A chronic condition, fibromyalgia affects one in 20 people worldwide. Its main symptom is ongoing pain in various parts of the body, and long-term pain management is key to its treatment.
The chronic pain that is characteristic of fibromyalgia is caused by the way the nervous system processes pain signals. It results in a deterioration of quality of life as the pain itself can be quite crippling, and accompanying symptoms include fatigue, mind fog (or ‘fibro fog’) and insomnia, among others.
Why CBD Treatment for Fibromyalgia?
Three significant symptoms of this condition include living with chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety. Since CBD oil has been known to be helpful in treating all three of these problems, the possibility of including it in the treatment plan for fibromyalgia as a non-pharmacological pain management option is intriguing.
- In 2016, a study was conducted to consider the role of endocannabinoid deficiency in conditions characterised by chronic pain. It was suggested that the cause of several of these conditions, including migraines and fibromyalgia, is this deficiency. The endocannabinoid system works with the endocannabinoids that are naturally found in your system as well as those cannabinoids you may imbibe. This may mean that the deficiency is reversible.
- Cannabinoids like CBD attach themselves to specific receptors in the brain – like the CB2, which helps manage pain and inflammation. It is believed that when cannabidiol is imbibed, it latches itself onto the CB2 receptor and brings about the effects we see. Alternatively, it may be prompting the body to release natural endocannabinoids, which behaves the same way and result in reduced inflammation and pain.
- A paper published in 2017 indicated that there was a way to use CBD to reduce the role and activities of glial brain cells that deal with central sensitisation.
- It has been suggested that CBD can also reduce inflammation in the body. While fibromyalgia hasn’t been found to be inflammatory syndrome, there have been some cases that have exhibited an inflammation of the fascia, which is a web of connective tissues across the body.
5. A review of cannabinoid research was conducted in 2016, and it stated that CBD found positive results with regard to treating migraines and IBS.
What Does the Research into Fibromyalgia and CBD Say?
Previously, research concentrated on the role and benefits of medical cannabis, but today, studies are being conducted specifically to understand the properties of the CBD compound. So, investigations with regard to CBD and fibromyalgia are still in their infancy.
Based on the results gathered so far, the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health in the US has suggested that there is a possibility that CBD has some positive effects on chronic pain.
A review conducted in 2020 also concluded that in certain contexts, CBD could relieve chronic pain, bring down inflammation and improve one’s quality of sleep.
In 2017, the results of a study suggested that CBD could possibly be counteracting the hypersensitivity of cells that surround the nerves. This is in people who suffer from chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia. For more conclusive evidence, more research needs to be conducted.
Another direction researchers are considering is the use of synthetic cannabis, particularly one called Nabilone, on fibromyalgia. A 2020 review suggested that synthetic cannabinoids have an important place in the future of pain medicine.
Research is still at a very nascent stage with regard to CBD and fibromyalgia. There are also several limitations that researchers contend in the course of their research. From controlling the potency and dosage of CBD to being able to find only small groups of participants and a lack of objective measures (these studies are dependent on self-report measures). However, there are also plenty of anecdotal reports from people using CBD to relieve pain.
Is it Safe to Use CBD?
CBD often gets caught up in the debate over medical marijuana. CBD (cannabidiol) is just one compound derived from the cannabis plant. It is supplied in oil or capsule forms and does not give the user the ‘high’ that is associated with marijuana. THC is another compound derived from the cannabis plant that is responsible for the psychoactive effects. But when it is combined with CBD, it balances the outcomes, negating the high.
Like all instances where CBD is used, it must be done under by prescription from a qualified health professional. CBD has been known to interfere with conventional medication, and even though it is well-tolerated by most people, it can sometimes have side effects. If you do want to see if your fibromyalgia is relieved by the use of CBD, contact us today at The Pain Clinic. We can chat about your symptoms and what you’ve tried already and see if CBD could help you manage your pain and sleep.