Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is one of the many debilitating medical conditions that causes pain all over the body affecting a person’s overall well-being. Though several effective treatments for fibromyalgia are available, people now also see medical cannabis as a potential treatment.
Over the years, the scope of medical marijuana has grown a lot. Its use is not only limited to anxiety or depression, but people now use the ‘herbal drug’ for an assortment of medical conditions. This has even led to medical professionals recommending the use of cannabis to their patients who suffer from chronic conditions.
In this blog, we will read about Fibromyalgia, medical cannabis, and the role of medical cannabis in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain followed by symptoms, such as fatigue, sleep, and memory loss. Depending on how your brain and spinal cord process painful and non-painful sensations, fibromyalgia-induced painful sensations could be intensified. Nearly 1 in 20 people globally are affected by the condition, with women having a higher possibility of getting it than men.
Some Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Pain all over the body
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises
- Difficulty concentrating
- Numbness in the hands and feet
- Dry mouth
- Pain in the face or jaw
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Speaking of the causes of Fibromyalgia, the scientific community believes that repeated nerve stimulation triggers changes in the brain and spinal cord of people with the condition. This results in an abnormal surge in the release of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain to different areas of the body.
Other than that, the following factors are likely to be the cause behind the development of fibromyalgia:
- Physical trauma
- Emotional trauma, and
Understanding Medical Cannabis
Medical cannabis is a popular term used for the medically certified use of cannabis for the treatment of certain medical conditions. Though the federal government hasn’t legalized marijuana considering it a Schedule 1 drug, many states have approved the medical and recreational use of cannabis. This is because the limited research that has been conducted on the herb has advocated the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Cannabis products with less than 0.3% THC are legally allowed for recreational consumption. On the other hand, patients that apply for a NY medical card from a licensed medical marijuana doctor or clinic can access much higher doses of cannabis.
As a plant, cannabis has a unique combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present that enhance its overall therapeutic effects. This herb also referred to as marijuana, pot, weed, hash, or ganja is often the recommended form of medicine recommended by healthcare professionals. A major chunk of the U.S population consumes medical cannabis for an assortment of medical conditions including anxiety, arthritis, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, and even cancer-induced chemotherapy.
Does Medical Cannabis Help Patients With Fibromyalgia?
As per the studies conducted on medical marijuana for fibromyalgia, available data suggests that cannabis may help alleviate certain symptoms of the condition. Having said that, rigorous research is still needed to learn more about the safety and efficacy of marijuana in patients with fibromyalgia.
Breaking apart the herb, we can come up with two major cannabinoids that are the most researched for their therapeutic benefits: CBD & THC.
CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Medical cannabis generally contains more CBD and hence is derived from the hemp variety of cannabis plants. Hemp plants contain more CBD which is why it is considered more therapeutic as compared to marijuana plants which contain more percentage of THC.
So, THC is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis that makes a person feel ‘high’. CBD, on the other hand, has a great medical contribution for its therapeutic properties. Pain-relief, by far, is known as the most effective medical benefit of CBD use.
It’s the combination of CBD, THC, and other minor cannabinoids that eventually relieves fibromyalgia-induced pain.
In one of the studies conducted on cannabis for Fibromyalgia, 28 participants with fibromyalgia were given cannabis treatment for a few weeks. 43% of them reported strong pain relief, 43 % reported comparatively mild pain relief and the other 7 % did not feel any relief.
Though the studies have emphasized the potential of medical cannabis in managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia, the scientific community still believes that detailed research is required to study the long-term effects of cannabis on patients with fibromyalgia.
Best CBD Products for Fibromyalgia
As CBD is known best for its pain-relieving properties, patients with Fibromyalgia prefer taking CBD treatment for quick relief. Here are some of the most common forms of CBD products that are easily available in the market:
- Edibles: Edibles are considered the most convenient method of ingesting CBD into the body. Flavored gummies, candies, cookies, lollipops, chocolates, etc., are some of the common forms of CBD edibles. A significant chunk of CBD users consumes gummies not only for pain relief but for other conditions such as anxiety and relaxation.
- Tinctures: Victims of chronic pain prefer CBD oil tinctures as they are known to be the most effective and quick way of kicking in the therapeutic effects of CBD.
- Vapes: Smoking and vaping have to be the most common and widely used methods of CBD consumption. Not only for medical reasons but people also vape and smoke for recreational purposes.
- Topicals: CBD topicals include all the products that are applied directly to the skin and are not taken orally. Common examples of CBD topicals are creams, lotions, balms, roll-ons, and sprays.
While people actively use the above-mentioned forms of CBD, not every product might work the best for everybody. What works for your friend might just not work for you. You need to do a bit of trial and experimenting when it comes to cannabis. Try a product for a week or so and see if it’s working for you. CBD oil might not be the best product for your desired condition but CBD gummies can be.
David Barnes is a content writer specializing in health and education beats. He likes to write a lot about marijuana legalization, new technology in the cannabis field, and general health. He writes passionately about medical cannabis.