Everything Need to Know About Using CBD to Treat Fibromyalgia
Imagine living a life where you are in constant pain. In addition to feeling the fatigue set on early each day, those who suffer from the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia also experience burning sensations that can make going through regular activities a daunting task.
It is no surprise that those suffering from this disorder are plagued by feelings of discouragement, tiredness and anxieties from life that some say can be a living hell. The only recourse found in modern medicine is a cocktail of strong chemicals attempting to keep various symptoms from taking over and then others to mitigate the harshness of these first drugs.
With all the side-effects and side-effects of side-effect medication, it is no wonder that many forward-thinking individuals are looking for other more natural remedies to the worst symptoms of the disorder. A natural alternative that skyrocketing in popularity is called CBD a derivative of the hemp plant.
Fibromyalgia: A Modern Plague with a Mysterious Origin
Two decades ago no one in the medical industry had ever heard of “fibromyalgia”, things have changed, today over 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with this condition and the American Rheumatology practices are baffled by the “sudden” appearance of this unprecedented disease.
For some unknown reason, the disease is more prevalent in women. Furthermore, there have been some observed connections between fibromyalgia and stress and anxiety, but more research will need to be conducted before this connection can be established. So, once again the scientific medical community has been stumped by this uncanny disorder that defies all logic.
One of the more common speculations is that that fibromyalgia sufferers are experiencing a hypersensitivity to pain on any level, even minor discomforts can seem serious and stressing. In addition to this, many also suffer from the migraines, chronic fatigue and IBS that can accompany a body in disbalance.
In a sense, fibromyalgia is the proverbial “fate worse than death” as the symptoms can be severe and there is little chance of getting free of these discomforts. Furthermore, no one is really sure where the disorder originated or why it chose to strike the people it affects. Some say it occurs after a major physical accident, but others report a sudden onset without explanation.
Enter CBD Making a Splash in the Fibromyalgia Community
While this may seem like a ghastly plague, there is a glimmer of hope rippling through fibromyalgia forums all over the interwebs. A cannabinoid called CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has been gaining acclaim and respect as an effective remedy for some of the harshest chronic pain known to man. With congress passing a law allowing it to be sold and consumed in all 50 states in the US (as long as it is derived from hemp plants, aka cannabis sativa strains with less than .3% naturally occurring THC) is it making headlines everywhere. CBD is the non-psychoactive cousin of THC the famous cannabinoid that makes Marijuana the hot-topic it is.
But the important thing to remember that CBD can be enjoyed without any of the mind-bending effects delivered by THC.
Reducing Pain and Inflammation
Reducing pain and inflammation are two of the primary features of CBD supplementation. But to truly understand, what CBD is and how it can address the condition of Fibromyalgia it is first essential to understand the endocannabinoid system in our body. This is system has the job of keeping the body in balance with homeostatic function.
Could Fibromyalgia Be Caused by a Disbalanced Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system consists of thousands of receptors located across the body in some of the most important locations possible. While we are still learning much about these receptors, and have only discovered a small handful of various different receptor types, it is a widely accepted notion that these receptors regulate the most basic body functions such as the appetite, sleep cycles, immune system and inflammations regulations, mood and even the libido and reproductive system.
The ECS, endocannabinoid system, has been considered a dimmer switch in the body. This increases or decreases body activities in order to maintain an optimal balance and good health. Naturally, the ECS is not always operating in the most beneficial function. It has been found that excessive as well as depleted levels of endocannabinoids, the cannabinoids produced within the human body, can lead to certain pathologies.
At the moment, we are still not sure if an overactive ECS can be damaged as the result of a bad illness or if it is reacting to address a condition before it takes off.
Nevertheless, there have studies and speculations made and one theory points to ‘Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency' as the possible cause of certain conditions of which fibromyalgia is one of the most prominent. This theory was first proposed by a Dr. Ethan Russo, who suggested that in the same way that defective neurotransmitters can be responsible for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, insufficient endocannabinoid response could also lead to complications and “predictable clinical features'.
Dr. Ethan Russo had this to say in a conference regarding a research being conducted into CBD and its effects.
“In my professional opinion, there are a great many common diseases that seem to follow the same pattern we see here in Endocannabinoid deficiencies. This is especially viewed in the similar symptoms like IBS, migraines and fibromyalgia. There are just too many similarities for the conditions to be dissimilar. Each of these symptoms are hyperalgesia. This means that the pain experienced is disproportionate to the symptoms being experienced.”
Dr. Ethan Russo goes on to suggest that a possible cure could be boosting the endocannabinoid-depleted ECS with phytocannabinoids, the type that occur in nature like CBD.
Testing the Idea and the Trouble with Testing Endocannabinoid Levels.
While the symptoms Dr. Ethan Russo spoke of and the hypothesis behind his view of the endocannabinoid function seem legit, there is much study to do before a well-established solution is found. The Journal of Psychoneuroendocrinology published a test that mentioned finding much higher levels of plasma endocannabinoid anandamide in patients with fibromyalgia, They also noted that there were higher levels of norepinephrine a chemical produced when under stress.
The most obvious way to conduct further studies would be to prove the Endocannabinoid Deficiency theory in Fibromyalgia by testing the levels found in various patients with fibromyalgia. In the future this may be an easier procedure. Today this can only be done with a spinal tap and tissue samples. Furthermore, scientists are attempting to take a reading of a fleeting body function and the readings produced in this way can't be fully accurate.
Results from Various studies of the Analgesic effects of Cannabinoids for Fibromyalgia Sufferers
While much of the research and scientific studies have yet to be substantiated via the scientific process, there is an increasing large number of studies and reports –including scientific, historical and anecdotal — reports that suggest many of the symptoms and conditions of fibromyalgia could be treated with phytocannabinoids found in CBD.
One study based on a survey of fibromyalgia patients compared the effects of regular cannabis users and those patients who took conventional medication. As can be expected, the group that regularly used cannabis and other forms of cannabidiols, experienced greater relief than those who did not. There was a significant reduction in pain and increase in mobility, this was also accompanied by a capacity to relax and reduced levels of anxiety in general.
Then there were other studies performed that proved the efficacy of medical marijuana over conventional medication designed for Fibromyalgia. The National Pain Foundation conducted a test on over 1,300 people who suffered from fibromyalgia and the results found the the regular dosage of medical marijuana was far more effective at relieving the symptoms of their condition that three FDA-approved prescription pain medication for treating this disorder. Over 62% of patients who have tried medical marijuana for the condition have mentioned a significant improvement in their symptoms.
The British Journal of clinical Pharmacology also published a systematic review of randomized trials used to address chronic pain in non-cancer patients. The results were taken from a study performed on the effects of medical marijuana against a control group given the placebo. The results observed by the researchers proved that 15 out of eighteen trials met the same conclusion. Those given the cannabinoid were relieved of pain and even had an easier time sleeping as compared to those given the placebo.
Finally, another placebo controlled, double-blind study was performed to test a synthetic version of THC called Nabilone. Researchers divided 40 fibromyalgia patients into two groups and observed the results. The end conclusions were that Nabilone appears to be an effective and well-accepted drug for fibromyalgia patients. The benefits it had for pain relief and an overall sense of relaxation were greater than any other synthetic treatment.
What do fibromyalgia patients say about CBD?
As you can see the medical community has much to say about the possible benefits of cannabinoids in general when treating fibromyalgia, but what about CBD specifically? What do those with firsthand experience have to say. Many of those facing the harsh symptoms fibromyalgia have discovered a world of help in CBD, the non-psychoactive member of the cannabinoid family.
Donna Gregory is an award-winning journalist and blogger who has accomplished much while suffering from fibromyalgia. In her blog, she discusses her experiences with CBD supplementation and how it has helped her. She mentions receiving the first dosage sublingual and repeating this every 6 hours. Within the first 24 hours of supplementation, Donna Gregory noticed that the pain in her lower body had all but subsided. .
Another expert on the subject is British Intensive Care Nurse, Jo Allen. Jo Allen is confined to a wheelchair and has found that CBD oils have helped her life when attempting to cope with intensive pains. Since taking CBD oils, Jo Allen has mentioned not needing sleeping pills. The best thing about CBD oils is that the change is so gentle and soothing it's only after a few days that one begins to notice how well they are feeling.
In Conclusion — The Final Word on CBD Oils for Fibromyalgia Sufferers
In the end it is important to understand a few basic things about CBD oils before making your final decision to try this as a treatment to the scathing symptoms of fibromyalgia.
No. 1 — CBD oils and isolates are available in a wide variety of forms. This includes topical ointments, tinctures (drops), vape oils, capsules, powders and even gummies. The drops and tinctures as well as the isolates have been found the most effective with the fibromyalgia community along with capsules.
No. 2 — The results that you can expect from this or any other natural treatment will be very different than what you can expect from prescription medication. This does not mean that results are less effective, but they can be affected by a long history of smoking, drinking and other habits. The good news is that there is no adverse side-effect. You can try the natural way, see how it suits you and take it from there. If CBD is no good for you, you will be no worse for the wear.
No. 3— Be sure to purchase your CBD product from a company that does not use CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction can leave behind harsh chemicals and it now seen as a “cave-man” method as other safer methods have been developed. Be sure to look for zero THC, no residual solvents, and no heavy metals on your supplier's website. From our research, Every Day Optimal CBD is by far the best choice.
Finally, if you are looking to use CBD products to treat your condition, give yourself a flying start by doing all the research you can into best practices, dosages and products. As there is no regulatory board for CBD products some are not very good quality. Be sure you find a reputable provider before beginning your experience with CBD products. Start with 1 capsule or 1 application (10mg of CBD) every 8 hours.