Fibromyalgia is becoming a more common diagnosis. This disorder has been showing up in more Canadian patients, even as its causes remain the subject of intensive research. It is a collection of symptoms people experience with little understanding of what is happening in the body.
What are the first symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia are often easy to miss. One of the most common is widespread, generalized pain. You may feel stiffness or soreness, or you may suffer from headaches. You may have trouble sleeping or you may experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. This means patients with this diagnosis must learn to manage their symptoms. There are a variety of steps you can take to better manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia and improve your quality of life. One of those currently under study is medical cannabis.
Can Medical Cannabis Help Fibromyalgia Patients?
Since there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, the medical treatment of this disorder is focused on the management and lessening of symptoms. If the generalized pain that accompanies the condition can be controlled, patients may be able to regain some quality of life.
Researchers have been investigating the potential role medical cannabis could play in the management of fibromyalgia symptoms. The research so far has been promising, although further study is needed.
Many patients report improvement of their symptoms when they use medical marijuana, although the mechanisms for this are not well understood. The studies that have been conducted thus far are usually low-quality, and it’s difficult to say much more than medical marijuana appears to help some patients.
How Might Cannabis Affect Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
There are a few reasons medical marijuana may assist in the management of fibromyalgia symptoms.
The first thing medical marijuana can assist with is pain. There are more studies about the effects of cannabis on pain, and it appears cannabis is an effective painkiller. It is also less addictive and much safer than other treatments, especially in cases of chronic pain.
THC and CBD, the two major cannabinoids in cannabis, have anti-inflammatory properties. Fibromyalgia attacks and inflames various tissues, resulting in pain. Cannabis may be able to lessen inflammation, leading to a reduction in pain.
Cannabis can also assist with sleep issues. Many patients who use indica strains of medical marijuana report feeling relaxed, feeling drowsy, and even falling asleep. Cannabis also appears to have some effects on the digestive system, which could ease symptoms like IBS.
Will It Help You?
If you have fibromyalgia, you may wonder if medical marijuana is the right treatment for you. It could be. As mentioned, many patients feel cannabis helps them manage their symptoms. Although it remains to be seen just how this works, the consensus for the moment appears to be that it could help. In fact, some people think fibromyalgia, IBS, and migraine headaches could be caused by endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome. If this is the case, cannabis could help patients immensely. However, there is limited evidence and research today stating this is the case, other than some studies showing fibromyalgia patients have lower endocannabinoid production in the body.
Further, the effectiveness of any medical marijuana treatment depends on a number of factors, including dosage, strains, and more.
Keep in mind medical marijuana is not the right treatment for every patient. It may work well for you, however, and if you’re interested in learning more, you should talk to your doctor or a physician at a medical cannabis clinic.
Getting Started with Cannabis for Fibromyalgia
The first step is to talk to someone about medical cannabis as a potential treatment for you. Discuss this option with your doctor and schedule a consultation at a medical cannabis clinic.
After your consultation, you may be given an authorization. Continue working with your doctor and the team at the medical cannabis clinic as you adjust to your new cannabis treatment. It may take some tinkering to find the right strain and dose for you. Effective management of fibromyalgia can help you improve your quality of life, and medical marijuana might be your starting point.