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cbd oil for fibromyalgia

Potential Benefits of CBD for Fibromyalgia

In recent years, CBD has gained a considerable reputation as a medicinal supplement that may
bear therapeutic properties, stimulating an interest in the ways in which it could be useful to
those who experience chronic physical pain. There are a number of underlying medical causes of
pain, but no matter the root cause, all incidences can have a detrimental impact on a sufferer’s
quality of life and ability to function. Those who experience severe chronic pain and find little
relief in modern medicine may seek alternative means of treating their symptoms. As CBD
transcends its former taboo status and stigma as a novelty substance or recreational drug, and
becomes a more mainstream commodity on the natural health market, curiosity continues to
grow about it and its potential benefits for those impacted by pain in their daily lives.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a common affliction that affects many people, primarily women. It is a chronic
disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. In this condition, neurotransmitters
are activated by inflammation in the body and send pain signals to the brain. People affected by
fibromyalgia tend to be hypersensitive to pain due to abnormal pain perception processing. In
addition to chronic and widespread physical pain, it also causes emotional and mental distress in
sufferers. This condition affects roughly 2% of the U.S. population. There is no known cure, and
the only relief from symptoms is through pain management. (1)

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include the following:

  • Pain and stiffness
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Neurological problems (concentration and memory loss, difficulty with thinking)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep disorders and insomnia
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Pain in the jaw (temporomandibular syndrome)
  • Digestive problems (irritable bowel syndrome) (1)

potential benefits of cbd for fibromyalgia

Treatment of Fibromyalgia-related Symptoms

There are traditional treatment methods for managing symptoms and pain caused by or affiliated
with fibromyalgia. Depending on the severity of a patient’s case and their symptoms, a
combination of treatments may be implemented for maximum relief.

  • Prescription medications and over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Stress management with yoga, meditation and massage
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (1)

These are all prescribed and intended to alleviate the symptomatic pain and discomfort caused by
fibromyalgia. For patients that suffer from intolerable pain, these treatments are often either
inadequate, ineffective with extended use and increased tolerance, or avoided for personal
reasons. For example, some people may abstain from taking pharmaceutical drugs (opioids and
antidepressants) for fear of becoming chemically dependent, or due to undesirable side effects
such as nausea. In fact, generic painkillers such as ibuprofen are not generally recommended for
treatment of symptoms related to fibromyalgia. (2)

This is why some diagnosed with the condition begin seeking alternative methods, with or
without their physician’s guidance. Medical cannabis and CBD-based therapy is one option that
is becoming more popular in people who want to explore other treatment options for pain

The Emergence of CBD

Cannabidiol or CBD has piqued the interest of researchers for its perceived influence on the
endocannabinoid system, and how it may impact the body’s ability to regulate the experience of

chronic pain. CBD oil is a manmade by-product of CBD—one of over 100 cannabinoids that
naturally occur in the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is the second-most primary chemical
compound, the first being THC. An abbreviated term for tetrahydrocannabinol, this is the
chemical that is known to cause psychoactive effects such as euphoria, or "brain fog" if ingested.
When THC is removed, CBD in its isolated form is thought to have a sedating or calming effect
on the mind and body, without causing any sort of intoxication or mental impairment. Side
effects such as sleepiness are common but not considered disadvantageous to the consumer. (3)

The Endocannabinoid System and its Functions

Studies conducted on the body’s endocannabinoid system have indicated a possible correlation
between CBD oil and minimization or desensitization of pain. The endocannabinoid system is
comprised of three main components:

  • Receptors
  • Enzymes
  • Endocannabinoids

These all play a role in some of the body’s vital functions, which include but may not be limited

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Metabolism
  • Cognitive abilities and memory
  • Immune system responses (namely inflammation)
  • Chronic pain
  • Cardiovascular system function
  • Motor control (mobility)
  • Reproductive function
  • Bone and muscle growth
  • Skin function
  • Nerve function
  • Liver function

These all contribute to the body’s homeostasis and overall well-being. When this is knocked off-
balance, the body goes into action in attempt to restore it. (3)

How CBD Oil May Impact the Experience of Pain

The potential analgesic effects of cannabidiol are explained by the body’s cannabinoid receptors,
CB1 and CB2, and how they function in the central and peripheral nervous system. Both
endocannabinoid receptors are believed to be involved in motor control, inflammation, and pain,
in addition to many other functions. Research indicates they are also thought to help mediate and
suppress pain signals. When nerve endings sense and transmit fewer or weaker pain signals, the
body experiences less pain than it normally would in response to internal inflammation and
damage. (3)(4)

CBD has been studied for its chemical influence on these receptors with its potential anti-
inflammatory properties, and how this may result in decreased pain. More clinical research and
conclusive evidence is needed to substantiate these theories, but the results so far based on
scientific hypotheses, informal research, and public opinion have been optimistic. This is
especially encouraging for those who suffer and are seeking alternative treatment methods to
cope with symptoms of fibromyalgia—not just for chronic pain but for the mental and
psychological toll it can takes, including disordered sleep, anxiety, and depression.

potential benefits of cbd for fibromyalgia

Methods of Administering CBD

CBD products are available in a variety of forms, so users can select the type that best suits them.
Top quality and authentic products all contain the same base ingredient—CBD. The compound is
extracted from the cannabis sativa plant, and is then processed in different ways. This typically
entails diluting the CBD extract with a carrier oil like coconut, avocado, or hemp seed oil.
Another type of product is CBD tincture, which is manufactured by soaking cannabis in alcohol.
It can be applied topically, consumed orally, or inhaled. (5)

The most commonly known and consumed CBD products are:

  • Capsules
  • Edibles, such as gummies or candies
  • Transdermal patches
  • Lotions, balms, and ointments
  • Vaping oils

All of the products listed above can be found and purchased from an abundant number of
sources, but the manufacturing processes used to make these products are varied and loosely
regulated. Not all manufacturers and retailers are ethical, reliable or legitimate. There are
industry-specific terms to look for on labels when assessing the authenticity and quality of a
product. Broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate are used to produce what are considered to be
the best CBD oils. These have been chemically processed to remove some or all other chemical
compounds except for CBD. They generally contain zero THC or at most, .03%, which is the
maximum amount of THC that CBD oil can contain to be considered legitimate and legal for
purchase and use. Full-spectrum CBD is the least-processed form, containing all its original
chemicals including THC.

Modern-day Status of CBD in the Medical Field

While the FDA has approved the use of CBD for seizures related to epilepsy, it hasn’t been
approved for medicinal use in regards to fibromyalgia or other health conditions causing chronic
pain. CBD is federally legal but still considered a food supplement, rather than a regulated
medicinal substance. This hasn’t been an impediment to fast-growing curiosity, nor has it
prevented many people from exploring and experimenting with using medical cannabis and CBD
oil as a pain management tool.

Scientific studies on the possible analgesic benefits of CBD with regard to fibromyalgia
symptoms have been limited for various reasons, but there are hopeful expectations for more
research on the horizon. Studying CBD and its effects has been challenging for the scientific
world, due to the ever-changing legal status of CBD and marijuana. In the past, studies have also
been hindered by:

  • Limited access to high-quality CBD
  • Inconsistent or inconclusive research findings
  • Lack of placebo use
  • Lack of potency and dosage control
  • Lack of objectivity among research participants

Despite a lack of concrete evidence, historical data from research suggests that CBD oil may
have potential as a therapeutic treatment for chronic pain and inflammation caused by
fibromyalgia, and many medical practitioners agree it’s certainly worth exploring further. (6)


While CBD does seem to have promising results in some users, it’s crucial to understand that
any claims and statements made in favor or promotion of CBD should not be assumed to be
scientifically supported or factual. CBD is not yet approved by the FDA as a medical treatment
of any sort, and CBD oil products are not intended to be used as part of the formal diagnosis,
treatment or cure of any illness or disease. Always take precautions when exploring the use of an
alternative product such as CBD, and consult with a physician or medical provider before
introducing any new supplement into your daily routine.

1. “Fibromyalgia”, Source: https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm
2. “Medication for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia”, Source:
3. “A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System”, Source:
4. “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain”, Source:
5. “What are the top CBD oils?”, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-cbd-oil
6. “How can CBD help with Fibromyalgia?”, Source:


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