CBD for Fibromyalgia: Benefits, Safety & Legality

It’s only in more recent years that CBD has enjoyed attention as a treatment option for various health conditions. Known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD has been researched to treat a wide variety of painful conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain and headaches. Fibromyalgia is an often debilitating and painful condition. While a lot of research still needs to be done on the effectiveness of CBD in treating fibromyalgia, many sufferers of the condition are turning to CBD oil supplements as a way to manage pain and discomfort.

Living with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder which usually effects the musculoskeletal system. Currently, scientific information regarding fibromyalgia, its causes and possible cures is very limited. Even though a staggering number of over 4000 Americans and even more people worldwide suffer from the condition, researchers have yet to develop an effective medication to treat the fibromyalgia.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include – but aren’t necessarily limited to – the following:

  • Aching muscle pain that’s usually present in different areas throughout the body
  • Widespread general aches and pains
  • Muscle tension and tightness
  • Involuntary muscle spasms
  • Burning sensations across the body
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Mild or severe depression
  • Difficulty concentrating (also described as “brain fog”)

As you might’ve noticed, all the above symptoms are reasonably subjective – meaning they are unobservable to medical professionals. The fact that the symptoms of fibromyalgia are subjective doesn’t mean that sufferers of the condition don’t experience severe and debilitating effects, however. The effects of fibromyalgia can be life-altering and affect a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks.

Regardless of how severe the effects of fibromyalgia can be, however, the fact that almost all the symptoms are subjective is what makes the condition so difficult for doctors to treat.

Research seems to indicate that fibromyalgia isn’t an inflammatory disease. Instead, doctors suspect the condition is a neurological disorder. Because of the lack of physical signs present in the condition, some doctors question the validity of fibromyalgia as a health ailment altogether. In the past, the validity of fibromyalgia as a recognized medical problem was a great concern, as most doctors didn’t recognize it. This worsened the condition for many sufferers, as getting help under these circumstances was challenging.

Fibromyalgia Treatment Options

While most well-educated doctors nowadays understand the drastic effects of fibromyalgia, this is little comfort to sufferers, seeing as treatment only offers temporary pain relief. No possible cure for fibromyalgia has been identified. Subsequently, the condition is simply managed with painkillers.

Healthy lifestyle changes, such as a well-balanced diet consisting of lots of vegetables and less sugar, as well as regular exercise is believed to be a more effective treatment for fibromyalgia than taking painkillers.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

Just as the symptoms of fibromyalgia cannot be observed and no cure exists, the exact cause is also a mystery. The only way to identify the cause and presence of fibromyalgia in a patient is through good doctor/patient communication.

Last year, Health Psychology Open published a study in which fibromyalgia patients were surveyed regarding possible causes for the onset of their condition. Evidence from this study suggested the following causes for the development of fibromyalgia:

  • Bodily assault, ill health and change: Many participants often cited car accidents, injuries and even surgery as the cause for their subsequent health complications.
  • Emotional trauma and distress: Another theme that researchers noted in the survey was mental health. Issues such as bereavement, traumatic events, living under chronic stress and depressive episodes were all listed as triggers for pain from fibromyalgia.

Some researchers also believe that genetics can play a role in the onset of fibromyalgia. The condition affects mostly women, with between 75%-80% of people affected being women. There are, however, also men suffering from fibromyalgia.

CBD for Fibromyalgia

CBD is a common choice among a large group of people suffering from a wide variety of pain conditions. Positive results are reported by a many. Some people suffering from fibromyalgia also find that supplementing on CBD is an effective way to manage their condition.

Despite this, research regarding the use of CBD for many different health ailments, including pain management, isn’t definitive or accepted by the larger medical community. While a fair amount of research suggests that CBD is effective in treating arthritis pain and inflammatory conditions, the availability of studies regarding the use of CBD for fibromyalgia is limited.

This shouldn’t deter anyone from trying CBD to treat pain fibromyalgia. Possible known side effects from using CBD oil products are very minimal. A lot of people use CBD oil as a general supplement to maintain their overall health. What this means for fibromyalgia sufferers, is that CBD isn’t a medication that’s restricted only to a population of people suffering from other diseases, but that the substance is readily available to the broader public as a possible treatment option.

CBD effects the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex part of the nervous system. Fibromyalgia is also thought to stem from problems in the nervous system. Considering this, the outlook of effective fibromyalgia treatment through the use of CBD is certainly a possibility.

Are CBD Supplements Safe?

There’s no evidence to suggest that CBD can cause serious or permanent health problems. Despite this, many researchers feel the need to conduct more studies before recognizing CBD as a safe treatment option or supplement.

Currently, interest in CBD as a health supplement is on the rise, with thousands of Americans using the substance. A detailed scientific group study involving this large population of people using CBD could allow researchers to get a better insight into the effects of CBD on human health – unfortunately, no group study of this nature has been performed yet.

While no in-depth scientific study has been done analyzing how these use of CBD supplements impacts health, the rise in popularity of CBD products hasn’t shown to increase the prevalence of any serious problems.

If CBD presented an acute health risk, many patients would have reported to hospital with CBD-related health problems by now, this has not been the case. Because of this, researchers are willing to accept that short-term use of CBD doesn’t pose any serious risk.

For many researchers, the main concern now remains the long-term use of CBD and the possible side-effects thereof. Because CBD supplements were introduced to the market only in more recent years, obtaining any substantial evidence on the effects of long-term CBD use is currently impossible. Choosing to supplement on CBD requires an acceptance of certain limitations regarding research surrounding long-term CBD use.

Are CBD Supplements Legal?

The issue regarding the legality of CBD stems from the origin of the substance. CBD is an abbreviated name for a substance called cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a compound which naturally occurs in cannabis plants.

Different strains of cannabis plants exist, with marijuana being one of the most well-known and popular variety. Marijuana is a known for its intoxicating and potentially addictive nature. Because of this, growing or using marijuana is illegal in most US states.

Industrial hemp is another strain of cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, industrial help isn’t potentially addictive, as it contains only trace amounts of the addictive substance present in marijuana. A recent bill has legalized the commercial farming of industrial hemp, seeing as hemp fibers are often used to make rope and even clothing items. Another common use for industrial hemp now also includes the production of CBD supplements, as hemp plants contain high levels of CBD to extract.

With so many CBD supplements available on the market, it’s easy to assume that CBD is legal, but the debates regarding the legality of CBD substances do exist. Complications regarding laws regarding CBD make it difficult for any government entity to enforce a national ban of CBD supplements on a federal level.

What should be noted is that the possession of CBD products isn’t a crime as long as the CBD extract was derived from industrial hemp. This is contrary to the possession of marijuana, which is illegal in many states.

One of the main problems with fibromyalgia is that it negatively impacts quality of life – often severely. While the use of CBD for fibromyalgia and other health conditions isn’t cemented as an acceptable option by members of the medical community, thousands of people using CBD supplements report positive effects. Pain relief, reduced anxiety and better sleep are among the benefits reported by persons who use CBD supplements. This makes CBD treatment worthwhile for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia pain.

Rozanne WildsCBD for Fibromyalgia: Benefits, Safety & Legality