Written by Jessica Reilly
How CBD Helps Fibromyalgia
Can CBD oil help treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
For many users around the world, the answer is a resounding yes.
Supported by a growing body of scientific evidence and large amounts of positive anecdotal feedback, CBD is showing promise in the management of fibromyalgia. Here’s what you need to know before you start using it.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a natural compound that comes from hemp or cannabis plants.
CBD will not get you high. THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid responsible for producing a classic intoxicating high sensation.
CBD bonds with a different receptor in your endocannabinoid system, and produces a lighter, more subtle sensation. CBD has potent anti-inflammatory effects and works to alleviate or combat symptoms of many chronic illnesses, including fibromyalgia.
CBD can be consumed many ways, from smoking the flower and eating edibles to applying topical treatments, taking capsules and consuming oils.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that presents with musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, insomnia, and cognitive issues. It is a poorly understood disease that has a complex impact on the body, is mostly found in women, and has no known cure.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia may also include migraines, depression, irritability, anxiety, and nausea. Fibromyalgia is thought to involve an endocannabinoid deficiency whereby the brain doesn’t produce enough cannabinoids. Outside cannabinoids like CBD can replenish this supply.
How CBD Helps with Fibromyalgia
CBD is regarded as safe for use by the general population and has demonstrated the ability to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. While fibromyalgia is not currently classified as an inflammatory condition, research suggests that it does involve the inflammation of connective tissue throughout the body.
CBD reduces chronic pain by counteracting hypersensitive cells surrounding nerve endings, bringing them into homeostasis. It can relieve nausea, stabilize mood swings and reduce anxiety levels. Additionally, CBD makes it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and is thought to activate serotonin receptors in the brain, which can alleviate depressive symptoms.
Other conditions CBD can help with are:
- Childhood epilepsy
- Social anxiety
The Research on CBD and Fibromyalgia
The body of scientific literature supporting CBD use for fibromyalgia is relatively small, but continues to grow each year. Historically, cannabis prohibition has made researching the effects of CBD problematic. However, as attitudes and laws change, scientists now have the opportunity to explore the full breadth of CBD’s impact on our systems.
Below is a list of scientific studies about Cannabidiol (CBD) and fibromyalgia:
- A study looked at 56 people, mostly women, with fibromyalgia. Half of the group used cannabis and half didn’t. Those who used cannabis reported reduced pain, aches, and stiffness.
- A review found CBD was effective in treating migraines and irritable bowel syndrome, which are both related to fibromyalgia.
- A German survey concluded they couldn’t find enough evidence to concretely support using CBD to treat fibromyalgia or other rheumatic conditions, but found ample anecdotal evidence.
- A published paper suggests CBD as a treatment to diminish activity of certain brain cells which lead to central sensitization, or the overactivity of the nervous system.
- A study looked at the effects of Bediol, which contains THC and CBD, on people with fibromyalgia, and found that those who took the drug reported up 30% pain decrease.
- An Israeli study looked at hundreds of people with fibromyalgia over 6 months, where 82% of the participants were women. They found 90% of participants had a decrease in pain after using THC and CBD daily.
- A review of existing research found that emerging data is limited but suggests that cannabis including CBD can have a positive effect on fibromyalgia.
- A study by Michigan Medicine looked at over 870 people with fibromyalgia who reported using CBD. The study found that more than 70% of participants used CBD in place of opioids and pain medications, with many of the patients refusing opioids all together.
Scientific research is still in the early stages, and much of how CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system is still unknown. There is, however, ample anecdotal evidence and a growing body of literature to suggest people who suffer from fibromyalgia can find relief with CBD. Many of the studies also indicated CBD could work as a substitution for opioids and pain medications, without the risk of addiction.
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Take the Edge off Things With CBD.
How to Use CBD for Fibromyalgia
CBD is legal for purchase and consumption in the UK, but consulting with your doctor before starting a new supplement is always a good idea if you have a pre-existing health condition. CBD is considered safe for the general population and side effects are rare, but it can interact with other medications - another good reason to check with your doctor. CBD has a low toxicity level which means addiction is uncommon and there are no accidental overdoses.
Here are 4 tips for taking CBD oil for fibromyalgia:
- Do your research. CBD products are new to the market and product quality can vary wildly. Cannubu’s CBD oil is extracted from plant material using a super critical carbon dioxide extraction process, widely considered the gold standard for production.
- Start with low doses. Monitor your body’s reaction until you understand how CBD affects you.
- Try CBD at different times throughout the day.
- If you’re not finding the relief you want, try a stronger product. Check out our CBD oil dosage guide to learn more.
Side Effects of CBD
CBD has been proven safe for consumption by the general public, but it is not without side effects. These are rare, but can include:
- Dry mouth
- Drowsiness/ fatigue
- Appetite changes including nausea
If you’re searching for relief from fibromyalgia symptoms, CBD oil may be the answer. Check out our CBD dosage guide to find the right strength and suggested starting dosage.