Fibromyalgia pain. Can CBD help ease it?

Fibromyalgia is one of those chronic conditions that pretty much has everyone flummoxed. No one seems to know what causes it or how to treat it effectively. Oh, and there’s no cure.

The symptoms can fluctuate in intensity, location and duration. Fatigue, sleep disturbances cognitive difficulties (memory problems or thinking clearly) and stiffness are the most reported symptoms.

People who have this condition often also suffer from depression or anxiety, migraines, tension headaches, pelvic pain, irritable or overactive bladder, and more. Pharmaceuticals rarely work well and often have side effects almost equally as onerous as the original condition.

But, take heart. There may be a new way to treat the symptoms. CBD. “Dr. Ethan Russo, a prominent neurologist and pharmacologist who has dedicated much of his professional career to studying cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, theorized that fibromyalgia could be related to Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency.”

As I’ve stated before, we all have an endocannabinoid system already in place in our brains and throughout our bodies. Russo’s thought is that a CBD deficiency may be the underlying culprit in this chronic condition; so introducing CBD kick-start the CB1 and CB2 receptors already present.

Pain relief is a big selling point with CBD. The receptors communicate with the applied or ingested CBD, which can help reduce pain. In 2014, the National Pain Foundation surveyed 1,300 patients about their pain treatment. Of survey participants, 390 had used CBD with these results:

  • 62 percent reported CBD as very effective in treating their symptoms
  • 33 percent reported that cannabis helped a little
  • Only 5 percent said it did not help at all

Contrast that information with those who used FDA-approved medications:

  • A mere 8 to 10 percent reported Cymbalta, Lyrica, or Savella as very effective
  • 60 to 68 percent responded that those drugs [did] not help at all

CBD seems to offer more hope for relief from the chronic and difficult symptoms than mainstream medications. Clearly, more study is necessary, but there is potential here, and people are willing to forego evidence-based studies (oh wait, there are so few being done) to relieve symptoms with a product that doesn’t have harmful or troublesome side effects. Go figure.