Is It Safe to Use Cannabis If You Have Lupus?

Anecdotal evidence and recent research point to cannabis as a potential treatment option for lupus patients, including pain and inflammation relief. To determine if medical cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for lupus symptoms, randomized clinical trials are still required. According to US law, you must have an MMJ card if you want to use cannabis to treat your lupus. If you don’t, you risk paying high fines and facing legal repercussions.

That being said, some states have listed lupus as a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana, implying that individuals with lupus can use cannabis as long as they are supervised by a physician.

What is Lupus?

Healthy tissue is attacked by the immune system of the body in lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. Approximately five million people worldwide and 1.5 million Americans are impacted by it. Lupus patients often experience joint stiffness and chronic pain, which make daily living difficult for them.

Four distinct types of lupus exist:

  • The most prevalent type of lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • One type of lupus that affects the skin is called cutaneous lupus.
  • Drug-induced lupus, a disease resembling lupus that is brought on by specific prescription drugs
  • Infants of lupus-affected women may develop neonatal lupus.

Numerous body parts, such as the joints, skin, and important organs, can be impacted by lupus. Among its most typical symptoms are:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Joint swelling
  • Swelling in the feet or hands
  • Sensitivity to sunlight or fluorescent lights (photosensitivity)
  • Chest pain when breathing deeply
  • Butterfly-shaped rash that spans the cheeks and nose
  • Mouth and nose sores
  • Hair loss

Lupus is frequently accompanied by anxiety, depression, and insomnia, which can exacerbate flare-ups and impair immunity.

NSAIDs, corticosteroids, antimalarial medications, BLyS-specific inhibitors, and immunosuppressive medications are currently used as lupus treatments. When a patient’s symptoms change, different medication combinations may be prescribed.

Regrettably, adverse effects have been associated with a number of these drugs, especially when pregnant. Because medical marijuana can reduce chronic pain, inflammation, and swelling, it has gained attention recently as a possible treatment for lupus patients.

Can Lupus Qualify You for Medical Marijuana?

Illinois, Hawaii, and New Hampshire all list lupus as an eligible medical condition for medical marijuana.

Other states, like Florida, New York, California, and Virginia, do not specifically list lupus as a qualifying condition. Nonetheless, in states where they think it would be an appropriate treatment, doctors are permitted to prescribe medical marijuana for long-term or persistent medical conditions.

Patients and physicians can apply to the state regulatory or medical board in other states, like Colorado and Oregon, to obtain medical cannabis for non-specific conditions.

The Pros and Cons of Using Cannabis for Lupus Management

Research indicates that cannabinoids may be able to relieve the pain associated with rheumatological conditions like lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. But the group also notes that if cannabis is taken with some lupus medications, there could be drug interactions or negative effects.

If you have lupus and are thinking about using cannabis to help control your symptoms, you should consult with an online marijuana doctor and should know the possible advantages and disadvantages of doing so.


A recent study investigated how medical cannabis affected rheumatological disease-related pain. Researchers discovered that about 20% of patients with rheumatologic diseases use cannabis and that using cannabis is associated with a reduction in pain intensity.

Animal studies have shown strong evidence that cannabis can modify the immune system, according to a different study looking into the possible effects of medical cannabis on autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, medical cannabis may be a particularly effective treatment for targeting this portion of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) due to the high density of CB2 receptors on immune cells.

Finally, anecdotal evidence from lupus patients suggests that marijuana may be able to reduce a variety of lupus symptoms, including low energy, rashes, sleep disturbances, body and joint pain, and rashes.

Some patients with lupus express a preference for oral cannabis or CBD oil because it eases the additional strain on their lungs (lupus can occasionally make breathing difficult). Some draw attention to the fact that they can cut back on their prescription medication intake by using marijuana.


Scholars underscore the paucity of information regarding the enduring safety and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis for individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases. It’s important to proceed cautiously because there aren’t many randomized controlled trials specifically looking at medical cannabis and lupus patients.

Furthermore, there may be drug interactions between marijuana and prescription drugs. Studies indicate that combining cannabis with NSAIDs, which are frequently prescribed to treat lupus, may have unfavorable consequences. It’s crucial to remember that these are the results of a single case study, though.

According to some research, CBD may lessen the use of NSAIDs and opioids. On the other hand, CBD may alter the way the body processes some immunosuppressive drugs and raise their blood levels, which could lead to harmful side effects.

It is advised by the Lupus Foundation of America that anyone with lupus who is considering trying medical marijuana first consult their physician. It’s important to see a doctor to determine whether it’s safe to combine cannabis with other lupus treatments that are currently available, as the Foundation warns that cannabis may interact with medications or exacerbate symptoms.

Summing Up!

The analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory qualities of medical cannabis are thought to hold promise for lupus sufferers, according to research and anecdotal accounts. To support its application, experts and researchers emphasize the need for more thorough, extensive studies on human populations.

Patients with lupus who are currently taking prescribed medications run the risk of experiencing drug interactions. It is advisable to speak with a medical professional before experimenting with medical marijuana to alleviate lupus symptoms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top