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Recent Study Shows That Cannabis Fights Osteoarthritis Related Cartilage Breakdown


osteoarthritis cartilidge breakdownOne of my favorite things to do in life is play basketball. I’m not the best at it, and definitely don’t possess the genetics and talent that I wish I had in order to have pursued my dreams as a basketball player growing up, but it’s something that I’ve always enjoyed. It was the only form of exercise that I could do that came naturally. Running around a track gets boring. Trying to make it rain at noon ball open gym was always much funner.

I have played in a lot of city basketball leagues, and play in a basketball tournament every summer, and have for over a decade. It’s something that I look forward to every summer, and I’ve actually over achieved at the tournament quite a bit. But after this last summer, I noticed that there was something wrong with my foot. I went to the doctor, and it turned out that I have osteoarthritis in my foot, including cartilage breakdown. I went from knowing nothing about a metatarsophalangeal joint to knowing quite a bit more in just a handful of months. It’s something that will never fully go away for the rest of my life, which is something that I’m still learning to deal with.

There are various ways to treat it, almost all of which involve pain meds that I don’t want to take. One treatment is to get steroid shots into the joint. Um, no thanks. Instead, I use various forms of cannabis, especially topical rubs. A good topical rub will do wonders to make my foot feel better. Ingesting cannabis helps the pain too, which is particularly hardcore some days. A recent study found that the use of synthetic cannabinoids reduced cartilage breakdown related to osteoarthritis. Per the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:

A central feature of osteoarthritis (OA) is the loss of articular cartilage, which is primarily attributed to cartilage breakdown. A group of metalloproteinases termed the A disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS) family are reported to be important in cartilage breakdown. Recent studies have suggested that ADAMTS‑4 is a major contributor to the pathogenesis of OA and that syndecan‑1 is closely associated with activation of ADAMTS‑4 in human chondrocytes. Accumulating evidence also suggests that cannabinoids have chondroprotective effects. The current study explored the effects of synthetic cannabinoid WIN‑55,212‑2 mesylate (WIN‑55) on the expression of syndecan‑1 and ADAMTS‑4, as well as ADAMTS‑4 activity, in unstimulated and interleukin (IL)‑1β‑stimulated OA chondrocytes. Primary human OA articular chondrocytes were treated with WIN‑55 in the presence or absence of IL‑1β and cannabinoid receptor antagonists. The results of the present study demonstrated that WIN‑55 inhibited ADAMTS‑4 activity in unstimulated and IL‑1β‑stimulated primary human OA articular chondrocytes in a concentration‑dependent manner. Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) were constitutively expressed in human OA articular chondrocytes. Furthermore, selective CB2 antagonist, JTE907, but not selective CB1 antagonist, MJ15, abolished the inhibitory effect of WIN‑55 on ADAMTS‑4 activity. WIN55 inhibited the expression of syndecan‑1 but not ADAMTS‑4, and overexpression of syndecan‑1 reversed the inhibitory effect of WIN‑55 on the ADAMTS‑4 activity in unstimulated and IL‑1β‑stimulated human OA articular chondrocytes. Despite having no significant effect on syndecan‑1 gene promoter activity, WIN‑55 markedly decreased the stability of syndecan‑1 mRNA via CB2. In conclusion, to the best of our knowledge, the present study provides the first in vitro evidence supporting that the synthetic cannabinoid WIN‑55 inhibits ADAMTS‑4 activity in unstimulated and IL‑1β‑stimulated human OA articular chondrocytes by decreasing the mRNA stability/expression of syndecan‑1 via CB2. This suggests a novel mechanism by which cannabinoids may prevent cartilage breakdown in OA. In addition, it also provides novel insights into the pharmacological effects of synthetic cannabinoids on OA.

Obviously, there is a lot of acronyms and scientific language involved. I bolded the conclusion for those that just wanted the summary. This study involved synthetic cannabinoids. I would love to see a study measuring how much better full plant extracts would work compared to the synthetic cannabinoids. Either way, this is encouraging for those of us that suffer from OA. If you know someone that suffers from OA, I encourage you to urge them to use topicals. Not all of them are created equal, but when you find one that works, trust me, it works very well.



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Johnny Green


  1. Glucosamine and chondroitin are very helpful. The research says it is not, so I stopped taking it. A friend said it had no effect until after a week of taking it, and after taking the maximum strength tablets, I’m pain-free in daily life.

  2. Great News, This will help for people who are suffering from pain. Medical Cannabis are really helpful in the treatment of arthritis.

  3. Closet Warrior on

    Preach it Been around, so true!!! I have the exact physical ailments you mentioned and more. I was wondering what strains you use for OA and peripheral nerve damage due to plantar fasciitis? I live in a Nazi state w/no access to topicals, cremes or any mmj whatsoever but do grow my own meds. I have tried a bunch but most seed banks beef up their thc and cbd reviews as well as their medicinal values. I would rather take advice from a blind camel wondering in the desert! Please Reply, I need pain relief not just lookin for a buzz. Thanks in advance. Stay Green!

  4. I’m from New York State and I have been using cannabis, in its natural form, for over fifteen (15) years now for both OA (in my hands, knees and feet) and plantar fasciitis in my feet —- the combination of the three is just unbearable, at times.

    After fifteen years’ of abstinence from cannabis due to (unfair) hiring practices regarding cannabis (vs. alcohol or script meds …), after years of living with the pain and REFUSING to take script drugs due to a disease I have had since birth, a senior gentlemen introduced me to some of his (“choice” of) cannabis.

    The appropriate strain CAN and DOES help.

    So now, for the last fifteen (15) years, this IS my all-natural, totally-safe approach to managing pains that are with me for the remainder of my life. Does cannabis work as well as prescriptions coming out of a lab ? MY personal experience is, “no”, however; I DO find cannabis as a means to help me in relieving myself from the sharp, biting, persistent pains of normal, daily activities (that many take for granted to enjoy without sizeable and even extreme pain) .

    The free world should enjoy the FREEDOM-OF-CHOICE to use or not use cannabis. We here in America extend and allow that free choice for many things that are truly detrimental AND LETHAL to our physical and emotional health BUT ARE LEGAL — as we watch hundreds of thousands die prematurely. Those human beings are gone; their families are destroyed, or at the very least, profoundly and painfully affected by their loss — and NOW, they must deal with that realism for the remainder of THEIR lives.

    It’s just so sad ————— that we have a Government ————- comprised of human beings ————- that thinks it’s necessary and normal to lock up fellow Americans; our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters — in a cage like a threatening and wild animal when all they did was practice a freedom-of-choice ————- whereby NO ONE was impeded, imposed upon, impinged, threatened or victimized — not one human, not one animal —– fell victim.

    Oh, I STAND (SELF-) CORRECTED —- there ARE victims ———– the so-called, “criminal” and their loved ones and friends.

    Thank you so much, Big Brother.

    You REALLY DO have our “backs” …

    OUR “war” WILL be WON —- as evidenced by the large WAVE OF CHANGE taking place in just the last five (5) years —– MORE CHANGE than in all the years prior — put together !

    It’s very, very difficult (but NOT IMPOSSIBLE !) to make positive changes to a crooked establishment and money-based, greedy system. BUT, it WILL be DONE !

    EVERYONE, who in any way, has placed any amount of effort and / or time toward this REVOLUTION; KUDOS TO YOU !


    IT WON’T BE LONG …….

  5. I’m from Sydney Australia, and your post about the topical rub is a good sign fr Osteoarthritis sufferers like me. I have osteoarthritis in my right knee and I even underwent ‘stem cell’ procedure and paid from my own pocket (not endorsed yet by the Australian health governance nor covered by any insurances in Australia), but after nearly two years, I’m back from the usual pain I’m feeling before the procedure. Though the pain is erratic, there are days that I can easily go up and the stairs, and there are days I have to take the elevator in train stations. My brother is in Texas and has mentioned that medical marijuana is almost legal in most states. But in Australia, the legislation has been passed to legalize it but still under testing and there’s no actual pills, oils, marijuana-related products that can be bought from the pharmacies. Ordering from overseas could be illegal, too. Even me contemplating to have another vacation to the US, and take as much medical marijuana oil or pills is only temporary while Im there in the US. It’s not a long term strategy.
    My only relief (other than taking Voltaren tablets for pain relief but avoids it due to ‘probable’ kidney related side effects) is going to the Sauna for 10-15mins 3x a week. It helps to relax the muscles and circulation of blood flow. But this needs a lot of patience and juggling between a busy work schedule and going to the gym (with facilities of a 4-lane swimming pool, spa and sauna). I have stopped cycling, long walks — so all I have now is swimming for exercise. Though there was a time I can’t go down the pool ladder because I can’t bend my stiff knees. Wishing that the medical-marijuana pills will be in available in Australia in the next two years, longer than that- im not sure what to do next.

    do you have any other websites to recommend about medical-marijuana?

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