Are you or a loved one living with fibromyalgia?
If yes, then you know the constant battle with pain and the struggle to find a cure. While some people resort to powerful painkillers to numb the pain, others seek out more natural alternatives like CBD to manage their fibromyalgia.
Many say that CBD can even cure fibromyalgia, but is that true? If you are interested in CBD for fibromyalgia and wondering if it's worth it, you have come to the right place. Read on to find out how effective CBD is for fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is more common than most people think. Scientists believe that it affects as many as 8% of the total population. It's a chronic condition that is characterized by non-localized pain all across the body, as well as heightened pain response to pressure.
People suffering from fibromyalgia may also have trouble sleeping and less than average memory. Other symptoms include general sensitivity, numbness, skin tingling, and bowel issues.
Scientists don't know what is causing fibromyalgia yet. There is a definitive connection between fibromyalgia and depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the symptoms of fibromyalgia are obviously physical. What we know is that fibromyalgia is hereditary to some extent, and manifests as a combination of genetic and external factors.
The bad news is that there is no ultimate cure for fibromyalgia yet. The best patients could hope for is effective treatment with painkilling medication or some other way to manage pain. The good news is that science is moving by leaps and bounds towards a solution.
Until a cure can be found, you have to live a fulfilling life. Here is where cannabidiol comes in.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 chemical compounds found in cannabis. Unlike the more well-known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive. This means it can't get you high. Moreover, CBD seems to counteract the effects of marihuana that can cause anxiety.
CBD works by activating certain receptors in the brain, and it has proven to play a role in how we feel and perceive pain. CBD has been proven to help people with epileptic seizures. This is perhaps its most significant and conclusively proven benefit to date. Other effects of CBD include anti-inflammatory properties and homeostatic regulation.
CBD has numerous health benefits. CBD is also thought to be completely free of side effects, while offering the above benefits. That is why many people suffering from chronic pain see CBD as a viable alternative to their problem.
Is CBD The Same as Marijuana?
The short answer is no. CBD is derived from the marijuana plant, but it's an isolated compound with much more well understood effects.
CBD is responsible for many of the clinical effects of medical cannabis (pdf), but none of its drawbacks. People using CBD oil can't get high, but they can benefit from its pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and anti-seizure properties.
How Can CBD Help People With Fibromyalgia?
CBD has been shown to help alleviate chronic pain. A small body of scientific papers suggest that it may help people suffering from fibromyalgia mitigate the pain symptoms.
So far, not many studies have looked into the connection between fibromyalgia and CBD. This is mainly because fibromyalgia is very difficult to diagnose, as its cause is yet unknown. Many people live their lives with fibromyalgia without even knowing it!
Most of the research on CBD and fibromyalgia have been published in the last five years. These suggest that CBD can indeed help relieve the pain from a range of conditions, including fibromyalgia. Other chronic pain conditions that have been shown to improve with CBD include multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
However, the results were inconclusive because CBD seemed to work for some people and not for others. Moreover, the clinical samples were too small to draw definitive conclusions for the entire population. CBD might work against the pain caused by fibromyalgia by blocking the neural pathways to pain receptors, or by easing the effects of inflammation, or some other mechanism.
The connection between the efficacy of CBD and its effects when used alongside medical marijuana are not yet fully understood either. With more than 100 other cannabinoids, the interactions are complex and difficult to pinpoint. Some studies have found that CBD is more effective when used in combination with THC, but this research is still at an early stage.
That said, the FDA has not yet approved the medicinal use of CBD for fibromyalgia. The legal status of CBD worldwide is changing rapidly as new research is published. Most CBD oil products are legal in all 50 states and virtually every country worldwide.
This makes CBD an accessible and viable supplement to alleviating chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia. However, until more research is published, CBD will remain a supplementary aid to fibromyalgia sufferers, who have to rely on conventional medication for the time being.
CBD for Fibromyalgia: The Final Verdict
Two major medical reviews in 2015 concluded that CBD relieved pain in patients with severe chronic pain conditions. More studies have followed, all indicating there is a strong connection between CBD and pain relief that might help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Many people who have tried CBD on their own report that it has helped them manage the pain of fibromyalgia. These are anecdotal reports that have little scientific weight but are nonetheless indicative of the potential benefits.
So far, scientists studied the pain relieving properties of cannabinoids in medical marijuana as a whole, and not its individual constituents. Users of medical marijuana consume a lot of CBD alongside THC, and it is difficult to say which substance is responsible for which effect.
So, if you suffer from fibromyalgia, you should try CBD without abandoning your current prescribed treatment.
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