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Fibromyalgia Patients Finding Relief With Cannabis

Another study has indicated that medical cannabis (MC) could have potential in managing the impacts of fibromyalgia. And it seems plenty of patients are already using it.

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a relatively common condition, impacting approximately 2.7% of the global population. FMS is characterised by pain and tenderness throughout the body; along with fatigue, cognitive issues and sleeping problems. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men.

With limited conventional treatment options available, some patients have turned to cannabis in the hope of finding relief and better managing the condition.

Researchers associated with Mayo Clinic surveyed a cohort of 1,336 patients with fibromyalgia and found nearly half of the participants reported cannabis use since their diagnosis. Of this group, 82% reported improvement in pain symptoms following cannabis use. Furthermore, most also noticed improvement in terms of stress/anxiety/depression and sleep disturbances.

Around 35% of patients were using medicines that were THC dominant and 34% a THC-CBD mixture. Daily dosing wasn’t constant in 62% of the patients.

The researchers noted benefits don’t appear to be short-lived, citing another study indicating improvement in pain and quality of life of patients with FMS even a year after starting medicinal cannabis treatment.

While the results are encouraging and offer some hope to fibromyalgia patients, the study authors state it is important to be cautious. This is due to issues including potential recall bias, a lack of data relating to cannabis use before diagnosis and the use of different dosages and compositions of medicinal cannabis.

“In summary, whereas using MC alongside other treatments of fibromyalgia seems to be a promising and available option in difficult-to-treat disease at least in some countries, it is crucial to be careful. More solid evidence from larger studies is required to ensure the safe use of MC.”

Among other studies currently under way is one being run at Australia’s Southern Cross University, delving into the efficacy of medicinal cannabis in reducing fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms. However, that is a small study only involving a few dozen patients.

The full May Clinic report can be viewed here. Mayo Clinic also has a general fact sheet on fibromyalgia here.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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