Mar 31, 2016 5:36 AM

How can medical marijuana help with… HEMOPHILIA A?

Definition of hemophilia A.

Hemophilia A is the common Hemophilia type, which may also be referred to as ‘factor VIII deficiency’. This condition prevents blood from coagulating due to lack clotting factor VIII in the red blood cells. Since hemophilia is caused by an inherited X-chromosome mutation, it is inherited in maternal line, and affects only males. Females are exclusively asymptomatic carriers of the disorder, since they have a larger number of X chromosomes compared to males, and thus are able to cover for insufficient genes. As per medical statistics, one in 5 000 males in the U.S. have been born with hemophilia within the last two decades.

Bleeding is the major symptom of hemophilia A. A patient may experience nose and ear bleeds, bleeding during defecation, or unstoppable bleeding with every cut of skin or minor injury. The most painful symptom, however, is usually bleeding into the joints, which causes swelling and pain, and is often accompanied by internal bruises. As a result, Hemophilia A sufferers have to struggle with chronic pain from joint damage.

How can medical marijuana help?

NSAIDs are prescribed and used conventionally to treat hemophilia-induced joint pain. However, as with other diseases that are treated with NSAIDs, patients often report serious side-effects, e.g. vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, dehydration and loss of appetite. Medical marijuana can be a viable alternative to NSAIDs in terms of painkiller and inflammation reducer. A recent study held at San Francisco General Hospital had a group of participants who suffered from chronic pain smoke three marijuana cigarettes per day, while the other group was given placebo cigarettes. The first group reported a 34% pain decrease compared to the control group. Another research conducted at the University of California looked at the interaction between medical marijuana and opiate-based pain relievers. The study concluded that addition of medical marijuana to the course of opiate-based pain medications reduced the pain levels by an average of 27% while also reducing the levels of opiates in the patient’s blood.

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