CBD Picks for Fibromyalgia
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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical compound naturally found in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t cause a feeling of being “high.”
Since 2018, when a federal bill legalized hemp cultivation and sales across the country, the availability of CBD products has increased dramatically. Some state laws still forbid the sale of hemp products, but many have adopted the federal government’s policy of legalization.
For decades, research into CBD and other cannabinoids has been limited because of these federal restrictions on hemp and cannabis. Research into CBD’s benefits is still new, but early studies show promising results. This is especially true for issues like sleep, anxiety, and pain.
But as with many health and wellness products, the market for CBD is largely unregulated.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t approve or police CBD products. It also doesn’t have specific guidelines for claims or terminology used by CBD companies.
Governance of CBD products, what little there is, remains largely up to the manufacturers themselves.
That makes it all the more important you do your own research before purchasing any CBD products. Understanding the markers of good CBD products can help you bypass inferior products and save money.
For people with fibromyalgia, a condition causing chronic pain and fatigue, CBD can be a helpful tool in a battery of treatment options.
While there’s no current cure for fibromyalgia, some lifestyle adjustments and self-care techniques may go a long way to alleviating symptoms of the condition. CBD may be a part of that treatment strategy.
Keep reading to learn about five CBD products that may be a good pick for people with fibromyalgia, and how you can use CBD for symptoms of this condition.
To look at CBD for fibromyalgia, let’s start with the basics of the condition and current medical treatments.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body. It can also cause:
- sleep problems
- cognitive disturbances
Treatment focuses on easing or reducing symptoms, and managing pain. These treatments include:
- medications, such as prescription and over-the-counter pain medications
- self-care strategies, including stress reduction and aerobic exercise
- lifestyle changes, such as adjustments to diet and sleep patterns
Researchers have looked at cannabis as a possible treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms.
Several studies have examined the effect cannabis (THC strains and hemp plants) has on fibromyalgia broadly and on symptoms of the condition more specifically.
CBD can help fibromyalgia, but research includes other cannabinoids, too
Most of the studies that have looked at managing fibromyalgia with cannabinoids have included THC in the dose. THC, or the active ingredient in cannabis that causes a “high,” isn’t legal in all U.S. states.
These studies have found that people with fibromyalgia experience some improvements in pain when taking CBD combined with THC.
But because the doses given to study participants have included THC, it’s not possible to say yet what effect CBD alone might have.
CBD, like THC, interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a complex system responsible for signaling cells throughout the body.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD can interact with your ECS. When they do, research tells us the ECS sends out signals that work to decrease inflammation and reduce feelings of pain and discomfort. Both of these benefits could help people with fibromyalgia.
For that reason, it may be more beneficial to look at CBD usage as a way to help some symptoms of fibromyalgia instead of treating the whole condition broadly.
In that regard, we see a number of successful studies already.
Research on CBD benefits
- Chronic pain. A 2018 research review reported that CBD may be able to treat chronic pain, such as what people with fibromyalgia experience.
- Sleep quality. A small 2019 study found that people who took CBD daily reported better sleep and less anxiety.
- Depression. Another 2018 research review found that CBD usage may benefit conditions like depression, which do occur in people with fibromyalgia frequently.
Most of these studies also reported few, if any, adverse effects or problems with CBD usage. That may be reason enough for people living with fibromyalgia to try out CBD and see whether it helps.
CBD oil may help best for fibromyalgia symptoms like pain and insomnia. Here’s what to know.