Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder that causes significant chronic pain condition which is nonresponsive or poorly responsive to standard treatments. It is a complex medical condition which even today is not completely understood by researchers even though the prevalence of it is ever increasing. Researchers continue to find new therapeutic measures to manage the symptoms caused by fibromyalgia. Among the recent findings to manage the symptoms is the use of CBD or cannabidiol. It is a primary non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis and researchers believe it to be quite beneficial in treating many chronic pain conditions.[1,2,3]
There is also clinical data available that suggests that CBD is effective in the management of some forms of epilepsy and is also capable of improving the quality of life in people with chronic pain conditions. In retrospect however, it is not always that the use of CBD will resolve all pain symptoms and additionally there is always a risk of adulteration if people start purchasing it from the streets. This even can be potentially dangerous as the CBD may be mixed with hard chemicals not good for the overall health of a person.[1,2,3]
Some studies have pointed about the increasing use of CBD in pregnant females which can be a major health problem for the baby. Due to the pain relieving effects of CBD, researchers are now looking into the possibility of treating fibromyalgia with CBD. A review in 2020 concluded that even though the evidence is limited the data that is available shows that CBD can actually help in calming down the symptoms of fibromyalgia.[1,2,3]
The safety however of the use of CBD is still under investigation which is the reason why FDA has still not approved CBD as a form of treatment for fibromyalgia. Despite this, people prefer CBD as a mode of pain relief than other medications, especially in cases of fibromyalgia.[1,2,3] This article highlights in detail whether CBD is effective for fibromyalgia and whether it is safe to use this form of treatment.
Is CBD Effective For Fibromyalgia?
As of now, even the researchers are not sure as to why CBD eases pain in people and calms down the symptoms of fibromyalgia even though there are also cases where CBD has been found to be ineffective in treating any symptoms of Fibromyalgia. However, they have come up with some theories that may potentially be the reason as to why CBD is so much preferred by people with fibromyalgia.
Researchers believe that the effect that CBD has on the brain may be one of the reasons why people feel pain relief. CBD may block the nerve pathways that send signals of pain to and from the brain to the body. CBD attaches itself to the CB2 receptor which is primarily involved in managing inflammation and pain. When a person takes CBD either it attaches itself to the CB2 receptor or starts producing cannabinoids naturally in the body which then attach themselves to this receptor and provide pain relief.
A study done in 2016 suggested that the lack of natural cannabinoids in the body called the endo-cannabinoid was the reason behind some people having low pain threshold and complaining of chronic pain as seen with conditions like fibromyalgia. In such instances, it is CBD that helps in producing the endo-cannabinoid in the body thereby providing pain relief. Researchers are now getting deeper into this aspect in order to find substantial proof of this opinion.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that there is evidence to prove that CBD is somewhat beneficial in treating chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia. There is also some anecdotal data that claims that CBD has benefitted people with fibromyalgia. In fact, some data also suggests that CBD also improves sleep and even is beneficial for conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
The question now is how to maximize the effect of CBD in treating pain conditions. Data suggests that CBD has maximum efficacy when used in combination with THC; however more research is needed in this direction.
Is CBD Safe To Use For Fibromyalgia?
Now that we know that CBD is effective for managing the symptoms of chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, we can talk about the safety and side effect profile of CBD. Generally, there are no problems with use of CBD and it is tolerated well by people. However, there has been a section of people that have reported some side effects after taking CBD. These include dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, and drowsiness in some cases.
Thus it is recommended to consult with a physician before starting CBD for treating chronic pain. It is known that CBD may interact with certain dietary supplements and prescription medications and thus one should be careful of knowing all of this before starting CBD. Some researchers have also raised a concern that CBD may affect the ability of the liver to break down toxins. This is also something that needs to be looked at before starting CBD.
Coming to the legality of CBD use, the laws are different for different states in the United States. Thus it is imperative to check the laws of a particular state before beginning CBD to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
In conclusion, fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain condition and there is limited understanding of it. Among the various therapeutic measures studied my researchers for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia, one is CBD which is found to be effective in calming down pain and inflammation.[1,2,3] How CBD is able to do it has been detailed above. However, more research is required in this direction with regard to the efficacy and safety of CBD. With regard to the legality of use of CBD, the laws are different for different states and one should read them before starting CBD for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.[1,2,3]
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