Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread chronic pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep issues, and mental fog. Many fibromyalgia patients turn to medical marijuana, CBD, or other medicinal cannabis options in the hopes that relief from pain and other symptoms can be attained. It’s a controversial topic, though, since research has not definitively determined whether cannabis is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. To ease the confusion, we asked: Is it safe?
The CBD industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, and people living with fibromyalgia are among those who could benefit most from CBD products. The condition is characterized by widespread chronic pain, which often leads to debilitating fatigue and other joint and muscle pain. Fibromyalgia is primarily diagnosed in women and is most common in people over 50. CBD, or cannabidiol, has been used in the medicinal field for hundreds of years. Studies have shown that CBD has some remarkable qualities that could help people with fibromyalgia reduce pain.
Is CBD the same as cannabis?
You may have heard of CBD, but do you know what it is? CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of more than 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It’s the second most common cannabinoid after THC, the plant compound that gets you high. CBD is not the component that can get you high on its own.
Cannabis and CBD are often confused since marijuana and hemp look and smell similar and come from the cannabis plant. The confusion stems from the fact that marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants, but marijuana can contain higher amounts of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) than hemp. CBD is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. Unlike cannabis, marijuana, and hemp, CBD has very low levels of THC. Cannabis is the name given to all plants of the genus Cannabis, including marijuana, hemp, and many other plants. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis that causes a “high.” CBD has healing effects without the psychoactive effects of THC.
How does CBD work for fibromyalgia?
The compound may reduce fibromyalgia symptoms, but researchers are currently testing theories about why it works for some people and not others. CBD’s pain-relieving properties are likely due to its effects on the brain. As a result, it may interfere with the nerve pathways that transmit pain signals from our brains to our bodies. The cannabinoids in marijuana, such as CBD, bind to specific receptors in the brain. The CB2 receptor is one of these receptors that help control inflammation and pain.
Once in the body, CBD may either attach to CB2 receptors or cause the body to produce its own naturally occurring cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) that do the attaching for it. As a result, pain and inflammation may be lessened. Migraine and fibromyalgia may be caused by a deficiency of endocannabinoids, a 2016 study suggests. CBD’s ability to alleviate chronic pain may be due to the compound’s ability to correct this deficiency. In order to fully understand this process, researchers will need to conduct additional studies.
CBD side effects and risks
You’ve probably seen CBD everywhere in the news and on store shelves in the past few months. And why not? CBD is on the rise as one of the hottest new health trends, with celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ellen Degeneres publicly praising it. Although you may have seen CBD everywhere, you may not know much about it. So, what’s it, and what does it do?
Cannabidiol is one of the more than 100 active cannabinoids found in cannabis. Today, people are using it to treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. However, CBD’s side effects and risks are also of great interest to consumers because it is legal in most places, and with CBD comes questions about side effects and safety. Here are some side effects and risks that you might encounter:
- Drowsiness: This side effect is common and tends to happen more often in those with a history of sleep disorders. You can reduce this occurrence by taking CBD in low doses and gradually increasing it.
- Dry Mouth: CBD comes with a host of benefits, including reduced inflammation, relief from anxiety, and reduced pain- but cannabidiol consumption can also cause several adverse effects. Dry mouth is one of them, but it’s one that most people don’t think about when considering CBD consumption.
- Gastrointestinal Issues: One of the primary side effects of CBD is gastrointestinal issues. As CBD enters your digestive tract, it triggers the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS), a complex interaction between your cells and the endocannabinoids. The ECS regulates so many bodily functions, and inflammation is one of them.