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Raynaud Syndrome

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Cannabis for Raynaud Syndrome

Raynaud syndrome (aka Raynaud’s or Raynaud’s phenomenon) is a condition where spasms of the small arteries cause episodes of reduced blood flow, typically to the fingers but sometimes the toes as well. It can cause numbness, localized pain and white and blue skin where there’s lack of blood flow. Complications can include sores and gangrene, which are thankfully rare.

Nicotine, stimulant and birth control pills may aggravate the syndrome, as does being out in the cold, stress and exposure to some kinds of chemicals (e.g. vinyl chloride). Approximately 4% of people suffer from Raynaud’s, and females are more likely to suffer from it than males. Onset is usually after the age of 30. Raynaud’s Raynaud’s is also associated with many autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, scleroderma and Sjogren’s.

There is no evidence that medical cannabis can necessarily treat Raynaud’s directly, and heavy smoking should ideally be avoided if you are predisposed to the condition. However, utilizing tinctures and topicals for those suffering from Raynaud’s due to an autoimmune disorder, anxiety or arthritis may potentially find it helpful. There is little clinical evidence for this regarding Raynaud’s phenomenon specifically, however. Theoretically, THC’s and pinene’s vasodilatory (artery opening) effects may help improve blood flow and ease breathing, as well as manage stress and help reduce pain.

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