Medical Cannabis Is Excellent For Fibromyalgia Treatment
Fibromyalgia is a very painful disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal discomfort. Apart from a chronic pain sensation, it also includes sleep, fatigue, memory and mood issues. It is then just logical to think that a person suffering from fibromyalgia would look into alternative ways to alleviate the constant pain. Researches came to conclude that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by the way your brain processes pain signals.
Medical marijuana is a very popular treatment and is gaining attention all over. With certain life changes and alternative treatments to cope with the pain, people suffering from fibromyalgia might just be able to have a better life.
A recap on Fibromyalgia
Sometimes, the symptoms of fibromyalgia start after physical trauma. It could something like surgery, and infection, of psychological stress that set it off. And sometimes it just happens by itself with nothing triggering it at all. Women are more likely to get fibromyalgia than men. It is common to struggle with tension headaches and temporomandibular disorders (pain in the joints of the jaw). Problems with the bowel, anxiety, and depression could also be part of it.
About 2 to 8% of the population are struggling with this painful disorder and regular treatments are not very successful. To treat fibromyalgia is quite complicated and a multidisciplinary approach is needed. Patients could respond to pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, and sometimes even opioids are included. Opioids are actually not the best root, as it has negative side-effects.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
Widespread pain – It is a constant pain, often described as dull and lingering that lasts for 3 months at least. The pain is often experienced on both sides of the body, above and below the waist.
Fatigue – Severe tiredness is often experienced, even after long periods of sleep. Other symptoms include restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
Cognitive difficulties – It is commonly referred to as “fibro fog” where there is trouble to focus, concentrate, and paying attention to mental tasks.
It often co-exists with other painful conditions like:
Irritable bowel syndromes
Migraines and other types of headaches
Painful bladder syndrome
Temporomandibular joint disorders
Why is Cannabis a Good Choice?
The two main compounds of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the cannabinoid that is psychoactive and responsible for the high feeling. CBD is non-psychoactive and doesn´t have the same effect as THC. Both can be used in oils, edibles, and topicals. Other extracts can also be used, and THC could be consumed by smoking it too. Both compounds can be used separately or in combination to treat symptoms of all sorts of disorders.
The Efficacy of Cannabis for Fibromyalgia Treatment
Medical cannabis shows promising results for treating fibromyalgia. It is effective and has a low potential for serious adverse events. But up until now, only a few studies were done to examine the effect of medical cannabis on the disorder. These studies have not been very big and only a few people were used. There was also little follow up and this makes it hard to come to a proper conclusion.
There was a study done in Israel with the intention to solve some of the questions around fibromyalgia. In Israel, when a patient is prescribed medical cannabis, the patient is required to get approval from the department part of the Israeli Ministry of Health. After it was approved, a specialized nurse in cannabis set up the monthly doses based on the clinical indication.
To test the efficacy of cannabis, patients referred by physicians for the test were receiving treatment for a year without any improvement. Researchers gradually increased the doses from a very low dose below therapeutic effect until the therapeutic effect was achieved. The therapeutic effect was seen as a significant improvement in quality of life.
The Importance of This Study for Cannabis and Fibromyalgia
The result of the study proved that cannabis is effective and safe for treating fibromyalgia. Significant improvement in pain intensity was experienced after 6 months. The quality of life also improved. A range of factors were addressed in the study like improvement of chronic pain, quality of life, disease perception, specific symptoms, and occurrence of adverse effects.
How Medical Cannabis Can Help
Based on the results of the above study and others, medical marijuana might help treat several symptoms of fibromyalgia. Even if people suffering from fibromyalgia supplement their existing treatment with cannabis, it could already bring relief from the severe pain they are struggling with. There is enough proof that cannabis helps with chronic pain and does not have the negative side-effects of other pharmaceuticals. Medical cannabis is also good to regulate sleep. Fibromyalgia patients might also find cannabis helpful in stimulating the brain depending on the dose and strain they use.
Even though medical cannabis can´t cure fibromyalgia, it can bring relief to the severe symptoms of the disease.