Can CBD Alone Fight Fibromyalgia?
Any fibromyalgia patient will tell you that the condition can be quite devastating. The sufferer gets exhausted for doing simple chores like making breakfast or laundry on some days. Commonly characterized by chronic pain, fibromyalgia affects the connective tissues and muscles in the body. That’s why many patients often complain of chronic fatigue, joint stiffness, general weakness, digestive issues, insomnia, headache, cognitive issues, and anxiety. The National Institute of Health reports that over 5 million Americans are fibromyalgia patients- https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia_ff.asp.
What Exactly is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia refers to a disorder that causes muscle fatigue and pain. It’s the second most common disorder that affects muscles and bones. However, the disorder is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. The classic symptoms of fibromyalgia are widespread joint and muscle fatigue and pain.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
Numbness or tingling in feet and hands
Memory and thinking problems
Menstrual periods pain
Between 80 and 90% of fibromyalgia patients are women. Nevertheless, the condition affects children and men too. Many people are diagnosed with this disorder during their middle age.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. This is one of the active cannabinoids that are found in cannabis. CBD is a major phytocannabinoid that accounts for up to 40 percent of the extract from this plant. Medical studies have revealed that CBD shows potential health benefits for various health conditions. CBD has shown potential neurogenic and neuroprotective effects. Currently, the cannabinoid is under further investigations in different parts of the world to determine how exactly it works. Nevertheless, some patients that suffer from conditions that do not have specific, known treatments such as fibromyalgia are already using CBD as a dietary supplement for their conditions.
Why CBD for Fibromyalgia?
Before you consider using CBD alone to fight fibromyalgia, you may want to know why you should make this move yet there are conventional medications for the conditions. Nevertheless, it’s important to consider facts about fibromyalgia first.
Currently, doctors, scientists, and researchers do not know what exactly causes fibromyalgia. However, the medical community concurs that the condition could have several predisposal factors. These include infections, genetics, emotional and physical trauma.
Fibromyalgia risk is higher among rheumatic conditions sufferers. These include people with muscles, joints, and bones diseases.
Additionally, fibromyalgia doesn’t have a cure yet. As such, treatments that are prescribed to the sufferers focus on pain reduction and self-care. Patients are given anti-depressants, pain medications, and anti-seizure drugs. Unfortunately, all these medications have the potential to cause severe side effects in the future. What’s more, consumption of more painkillers worsens the condition due to it’s overall impact on the body and liver. Not to mention the feared possibility of becoming addicted and overdosing.
Currently, the National Pain Foundation and the National Pain Report reveal that the FDA has approved only three medications for fibromyalgia.
Although pharmaceutical companies are making a lot of money from the manufacture and sale of these medications, they don’t really help patients. That’s why a vast majority of fibromyalgia patients are turning to alternative treatments.
A Study/Survey That Shed Amazing Light
In fact, a survey that was conducted in 2014 revealed that almost a third of the fibromyalgia patients that participated in the study had tried medical marijuana or CBD to ease symptoms.
According to the findings of survey by the National Pain Report highlighted above, researchers established that it’s apparent that CBD shows potential health benefits for fibromyalgia. That’s because 30% of the participants reported that CBD was effective in some ways as follows:
63% reported that cannabis was “very effective” in symptoms treatment
33% reported that it “helped a little”
5% reported that it didn’t help at all
In fact, one fibromyalgia patient noted that the FDA-approved drugs for the condition had more side effects than the positive attributes. Therefore, given the results of such findings and the side effects of the FDA-approved drugs for fibromyalgia, more patients are likely to turn to CBD products and abandon the conventional medication.
But, is this wise?
One questionnaire-based study was conducted in 2011 with a focus on comparing the experiences of fibromyalgia patients that used CBD or cannabis on regular basis and patients that didn’t use it at all. The findings of the study revealed that there was significantly, potential statistical reduction of stiffness and pain, improved relaxation, and increased feeling of well being and somnolence among the users.
In another study that was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the researchers established that 15 out of 18 trials that met inclusion criteria showed significant analgestic cannabinoid effect as compared to placebo. Several subjects reported a significant enhancement in sleep.
Views of Fibromyalgia Patients About CBD
Many patients are finding CBD products helpful when it comes to managing fibromyalgia symptoms. This is echoed by the commanding 63% of the patients that reported CBD as “very effective” when used as a dietary supplement for fibromyalgia as indicated in the National Pain Report’s survey. It’s however surprising that despite the increasing amount of the anecdotal accounts that report the potential health benefits of CBD for fibromyalgia; no pharmaceutical company has come up with a CBD-based drug for the condition.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Can CBD alone fight fibromyalgia?
At this point, it’s not possible medically (even legally) to authoritatively answer ‘yes’ to this question. That’s because only the above survey by the National Pain Report and a few level 1 studies have been done. With that said, scientists and researchers have acknowledged CBD for its strong potential as an anti-inflammatory and a pain-reducing cannabinoid.
Since pain and inflammation are two very common symptoms with Fibromyalgia, one can only assume that CBD is a great option. However, more studies are needed to determine whether CBD can cure you of your Fibromyalgia symptoms all on it’s own.
Currently, not much is known about fibromyalgia except the fact that the condition can be quite debilitating and that it doesn’t have a cure. However, CBD has shown potential health benefits for this condition. Researchers and scientists are conducting more studies to find out how the cannabinoid works. Nevertheless, some fibromyalgia patients have already tried CBD and reported positive results. It’s therefore reasonable for patients to consider taking CBD as a dietary supplement for fibromyalgia especially if conventional medications don’t work for them or if they cause serious side effects.