Posted on February 04 2020
As CBD, or cannabidiol, has been making the rounds on the nightly news shows for its effectiveness in treating chronic pain disorders, fibromyalgia sufferers are taking notice. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain and sensitivity to pressure and is often associated with sleep, fatigue and mood issues. Many people even report a sort of brain fog. There is no steadfast rule for how to diagnose the disorder, and some doctors are unsure it even exists. What absolutely is real is the chronic pain that sufferers endure.
Fibromyalgia is thought to be triggered by a combination of different factors, physical and possibly emotional. While many who develop fibromyalgia are genetically predisposed, some people simply develop the condition after a traumatic event or infection. Doctors are unsure what the exact cause is, but what is known is that sufferers’ lives are disrupted to the point that something needs to be done. As the medical community grows weary of prescribing opioid painkillers to a country reeling from their effects, they are turning to safer, more natural options to ease patients’ pain. CBD is one of the more promising options.
How does CBD affect fibromyalgia?
The symptoms associated with fibromyalgia are, in large part, related to the endocannabinoid system in your body. The endocannabinoid system is thought to be the biological system that regulates things like appetite, pain sensation, inflammation response, and memory. Activating your endocannabinoid system tends to ease the symptoms associated with it. This is where CBD comes in.
CBD is a compound derived from cannabis or marijuana plant. CBD is not psychoactive, but it is a cannabinoid, which means it is a chemical compound that acts on cannabinoid receptors and activating the endocannabinoid system.
CBD is thought to ease the symptoms of many disorders, rather than cure them, and it is a powerhouse when it comes to symptom relief. Many people who take CBD report a substantial decrease in pain levels, which leads to better sleep. CBD is also believed to help alleviate anxiety and depression, which are common among fibromyalgia patients. It is known to promote a general sense of well-being, making most symptoms feel less severe.
Can CBD make fibromyalgia worse?
One of the things people worry about when turning to CBD for help with their fibromyalgia pain is whether or not it will make the condition worse. While there isn’t a whole lot of research on CBD and fibromyalgia, there are studies that examined fibromyalgia patients’ responses to cannabis, and the results are promising. A key difference between cannabis extract and CBD is the presence of THC in cannabis, which is the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. Most of the participants in the studies reported a decrease in pain, and cannabis has been reported as a safe and effective treatment for fibromyalgia. While CBD probably won’t make your condition worse, it’s always good to talk to your doctor when you start a new supplement to make sure it doesn’t interfere with any medications you are already taking.
How do I take CBD?
If you think CBD could be helpful in managing your fibromyalgia, there are a number of ways you can take it. CBD is commonly sold in oil, tincture, topical and edible form, so it should be easy to find a product that works for you.
- CBD Edibles - edibles might be the easiest way for a beginner to get started with CBD. They are available in all types of candies, mints and pills, and can feel less daunting to someone who has never vaped or used tinctures before. Eating CBD can cause the effects to be delayed, as your body needs to process it first. It comes on slow, and lasts a long time. The dose can also be affected by the food you’ve recently eaten, so it’s a little harder to control.
- CBD Topicals - topicals may be the second easiest for a beginner to start with. They are great for treating local pain like muscle cramps and arthritis but can be slightly more expensive than other forms for the same dose. The reason is that they require a lot of CBD to work well, and it needs to be absorbed by the skin.
- CBD Tinctures and oils - this popular option is one of the faster ways to feel the effects of your CBD. Users typically place a measured amount under their tongue or on the side of the cheek and let it sit in the mouth for about a minute. This allows the tincture to be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, rather than being processed in the liver.
- CBD Vaping - vaping is, by far, the fastest way to administer your CBD. With this method, you use a vape pen or e-cig to vaporize and inhale your oil. The effects of the CBD are felt almost immediately, but wear off a little quicker than some of the other methods. Vaping can also make it a little easier for you to achieve your perfect dose.
Each method has its pros and cons, and you won’t really know which one works best for you until you try them. Like anything, the key is finding the dose that best addresses your symptoms. If you’re fed up with chronic pain and anxiety, CBD might be the ticket.