According to the NFA (National Fibromyalgia Association), about 10 million people in the States suffer from fibromyalgia. This chronic condition is manifested through pains, aches, exhaustion, stiffness, tender areas, and sleeping issues.
The standard treatment for fibromyalgia includes several types of prescription medications including pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications. However, these drugs are known to result in unwanted side effects or, in some cases, they prove to be completely inefficient.
For these reasons, many people suffering from fibromyalgia turn to alternative solutions such as CBD.
What Exactly is Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition which manifests through pains in the bones and muscles, chronic fatigue, and tender areas. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are subjective and the causes are not yet clear and, for that reason, it is often incorrectly diagnosed as another disease.
Doctors and medical researchers still don’t know the exact cause of fibromyalgia, but they have been able to determine several factors that might work together to cause it: genetics, stress, trauma, infections, as well as certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Gender can be another risk factor since 80%-90% of all fibromyalgia patients are women.
Since there aren’t any objective, reproducible tests, many medical professionals deny the existence of fibromyalgia as a separate disease. Still, the number of doctors who accept it as a real disorder is growing and researchers are working actively to understand it and find a more effective treatment.
Many doctors believe that certain lifestyle changes and natural supplements may be even more effective in treating fibromyalgia than prescription drugs. One of these alternative solutions is CBD oil.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the 100+ compounds found in the cannabis plant. When used in very concentrated forms, like CBD oil, cannabidiol offers a number of health benefits.
Still, many people refuse to use CBD due to previous negative experiences with marijuana. It’s important to note that CBD is not psychoactive and won’t make users high. The compound that has mind-altering properties is actually THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another compound found in the cannabis plant.
Can CBD Help with Fibromyalgia?
Even though extensive research regarding the efficiency of CBD for treating fibromyalgia is lacking, the initial results are quite promising.
Research conducted in 2013 suggests that CBD can relieve pain caused by various conditions that involve chronic pain including fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and arthritis.
The effectiveness of CBD in relieving pain is explained by its ability to interrupt the pathways that send pain signals to the brain. In addition, CBD binds with neurotransmitters in the human body called endocannabinoids, thus changing the way humans process pain.
CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce swelling and heat caused by diseases or injuries which, in turn, alleviates pain.
Still, more research is necessary to understand how CBD can help with fibromyalgia. Scientists are trying to understand why CBD works in some patients while it fails to help others. They’re also debating whether the compound should be used alone or in combination with THC in order to boost its health benefits.
How to Use CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia
Since the FDA hasn’t approved the use of CBD for medical purposes, there is no official RDA (recommended daily allowance) or prescribed dosage of CBD for fibromyalgia. The dosage depends on various factors including the person’s weight, age, metabolism, diet, genetics, as well as the severity of the condition and the consistency of the CBD oil itself.
As with any supplement or medication, it’s recommended to start with a small dosage and increase gradually. Begin with a single drop of CBD oil on the first day of use to allow the body to adapt. Carefully observe if there are any negative reactions and, if that’s not the case, increase the dosage to two drops. Continue increasing every week or so until you notice the desired results.
It’s also recommended to discuss the use of CBD for fibromyalgia with a medical professional who is knowledgeable about both the condition and CBD.
Finally, make sure to obtain your CBD oil (or any other CBD product) from a quality source. Ideally, this would be your health provider but if you’re ordering online, look for brands that offer certificates of lab tests and list the amounts of CBD and THC on their label. This way, you’ll maximize the health benefits and minimize the side effects.
Are There Any Side Effects from CBD
Even though the side effects of CBD are rare, some people have reported the following:
- dry mouth
- changes in appetite
- mood swings
Is the Use of CBD Legal?
Even though several US states have legalized the use of CBD, it’s still illegal at the federal level.
All CBD products derived from industrial hemp are legal in all 50 US states, whereas CBD products obtained from marijuana are legal for recreational use in only 8 US states.
Since CBD is considered a byproduct of marijuana (which is rich in psychoactive THC), it is legal only for medicinal use in forty-six US states. In Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota all CBD products are illegal.
If you’re considering CBD as a fibromyalgia treatment, make sure to check its legal status in your state. Taking CBD in a state where it is illegal can put you in legal jeopardy.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition and CBD oil won’t cure it. However, it may be effective in mitigating and even eliminating its symptoms.
The efficiency of CBD depends on a number of factors including the severity of the condition, as well as the individual being treated. In some cases, CBD can be more effective when combined with prescription medication and/or other alternative remedies.
However, if you’re suffering from fibromyalgia, make sure to consult your doctor before you begin using CBD, especially if you’re already taking prescription medications, to avoid any negative reactions.
The legal status of CBD varies and it is advised that you check the local laws before buying any CBD products.