This June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month. The goal is to create awareness, early detection and increase education about scoliosis and the prevalence it has within the Australian community.

 

What’s scoliosis?

The cause of it is usually linked to:

  • Neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy
  • Certain diseases such as osteoarthritis
  • Uneven leg length, which causes the hip to tilt. The shoulders tend to lean the other way to compensate for this.

 

It’s important to note that there are different types of scoliosis:

  •  Adult scoliosis, which can be caused by a degenerative joint problem or in most cases, their scoliosis was developed early in their childhood but was not diagnosed.
  •  Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis is scoliosis that’s developed between 3 and 10 years of age.
  •  Idiopathic (cause unknown) scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis. It accounts for roughly 8 cases out of every 10. Girls are more commonly affected by this type of scoliosis.
  •  Infantile idiopathic scoliosis is when scoliosis develops before the age of 3 years. Boys are more commonly affected by this type of scoliosis.
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis develops before adolescence and during the growth spurt. Girls are more commonly affected by this type of scoliosis.

 

Symptoms

Scoliosis is often classified based on severity: minor, moderate, or severe. The symptoms and signs of scoliosis can include:

  • A shoulder tilted down towards a raised hip as if the child is leaning sideways
  • Prominent ribs
  • Protruding shoulder blades
  • Tilted waist
  • The curve is more pronounced when the child bends forward.

Australian statistics:

According to the department of health Australia, ‘1 in 15 girls develop some form of scoliosis during their growing period, from about 9 to 14 years’. [1]

Medical Cannabis and scoliosis:

Dealing with scoliosis can be a pain in the back – literally. The more curvature that happens in your spine due to scoliosis, the more pain you will experience. This severe pain often leaves the sufferer unable to live their life normally.

So, what does the research say?

While there needs to be more research conducted to show conclusive evidence, the scientific community has studied the benefits of Medical Cannabis as an alternative for pain relief. Medicinal Cannabis doesn’t have the properties to realign your spine as that will require surgery. So, while medical cannabis can’t magically heal scoliosis, it can be a great alternative for pain relief.

A clinical study measured the efficacy of Medical Marijuana as a supplement to an opioid-based pain relief regimen. The study concluded that 27% of patients were able to reduce the number of opioids they were taking while feeling the same level of release from their pain. [2]

In a 2015 review of 28 studies (2,454 participants) of cannabinoids in which chronic pain was assessed, the studies found that the patients showed improvements in pain measures in people taking cannabinoids.[3]

Benefits and side effects of Medical Cannabis

The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different compounds called Cannabinoids. Each one has a distinct impact on the body. CBD and THC are the main chemicals used in Cannabis Medicine. ​

THC produces a “high” that people may feel when they smoke Cannabis or eat foods containing it. However, CBD isn’t psychoactive at all and will not make you feel “high.” Believe it or not, CBD can counteract the psychoactivity of THC.

If you’re unsure of what THC and CBD or any of these words mean, please do check our FAQ section.

 

So, what are the side effects of CBD and THC?

CBD side effects can include-

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

These side effects are uncommon, and the most significant side effect from taking CBD may be the patient’s adverse reaction from the carrier oil or capsule coating in which the CBD is delivered in. In this case, your doctor can discuss which carrier oil offers the lowest potential to negatively affect you.

THC side effects include-

  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired short-term memory
  • Anxiety
  • Increased appetite
  • Euphoria