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Why are cannabis medicines helpful for fibromyalgia?

Dr Anthony Ordman explains why cannabis medicines are so useful in the treatment of fibromyalgia



cannabis for fibromyalgia

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Leading UK pain consultant, Dr Anthony Ordman, explains why cannabis medicines are so useful in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Over the years at his ground-breaking pain medicine clinic at the Royal Free Hospital, Dr Ordman has treated countless fibromyalgia patients.

He is a former president of the pain division of the Royal Society of Medicine and is now hon. medical director at Integro Clinics, where he prescribes cannabis based medicines (CMBP’s). He explains why patients living with the condition might wish to explore medical cannabis.

Whilst here is no one conventional medicine to treat fibromyalgia, often, anti-depressants and nerve pain medicine are tried.

Although these medicines can sometimes help, they often have nasty side effects, which can leave patients suffering more. Cannabis medicines can offer a potentially extremely effective treatment as they re-balance and regulate the human body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) without leaving a patient with debilitating side effects.

Dr Anthony Ordman

I have observed that many fibromyalgia patients are extremely emotionally alert and simply cannot allow themselves to relax at night. This can be a result of persistent stress or traumatic life events. The conventional drugs that are available do not penetrate the bodies spinal cord and central nervous system, which cannabis medicines can.

It is much better to use CMBP’s because they can reduce muscle tension mechanisms in the central nervous system which allows the patient to sleep better and recharge emotionally. If you have had a better night’s sleep, pain is likely to be less the next day.

Many of my patients have been self-medicating for years before coming to see me. I cannot stress enough how big a difference there is between medicinal cannabis and street cannabis. The effectiveness of medicinal cannabis compared to black market product is immeasurable.  The production of medicinal cannabis is done under very strict conditions and measure precisely to find the most suitable dosage for each condition.

If you are really suffering from your fibromyalgia symptoms and the conventional medicines you have been prescribed are not helping you, I would seriously advise you to consider trying medical cannabis.

I am increasingly aware that we are only just starting to understand the significant effects that cannabis medicines can have on people’s pain.

The team at Integro Clinics, where I practice, is completely patient centric and we are heavily focussed on finding the right dose foe each patient which we monitor regularly and adapt if necessary. We also have a specialist practise nurse, Sophie, who is available for any advice you may need.

If you would like further information or to speak to Dr Anthony Ordman or specialist nurse, Sophie Hayes, please contact Integro Clinics via email or at

Follow them on Twitter @clinicsintegro

Integro Medical Clinics Ltd always recommend remaining under the care and treatment of your GP and specialist for your condition, while using cannabis-based medicines, and the Integro clinical team would always prefer to work in collaboration with them.


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Royal Society of Medicine and Integro Clinics announce pain and cannabis medicines event

The event takes place on October 11 from 8:30 to 17:30. It will explore the potential of cannabis medicines in the field of pain medicine in the UK



Event: The Royal Society of Medicine logo in green and red on a white background

The Royal Society of Medicine has announced a collaborative event, Pain and cannabis medicines: Everything you want to know (but were too afraid to ask) in association with Integro Medical Clinics.

The event takes place on October 11 from 8:30 to 17:30. It will explore the potential of cannabis medicines in the field of pain medicine in the UK

Since the legalisation of cannabis medicines on prescription in November 2018, patients and clinicians alike have been awaiting more data or information regarding these medicines. 

The event aims to provide those attending with a comprehensive understanding of the uses of cannabis medicines and the practicalities of using them in their own practice. It will consist of presentations on the history, regulatory environment and pharmacology of cannabis medicines including the use of different cannabis-based medical preparations in treating pain and related symptoms in a wide variety of clinical fields in the context of the current UK regulatory framework. 

Event presentations

The day will feature presentations from international leaders in cannabis medicines such as Professor Raphael Mechoulam, the chemist who discovered the endocannabinoid system and THC, Dr Anthony Ordman, Leading UK Consultant in Pain Medicine and previous President of the Pain Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine and Dr Arno Hazekamp PhD, who worked as Head of Research and Education at Bedrocan, the first European company to produce EU GMP grade cannabis medicines.  

If you wish to sign up, please click here.

Event speakers
Dr Anthony Ordman, Consultant in Pain Medicine

Event: A black and white headshot of Dr Anthony Ordman Founder of the highly respected Chronic Pain Clinic at London’s Royal Free Hospital, he is one of the UK’s most experienced specialists in the treatment of pain. For his contributions to Pain Medicine, Dr Ordman was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 2005, and he is the Immediate Past President of the Pain Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. Dr Ordman is also Senior Medical Consultant and Lead Clinician at Integro Medical Clinics and has a special interest in the potential benefits of cannabis medicines in pain medicine.

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Alex Fraser, Patient Access Lead at GrowPharma

Event: A black and white headshot of guest speaker Alex FraserAlex Fraser is a leading medical cannabis patient advocate. He is a patient himself having been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2010 at 19 years old. In 2014 he founded the United Patients Alliance and has since appeared on mainstream media multiple times, including on the BBC and ITV, to highlight the urgent need for access to cannabis medicines for the many patients who may benefit from them. He has taken delegations of patients to parliament to give testimony to politicians at the highest levels and organised educational events, rallies and protests calling for law change on medical cannabis. In February 2019 Alex joined Grow Pharma, one of the leading suppliers of cannabis medicines in the UK, as their patient access lead. He utilises his extensive knowledge of medical cannabis, his understanding of patient needs and his network in the industry to ensure patient voices are heard and represented. His work includes informing top-level policymakers, educating healthcare professionals and conceiving and running projects that increase general awareness and provide practical help for patients.

Professor Raphael Mechoulam, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel

Event: A black and white headshot Most well-known for the total synthesis of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System. Since the inception of his research in the 60s, Professor Mechoulam has been nominated for over 25 academic awards, including the Heinrich Wieland Prize (2004), an Honorary doctorate from Complutense University (2006), the Israel Prize in Exact Sciences – chemistry (2000), the Israel Chemical Society Prize for excellence in research (2009) and EMET Prize in Exact Sciences – Chemistry (2012

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Dr Sally Ghazaleh, Consultant Pain Specialist

Event: A black and white headshot of a guest speakerDr Sally Ghazaleh, is a Pain Management Consultant at the Whittington Hospital, and the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, London. She qualified from the University of Szeged Medical School, Hungary in 2000, and then completed her specialist training in the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Semmelweis University in 2007. She went on a fellowship at University College Hospital, London, to gain her higher degree in Pain Medicine

During her time at the pain management Centre at University College Hospital, she gained extensive experience in dealing with and managing patients with complex multiple pain problems. She is accomplished at a variety of interventional and non-interventional treatments for this specific patient group. Sally specializes in managing patients with lower back pain, neck pain, neuropathic pain, abdominal pain, cancer pain, complex regional pain syndrome, post-stroke pain and Fibromyalgia. She has a particular interest in bladder and abdominal pain in women, and women’s health in general.

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Cancer patients interested in CBD, but lack understanding on benefits or risks

Two studies show patients with spine-related pain and cancer are reporting benefits from CBD but are still unsure if it’s safe to take it



Cancer and CBD: Three vials of CBD oil next to a cannabis leaf, a topical with a cannabis leaf against the white cream. A small blackboard sits next to this with CBD and the chemical equation on it

A new survey by Vanderbilt University at a cancer care clinic revealed interest in CBD but patients are still unsure.

The survey of 100 patients at an oncology care clinic showed participants were interested in CBD as a way to alleviate symptoms. They listed their main symptoms as uncontrolled pain, depression and anxiety. 

When asked about their understanding of CBD, 45 percent said they were unsure if there were any risks. A further 17 percent believe there was no or low risks but 25 percent “reported uncertainty of the alleged benefits of using CBD.”

Patient concern

Some of the patients were concerned about the potential for drug interactions, a lack of FDA regulation and unlabelled substances in CBD products.

The most common perceived benefits of CBD were decreased pain, eased anxiety and cancer-related nausea relief.

When it came to learning about CBD, only 13 percent said they learned of CBD through a healthcare provider. The majority at 47 percent said a family member or friend told them about it. A further 36 percent said social media and 13 percent reported television was their main source of information on CBD.

Cancer, cannabis and education

The research was recently published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

Researchers wrote: “Oncology nurses are well-positioned to educate patients about the lack of evidence to support popular uses of CBD, possible contaminants, misleading advertising, and legal issues.”

“Absolute conclusions about the effects of CBD cannot be made.”

Read more: Study shows just under half of Americans have tried cannabis

Pain survey

Another survey on spine-related pain, not cancer pain revealed that patients are turning to cannabis for help with their symptoms. Data published in the International Journal of Spine Surgery reported that an estimated one in four patients with spine-related pain admits using CBD to combat symptoms.

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Researchers anonymously surveyed patients at a spinal surgery clinic in New York for over a month. The survey was distributed by one out of nine spine surgeons at a single institution upon registration.

A quarter said they had either tried CBD or were currently using it for symptom management. Almost half of the users at 46 percent said that it may have mitigated their pain. A further 66.7 percent said they used it for spine-related back pain, 37 percent for neck pain, 35.2 percent for leg pain and 9.3 percent for arm pain. While this is for spine related pain instead of cancer related pain, the percentages show that CBD may also work for cancer pain.

Users turned to CBD with help sleeping with 25.9 percent said it improved their insomnia. A further 33 percent reported it had improved their sleep and 20 percent said it reduced their anxiety.

Both of the surveys on cancer and spine pain show that more education is needed while CBD may have effects on pain.

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