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Is Medical Marijuana Useful for Treating Fibromyalgia?

Research shows the combination of high THC and high CBD is the most effective.

Hemp Fibromyalgia

(SALEM, Ore.) - According to the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA), the condition affects anywhere from 3% to 6% of the global population. Between 75% and 90% of people with the disorder are female. You will often see the disease in families, among mothers and children, for example.

Doctors usually make the diagnosis when a patient is between 20 and 50 years of age. However, the prevalence of the condition increases with age. An estimated 8% of American adults meet the official classification of fibromyalgia by age 80. Overall, approximately 10 million Americans have the condition.

The most commonly prescribed drugs for the disorder include antidepressants, pain relievers, and anti-seizure medication. While some prescriptions ease the pain, others improve sleep. Drugs such as duloxetine and pregabalin have a long list of side effects. These include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, constipation, and blurred vision.

Therefore, it is no surprise to see an increasing number of people try medical marijuana for fibromyalgia. There is also a growth in the number of individuals using CBD oil for fibromyalgia.

You can find out more about CBD brands on Marijuanabreak. Now, let’s take a look at the science behind cannabidiol and this particular disorder.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

It is a surprisingly common chronic pain disorder with severe physical and mental effects. Its most noticeable symptom is chronic pain all over the body. It causes sleep disturbances, fatigue, numerous tender points, and psychological suffering.

The level of pain is such that it can prevent an individual from completing daily tasks. Small wonder then, that so many people choose CBD for fibromyalgia.

Physicians don’t know what causes the condition, although it almost certainly involves a combination of factors:

  • Specific illnesses and infections aggravate or trigger the disorder.
  • As it runs in families, there are possibly genetic mutations that increase your likelihood of getting the condition.
  • Psychological stress can trigger the condition. Physical trauma such as a car accident could also lead to fibromyalgia.

Researchers are not sure why fibromyalgia hurts so much. However, they believe that repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain to change. This alteration involves an abnormal rise in brain chemicals that signal pain, the neurotransmitters. Also, the brain’s pain receptors develop a ‘memory’ of the pain. As a result, they become oversensitive and overreact to pain signals.

Can Medical Marijuana Help?

There is a growing movement towards CBD for fibromyalgia. The non-intoxicating compound in industrial hemp is sold by countless brands online.

At the time of writing, neither CBD nor marijuana is FDA approved. An increasing level of research on CBD oil for fibromyalgia has revealed the following effects on animals:

  • A reduction in brain inflammation. In fibromyalgia, this is a significant contributor to brain fog and pain.
  • CBD places glial cells in the brain into hibernation. In chronic pain, glial cell activation is a crucial development.
  • CBD reduced pain behavior in rats subjected to stress. The cannabinoid had a positive effect when used topically or orally.
  • The compound has shown neuroprotective abilities. For instance, it could reduce brain damage after trauma through the process of cell repair stimulation. In people living with fibromyalgia, it could help with brain function.

At present, due to our Federal Government's lack of movement on the subject, there is minimal research specifically into CBD for fibromyalgia in humans. Known empirical evidence backs up one recent study by de Donk et al, which looked into the efficacy of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in 20 patients with fibromyalgia.

The team used four different varieties with varying THC to CBD ratios:

  1. A placebo with no THC or CBD.
  2. Bedrolite: 18.4mg CBD and less than 1mg of THC.
  3. Bediol: 13.4mg of THC and 17.8mg of CBD.
  4. Bedrocan: 22.4mg of THC and less than 1mg of CBD.

Each patient had a single vapor inhalation. The researchers measured pain scores and other metrics for three hours. Bediol, the combination of high THC and high CBD, was the most effective.

It showed a 30% decrease in pain scores when compared to the placebo. It is an interesting finding. We are not sure whether a combination of cannabinoids or CBD oil alone works best for fibromyalgia.

Final Thoughts on Medical Marijuana for Fibromyalgia The prohibited status of marijuana has hurt research efforts. Even trying to test the effects of CBD for fibromyalgia is a complicated process.

While the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp, it didn’t federally permit CBD use...even though it is a direct product of the industrial hemp plant.

The landscape is changing, but research into cannabidiol’s impact on fibromyalgia is in its infancy.

Those who use the cannabinoid claim that it acts as a potent muscle relaxant. There is also a suggestion that it lowers anxiety. However, the majority of these suggestions are based on anecdotal evidence.

There is much to learn about marijuana and its cannabinoids, and that includes CBD. If you are interested in learning more, check out the list of top-rated CBD oil brands on MarijuanaBreak.

"Marijuana: Best Therapy for Fibromyalgia" by Dr. Phil Leveque, Professor of Pharmacology
"Fibromyalgia Therapy: Marijuana Vs Antidepressants and Opiates" by Dr. Phil Leveque, Professor of Pharmacology

Source: Special Features Dept.


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