Fibromyalgia is a chronic rheumatic disorder where there is the presence of musculoskeletal pain throughout the body. Along with the pain experienced, it is accompanied by other symptoms such as the difficulty of sleeping, fatigue, mood, and memory issues. Studies show that the brains of people who have fibromyalgia are unable to process the pain signals normally…that’s were CBD comes in handy…
What You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a common chronic pain disorder in the U.S. and the world. It affects roughly 10 million in the U.S. alone, and 3-6% in the whole world. What causes fibromyalgia? Unfortunately, the cause is unknown.
Although some may mistake it as an autoimmune disorder because of similar symptoms, it is not an autoimmune disorder because there is no inflammation in fibromyalgia.
In the present, FDA named three drugs as the treatment of choice for fibromyalgia, these are Duloxetine (an antidepressant), Milnacipran (antidepressant), and Pregabalin (an anti-seizure medication). Since it has no known causes, it also has no known cure.
That’s why doctors do not prescribe only one medicine to manage the symptoms, and it’s going to be a cocktail or combination of medications to alleviate the symptoms.  Other physicians may prescribe medicines that are not used to control fibromyalgia symptoms.
Even though the three medications are considered the drugs of choice to manage fibromyalgia symptoms, some patients questioned their efficiency. This is because the pain is still unmanageable, and the side effects of these medications are unpleasant.
Health experts opted for a more natural way to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia using CBD products.
What You Need to Know About Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol (CBD) are extracts derived from cannabis plants that do not cause the state of euphoria as compared to the other chemical byproduct of cannabis plants called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive feeling and produces a high in recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, CBD oils are for medical purposes that do not create euphoria.
The best CBD oils play a role to activate the serotonin receptors in the body; as a result, the benefits are:
- Maintain normal body temperature
- Pain relief
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Improve sleep patterns
- Antipsychotic effects 
That is why doctors turn into CBD as an alternative treatment for fibromyalgia because of the benefits it produces to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Patients who have used CBD had positive experiences and could attest to a better way of living.
Since they started the treatment, there were little or no unpleasant side effects experienced as compared to the drugs traditionally prescribed for Fibromyalgia patients.
Does CBD Manage the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD oil may control the symptoms experienced by some patients who have fibromyalgia. Since chronic pain disorder is characterized by the brain’s inability to process pain signals, anecdotal data shows that CBD has the potential to change the way the brain could handle it.
The microglia (a type of cell found in the brain and spinal cord) plays a significant role in the symptoms of fibromyalgia. When microglial cells are activated, it triggers the inflammation, then signals the transmission of pain.
The CB2 receptors located at the peripheral nervous system are responsible for the inflammation and immune response of the body.
Once the CB2 receptors are activated using CBD products, it doesn’t result in a state of intoxication or euphoria as compared to the results triggered by recreational marijuana containing high amounts of THC.
CBD Effects on Inflammation
According to the Swiss Journal, the CB2 receptors may benefit the functions of microglial cells. The research stated that the effects of CB2 receptors could result in a positive result when addressing inflammation issues.
A published journal in 2015 in chemistry even stated that CBD products have therapeutic effects on inflammation. Additional anecdotal data suggests that CBD use stimulates the brain’s cell repair and neuroprotective properties.
That is why the use of CBD for patients who have fibromyalgia is considered because it may improve their brain function, thus targeting the symptoms of the chronic disorder. CBD oil can also eliminate depression and anxiety by boosting the signals of anandamide neurotransmitters (responsible for a balanced mood).
A clinical trial conducted in 2012 “Translational Psychiatry” suggests that CBD eases the body’s inflammation and also helps in reducing neuropathic pain caused by malfunctioned and damaged nerves. Neuropathic pain is one of the most common symptoms of patients who have fibromyalgia.
In addition to neuropathic pain, people who have fibromyalgia also have difficulty falling and remaining asleep. “Epilepsy Research,” a published study conducted in March 2019, suggests that one big dose of CBD promoted sleep amongst 30% of the study’s participants with epilepsy that is resistant to any kind of treatment.
CBD for Sleep Problems
Another clinical experiment conducted with healthy individuals with one big dose of CBD resulted in not having a change in the wake and sleep cycle. Though more research is needed to back this claim, CBD oil has helped some of the patients suffering from lack of sleep because of fibromyalgia.
CBD for Anxiety and Depression
Inevitably, conditions that include chronic musculoskeletal pain is always accompanied by depression and anxiety. 80% of chronic pain sufferers co-exist with anxiety and depression, which is especially true for patients with fibromyalgia. CBD also showed promising results in depression and anxiety for chronic pain patients.
A study conducted in 2017 where participants were given 300 mg orally showed promising results and a significant drop in cortisol levels, thus reducing depression and anxiety.
How Long Does CBD Take Effect?
Remember that each individual has a different reaction time and effectiveness regarding the use of CBD oil. It may work for some, and it may not work for others. The effects may be noticed in a few weeks; for others, it may be months.
So there is no definite answer to this as results may differ in each individual. Here are some factors to be considered when taking note of the time of the effectivity of CBD products:
- State of Health: To give you an idea, for a healthy person experiencing migraine, headaches, or muscle soreness, it takes 30 minutes up to one hour to experience pain relief after using CBD oil.
- Type of Pain: As mentioned above, the results were witnessed in a shorter period because these are just minor pains. But when it comes to chronic pain experienced by Fibromyalgia patients, it’s a whole lot different story. For severe conditions like neuropathic pain, the effects of CBD can be seen for one up to three weeks to take effect.
- Mode of Administration of CBD products: It will depend on how fast the CBD will enter the bloodstream and take effect since CBD products have different methods of administration. CBD oils are available in the form of capsules, topicals, and creams.
For some people, the effects of CBD oils may not be witnessed immediately. But as they say, patience is a virtue and think of it as long-term management for pain. The results may not be seen overnight, but with dedicated and committed CBD intake, it will be worth it.
That is why patients are educated by their healthcare providers to religiously stick to the alternative treatment even when effects are not felt immediately. Do not get discouraged and always think about the positive long-term results.
Research on the Effects of CBD in Fibromyalgia Patients
In addition to the chronic musculoskeletal pain felt by patients who have fibromyalgia, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and insomnia are also experienced.
It is most common in women, and research is still ongoing because there is no known cure, and the cause remains unknown. Since there’s no cure discovered (yet), it is focused on pain management to improve the way of life of these patients.
Since CBD is known to reduce chronic pain and inflammation, it is a known alternative treatment for fibromyalgia. As compared to taking prescription medicines that contain opioid additives, which can have addictive properties.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any CDB as a form of treatment for fibromyalgia. However, CBD-derived prescription medicine called Epidiolex was approved by the FDA for epilepsy treatment. As of date, it is the only CBD-based drug approved and regulated by the FDA. 
Positive effects may be witnessed for some patients, and some research can back up this claim. However, more studies on humans are needed to back-up the claims that CBD may be a treatment option for fibromyalgia.
Studies on CBD
In 2009 a research concluded that CBD has similar effects on other pain medications when it comes to relieving neuropathic pain.
Then in 2011, 56 patients with fibromyalgia (mostly women) were divided into two groups. The 1st group with 28 participants aren’t cannabis users, while the other 28 participants (Group 2) are users of cannabis, with varying doses and usage timing.
After two hours of administering cannabis to the second group, they experienced diminished stiffness, pain, and sleepiness.
2019: Dutch Study
During the 2019 Dutch Study on the effects of CBD on Fibromyalgia, promising results were concluded. Twenty women with chronic pain disorder participated in the study, and each received four different types of cannabis.
- Placebo: With the unspecified amount that does not contain THC or CBD
- Bediol: 200mg with high amounts of THC and CBD
- Bedrolite: 200mg with low amounts of THC and high doses of CBD
- Bedrocan: 100mg with high amounts of THC and low doses of CBD
Of course, they were not informed on which type was given so as not to skew the results. From the study conducted, it was concluded that:
- Placebo: 11 out of 20 patients expressed a 30% reduction in pain.
- Bediol: 18 out of 20 patients experienced a 30% reduction in pain.
- Bediol and Bedrocan (both with high THC contents): Significant results were found as compared to placebo.
- Bedrolite (with low THC content): No evidence was found to relieve pain.
2019: Israel study
The study conducted in Israel had hundreds of participants with people with fibromyalgia. 82% of the participants were women, and they were observed for six months.
Nurses gave advice to the participants taking cannabis. The health teachings included the 14 different strains of cannabis, method of administration, and dosage.
The Israeli Study started with the low dose administration of cannabis. Since the approved median dosage of cannabis is 670mg per day, that was the starting dose. Over time, the dosage was gradually increased.
During the 6th month, the approved dosage increased to 1,000 mg a day. It contains 140mg of THC and 39mg of CBD (both on their median recommended daily dosage). Since there were many different strains of cannabis used, it was difficult for researchers to differentiate the effects of THC and CBD-rich strains.
When the study started, 52.5% of the participants (193 people) experienced high levels of pain. In the 6th month, upon follow-up, only 7.9% (19 participants) who responded still experienced a high level of pain. The rest who responded reported manageable to or no pain levels.
Also, there were limitations in the research because 30% of the participants did not cooperate on the follow-up results. That’sThat’s why the 2019 Israeli Study had a lot of limitations. Despite all this, they were able to conclude that cannabis for medical purposes was seen to be effective in managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
What Experts Have to Say
According to Dr. George Habib (Israeli Rheumatologist, The Co-Author of Journal of Clinical Rheumatology), CBD can be more effective in managing fibromyalgia symptoms compared to Duloxetine and Pregabalin. He investigated medical cannabis and believed in its potential in giving hope for patients diagnosed with chronic pain disorder.
Even Dr. Ginevra Liptan said that many of her patients who combined CBD oil with the use of the traditional medicines reported relief of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, muscle tension, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Dr. Liptan dedicated most of her career to the research of fibromyalgia and is a director of a Fibromyalgia Center located in Portland.
What Kind of CBD Is Best for Patients With Fibromyalgia?
To manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a full-spectrum of CBD oil is the best option. We recommend the Mission Farms Cream because they include goat’s milk as well as a proprietary blend of essential oils which have an “ensemble” effect when treating inflammation and joint pain. Read our Mission Farm CBD Review Here.