Imagine being constantly tired with different types of pain scattered throughout your body. His hip hurts, his skin feels bruised and he never knows what the next symptom will be.
That’s exactly what people who suffer from fibromyalgia suffer on a daily basis.
Fibromyalgia, as a rheumatologic condition, endangers the normal functioning of the human body by causing musculoskeletal pain and constant symptoms of fever.
Considering that medical marijuana is commonly used to treat chronic pain and many symptoms that accompany it, I decided to investigate if it can be a viable treatment for fibromyalgia.
In this guide, we will explore what exactly constitutes fibromyalgia, how it is generally treated, how cannabis can help (with more studies than you will need) and finally some of the best cannabis strains recommended to treat this condition.
So, let’s see how marijuana can help you control your symptoms or help those you love.
Fibromyalgia is a sinister whirlwind of pain and suffering
The simplest way to describe fibromyalgia is to have widespread pain in the ankles, joints and muscles while feeling lethargic and generally ill. There are times when the pain goes away, but usually it always comes back.
There are other symptoms that go along with pain and fatigue: problems sleeping, numbness and tingling, migraines, digestive problems, bowel dysfunction, bladder discomfort, nausea, joint pains (especially in the hips), insomnia and some more, depending on the person.
Most patients also report having a restless legs syndrome, an unbearable need to move the legs, which can make falling asleep more difficult.
Another big problem with fibro is that it leaves patients ill-tempered and disordered: living with this condition has consequences for a person and, after a while, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to maintain their social lives and establish personal relationships. . Not to mention work.
Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition and neither doctors nor patients understand enough.
Doctors, researchers and scientists predict that genetic and environmental factors tend to influence the development of the disease. They suspect that the condition occurs when a person’s system becomes hypersensitive and the body can not process the pain as it should.
This means that something that is usually not painful can be extremely painful for patients with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is not progressive or fatal, but sometimes the pain can be so intense that it becomes almost unbearable. Although it can definitely be painful, fibromyalgia does not cause any permanent damage to the joints, soft tissues or muscles.
The researchers did not find the specific cause, but it is believed that higher stress levels, as well as psychological and physical traumas, can trigger fibromyalgia. Some preclinical research indicates that even gluten sensitivity may cause this condition, but more research is needed to confirm it.
However, doctors think that the condition actually causes pain sensations in the brain, such as the irregular activity of the neurotransmitters that are responsible for transporting pain signals.
This causes the pain receptors to develop something like a memory, so they simply react in an exaggerated way to the pain signal.
What was really interesting to me is that women represent 80 to 90 percent of all patients with fibromyalgia.
There is no pharmaceutical cure for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is still something new in medical circles.
Therefore, there is no specific medication for it. The condition is usually treated with analgesics, antidepressants and anticonvulsant medications.
There are three most common medications currently used to treat fibromyalgia:
- Lyrica (pregabalin)
- Cymbalta (duloxetina)
- Savella (milnacipran)
The effectiveness of these drugs was explored in a survey conducted in 2014 by the Global Pain Initiative, which interviewed more than 1,300 fibro patients:
Unfortunately, only 8 to 10 percent of patients with fibromyalgia claimed to have found any relief with prescription medications, while 60 to 68 percent of patients saw no improvement in their symptoms at all.
In the same survey, however, 30 percent of respondents attempted to use medical marijuana to control their fibromyalgia symptoms:
Believe it or not, 60% of them found that cannabis is highly effective and 33% said it helps a little.
Let me put that in perspective: of 450 patients with fibromyalgia who tried medical cannabis, 405 said that cannabis helped them in some way. 270 of them said they helped them A LOT.
As a matter of fact, this is what the survey concluded:
MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE TO TREAT THE SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGY THAN ANY OF THE THREE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS APPROVED BY THE ADMINISTRATION OF FOOD AND DRUGS TO DEAL WITH THE DISORDER.
This led me to dig a little deeper.
Research on cannabis for fibromyalgia is actually a big green light
The accompanying symptoms of fibromyalgia are pain, chronic headaches and depression, and marijuana has been shown to be very effective in relieving all three.
There is not much published research on marijuana for fibromyalgia, but there are some studies that can help us better understand this relationship.
A 2007 study came up with some interesting findings: marijuana relieves pain caused by peripheral neuropathy (damaged nerves), which is probably the main cause of pain for people living with fibromyalgia. Compared with the placebo-controlled group, it was discovered that cannabis is an effective treatment for peripheral neuropathy. ( 1 )
Another study was conducted in Spain in 2011, which found that medical marijuana can be effective in reducing pain in patients with fibromyalgia , providing them with a better quality of life. 28 patients administered medicinal cannabis smoking, orally or both, but all reported a reduction in pain as well as a lower stiffness. Cannabis therapy also helped them improve their feeling of well-being, sleep and relaxation. ( 2 )
In addition, a systematic review of 2013 found that the analgesic properties of marijuana are effective in promoting sleep, reducing joint pain and stiffness while improving the physical functions and quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia . ( 3 )
This is how marijuana relieves the symptoms of fibromyalgia
Since we still do not have enough research and evidence on exactly how cannabis works in fibromyalgia, doctors and scientists assume that everything has to do with the effects of marijuana on the balance of our endocannabinoid system (ECS).
In fact, there are speculations that fibromyalgia is caused by clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD).
To make this a little more digestible, CECD occurs when our system does not produce enough endocannabinoids (our own natural cannabinoids). So by supplementing those substances with marijuana cannabinoids we help our body maintain homeostasis, the cellular balance that we all need to function normally.
When our ECS is out of balance is when it is more likely to occur health problems, such as gastrointestinal problems, sleep disorders, chronic pain, mood swings, muscle spasms and stiffness.
Synthetic cannabis for fibromyalgia remains a question mark
Patients often ask if synthetic cannabis can be used to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
In an investigation with a placebo control group, the participants were administered nabilone for fibromyalgia, a synthetic cannabinoid manufactured for therapeutic purposes. In the end, the drug had a connotation of “beneficial and well-tolerated treatment”, but patients felt more confident about the improvements after using natural cannabis. ( 4 )
Dronabinol, or commonly known and sold under the name Marinol, is a synthesized form of THC. Marinol has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of nausea, vomiting and weight loss from chemotherapy and AIDS in both Canada and the US. UU However, Marinol has not yet been approved to treat fibromyalgia.
On the other hand, synthesized THC is not cheap.
That’s why most patients who want to try cannabis for fibro are more likely to buy medicinal cannabis, which costs around $ 5-9 per gram.
The best cannabis strains for fibromyalgia
The key to finding the best strain for your symptoms is to educate and experiment.
To help you find your balance, I made a short list of the best varieties for fibromyalgia that will take you on the path of discovering the best one for you.
The method of consumption depends on you.
Keep in mind that you do not have to smoke cannabis to feel its therapeutic effects. You can always consume it in the form of foodstuffs, tinctures or oils.
This powerful Indica, named after the famous Star Trek species, is one of the best varieties to treat nerve damage. Ideal for muscle spasms and even greater to relieve pain, Romulan has a strong sedative effect and is therefore ideal for nighttime relaxation.
This is a dominant Indica hybrid with very high THC levels. Scooby Snacks starts with a strong brain buzz and body relaxation, but when it begins to disappear, it produces a feeling of happiness. Since it is a very powerful strain, novice users should take it slowly.
Dynamite is an Indica variety that contains a little more THC than CBD, so you will get high and pain-free. In addition, you will feel relaxed as if something calmed your nerves, with a reduction of stress and depression. If you have trouble falling asleep at night due to your fibromyalgia, this is a strain for you.
Fibromyalgia patients like to use Cannatonic because of its high CBD content and low THC levels. Cannatonic is a good option for both beginners and veteran users, since it produces a slight psychoactive effect that does not last long. This tension supposedly crushes the pain in minutes after using it.
It is highly recommended to use this variety when you are at home comfortable, ready to relax, and not when you have to do your errands. Tahoe OG is strong, so if you suffer from severe pain and depression, this might be the best option for you.
A very popular medical variety for the daytime experience, which provides relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia without sedative effects. It is a very popular strain to treat pain and depression. If you need a break from everything that happens in your life, get some Blue Dream and you should be fine for a few hours at least.
The definitive strain for each medical condition: Charlotte’s Web is the strain with almost no THC content, but it is very high in CBD. That is why patients do not feel shocked or excited, but rather relaxed and painless. Prepare to be happy and stress free for a while.
Critical Mass is a variety you should use before bedtime, especially if you have a sleep disorder, depression or anxiety. Due to its high content of THC, this strain provides an intense sensation of “high body” but without a strong sedative effect. It disappears after approximately three hours.
His name says it all. Harmonia takes you to balance, with a sense of harmony and pleasure throughout your body. This Indica variety has slightly higher levels of CBD than THC, which makes it perfect for daytime use since it almost does not provide psychoactive effects.
Beginners should be careful with Key Lime Pie since users consider it quite overwhelming. Its high levels of THC help relax the muscles and introduce that much needed sleep after a long day of fighting the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Marijuana is the next route to explore
Medical marijuana is now available more than ever, especially in the US UU And Canada.
If you, or the people you care about, are battling the symptoms of fibromyalgia, this can definitely be a solution.
Marijuana is used successfully to treat different types of medical problems (especially pain) and, therefore, can provide relief to many people around the world without endangering their health.
The studies and surveys I found in my research claim that it is useful and if you did not find relief with prescription medications, you may try experimenting with medical cannabis, in consultation with your doctor.
If you use cannabis for fibromyalgia , please comment below and share your experience. It could simply help another person overcome this horrible condition.