For nearly a decade, I’ve been working with my healthcare team to find an effective management strategy for my rheumatoid arthritis (RA). My team includes a rheumatologist, a pain management specialist and, soon, a pain doctor specially licensed to prescribe medical marijuana, which recently became legal in Pennsylvania where I live.
Medical marijuana (and CBD products, which I’ve also tried) hasn’t been studied for the treatment of arthritis or other chronic conditions because it is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a Schedule 1 drug. It can’t legally be studied with the same rigor as is required of FDA approved medications, which take years to come to market as they are studied in carefully designed studies to test their safety and effectiveness to treat specific symptoms or cure a disease.
However, that hasn’t stopped many people in the arthritis community, including me, from trying medical marijuana.