Treating Fibromyalgia with CBD – Benefits & Effects

Over the years, scientific evidence from a few studies has suggested that CBD could be a safe and effective treatment option for fibromyalgia. According to a 2013 review, cannabidiol (CBD) can help reduce pain caused by fibromyalgia and other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain coupled with fatigue, sleep, memory as well as mood issues. According to many researchers, fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the manner in which the brain processes pain signals.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia typically begin after a physical trauma, infection, surgery or a significant psychological stress. In some cases, the symptoms could gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Some of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties.

Fibromyalgia also coexists with other painful conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Temporomandibular joint disorders, Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder) syndrome as well as migraines and other types of headaches. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men and many people who suffer from this condition also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, as well as anxiety and depression. Doctors do not yet know the exact cause of fibromyalgia, but they believe that it’s a combination of many factors, including genetics as well as physical and emotional trauma. 

Moreover, certain factors like being a woman, being a part of a family with a history of fibromyalgia and having other disorders could also trigger this condition in some people. The sleeping disorders and pain associated with fibromyalgia could sometimes interfere with the patient’s ability to function properly at home, in school or at work. The frustrations incurred while dealing with fibromyalgia could also result in depression and anxiety.

Even though fibromyalgia is yet to have a cure, a variety of medications could control the symptoms. Relaxation as well as stress-reduction therapies could also go a long way to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. As a matter of fact, the current treatment of fibromyalgia usually takes a multipronged approach which may involve the use of medications, notably over-the-counter as well as prescription pain relievers and therapy.

A 2016 study also suggested that a lack of endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, could be the root cause of chronic pain associated with migraines and fibromyalgia. The researchers of this study, therefore opined that taking CBD could correct this deficiency. Thus, it can be argued that CBD could be helpful in treating pain caused by fibromyalgia.

There are different schools of thought about whether or not CBD is more effective when used alone or in combination with medical marijuana. According to some scientists, a combination of other chemicals in the cannabis plant could intensify the positive effects of CBD, thereby providing additional benefits. Although a 2006 study had revealed that CBD works best in combination with THC, very little research has been done to support such a claim.

The findings from a 2017 study further buttress the claim that CBD could be effective in treating fibromyalgia. This study concluded that CBD could counteract the hypersensitivity of the cells surrounding the nerves in people with chronic pain, including those with fibromyalgia. The authors of this study, however pointed out to the fact that there was a need for more research.

Even though there are many success stories concerning the use of CBD in treating fibromyalgia, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved it specifically for fibromyalgia. Thus, further research is needed in a bid to ascertain the long term effects of CBD in the body.


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