Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder associated with widespread pain in the muscles and bones, areas of tenderness, and general fatigue. There is no clear known cause, and fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed as other diseases.
Cannabis products are considered effective for fibromyalgia pain. Researchers interviewed 66 patients at Luigi Sacco University Hospital in Milan, Italy, over six months of treatment. The average participant was 52 years old, and over 90% of sufferers were women (women make up the vast majority of people with fibromyalgia). The study focused on treating refractory patients (patients who are consistently taking medication but haven’t found relief). Just under half of the patients were taking two other drugs, while nearly a third took at least three. These drugs were severe central sedatives, including opioids, anti-convulsants, nerve blockers, and anti-depressants. Nearly half of patients (47%) got enough relief from cannabis to reduce or cease their painkiller usage, an astounding figure given the intensity of the drugs those patients were already taking.
Between a third and half of the patients experienced notable benefits with respect to sleep, anxiety, depression, and pain symptoms. The majority of patients were overweight or obese, and cannabis seemed to be more effective for heavier patients. Some participants were excluded, including those who already used cannabis and people with other pain or rheumatological diseases.
The authors conclude: “Adjunctive [Medical Cannabis Treatment] may therefore be considered, especially in the [fibromyalgia] sub-population suffering from significant sleep disturbances and mild anxio-depressive symptoms.”
Full spectrum (containing up to .3% THC) products starting at 10 mg CBD per dose are a good starting place for fibromyalgia sufferers. In some cases, a considerably higher dose may be needed for severe pain. Start low and work up to find your ideal dosage.
Always check with your medical provider before discontinuing any medications.
“Fibromyalgia” Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, by Michael Backes, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2014, pp. 198