Cannabis for Fibromyalgia: Here’s What the Research Says

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition experienced by millions of people worldwide. Around 5% of the world’s population has it, and 80-96% are women. Because fibromyalgia is a source of chronic pain and can cause a decline in quality of life, people often look for other ways to cope with symptoms, including cannabis.

This post explores the symptoms of fibromyalgia as well as what the research and anecdotal evidence say about cannabis’s efficacy in treating symptoms. 

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia’s causes aren’t fully understood, but several factors could contribute to its development, including genetics, infections, trauma, and hormonal changes. 

Individuals living with fibromyalgia report any or a mix of the following symptoms:

  • Pain and stiffness throughout the body, particularly in muscles, tendons, and ligaments
  • Fatigue paired with sleep issues
  • Cognitive issues — often called “fibro fog” — like focus, memory, and problems with mental clarity
  • Tension headaches or migraines
  • Photosensitivity and increased sensitivity to noise, temperature, and touch
  • Digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other bowel-related conditions
  • Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • Mood disorders, including anxiety and depression, although it’s unknown whether it’s a symptom or a response to the condition’s impact on quality of life

Not every patient will experience all of these symptoms, and because fibromyalgia is chronic, getting diagnosed and managing the condition is deeply personal and should be coordinated directly with your doctor.

Fibromyalgia’s Effects on Everyday Life

Living with fibromyalgia can be challenging, as it impacts daily life, including work, socializing, and participating in hobbies.

Sleeping problems often make people with fibromyalgia feel tired and weak, which can contribute to cognitive challenges. Patients often experience trouble concentrating and poor memory, which can lead to issues at home, like leaving the stove on, getting locked out of the house, etc. 

Experiences like these can chip away at people’s independence, making them feel that their lives are no longer their own. All of this while their body suffers from chronic pain — so it’s no wonder individuals with fibromyalgia often look for long-term solutions to help them feel more like themselves again.

While a robust support system is the best tool for people living with fibromyalgia, anything that can combat the condition’s debilitating symptoms is helpful. That’s where cannabis comes in. 

Cannabis and Fibromyalgia 

Cannabis’s ability to treat most diseases — including fibromyalgia — is still under-researched, as patient medical access laws didn’t begin being adopted until the 1990s, and it still suffers stigma in society and some corners of the medical community.  

However, we can point to new research for clues as well as to anecdotal evidence from users who experience chronic pain to see marijuana’s potential for relieving fibromyalgia symptoms.

Relevant Research Results

Unfortunately, there is no single cure for fibromyalgia symptoms either presently or on the near horizon. As discussed earlier, the symptoms of fibromyalgia vary widely and present differently in every patient. However, cannabis use — both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — can soothe some of the symptoms, particularly for chronic pain.

One study from 2017 looked at how medical marijuana can help relieve headaches and influence areas of the brain that impact memory and coordination, all of which are relevant for a condition like fibromyalgia. And drugs with pure forms of CBD have been approved to treat Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes and muscle spasms

Progress is slow, though. Reasons for research delays include finding patients who aren’t currently using marijuana recreationally or medicinally to test the difference in use. However, research is ongoing, which could lead to more medically-backed marijuana-based treatments for fibromyalgia.

How To Use Cannabis for Fibromyalgia

As of right now, there is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) backed cannabis treatment for fibromyalgia. However, many types of marijuana can help with common symptoms. To try marijuana for fibromyalgia, consult with your doctor about its possible use to treat headaches, body painsleep issues, and other symptoms you’re experiencing. 

There are a variety of ways to consume marijuana and strains to choose from to target your discomfort as you seek to improve your quality of life. Cannabis for fibromyalgia can:

  • Help you get more rest to fight fatigue and brain fog.
  • Soothe pain to improve your overall quality of life.
  • Improve your appetite to help with bowel-related issues and prevent medication from negatively affecting your stomach.
  • Regulate stress and anxiety related to fibromyalgia and its effects on your daily life.

Before you begin using medical cannabis for fibromyalgia symptoms, speak with a budtender at a trusted dispensary about your option and any questions you may have. VidaCann’s expert budtenders can point you in the right direction according to your needs. Look for low-THC strains to start and read all labels before trying a product so you know what to expect. 

Recommended Strains and Consumption Methods

Most dispensaries will have a list of strains they offer and information on their possible effects. Look for a medical strain that helps with symptoms like pain relief, insomnia, depression, appetite loss, and mood swings — like our Apple Fritter and Animal Butter strains. 

Where To Buy Pain-Relief Strains in Florida

Start by speaking to your doctor about improving your quality of life by determining the type of fibromyalgia relief you need and asking if cannabis is an option for you. Then, talk to our experts at VidaCann for help navigating strains, consumption methods, and more. 

VidaCann’s budtenders have in-depth knowledge about how to use cannabis to soothe fibromyalgia symptoms. So reach out or stop by today!

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