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Anyone suffering from fibromyalgia knows how devastating it can be. However, now cannabis seems like a potential medical alternative for various medical conditions.
Only a decade ago, many doctors believed fibromyalgia wasn’t real. And even now many patients battle finding suitable and knowledgeable doctors. But with the new craze of cannabis, it’s no surprise patients are flocking towards it for relief. With no set treatment and no confirmed cure or understanding, the battle for pain management is long overdue. Amazingly enough, patients were looking for a way to control their medication and now cannabis has covered that option too.
For many suffering from it, or immediate close to someone knows exactly how painful, nauseating and debilitating it can be. Simple chores like laundry or make your kids breakfast can be draining. And that is if you are lucky enough to get out of bed! So, with no cure, fibro patients have been using heavy medications, diets, acupuncture, and behavioural therapy to help relieve symptoms. But now there is a better oil option: Marijuana.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is the second most common condition affecting your bones, muscles and nerves. Sadly it is very misunderstood and misdiagnosed by doctors and medical professionals. As of current, there is no cure but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to find relief. Most find a regiment of medication, exercise, and healthy eating help to ease symptoms. Meanwhile, still suffering high amounts of pain.
Fibromyalgia includes widespread chronic pain, fatigue, brain fog and mood changes. The main issue is that it is not one single disease but yet a massive amount of conditions and symptoms that become unmanageable. Although it is not life threatening it can be life inhibiting.
Research shows that different factors may contribute to this disease. In addition, an infectious illness, physical trauma, emotional trauma or hormonal changes may trigger the development of generalized pain. Furthermore, this may lead to fatigue and sleep disturbances that characterize the condition.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia has seen its fair share of controversy over the years. In fact, it’s only in the last decade or so that doctors have come to recognize it within the medical industry. Regardless, fibromyalgia is very much a real condition and its symptoms can have a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life.
Some classify it as a neurological disorder and some classify it as a chronic pain disorder. This may be why so many doctors still do not have the answer. Moreover, genetics, infections and trauma can be potential triggers.
Interestingly, a study published by Europe PMC found a correlation between fibromyalgia and deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a biological system stimulated by the cannabinoids found in cannabis. Furthermore, while the cause of fibromyalgia is widely debated, many neurologists and pharmacologists have studied cannabis and the endocannabinoid system. They have theorized that fibromyalgia could be related to a Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD).
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system is a communications network referring to a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules. It sends communications between your brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. The primary goal of the ECS is homeostasis. Essentially, it is helping your body maintain a stable internal environment.
Typical Fibromyalgia Treatment
Treating fibromyalgia can be quite complicated and can vary from patient to patient. Since more of the cause is unknown it tends to be a roll of dice to find out what really works. Many lean towards change in diet, exercise, anti-depressants, pain relievers, seizure drugs, therapy and numerous hours of sleep. For the majority, many of these prescription drug options are ineffective and led to other complications.
In the complicated or extended cases, opioids are used in approximately 30% of cases, with a positive effect on pain, but carry an incredible amount of dangers and addictive side effects.
Marijuana As An Effective Treatment
Fibromyalgia is a complicated and confusing disorder. And while there are many options that help ease or diminish the symptoms, its rare patients find relief. However, with the new rise in legal medical marijuana, patients are turning to marijuana as an answer. And studies show it’s working!
Fibromyalgia patients can supplement their existing treatment with medical cannabis to reduce the severity of symptoms. This is not removing any sort of therapy or exercise but merely replacing the hard pharmaceuticals and opioids that were creating further issues. Evidence has shown that medical cannabis is incredibly effective at alleviating chronic pain without the dependence or overdose as opioid-based medication.
In addition, medical cannabis has been found to regulate sleep. For nearly all fibro sufferers sleep is a big issue for healing and brain fog. Lack of sleep and disruptive sleep has to lead to further issues for the muscles and joints. Depending on the dose and concentration of cannabinoids, cannabis can stimulate the mind and allow for a deeper uninterrupted sleep.
So, medical cannabis can’t cure fibromyalgia but it can potentially reduce the severity of symptoms.
What Strains Will Work?
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to show that cannabis is certainly providing much-needed relief to many of those willing to experiment. Most importantly, find a strain that works for you or one of the following. Fibromyalgia patients can also find relief from CBD, topicals, edibles and oils.
Blue Dream: Blueberry x Haze
Blue Dream is known for high levels of relaxing and uplifting effects This strain is known for its CBG levels, a cannabinoid known to reduce inflammation and fight insomnia. With high levels of THC, this strain creates a mellow relaxing body high leaving you warm, numb, and completely pain-free. Blue Dream also has a delicious aroma of sweet blueberry pie and a taste of sugary sweet blueberries making it a delicious symptom reliever.
Type: Sativa-Dominant Hybrid
Relief: Pain, depression, stress, fatigue, hyperactivity, and lack of appetite.
Impact: energetic, creative, uplifting, relaxing, euphoric and happy.
Content: THC: 17-24%, CBD: 0.1-2%, CBN: 1%
Critical Mass: Afghani x Skunk #1
Critical Mass is a heavy indica strain with full body effects that radiate a body high. This strain helps to release the pain and stress and can be even better when enhanced with CBD. It is literally the perfect medicine to deliver a potent body-numbing buzz that can make users feel lazy and sedated. Nevertheless, Critical Mass has strong, complex aromas with large and heavy yielding bud. In addition, it isn’t just a pain deliver but thought-provoking and nearly psychedelic.
Type: Indica-Dominant Hybrid
Relief: Pain, depression, fatigue, IBS, inflammation, nausea, stress, insomnia, multiple sclerosis and battles with cancer.
Impact: happy, euphoric, relaxed, sleepy, and hungry.
Content: THC: 15-22%, CBD: 0.7-5%, CBN: unknown