Living with fibromyalgia is literally a pain; however using CBD might help those who suffer from this disease. Fibromyalgia syndrome involves severe chronic muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep problems. Sufferers experience painful tender areas or zones, which medical professionals treat through lifestyle changes, stress management therapies and various medications.
One medication recently being considered by some for fibromyalgia is cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD cannot cure fibromyalgia but there is some testimonial evidence that it can alleviate the symptoms. Currently, the only chronic medical condition that the FDA endorses CBD for is epilepsy. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD can’t help sufferers of this painful condition.
While CBD isn’t a miracle cure, it can potentially work beneficially with other medications and therapies. It is always a good idea to discuss using cannabidiol for any reason or condition with your medical care professional. If they are aware of your usage, your treatment providers can advise you properly. Some doctors are perfectly fine with CBD use, while others are skeptics. There may be some concern about CBD interfering with prescribed medications or adding to side effects like drowsiness. The more your physician and their medical staff know about what you take, the better they can manage your care.
Let’s take a look at what fibromyalgia is and how it is traditionally treated. Then we’ll discuss how CBD might work to manage your symptoms. Briefly, we’ll give you an overview of how to take or dose yourself with CBD. We’ve added emphasis on CBD oil, the most common intake method. Finally, we’ll look at a selection of CBD oils that may best help the physical and mental discomforts of fibromyalgia.
We cannot diagnose nor promise to cure or alleviate your symptoms. The information presented here is for your consideration only. We again strongly advise discussing it with your treatment specialist before you begin taking CBD in any form.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Skeptics sometimes tend to characterize fibromyalgia as being ‘all in the patient’s head’. While there is definitely a psychological component to the disease, for sufferers it is very real and very debilitating. Current research seems to indicate that fibromyalgia changes the way that the brain interprets pain, increasing the level of sensation. Thus, even a gentle touch to the skin might register as very painful. Actual painful incidents like a cut or bruise can generate off-the-scale pain sensations.
Physical injuries, surgical procedures, infection or some kind of psychological stress event often precede the beginning of symptoms. Frustratingly, the symptoms can also sometimes slowly increase over time without there being a discernible cause. The disease tends to target women more than men. Middle-aged people are more susceptible, apparently, than adolescents or the elderly. Related conditions can include headaches, jaw pain (TMJ – temporomandibular joint pain), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or anxiety and depression. While there is no recognized cure for fibromyalgia, care providers often prescribe medications and relaxation therapies with mixed results.
Potentially, one supplement to other medications and treatment programs may be cannabidiol. CBD’s role in possible treatment we will discuss in detail after a little more information about the disease itself.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Those who suffer from fibromyalgia often experience systemic muscular and skeletal pain. Patients feel abnormal bodily pain along with chronic tiredness, trouble sleeping well, memory loss and emotional swings. Pain and discomfort from fibromyalgia waxes and wanes, sometimes changing affected areas of your body. And with this chronic illness, patients are particularly susceptible to fatigue stemming from sleep problems.
Diagnosing this particular pain problem involves assessing all the patient’s relevant symptoms. Some feel that doctors need to take a closer look at an overall pattern of ongoing discomfort. Patient advocates worry that relying on a quantity of tender places during an examination may not be sufficient to diagnose. Without proper diagnosis, it is obviously hard to determine and then treat fibromyalgia.
There is a lack of specific testing to detect the onset of this disease. Currently, lab tests and X-rays can screen for other similar chronic pain issues. Diagnosis thus involves a process of elimination to determine whether systemic pain indeed indicates fibromyalgia.
There is a lot that is unknown about this disease, but there are a few things that are becoming clearer. While fibromyalgia is not thought to be an autoimmune or inflammatory condition, findings do suggest the nervous system figures centrally. Those with rheumatoid arthritis issues that affect the joints, muscles and bones may be at higher risk of contracting fibromyalgia. Conditions that have been shown to precede this disease include osteoarthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis. But it should be noted that research is ongoing.
Traditional Medications and Treatments
Although CBD isn’t yet officially endorsed as a treatment for fibromyalgia, there are some more tried and traditional methods. Medical specialists combine different medicines and therapies to deal with the disease’s associated pain, depression, poor concentration, headaches, and fatigue. The goal of these treatments is to ease and manage symptoms, thereby hopefully improving quality of life.
NSAID pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen are usually the first line of defense to manage suffering. Taking these over-the-counter pain remedies do help some patients to lessen muscular aches. They also seem to help reduce inflammation and somewhat improve the quality of sleep. NSAIDs, though, can be hard on the stomach lining – a possible drawback.
Also, some anticonvulsants like Lyrica now have approval by the FDA for potential pain reduction. However, these prescription drugs may unfortunately have potential side effects such as dizziness, weight gain and swelling. Though some CBD users have reported dizziness, it’s unusual – so this may be a reason to try cannabidiol over anticonvulsants.
Sometimes care specialists prescribe antidepressants to treat fibromyalgia symptoms. Dealing not only with the psychological issues stemming from this chronic disease, antidepressants can alleviate pain as well. By boosting levels of chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine, antidepressants can help to control pain. Psychological dependency is a risk in using this type of medication. This may be another area where CBD could be used in conjunction or instead, which we will cover shortly.
Aside from prescription drugs, physical therapy is another commonly used treatment for chronic discomfort conditions like fibromyalgia. Physical activity like exercise proves to be beneficial for people with stiffness and soreness. Aerobic activity and strength training release natural endorphins and may reduce fatigue, as well as boost confidence.
There are, of course, other medications and therapies used to treat fibromyalgia. We wanted to give you an overview of some of the most common. Doctors and scientists develop new treatments and regimens continually to aid fibromyalgia patients. CBD is one such potential symptom remedy that has been considered for those who suffer from this debilitating condition.
CBD – How it Works and How to Use It
Before we get too deeply into how cannabidiol might work on fibromyalgia symptoms, let’s take a quick look at CBD. If you’re reading this, you may already have a pretty good idea of what CBD might do for you. If not, then we’ll explain.
So, just what is CBD and how does it work? CBD is a cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) in their body that produces and then utilizes endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids from cannabis plants work just as well as natural cannabinoids insofar as the ECS response goes. The endocannabinoid system helps to regulate important functions like sleep, your immune-system, and pain responses. While some cannabinoids — most famously tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — cause a euphoric psychoactive effect, CBD does not make you feel high.
CBD does not interact with the same ECSreceptors as THC, so there is no getting stoned. Actually, CBD either activates or inhibits other compounds in the endocannabinoid system. When it comes to pain regulation, CBD blocks the absorption of anandamide, which then reduces the sensation of pain. THC in your body triggers the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors, which signal the brain to produce the pleasure chemical dopamine. Thus, CBD dulls discomfort while THC increases pleasure, which produces the feeling of being high.
CBD is general ingested orally, applied topically or inhaled. Each of these methods can have benefits for users with fibromyalgia. However, the different ways you can take CBD also have their own drawbacks. For instance, CBD edibles produce long-lasting effects but can take from between half-an-hour to 2 hours to kick in. The effects of edibles, or medibles, can also depend on what else you eat and your physiology. Smoking a CBD joint or leaf does produce far faster effects, but not everyone tolerates smoking. Applying a topical CBD-laced cream is a good way to target specific areas of pain. But the benefits can take a while to kick in. Taking CBD oil drops sublingually, or under your tongue, can give fairly quick results and is a popular dosing choice.
Many users of cannabidiol employ a variety of methods to take their medicine. There’s no real danger of overdosing on CBD, so using multiple means at once carries little adverse risk. That’s not to say there are no negative side effects to taking CBD. Some reports indicate users experiencing dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, light-headedness, and drowsiness. Thus, it is again advised that you consult your physician before taking CBD long-term. Otherwise, trial-and-error is really the only way to know how it will affect someone.
One other important consideration when selecting CBD products would be whether they are full spectrum, broad spectrum or CBD isolate. Full spectrum basically means the CBD extract has all of the other compounds from the hemp plant. These include terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. Full spectrum does contain trace amounts of THC, but the law limits THC content to .03% for CBD products. Broad spectrum CBD has been extracted from hemp with all of the other compounds intact – except for THC. And isolate is CBD only, distilled from hemp.
Dosing with CBD
How do you figure out how much cannabidiol to consume? You should first consider your body weight, age, and what reason you are taking it for. Other important factors can include your own metabolism and the CBD concentration in each capsule, oil drop, cream or edible. After that, the method of consumption should be considered.
Determining the best dose of CBD for you is going to depend on a variety of factors. Whether it is full spectrum, broad spectrum or isolate would be one consideration. With full and broad spectrums there is less actual CBD than with pure CBD isolate. The other side of that equation is that you get an entourage effect from the other cannabinoids and terpenes. That means they can boost the CBD’s benefits. That said, another factor to think about is how you are dosing – topically, orally or by smoking.
Dosing By Type
* Inhaling CBD – Whether smoking or vaping, you’re going to want to know how much CBD you’re getting. A typical CBD hemp preroll ranges from 1 to 2 grams in size. The number of milligrams of CBD per joint varies, but between 25 and 50mg is pretty standard. So, if you smoke half divide the total milligrams by two. If you smoke a quarter divide by four, and so forth.
Oil cartridges or disposable vaporizer pens offer around 100 puffs and come in assorted potencies. If you have 200 milligrams in a one milliliter tank, then you’ll likely draw 2 milligrams of CBD per puff. It’s important to start slowly, with about 5 – 10 milligrams per vaping session. You can then up the dose by 5mg increments if you tolerate it well.
* Absorbing CBD Through Your Skin – Dermal patches and creams also come in strengths ranging from 50mg to 1500mg or more. It’s harder to dose with topicals. A good rule of thumb is to use creams and lotions sparingly and patches for brief periods at first.
* Ingesting CBD –Edible CBD treats are another way to intake CBD. While edible CBD effects take longer because they have to pass through your digestive system, the benefits last longer. Usually, edibles kick in within one hour of eating. And then the effects can last for up to six hours, depending on the potency.
Manufactured edibles – not homemade –likely have the dosage listed on the packaging. You just have to divide that by the number of pieces you consume. For example, CBD gummies range in strength from 5mg to 100mg. You can micro dose edibles – take them in smaller concentrations – by breaking larger pieces apart.
The other way to intake CBD orally is with drops of CBD oil. Oil drops are an extremely popular way to take CBD. Drops taken under your tongue will take effect within 15 minutes or so. Typical droppers hold 1ml of CBD oil, with about 20 drops per ml. The number of drops or droppers-full of CBD in each bottle will depend on the size of the bottle.
The exact amount of CBD oil to take will vary according to your needs and physiology. However, there are some general guidelines to follow:
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CBD capsules are just CBD oil or tincture encased in a gelatin shell. They cannot be used sublingually unless you cut them open. The take-effect timing is similar to edibles as they will need to pass through your digestive system. The nice thing about CBD oil capsules is that they come in premeasured amounts. You can get them from as low as 5mgon up to 30mg or more.
Again, you really should consult your fibromyalgia treatment specialist and follow their exact guidelines for dosing with CBD.
CBD and Fibromyalgia
Now you should have some idea about what CBD is, does and how to use it. So, let’s look at how it may be able to help with fibromyalgia symptoms.
Sometimes the traditional methods and treatments used for fibromyalgia sufferers don’t work. Or, they are inadequate to fully deal with the pain and depression. That’s where cannabidiol just might come in. Some people believe that CBD is very effective in dealing with pain, inflammation, depression and sleep problems. Since these are all symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, it would seem that CBD is ideal for treating this disease. However, at this time, most doctors look upon it as an alternative medicine and not a mainstream treatment.
Still, there are some physicians and healthcare providers open to using alternative methods for treating chronically painful conditions like fibromyalgia. This blog article presented information to you so that you can discuss possible CBD use with your treatment specialist. That way, you can work together to make informed decisions about whether treating your fibromyalgia issues with CBD is sensible.
The Best CBD Oils to Take to Treat Fibromyalgia Symptoms
When it comes to fibromyalgia symptom management, CBD oil is fairly easy to take and promises quick results. Let’s take a look at some of the brands that might be best for treating fibromyalgia’s physical and mental symptoms. If you and your doctor decide to go that route, these may be brands you will want to consider. None of the health claims are guarantees, but the following CBD oils could be therapeutic.
Endoca’s hemp oil contains a healthy dose of omegas, vitamins and minerals as well as the cannabinoids CBD and CBDA. CBDA is closely related to CBD, being the form CBD has before heating or decarbing it. Some studies show that CBDA itself displays promise as an anticonvulsant, anti-nausea, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Further, CBDA may also have antibacterial, antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. Thus, using it should benefit fibromyalgia patients. This Endoca hemp oil contains a 1500mg blend of CBD and CBDA in each bottle.
If you want powerful CBD oil that delivers 100mg of CBD per serving, then this is the stuff for you. Not only are cbdMD’s 3000mg CBD Oil Tincture Drops fully organic, but there are a number of other positives. The source hemp used to make the CBD is grown and processed in the United States, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan. If your fibromyalgia causes you a lot of discomfort, then CBD oil drops this strong are worth considering.
They don’t come much more potent when it comes to CBD Oil products than CBDistillery’s 99% pure CBD isolate tincture. This tincture contains zero THC; so, no buzz, just CBD relief. The small 1oz. bottle is supercharged with 5000mg CBD total. What’s more, the source hemp is certifiably non-GMO, U.S. grown hemp grown with sustainable and natural farming methods. High quality, high potency CBD oil like this seems ideal for those with severe fibromyalgia pain.
Another good non-GMO, organic oil, Medterra’s CBD tincture offers 100mg of CBD per full dropper. That’s 5mg per single drop. The tincture is thoroughly third-party tested to ensure it contains zero THC, as well as verified in quality and purity. Not only is this a safe and potentially effective treatment for fibromyalgia patients, but the price is affordable.
This high potency,full spectrum hemp product contains a spectrum of cannabinoids that can boost the CBD’s purported healing powers. Lazarus Naturals’ oil is vegan and gluten-free with no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners. Every 1ml dropperful contains 50mg of CBD. Users can pick up a 15ml bottle with 750mg of CBD, or a 60ml bottle with 3000mg CBD. That gives fibromyalgia patients some options to choose from.
It doesn’t have the heaviest CBD concentration, but Bluebird Botanicals Hemp Complete CBD Oil contains a high-terpene blend of hemp extracts. That makes this product optimal for those who may have milder fibromyalgia symptoms. This is a steam-distilled hemp extract oil which means that it has pre-decarbed cannabinoids – including CBD-A. The hemp oil is available in 1/3oz with 83.3mg CBD and 1oz with 250mg CBD.
NuLeaf Naturals full spectrum CBD oil provides 725mg of pure CBD in a 15ml bottle. The company distills their CBD using a CO2 extraction process. Made with completely organic ingredients, this high-grade hemp oil is lab tested to ensure quality. The concentration of CBD in this particular supplement makes it a good choice for those with moderate-to-severe fibromyalgia pain.
Being an isolate, Infinite 5000mg CBD drops should be strong medicine for fibromyalgia pain and depression. At 30ml that boils down to 8.5mg of CBD per drop, which is pretty powerful pain relief. This CBD isolate adds coconut oil which boosts the effects of the cannabinoid. This extremely potent oil is highly concentrated at 99% pure hemp-derived CBD and an excellent value for your money.
Extract Labs offers fibromyalgia patients a potent, full spectrum CBD tincture at a low price. The 30ml bottle contains 1000mg of CO2-extracted full spectrum hemp oil with added coconut oil. As we noted above, coconut oil boosts the benefits of the CBD. This particular full spectrum tincture is made from American grown, CO2-extracted hemp. Severe sufferers of fibromyalgia could benefit from this concentration of CBD.
This is another less expensive but still potent CBD oil option for users with fibromyalgia. The Hemp Barn makes their tincture with 99% pure USA-grown and extracted CBD isolate, with organic MCT oil for enhancement. They 3rd party test their oils so that users can have complete confidence in their products. At 2000mg, this extract should be strong enough to target even the most powerful fibromyalgia pain.
Cannabidiol won’t cure fibromyalgia, currently nothing can do that, but it can maybe make symptoms easier to deal with. There is much that isn’t fully understood about this chronic pain condition, including its exact causes. Although symptoms aren’t visible to others, to those debilitated by this disease it is all too real. Traditional treatments include pain medications and physical therapy – and that’s where CBD for fibromyalgia comes in. Although not officially sanctioned by the FDA, some swear by CBD to help combat the widespread pain, sleeplessness, fatigue and depression. These things may accompany the disease, but CBD could lessen them considerably.
There are many ways for fibromyalgia patients to use CBD. Dosing methods include vaping, eating in edibles, using topical creams, but the most popular is treating fibromyalgia with CBD oil. We’ve included some what we think are the best CBD oils for fibromyalgia. However, there are a lot of factors to consider. Straight CBD isolate may work for some folks, while others may prefer the effects boosting full or broad spectrum varieties. What’s clear is that CBD oil is generally easy to dose and use on a regular basis.
There are few side effects to using CBD. There are those who believe that it may add benefit to NSAID pain relievers and other traditional treatments for fibromyalgia. When something can help and not hinder then that often makes it worth trying. This guide attempts to give some background and guidelines for using CBD to alleviate the suffering of users with fibromyalgia. Ultimately, whether to use CBD and how is something for a patient and their doctor to decide.