Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease characterized by musculoskeletal pain, tenderness, and fatigue.
For getting the ultimate relief from the pain and discomfort caused by the fibromyalgia, you would have tried a number of options, but, did you try medical marijuana yet?
According to Donald I. Abrams MD, an oncologist, and director of clinical research programs at Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine in San Francisco, ’for 5000 years, marijuana has been used as a medicine’.
Medical marijuana is an effective drug when it comes to fibromyalgia relief. It might seem surprising, but actually, researchers have been using the cannabis-based therapies for the treatment of the disease for the past 12 years.
People fighting with fibromyalgia have more options to deal with the disease profoundly, but which option works best depends on the intensity and severity of the disease.
Though the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it is believed that because of the disturbed processing of the central nervous system’s signals, you may experience the pain, stiffness and other associated symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Nearly 12 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome every year. To manage your condition, medications, alternative therapies and self-care will be the helpful tools to reduce the symptoms.
What is medical marijuana?
In the past, medical marijuana hasn’t been legally approved as a prescription drug, but as more researches have been shown the positive results, more states are passing the legal laws allowing the people to use medical marijuana for treating various diseases including fibromyalgia and rheumatism.
Marijuana has certain compounds that can ease off the symptoms of the fibromyalgia. Other than fibromyalgia, doctors are prescribing this drug for treating muscle spasm due to multiple sclerosis, poor appetite and weight loss due to chronic disease, Crohn’s disease, seizure disorder, and nausea from cancer chemotherapy.
However, the FDA has approved THC (marijuana’s key ingredient) for treating appetite and nausea. It’s available with the name of Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone).
Including smoked, medical marijuana can be used in the form of vaporized (no active smoke is formed but heated until active ingredients are released), liquid and eaten (most commonly in the form of cookies and candies).
Though, medical marijuana has side effects, including, drowsiness, dizziness, euphoria, and short-term memory loss, but, they don’t last long.
Over-dosage can lead to serious illness. Worst complications of medical marijuana users are severe anxiety and psychosis. Nevertheless, if you’ve experienced any one of the symptoms, you should report to the doctor immediately.
Medical marijuana is usually not prescribed to anyone who is under 18. Also, if you’re battling with heart disease, then, medical marijuana will be contraindicated for you.
Pregnant women and people having a previous history of psychosis should also stay away from medical marijuana. So, this herb has outstanding effects on fibromyalgia relief, but, it’s dosage and limits matter a lot (Herding).
What is the connection between the endocannabinoid system and fibromyalgia?
Cannabinoids have the analgesic qualities and these are the compounds commonly found in the marijuana plant, that later on converts into the endocannabinoids into our body.
In one theory, it is suggested that fibromyalgia is actually a part of Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD). So, do you have an idea that what is endocannabinoid system?
Well, it is a sort of communication network of your body. Endocannabinoids are the chemicals that attach to the specific receptor.
It is thought that endocannabinoids are involved in affecting pain, inflammation, and other similar processes. Endocannabinoid system is linked from your brain to the corresponding part of your body.
Hence, if the chemical imbalance occurs in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the disruption can cause the array symptoms which are similar to the fibromyalgia signs (Wilcox, 2016). Let’s have a look at what could you experience due to the disrupted ECS,
- Mood issues
- Sleep problems
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Muscle spasticity
What does research say about cannabis and fibromyalgia?
Though this still needs to be discovered, even more, medical marijuana is an outpacing prescription drug of fibromyalgia.
In 1999, the study conducted by the Institute of Medicine reported that cannabinoids are effective for relieving pain, increasing appetite, and easing nausea and discomfort.
Another study conducted in 2011 at the Institute de Recerca Hospital del Mar in Barcelona confirmed that medical marijuana can help in relieving the various symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain and muscle stiffness.
When the researchers from the University of Manitoba treated the people experiencing fibromyalgia with nabilone (a synthetic cannabinoid), the results were surprising.
Not only the people noticed the drastic difference in the pain levels, in fact, tender points and anxiety symptoms were also reduced.
On further evaluation, it is revealed that depression, fatigue, muscle stiffens, and work performance is significantly improved.
How can medical marijuana help to relieve fibromyalgia?
The above list is just the beginning of how cannabis is helpful for tapering down the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
As more studies are conducting, the effectiveness of cannabis-based medicines is reporting in the majority of the studies. More precisely, in a few ways, marijuana could help you to manage the fibromyalgia symptoms.
In an online survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation, it is reported that 62% of people consuming cannabis for managing the fibromyalgia found this herb very effective.
In several other types of research, it is suggested that marijuana can replace the opiates (analgesia) or it can work parallel with it.
For pain-relieving, Purple Trainwreck, sour diesel, and harlequin are the strains working as painkillers.
Interestingly, cannabinoid receptors are also found in your skin, so, you can apply marijuana-infused lotions or balms on the tender points for extra pain relief.
As disturbed sleep is the common problem of people with fibromyalgia, medical marijuana can not only help you fall asleep, yet, night time dose can also extend and improve your deep sleep cycle.
Heavy indicia, afghan kush, granddaddy purple, and northern lights are the popular strains prescribed for improving the quality of sleep.
Cannabinoids have also mood-lifting properties. To get rid of the depression and getting your smile back, one-one, Canna Tsu, and Doug’s Varin are the strains that can make your mood even better.
4- Gastrointestinal issues
It’s exhausting to deal with the symptoms of IBS. You may consider taking the medications, but, when medicines are not helping, chewdawg, strawberry cough, and sour diesel can ease the discomfort.
So, medical marijuana can be used and effective for controlling the symptoms, but before using it make sure that it is legal in your country and your doctor has suggested you take this pill.