To be clear, as of the moment there is no cure for fibromyalgia. In addition to causing significant pain to patients, it is notoriously difficult to safely treat the symptoms. However, there is a growing amount of evidence that medical cannabis can be quite helpful for treating a number of symptoms related to Fibromyalgia.
The Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies (2017) indicates that different types of cannabis products, including those containing THC and CBD, are beneficial for at least some people with fibromyalgia.
A number of fibromyalgia sufferers already either self-medicate with cannabis or use prescribed medical cannabis for treating different symptoms. CBD oil, in particular, is used often prescribed for fibromyalgia patients in states where medical cannabis is already legal.
On the other hand, while there is plenty of anecdotal evidence as well as some strong indication that supports cannabis as a useful treatment for fibromyalgia patients, there is still much to be learned about cannabis’s effects on Fibromyalgia. For one thing, there are only a few studies that specifically explore the relationship between cannabis use and fibromyalgia.
However, more and more evidence is coming in that indicates medical cannabis can be useful for at least two specific areas related to fibromyalgia.
A 2011 study of 28 participants who used cannabis for fibromyalgia found that about 43 percent reported strong pain relief. Another 43 percent reported mild pain relief. Only 7 percent reported no difference in the pain they experienced.
On the other hand, there have also been subsequent studies that either dispute these findings or show them to be inconclusive. Given the properties of cannabis for relieving other kinds of pain, it seems that it remains an area worth studying.
Improving sleep quality
Fibromyalgia sufferers often report a low quality of sleep, which can exacerbate the stress and other issues that come with the condition. The science seems to be on their side. A 2011 study found that over eighty percent of the test subjects with fibromyalgia reported that the use of medical cannabis provided a significant improvement in the quality of their sleep. Another test that used synthetic cannabis compounds reached similar conclusions as well.
Cannabis for the treatment of other cannabis symptoms
According to the Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies, there is anecdotal evidence that supports the idea that cannabis products can be used for the treatment of various other fibromyalgia symptoms, including mood swings, muscle stiffness, depression, and anxiety.
This may not be surprising, given that medical cannabis is also used to treat those conditions specifically outside of the context of fibromyalgia. On the other hand, it should be noted that this data comes from surveys and observational studies, rather than clinical studies where patients are thoroughly tested in a controlled environment. Thus, it cannot be conclusively said that cannabis should be used specifically to treat those other symptoms when related to fibromyalgia.
Medical marijuana and other types of cannabis products are in all likelihood, beneficial for fibromyalgia sufferers as a sleeping aid and as a way to control chronic pain. There is also a potential for its use in controlling other symptoms of fibromyalgia. On the other hand, it is too early to make any sweeping conclusions about its effectiveness or safety, especially given the limited number of studies specifically on fibromyalgia and cannabis.