Fibromyalgia affects around two per cent of the German population and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 60. The disease is much more common in women. Fibromyalgia was only recognised as a disease in 2014. Reason: The causes of chronic pain have not yet been properly identified – from a purely organic point of view, sufferers are generally healthy. Also known as fibromyalgia, the disease is characterised by chronic pain in a wide range of body regions – so it is usually diagnosed as such only after several years. Fibromyalgia is the third most common musculoskeletal disorder after osteoarthritis and degenerative diseases of the spine.
WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA ANYWAY? CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND CONSEQUENCES EXPLAINED
It is currently thought that psychological problems such as stress, anxiety and extreme stress may contribute to fibromyalgia. To date, no physical causes of the disease have been found. Only a few signs point to a genetic predisposition: it is statistically more common in families with affected children. But what exactly is fibromyalgia?
THESE SYMPTOMS MAY BE A SIGN OF FIBROMYALGIA
As mentioned above, fibromyalgia can present with a variety of symptoms. The disease has many faces – that’s why it’s so difficult to diagnose, and the doctor has to carry out lots of tests and blood tests. The most typical symptoms are:
• discomfort in the muscles and joints
• tendon pain
• joint stiffness
• migraine headaches
• Paresthesia, such as burning
• abdominal pain and typical irritable bowel symptoms
• fatigue and sleep disturbances, as well as poor concentration
• restless legs syndrome
• Generally low pain threshold – even with daily stimuli
HOW CAN CBD HELP AGAINST FIBROMYALGIA?
CBD is primarily known as a pain reliever. This has already been proven by various studies as well as by the many testimonials of users suffering from various complaints. Studies have also found that cannabidiol from the cannabis plant can affect receptors and thus alter the interaction with the reporting substance. The active substance in cannabis is considered to be inhibitory or regulatory, and thus could help the nervous system to avoid degenerative processes or prevent the occurrence of increased pain sensations altogether.
CBD is also known to improve mood and reduce anxiety disorders. Thus, the active substance in cannabis could also act psychologically to prevent the causes of fibromyalgia and reduce future suffering. In this way, CBD could also be a useful alternative to antidepressants, which offer fewer side effects for those affected.
In summary: In theory, CBD could comprehensively address the problem of fibromyalgia and at least mitigate the effects of the disease in order to restore normality in affected people. But what do the studies and experience reports say?
HERE’S WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS ABOUT CBD FOR FIBROMYALGIA.
There are not many studies on the use of CBD for fibromyalgia yet – in general, there are few clinical studies on the effectiveness of cannabidiol for complaints. However, the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands has published a study in 2019 on how inhaled CBD and THC preparations affect pain perception in fibromyalgia patients. For this purpose, 20 people affected by the disease were examined in depth. 90% of the patients who inhaled an almost identical mixture of THC and CBD subsequently found that chronic pain bothered them less and they complained less of pain overall. This study suggests on the one hand that cannabinoids can reduce pain, but on the other hand it also indicates that cannabinoids together provide an enhanced effect. However, as this is a very small study with a small number of subjects, further studies with specific use of CBD oil are needed.