Understanding Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and how medical cannabis can help

What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) encompasses a group of genetic connective tissue disorders marked by joint hypermobility, easily bruised skin, and tissue fragility. Symptoms of EDS vary widely, from mild to life-threatening, and include:

  1. Chronic pain
  2. Joint dislocations and subluxations
  3. Skin that is soft, stretchy, and bruises easily
  4. Gastrointestinal issues
  5. Cardiovascular problems
  6. Fatigue

EDS consists of several types, each with specific symptoms and genetic causes. Managing EDS typically involves a multidisciplinary approach, including physical therapy, pain management, and sometimes surgical interventions. Nevertheless, many patients continue to endure significant pain and other symptoms despite these treatments.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Medical Cannabis to manage EDS symptoms

Medical cannabis has shown potential in managing a variety of chronic conditions, including those involving chronic painand inflammation. Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, along with balanced profiles of terpenes, flavonoids, and more all offer different therapeutic benefits.

Pain Relief

Chronic pain is one of the most debilitating symptoms of EDS. More than 90% of individuals with EDS who visit their doctor report pain and fatigue as their primary concerns. This pain can originate from various sources: joints, muscles, neurological issues, or abdominal and pelvic organs. Additionally, research indicates that menstrual pain is often more severe in people with EDS compared to the general population.

Traditional pain management strategies often include steroids, strong painkillers like opioids, and physical therapy. However, these treatments can have significant side effects and may not be fully effective for all patients. Medical cannabis, particularly strains high in CBD, has shown analgesic (pain-relieving) benefits. Research suggests that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which plays a role in regulating pain and inflammation.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome pain

Reducing Inflammation

Inflammation is a key component of many EDS symptoms, particularly those related to joint and tissue damage. Cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabigerol (CBG), exhibit activity against inflammation, which can help reduce the inflammation associated with joint pain and other EDS symptoms. By targeting inflammation, medical cannabis may help improve mobility and overall quality of life for EDS patients.

Muscle Relaxation and Spasm Reduction

Patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) often undergo muscle spasms and tension due to joint instability and chronic pain. Studies have shown that both THC and CBD possess muscle-relaxant properties that can help alleviate these symptoms. This has also proven to be beneficial for patients with Multiple Sclerosis. In particular, THC may help reduce muscle spasms and promote relaxation.

Improved Sleep

Chronic pain and discomfort can significantly affect sleep quality. Many patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) experience insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns. Research has shown that medical cannabis can help improve sleep in patients with chronic pain conditions. THC, a compound in cannabis, has sedative effects that can assist patients in falling asleep more quickly and experiencing more restful sleep. Additionally, CBD, another compound in cannabis, can contribute to better sleep by reducing anxiety and pain.

Anxiety and Mood Disorders

Living with a chronic condition such as EDS can result in anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. Research has shown that CBD has anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties, which may help alleviate anxiety and improve mood. By promoting overall well-being, CBD can be a beneficial part of a comprehensive treatment plan for individuals with EDS.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome patient care

How can Mamedica help you?

Our doctors work with you to understand the right medical cannabis treatment to help manage your condition and its symptoms effectively.

We offer tailored treatments for various conditions in areas such as pain management, psychiatry, and neurology, which is especially beneficial when dealing with the multiple symptoms of fibromyalgia. Discover the conditions we support here.

To find out if medical cannabis could be an option for you, a loved one, or a patient, take our free eligibility test in under 60 seconds.