How To Use CBD Oil For Fibromyalgia

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.

CBD for Firbro

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.

While there is still no pharmaceutical drug specifically made for fibromyalgia, the FDA has approved 3 pre-existing prescription drugs for treating moderate to severe fibromyalgia symptoms: the antidepressants duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella), as well as the anti-seizure medicine pregabalin (Lyrica).

Additionally, doctors may also write “off-label” prescriptions, which aren’t officially approved, but may treat specific fibromyalgia symptoms in certain patients.

While these often work as effective pain treatments, they still don’t always pinpoint patients’ symptoms. Plus, they often come with undesirable side effects, and patients might quickly build a tolerance to them.

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. CBD oil is appealing to fibromyalgia patients because of their anti-inflammatory properties and less frequent occurrence of side effects.

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.

While THC triggers a release of dopamine, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate mood, pain sensitivity, and sleep.

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.

These anti-inflammatory properties leave a huge connection between CBD and fibromyalgia, as it is generally regarded as an inflammatory disease and, as such, experts advise the use of treatments that specifically target inflammation.

Evidence proving CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have spurred more research on how it affects symptoms of chronic and acute pain, as well as how it impacts inflammation and neuropathic pain. For instance, one 2012 study found that CBD reduces inflammation by turning off receptors that would sharpen pain sensitivity, while one 2009 review concluded that CBD was a strong enough source of pain relief that it could be used as a powerful adjunct to pain medications.

Plus, as chronic pain has become the biggest reason why people use CBD, quality brands are recognizing that this condition can refer to a variety of conditions by creating specialty CBD products. In this case, CBD specifically formulated for fibromyalgia is an option.

For example, Every Day Optimal offers Fibromyalgia Relief CBD Capsules, which are made with 25 mg pure CBD per capsule, along with 60 different vitamins and minerals proven to help the onset of fibromyalgia symptoms, including alpha lipoic acid, magnesium, and Acetyl L-Carnite.

This product is ingested in capsule form, making it a convenient way to naturally boost the endocannabinoid system with beneficial phytocannabinoids.

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:

  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • changes in appetite
  • anxiety
  • 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.

CBD Oil

In Conclusion

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.


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Fibromyalgia Patients Report Subjective Benefits From Cannabis

ISRAEL: Patients suffering from fibromyalgia frequently use cannabis to treat chronic pain and other symptoms of the disease, according to data published in the journal Pain Research and Treatment. Israeli researchers surveyed over 2,700 fibromyalgia patients. Of those who responded to the questionnaire, 84 percent reported consuming cannabis.

“Pain relief was reported by 94 percent of cannabis consumers, while 93 percent reported improved sleep quality, 87 percent reported improvement in depression, and 62 percent reported improvement in anxiety,” authors concluded. In addition, “nearly 85 percent of the patients either completely stopped taking any other pain medications or reduced the dosage of other meds. This reflects the advantage of cannabis over other meds in alleviating pain in addition to its favorable effects on sleep and mood.”


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “The consumption of cannabis by fibromyalgia patients in Israel,” appears in Pain Research and Treatment.

Study: Cannabis Effective At Treating Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia

ISRAEL: Cannabis therapy mitigates symptoms of the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia and is associated with a reduction in the use of other prescription drugs, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. An estimated 3 to 6 million Americans are afflicted by fibromyalgia, which is often poorly controlled by standard pain medications.

Israeli investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis in a cohort of 26 patients with fibromyalgia. They reported that medical cannabis treatment “was associated with significant favorable outcomes in every item evaluated,” such as reductions in pain and increases in energy.

Most patients also reduced their use of conventional prescription drugs, such as opiates and benzodiazepines, during the trial period. Nearly half of the participants (46 percent) reduced their prescription drug intake by more than 50 percent during the study. Several patients were also able to return to work following the initiation of cannabis therapy.

Researchers concluded, “Medical cannabis treatment had a significant favorable effect on patients with fibromyalgia, with few adverse effects.”

Prior trials evaluating the use of either whole-plant cannabis or synthetic cannabinoids have similarly shown efficacy in patients with the disease. A summary of these prior studies is available online.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis for the treatment of fibromyalgia,” appears in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.

The Arthritis Society Canada Funds More Medical Cannabis Research Amid Legalization Speculation

New clinical trial will study use of oral cannabinoids for fibromyalgia pain

CANADA: The Arthritis Society has announced the winner of its latest research grant for the study of medical cannabis and arthritis. McGill University’s Dr. Mark Ware, who has garnered a worldwide reputation as a leader in pain research, will lead a trial examining the use of oral cannabinoids for fibromyalgia — a disease that inflicts chronic pain on some 520,000 Canadians, most of them women1.

The study was selected from among several proposals submitted by Canadian researchers to receive the three-year grant, following an extensive peer review process by an impartial volunteer panel of cross-disciplinary medical and scientific experts as well as arthritis health consumers.

This is the second medical cannabis research project The Arthritis Society has funded in the past 18 months: in 2015, Dr. Jason McDougall was awarded a similar three-year grant to study the impact of medical cannabis on arthritis pain and disease management.

“These investments are about leading by example,” says Arthritis Society president and CEO Janet Yale. “Patients and physicians both need to be able to make informed decisions about whether cannabis has a place in the individual’s treatment plan. With these commitments, The Arthritis Society is doing its part to help fill some of the critical knowledge gaps around medical cannabis, but we can’t do it alone. There’s no reason for the government to wait until new legislation is in place to start addressing the need for research identified by their own task force. That’s why we continue to call on the federal government to make a firm commitment in the 2017 budget to fund $25 million in medical cannabis research over the next five years.”

Impact of fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, delivering widespread pain throughout the body. Pain can vary in location and intensity on a daily or even hourly basis, and can come with a host of other symptoms such as fatigue, sleep difficulties, lack of concentration and memory, mood swings, gastrointestinal problems and heightened sensitivity to touch and pressure.

Many fibromyalgia patients have reported that cannabis has positive effects on pain and symptom management, but this has not yet been confirmed in large-scale clinical trials. This study will be used to help educate patients and health professionals regarding the possible risks and benefits of oral cannabis in fibromyalgia therapy.

“This disease has a tremendous impact on a person’s life,” Dr. Ware explains, “but to date we haven’t really had any good treatment options to offer. Opioids and NSAIDs for pain management are often ineffective for fibromyalgia pain, or can have serious negative side effects — especially when used for prolonged periods. We hope to identify whether oral cannabinoids can offer the person with fibromyalgia hope for relief from their symptoms, and help restore their quality of life. We are grateful for the support of The Arthritis Society for this important project.”

New regulatory framework

The announcement comes just days after the report of the federal task force on legalization and regulation of marijuana was made public. That report echoes the priorities expressed by The Arthritis Society and other patient advocacy groups about ensuring that the new regulatory regime addresses patient concerns, with a priority on access, affordability and the vital need for more research. Earlier this fall, The Arthritis Society led a joint submission to the task force by patient advocates, and followed it up by co-facilitating a meeting where task force members heard directly from patients who use medical cannabis. The government is expected to issue new legislation as early as Spring 2017.

Two thirds of people who use cannabis for medical purposes are doing so to help cope with the pain, fatigue and other symptoms of arthritis.

“In the rush to legalize cannabis for recreational use, we need to be careful that the needs of people who rely on cannabis for medical purposes aren’t forgotten,” says Yale. “We will be watching closely to ensure that the new regulations put patients’ needs first.”