About three percent of the American population suffers from fibromyalgia. This chronic condition can be debilitating due to the chronic, severe symptoms that it causes. Currently, there are a few medications prescribed for fibromyalgia, although many of them come with the possibility of certain side effects that the user may wish to avoid.
Now, research supports the fact that CBD has the potential to help fibromyalgia patients manage their symptoms. A few breakthrough studies have determined that this hemp-derived cannabinoid might be able to alleviate a wide range of fibromyalgia symptoms because of the unique way in which it affects the body’s endocannabinoid system.
If you’re dealing with fibromyalgia, you may want to speak to your doctor in order to develop a treatment plan that involves daily use of CBD. We’re going to explain the many ways in which this natural compound might have a positive impact on your symptoms.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that produces widespread, chronic pain of the joints and muscles. Most sufferers will also experience mood disorders such as anxiety and depression in addition to these physical symptoms. Other common symptoms include brain fog, poor concentration and a constant feeling of overwhelming fatigue.
It’s also not unusual for fibromyalgia sufferers to experience frequent urination, tenderness throughout the body, digestive disorders and feelings of numbness and tingling throughout the body. Less common symptoms include dry mouth and hypersensitivity to hot or cold.
Interestingly, fibromyalgia affects far more women than it does men. About 90 percent of fibromyalgia sufferers are female.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Because fibromyalgia has only recently been a recognized condition, medical experts still haven’t been able to determine the exact causes. However, there are certain links between other conditions and fibromyalgia that a doctor will likely consider before making a diagnosis.
For one thing, as this condition affects females far more than males, your doctor will be more likely to diagnose you with fibromyalgia if you’re a woman. It’s believed that there are certain risk factors that, if left untreated, can lead to this condition, including PTSD, anxiety and depression. It’s also possible that people who have a chronic pain condition such as arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia later in life. Currently, some medical experts believe that there may be certain genetic factors that can lead to fibromyalgia.
It’s widely believed that fibromyalgia has to do with the nervous system. Many doctors think that the condition results from miscommunications between the brain and the spinal cord. The nerves in our body send pain signals through the spinal cord to the brain, and it’s believed that those who have fibromyalgia have brains that are receiving unnecessary and excessive pain signals throughout the day.
How is Fibromyalgia Treated?
Although there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, there are a few treatment methods that seem to be quite popular. The most commonly prescribed medication for fibromyalgia is Lyrica, a drug that can treat nerve and muscle pain.
Unfortunately, Lyrica isn’t free of its side effects. The most frequently reported side effect is a severe change in mood and personality that can manifest itself in the form of depression.
Often, doctors will tell their fibromyalgia patients to take over-the-counter pain medications to manage their symptoms as needed. The problem is that fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, and most sufferers experience relatively severe pain on a daily basis. As you probably know, long-term use of over-the-counter painkillers can lead to serious complications like liver and kidney disease.
Those who have fibromyalgia might be told to seek counseling to address any possible psychological conditions that have an affect on the disease. It’s believed that anxiety, depression and PTSD may cause fibromyalgia, or, at least, intensify the symptoms of the condition.
Also, many doctors will suggest certain lifestyle changes such as an increase in physical exercise and changes in diet to avoid foods that trigger an inflammatory response.
Can CBD Help with Fibromyalgia?
CBD has the potential to help a person manage their fibromyalgia symptoms. This is because of the cannabinoid’s effects on the endocannabinoid system that exists in our bodies. This system is largely responsible for helping the body achieve and maintain homeostasis. It produces its own cannabinoids that bond with the body’s various cannabinoid receptors in order to stimulate the regulation of processes like pain tolerance, inflammation levels, sleep cycle and mood.
Some medical experts believe that a large portion of the population suffers from a cannabinoid deficiency. Since the body is supposed to produce its own cannabinoids in order to regulate its processes, those with a cannabinoid deficiency may experience a wide range of unexplainable physical symptoms ranging from chronic pain to severe anxiety. It’s not currently known why a person may become deficient in cannabinoids, but it’s believed that certain environmental, nutritional and psychological factors may contribute.
CBD, a natural cannabinoid that’s extracted from the hemp plant, supplies the endocannabinoid system with what it needs to help the body reach homeostasis.
Because fibromyalgia is a fairly unexplainable condition that presents itself in the form of a variety of symptoms, some cannabis researchers believe that CBD supplementation might be a promising treatment option. If fibromyalgia correlates to a cannabinoid deficiency, a patient who takes CBD daily might find that their symptoms become far less severe.
In fact, one study suggested that CBD has a strong potential to act as a treatment for fibromyalgia. The study tested its effects on 26 patients, with 19 of them being female. The participants were given CBD daily for about 11 months. After the 11 months had passed, every single patient reported an improvement in their symptoms. In fact, half of the patients actually stopped taking other medications for fibromyalgia because the relief provided by CBD was adequate.
In addition to supplementing the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD provides the body with a large amount of its anti-inflammatory compounds that can ease pain and reduce widespread inflammation that eventually leads to poor overall health.
Additionally, CBD may have the potential to help a person manage mood disorder symptoms that can contribute to or result from fibromyalgia. One study found that daily CBD use can help a person manage both depression and anxietydue to the unique way in which this cannabinoid balances the neurotransmitters in the brain, gently and naturally increasing serotonin levels while decreasing cortisol.
How to Take CBD to Manage Fibromyalgia
Before taking CBD in an attempt to manage fibromyalgia, speak to your doctor as they will examine your symptoms and your medical history in order to determine if that’s the right treatment option for you.
Typically, those who wish to treat fibromyalgia with CBD should look for a tincture or an edible product. Both of these products tend to contain higher doses of CBD and provide effects that can last for hours at a time. Therefore, the user is able to take one or two doses throughout the day in order to potentially experience relief.
CBD research is still underway, but many studies show a promising link between this compound and fibromyalgia relief.