Raynaud’s disease also known as Raynaud’s syndrome is a condition that affects the blood supply to certain parts of the body mostly the fingers and toes. This comes about when smaller arteries that supply blood to the skin narrow hence limiting blood circulation. The limited supply of blood to these parts brings about a feeling of numbness and coldness in response to cold temperatures or stress.
Raynaud’s disease affects people of all ages but appears to be more common in women than in men. It is also more common in people who live in colder climates. It affects up to 20% of the adult population worldwide and although it isn’t disabling, it can affects someone’s quality of life.
There are two types of Raynaud’s disease, primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud’s disease is most common and it usually begins in early 20s or 30s. Secondary Raynaud’s disease can develop at any age, depending on the cause. Whereas Primary Raynaud’s syndrome develops on its own, Secondary Raynaud’s on the other hand tends to start after age 35 and it is caused by other health problems. These are mostly connective tissue diseases, such as scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus.
Other possible conditions include: Carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects nerves in the wrists, blood vessel disease, migraines or cancer. Some medications if continuously taken can also bring about secondary Raynaud’s disease like blood pressure medications, over the counter cold medicines, some narcotics.
In rare cases, when intense, restrict the blood supply, and cause complications, such as ulcers, scarring and even tissue death. It also affects other parts of the body like the ears, nose, nipples and lips.
Symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome
Because the blood vessels go into a temporary spasm, which blocks the flow of blood, the most common symptoms are change in color of the skin. It is usually a cycle from white to pale or white (called pallor) of the affected area, then blue and then red, as the blood flow returns.
Other symptoms include: Numbness, pain, and pins and needles which lasts for a few minutes to several hours. People with Raynaud’s (primary) often go for long periods without any symptoms, and sometimes the condition goes away altogether. Although the symptoms might not be as serious, the illness can be annoying to live with, making it difficult to use your fingers.
Medical marijuana and Raynaud’s disease
Medical marijuana continues to prove its efficiency in reducing and combating of the symptoms that are associated with the different conditions and now Raynaud’s disease too. According to research, medical marijuana helps maintain great blood flow to the hands and dilates small arteries (blood vessels).
The major cannabinoids present in the medical marijuana plant (CBD and THC) have been found to help in relieving stress, a major trigger to constrict blood flow. In addition, one of the major healing properties of marijuana has been its pain relieving effect. With this, medical marijuana helps maintain good blood flow to the hands.
However, the form of ingestion of marijuana also has to be put into consideration as research has it that smoking marijuana affects the blood flow. This leaves the safest ways of ingestion to be topical form. CannaButter can be orally eaten in edibles like cookies and cakes. Cannabis can be applied topically as an ointment or tincture for example cannabis oil can be added to a hot bath where it is absorbed through the skin.
Medical marijuana never ceases to amuse with its medical benefits in the different conditions that affect us. Raynaud’s syndrome although not severe in some cases, it can be so distressing and hence make people’s lives uncomfortable. But with medical marijuana, the symptoms which are the major triggers are gotten rid of.