Cannabis is a plant genus that includes cannabis. It contains two primary active components: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
The chemical that provides the sensation of euphoria is THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It can be smoked and is also available in other forms such as edibles, oils, and capsules. CBD is a nonpsychoactive component, so it doesn’t give users the “high” associated with THC. It’s available in gels, gummies, oils, supplements, extracts, and more.
Cannabis products can be found that include just CBD or THC, or a mix of both. Many people with fibromyalgia use marijuana treatments to alleviate their symptoms. Cannabis and related substances may help relieve some symptoms of fibromyalgia, according to The Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies, which was published in 2017.
However, researchers think that additional research is needed to determine the role of cannabis and its active components in treating fibromyalgia. In particular, there have been few examinations of THC versus CBD for symptoms of fibromyalgia. The following is a summary of the studies done on the most common fibromyalgia symptoms:
Medical cannabis for fibromyalgia pain
In 2017, the National Academies Press (NAP) published a comprehensive analysis of the health effects of cannabis, including therapeutic uses. According to the research, there is substantial evidence that cannabis helps with chronic pain in adults.
Only a few studies have concentrated solely on the discomfort associated with fibromyalgia. In a 2007 study of 40 persons with fibromyalgia, nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, was compared with a placebo and found to provide significant pain relief. In 2011, Trusted Source conducted 28 patients who used cannabis for fibromyalgia and asked them to rank its perceived advantages for each symptom.
The most common symptoms reported by patients were deep tiredness, global malaise, and paresthesia. Approximately 43 percent of them said that cannabis relieved their severe pain, while another 43 percent said it reduced their moderate pain. The remaining 7% did not notice a difference in their pain symptoms. A 2018 study published in Trusted Source compared the effectiveness of four kinds of cannabis with varying THC and CBD content.
The other three types of cannabis were placebos that did not include THC or CBD. According to the research, people who received the two THC-rich therapies had a greater pain tolerance than those who received the placebo, whereas people who took a formula containing CBD but no THC reported no significant pain relief. More study is needed to see whether medical marijuana truly works as an analgesic for fibromyalgia-related pain.
Medical cannabis for fibromyalgia sleep problems
In the short term, there’s a moderate amount of evidence that cannabis-related therapies can help people with fibromyalgia sleep better.
In the 2011 study Trusted Source mentioned in the previous section, 81 percent of those who used cannabis to treat fibromyalgia reported that it provided significant relief from sleep difficulties.
Finally, scientists investigated the effects of nabilone, a manufactured medicine with properties comparable to cannabis, in 2010. Nabilone assisted individuals with fibromyalgia sleep better, according to the researchers.
Medical cannabis for other fibromyalgia symptoms
The efficacy of cannabis in treating additional symptoms associated with fibromyalgia has only been studied a little. According to the Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies, most of the evidence on cannabis’ effectiveness in alleviating muscular stiffness, mood disorders, anxiety, and headaches linked to fibromyalgia comes from surveys and observational research. It is necessary for more clinical trials to be conducted.
Can medical cannabis alleviate my fibromyalgia symptoms?
Medical cannabis, according to the evidence, may be able to assist with pain and sleep disturbances associated with fibromyalgia. If you’re considering using medical marijuana to treat fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor first. Cannabis might affect the drugs you’re already taking.
Your doctor can help you evaluate the benefits and risks of using marijuana for fibromyalgia. They may also tell you whether it is currently available in your area legally. If you’re pregnant or nursing, don’t use cannabis. THC may travel through the placenta and breast milk to your infant, which raises concerns about fetuses and newborns.
People who live with fibromyalgia may experience a variety of symptoms, including aches and pains, nausea, and headaches. Active components in marijuana have been shown to reduce pain and alleviate certain symptoms in certain persons. However, only a few studies have focused on the effects of marijuana or its extracts as a specific therapy for fibromyalgia, and the existing evidence is inconclusive.
Research published in 2011
A study published in the Journal of Pain and symptom management found that cannabis has “potential value” for treating fibromyalgia symptoms.
Rather of focusing on a medicinal extract or a particular chemical, the research analyzed people who were “consuming cannabis.”
However, a 2016 review of studies discovered that there was insufficient evidence to support the use of marijuana-based therapies for managing symptoms in those with rheumatic diseases such as fibromyalgia.
In 2018, an Australian study Trusted Source
There was little indication that marijuana use decreased pain or the need for opioids in patients with a variety of diseases. This study, like others, looked at recreational marijuana users rather than medical users.
Women are up to 90 percent of people who suffer from fibromyalgia. Marijuana, however, has been shown in at least one study to help men with pain better than women.
Some evidence suggests that a few of the components in marijuana might help with Trusted Sourcethe chronic pain, nausea, muscular spasms, and nerve discomfort associated with multiple sclerosis. Cannabis may prove to be useful for reducing similar symptoms in individuals with fibromyalgia.
People who suffer from fibromyalgia may find that cannabis alleviates their pain. It includes chemicals that may help with some of the symptoms. THC and CBD have gotten the most attention due to their chemical composition. THC works in the same way as naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds do by stimulating cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This activates the brain’s pleasure system, which reduces pain levels.
According to at least one research, THC may help cure headaches. It also works with the brain’s memory and coordination sections.
However, CBD, unlike THC, does not have a euphoric or psychoacoustic effect and does not bind to cannabinoid receptors. In other words, it does not give you the same level of pleasure and euphoria that THC does.
When is marijuana suitable?
Marijuana is used to treat a wide range of problems, although only a few have been shown to be beneficial. The current state of the science supports the usage of marijuana in the treatment of chronic pain, including nerve pain and muscular spasms.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies are being done to see if chemicals found in marijuana can help with the following:
- appetite loss and anorexia
- conditions that affect the immune system, including HIV
- multiple sclerosis
- substance use disorders
- mental health conditions
In mice, cannabis extracts have been found to slow the development of cancer cells in one sort of brain tumor. In mice undergoing radiation therapy, a blend of CBD and THC extracts killed cancer cells. These uses must be further studied.
Risks and cautions
People who are looking to use cannabis as a therapy for fibromyalgia pain symptoms should verify their state’s laws on cannabis usage.
Due to the fact that the FDA has not authorized marijuana or its associated items, consumers should exercise caution when buying and utilizing a product since there are no regulations in place to guarantee quality or contents.
Marijuana is cultivated as a plant. It is not synthesized in a lab meticulously. As a result, the quantities of potentially beneficial chemicals differ from one crop to the next. The efficacy of symptom alleviation may also be linked to this.
People should check with their doctor before using any alternative or complementary treatment, such as marijuana, because it might not be safe and effective for everyone. Marijuana’s components, for example, may react with other medicines.
Marijuana products may contain fungus or mold, which can cause significant damage to the lungs and general health. Other medicines might be added by manufacturers and sellers. Because of the presence of marijuana, users are at risk of exposure. A healthcare professional may be able to suggest a reliable source or product as a result.