rheumatoid arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. The immune system of the body attacks the joints by accident, which causes swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints.

Over time, this can cause damage to the joints and surrounding tissues, leading to permanent joint deformities.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects people of all ages and is two to three times more common in women than in men. The exact cause of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is unknown, but genetics, environmental factors, and hormonal imbalances are thought to play a role.


The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:

  1. Joint pain and swelling: This is the most common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, typically affecting the small joints of the hands and feet.
  2. Stiffness: Joints may feel stiff in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
  3. Fatigue: People with rheumatoid arthritis often experience significant fatigue and a general sense of feeling unwell.
  4. Loss of function: As the disease progresses, joint damage and deformities may limit a person’s ability to perform daily activities and tasks.
  5. Rashes and nodules: Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause rashes and lumps (nodules) to develop on the skin.
  6. Dry mouth and eyes: Inflammation can also affect the mouth, eyes, and other organs.

If you suspect that you may have rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and to discuss your treatment options.



Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is usually treated with a mix of medicines, physical therapy, and changes in lifestyle. This helps to manage pain, reduce inflammation, and slow the disease’s progression.

Some common treatments include:

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medications help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  2. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): These drugs suppress the immune system and slow the progression of RA.
  3. Biologic agents: These drugs target specific proteins in the immune system and help reduce inflammation.
  4. Corticosteroids: These drugs are used to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  5. Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve mobility, increase strength, and reduce pain in joints affected by RA.
  6. Assistive devices: Braces, splints, and other assistive devices can help reduce strain on joints and provide support.
  7. Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints.

To make a personalized treatment plan for RA, it is important to work closely with a health care provider. Treatment may need to be adjusted over time as symptoms change and the progression of the disease varies.



Precautions for Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment include:

  1. Monitoring of side effects: Regular monitoring of side effects is important to ensure that treatments are effective and safe.
  2. Avoiding certain medications: Some medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can irritate the stomach lining and increase the risk of bleeding. Your doctor may recommend avoiding certain medications if you have a history of bleeding or stomach ulcers.
  3. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Exercise and a healthy diet can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Smoking should also be avoided as it increases inflammation and decreases the effectiveness of RA treatment.
  4. Regular check-ups: Regular visits to the doctor are important to monitor the progression of RA and adjust treatment plans accordingly.
  5. Protecting joint health: Taking steps to protect joint health, such as avoiding repetitive motions and using proper body mechanics, can help reduce the progression of joint damage.
  6. Communicating with your doctor: Regular communication with your doctor is essential to ensure that treatment plans are effective and to address any concerns or side effects.

It is important to discuss all precautions and potential risks with your doctor before starting any new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.


How Medical Marijuana Can Help In Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. It can also affect other organs and tissues, including the heart, lungs, and eyes. 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive disease, meaning it typically gets worse over time and can lead to permanent joint damage.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologic agents, and surgery are some of the ways RA can be treated.

It has been shown that medical marijuana can help with RA symptoms like pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. Cannabinoids are chemicals found in marijuana that work with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help control pain, inflammation, and other symptoms.

Some patients with RA have reported improved symptoms after using medical marijuana, including reduced pain, improved sleep, and a better overall quality of life. 

But medical marijuana is not a cure for RA. Instead, it should be used along with other treatments that a doctor recommends.

Before starting a new therapy, it’s important to talk to a marijuana doctor or nurse about your treatment options. They can help you figure out if medical marijuana is a good option for you and show you how to use it in a safe and effective way.

Patients with RA should also be aware of the possible side effects and precautions of medical marijuana, such as a dry mouth, feeling sleepy, and having trouble coordinating their movements.

It’s important to use medical marijuana under the watchful eye of a medical professional and to carefully follow instructions for dosage and use.

Can I Treat My Rheumatoid Arthritis With Medical Marijuana In New York?

In New York, it is legal to use medical marijuana to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions that qualify.

To use medical marijuana, you must have a NY medical marijuana card from a registered healthcare practitioner and be registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program.

Studies have shown that medical marijuana can help ease some of the symptoms of RA, such as pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

Some patients say that using medical marijuana has made their lives better and helped them use less of other, more traditional medicines.

However, it is important to keep in mind that medical marijuana should not replace traditional treatment methods and should only be used with the guidance of a healthcare professional. Also, under federal law, marijuana is still a controlled substance, so it may not be legal in all states.

Before starting a new treatment, you should talk to a doctor or nurse about your treatment options to see if medical marijuana is a good choice for you.


Even if your condition is not listed in this article, you might still get the medical marijuana card, provided you are recommended by a registered marijuana physician in New York. However, if you are experiencing any life-threatening medical condition or adverse effects of medical marijuana, you should not hesitate to contact the emergency service.

Note: This article’s content is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or queries regarding laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult a lawyer, physician, or other licensed practitioner.