Latest News & Information on Medical Marijuana & CBD for Fibromyalgia Treatment.
- 4 min read
- Updated 581 days ago
Back in the olden days—and by that, we mean five or so years ago—people who had fibromyalgia were dismissed as making mountains out of molehills. Doctors were unable to attach the painful symptoms to any known disorder or illness, and they were often chalked up to being all in the patients’ heads. This meant treatment was nonexistent.
As scientists begin to grasp fibromyalgia as a real medical disorder, treatments start to present themselves. Early relief has come from the cannabis Sativa genus of plants—which includes both hemp and marijuana—and its effectiveness makes sense when you understand more about both fibromyalgia and cannabis.
The information in this article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis and does not replace seeing a mental health professional. If you think you are suffering from this disease, consult with a health professional immediately. To find a health professional in the Highbrow network, click here.
CAUSES OF FIBROMYALGIA?
One of the biggest frustrations for people who have fibromyalgia is that doctors and scientists have not yet figured out what causes the condition. The most we know about fibromyalgia today, according to Mayo Clinic, is that it probably results from multiple variables joining up to produce these all-encompassing symptoms. These factors could include the following:
It’s interesting to “observe” as medical scientists work to demystify this condition. Today, researchers have come up with a theory that the brains of people living with fibromyalgia have changed in response to the patient’s nerves being stimulated on a reoccurring basis.
CBD and MMJ as Treatments for Fibromyalgia
There’s no cure for fibromyalgia. While medical researchers toil in their labs to come up with some solutions, everyday sufferers are turning to various forms of cannabis, which has been used for thousands of years to treat symptoms from the disorder.
These treatments come in the form of either of the following:
- Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive ingredient from hemp and marijuana plants
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active—and psychoactive—ingredient in marijuana.
Short of a cure, that’s what fibromyalgia patients want—something to minimize the range of symptoms they endure every day, including:
Treating Fibromyalgia Pain With CBD and/or MMJ
Pain is the symptom most commonly associated with fibromyalgia, and pain management happens to be the area of medical cannabis use that has enjoyed the most significant validation in the scientific community.
We’ll see even more pain sufferers stepping into the CBD/MMJ ring these days, as the severity of the nation’s opioid crisis comes under ever-increasing scrutiny. And when the Arthritis Foundation publishes a guide for how to use CBD for pain (which it has, by the way), you know this pain treatment is a real “thing.”
All endorsements aside, you probably want to know how cannabis ingredients work to relieve pain. We’ll tell you what we know.
Remember those overly sensitive pain receptors we talked about earlier? They are part of your body’s endocannabinoid system (ES). The ES regulates pain and inflammation, and when CBD or THC binds with the ES receptors, they apply an analgesic effect that helps to reduce the patient’s pain.
"When the Arthritis Foundation publishes a guide for how to use CBD for pain (which it has, by the way), you know this pain treatment is a real thing)"
Treating Fibromyalgia Sleep Problems With CBD and/or MMJ
Fibromyalgia patients also experience trouble sleeping—which in and of itself can lead to lots of adverse outcomes, including an inability to concentrate, known as the “fibro fog.” So, let’s talk about how cannabis is used for fibromyalgia treatment by directly treating insomnia.
Cannabis has been used for hundreds of years to help patients induce sleep—and that’s just counting the treatments that have been documented. To date, 10 percent of CBD users say these use cannabis to address their sleep issues, according to Consumer Reports.
These CBD users report that the treatment works, and scientists are scrambling to figure out why. So far, researchers have concluded that CBD renders a calming effect on your nervous system. They were able to document this effect in a study published in The Permanente Journal, where CBD improved sleep scores for almost 67 percent of study participants.
Treating Depression and Anxiety With CBD and/or MMJ
Although antidepressants continue to serve as doctors’ “go-to” solution for depression, increasing numbers of depression patients are shunning these pills in favor of more natural solutions, like CBD and MMJ.
Antidepressants bring a lot of baggage with them—mostly negative side effects, the trouble of getting the right prescription in the right dosage, as well as tremendously difficult withdrawal symptoms.
A study in The Journal of Neuroscience discussed the “antidepressant-like effect of cannabinoids,” suggesting that “enhancing the endogenous cannabinoid system could be a new mechanism for medicines that may alleviate depression.”
Things You Should Know
THC will get you high, but pure CBD will not. Depending upon your personal medical condition, one or the other will work better for you—often, it’s a strain that combines specific features of both ingredient that works better for the individual. You do not need the high to address many of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Also, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report on CBD deems CBD as not physically addictive and has reported that the substance does not pose a risk to public health.
Finally, although you can consume CBD and THC in numerous ways (capsules, edibles, oils, pills, lotions, and vaporized oils), the general rule is that smoking is the quickest way to experience the effects.
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