Many people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) believe that cannabis can treat their pain. While some research suggests cannabis may help with chronic pain more generally, there is little research on its use for AS specifically.
Marijuana is also called cannabis. The term “marijuana” has roots in racism, so this article will use the term “cannabis” throughout.
Interest in the use of cannabis for AS is growing. A 2021 study with people with rheumatic diseases, including AS, found that 15.3% of them were using cannabis at the time of the study.
People often report that the drug eases their pain or helps with other symptoms related to chronic pain, such as anxiety and depression. Scientific research has not proven this claim. This does not mean that it is untrue — only that the evidence to date is mostly anecdotal.
Read on to learn more about using cannabis for AS.
People with AS often struggle to get full relief from their pain with standard treatments. Others may find that the side effects of medications are unpleasant. As a result, alternative treatments, such as cannabis, may be appealing.
Cannabis may have benefits for AS treatment by easing chronic pain. A 2021 systematic review and meta-analysis found that people consistently reported pain reduction with the use of cannabis.
At baseline, people rated their pain intensity at 8.2 on a 10-point scale, on average. After using cannabis, their pain rating was 5.6 on average.
People who used cannabis reported having…