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What is Peripheral Vascular Disease?
Before knowing if medical cannabis would be a good treatment option, it’s important to understand what peripheral vascular disease is. Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is, according to the Mayo Clinic, a circulatory problem that, while common, reduces blood flow to your extremities due to arteries that are more narrow than usual. PVD can refer to really any disorder of the circulatory system that occurs outside of the brain or heart and, as a result, affects blood vessels and limits the blood flow from the heart to those extremities. PVD is actually the most common disease that plagues arteries, according to WebMD.
PVD is caused when fatty material inside of the blood vessels builds up and causes arteries to harden in what is called atherosclerosis. This leads to the artery becoming blocked or weakened and PVD is the result. WebMD goes on to elaborate that over 8.5 million Americans have the condition, and it is most common in people over the age of 60. Men are also more prone to have the condition.
Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease
Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease can include, but are not limited to:
- Fluctuating pain in both calves
- Pain in both thighs
- Pain in both hips
- Cramping pain in legs
- Tightness or heaviness of legs
- Pain in butt
- Pain in the feet or toes while at rest
- Wound on foot/leg that is not healing
- Loss of leg-hair
- Cold extremities
Peripheral Vascular Disease and Medical Marijuana
Medical Marijuana has been shown to have tremendous benefit for those patients diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease. One of the most common symptoms of PVD is inflammation, which is one of the greatest strengths of cannabis. The anti-inflammatory properties occur when the cannabinoids activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, which results in limited inflammation.
Many patients who suffer from PVD also suffer from diabetes. Research has shown that diabetics who utilize medical marijuana have much better luck regulating their blood sugar. In fact, in a report published by the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, it is revealed that medical marijuana can help calm the inflammation of diabetes, stabilize blood sugars, reduce neuropathic pain, improve gastrointestinal disorders, and improve overall blood circulation.
Side Effects of Cannabis for Peripheral Vascular Disease
Side effects of marijuana use can include changes in:
- Reaction Time