Although most of us have heard about arthritis, another disease like fibromyalgia isn’t really discussed. However, around 5 million people in the US suffer from this rheumatic illness. Even though its causes aren’t clear, its symptoms generate much suffering in those who have it.
Despite being so widespread and provoking hardship in patients with it, there’s currently no definitive cure to fibromyalgia. As a result, many people are looking into less conventional treatments to find relief. CBD has received a lot of attention, and online forums are full of heart warming stories about how it helps its users.
However, despite all the wonderful testimonies, most know better than simply believing someone we don’t trust with our health. Therefore, today we’re on to answer the question, “Does CBD oil for fibromyalgia work?” Read to find everything you need to know about this new treatment and whether it works or not.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Before we begin talking about CBD and if it works or not, let’s talk a bit about fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disease that causes chronic body pain and mental distress in people that have it. Chronic pain usually gives way to other symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and other cognitive issues.
Medics aren’t sure of what causes the appearance of fibromyalgia in people. Nevertheless, some risk factors include:
- Experiencing a traumatic emotional or physical event, like falls from heights;
- Autoimmune illnesses, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus;
- Suffering from disorders in the central nervous system;
- Repetitive injuries;
- How our body genes interact and regulate pain stimuli; and
- Having a family history of people with fibromyalgia.
We must also mention that women have a higher risk of having fibromyalgia. Although researchers can’t agree on why this happens, we know for a fact that “80 to 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients are women.”¹ Unfortunately, there is no known cure currently. However, some people have found that following a special diet, exercising, and acupuncture effectively soothing the symptoms.
CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia
CBD oil is well-known for its pain relief effects. It’s only logical that fibromyalgia symptoms, an illness that causes chronic pain, could be soothed by hemp extract. This has led many fibromyalgia patients to start trying CBD out for their aches. Results have been promising. However, scientists don’t have a consensus yet on why this happens.
Despite the lack of agreement, researchers have some hypotheses. Firstly, as CBD acts on the brain, scientists think it interrupts the brain’s pain signal to the rest of the body. In turn, this generates calm in CBD users who have fibromyalgia.
Another theory focuses on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which manages, among other things, pain. The lack of endocannabinoids in the ECS might cause “chronic pain syndromes, including migraine and fibromyalgia”². However, CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the ECS and helps to produce natural endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids attach to the ECS receptors, and they consequently reduce pain and inflammation.
What Does the Research Say?
There’ve been several studies regarding the use of CBD in fibromyalgia patients. For instance, a 2015 review from the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology analyzed the results of previous CBD studies. They commented that 7 out of the 11 analyzed studies indicate that CBD relieves chronic pain. Although this research examined the role of CBD in chronic pain reduction and not particularly fibromyalgia, they’re helpful.
Another study from 2019 investigated the effects of Bediol, a drug that has both THC and CBD, in patients with fibromyalgia. The studies concluded that people who took Bediolexperienced a 30% more pain decrease than those who took a placebo.
A 2020 article from ScienceDirect determined that recent studies confirmed that cannabis could positively affect patients with fibromyalgia. However, researchers did say that further evidence on the effectiveness of CBD is still needed.
You might be wondering, though, why there still isn’t definitive research on the topic. Well, there are several difficulties in conducting it. First and foremost, the lack of funding. This is because CBD continues to be illegal in many US states, even for medical studies. As a consequence, laboratories and drug companies are resilient to investing in CBD research.
Due to this lack of funding, researchers tend to do studies with few participants to cut costs. What’s more, some studies even bypass control groups and placebos altogether. Finally, researchers usually forgo objective measures and rely on self-reports made by the study subjects instead.
Lastly, researchers might find other issues, too. As the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate CBD, high-quality hemp extract can be hard to find. Because of this, it’s hard to administrate a consistent amount of CBD as the products’ labels sometimes aren’t exact.
How to Use CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia?
Online, you’ll be able to find dozens of websites that advise on how to use CBD oil for fibromyalgia pain. The way people with fibromyalgia should take CBD is the same for anyone. Smoking and vaping provide “immediate relief that lasts up to three hours.”³ However, this isn’t an option for patients with respiratory issues.
CBD also comes in oil or tincture format. These products let users consume CBD orally and blend it with their favorite foods to disguise the earthy taste. Moreover, they usually come with a dropper that makes dosage easier than when smoking flowers. This method takes around 30 minutes to take effect, and it’ll give 4 to 5 hours of relief.
There’s also a wide range of CBD-infused edibles that’ll make taking CBD tastier. Among these, we have cookies, chocolates, candies, sodas, energy drinks, and the ever-famous CBD gummies. Pills and gel capsules are also widely available. Moreover, these products can come with other ingredients, such as caffeine or chamomile, to help you rise and shine in the morning or have sweet dreams at night.
Finally, for those afraid of ingesting CBD directly, topicals and beauty products administer CBD dermally. These products are also combined with other components for different uses, like reducing inflammation or hydrating your skin. These products take the most time to make an effect. Nevertheless, they last longer. To know more about CBD Dosage, Click here.
Other Benefits of CBD Oil
Although we’ve talked mainly about CBD for fibromyalgia, this amazing oil has other benefits. The most famous is, undoubtedly, reducing seizures in children. This was shown nationwide through the testimonies of Charlotte Figi’s family. However, there are many more uses for CBD.
Hemp extract is excellent at treating mental disorders such as anxiety and PTSD. Studies in veterans have proven its jaw-dropping results. People who suffer from substance abuse disorders can also find comfort in CBD oil. Finally, recent research suggests that CBD oil is beneficial for people trying to lose weight as it helps reduce the craving for junk food.
The use of CBD hemp oil is relatively safe. However, some consumers might face some side effects. The most common ones are:
- Low blood pressure;
- Changes in your appetite;
- Weight gain;
- Dry mouth; and
Although side effects are relatively mild, it is advisable to always ask your doctor before taking it. Remember that cannabidiol might also interact with other drugs or supplements you consume. Making an appointment with a doctor specializing in CBD and fibromyalgia treatments is always a wise choice.
The Legality of CBD Oil
In 2018, the Hemp Farming Act legalized the production, manufacturing, sale, and consumption of hemp and CBD. This bill applies to cannabidiol that comes from hemp only. Although this plant is from the cannabis family, it’s different from marijuana. This is because of its low THC levels that cause no psychoactive effects on users. For a cannabis plant to be classified as hemp, THC levels shall not exceed 0.3%.
The Hemp Farming Act legalized hemp on a federal level. Nevertheless, some states have banned cannabis (including hemp and CBD) and punish its consumption by state law. Therefore, it’s essential to know about your state regulations before taking them. What’s more, even the FDA-regulated Epidiolex (a drug that aims at reducing seizures in children) is illegal in these states. This comes to show how these laws affect people in distress.
The Bottom Line
Although fibromyalgia can’t be cured, that doesn’t mean people with it should suffer endlessly. As we write, more research with CBD and its benefits is being sparked by its legalization in new locations. Without a doubt, there’s a lot to take into account before using CBD. However, previous studies and testimonies are very promising, while the mild and rare side effects are far from discouraging. If you’re interested in using CBD oil for treating fibromyalgia, remember to ask your doctor.
- Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, Causes, and treatment
- CBD for fibromyalgia: Does it work, and is it safe?
- Your Ultimate Guide to Using CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia
Carlos B. graduated from Oxford in 2014 after pursuing biological sciences, and his passion has been so much about health and lifestyle. He later quits his career as a health consultant to focus on writing. His love for hemp and endless possibilities, including the practical medicinal functions in making CBD is among the reasons he now writes about it. Carlos is an informative writer that delivers timely content about hemp, its uses, and its potentials of hemp. He enjoys his leisure time visiting the people suffering neurological conditions and advises them on the best practices that can change their lives.