CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia: Information, Treatment, Effectiveness & Studies

Woman with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia or fibrositis is the second most common condition affecting the bones and muscles. This common condition is seen in almost 3 million people per year - the large majority being women. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disorder meaning it causes chronic, often intermittent pain in the joints and/or connective tissue.

This disorder most commonly affects those age 20 and older with 80-90% of cases being in women. It has no cure, but the painful symptoms can be managed through exercise, stress reduction, regulating diet and medication. Many who suffer from the condition are able to live a normal, active life by managing the symptoms.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

The exact cause of fibro is currently unknown, though the root of the condition has been suggested to be a problem with central pain processing in the brain. This may result in sensitivity and/or perception of pain.

The following factors may increase the risk of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia:

  • If you're a woman
  • Suffering from another pain-related disease like arthritis
  • Repetitive injuries
  • A traumatic experience causing stress or physical injury like a car accident
  • Lack of exercise
  • The condition runs in your family

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia is commonly known by the 'all over aching' of tender points on the body, commonly around the neck, shoulders, and hips and other joints. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain, tightness, twitching or burning in the muscles
  • Tender points near joints
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping, insomnia
  • Mental fogginess causing concentration and memory issues
  • Feelings of depression, nervousness, or worry
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands/feet

Treating Fibromyalgia with CBD Oil

Currently, research on CBD as it relates to fibromyalgia is scarce, yet very encouraging. Research suggests that cannabis-based medicines may be effective in treating fibromyalgia and it's associated symptoms with few adverse effects. Positive research results stem from the use of full-spectrum, whole-plant cannabis medicines with a synthetic, standalone CBD molecule (nabilone) being ineffective.

Anecdotal evidence supports these research findings showing that CBD, when taken daily in a full-spectrum whole-plant form, can help manage fibromyalgia-related pain and associated symptoms. These same reports show that CBD alone may not help with pain reduction. The inclusion of CBD, THC, CBN, and terpenes promote superior relief thanks to the entourage effect.

It is often also observed through research and anecdotal evidence that high-THC marijuana use is also often an effective treatment for those who suffer from the disorder.

Notable Research on Fibromyalgia & CBD Oil

  • A 2008 study found "Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines."
  • A 2011 study titled Cannabis use in patients with fibromyalgia: effect on symptoms relief and health-related quality of life found that:  "The use of cannabis was associated with beneficial effects on some FM symptoms. Further studies on the usefulness of cannabinoids in FM patients as well as cannabinoid system involvement in the pathophysiology of this condition are warranted."
  • A 2016 study found that the use of the synthetic CBD medicine nabilone was of any value in treating people with fibromyalgia.
  • A 2018 study conducted in Israel concluded that: "Cannabis consumption among fibromyalgia patients in our country is very common and is mostly not licensed. Nearly all CC reported favorable effects on pain and sleep, and few reported adverse effects or feeling of dependence on cannabis"
  • A 2018 study concluded that "Medical cannabis treatment had a significant favorable effect on patients with fibromyalgia, with few adverse effects."

Originally Published: January 7, 2019 | Last Updated: January 7, 2019

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