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Cannabis & Fibromyalgia: New Research Offers Promising Results




People turn to medical marijuana for all kinds of reasons, and, thankfully, people

these days have that legal option in a lot of states. However, pain

management seems to be one of the top reasons people are using medical

marijuana. A study published in February 2019 shows that more than 64 percent of

people who do turn to medical marijuana are looking to find some level of relief

from chronic pain. Some studies show cannabis can be beneficial for dealing with

chronic pain, including pain caused by major medical conditions like fibromyalgia.


What Is Fibromyalgia and Refractory Pain?


Fibromyalgia is considered one of the most prevalent conditions that cause

chronic pain across the planet with about 10 million sufferers just in the United

States. The condition is characterized by pain that can be severe or debilitating for

the person diagnosed, mood disturbances, and fatigue. Refractory pain, which is

the name given to pain that is hard to control with conventional treatment, is the

most common symptom.


In order for there to be a diagnosis, the person must have dealt with widespread

pain for at least three months with no other logical cause. Fibromyalgia typically

affects more women than men and people are usually diagnosed between the age

of 20 and 50.


Typical Treatments for Fibromyalgia


The medical treatment available for fibromyalgia is aimed at helping control or

relieve the symptoms of the condition, and the results can be limited at best for

some. Doctors may prescribe a combination of pain medication, antidepressants,

and even anti-seizure drugs or sleep aids. Physical therapy may also help improve

some of the symptoms for some patients. Unfortunately, treatment does not work

for every patient and some medications can come along with undesirable side

effects. These side effects lead a lot of patients to seek out alternatives, like cannabis,

as a potential solution.


Cannabis and Fibromyalgia Pain: The Studies


A few studies have been done in the past that seem to show cannabis could be an

effective way to help people who deal with chronic pain related to fibromyalgia. An

observational study in 2011 showed study participants saw improved relaxation,

reduced muscle stiffness, and significant pain relief. Another study surveyed

individuals with chronic pain and found reports of improved sleep quality and less

pain. The list could go on.


The mechanism of action with cannabis for pain is associated with the

endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in the human body. The ECS is made up of

receptors that react to the cannabinoids in cannabis, which may help to reduce

painful sensations or the perceptions of pain.


A more recent study has breathed new hope into cannabis as potential

alternative pain management for fibromyalgia patients It focused specifically on

participants with a diagnosis who had been using medical marijuana. Twenty-six

patients were included in the study, all of which had documented fibromyalgia and

had been using medical marijuana. All patients reported improvement, and half of

them had stopped taking other prescribed medications. The overall conclusion of

the study was that medical marijuana had a significantly favorable effect on people

with fibromyalgia with very mild negative reactions.


Living in Pain is No Fun - Hopefully Cannabis Can Help


The CDC says that more than 20 percent of adults in this country have dealt with

chronic pain on some level. That's a scary number to look at because living in pain

is no way to truly live. As continuing research develops and cannabis use becomes

more acceptable, hopefully more people can change their lives for the better.

Reach out to us at Standing Akimbo, a Denver medical dispensary, to find out

about the cannabis products we have available and how they may help.




1. Boehnke, Kevin F, Gangopadhyay, Saurav, et. al. "Qualifying Conditions Of

Medical Cannabis License Holders In The United States." Health Affairs, Feb. 2019,

healthaffairs.org/doi/abs/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05266.

2. "About Fibromyalgia." National Fibromyalgia Association, Accessed 30 Aug.

2020, fmaware.org/about-fibromyalgia/prevalence/.

3. "Fibromyalgia." MayoClinic, Accessed 30 Aug. 2020, mayoclinic.org/diseases-

conditions/fibromyalgia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354785.

4. Habib G, Artul S. "Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia." J Clin

Rheumatol, 24 Aug. 2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29461346/.

5. Piper, Brian J et al. “Chronic pain patients' perspectives of medical

cannabis.” Pain vol. 158,7 (2017): 1373-1379. doi:10.1097/j.pain.

0000000000000899

6. Habib G, Artul S. "Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia." J Clin

Rheumatol. 24 Aug. 2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29461346/.

7. Dahlhamer, J, Lucas, et al. "Prevalence Of Chronic Pain And High-Impact

Chronic Pain Among Adults — United States, 2016." Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention, 14 Sept.2018, cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm.

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