CBD For Fibromyalgia
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many compounds derived from the cannabis plant. This compound is also found to a lesser extent in hemp (the plant from which it is most often extracted from).
While CBD does not have any psychoactive properties, such as those of THC, another compound of the cannabis plant, it does play a role in the management and regulation of pain, inflammation, mood, mental function and other physiological processes.
Because of its low THC concentration, generally standardized to under 0.03% in the USA, CBD will not elicit any type of “high” or euphoria commonly associated with marijuana.
In general, CBD that is derived from the hemp plant is richer in CBD than the cannabidiol that comes from the cannabis plant. Many individuals who suffer from pain disorders find that regular consumption of CBD helps to alleviate and eliminate much of their pain. Recently, scientific research has pointed to evidence that CBD may help those suffering from fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that causes pain throughout the entire body including the bones and muscles. Along with areas of pain and tenderness, fibromyalgia also usually causes widespread fatigue. Even though men can be diagnosed with the disease, it primarily affects between 75 and 90 percent of women, and is also often misdiagnosed as another disease. While hope remains for a medical breakthrough, there is currently no cure for the condition, making the management of symptoms (potentially with CBD) so important.
Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia:
- Constant wide-spread pain, often presenting as a dull ache that lasts months
- Severe fatigue despite adequate sleep
- Cognitive impairment, often referred to as “fibro fog”, impairing the ability to concentrate and focus on mental tasks
Potential Causes or Contributors to Fibromyalgia Include:
- Genetic mutations
- Physical or emotional trauma
- Gender (more common in women)
- Family history
- Other disorders such as lupus
How CBD May Help With Fibromyalgia Pain
CBD has long been used as a treatment for pain and inflammation and is often used in place of prescription opioids. Even through CBD is not yet approved by the FDA, or Food and Drug Administration, a great number of patients have found relief through using CBD.
A study conducted in 2009 found that CBD is effective in alleviating neuropathic pain. In fact, CBD was used to treat inflammation and nerve pain from nerve injury in two separate studies with promising results. Researchers found that CBD was effective in significantly reducing pain and inflammation.
Ways to Take CBD
There are many different ways in which patients with fibromyalgia and other pain disorders can take CBD for relief from their pain and inflammation. CBD comes in many forms including gummies and other edibles, vapes, oils, capsules, and topical creams.
Some of the most effective treatments include:
- Topical Creams: Many creams and lotions are infused with CBD oil. These lotions are applied directly to the skin on the affected area. Topical creams that contain CBD are effective in helping reduce inflammation while also alleviating external areas of pain.
- CBD Oil: This is probably one of the most versatile ways to take CBD. CBD oil extracts can be taken by mouth, dissolved under the tongue, or even applied directly to the skin.
- Vaping and Smoking: When CBD is smoked or vaped, it provides immediate relief from pain and inflammation. Smoking cannabis that is rich in CBD will alleviate pain and inflammation almost immediately. In fact, the effects of smoking can be felt for as long as three hours afterwards because the CBD from cannabis is directly absorbed into the lungs and bloodstream.
- Edibles: CBD can also be infused into gummies, butter, cookies, coffee, and other foods and drinks. Despite being delicious to eat, it takes longer to feel any relief from pain symptoms when CBD is taken in an edible form.
As with any form of smoking — whether nicotine or cannabis — there are risks. Those diagnosed with asthma or another type of lung condition should not smoke or vape CBD. Also, it’s important to meticulously follow dosing instructions with all forms of CBD so that you can avoid taking too much of the substance.
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Taking CBD
There are minimal side effects associated with regular consumption of CBD. But some patients have experienced mild side effects after using cannabidiol. Some of these symptoms have included:
- Low blood pressure
- Dry Mouth
- Slower Digestion
What Can CBD Be Helpful in Treating?
CBD can be helpful in treating a wide variety of diseases. In fact, many patients who suffer from chronic pain and inflammation and mental disorders use CBD to help control:
- Bipolar disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Movement problems associated with Huntington’s Disease
In fact, some patients even take CBD to help stop the growth of cancerous tumors and also to help them to quit smoking. CBD is very versatile and can be used in the treatment of many different types of medical conditions and disorders.
The Future of CBD and Fibromyalgia
While scientists are still conducting studies and research on the overall effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders, current results are promising. Even though CBD is not currently FDA approved, there are a wide array of success stories from people who regularly use CBD as part of their pain management regimen.
Many patients feel that current treatments for fibromyalgia are simply not effective enough and are also financially prohibitive. Then, there’s also the issue of opioid addiction. Both patients and doctors have found that not only is CBD effective at alleviating and eliminating pain from chronic conditions, it’s also non-addictive, unlike most opioid treatments for conditions such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and cancer. Therefore, the agreed-upon conclusion is that CBD provides a safe and effective treatment in the battle against fibromyalgia.
As with any new supplement or medication, it’s always best to consult with your physician before beginning a CBD routine so that you can be aware of and avoid any harmful interactions that CBD may have with any current medications and treatments.