Treating Lupus with Medical Marijuana

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a collection of autoimmune disorders in which a person’s immune system attacks their own body tissues. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is the most common type of lupus. Lupus can damage a person’s joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.

There is no cure for lupus, so treatment is focused on symptom management. Lucky for Florida residents who live with lupus, our state allows medical marijuana to be prescribed for some of the painful symptoms associated with lupus, allowing us to move away from addictive treatment options. 

Flare-ups, or suddenly severe symptoms, are common without treatment for lupus. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Joint pain & swelling
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Rash, including the characteristic “butterfly rash”
  • Fever
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Photosensitivity
  • Lung, heart, or kidney issues
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Abnormalities in blood cells or the immune system

Treatment Options for Lupus

Traditional treatment options for people living with lupus are limited. In fact, prior to the FDA’s approval of belimumab (Benlysta) in 2011, a drug to treat lupus had not been approved in over 50 years! Medications currently used to treat lupus focus on:

  • Pain relief
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Immune system suppression
  • Limiting certain immune system cells 

However, all of these medications have side effects, and some can be worse than the disease process itself. For example, suppressing the immune system comes with its own set of risks and undesirable effects.

Medical Marijuana to Treat Lupus

Anecdotal use of marijuana to treat symptoms of lupus has been used for decades. However, the effect of marijuana use on lupus patients specifically is a relatively new medical research topic. Nonetheless, studies have proven that marijuana use is effective for pain and inflammation reduction. With our nation reeling from the opioid painkiller epidemic, medical professionals are scrambling to find other ways to manage patient pain. Medical marijuana offers an effective and safer alternative than addictive narcotics for the pain and inflammation associated with lupus.

Marijuana-based medications to suppress the immune system are also being proposed as a potential treatment for sufferers of lupus and other conditions, but very little research has been done on this so far.

Is Medical Marijuana Right for Me?

If you are suffering with any type of lupus and live in southwest Florida, medical marijuana may be just what you need for maximum pain and inflammation relief. Call Hakunah Matata at (239) 789-6561 or contact us online to see if you are a good candidate for medical marijuana. Our highly qualified physicians will evaluate your history and conditions to see if medical marijuana is right for you. Stop living in pain from lupus and start enjoying your life again with safe and effective medical marijuana.