CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia

CBD oil is a natural component of hemp and marijuana plant.

CBD is the second most abundant constituent of cannabis after terahydrocannabinol (THC). It is also known as CBD rich hemp oil, CBD rich cannabis oil, etc.

CBD is incapable of producing ‘high’ as done by THC and therefore it can be safely consumed by people of all ages.

CBD interacts with several different receptors in the body such as serotonin receptors, GPR555, etc. and therefore has biologically relevant therapeutic properties.

CBD oil has been found to be useful in alleviating symptoms of conditions like cancer, seizures, anxiety, insomnia, diabetes, heart disorders, etc.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by long-term pain, which is spread throughout the body.

It is also termed as fibromyalgia syndrome and affects nearly 2-4 percent of people. There is no cure for the diseases and only the symptoms can be managed.

The common symptoms include increased sensitivity to pain, muscle stiffness, fatigue, tiredness, headache, irritable bowel syndrome, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, etc. Women are seven times more likely to be affected as a man.

It is usually recommended that the symptoms should be managed with the least use of drugs as these drugs have side effects.

Incorporating therapy regimes like yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, massage therapy, etc. is found to be used along with some medication.

CBD Oil Benefits for Fibromyalgia Patients

CBD oil can help alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia because it is an analgesic and thus reduces pain. It also helps fight stress and insomnia, which are common in patients of fibromyalgia. It also provides relief from irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal reflux.

1. CBD oil is an analgesic

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain in the body and increased sensitivity towards pressure and pain.

High sensitivity to pain, muscular stiffness, etc. make the lives of the patients very uncomfortable.

The pain can occur in any part of the body including neck, tendons, back, head, etc.

The pain in these patients is chronic and interferes with their lives by decreasing their productivity and focus.

It is important to attenuate the pain associated with fibromyalgia to provide relief and improve the quality of life in the patients.

CBD oil is considered to have potent analgesic properties. CBD has been shown to improve the pain threshold in mice models. This allows a tolerance of chronic pain.

CB2 receptors are known to be involved in altering pain and pain perception and CBD might show interaction with these receptors in order to alleviate pain.

Many studies have shown the use of CBD in managing difficult to treat pain including neuropathic pain. Studies have also shown the use of CBD in treating pain related to cancer.

CBD reduces the absorption of anandamide and thus allows for elevated serum levels of the compound. The elevated levels of anadamide in the blood can help reduce pain.

A study published in Journal of Experimental Medicine showed that administration of CBD in animal models could effectively attenuate neuropathic pain and inflammation.

The suppression of chronic pain is mediated via alpha3 glycine receptors. Therefore CBD is suitable for treatment of chronic pain.

Anti-convulsion drugs are also used to reduce pain in the patients of fibromyalgia. This helps with dizziness, abnormal walling, etc. CBD oil has been found to have anti-convulsion properties and used widely for attenuating epilepsy.

CBD administration has been shown to decrease both inflammatory and neuropathic pain in animal models.

CBD oil has also been found to be useful in treating pain associated with arthritis. Topical application of CBD oil has also been shown to decrease arthritis-related pain behavior and bring improvement in pain scores in the animal models.

This could prove to be helpful for the patient of fibromyalgia as the pain is often similar to arthritic pain.

Summary

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome associated with chronic pain all over the body resulting in fatigue and discomfort.

CBD oil has been shown to be a potent analgesic and therefore it can help alleviate pain and discomfort via various mechanisms and pathways.

2. CBD oil provides relief from irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is found to be common in patients of fibromyalgia.

A study showed that the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome could be found amongst nearly 42% of the patients of fibromyalgia while only 16% of normal subjects showed such symptoms.

Co-existence of both disorders together can make it very difficult for the patient to live a comfortable life.

Patients with both disorders together show worse scores for physical functioning compared to normal subjects.

It is important to ensure the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are kept under control to allow a better lifestyle for the patients.

CBD has been found to be effective in providing relief from the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

A study in an animal model of colitis showed that cannabidiol could help reduce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the intestinal cells. It also attenuated colitis in these animals. There were reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.

Another review study reported the use of CBD for irritable bowel syndrome. IBD is characterized by inflammation and pain in the intestinal region and CBD possesses anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

This can be attributed to the inhibition of many pro-inflammatory cytokines.

The anti-oxidant activity protects from colon injury. It also protects against colitis, which can be attributed to its impact on intestinal motility.

CBD has also shown to reduce intestinal inflammation by controlling neuroimmune aixs. The study also concluded that CBD could be developed as a potential treatment strategy for irritable bowel syndrome.

Patients of fibromyalgia are also known to suffer from gastric abnormalities including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

This leads to a lot of discomfort and uneasiness. CBD oil could also help provide relief from such reflux disorders and thus help alleviate the discomfort associated with GERD.

Summary

Fibromyalgia is associated with several gastro-intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, GERD, etc.

These cause a lot of discomfort in the patients. CBD is known to provide relief from these disorders owing to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-oxidant properties.

3. CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties

Role of inflammation in fibromyalgia has been proven during recent and latest research work on the disease.

It has been found that long-term inflammation has a role to play in pathophysiology of fibromyalgia.

A study published in Journal of Pain in which 92 inflammation-related proteins were analyzed showed that systemic and neuroinflammation is evident in patients of fibromyalgia.

Inflammatory molecules are found to be common in patients of pain. Levels of many pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-8, IL-4, IL-10, etc. are found to be elevated in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of the patients.

Attenuation of inflammation is important, in general, to alleviate symptoms of many disorders. Inflammation usually aggravates the diseases and thus its management is prime to maintain overall well being of the individual.

CBD oil is a potent anti-inflammatory agent because of its constituent cannabidiol.

Scientific studies have shown that cannabidiol reduces both acute and chronic inflammation. CBD has been shown to suppress the production of many pro-inflammatory mediators including tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

Studies have reported the involvement of adenosine signaling in the anti-inflammatory action of CBD.

CBD promotes adenosine receptor signaling by inhibiting adenosine transporter. CBD suppresses the activity of fatty acid amidohydrolase and increases the concentration of anti-inflammatory endocannabinoid anadamide.

Studies have shown that administration of single dose of CBD to animal models of acute lung injury and acute pancreatitis could effectively reduce inflammation.

It was attributed to the effect of CBD on the adenosine-signalling pathway and inhibition of other pro-inflammatory mediators.

CBD also inhibits the NF-κB signaling pathway and this might help reduce inflammation.

It is also noteworthy that CBD is used for alleviating symptoms of many inflammatory disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic syndrome, etc. owing to the anti-inflammatory properties.

Summary

Inflammation plays an important role in fibromyalgia and other pain related syndromes. CBD oil can be used to keep inflammation under control and thus reduce pain, prevent flare-ups, etc.

4. CBD oil helps with insomnia and sleep issues

Fibromyalgia comes with several other issues and comorbidities and one such problem is insomnia. Many patients with fibromyalgia complain of insomnia.

They have difficulty sleeping due to the pain and discomfort. Depression and stress are also common in patients with fibromyalgia, which can also prevent the patients from falling asleep.

Getting enough sleep is important in order to allow the body to feel relaxed, rejuvenate and heal itself, etc. A study showed that sleep deprivation resulted in worsening of pain by decreasing the pain tolerance in people.

The study concluded that disrupted sleep has a role to play in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia.

Many patients use medication for treating this, which can cause side effects and dependence in the long run. Therefore a more natural and herbal approach is necessary. CBD in medium and high dosage has been shown to have a sedative effect.

CBD oil has been shown to be helpful in alleviating insomnia in subjects as part of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A study showed that administration of CBD to a child suffering from anxiety, insomnia due to posttraumatic stress disorder showed remarkable improvement. The sleep quality improved and anxiety was reduced.

A study in animal models showed that acute administration of CBD increased total sleep time and sleep latency.

CBD has also been shown to reduce rapid eye movement associated with stress and anxiety and thus allows the user to experience better sleep. CBD was also shown to block the anxiety induces sleep suppression.

In an indirect approach, low dose of CBD (15mg) could be used to induce wakefulness during the day, which in turn could allow the user to experience better sleep during night due to exhaustion and tiredness.

Summary

Insomnia and sleep deprivation can be observed in patients of fibromyalgia due to pain. This, in turn, amplifies the pain due to exhaustion and restlessness. CBD oil can help reduce stress-induced sleep deprivation and improve the quality of sleep in users.

5. CBD oil is helpful in anxiety, stress, depression and PTSD

Stress, depression and anxiety have an important role to play in pathophysiology of fibromyalgia and they occur as comorbidities as well.

A study analyzed the link between occupational stress and fibromyalgia and found that high level of stress can contribute to the development of fibromyalgia.

The etiology of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and fibromyalgia share same biochemical patterns.

Depression is a very common comorbidity associated with fibromyalgia. Many patients have prescribed anti-depressant for improvement in overall symptoms.

Management of stress, depression and other psychological conditions can be beneficial in improving symptoms of pain, fatigue, discomfort, etc. CBD oil has anti-depressant and anxiolytic properties.

Studies as early as in 1980’s showed that CBD has anxiolytic properties. 60 mg of CBD could help the users feel calm and pleasant and alleviated anxiety.

Other studies using emotional response and Vogel conflict test have also proven the anxiolytic property of CBD.

A double-blind study showed that use of CBD could even help alleviate social anxiety in volunteers. In presence of fearful stimuli, CBD alters the response of the brain to these stimuli and prevents stress and anxiety.

A study in rat models of stress showed that use of CBD could attenuate the acute autonomic response to stress in these animals. This can be attributed to the influence of CBD on the human 5-HT1A receptor.

CBD also helps alleviate PTSD and prevents nightmares in the users. CBD oil has a potent calming effect on the users, which allows them to feel pleasant and comfortable.

CBD helps against depression as well (via 5-HT1A receptor), which is very beneficial for patients with fibromyalgia as depression is very common in them as mentioned above.

Summary

Stress, depression, anxiety, etc. are common in patients of fibromyalgia and they compromise the overall quality of life. CBD oil can help attenuate these problems through multiple mechanisms and improve the lives of the patients.

Dosage

600mg of CBD can be safely consumed for producing significant levels in the plasma. However, humans can tolerate up to 1500mg/day of CBD oil without serious side effects.

CBD oil capsules are available for oral consumption. The oil can be directly taken and swallowed as well. It can also be applied topically mixed with gels to alleviate pain.

Generally, the dose depends on the user’s condition and tolerability. It is however advised to start with low dose and increase it gradually to obtain the optimum benefit.

600mg is the dose commonly used for anxiety and depression. More information regarding dose can be decided based on the purity of the tincture.

Precautions

CBD oil is fairly safe for all age groups including children because of lack of any effect on the cognitive ability.

Some common side effects that can be observed in some people include dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea, tiredness, weight changes, etc. Driving should be avoided for a little while after CBD oil intake.

It is important to obtain high quality and pure CBD oil from trustworthy sources in order to avoid any unwanted contaminants/adulterants, which can cause more harm than good.

Any special instructions should be obtained by reading the labels or getting in touch with the manufacturer.

CBD oil can show interaction with certain drugs and thus appropriate discussion with the healthcare provider should be ensured to allow any complications.

It is not advisable for the patients of Parkinson’s as it can worsen the symptoms in some patients. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should steer clear of it unless recommended by the doctor.

Summary

Fibromyalgia is a disorder with many physical and psychological implications. It is characterized by pain, fatigue, muscle soreness, depression, insomnia, etc.

Since the condition cannot be cured, it is important to find a sustainable approach towards managing the symptoms.

CBD oil could prove to be beneficial for the patients of fibromyalgia owing to its properties of lowering inflammation, alleviating stress, providing relief from irritable bowel syndrome, attenuating insomnia and depression, etc.

Patients should seek professional help before starting the use of CBD oil and they should always use high-quality CBD oil for maximum benefits.

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F Patel (B.Sc, M.Sc. & M.S.)
All our posts are written by experienced writers with relevant degrees. These extremely well researched and comprehensive articles take 10s of hours to write. For each article, all the sources of information are provided as reference links for anyone to check.

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