Marijuana for Fibromyalgia?

Is Medical Marijuana Suitable For Fibromyalgia Pain?

 Research into the causes and treatment of fibromyalgia is an incredibly active scientific endeavor.  

With so many fibromyalgia suffers within the United States and across the world, researchers are scrambling to find solutions to this invisible illness. Some of the research is concentrating on a substance called cannabis sativa, which is more commonly known as marijuana.

Fibromyalgia has typically been treated by dietary and lifestyle changes, by avoiding stressful situations, and through the use of certain pharmaceutical drugs. Part of the dilemma of fibromyalgia treatment is that the symptoms that sufferers display are so diverse. That is why broader lifestyle changes that address the full symptom spectrum are common prescriptions. That said, lifestyle changes take a tremendous amount of energy to initiate and maintain, and energy is something that fibromyalgia suffers explicitly lack.

How can medical marijuana help fibromyalgia patients?

 While each symptom that a fibromyalgia sufferer evidences may require its own pharmacological intervention, the benefit of marijuana is that it can have a broad effect on a variety of common issues including pain relief, mood enhancement, anxiety reduction and sleep improvement. 

A 2008 study determined that single doses of Nabilone administered daily significantly decreased symptoms of fibromyalgia. Nabilone contains the same main ingredients as regular marijuana.

A more recent 2011 study claims that fibromyalgia sufferers who self-administered medical marijuana also displayed statistically significant reductions in pain, stiffness, stress, in combination with a boosted sense of personal well-being. Anecdotally, many people who suffer from fibromyalgia attest to the helpful benefits of self-administered medical marijuana.

Is medical marijuana a good option for me?

Marijuana for Fibro Sufferers

  • While marijuana has shown some significant promise, there are a few issues associated with its use. Because there’s so many different strains of marijuana, each batch that you try will likely be somewhat different, potentially varying its effect on your symptoms.
  • Typically, if you are going to use a substance for medicinal purposes, you would want to knowingly administer yourself the exact same substance in the exact amounts, to ensure that you have adequately and effectively medicated yourself. In this sense, the ingestion of marijuana is not an exact science. However, in the case of marijuana, if smoking it provides you some relief, becoming overly scientific about administration methodology is missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.
  • Another dilemma is that at the time of this writing, only 19 of the United States 50 states allow authorized medical personnel to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use. While the medical marijuana movement has gained a lot of momentum in recent years, it can sometimes take a while for governments to take action.
  • A third issue is that, since it is claimed that marijuana will only mask the symptoms of fibromyalgia, there is a risk that patients will come to rely on the drug and quit trying to find a cure for their condition.
  • As we previously mentioned, it takes an intense amount of energy to create the sort of lifestyle changes that can potentially help to treat fibromyalgia in an individual. Marijuana, of course, is notorious for sapping people’s motivational energy.

Final thoughts

There are many people who say that smoking marijuana provides them enough pain and insomnia relief that they actually can become more active. Either way, this is an interesting debate, and much medical research is still required to truly identify the best way to integrate marijuana into a comprehensive treatment plan for fibromyalgia sufferers.