- Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million adults in the United States.
- Women and are more prone to fibromyalgia than men.
- CBD works for fibromyalgia in three ways; pain relief, reduce anxiety and depression and sleep improvement.
- More research is needed on improving CBD for fibromyalgia.
Although more research and clinical data is needed, we believe CBD may hold potential benefits to people suffering with fibromyalgia. In this article we would discuss the possible causes of fibromyalgia, and how CBD may offer the best benefits.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, tenderness, and stiffness in muscles, ligaments, and tendons across the body. Additionally, individuals with fibromyalgia may experience symptoms like fatigue, sleep disturbances, and difficulty concentrating. While the exact cause is not fully understood, factors such as genetics, infections, or physical and emotional trauma may contribute to its development.
According to the CDC, approximately 4 million adults in the United States, or about 2% of the adult population, are affected by fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men. People with fibromyalgia often experience other issues like tension headaches, problems with the jaw joint (TMJ), irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. While there's no cure for fibromyalgia, different medications can help manage the symptoms.
What are the causes of fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a complex health condition with several causes and risk factors. Although scientists are yet to fully understand how the disease forms the most common factors that can contribute to its development are listed below;
- Genetics: There appears to be a genetic component, as fibromyalgia often runs in families.
- Infections: Certain infections or illnesses may trigger or worsen fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Physical or Emotional Trauma: Physical injuries, surgeries, or significant emotional stress may play a role in the onset of fibromyalgia.
- Other Health Conditions: Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or irritable bowel syndrome may coexist or contribute to fibromyalgia.
What are the common symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Information from the CDC shows that fibromyalgia may produce the following symptoms;
- Depression and anxiety
- Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS)
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Headaches, including migraines
- Pain and stiffness all over the body
- Pain in the face or jaw, including disorders of the jaw known as temporomandibular joint syndrome (also known as TMJ)
- Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
- Sleep problems
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
How can CBD help people with fibromyalgia?
There are several research papers pointing to the possible roles of CBD and other cannabinoids in dealing with fibromyalgia. While CBD is a potent compound, most of the research papers included other cannabinoids like CBG and THC. It is pertinent to note that THC is still illegal in several parts of the world including the U.S hence adequate caution should be taken. In the meantime here are some of the possible roles of CBD that can be useful to people with fibromyalgia.
CBD has shown promise in providing relief for chronic pain through various potential mechanisms. One key aspect is its anti-inflammatory properties, which can be particularly beneficial for conditions like arthritis and lupus, where reducing inflammation can alleviate pain and improve joint function. CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), influencing the activity of ECS receptors that play a role in regulating pain perception. This interaction may modulate pain signals and contribute to pain relief.
Additionally, CBD may impact the transmission of pain signals in the nervous system, affecting receptors such as TRPV1 and serotonin receptors. These actions, combined with potential analgesic effects, could contribute to a reduction in the sensation of pain.
Furthermore, CBD's anxiolytic properties may help manage the emotional aspects of chronic pain, reducing anxiety and stress associated with the fibromyalgia.
CBD may help with depression through several potential mechanisms. It can influence the ECS receptors that play a role in mood regulation. By modulating these receptors, CBD could have an impact on the brain's neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which is linked to mood.
CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties, and there's evidence that inflammation may play a role in depression. By reducing inflammation, CBD might contribute to an improved mood. Furthermore, CBD's ability to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety may also be beneficial for individuals dealing with depression.
There are reports pointing to the role of CBD in improving sleep through a few simple mechanisms. It plays a role in regulating various processes, including sleep. CBD may help balance sleep patterns. CBD also has calming effects on the nervous system, which can promote relaxation. This is beneficial for individuals dealing with stress and anxiety, common factors that can disrupt sleep. CBD was also reported to address pain and discomfort, allowing for more comfortable sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
IS CBD safe for fibromyalgia?
Yes, pure CBD is safe. We emphasize on pure CBD since it has zero pesticides and additives that can potentially lead to side effects. We suggest you focus on lab-tested CBD products from verified labs.
What is the best CBD strain for fibromyalgia?
High CBD strains are good for fibromyalgia due to their balancing effect. CBD shows a balancing effect since it can modulate the intoxicating effects of THC and other psychoactive effects.
Do cannabinoids help fibromyalgia pain?
Yes, CBD has some excellent analgesic potentials that can help people with pain.
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Strand NH, Maloney J, Kraus M, Wie C, Turkiewicz M, Gomez DA, Adeleye O, Harbell MW. Cannabis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review. Biomedicines. 2023 Jun 2;11(6):1621. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines11061621. PMID: 37371716; PMCID: PMC10295750.
Berger AA, Keefe J, Winnick A, Gilbert E, Eskander JP, Yazdi C, Kaye AD, Viswanath O, Urits I. Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2020 Sep;34(3):617-631. doi: 10.1016/j.bpa.2020.08.010. Epub 2020 Aug 15. PMID: 33004171.
Boehnke, K. F., Gagnier, J. J., Matallana, L., & Williams, D. A. (2021). Cannabidiol Use for Fibromyalgia: Prevalence of Use and Perceptions of Effectiveness in a Large Online Survey. The Journal of Pain, 22(5), 556–566. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2020.12.001
Cameron, E.C., Hemingway, S.L. Cannabinoids for fibromyalgia pain: a critical review of recent studies (2015–2019). J Cannabis Res 2, 19 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-020-00024-2