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Jamie Taylor
Last updated on Oct 12, 2020
12 min read
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CBD for Fibromyalgia: The Latest Studiest Researched

Fibromyalgia is a severe condition that affects up to 6% of the human population, regardless of age and race. It is a chronic illness that causes over 10 million Americans to suffer for their entire lives. What is more, women are exceptionally prone to this disease, comprising over 80% of all registered fibromyalgia cases.

The worst thing about this disease is that there is no cure for it, and traditional painkillers, including opioids, sometimes cannot bring the desired relief. Because of this, researchers try to develop an alternative, more effective remedy for FM. Many of them consider CBD a potential solution to fibromyalgia symptoms.
CBD for Fibromyalgia: Does it Work and is it Safe?

Fibromyalgia has the following symptoms:

  • Unbearable pain in the whole body. Some people feel pain in random body areas, nagging, pulsating muscle or tendon pain, headaches, back pain, etc.
  • Sleep disorders, including insomnia and apnea. As a result, a person cannot sleep well and suffers from never-ending tiredness.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Fatigue and brain fog.
  • Digestion problems.

The exact fibromyalgia triggers are still unknown. However, studies suggest that fibromyalgia may result from brain function distortion. All FM patients have an increased pain response to internal and external irritants. This painful reaction is caused by neuroinflammation. This type of inflammation affects the spinal cord and the brain.

Scientists also associate a poor connection between the brain areas with fibromyalgia. The matter is that regulatory and sensory areas fail to connect correctly, causing abnormal pain sensitivity. Decreased pain inhibition is another reason for FM. As a result, people with fibromyalgia feel pain in situations when healthy people don’t. [1]

However, what causes these conditions? Here are the possible reasons:

  • Genetics. Studies show that genes are responsible for up to 50% of fibromyalgia development chances. [2]
  • Other pain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers have revealed that FM and RA share the same neurobiologic features. Also, patients with rheumatoid arthritis have higher chances of developing fibromyalgia than healthy people. Thus, there is a clear connection between the two diseases. [3]
  • Stress. People with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and people who were abused emotionally and physically for a long time have higher chances of developing FM.

CBD vs Marijuana

CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid produced by the hemp plant (another cannabis strain, just like marijuana). This chemical does not alter your brain function and thus has no psychoactive properties.

Many people consider CBD dangerous because they confuse it with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), extracted from marijuana. Unlike CBD, THC does influence your brain function, causing euphoria, hallucinations, and other associated symptoms.

Marijuana has the highest THC content and the lowest CBD amount. On the contrary, the hemp plant is the opposite, containing the highest concentration of cannabidiol. Due to this, most CBD brands use hemp for CBD production.

Is CBD for Fibromyalgia Helpful?

Is it true that cannabidiol can treat fibromyalgia? CBD is known for plenty of beneficial properties that might be helpful for people with Fibromyalgia. It is already widely used to relieve the following symptoms and conditions:

  • Seizures
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Inflammation-based skin diseases
  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

CBD for FM

CBD’s pain-relieving potential and overall calming effect are considered an efficient replacement for traditional pain medication. Due to this, many people with FM currently use cannabidiol.

The Recent Studies on CBD and Fibromyalgia

It is worth saying that CBD still requires further investigation because only a few studies were conducted on its use for fibromyalgia. What is more, different trials show conflicting results. For instance, a study of 2016 did not show a clear difference between fibromyalgia patients treated with CBD and placebo.

However, a 2019 clinical trial showed quite promising results. In this study, 293 patients with FM were taking medical cannabis for six months. At the end of this period, 81% of patients reported significant improvement in their condition after taking CBD and THC treatment. [4]

What is more, medical cannabis helped 144 out of 196 patients with insomnia improve their sleep, while 26 patients cured their sleep disorder. As for depression, 80% of FM patients with this condition significantly improved their quality of life.

Also, only 7% of patients reported a high level of pain at the end of the study. Thus, 83% of patients achieved pain relief.

However, another study showed that healthy individuals did not experience any significant changes in their sleep/wake cycle with CBD treatment. [5]

Because of such versatile results, CBD properties require further research. Nonetheless, positive CBD influence on fibromyalgia patients is evident.

What is the Effect of CBD for Fibromyalgia?

As mentioned before, nothing can cure fibromyalgia at this moment. However, CBD can relieve almost all the FM symptoms, thus significantly improving your quality of life. Here is the list of CBD effects that make it an efficient fibromyalgia treatment:

Relieves Pain

CBD has pain-relieving properties researched in 29 trials conducted between 2003 and 2014 and involving 2,000 patients. Twenty-two studies reported a significant pain reduction in FM patients. Assuming the recent evidence proving CBD efficiency against chronic pain, you can include CBD in your fibromyalgia treatment. [6]

Reduces Inflammation

When CBD enters your bloodstream, it binds with CB2 receptors. Studies show that these receptors regulate inflammation. For example, their activation reduces inflammation in tissues affected by rheumatoid arthritis. [7]

Although fibromyalgia does not belong to inflammatory diseases, it causes similar symptoms. Moreover, since this condition causes abnormal pain sensitivity, even insignificant inflammation can result in unbearable long-lasting pain. Thus, CBD anti-inflammatory properties help FM patients relieve their pain. Due to this, CBD for fibromyalgia shows efficiency even when other meds cannot help. Moreover, its non-psychoactive nature makes it the best cannabinoid oil for fibromyalgia.

In the 2019 study mentioned before, 22% of patients reduced opioid dosage and significantly improved their quality of life.

Improves Sleep

Cannabidiol shows efficacy when used against sleep disorders. Plenty of research proves that CBD can help you sleep better and get up easier in the morning. It is because CBD can affect the sleep/wake cycle. Thus, low CBD doses promote wakefulness, while high doses (160 mg per day) have a sedative effect. [8]

Consequently, CBD’s sleep-inducing properties, combined with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, can help fibromyalgia patients improve their sleep quality.

CBD Products Recommended for Fibromyalgia

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for taking CBD conveniently. You can choose your best form of CBD for fibromyalgia, depending on your preferences in CBD products. Check the list of products available on the market:

Edibles

Digestible products include CBD infused gummies, cookies, and other snacks. These products will suit you if you want to mix your treatment with meals. This treatment is also very convenient since each item, whether it is a gummy bear or cookie, contains a fixed CBD amount. However, you will have to wait for some time to feel the desired effect because your body absorbs CBD slower when the substance gets to your digestive system.

Vape Oils

Vaping is a good way of administering CBD directly to your bloodstream. Thus, you will achieve relief much faster, but the effect will not be that long, compared to edibles.

CBD for Fibromyalgia: Efficiency, Safety, and Use Overview

Tinctures

You can take cannabidiol oil tinctures sublingually, increasing CBD absorption. This method is ideal for taking CBD at home. However, dosing is a bit more complicated because you need to calculate CBD content per drop.

Water-Soluble CBD

Although CBD is oil and cannot dissolve in water, the best CBD brands produce water-compatible cannabidiol with a nearly 100% absorption rate, making it far more efficient than other products.

Capsules and Softgels

You can purchase CBD capsules and softgels as well. Taking these products will make your daily CBD routine much more convenient due to fixed cannabidiol concentration in each pill. However, it will take a longer time for your body to absorb CBD capsules, just like edibles.

Topicals

CBD topicals include balms, creams, and lotions for external applications. You can apply the substance on your problem area to reduce the pain.

How to Use CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia?

Always consult your doctor before taking CBD for fibromyalgia. They will help you adjust the CBD dosage since there is no particular dose that fits everyone. Thus, CBD dosage for fibromyalgia is highly individual and depends on the severity of your symptoms, a CBD product of your choice, your body mass, etc. Therefore, you can start with 10-12 mg of CBD per day. If you don’t feel better, you can increase the dose until you achieve a positive change in your condition.

CBD Side Effects

In general, people can tolerate incredibly high CBD amounts (1,500+ mg per day) without developing serious adverse effects. Nevertheless, mild side effects might include: [9]

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea

That is why it is essential to start from small doses to check whether CBD triggers unwanted reactions.

Is CBD Safe?

Unfortunately, today’s CBD market remains unregulated, for the most part. There are still many brands offering products of questionable quality. While buying unregulated CBD products, you risk having both health problems and law issues. The matter is that CBD products are considered legal if they contain 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or less.

This THC concentration is considered safe and non-psychoactive. However, if you accidentally buy an untested CBD product, it may have high THC content. 

Let us imagine you took such a product before driving a car, and the police tested you for marijuana.There is no need to explain that your journey can end up at the police station. To avoid any complications, you have to check whether your CBD product is lab-tested and contains less than 0.3% THC. Thus, you have to stick to the best brands that operate legally and offer high-quality, lab-tested American hemp-based products.

Final Thoughts

Is CBD oil good for fibromyalgia? Yes, cannabidiol can potentially become one of the best remedies for fibromyalgia. CBD’s pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and sleep-regulative properties allow FM patients to significantly improve their condition.

What is more, cannabidiol is much safer than traditional painkillers. These factors altogether make CBD a preferable treatment for patients with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions. Before taking CBD, you should visit your physician and determine the starting dose. How to make CBD treatment the safest and the most efficient? To benefit from cannabidiol properties to the fullest, you should always aim at regulated and lab-tested products. Finally, once you find your best CBD product, you will forget about fibromyalgia pain.

References

[1] Pär Flodin, Sofia Martinsen, Monika Löfgren, Indre Bileviciute-Ljungar, Eva Kosek, Peter Fransson (2014). Fibromyalgia is associated with decreased connectivity between pain- and sensorimotor brain areas.

[2] Simona D’Agnelli, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Maria C Gerra (2019). Fibromyalgia: Genetics and epigenetics insights may provide the basis for the development of diagnostic biomarkers.

[3]Neil Basu MD, PhD Chelsea M. Kaplan PhD, Eric Ichesco and others (2018). Neurobiologic Features of Fibromyalgia Are Also Present Among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

[4] M-A Fitzcharles, C Baerwald, J Ablin, W Häuser (2016). Efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabinoids in chronic pain associated with rheumatic diseases (fibromyalgia syndrome…)

[5] Ila M P Linares, Francisco S Guimaraes, Alan Eckeli, Ana C S Crippa, Antonio W Zuardi, Jose D S Souza, Jaime E Hallak, José A S Crippa (2018). No Acute Effects of Cannabidiol on the Sleep-Wake Cycle of Healthy Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study.

[6] Sonja Vučković, Dragana Srebro, Katarina Savić Vujović, Čedomir Vučetić, and Milica Prostran (2018). Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules.

[7] Caroline Turcotte, Marie-Renée Blanchet, Michel Laviolette, and Nicolas Flamand (2016). The CB2 receptor and its role as a regulator of inflammation.

[8] Kimberly A. Babson, James Sottile, Danielle Morabito (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature.

[9] Lesley Taylor, Barry Gidal, Graham Blakey, Bola Tayo, and Gilmour Morrison (2018). A Phase I, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Single Ascending Dose, Multiple Dose, and Food Effect Trial of the Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of Highly Purified Cannabidiol in Healthy Subjects.

Written by:

Jamie Taylor

Jamie has more than ten years of experience as a physician assistant. He has always been interested in the healing potential of cannabidiol, especially in its pain relief properties. Jamie considers cannabidiol as a powerful remedy with minimal side effects. He knows how to help users make rational buying decisions based on the unbiased and accurate reviews of CBD products and brands.

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