Not too many years ago, Fibromyalgia was a set of symptoms that doctors couldn’t or wouldn’t even diagnose or treat. Most conventional medical professionals had the mindset that the pain and sensations were all in the patient’s head.
Now that we know it is a “thing” and it is painful and for some often debilitating, there are a few traditional treatments that are prescribed. However, lately, CBD oil has been getting a lot of press and attention as a possible natural treatment for fibromyalgia.
One of the primary appeals of CBD oil for fibromyalgia is that it has the potential for pain relief without psychoactive side effects. People want a pain reliever that doesn’t alter their thinking.
There is currently not enough research to confirm its effectiveness for fibromyalgia, but CBD oil does have a lot of potential because of its properties for pain relief and inflammation reduction.
What is CBD Oil?
Many people think that CBD oil and medical marijuana are in the same category, but that isn’t true.
CBD hemp oil is extracted using a high-CBD and low-THC hemp plant, which is substantially different from medical marijuana. Medical News Today explains this in detail in Is CBD the same as marijuana? CBD oil produces no psychoactive effect because there are only trace amounts of THC in the oil. Medical marijuana products are commonly created from plants with high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that creates a psychoactive effect.
Takin CBD oil does not affect your ability to work, drive, or function as you normally do. It isn’t addictive and it doesn’t cause fatigue or grogginess like medical marijuana does. CBD oil makes an excellent alternative to medical marijuana for people who don’t want the side effect of getting high.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
While the laws in developed countries vary, it is legal to use CBD oil in the United States as long as it comes from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant.
CBD oil is considered a dietary supplement much like Valerian root, which another commonly used herbal medicine used for fibromyalgia to alleviate anxiety and insomnia.
There are a number of studies related to the efficacy of CBD oil for fibromyalgia and epilepsy, but apparently, there is not enough for most medical professionals to advise patients to use it.
This is why there is a disclaimer on CBD oil products that says, “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
How Does CBD Oil Work?
While CBD has been studied for the relief of symptoms and conditions that are known to occur in fibromyalgia (anxiety, depression, joint pain, PTSD, and insomnia), it hasn’t been studied specifically for fibromyalgia. The following was reported by Dr. Ginevra Liptan on her blog.
When CBD was studied on animals, it helped:
- Reduce brain inflammation, which is a major contributor to the symptoms of brain fog and pain in fibromyalgia.
- Place glial cells in the brain into hibernation. When glial cells are active, they are key contributors to excess pain and chronic pain like that found in fibromyalgia.
- Lessen brain damage after head trauma with its neuroprotective properties, which stimulates cell repair. Brain fog and function that occurs in fibromyalgia could be helped with CBD.
- Lower the fight-or-flight response that comes from the nervous system in rats placed under stress. People with fibromyalgia often experience a heightened fight-or-flight response, which could be lessened by CBD oil.
- Reduce pain in rats with damaged nerves and painful and inflamed joints, known as neuropathy or neuropathic pain. Nerves that have gone haywire and inflammation play a role in fibromyalgia pain.
Research on humans has been studied more on anxiety relief than any other condition. People with anxiety related to public speaking reported a reduction in anxiety.
Dr. Liptan says she has discovered that CBD is a strong muscle relaxant that also provides some pain relief. It can be used topically in combination with other pain relief herbs to reduce muscle and joint pain. Some people claim they experience significant pain relief, while others claim to feel no effects at all.
Dr. Liptan stated, “CBD is definitely not a panacea or cure-all, but it is so much safer than many of the other pain-relieving options out there, like opiates or NSAIDs, that I think is definitely worth consideration.”
Essentially, researchers still do not know why this compound seems to reduce some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but they do have some viable theories that they are still testing.
Studies on CBD Oil and Fibromyalgia
According to Very Well Health, CBD oil is being used for medical purposes on a variety of conditions, including:
- Glaucoma pain
- Inflammation and chronic pain
- Epilepsy (especially in children)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Parkinson’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Huntington’s disease
- Stopping cancerous tumor growth
- To help smokers quit smoking
Since research is in its early phase in the United States, it will take time for FDA approval for use on any health condition. Meanwhile, it is a legal supplement that has no side effects.
As far as research for fibromyalgia, it is in its infancy. It is essentially an embryo compared to other CBD research regarding health and wellness. There is so little evidence at this time, there is no way to conclude whether or not it is effective. More research will be done, and that news will likely travel fast.
Overall, CBD oil has been reported by individuals that they do experience the reduction in pain, inflammation, anxiety, hyperactive fight-or-flight response, and insomnia.
The good thing is that while it isn’t FDA approved yet, it is considered a supplement in the United States (under the specifics of proper methods that include acceptable trace amounts of THC).
What we do know is that CBD hemp oil is not addictive and safer to take over opiates and NSAIDs. It could become the standard in treating conditions like fibromyalgia in the coming years due to its properties that render it effective for pain relief and inflammation reduction. RedOrbit explains how effective CBD oil may be for fibromyalgia.