Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound derived from cannabis. CBD is not psychoactive, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other cannabis by-product.
CBD activates serotonin receptors. It plays a role in:
– the perception of pain
– maintaining body temperature
– reduction of inflammation
According to recent studies, CBD:
– helps relieve symptoms of depression
– prevent the symptoms of psychosis
-reduce the sensation of pain
It is these benefits that make CBD an attractive alternative treatment for pain disorders such as fibromyalgia.
CBD research for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain in addition to:
It mainly affects women and there is currently no known cure for this condition. However, there are treatment options that focus on pain management.
CBD has been used to alleviate symptoms of chronic pain and reduce inflammation. It is promoted as an alternative to taking opioid prescriptions which can be addictive.
A 2009 study showed that CBD can be used to relieve neuropathic pain. The researchers concluded that cannabinoids such as CBD could be a useful choice for relieving this type of pain.
A 2011 study looked at 56 people with fibromyalgia. Most of the participants were women.
The study members were divided into two groups:
The first group consisted of 28 study participants who were not cannabis users.
The second group consisted of 28 study participants who consumed CBD. The frequency of their cannabis use, or the amount of cannabis they used, varied.
Two hours after consuming CBD, users experienced benefits such as:
– reduced pain and stiffness
– increased drowsiness
They also had slightly higher mental health scores than non-consumers.
2019 Israeli study
In a 2019 Israeli study, hundreds of people with fibromyalgia were observed over a period of at least 6 months. Among the participants, 82% were women.
Study participants received advice from nurses before taking CBD. Nurses provided advice on:
the 14 varieties of CBD available
methods of administration
All participants started with a low dose of CBD, and the doses were gradually increased over the course of the study. After 6 months, the median approved CBD dosage was 39 mg per day.
The researchers concluded that CBD was a safe and effective treatment for fibromyalgia. At the start of the study, 52.5% of the participants, or 193 people, described their level of pain as high. At the 6-month follow-up, only 7.9% of responders, or 19 people, reported elevated pain levels.
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Donk Tvande, et al. (2019). An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia.
Elikottil J, et al. (2009). The analgesic potential of cannabinoids.
Fiz J, et al. (2011). Cannabis use in patients with fibromyalgia: Effect on symptoms relief and health-related quality of life.
Johnson JR, et al. (2010). Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain.
Sagy I, et al. (2019). Safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in fibromyalgia.
Sales AJ, et al. (2019). Cannabidiol induces rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects through increased BDNF signaling and synaptogenesis in the prefrontal cortex.