More than 33 states in the US have approved the medical use of cannabis, which means that there is enough evidence that weed does more than just leading to a mind-altering high. In recent years, there have been more conversations, if weed could be a potential treatment for those suffering from fibromyalgia. In this post, we take a look at the disorder and why cannabis could be beneficial.
What is fibromyalgia?
Patients suffering from fibromyalgia usually have chronic pain in muscles and joints, and there can be other symptoms too, such as mood disorders and insomnia or trouble with regular sleep. The causes of fibromyalgia are not clearly known. Fibromyalgia could be a result of trauma and stress, but there are recorded cases where the obvious cause of the disorder is not known. In terms of data, women suffer from fibromyalgia more commonly than men. There is no definitive cure for the disorder, but doctors do use medicines to offer relief.
Is cannabis the future of fibromyalgia treatment?
Fibromyalgia patients often have nagging headaches, depression, anxiety and pain, and there is some evidence that shows that cannabis can help in reducing the symptoms. In 2011, a study revealed that marijuana may reduce some of the common symptoms. Fibromyalgia is mostly seen in women, and there are studies that indicate that cannabis is more useful for men than women, which can be bummer for some researchers. However, there is no denying that marijuana does have compounds that can reduce muscle spasms and pain, and therefore, it may have some use for reducing the pain and other symptoms that people usually experience with fibromyalgia.
Using medical cannabis for fibromyalgia
Many people do use medical cannabis for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia. THC – the only compound in marijuana that’s psychoactive – stimulates the cannabinoid receptors in brain and reduces pain levels – it is now known. There is some research that indicates that THC can have an advantage in reducing headaches. A recent study published last year looked at a considerable number of fibromyalgia patients who used marijuana for six months. Out of the 367 patients who enrolled, 261 remained in the study and more than 190 of them said that they have benefited from cannabis without serious side effects. What is even more interesting is the fact that patients reduced their dependency on opioids and pain medications, which is a great finding for future treatment of fibromyalgia.
Cannabis is known to help those with stress, depression, pain and inflammation, and considering these are the common symptoms of fibromyalgia¸ it does appear that marijuana may benefit at least some patients. Cannabis may help in improving sleep in fibromyalgia patients, and considering the other treatments, this might be a safer and more affordable choice. Let’s get real here – The evidence for using cannabis for the disorder is still limited and circumstantial, but research done is considerably encouraging. As more studies and research are conducted, we probably will have a better idea.
If you are a patient who wants to use cannabis for fibromyalgia treatment, check the state laws and talk to your doctor. You can discuss the strains that are best suited for your case, and note that cannabis is not the ‘definitive cure’ to fibromyalgia. It may reduce the symptoms and help you manage your pain and stress better.