Years of space travel can really do a number on the body. That’s why Canadian actor, author, producer and Star Trek star William Shatner has been using cannabis extracts to help quell the pain brought on by age-related joint swelling.
“I’ve got some aches and pains I didn’t have a few years ago,” Shatner told the PA news agency. “But, I’m finding out there are many things that help aches and pains that we didn’t know about just a few years ago. Well, THC and CBD, and that kind of thing.”
The 89-year old actor and current host of The UnXplained, a non-fiction series on the History channel, described his experience as transformative.
“Have you used it? It’s magical,” he said. “I’ve had swollen joints where it hurts, you rub some on and while you’re rubbing it on, the pain disappears. It’s magical.”
The UnXplained explores the world’s most fascinating, strange and inexplicable mysteries, and Shatner said that it’s that sense of exploration that leads to the discovery of better solutions.
“There are things around us that we haven’t discovered yet which seemingly are mysterious but then we find an explanation,” said Shatner. “Human beings are constantly searching, you and I are constantly searching for answers to make a good pie. You know, what constitutes a good blood pudding? Or chicken pot pie…”
In a study published in 2017 in the National Library of Medicine entitled “Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Joint Pain?” researchers collected scientific evidence on the effectiveness of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) on relieving joint-related pain.
The study was conducted in affiliation with the Department of Pharmacology at Northwestern University as well as the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.
“Although CBD does not produce psychotropic effects, it has been shown to produce a variety of pharmacological effects. Hence, the overall effects of herbal cannabis represent the collective activity of THC, CBD and a number of minor components,” the study says.
“Arachidonic acid derived endocannabinoids are the normal physiological activators of the two cannabinoid receptors. Natural phytocannabinoids and synthetic derivatives have produced clear activity in a variety of models of joint pain in animals. These effects are the result of both inhibition of pain pathway signalling and anti-inflammatory effects. There are also numerous anecdotal reports of the effectiveness of smoking cannabis for joint pain.”
The study also states that while cannabis is frequently asked for by patients seeking joint and body pain relief, the results do not include medical analysis for inflammation that affects the connecting or supporting structures of the body.
“Indeed, it is the largest medical request for the use of the drug. However, these reports generally do not extend to regulated clinical trials for rheumatic diseases,” researchers wrote. “Nevertheless, the preclinical and human data that do exist indicate that the use of cannabis should be taken seriously as a potential treatment of joint pain.”