THC & Managing Lupus
The use of THC to suppress the immune system in such a way, as to suppress inflammation and reduce pain, has worked miracles (at least for me it has). There are many studies about the use of cannabis in treatment for autoimmune diseases like lupus, colitis, arthritis, etc. Many of these are still in the infant stages, but I don’t have time to wait. For me it’s personal.
I had been diagnosed with Lupus, and hit my worst point last year. So much so, that I had to move from Maui and relocate back to Denver. At that point, I was completely dependent on prescribed steroids and medications to get through benign, daily activities. I had to wear wrist, knee, and elbow braces and was in constant, agonizing pain. I was weak from muscle-mass loss, exhausted from lack of sleep, and mentally depressed from... well, everything.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which your body can’t tell the difference between viruses, germs and bacteria and your body’s own healthy tissue. This leads to your immune system creating antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue, leading to inflammation, pain and damage to body parts. Lupus is characterized by flares, where symptoms worsen, and remissions, when symptoms improve. In short, the immune system is always overactive in lupus.
I'm a strong believer that the environment can cause changes to the functions and characteristics of our DNA-controlled- genes. When I say environment, I include diet, daily physical activity, mental health, personal happiness, stress, air quality, etc. These outside factors, in particular, these outside molecules that can alter the DNA function are called epigenome. Because of the immunosuppressive qualities of THC, it's something you can introduce in order to trigger a change - particularly for the genetic characteristic of chronic inflammation. Cannabis use increases the levels of anti-inflammatory proteins and decreases the levels of pro-inflammatory proteins. Because Cannabinoids can also help heal skin rashes or dry skin, areas of skin affected by autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, can be treated effectively. Cannabis can also help with pain management.
I swear by my topicals, CBD concentrates, my flower vaporizer, and edibles. Edibles have been a crucial part of my routine before bed. Eating a little a couple hours before I go to bed allows me to sleep soundly, which is so important when you have a body that is working at 110% all day, every day. Fatigue is a huge trigger for lupus flare-ups and it's the easiest to prevent.
I hadn't even considered the use of cannabis in treatment for my lupus until I started working at Botanico. It's funny how things work out. Botanico has changed my life in so many ways... Not only have I been prescription free for over a year now (with no major flare ups), I've met and grown to love my built-in support system/dispensary family. If it's not the cannabis products, then it has to be all the laughs and happiness my fellow budtenders and I have shared that's given me a second chance at feeling normal again.
** This is the first hand account of my personal experience with cannabis and Lupus and in no way should be construed as actual Medical Advice.