Fibromyalgia is a debilitating disorder that affects millions of Americans each year. In fact, between 3 and 6 million have been affected, and most are women. It is a mysterious condition and there was a time when he teamed up with “hysterical women”, although today it is taken more seriously and many seek cures or at least treatments.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by severe muscle pain and sensitive areas in the body. Those affected may experience depression, headaches, insomnia, digestive problems and fatigue along with many other symptoms such as muscle pain and tenderness implacable. For those who suffer from it it can be difficult to perform everyday tasks and activities, and some may even have difficulty getting out of bed. Nobody knows what causes this disorder and there is no official cure, but there are some types of prescription drugs to treat symptoms. These drugs are strong with serious side effects, according to recent studies, most people find that they are not effective in treating pain.
Comparisons with treatments currently on the market
The National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report created an online survey to determine whether cannabis for fibromyalgia was a viable form of treatment. More than 1,300 participants were surveyed to get an idea of the effectiveness of treatments currently on the market compared to cannabis.
Cymbalta (duloxetine) Eli Lilly is one of the medications prescribed for fibromyalgia. Of those surveyed, 60 percent reported that this drug did not work for them. 8 percent said it was “very effective” and 32 percent said it helped a little. 3 results were very similar prescription drugs. In the case of Lyrica (pregabalin), Pfizer, 61 percent said they did not work, 10 percent called it “very effective” and 29 percent said it helped a little. Finally, there is Savella (Milnacipran) of Forest Laboratories, with 68 percent of people who reported that did not work, 10 percent said it was “very effective” and 22 percent said it helped a little.
Survey response to the use of cannabis for fibromyalgia
While 70 percent of respondents reported that they had never tried medical marijuana, the few who had used the plant shared interesting results when analyzing the effectiveness of cannabis for fibromyalgia. 62 percent said it was “very effective” to treat your symptoms of fibromyalgia, 33 percent said it helped a little and only 5 percent said they did not help at all. These results are quite encouraging the factor that these patients may not have been using cannabis specially designed for fibromyalgia and many of the respondents were still new to the idea of using cannabis for fibromyalgia.
Other studies examining marijuana for fibromyalgia
This is not the only study showing the effectiveness of cannabis for fibromyalgia. A study by the University of Heidelberg in Germany and published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion also yielded some significant results. 9 people with fibromyalgia were administered daily doses of THC, ranging from 2.5 to 15 mg over a period of 3 months. All subjects involved in the study reported a decrease in daily pain and the electronically induced pain.
A study published in the Journal of Pain was also useful to clarify the benefits of cannabis for fibromyalgia. The double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluated using a synthetic cannabinoid called nabilone with 40 patients with fibromyalgia. It was also found to improve symptoms in all patients. A 2010 study conducted at McGill University in Montreal also reported that small amounts of nabilone were useful for improving sleep in patients with fibromyalgia.
A 2011 study by researchers at the Research Institute Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain, found that cannabis for fibromyalgia is an extremely effective form of treatment. Not only muscle stiffness and pain improved and eased greatly, but all the symptoms of fibromyalgia were treated in some way by cannabis, including improved sleep quality, improved mood, appetite and digestion. The study found that no symptoms got worse after taking cannabis. Mental health was significantly better in those who received cannabis versus those who do not. The study noted that “a significant pain relief, stiffness, relaxation, drowsiness and perception of being observed,
Why cannabis could be useful to treat fibromyalgia
There are many theories about why cannabis treatments were as effective in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Cannabis is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Cannabis and both compounds THC and CBD are known to be very effective in the treatment of pain. However, there may be another factor involved. It could be the effect of cannabis on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that makes all the difference. The ECS is a system designed to support the body homeostasis. This means that regulates mood, appetite, sleep, immunity, nervous system and more. The ECS consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors found throughout the body, organs and muscles. When the receptors are activated, They are able to regulate health in the body. Normally this would be done with chemicals produced in the body but age, illness, stress and other factors of life can prevent the body to produce chemicals that otherwise would produce health ECS activating receptors . Both THC and CBD activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors, restoring the health of the body where needed.
Further studies are needed to determine more details about which compounds, strains and doses are most effective in treating fibromyalgia. Many of the existing studies point to several factors that demonstrate the ability of cannabis to treat the symptoms of the disorder and the more data we have about how the compounds work on the ground, the better the resources we have to find and create as many as possible effective treatment. Meanwhile, for those who live in states where medical marijuana is legal, the news is more than good. Treatment is available and symptoms of fibromyalgia no longer have to wreak havoc in the life of a person.