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Fibromyalgia patients swap prescription drugs for CBD

Fibromyalgia patients are frequently substituting prescription medications for CBD products



Patients frequently acknowledge substituting CBD products for commonly prescribed drugs such as opioids

Fibromyalgia patients are frequently substituting prescription medications for CBD products, according to a new study.

Findings published in the Journal of Pain, report that patients frequently acknowledge substituting CBD products for opioids, NSAIDS and other commonly prescribed medications.

Researchers with the University of Michigan Medical School surveyed 878 fibromyalgia patients who were currently using CBD.

Seventy-two percent of respondents reported deliberately substituting CBD products in place of other medications, specifically opioids, NSAIDS, benzodiazepines, and gabapentanoids.

More than half (53 percent) swapped CBD for opioids and 23 percent used it in place of benzodiazepines.

Among those who used CBD, the majority reported decreasing or stopping use of these pain medications all together.

The most common reasons for substitution were fewer side effects and better symptom management.

The authors noted: “Those who substituted reported larger improvements in health and pain than those who did not. Participants using CBD-cannabis reported significantly more substitutions than any other group and larger improvements in health, pain, memory, and sleep than other subgroups.”

Several other studies indicate that cannabinoids can provide relief to patients with fibromyalgia. 

Data published in February reported that the long-term use of medical cannabis is linked to improvements in pain and other symptoms.

Another study, published in 2020, also reported that cannabis therapy was associated with reductions in the use of prescribed medicines, as well as improvements in sleep and 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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