What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease with symptoms such as irritable bowel, joint pain, fatigue, migraines, insomnia, and chronic pain. Those who suffer from Fibromyalgia will, in many cases, have increased their sensitivity to pain. This is believed to be caused by the abnormal functioning of pain signals that are found in the central nervous system. Common pharmaceutical drugs that are used to treat Fibromyalgia include pain relievers such as sleep aids, muscle relaxants, opioids, and NSAIDs1.
Currently, many patients have decided to use CBD products to treat Fibromyalgia. This is because they find these natural products to have fewer side effects and they are safer to use compared to prescription medications.
Using CBD to Treat Fibromyalgia
There is still a need for more research to prove that CBD is effective in treating Fibromyalgia. It’s no coincidence that Fibromyalgia is caused by dysregulation or endocannabinoid deficiency. Endocannabinoid deficiency2 refers to the endocannabinoid system functioning poorly. This usually results when one has lower than normal levels of endocannabinoids. If your body does not produce enough endocannabinoids you will be more sensitive to pain. The endocannabinoids are the neuro-modulators which control the way we perceive pain. When your body does not have enough supply of endocannabinoids your endocannabinoid system will not function properly in maintaining the body’s balance. This is the reason individuals suffering from Fibromyalgia experience higher than normal levels of pain.
The CBD had been known to assist in endocannabinoid system balance since it interferes with the process of the body breaking down the endocannabinoids. In case you have any deficiency, taking CBD will act as a supplement as it increases the levels of endocannabinoids.
What are the effects of using CBD for Fibromyalgia?
People who use CBD to treat Fibromyalgia have reported the following benefits:
- Pain Relief
- Reduced Reliance on Prescription Painkillers
- Less Inflammation
- Improved mood
- Improved levels of sleep
Side effects of using CBD to treat Fibromyalgia
In many cases, you will find that CBD has fewer side effects on your body when you use it to treat Fibromyalgia. However, when used in high quantities it will have some sedating effects. Some other effects include diarrhea and stomach upset.
To learn more, read our dedicated guide on possible CBD side effects.
CBD dosage for Fibromyalgia
The recommended dosage of CBD can vary widely depending on the CBD oil concentration of the product you have chosen to use. Everyone is different and therefore reacts differently to CBD.
We recommend the step-up method of Leinow & Birnbaum as described in their book “CBD: A patient’s guide to Medical Cannabis”3. Leinow & Birnbaum recommend starting with a microdose if you suffer from pain.
For more details on dosage and micro dose read our article on CBD dosage:
It is advised that you consult your doctor before you start to use CBD especially when you are new to the product and you are already taking other medications. This is because CBD may interfere with the drugs that you may be taking.
What Kind of Terpenes Are Best for Treating Fibromyalgia?
The features of some terpenes are beneficial to control the symptoms of fibromyalgia4. These kinds of terpenes work well when they are combined with CBD. It is advised to try to find the products that have high levels of terpenes by testing them in a laboratory.
Some of the terpenes that you can test are:
Linalool: relaxing and pain relieving
Pinene: is an anti-inflammatory compound.
B- caryophyllene: is a pain relieving and anti-inflammatory compound.
What Does Research Say about Fibromyalgia and Cannabinoids?
In studies, fibromyalgia patients were only given THC without other painkillers. Participants reported that they had significantly less pain5.
Dr. Russo is a medical professional who has written so many articles based on the deficiency of clinical endocannabinoid. In his studies, it has been seen that some common conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and fibromyalgia can be caused by endocannabinoids deficiency in the body6
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- Wolfe, Fibromyalgia. „Fibromyalgia.“ Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America 16.3 (1990): 681-698.
- Russo, Ethan B. „Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency reconsidered: current research supports the theory in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, and other treatment-resistant syndromes.“ Cannabis and cannabinoid research 1.1 (2016): 154-165.
- Leinow,, L. and Birnbaum, J. (2017). CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books.
- Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier, et al. „Evolution of the cannabinoid and terpene content during the growth of Cannabis sativa plants from different chemotypes.“ Journal of natural products 79.2 (2016): 324-331.
- Likar, Rudolf, Markus Köstenberger, and Stefan Neuwersch. „Clinical use of cannabinoids.“ PHARMAKON 5.2 (2017): 137-141.
- Ethan B. Russo.Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.Dec 2016.ahead of print http://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0009