There are two main types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both affect the joints, causing pain and swelling, and limiting movement.

More than 50 million adults suffer from arthritis. Pharmaceutical medicines don't always work and/or aren't always desirable by patients, and as a result, patients have been turning more and more to cannabis for relief. I am one of those people.

One of my favorite things to do growing up, and still to this day, is playing basketball. I am by no means an elite player, but I have always enjoyed the exercise and competition that comes with playing basketball.

Unfortunately, my foot does not like basketball. I play in a basketball tournament every summer, as I have for the last 12 summers, and I noticed something different about my foot after last summer's tourney.

Playing in an outdoor basketball tournament like the one I play in is rough on your feet, so when I experienced foot pain after the tournament, I didn't think anything of it. But the pain was still there several weeks later, so I went into the doctor.

That's when I was diagnosed with arthritis in the first metatarsophalangeal joint on my right foot. The doctor wasn't sure how long I had it up to that point, but it was definitely there, and it was flaring up.

To this day, the pain has never fully gone away in my foot. According to my doctor, it probably never will and will likely just get worse as time goes by.

Why I chose to treat my arthritis with cannabis

Cannabis and cannabinoids represent a promising treatment which can reduce arthritic pain and inflammation and positively modulate bone growth and maintenance.

I have had to deal with various injuries and conditions over the years, but I was always able to develop workarounds to those problems during my day to day activities.

But a foot injury is tough because you have to walk quite a bit during the day. I have ony played basketball one time since my diagnosis (same summer tourney), but I can't minimize walking around anymore than I already have.

I had to figure out a treatment that was going to help me get things done, in addition to modifying my life activities. I needed medicine.

The two medications that my primary doctor was quick to offer up were anti-inflammatory pills and cortisone shots. Neither of those options sounded appealing to me, as I don't like pills, and I don't like shots.

Instead of listening to my doctor's recommendation, I decided to try to treat my arthritis with a regimen of cannabis consumption.

What forms of cannabis help treat arthritis

Finding the most suitable form of consumption for yourself takes a bit of trial and error, as each method of consumption has it's own potential drawbacks and benefits.

There are basically two things I use cannabis for in relation to arthritis. The first is pain. My foot is in constant pain, and consuming cannabis helps me manage that pain.

The pain doesn't go away entirely after consuming an edible, vaporizing or using a cannabis tincture, but I'm able to deal with it much easier.

The second thing I have to deal with, is inflammation. There are days when I walk more than others, and my first metatarsophalangeal joint swells up. On these days, I rub a cannabis topical on my foot, and it does an amazing job at reducing inflammation.

When the inflamation is really bad, I will also soak my foot in cannabis soaking salts. By doing these three things, I was able to play in my favorite basketball tournament this summer, and my foot felt considerably better after this year's tournament compared to the prior year.

Should you consider using cannabis to treat arthritis?

Almost 50 percent of Americans will develop some type of arthritis by age 84, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2040, an estimated 78 million Americans ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

My story is far from unique. Once I was diagnosed with arthritis, I started reaching out to others that had arthritis to encourage them to use cannabis too. Without exception, every person has benefited from cannabis.

Even my grandmother, who has suffered from arthritis for decades, tried cannabis when I recommended it to her. I thought it was going to be a tough sell, but she was so eager to experience relief that she didn't even hesitate to take the topical jar from me and start applying it to her hands.

My grandmother called me the next day and said that her hands hadn't felt so good for as long as she could remember. She has since been recommending topicals to all of her friends that suffer from arthritis.

Americans for Safe Access has a great resource page dedicated to arthritis, with all kinds of testimonials from both patients and doctors.

Do you, or someone that you know, suffer from arthritis? Do you use cannabis to treat it? If so, would you say it works? If not, what is stopping you from giving it a try?

I have found cannabis to be a very effective form of treatment for arthritis. So effective that I don't use anything else. Using cannabis as a medicine is a personal choice, and one that should be made with the guidance of a doctor. If you're interested in talking to a cannabis doctor, and discovering how to get your medical marijuana license discreetly, watch this, "How to get your medical marijuana recommendation online."

If you are not happy with your current form of treatment, give cannabis a try. If your experience is anything like mine, and countless others, you will be glad you did!

Would you consider using cannabis to treat arthritis?

Would you consider using cannabis to treat arthritis?