Can Fibromyalgia Be Effectively Managed with CBD?

About 4% of the world population suffers a condition that is, for the most part, misunderstood. No one really knows for sure exactly what cause fibromyalgia. There is only a potential list of causes. 

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by musculoskeletal pain. A human has 18 possible tender points. These are areas on the body that hurt when pressure is exerted. Out of these, a fibromyalgia patient will have 11 or more painful points. The condition is thought to amplify painful sensations. Neurotransmitters carry pain signals.  A patient will have faulty neurotransmitters. They will experience hypersensitivity to things that would not normally be painful due to repeated nerve stimulation. At times, they will have memory of pain and will overreact to a pain signal. In some cases, medication is not enough and one has to have a mixed course of treatment. 

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Cause of Pain

Research has shown that the cause of this condition could be one or a combination of all of them. The first cause is genetics. Studies have shown that it may not be passed down from parents to children but relatives can share fibromyalgia genes. Some infections can also cause the development of fibromyalgia. Viruses like influenza cause long term damage to the immune system. The residual viral bits can attach themselves to certain cells that interact with the neurotransmitters. Thus, the pain response even in the absence of pain stimulus. It is possible for emotional or physical trauma to trigger the condition or uncover underlying symptoms. This can prevail in the presence of another chronic pain condition like osteoarthritis. 

Traditional Management

Fibromyalgia will cause other inconveniences like lack of sleep and stress. There will be an adverse effect on social life and at times, career. One is advised to eat well, exercise and reduce the stress in their life to keep this condition under control. There are some meds that a doctor can prescribe to keep the pain manageable. There is also use of alternative solutions like mind/body therapy.

The presence of this condition can easily remain unknown for a long time. It is possible to misunderstand the symptoms. To think that it is ‘all in the head’. It imperative that one understands that this is a defect of the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia is not a tendon or muscle problem. There is no simple blood test to determine whether one has Fibromyalgia. All doctors have to go by is the symptoms. The American College of Rheumatology has given guidelines for diagnosis. It has to be determined that the symptoms are not as a result of a rheumatic disease, mental problem or neurological situation. Treatment for this condition is focused on pain management as it has no cure.

Faulty Therapies

The drugs approved for management of pain often bring a new set of problems. Issues like dizziness and fatigue are only the tip of the iceberg. One may also suffer worsened dry mouth. This is a big problem because it will cause development of cavities. It is also [possible to develop an unhealthy dependence on the drugs. Often after taking these drugs, one may be a little too loopy to work. The whole point of seeking help with fibromyalgia pain is so that one can carry on with life. To work and play as usual. These side effects make that very hard. A study by the National Pain Foundation showed that medical marijuana is more potent against fibromyalgia pain than FDA approved drugs. This was a sentiment shared by more than 60% of the subjects. Another study showed that after use of CBD one can experience an improvement in pain within two hours depending on their method of consumption. One ‘Fibro’ reported using CBD every 6-8 hours and experiencing relief in his lower extremities within 2 hours.

Full Dimensional Relief

CBD does not cause any of the side effects from the approved drugs. It is excellent in managing the other symptoms of fibromyalgia aside from pain. CBD is a great combatant of stress. It also works well to keep depression and mood swings at bay by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors which trigger happy hormones. Use of CBD has been known to aid better sleep. Stiff muscles are a common symptom. This symptom is a hindrance to mobility. In most cases, it will be worse in the morning when one needs the energy to start their day. CBD will help relax the muscles and get one moving with ease. Not only is CBD safe and inexpensive, it is also incredibly effective.

Studies and Research

In 2009, it was found that CBD is instrumental in relief from neuropathic pain. This is a type of pain cause by damage to a part of the sensory nervous system that is responsible for conscious perception of stimuli. It is associated with pain from non-painful sensations. Another study proved relief from inflammation and neuropathic pain caused by nerve injury upon intervention of CBD therapy. In 2011, a questionnaire was passed around among fibromyalgia patients. CBD users reported a significant reduction in stiffness and pain. They also reported better more restful sleep and overall feeling of wellness. 

One doctor hypothesized a clinical endocannabinoid deficiency as being the cause of fibromyalgia among other conditions. Several conditions whose symptom of extreme pain mirrored that of Fibromyalgia were caused by CED. The same could be true for this condition. Since then, other notable parties in the field of rheumatology have echoed these sentiments. However, studies are yet to prove the same beyond doubt. If indeed that is true, CBD would be the best bet against Fibromyalgia. This would only go further to affirm its efficacy against the condition.

The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a paper that analyzed 18 studies into the potency of CBD against Fibromyalgia symptoms. 15 of those studies were in affirmation. 

Caution

The dosage of CBD can be tricky as at times one might have to adjust to a level that works best for them. It is paramount that one exercises caution when using CBD especially if it is being used in tandem with other drugs. It is important that one consult their doctor before taking the step to use cannabidiol.

CBD Delivery Mode

  1. Patch

This is transdermal delivery of CBD. One applies a CBD infused patch on their skin and the product is absorbed into the skin then blood circulation system then finally the central nervous system. It is very new to the market, barely two years old. Despite this fact, great reviews have been reported. It offers a controlled release of highly concentrated CBD into the system. There are two types of this patch. One that is only CBD and another that combines both CBD and THC. One must not be alarmed by the combined one as CBD is just as effective when used with the other cannabinoid.

  1. Topicals

These are also applied transdermally. This grouping includes salves, lotions and other products that are applied on the skin. This mode of delivery performs a localized relief on the painful area. Salves are the most popular in this category. One can scoop up a little bit and rub on a painful spot. Within minutes the soothing balm will cause an improvement on the pain. The effects however, will not last for too long. 

  1. Oil

CBD oil is a very versatile product. It can be used in very many different ways. It can be used topically, orally, sublingually and so on. This is usually highly concentrated and the mode in which it is delivered determines bioavailability. 

The sublingual delivery is more popular. A drop or two under the tongue. Let it sit for, say, 90 seconds then swallow whatever is left. There are capillaries under the tongue that allow for quick absorption into the blood circulation. The effects are quick and will last at least 3 hours or longer.

  1. Edibles

Snacks! These are food items infused or cooked with CBD oil or whatever other form of extract. The effects take a long time because the product has to go through the digestive tract. However, the effects will last a little longer. It has been reported to be 6 hours, at least. 

Future of CBD Fibromyalgia Management

In early 2017, a company announced the commencement of phase 1 clinical trial of a fibromyalgia and back pain dedicated pill. He pill is a marijuana based therapy. This pill is meant to solve problems like delayed onset and inconsistent duration of effect. In August of the same year, the company announced favorable results. It is hoped that the collaboration of that company with another pharmaceutical will finally bring that pill to the market. 

Life Jacket for 4% of the World

CBD is not an FDA approved therapy. For this reason, most people have to self-medicate on this. It also, means that it is not covered by insurance. This represents a problem for fibromyalgia patients whose only solace comes from CBD. More research is called for to cement the standing of this magical plant in the therapy and relief of many medical conditions. CBD could go a long way in improving the quality of life of Fibromyalgia patients.

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