Raynaud’s Disease and Marijuana Information: Treat Raynaud’s Disease With Cannabis

Raynaud’s disease occurs when one’s peripheral blood vessels overreact to cold. When the blood vessels of the hands or feet overreact to cold stimulus, they momentarily collapse (vasoconstriction).

In healthy individuals, the circulatory system in the body’s extremities, such as the fingers and toes, reacts to conserve heat in cold conditions. Small arteries that supply the skin with oxygen narrow to minimize the amount of heat lost through the exposed skin surface.

For individuals with Raynaud’s disease – also called Raynaud’s phenomenon or syndrome – this reaction is taken further than the standard response. These blood vessels go into total shutdown.

There are three distinct phases to an episode of Raynaud’s disease. When first exposed to cold, small arteries respondwith intense contractions (vasoconstriction). The affected fingers or toes (in rare instances, the tip of the nose or tongue) become pale and white because they are derived of blood, and thus, oxygen. In response, capillaries and veins expand (dilate). Because these vessels are carrying deoxygenated blood, the affected area then becomes blue in color. The area often feels cold and tingly or numb. After the area begins to warm up, the arteries dilate. Blood flow is significantly increased. This changes the color of the area to a bright red. During this phase, persons often describe the affected areas as feeling warm and throbbing painfully.

Clinical Information Related to Raynaud’s Disease and Medical Marijuana

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