others, depending on which part of the body it afflicts and how badly. Without treatment, mild cases can worsen. It is imperative to treat the symptoms to prevent irreversible damage. Untreated, it can lead to organ failure, breathing difficulties, cancer, and nutrient malabsorption.
Currently, roughly 300,000 people in the United States live with this disease, a third of which is systemic. Treatment depends on the areas afflicted, but doctors commonly prescribe blood pressure drugs, such as an angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE, medications to prevent kidney failure, as well as aspirin to prevent blood clotting. Dozens of drugs are available for this condition, all with dangerous side effects.
Benefits of Cannabis for Scleroderma
Cannabis plants contain an abundance of cannabinoids, all of which interact compatibly with the body’s own endocannabinoid system to affect healing of body and mind. Its many medicinal properties can prevent the complications associated with scleroderma and speed its treatment. Although human studies are still underway, plenty of evidence exists to prove its promise:
- Back in 2016, the U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study that analyzed the role of cannabinoids in autoimmune disorders. It found the immunosuppressive properties of cannabinoids vital in inducing apoptosis, or cell death, and preventing the spread of leucocytes. The study also found cannabinoids lowering cytokine production, an inflammation trigger. Researchers concluded an anti-fibrotic effect for cannabinoids in treating scleroderma.
- Also published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a group of Spanish scientists developed a cannabinoid-derived drug to stimulate the two receptors associated with fibrotic development in patients with scleroderma. The drug, VCE-004.8, proved effective at inhibiting the formation of myofibroblasts, which cause fibrosis to spread, in laboratory tests.
Although among the few studies analyzing the effects of cannabinoids on scleroderma specifically, these two are only the tip of the iceberg. Many, many other studies show how cannabis can help scleroderma sufferers in other ways, by alleviating their symptoms. These include:
Both tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD, the two primary cannabinoids in marijuana plants, have anti-inflammatory properties. They proved highly effective at reducing inflammation throughout the human body. What is more, cannabis also contains an abundance of beta-caryophyllene, a terpene that also fights inflammation.
Anyone who has ever tried cannabis knows all about its pain-numbing properties. Science supports their claims in many studies. Pain afflicts scleroderma sufferers in different areas of the body, also leading to painful, inflamed joints. The analgesic properties of cannabis are legendary, and it has no harmful side effects as current pain medications, such as opioids, unanimously do.
Because of all the symptoms associated with scleroderma, patients find sleeping incredibly difficult. Pain and itching keep them awake all night, but sleep is crucial to all of the body’s healing processes. Marijuana, particularly potent Indica varieties, are notoriously sleepy, some even tranquilizing. Cannabinoids induce sleep naturally, without the need for dangerous sedatives.
Millions of asthma patients are using cannabis to help them breathe easier. Many studies show how it relaxes the airways, resolving sleep apnea, asthma, and other breathing disorders, as well as increases lung capacity. In patients with systemic scleroderma attacking their lungs and esophagus, cannabis proves immensely effective at helping them breathe. It also improves lung health and prevents cancer.
If scleroderma attacks the gastrointestinal system, which includes the digestive tract, symptoms can be horrible. It can cause all kinds of problems in this area of the body, affecting nutrient absorption, bowel movement, and even appetite. A vast number of studies show cannabis beneficial in treating most gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, even bowel, and irritable bowel diseases.
Weed Delivery Sacramento
Scleroderma patients are relying on weed delivery in Sacramento more than ever before. It is clear that cannabis plays an important role in not only helping them to manage their symptoms but also in treating the disease itself, as well as the scars it leaves behind. Furthermore, cannabis has anxiolytic and antidepressant properties too, helping patients cope with the emotional and mental toll of this disease.