OCT 21, 2021 2:21 PM PDT

Cannabis as a Prospective Treatment for Fibromyalgia? - Emerging Evidence

Fibromyalgia is a common disease impacting millions of adults in the United States. The condition can be extremely debilitating, causing pervasive bodily pain, trouble sleeping, and depression. Due to its poorly understood pathophysiology, the disease is challenging to treat and usually involves a combination of medication and lifestyle modifications. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved a handful of drugs such as certain antidepressant and anticonvulsive medications for the treatment of fibromyalgia; however, they may not be particularly effective, and in fact, are not approved by the European Medicine Agency. Due to the mysterious nature of fibromyalgia, patients can go years and see multiple doctors before receiving a correct diagnosis. This can make the disease very costly from a financial perspective as well. One of the hypotheses regarding the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia involves the dysfunction of pain modulatory systems such as the endocannabinoid system. Although this theory is far from conclusive, it has led many to postulate that cannabis could be helpful for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

In August 2021, a systematic review of available studies was published examining whether cannabis can help manage fibromyalgia. This review looked at 22 studies, including systematic reviews and randomized clinical trials. Although the results of selected studies were mixed, some demonstrated that cannabis could improve quality of life, promote better sleep, and reduce symptoms in those with fibromyalgia. Earlier studies have also shown the efficacy of cannabis for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

In 2019, the results of a prospective cohort study involving 367 participants were published. The study demonstrated that cannabis significantly reduced pain intensity and improved quality of life for fibromyalgia patients after six months of cannabis treatment. This study was significant given the extended follow-up period and large cohort size, which controlled for major limitations of other trials investigating cannabis as a treatment for fibromyalgia.

Although additional randomized controlled trials will be needed to clearly establish cannabis as an efficacious and safe treatment for fibromyalgia, the results of available studies are promising. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has put an additional physical and mental strain on those suffering from this condition due to influences such as social isolation. Taken together, the lack of efficacious treatments for fibromyalgia, present life stressors we face, and promising results of available literature, the continued exploration of cannabis as a treatment for fibromyalgia is most certainly worthwhile.  

 

Sources: Cureus, Journal of Clinical Medicine

About the Author
  • Dr. Christopher DiMaio is a Science Writer at Labroots. He received his MD from Penn State College of Medicine in 2014. His academic and professional interests include Neuroscience, Behavioral health, Immunology, and Healthcare improvement, among others. He is an active part of his community.
You May Also Like
JUN 08, 2021
Health & Medicine
THC Level in Body Fluids Is Not a Good Marker of Impairment
JUN 08, 2021
THC Level in Body Fluids Is Not a Good Marker of Impairment
It’s not easy to tell how impaired a person will be based on how much THC they have in their body a study has foun ...
JUN 11, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Does Cannabis Interact with the COVID Vaccine?
JUN 11, 2021
Does Cannabis Interact with the COVID Vaccine?
As of June 10th 2021, 43% of people in the US aged 12 and over have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with 5 ...
AUG 21, 2021
Health & Medicine
Teenage Cannabis Link to Poorer Birth Outcomes Two Decades Later
AUG 21, 2021
Teenage Cannabis Link to Poorer Birth Outcomes Two Decades Later
A new study suggests that females and males who were frequent users of cannabis while teenagers are more likely to becam ...
SEP 30, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Concerning New Evidence Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
SEP 30, 2021
Concerning New Evidence Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
According to data from a National Vital Statistics Report published in March 2021, the percentage of infants born with a ...
NOV 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Advances in Medical Cannabis for Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder
NOV 05, 2021
Advances in Medical Cannabis for Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder
Encouraging clinical evidence has recently sparked an emerging interest in the use of CBD-enriched medical cannabis as a ...
NOV 19, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Topical CBD Reverses UV-Induced Changes in Skin
NOV 19, 2021
Topical CBD Reverses UV-Induced Changes in Skin
Results from a new study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports suggest that topical application of cannabidiol ...
Loading Comments...