Cannabis Can Treat Fibromyalgia
Cannabis has been shown to help treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. This is an incredible discovery, especially since there is currently no known cure for fibromyalgia. And it’s often tough to treat.
What is fibromyalgia?
Those suffering from this syndrome experience muscle fatigue and pain primarily in the neck, spine, shoulders and hips that are often described by patients as a constant dull ache that lasts for at least three months, but often continues for much longer. Pain or cramping in the lower abdomen are also common physical symptoms.
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes fibromyalgia though some suspect genetics, previous infections or previous physical or emotional trauma may play a role.
Those with fibromyalgia must continually battle through their pain, and the lack of sleep associated with this syndrome can interfere with the patients’ ability to function at home or on the job.
Along with the physical pain, the frustration of dealing with an often misunderstood and ambiguous syndrome can lead to irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
Currently, the most common treatment for fibromyalgia are prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol , Advil and Aleve may be helpful, but patients often report still experiencing pain even if they take these drugs.
Even prescription pain relievers such as Ultram and Conzip are sometimes unsuccessful at providing relief from the pain associated with the disease.
In fact, a survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation found that of over 1,300 fibromyalgia patients, 60% reported the prescription drug, Cymbalta—which is often prescribed for treatment—to be completely ineffective in relieving pain.
To treat the cognitive symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, patients are often prescribed antidepressants or sleep aid pills, both of which have the potential for adverse side effects such as fogginess, mood swings and lack of appetite.
With pain so debilitating, and a lack of relief from medication, many patients suffering from fibromyalgia are using cannabis as a way to treat their symptoms. And they have found cannabis to be a very successful treatment method.
According to the journal, Current Medical Research, and Opinion, investigators at the University of Heidelberg in Germany studied the effects of THC in nine patients with fibromyalgia over a three-month period.
The subjects in the trial were given daily doses of THC and received no other pain medication. At the end of the trial, all of the patients in the trial reported a substantial reduction in daily pain.
Many people have also reported finding relief to other symptoms associated with their syndrome, aside from the physical pain when they use cannabis.
Those patients who suffer from anxiety and depression as a result of fibromyalgia, have experienced better moods when they use cannabis as a way to treat the syndrome. The emotional toll this syndrome takes on patients is easier to cope with when the patient uses cannabis instead of prescription drugs.
Patients who normally are not able to sleep well, have found cannabis as a successful way to help them fall asleep and remain asleep for most of the night.
Although the research surrounding the effects cannabis has on patients with fibromyalgia is still relatively new, the research that is available reveals cannabis to be a successful method to relieve symptoms.