Fibromyalgia is a disorder that presents as musculoskeletal pain accompanied by mood, memory, sleep and fatigue issues. This disorder has no cure, and while there are drugs that can help manage its symptoms, most don’t do the job perfectly. However, a new study conducted by researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan has found that patients with fibromyalgia may benefit from the use of products that contain CBD to manage pain.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that is extracted from the marijuana plant that doesn’t induce the intoxicating effects of THC. This cannabinoid has been marketed for different uses, ranging from pain relief to mood stabilization. THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is another cannabinoid that is also extracted from the marijuana plant. It causes individuals to feel high.
The legalization of recreational and medical cannabis in different states across the United States and the removal of CBD derived from hemp from its Schedule 1 classification have boosted the marijuana industry’s growth tremendously.
Prior studies have demonstrated that some individuals substitute medical marijuana, which has high THC concentration, for pain medications such as opioids, with many reporting that the former induces fewer side effects and offers better pain relief. However, studies on the use of CBD for the same indications is still limited at best.
This is why researchers from the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center conducted their research, with Kevin Boehnke, a member of the research team, noting that CBD was less harmful in comparison with THC and presented a beneficial harm reduction strategy. The researchers conducted a survey with more than 800 individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia and claimed to use CBD to manage chronic pain.
In the study, the research investigators explained that the disease wasn’t easy to treat and involved different medications that provide modest benefits and many side effects, noting that alternative therapies such as massages and acupuncture weren’t covered by insurance, which made those options less accessible to most individuals. The researchers discovered that more than 70% of the individuals who used CBD had substituted it for other pain medications, including opioids. Of this number, the majority reported that they had either stopped taking or reduced their use of opioids due to the use of CBD.
The researchers note that for most of the patients, the use of CBD was taking place without the guidance of a physician, adding that despite the lack of evidence, individuals who were using the cannabinoid as a substitute for other pain medications had found it to be more efficacious and less harmful.
As devices like the RYAH Smart Inhaler made by RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) become increasingly available, patients who use cannabis for pain and other symptoms will find it easier to monitor and record the doses of marijuana they need for symptom relief.
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