for Fibromyalgia Pain
Do I have fibromyalgia? How is fibromyalgia treated?
Confirming whether or not you have fibromyalgia can be very difficult, as symptoms can be very different between people. Getting a diagnosis usually requires lots of doctor visits with your GP or a specialist, commonly a rheumatologist, and may involve lots of blood tests.
Medications that are usually used to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia may not always be effective, or can cause other side effects. Fibromyalgia is usually considered a chronic condition, and so treatments usually help patient manage the symptoms rather than curing it.
Fibromyalgia and medicinal cannabis
Can cannabis help with fibromyalgia? Does cannabis work for fibromyalgia?
The jury is still out with studies looking at whether cannabis, or their active ingredients, cannabinoids, can help with fibromyalgia or symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
However, there have been some indications that cannabinoids may help with fibromyalgia and a group of related conditions. One theory suggests that conditions like fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and migraine may be due to a person’s endocannabinoid system not working properly. This theory suggests that taking plant-based cannabinoids from the cannabis plant can help regulate a person’s endocannabinoid system and reduce symptoms.
Other studies have looked at the effects of cannabinoids on specific symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. One of these studies, a Cochrane review, reviewed information that indicated improvements with pain, as well as with sleep and insomnia when, patients took various cannabinoids.
What is the difference between street cannabis and medicinal cannabis?
Medicinal cannabis, or the type that can be prescribed here in Australia, is highly regulated. This can be both a good and bad thing for patients who might be eligible to undergo this treatment.
Medicinal cannabis has very stable levels of cannabinoids and is tested for various contaminants before they are allowed to be prescribed in Australia. Contaminants (also called adulterants) include heavy metals, fungi, pesticides and various toxins. These can sometimes be found if a person buys ‘street cannabis’, and could be harmful to your health.
If you think about it, how do you know where or how street cannabis is grown?
Is medicinal cannabis safe? How do I know I’m getting the right dose?
However, strict testing is conducted on every batch of medicinal cannabis, and manufacturers of medicinal cannabis need to complete and pass this testing before their medications are allowed into Australia.
As medicinal cannabis has stable levels of active ingredient, you can rely on the same effect between bottles of medication with the same dose.
Most medicinal cannabis is also in a swallowed form, rather than breathed in, smoked or inhaled, or vaped. You may have heard about the dangers of smoking or vaping. Just like with tobacco, there are similar concerns with cannabis that is smoked or vaped.