Rheumatoid Arthritis & The Endocannabinoid System
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that occurs as a result of the increasing pain from the chronic autoimmune inflammation. Following the research carried out by Mike Membrino and his team, the inflammation, slowly damages the joints, leading to 12 continuously impaired function and increase pain. Additionally, the primary clinical implication of this disease is a complex acute pain that includes both nociceptive and neuropathic mechanisms. Various research from preclinical studies supports the interest of the endocannabinoid system as an emerging therapeutic target for osteoarthritis pain (La Porta, Bura Negrete, & Maldonado, 2014).
Indeed, pharmacological studies have shown the antinociceptive effects of cannabinoids in different rodent models of rheumatoid arthritis, and compelling evidence suggests an active participation of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of this disease (La Porta, Bura, Negrete, & Maldonado, R2014).
Other studies have shown the CB1 receptors reduces the inflammatory markers like tumor necrosis factor-alpha and stops the development of collagen-induced arthritis in mice. Anandamide and hemp derived CBD oil are effective against arthritis-related pain. This evidence suggests RA progression may be connected to an endocannabinoid deficiency, and that using CB1/CB2 agonists could provide significant benefit. However, little clinical evidence has been presented to back this therapeutic use of cannabinoids, despite the promising recent studies. In this case, future research should be conducted to identify the role played by ECS in any disease.


La Porta C, Bura A, Negrete R, & Maldonado R. (2014). Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in osteoarthritis pain. European journal of Neuroscience, 39(3):485-500. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12468.