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Meds Fibromyalgia

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Marijuana Rated Most Effective for Treating Fibromyalgia


Medical marijuana is far more effective at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia than any of the three prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the disorder.

That is one of the surprise findings in an online survey of over 1,300 fibromyalgia patients conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report.

Cymbalta graphThe FDA has approved only three drugs – Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella — for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Although they generate billions of dollars in annual sales for Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Forest Laboratories and other drug makers, most who have tried the medications say they don’t work.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a poorly understood disorder characterized by deep tissue pain, fatigue, headaches, depression, and lack of sleep. There is no known cure and the disorder is difficult to treat.

“Fibromyalgia is devastating for those who must live in its grip. There is much we do not understand. We need innovative ‘out of the box’ solutions that change the face of this disease,” said Dan Bennett, MD, an interventional spine and pain surgical physician in Denver, Colorado, who is chairman of the National Pain Foundation.

Lyrica graphMany who responded to the survey said they had tried all three FDA approved drugs.

“The prescriptions that are available for treatment have more negative side effects than positive aspects,” said one fibromyalgia sufferer.

“I haven’t found anything! Please find a cure or at least a medicine that will take our pain away,” said another.

Asked to rate the effectiveness of Eli Lilly’s Cymbalta (Duloxetine), 60% of those who tried the drug said it did not work for them. Only 8% said it was very effective and 32% said it helps a little.

Among those who tried Pfizer’s Lyrica (Pregabalin), 61% said it did not work at all. Only 10% said it was very effective and 29% said it helps a little.

Savella graphAsked to rate the effectiveness of Forest Laboratories’ Savella (Milnacipran), 68% of those who said they tried the drug said it didn’t work. Only 10% said it was very effective and 22% said it helps a little.

About 70% of the people who responded to the survey said they had not tried medical marijuana – which is not surprising given that it is still illegal in most states and many countries. But those who have tried marijuana said it was far more effective than any of the FDA-approved drugs.

Sixty-two percent who have tried cannabis said it was very effective at treating their fibromyalgia symptoms. Another 33% said it helped a little and only 5% said it did not help at all.

“I’ve found nothing that has worked for me, apart from marijuana,” said one survey respondent.

marijuana graph“Nothing but medical marijuana has made the greatest dent in the pain and mental problems,” said another.

“Marijuana does help a LOT it numbs the pain. But it doesn’t last long and it makes your brain foggy,” wrote another fibromyalgia sufferer.

Survey respondents said massage, swimming, acupuncture, muscle relaxers and other alternative treatments also helped relieve their symptoms. Many said they take opioids to relieve their pain – although narcotic painkillers are generally not prescribed to treat fibromyalgia.

Other survey findings:

Four out of ten (43%) fibromyalgia sufferers feel their physician is not knowledgeable about the disorder.
Over a third (35%) feel their physician does not take their fibromyalgia seriously.
45% feel their family and friends do not take their fibromyalgia seriously.
Nearly half (49%) said their fibromyalgia symptoms began at a relatively young age (18-34).
Only 11% were diagnosed with fibromyalgia within the first year of symptoms.
44% said it took five or more years before they were diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Many survey respondents lamented that the disorder had taken over their lives, leaving them socially isolated, fatigued and in constant pain.

“I was once an active person and have now virtually become a hermit due to this disease,” said one.

“The worst thing about having fibromyalgia is disappointing loved ones when I can’t do things with them,” wrote one fibromyalgia sufferer.

“Having fibromyalgia is a life sentence. One simply cannot have a productive life living with this disease,” said another.

The 1,339 people who participated in the survey were self-selected as fibromyalgia sufferers. Ninety-six percent of them were female.

This was the second online survey of pain patients conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report. The first survey found that over half of patients worry that they are perceived as “drug addicts” by pharmacists. Eight out of ten said they had stopped seeing a doctor because they felt they were treated poorly.







 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
More evidence of cannabis being a more effective medicine than traditional pharma drugs.... this article is from 11 months ago.

HUGE FIBROMYALGIA STUDY FINDS - CANNABIS BASED MEDICINES KICK ASS



Morgan Freedman - Sage


"'Marijuana is the only relief from Fibromyalgia and Big Pharma is not happy about it." - Morgan Freeman
A study of about 1400 Fibromyalgia patients conducted by the National Pain Foundation found that cannabis based medicines were FAR MORE EFFECTIVE than ALL three FDA approved drugs.




FDA APPROVED DRUGS - A BUST IN FIBROMYALGIA
There are only three FDA approved drugs for fibromyalgia; Cymballa, Lyrica and Savella. Though these drugs generate billions, most fibromyalgia sufferers are frustrated with them; most say they don't work and have side effects that seriously affect their quality of life. Let's take a look at these FDA drugs and see what pharmacopeia has to say about them.

Lyrica (pregabalin) is an antiseizure medication that works by slowing down brain impulse activity. Lyrica also is meant to modulate chemical processes that produce pain signals generated by the nervous system. Read about the horror show that are the side effects of Lyrica - from the manufacturers.

Duloxetine, or Cymballa is a serotonin–norepinephrine inhibitor, meant to balance pain, moderate mood and relieve depression. The serious side effects are too many to list here, but include liver problems, nausea, skin allergies, mental issues, diarrhea, suicide and so on.

Savella or Milnacipran is a drug that is meant to normalize the activity of neurotransmitters. It is speculated that these chemicals are related to pain in fibromyalgia. Side effects quagmire is documented here.


“This disease turned me into a hermit, medical cannabis gave me my active life back .” - Patient


Of course, if a patient is getting good results and don't have significant side effects and the medication is doing a good job, obviously the practicing physician will continue to recommend the use of FDA drugs. However, most of the clinical research strongly indicates that this is not the case; At the end of the day, it is up to you and your doctor to find the best available medicine or therapy to treat your conditions and symptoms.
Meanwhile, patients and doctors with experience with Cannabis based medicines find that side effects are minimal to non-existent. Further to the point, a literature and internet search revealed not a single case of malpractice in the field of medical marijuana. See Medical Malpractice Reports for details.

EXAMPLE - SIDE EFFECTS OF FDA APPROVED DRUG - SAVELLA FOR FIBROMYALGIA

  • caused some to feel light-headed, pass out
  • can blur vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, more
  • easy bruising, bleeding
  • painful, difficult urination
  • liver issues, nausea, stomach pain, itching, lethargy, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice
  • serotonin overload causing psychosis, agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, more...
  • sodium imbalance (low) causing migraine, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, more..
  • severe nervous system reaction - rigid muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors; more...
  • severe skin reaction with fever, sore throat, swelling of face or tongue, burning eyes, skin pain, more...
  • more hazardous for elderly

Side effects of cannabis based medicines high in THC include anxiety, paranoia. For those that experience undesirable effects from THC, strains containing high quantities of non-psychoactive CBD (with low THC) may be used. For more about the side effects and non-addictive nature of cannabis based drugs, click here.

"In view of the very low toxicity and the generally benign side effects of this group of compounds (cannabinoids in marijuana), neglecting or denying their clinical potential is unacceptable." - Raphael Mechoulam, PhD - Pioneer of Israel's Medical Marijuana Program

US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDED RESEARCH BURIED
Interestingly, Dr. Mechoulam pioneering work was funded in large part by the US Federal government. Though the conclusion of the research effort was that cannabis had overwhelming efficacy and potential in treating a myriad of disorders, the information was buried, thrown by the wayside, that is until today.

"For you the person living with pain, it’s about a better understanding of why your pain is occurring - what is the disease – how it works so that you can better understand your pain. We will build a digital community so that you can share in other people’s stories, understand medications, new technologies, connect to others - this will lead to a true understanding of pain as a disease … lead to a revolution in the understanding and treatment." - Daniel S. Bennett, MD Chairman, The National Pain Foundation

Fibromyalgia is characterized by deep tissue pain, depression, headaches and insomnia. Orthodox medicine claims that there is no known cure and it is difficult to cure. The majority of the 1400 patients in the study exposed the following eye opening reality about FDA approved drugs.
"Fibromyalgia is devastating for those who must live in its grip. There is much we do not understand. We need innovative ‘out of the box’ solutions that change the face of this disease.” - Dan Bennett, National Pain Foundation.

Cymbalta was found to be very effective in 8% of fibromyalgia cases, marginal in 32% and did not work at all in the remaining 60%. Lyrica (Pregabalin) and Savella scored almost the same recording 10% effectiveness and 60% or more, ineffective. Comparing these dismal results with placebo, a sugar tablet and figuring in side effects, one wonders why these medications are prescribed at all."The prescriptions (I've tried) that are available for treatment do more harm than good” - fibromyalgia patient

About 1000 of the 1400 patients had not tried medical marijuana previously. The 400 or so that tried marijuana, said it was far more effective than any of the FDA-approved drugs they tried.

In another study, sixty-two percent of patients that tried cannabis said it was very effective in treating their fibromyalgia symptoms, 33% said it helped a bit, and only 5% said it did not help at all. It should be noted that most patients were not aware of the many strains of marijuana that might improve therapeutic results considerably. The vast majority said side effects were minimal to none as compared to the FDA drugs.
Other therapies that eased fibromyalgia symptoms include massage, swimming, yoga, acupuncture. Many said opioids worked to relieve their pain – but these narcotic painkillers not prescribed normally prescribed to treat fibromyalgia.
Other eye openers in the survey includes:
  • Nearly half of fibromyalgia sufferers felt that their physician was knowledgeable about their disorder.
  • Over a third felt their physician did not take fibromyalgia seriously
  • Nearly half felt their family and friends do not take fibromyalgia seriously
  • Half patient's fibromyalgia symptoms began in early adulthood
  • One in ten was diagnosed in their first year of symptoms
  • Half of patients said it took more than five before they were correctly diagnosed

Respondents lamented that fibromyalgia dominated their lives, leaving them isolated, tired and in constant pain. Further to the point, patient quotes;

“The worst thing about having fibromyalgia is disappointing loved ones when I can’t do things with them,” wrote one fibromyalgia sufferer.

“Having fibromyalgia is a life sentence. One simply cannot have a productive life living with this disease,” said another.

The 1,399 people who participated in the survey were self-selected as fibromyalgia sufferers. Ninety-six percent of them were female.

Another online survey of pain patients conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report found that over half of patients worry that they are perceived as “drug addicts” by pharmacists. 80% said they had stopped seeing a doctor because they felt they were treated badly.


HOW CAN FIBROMYALGIA PATIENTS GET MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR THE FIRST TIME?

It is ideal to get medical professional advice and to join a peer group of Fibromyalgia sufferers that has deep experience in the disease. However, often, the reality is that your doctor is not trained in Medical Marijuana and is hesitant to get involved, even though he might well support it - off the record. In this case, patients can simply get a doctor's recommendation for cannabis based medicines online.
Today, social media allows people with any condition of symptom to share information. You are no longer isolated. Perhaps you'll come across a medical doctor who has effectively treated a Facebook friend. You might find your doppelganger, someone in the same age group, sex, with nearly identical symptoms - that shares with you, how they got rid of the hellish symptoms of fibromyalgia.

RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IS NOW LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA
If recreational marijuana is legal, why should I get a Medical Marijuana recommendation? Recreational sales of marijuana won't be legal until 2018. Weird but true, you can't buy marijuana legally but you can smoke it and grow your own. For the latest on rules and regulations pertaining to medical and recreational marijuana in Nevada and California click here.

FIBROMYALGIA - MARIJUANA - WHAT PATIENTS SAY FACEBOOK - A MUST

 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
New cannabis patch for fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain treatment


Two new medications have been developed for fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain treatment by a company specializing in cannabis-based medicines. A Transdermal patch is placed on the skin and into the blood stream for the medication of fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain.

The patched promote healing to an injured area of the body. As compared to other types of medication delivery such as oral, topical, intravenous, intramuscular etc, transdermal drug delivery flight path is more advantageous.

The patch used for the diabetic nerve pain treatment provides the patient with a controlled release of the medication into the patient, it can be provided to the patient via various forms such as:

  1. Through a porous membrane covering a reservoir of medication.
  2. Body heat melting thin layers of medication embedded in the adhesive which will be containing high potency cannabinoid (CBD) extract, this extract slowly enters in the blood stream and then penetrates the central nervous system of the patient delivering the pain relief sought.
The CEO of cannabis science, Mr. Raymond C. Dabney believes that the future of cannabis science is based on the development of these two new pharmaceutical medicinal applications. The company is striving to enhance the land capacity for growth and facilities to manufacture its own products to supply to scientists with proprietary materials to make these formulations. On the other hand cannabis company is also busy in researching more potential needs for cannabis medical applications and introducing the methods for delivery of these medications.

Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect 2%-8% of the population while females are about double as likely to suffer from fibromyalgia condition. People with diabetic nerve pain and fibromyalgia experience chronic widespread pain and alarming pain response to pressure. Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is considered as damage or a disease affecting nerves which may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function or other aspects of health depending on the type of nerves affected.

‘’CBD is the second major cannabinoid in marijuana after THC. Without the psychoactive effects that THC brings, it has anti-inflammatory and pain-reveling properties. MR Dabney also concludes that: ‘’ as more states nationwide legislate for the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-derived medications, here at Cannabis Science, the focus is on the development of pharmaceutical medications and applications to supply the huge growing demand expected over the coming few years.’’
 

ataxian

In a BLACK HOLE!
New cannabis patch for fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain treatment


Two new medications have been developed for fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain treatment by a company specializing in cannabis-based medicines. A Transdermal patch is placed on the skin and into the blood stream for the medication of fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain.

The patched promote healing to an injured area of the body. As compared to other types of medication delivery such as oral, topical, intravenous, intramuscular etc, transdermal drug delivery flight path is more advantageous.

The patch used for the diabetic nerve pain treatment provides the patient with a controlled release of the medication into the patient, it can be provided to the patient via various forms such as:

  1. Through a porous membrane covering a reservoir of medication.
  2. Body heat melting thin layers of medication embedded in the adhesive which will be containing high potency cannabinoid (CBD) extract, this extract slowly enters in the blood stream and then penetrates the central nervous system of the patient delivering the pain relief sought.
The CEO of cannabis science, Mr. Raymond C. Dabney believes that the future of cannabis science is based on the development of these two new pharmaceutical medicinal applications. The company is striving to enhance the land capacity for growth and facilities to manufacture its own products to supply to scientists with proprietary materials to make these formulations. On the other hand cannabis company is also busy in researching more potential needs for cannabis medical applications and introducing the methods for delivery of these medications.

Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect 2%-8% of the population while females are about double as likely to suffer from fibromyalgia condition. People with diabetic nerve pain and fibromyalgia experience chronic widespread pain and alarming pain response to pressure. Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is considered as damage or a disease affecting nerves which may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function or other aspects of health depending on the type of nerves affected.

‘’CBD is the second major cannabinoid in marijuana after THC. Without the psychoactive effects that THC brings, it has anti-inflammatory and pain-reveling properties. MR Dabney also concludes that: ‘’ as more states nationwide legislate for the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-derived medications, here at Cannabis Science, the focus is on the development of pharmaceutical medications and applications to supply the huge growing demand expected over the coming few years.’’
Not just me?
My 22 year old has fibro & CANNABIS has been the best for her needs!
HUMBOLDT grown has worked the most effective!
 

ataxian

In a BLACK HOLE!
New cannabis patch for fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain treatment


Two new medications have been developed for fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain treatment by a company specializing in cannabis-based medicines. A Transdermal patch is placed on the skin and into the blood stream for the medication of fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain.

The patched promote healing to an injured area of the body. As compared to other types of medication delivery such as oral, topical, intravenous, intramuscular etc, transdermal drug delivery flight path is more advantageous.

The patch used for the diabetic nerve pain treatment provides the patient with a controlled release of the medication into the patient, it can be provided to the patient via various forms such as:

  1. Through a porous membrane covering a reservoir of medication.
  2. Body heat melting thin layers of medication embedded in the adhesive which will be containing high potency cannabinoid (CBD) extract, this extract slowly enters in the blood stream and then penetrates the central nervous system of the patient delivering the pain relief sought.
The CEO of cannabis science, Mr. Raymond C. Dabney believes that the future of cannabis science is based on the development of these two new pharmaceutical medicinal applications. The company is striving to enhance the land capacity for growth and facilities to manufacture its own products to supply to scientists with proprietary materials to make these formulations. On the other hand cannabis company is also busy in researching more potential needs for cannabis medical applications and introducing the methods for delivery of these medications.

Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect 2%-8% of the population while females are about double as likely to suffer from fibromyalgia condition. People with diabetic nerve pain and fibromyalgia experience chronic widespread pain and alarming pain response to pressure. Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is considered as damage or a disease affecting nerves which may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function or other aspects of health depending on the type of nerves affected.

‘’CBD is the second major cannabinoid in marijuana after THC. Without the psychoactive effects that THC brings, it has anti-inflammatory and pain-reveling properties. MR Dabney also concludes that: ‘’ as more states nationwide legislate for the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-derived medications, here at Cannabis Science, the focus is on the development of pharmaceutical medications and applications to supply the huge growing demand expected over the coming few years.’’
After the funeral of a HERO that is current in 2 days pop culture I must be truthful in this regard.

CANNABIS is such a cure 4 many in 2 today’s conditions!
Life saver is an understatement!
I was looking 4 how high R U?

6.8 non empirical estimate!
Easy on the Kief!
Maybe at 420 close 2-9 is da plan?
@LesPlenty do U partake of CANNABIS in da middle of da week?
Everyday 4 me?
Do U have 420 where U R?
 
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Vapeur Rogue

Est. 2013- Never Lookin' Back
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, in middle school before pediatric fibromyalgia was a thing- it was my first diagnosed chronic condition (First that was not cleared as a misdiagnosis-but more on that in the relevant thread). Due to watching my grandmother struggle with Tylonol+ Codeine, my mother judge her personally for all the effects, along with being basically a throwaway patient after diagnosis, I've been trying to navigate fibro self-care/management on my own since. My diagnosis was also years ahead of any of the prescription drugs that are discussed nowadays so I have very little reference for them, and thus find it further alienating in Fibro circles.
Thank you for posting these.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Pharmaceutical-grade cannabis with THC shown to relieve fibromyalgia pain
First time a randomised, placebo-controlled four-way cross-over study conducted into the therapeutic effects of inhaling company products


Company has clinical evidence that medical doctors are asking for when prescribing products Ron Ward / THE CANADIAN PRESS

A study out of the Netherlands found that standardised pharmaceutical-grade cannabis with a high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content was effective in treating the musculoskeletal pain caused by fibromyalgia.

Conducted by Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in co-operation with Bedrocan International, the study involving the pharmaceutical-grade cannabis provided by the company further found “cannabis flos with only cannabidiol (CBD) did not provide the patients with relief.”

The research involved a total of 20 patients treated at four distinct moments, as well as the administration of three different cannabis products provided by Bedrocan and placebo (cannabis without the main active substances THC and CBD) by a vaporizer.

All subjects were exposed to externally inflicted pain by applying increasing pressure, reports the company, a producer of legal medicinal cannabis that provides standardised medical cannabis capable of being used as an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to the Dutch government. With two of the company products, “patients experienced significantly less pressure pain compared to the placebo,” the company statement notes.

Tjalling Erkelens, founder and CEO of Bedrocan, sees the results as encouraging for patients. “The outcome is very important for patients who suffer from fibromyalgia. Now we have the serious clinical evidence that medical doctors are asking for when prescribing our products and that health insurance companies want to have, to legitimize reimbursement,” Erkelens points out.

It is believed this is the first “scientific proof that at least two of Bedrocan’s products are effective in treating the pain symptoms caused by fibromyalgia,” says Professor Albert Dahan, head of LUMC’s Anaesthesia & Pain Research Unit.

“The study is the first time that a randomised, placebo-controlled four-way cross-over study is conducted into the therapeutic effects of inhaling Bedrocan’s medicinal cannabis products,” the statement explains. Noting that “fibromyalgia patients experience pressure pain on muscles and tendons especially,” Dahan concludes “THC is effective in this specific condition.”

Both Bedrocan and Dahan believe that “investigation is now required to determine whether the same results on pain relief can be reproduced in a long-term study with fibromyalgia patients,” the statement notes.
“The next study takes place with patients at home,” he says. “I want to investigate whether THC can be used as an opiate-saving drug. Many people use, and abuse opiates, such as oxycodone. We think that you do not have to prescribe much oxycodone if you also allow patients to use THC,” he adds.





 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
My DAUGHTER has FIBROMYALGIA as the best medical ever in her case is CANNABIS?
CBD is the Hype currently?
THC seems 2-B more effective 4 her?
INDICA’s 4 her.

SATIVA I love however they give her paranoia?
I would think that whole plant would work better... so it makes sense that THC works for your daughter imo.

Sativas tend to wig me out a bit as well. There have been a few lemon strains I liked.. I do not have Fibromyalgia, but I do usually stick with Indica for my pain related needs.
 

ataxian

In a BLACK HOLE!
I would think that whole plant would work better... so it makes sense that THC works for your daughter imo.

Sativas tend to wig me out a bit as well. There have been a few lemon strains I liked.. I do not have Fibromyalgia, but I do usually stick with Indica for my pain related needs.
I love INDICAS 4 parties!

Hybrids 4day
SATIVA 4 thinking hard or esoteric reading it helps me?
Some SATIVA ‘S freak me out?
4 ATAXIA THC seem’s more effective?
My 22 year old daughter does better with INDICAS?
Thank you 4 the Hot Tip on LEMON FLAVORED CANNABIS! @momofthegoons
 
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momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Israeli Researchers Find Cannabis Therapy Reduces Fibromyalgia Pain

Cannabis could be a treatment option for fibromyalgia, one of the most common chronic pain conditions in the world, according to a new Israeli study.

Characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aching, fatigue, poor sleep quality, and cognitive difficulties, fibromyalgia has no specific causes and no known cure, but a prospective observational study, “Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia,” has given fibromyalgia patients some hope. The researchers found significant improvement in pain intensity and fibromyalgia‐related symptoms among patients after six months of medical cannabis therapy.

“It's commonly accepted that chronic pain can be treated with cannabis, but there has been less evidence to support the role it plays in specifically treating fibromyalgia,” said Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, one of the lead authors on the study and head research scientist at the Tikun Olam research department in Tel Aviv, Israel, where it was conducted.



Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, lead author of an Israeli study, found that medical cannabis was an effective treatment for multiple symptoms of fibromyalgia. (Courtesy photo)

“Our data indicates that medical cannabis could be a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of fibromyalgia, especially for those who failed on standard pharmacological therapies. We show that medical cannabis is effective and safe when titrated slowly and gradually,” concluded the study, published in June 2019 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Cannabis as a Promising Option
Dr. Iftach Sagy, co-author and researcher at Soroka's Clinical Research Center, explained that the study found significant improvement in pain intensity, fibromyalgia-related symptoms and overall quality of life after patients received six months of medical cannabis.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first and largest trial to use herbal cannabis in fibromyalgia patients,” Sagy said. Nearly 80% of the study participants were female, a proportion that corresponds to the general population of fibromyalgia sufferers.



Dr. Iftach Sagy, co-author of a study on fibromyalgia and medical marijuana, found that cannabis holds promise as a therapy for the disease that affects mostly women. (Courtesy photo)

Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 3% to 6% of the world population. The National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) calculates that 75% to 90% of patients are women.

The study, which involved 367 fibromyalgia patients, found:

  • 81.1% reported overall treatment success;
  • 73.4% reported improved sleep;
  • 80.8% reported improved depression‐related symptoms;
  • 61.9% reported improved "quality of life" components including appetite and sexual activity.
“We also witnessed an improvement in depression‐related symptoms, sleep problems, improvement in appetite and sexual activity,” Bar-Lev Schleider said.

Patients in the study were treated with science-backed varietals developed by Tikun Olam, Israel's largest cannabis producer and research organization.

Cannabis: No Significant or Negative Side Effects
Eighty-one percent of the participants reported moderate improvement with no adverse side effects.

“The implications of these findings for fibromyalgia patients are that they may now have an additional treatment option,” Bar-Lev Schleider told Weedmaps News. “The study adds a piece of information on safety and efficacy of medical cannabis to treat their symptoms.”

Bar-Lev Schleider noted that 59.7% of the participants were taking opioids for pain at the beginning of the study. A follow-up survey of participants after six months found that 22% stopped or reduced their opioid and benzodiazepine usage.

“There are patients who have or will in the future stop taking pharmaceutical drugs and their sole treatment will be medicinal cannabis,” Bar-Lev Schleider said.

Few Effective Treatments Available
Fibromyalgia sufferers are generally limited to a combination of pain medications, antidepressants, and sleep aids. Commonly used first-line medication brands such as Cymbalta and Lyrica tend to provide insufficient relief from fibromyalgia symptoms. Patients often complain of side effects associated with these medications.

Medical marijuana has been the subject of other studies on treatments for fibromyalgia. In a 2018retrospective review study, co-author Dr. George Habib also found medical cannabis was an effective alternative treatment for fibromyalgia.

“In general, the impression [from the study] was that this type of [cannabis] medication is more effective than pregabalin and duloxetine,” said Habib, a rheumatologist in Netanya, Israel. The former drug is prescribed to treat nerve and muscle pain, the latter depression.

In addition to prescription drugs, the NFA also recommends lifestyle adaptation involving exercise, diet, physical therapy, and psychological support.

Patients as Doctors
With few mainstream and effective treatment options for fibromyalgia, sufferers default to experimenting with different methods for managing their pain and symptoms.

“That's what I did. I researched cannabis for two years,” said Tonya Sanders of Dennison, Ohio, who has suffered from fibromyalgia and lupus for most of her adult life. “Only one doctor out of dozens I'd been seeing mentioned it once for two seconds then swept it under the rug,” she said.


Tonya Sanders suffers from fibromyalgia but found that cannabis relieved many of her symptoms. The Ohio mother is now an educator on the use of medical marijuana. (Courtesy photo)

Sanders, a mother of two daughters, had to leave her nursing job because of her illnesses.

“My pain was so bad, I couldn't even stand the feel of clothing on my body. Prescription medications were ruining my life as much as my illnesses were,” she said. “At first I tried CBD oil in a dropper but needed something more. It was the full entourage effect that finally helped. The first time I smoked cannabis and my horrific symptoms faded, I took off my last fentanyl patch.”

It took six to eight weeks to fully withdraw from all pharmaceutical medications, she added. “I'm in full remission from lupus and have no fibromyalgia pain or symptoms now,” said Sanders, who volunteers with theGreen Nurse Group, a no-profit organization comprising professionals and nurses who educate the public on the safe use of medical cannabis in states where it is legal.

Sanders also is involved with the International Women's Cannabis Coalition.

“I'm finally able to live my life, function as a nurse, a mom, and a wife. All things I couldn't do for all those years until I started using cannabis to treat my illnesses,” Sanders said. “Now I am trying to educate people.”
 

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