Fibromyalgia can be a debilitating and extremely painful condition. We examine if CBD could offer some help with symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is a long term condition that causes pain, fatigue and can cause difficulty sleeping. It also causes memory problems, headaches along with brain fog. It is estimated that may be around 1.5 to 2 million people in the UK with the condition. It is thought to affect more women than men.
There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia but some patients have turned to CBD for relief from their symptoms.
Can CBD help fibromyalgia?
CBD is thought to be helpful for fibromyalgia when it comes to pain and anxiety relief. It may also provide some help with sleep.
A review of studies from 2020 discovered that the evidence is limited but it could be effective. We break down the studies that exist to see how CBD could help.
One study found that CBD may prevent the hypersensitivity of cells in the surrounding nerves for people experiencing chronic pain.
CBD may help with sleep. A study examined if CBD could help sleep or anxiety. Researchers took 72 participants with anxiety and poor sleep. They were given 25 mg of CBD in a capsule daily. Within the first month, 79.2 per cent reported lower anxiety levels while 66.7 per cent reported better sleep as a result.
Fibromyalgia patients may also experience anxiety disorders alongside the condition. In turn, the anxiety may increase the severity of the pain. CBD may prove some relief from anxiety. A study on the effects of CBD for people with seasonal affective disorder revealed that CBD may help to reduce anxiety.
CBD vs THC for fibromyalgia
It is possible to get a medical cannabis prescription for fibromyalgia in the UK. However, this will mean going private and paying for prescriptions as it isn’t possible to get it on the NHS yet. Many different clinics offer options for fibromyalgia patients.
A study that tested Bediol, which contains both THC and CBD on fibromyalgia patients showed a 30 per cent decrease in pain scores. This is in comparison to those who took a placebo. Bediol is a high-THC variety of cannabis.
A review of studies on THC and CBD for multiple sclerosis found that 28 trials, mostly linked to multiple sclerosis, revealed it may help chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia patients may also struggle with sleep or insomnia. An older study examined the effects of cannabis in 56 participants, predominately women, with fibromyalgia. The group were split between those who did and did not use cannabis. After two hours of using cannabis, they reported reduced pain or stiffness and they felt sleepier. There was also an improvement in mental health scores too.
What is the best way to take CBD for fibromyalgia?
There is no right or wrong way to take CBD for fibromyalgia. Although when it comes to relieving pain, you may want to opt for the fastest working method of taking CBD so it can get to work.
Vaping is one of the quickest ways to get a dose of CBD into the system. The e-liquid is heated in a vape device before being turned to vapour. The CBD vapour is then inhaled into the lungs and absorbed into the bloodstream. As it does not have to broken down by the liver, it can get to work quickly.
A person’s height, weight and dose amount can all affect how quickly CBD starts to work. It is also thought that allowing it to build up in the system is best.
Oil is another fast way to absorb a dose of CBD. CBD bottles often come with a dropper that controls the amount of the product you use. Squeeze as many drops as needed under your tongue before holding for a minute. It can be swallowed after that as the CBD should have been absorbed through the tissue in the mouth.
Edibles or gummies are one of the slower ways to absorb CBD. The body has to pass the food through the digestive system first before it is broken down and absorbed. There is also a significant amount of CBD lost in this system. The benefits are that edibles or gummies often taste better than oil and are more discreetly taken if you are in public. Also, who doesn’t like gummies?
Patches are another option however, they are slower than vaping. They are applied to the skin and can be left for a day or two. The CBD is absorbed throughout the day in a controlled dose. The advantage is that it is discreet and also, you don’t need to remember to take a dose.
What’s the best CBD for fibromyalgia?
It is better to assess what CBD works for you as an individual patient.
It’s worth looking at how CBD can best fit into your life. If you don’t want to remember to take a dose then do patches work better for you? If you dislike the idea of patches or have a tape allergy then would edibles suit you better?
If you manage to choose one. It’s time to assess how it works. Give the product a while to start working and chart the effects that you see. It may be that you need a higher or lower dose. Alternatively, maybe it’s not the right brand for you.
Everyone has to start somewhere!
How much CBD do I take and what strength is best?
Start low and start slow.
Starting with a low dose, it allows you to build up over time while you assess if CBD is right for you. You can always increase a dose whereas it could be a shock to the system to dive in immediately with a high percentage. Space out your doses, start with a low percentage and give it time to work.
How much CBD to take will depend on your height, weight and symptoms.
Why do I buy CBD?
There is no specific brand for fibromyalgia that is better than the other.
It’s worth researching the CBD that you want to buy. A good reputable brand should be proud of its lab results and show every ingredient in the bottle. Price is may not an indicator of quality and there are plenty of affordable options on the market.
Visiting a store may be a good idea if it is your first time buying CBD so you can speak to a professional about where to start. There are so many options out there that it is easy to get lost.
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