How Medical Marijuana can help Fibromyalgia

How Medical Marijuana Can Help Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful, and incurable disease. The pain can be so severe that patients may want to try medical intervention to reduce discomfort. Medical Marijuana may be a good alternative way to help manage the condition. 

The American Chronic Pain Society states in ACPA Medications & Chronic Pain, Supplement 2007: “Some states allow the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, including pain relief, while the federal government continues to threaten to prosecute prescribers.”

However, a recent small study suggests that medical marijuana may make a difference for those who suffer from fibromyalgia pain.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology examined data on fibromyalgia patients from two Israeli hospitals. Researchers have found that anyone who uses medical cannabis (aka marijuana) reports a “significant improvement” in their symptoms. Half of the group managed to stop taking all other fibromyalgia drugs.

While this sounds good, there are a few things to consider. Initially, this study was small (involving only 26 patients). It was also a randomized study, so it is unclear whether factors other than marijuana use helped these patients feel better.

“Due to the small scale of this study and its retrospective nature, it is difficult to draw general conclusions for patients with fibromyalgia, but it opens the door for further research,” said rheumatologist Amanda M. Sammut, MD (who was not involved in this study). Critic for MedPage Today.

Some doctors may be reluctant to promote medical marijuana for fibromyalgia until further research is completed. Study partner George Habib, MD, of MPH, told MedPage that he thought it was worth trying “early on ” before patients are prescribed opioids.

In 2017, the National Academies Press (NAP) published a comprehensive review of the health effects of cannabis, including therapeutic effects. According to the review, a good amount of evidence suggests that cannabis effectively treats chronic pain in adults.

Several studies have focused only on the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

A 2007 study of 40 patients with fibromyalgia comparing the effects of synthetic cannabinoid nabilone to placebo found that nabilone treatment had a significant impact on pain relief.

In a 2011 study, 28 participants who used cannabis for fibromyalgia evaluated their perceived benefits for each symptom. An estimated 43 percent reported severe pain relief, and 43 percent reported mild pain relief. The remaining 7 percent reported no difference in pain symptoms.

A 2018 study of 20 people with fibromyalgia compared the effects of four types of cannabis on pain relief, each with a different THC and CBD content.

One of the four types of cannabis is a placebo without THC or CBD.

The study found that subjects who received both treatments with high THC levels experienced an increase in pain threshold compared to the placebo. In contrast, subjects who received CBD-containing products without THC did not experience significant pain relief. More research is needed to determine whether cannabis is really an effective treatment for fibromyalgia-related pain.

Will medical cannabis relieve my symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Medical cannabis can help manage fibromyalgia pain and sleep disorders based on the above research.

If you consider using medical cannabis to treat fibromyalgia, consult your doctor. Cannabis can interfere with other medications you may be taking.

Your doctor can help you evaluate the risks and potential benefits of using cannabis for fibromyalgia. They can also tell you if it is legally available in your area.

Conclusions

Medical cannabis can help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia in some people. However, the safety and effectiveness of cannabis in treating the symptoms remain unclear.

If you consider using cannabis to treat fibromyalgia symptoms, you need to learn more about the laws in your area.

Always consult your doctor before using cannabis to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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