Cannabis for Fibromyalgia
Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia means that you can say goodbye to any semblance of a normal life. It is a serious debilitating condition characterized by constant muscle pain and fatigue, symptoms which are usually accompanied by headaches, difficulty sleeping, and widespread joint pains. Because of the severity of the condition, people with fibromyalgia also tend to suffer from anxiety and depression. If you spend most of your days dealing with extreme pain and fatigue, you just won’t have the energy to do things you enjoy. The fatigue can be so debilitating that for many patients still feel tired even after sleeping 10 hours a night. That’s if they’re lucky: many patients suffer so much from fibromyalgia symptoms that falling and staying asleep becomes difficult.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, although the medical community agrees that it could be because of several factors including genetics, infection, or physical and emotional trauma. People who already have rheumatic conditions, such as diseases of the bones, joints, and muscles, are at higher risk for developing fibromyalgia.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, although the treatments prescribed to patients are focused on minimizing the pain and getting enough self-care (physical therapy, bed rest, and exercise in mild cases). Patients are often given pain medications, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure drugs, all of which can have serious side effects later on. In addition, consuming more painkillers only worsens the existing overdose problem that we already have. With 5 million people American adults diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it’
According to the National Pain Foundation and the National Pain Report, the FDA has only approved three medications to treat fibromyalgia. These pharmaceutical treatments can only make things worse for patients, considering all their side effects:
Pharmaceutical companies are earning millions of dollars from the sale of these drugs alone. But are they really helping patients? The same report discusses the results of a survey conducted in 2014, which consisted of more than 1,300 fibromyalgia patients. Nearly a third of participants said that they’ve tried medical marijuana to ease their symptoms, and 62% said that it was “very effective”.
On the other hand, only 8-10% said that Cymbalta, Lyrica, or Savella were “very effective”.
No wonder big pharma continues to fight legalization…
In a 2011 observational trial of 28 users and non-users in Spain, the participants reported beneficial effects after using cannabis to address fibromyalgia symptoms especially when it came to muscle and pain relief. According to the study’s authors: “Patients used cannabis not only to alleviate pain but for almost all symptoms associated to FM, and no one reported worsening of symptoms following cannabis use. ... Significant relief of pain, stiffness, relaxation, somnolence, and perception of well-being, evaluated by VAS (visual analogue scales) before and two hours after cannabis self-administration was observed.” In addition, participants who used cannabis also had better mental health scores compared to the non-users. The researchers added, "The present results together with previous evidence seem to confirm the beneficial effects of cannabinoids on FM symptoms.”
Medical marijuana is effective in treating the severe pain associated with fibromyalgia. This is because of the plant’s miraculous analgesic qualities. Although clinical trials are still limited because of the prohibition, there is a significant amount of anecdotal evidence about cannabis and its pain-relieving qualities.
Aside from treating pain, there are many other reasons why cannabis is such a potent and beneficial medicine for those suffering from fibromyalgia. Cannabis can also help patients sleep better. Sleep is elusive for many people living with fibromyalgia. Because this is such a common problem, many agree that difficulty sleeping combined with muscle and joint pain are the distinctive characteristics of fibromyalgia. Smoking a quality indica strain can help you relax, reduce pain, and enjoy deep restful sleep. Getting enough shut-eye isn’t just important for health; it can impact fibromyalgia patients even more because interruptions in the sleep cycle make the pain much worse.
Cannabis can also help reduce the tightness and muscle spasms that typically accompany fibromyalgia. Many studies over the past few years have proven how effective cannabis is at reducing muscle spasms, which can happen even while you’re sleeping. Cannabis can also be a great help in addressing the depression. Toking up will do wonders for your body and even put a smile on your face. Thanks to cannabis, a former debilitating condition like fibromyalgia can now be a thing of the past (and goodbye to painkillers!)
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