Chronic inflammation can be delightful when it refers to putting a flame to your chronic, but as a health matter it's a serious concern. In fact, chronic inflammation plays an important role in many debilitating ailments, including autoimmune diseases like lupus, colitis, arthritis and MS. According to the National Institutes of Health, “an autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders.” Many are extremely painful, and some can even prove fatal.

We already know marijuana can help alleviate inflammation in general, and that many of those who suffer from autoimmune disorders find significant relief from ingesting cannabinoids, but now, thanks to researchers at the University of South Carolina, we have a better understanding of how this all-natural remedy really works. 

"[Our] study has uncovered yet another potential application for marijuana, in the suppression of immune response to treat autoimmune diseases. The work builds on recent scientific discoveries that the environment in which humans live can actually trigger changes that occur outside of human DNA, but nevertheless can cause alterations to the function of genes controlled by DNA. These outside molecules that have the ability to alter DNA function are known collectively as the epigenome. In this study, the investigators wanted to find out if the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana has the capacity to affect DNA expression through epigenetic pathways outside of the DNA itself.

The recent findings show that THC can change critical molecules of epigenome called histones, leading to suppression of inflammation."

Published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, this latest study builds on previous scientific research and a massive amount of anecdotal evidence that all points to cannabis as a safe, effective treatment for autoimmune conditions. In fact, marijuana's utility as a treatment for AIDS wasting syndrome played a key role in the early fight to establish medical marijuana laws in California and across the country.

So it's no wonder to discover this important new role that cannabis-based medicine can play in treating a wide range of disorders. It's only surprising to realize how many people still don't have safe, legal access to this plant.