Medical marijuana encounters a lot of controversies- politically, legally, and socially. Nonetheless, scientific pieces of evidence continue to provide proof of its healing abilities to treat various pain conditions, including fibromyalgia.
Before we dive into its specific effects on fibromyalgia, lets talk about medical marijuana and the many reasons it’s being touted as the new miracle drug.
The first and main reason is because PAIN is the most common use for medical marijuana today-- especially for chronic pain, something that plagues millions of Americans each year. Another reason for its allure is that MMJ is a lot safer than other options- namely opiates. For one thing, it’s impossible to overdose and is far less addictive. In fact, it is so effective that it is actively now taking the place of NSAIDS such as over the counter products like Advil Aleve-- and that’s good news for people with problems with their kidneys, or ulcers or GERD. Specifically, for those dealing with nerve pain, medical marijuana is especially effective. This is an area where few other options exist, and those that do like Neurotin, Lyrica or opiates are too sedating. Patients often state that marijuana allows them to resume with their normal activities without feeling completely listless, disengaged or out of it. Aside from these benefits, medical marijuana is also an effective muscle relaxant which makes it a perfect choice for fibromyalgia (as well as endometriosis, interstitial, cystitis) and many other conditions where the final common pathway is chronic pain.
But, why is it so effective? The answer is the endocannabinoid system.
Recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system doesn't only react to the endocannabinoids produced in our bodies, but it also responds to external cannabinoids such as the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD). According to the National Institute of Health, the endocannabinoid system is said to help treat a variety of medical issues, many of which are related to fibromyalgia. These include:
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that is primarily associated with musculoskeletal pain. According to specific research, about 90 percent of the patients are women.
This disorder has no known cure; therefore, the only option is to manage its symptoms, which include mood fluctuations, sleep issues, fatigue, pain, painful menstrual cramps, tender joints, and more. Even though the market is full of many medications, recent studies show that the use of medical cannabis can prove to be better than most pharmaceuticals.
Many factors contribute to the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, even though doctors have not provided reliable answers as to that cause it. Fibromyalgia can be triggered by many factors, including genetic factors, physical or emotional trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, repetitive injuries, and problems with the central nervous system.
A lot of research suggests that the pain related to fibromyalgia results from the way our brains process pain signals.
The marijuana cannabinoids are known to react with the natural endocannabinoids in our bodies. This reaction usually decreases hypersensitivity to pain making fibromyalgia patients feel less pain.
A few studies have been conducted exclusively on the pain connected to fibromyalgia. These studies have reported that medical marijuana is more effective than common prescription drugs like Savella, Lyrica, and Cymbalta.
The National Pain Foundation conducted an online survey and reported that 62% of the participants who used marijuana experienced substantial pain relief, and another 33% reported some relief. The remaining 5% reported no change in their pain symptoms.
In a study conducted by Trusted Source in 2011, 28 individuals who used marijuana for fibromyalgia showed improvement in each of its symptoms. About 43% of the participants reported mild pain relief, and another 43% reported substantial pain relief. The extra 7% experienced no variation in their pain symptoms.
However, more research should be conducted to properly understand how marijuana helps to relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia.
The pain associated with fibromyalgia is known to cause sleeping problems. One of the best ways to reduce this pain is getting lots of rest.
Medical marijuana strains are sometimes referred to as the "sleepy time" weed. They are known to induce drowsiness feeling, allowing patients to fall into a deep sleep. Since fibromyalgia disease is associated with pain, marijuana comes with pain-fighting properties.
the study conducted in 2011 by the Trusted Source, found out that 81% of the participants who treated fibromyalgia using marijuana reported improvement in their sleep issues.
Medical marijuana doesn't cure fibromyalgia, but it does help address its symptoms. The THC and CBD cannabinoids found in cannabis are known to respond with the endocannabinoid system found in our bodies to reduce pain and increase sleepiness.
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