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New cannabis and fibromyalgia trial



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Taking plant-derived, THC-rich cannabis oil is effective and well-tolerated among patients with fibromyalgia, according to new data.

A study by Brazilian scientists trialled the effectiveness of THC-rich cannabis oil versus placebo in patients with fibromyalgia for eight weeks. People in the cannabis group received 3.6 drops a day (4.4 mg of THC and 0.08 mg of CBD); and this dosing led to an “extended significant reduction” in subjects’ symptoms, as assessed by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ).

Patients receiving placebo did not experience similar reductions.

The researchers said: “The impact of the intervention on quality of life in the cannabis group participants was evident, resulting in reports of well-being and more energy for activities of daily living. Pain attacks were also reduced.

“To our knowledge, this is the first randomised controlled trial to demonstrate the benefit of cannabis oil – a THC-rich whole plant extract – on symptoms and on [the] quality of life of people with fibromyalgia.

“We conclude that phytocannabinoids can be a low-cost and well-tolerated therapy for symptom relief and quality of life improvement in these patients, and we suggest that this therapy could be included as an herbal medicine option for the treatment of this condition in the Brazilian public health system.”

Previous such studies include that of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Twenty patients with fibromyalgia took different types of medical cannabis which had varying levels of CBD and THC, with results showing that Bediol, which is high in both CBD and THC, reduced pain in most subjects significantly.

It also helped treat the mental symptoms; but researchers were not able to conclude if it was the CBD or the THC which was causing this relief.

Further studies from both Spain and Israel have shown that taking cannabis and cannabis related medicines reduce pain, but again these pieces of research were not able to isolate which compound was causing these effects.