CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia: Is It Effective? A Complete Guide

I have helped work with thousands of people using CBD oil to treat fibromyalgia with good results. In this article, I will share this experience with you.

CBD oil is made from extracting cannabidiol compounds from the cannabis plant. It has a range of therapeutic effects, making it a popular choice for many people seeking natural treatment options over traditional medicine.

CBD is often used for many mental and physical disorders due to its wide-ranging benefits and comfortable use. This includes several chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia.

CBD oil and fibromyalgia

Currently, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia. This highly damaging chronic pain disorder causes many symptoms, including cognitive and mood issues, muscle pain, and fatigue (1).

Because of its long-term nature, most of the treatment options available focus on pain management. However, many of these medications can have a host of adverse side effects and are highly addictive. A natural alternative has emerged in the form of CBD, which has been presented as a natural alternative to improve fibromyalgia patients’ quality of life.

Prevention of fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complex disease. How it arises in individuals can be the result of many different factors, including genetics. However, symptoms often begin after trauma, infection, or significant levels of stress (2). Interestingly, after a physical or mental trauma, people who have post-traumatic stress disorder are also more likely to develop fibromyalgia (3).

CBD has been shown to ease post-traumatic stress symptoms. Some research suggests that taking CBD immediately after a trauma makes it harder for the brain to form memories that may later cause PTSD symptoms. This phenomenon is due to its interaction with several key brain regions (4).

Researchers found that drugs that act on the endocannabinoid system, like CBD, may reduce symptoms of a person with PTSD, including interrupted sleep, anxiety, and nightmares (5).

Fibromyalgia symptoms

The symptoms associated with fibromyalgia include widespread pain, sleep disorders, migraines, and high anxiety levels (6). Luckily, CBD oil’s wide-ranging therapeutic effects make it a great option to ease some of these symptoms.

Researchers investigated a group of people who had fibromyalgia and whether they used cannabis. Just two hours after using cannabis, patients experienced benefits, including reduced stiffness and pain, increased sleepiness, and higher mental health scores (7).

Cannabinoids, like CBD, can interact with a system in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system. When this occurs, signals are sent out via this system, which decrease inflammation and reduce pain (8).

However, many studies investigating CBD’s interaction with fibromyalgia patients have been with the whole cannabis plant, not CBD itself. More research is still needed to explore this relationship, although research so far has been encouraging.

Fibromyalgia treatment

While there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, many types of medications can help control symptoms. In addition to this, gentle forms of exercise and stress-relieving activities may also help (9).

While CBD hasn’t yet been approved as an official treatment option for fibromyalgia, it can be useful to ease several symptoms of fibromyalgia. Using CBD oil alongside other medication forms can significantly improve the patient’s quality of life through treatment.

Researchers investigated this in a famous 2019 Israeli study. Hundreds of fibromyalgia patients took medical cannabis and were observed over six months. While the study used many cannabis strains that contained CBD and THC, researchers concluded that CBD-rich medical cannabis was an effective additional treatment for fibromyalgia (10).

CBD has also been shown to keep stress levels low. When endocannabinoid receptors within the body respond to CBD, relaxation of the body and mind naturally occurs, decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety (11).

How does CBD help with fibromyalgia?

Everyone has an endocannabinoid system within their body. This complex system, consisting of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes, is responsible for many cell processes that contribute to health (12). 

Cannabinoids like CBD can interact with the endocannabinoid system. When this occurs, signals are put out to help reduce feelings of pain and discomfort while also reducing inflammation. This is beneficial for people who have fibromyalgia.

In addition to this, CBD can also interact with serotonin levels. Improving “happy hormone” levels can help decrease feelings of sadness or anxiety often experienced with chronic pain (13).

How to use CBD oil for fibromyalgia

CBD oils usually come in a tincture and are considered one of the most fast-absorbing ways to consume CBD in a product form. Oils can either be applied topically, taken orally in capsules, or dissolved under the tongue.

If you are interested in using CBD oil as a natural option for fibromyalgia treatment, it is recommended to talk to your doctor before trying it out. They will be able to ease any worries you might have about incorporating a new treatment into your regime and advise whether CBD is the best option for your needs.

When starting a new CBD product, it is essential to start slow, especially if you have never taken CBD products before. Ideally, your body will adjust to the CBD pretty quickly. However, everyone is different. So, starting with a small amount at first and working your way up over time is a great way to get your body to adjust to a new product slowly!

CBD side effects

CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated. However, some have experienced minimal side effects. These include weight and appetite changes, fatigue, and dizziness (14).

It is good to talk to your doctor if side effects worsen or if you worry about CBD’s interaction with any additional medication you may be taking.

The bottom line

While research investigating CBD’s effects on fibromyalgia is still in the early stages, some studies show optimistic results. In particular, CBD plays a useful role in treating fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain and mood disorders.

CBD is generally well-tolerated, but side effects can occur. Because fibromyalgia is a serious condition, talking to your doctor before CBD use is recommended.

If you would like to speak to a professional about using CBD oil and medicinal cannabis, you can book in with us.

If you are looking to buy CBD oil, please access our dispensary. 

MBChB (Otago), BSc (Auckland) - As our tele-medicine doctor and author, Dr. Waseem keeps busy educating both patients and doctors about medicinal cannabis. He also consults with people from all over New Zealand, offering a listening ear and giving the most relevant advice.

2 thoughts on “CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia: Is It Effective? A Complete Guide

  1. Todd Cuttance says:

    Looking for something for my partner to help with her fibromyalgia(10+years).
    She has tried all the medications that doctors can supply but the side effects are too strong for her to take them so I’m researching CBD for her.
    I was wondering what a trial would cost,(or range inc dr appointments) and the length of time it needs to be taken before she would be able to get a good idea on its effectiveness for her.

    Thanks for any help that you can provide.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Todd, thanks for the question. We would love to get a chance to try help your partner. Fibromyalgia cannot be seen or appreciated as much as the person going through it. I would suggest a 1-2 week trial of CBD oil. A product that lasts that long is under $100. However, for most of our fibromyalgia patients, we have found adding in a night time dose of THC is more effective as well. The consultations start at $99. The CBD oil would cost $79 – $200 and a THC bottle $195. However, with both products, we should get it lasting 2 months, if not longer. Hope this helps.

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