Fibromyalgia is a rheumatological condition that disrupts the normal functioning of the human body, resulting in musculoskeletal pain and high body temperature. Since medical marijuana is a viable treatment for chronic pain and many accompanying symptoms, can it be a viable treatment for fibromyalgia?
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at fibromyalgia as well as how cannabis can help with the condition.
We can easily describe fibromyalgia as the feeling of widespread pain in the ankles, joints, and muscles accompanied by fever and lethargy. The pain from this condition is recurrent but sometimes it stops and comes back.
Apart from pain and fatigue, other common symptoms of fibromyalgia include sleeping problems, numbness and tingling, migraines, digestive problems, bowel dysfunction, bladder nuisances, nausea, joint pains, and insomnia. Another common condition among fibromyalgia patients is restless leg syndrome, an intolerable urge to move the leg, which makes life very difficult. Fibromyalgia also leaves patients short-tempered, making it very difficult for people to live a social life and maintain relationships.
Fibromyalgia is still relatively new in the medical field. Therefore, there is no cure for the condition. Fibromyalgia patients usually take painkillers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications to gain temporal relief from the condition. The traditional drugs for treating fibromyalgia include.
- Lyrica (pregabalin)
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Savella (milnacipran)
The effectiveness of these drugs varies from one person to another. According to studies, only 8 to 10 percent of fibromyalgia patients claimed to find relief with prescription drugs, while 60 to 68 percent of patients did not experience any improvements.
Medical marijuana has been shown to effectively relieve pain, chronic headaches, and depression from fibromyalgia. There is still a need for more research on marijuana for fibromyalgia, but current studies help us understand this relationship better.
A study—named, Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency—from 2007 had some promising results: Marijuana relieves the pain caused by peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves), which is the primary cause of pain for fibromyalgia patients. In contrast to the placebo-controlled group, cannabis effectively treated peripheral neuropathy.
In another study conducted in Spain back in 2011, medical marijuana was effective in reducing fibromyalgia pain. In this study, twenty-eight patients who ingested medical cannabis reported a reduction in pain as well as stiffness. Cannabis therapy also effectively improved the patient’s sense of well-being, sleep, and relaxation.
A systematic review from 2013 noted that the analgesic properties of medical marijuana could effectively promote sleep, reduce pain, and joint stiffness, improve physical functions, and make life better for fibromyalgia patients.
To understand how medical marijuana works for fibromyalgia, we need to have knowledge of how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) works. ECS helps maintain bodily hemostasis (the cellular balance we all need to function normally) and helps transmit signals within the body. Fibromyalgia makes the ECS go off balance, resulting in pain, and insomnia. In fact, there are speculations that fibromyalgia results from Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD).
CECD occurs when the body does not generate sufficient endocannabinoids (our own natural cannabinoids). Marijuana can help supplement Endocannabinoid Deficiency, thus helping our body maintain homeostasis. When our ECS is not functioning properly, it leads to a lot of health problems such as gastrointestinal issues, sleeping disorders, chronic pain, mood changes, muscle spasm, and stiffness.
- Blue Dream
- Charlotte’s Web
- Critical Mass
- Key Lime Pie
- Tahoe OG
Current studies on medical marijuana for fibromyalgia show that it can be a very helpful treatment. If you are a fibromyalgia patient looking for alternative medication to prescription pills, now might be a good time to schedule an appointment with Trilogy Medicinal – Port St. Lucie Medical Marijuana Doctor and Cannabis cards and talk to our certified Physician to see if medical marijuana may be for you.