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One third of fibromyalgia patients use CBD – study



CBD can help relieve some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia

More than a third of fibromyalgia patients are using CBD to help manage symptoms, according to a new survey in the US.

An estimated one-third of patients with fibromyalgia reported using cannabidiol for symptom management, according to survey data published this month.

Investigators at the University of Michigan Medical School surveyed over 2,700 patients – mostly from the United States – with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia about their use of CBD. 

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they were current consumers of CBD, with consumers generally reporting turning to CBD because they had experienced inadequate relief from conventional medications. 

The results, published in the Journal of Pain found that patients were most likely to report using CBD for pain management and anxiety, as well as for improving sleep. 

The majority of consumers reported some degree of efficacy associated with CBD, with reporting “slight to much improvement across symptom domains”.

While two-thirds of participants disclosed their CBD use to their doctor, only 33 percent asked them for advice on using CBD. 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome, characterised by widespread, severe musculoskeletal pain and fatigue.

It is the second most common rheumatological condition in the world, thought to affect five to seven per cent of the global population and predominantly women. 

A number of studies have examined the efficacy of CBD and medical cannabis on fibromyalgia symptoms.

In a 2020 study of 102 patients, participants were prescribed two oil-diluted cannabis extracts and assessed periodically over six months, using standard fibromyalgia scoring techniques.

The use of the CBD was associated with a marked reduction of use of traditional painkillers; analgesic treatment was reduced or suspended in 47 per cent of the patients.

However, researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School concluded: “This article indicates that CBD use is common among people with fibromyalgia, and the results suggest that many derive benefit from using CBD across multiple symptoms domains. 

“Clinicians should discuss CBD use with fibromyalgia patients, and future studies are needed to rigorously assess CBD’s therapeutic value for fibromyalgia symptoms.”

Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol use for fibromyalgia: Prevalence of use and perceptions of effectiveness in a large online survey,” appears in The Journal of Pain. 

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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