Getting high on marijuana may relieve the different pains caused by fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition whereby the patient suffers widespread muscle and joint pain. It is a chronic disease and pain relief is key for those who suffer from it.
People with fibromyalgia tend to lead a painful life and would do anything to get rid of the pain.
The causes for fibromyalgia are still not yet known and thereby many researchers recommend various treatments for the pain one suffers due to Fibromyalgia.
Apart from the various methods to relieve pain for those with fibromyalgia, one controversial relief comes from marijuana.
It is reported that patients with fibromyalgia have used marijuana therapeutically to treat the symptoms.
What is Medicinal Marijuana?
Medicinal marijuana refers to using the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat a disease or symptom.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine as of now.
Therefore, the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has since been controversial.
It is believed that the marijuana plant contains chemicals that may help treat a range of illnesses or symptoms and many people argue that it should be legal for medical purposes.
A person with fibromyalgia suffers pains all over the body. There are various types of symptoms.
These include anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, sleep problems and numbness, and tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs.
It has been reported that marijuana can relieve some of those pains significantly.
Can marijuana treat Fibromyalgia?
Marijuana appears to be somewhat effective for the treatment of chronic pain and since fibromyalgia patients suffer from chronic pain, many have resorted to using marijuana to reduce the pains caused by fibromyalgia.
According to a survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation in 2014, out of 1300 patients, more than 390 participants had used cannabis to treat Fibromyalgia.
Of this, 62 percent reported cannabis as “very effective” for their pains, while 33 percent reported that it “helped a little”. Only 5 percent of the respondents said it did not help at all.
The survey also revealed that 60 to 68 percent of the respondents reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications like the Cymbalta, Lyrica, or Savella “did not help at all” while only a handful of the respondents (8-10 percent) reported that these drugs were “very effective”.
Likewise, many small clinical trials or studies found out that the use of medicinal marijuana for fibromyalgia helped the patients significantly reduce their pains.
The National Institutes of health also carried out another study that aimed to describe patterns of marijuana use and the associated benefits reported by patients with fibromyalgia who used marijuana.
It revealed that the fibromyalgia patients who used marijuana felt the reduction of pain and stiffness, enhancement of relaxation, and an increase in somnolence and feeling of well being just two hours after its use
The study used 28 candidates each for users and non-users of marijuana. The 28 non-users did not report any significant differences.
The study concluded that the use of marijuana was associated with beneficial effects on some fibromyalgia symptoms.
It was therefore concluded that medical marijuana is far more effective at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia than any of the three prescription drugs approved by the to treat the disorder.
How does medicinal marijuana work?
Even though the use of medicinal marijuana has been controversial, this plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many traditions and cultures.
For example, a Chinese Emperor back in 2000 BC known as Shen-Nun described marijuana’s ability to diminish pain and inflammation and noted that it undoes rheumatism (an antiquated term for fibromyalgia).
The human body releases various chemicals that affect pain inflammation; marijuana can help these chemicals work better. Marijuana is very effective as a pain reliever for many pain conditions.
Medicinal marijuana can be used in many different ways. It can be:
- Vaporized (heated until active ingredients are released, but no smoke is formed)
- Eaten (usually in the form of cookies or candy)
- Taken as a liquid extract
Side effects and Risks
One should also be aware of its side effects and risks in using marijuana for fibromyalgia or other medicinal purposes. There are many side effects and risks marijuana poses.
These include Dizziness, Drowsiness, Short-term memory loss, and Euphoria. There are also different types of risks that include while taking marijuana.
One should always get approval or a prescription from a doctor to use medicinal marijuana.
A person with heart disease or pregnant woman or people with a history of psychosis should never take medicinal marijuana.
For example, patients who want to try medical marijuana for fibromyalgia will find it difficult to find a trained or professional who could recommend the right dosage and the way to use it.
Some know but they are often into more recreational use than medicinal use.
Therefore, one should be very careful while getting recommendations from people who say they are professionals.
Some Important tips in using marijuana for fibromyalgia
- Consult your doctor before using marijuana
- Educate yourself on the use of medicinal marijuana
- Start with low dosages
- Avoid smoking marijuana, instead consider edibles or tinctures
- Do not use marijuana every time you feel like
- One should consider timings for the use of medicinal marijuana
- Do not use marijuana if you are a heart disease patient or pregnant
Marijuana is an effective remedy for many fibromyalgia patients because it treats a lot of symptoms related to the disease, including pain, insomnia, fatigue, restless leg syndrome, depression, and anxiety.
It is also found that marijuana treatment for fibromyalgia has far fewer risks than traditional painkillers or pain relievers do.
However, according to many experts, there are increased risks of non-serious adverse events in medical marijuana consumers such as headache, nausea, dizziness, somnolence, and respiratory problems associated with smoking.