CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound that is found in Cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabidiol or THC, CBD does not cause the high feeling that is associated with cannabis. In fact, CBD counteracts the effects of THC. It acts against the THC-targeted receptors thereby reducing marijuana’s negative effects such as anxiety and paranoia.
Basically, CBD oil activates the serotonin receptors in the body of the user. It also plays a significant role in the maintenance of body temperature, inflammation reduction and pain perception. What’s more, CBD breaks down the chemical that affects mental function and mood in the human brain. This minimizes the psychoactive symptoms of the THC in cannabis. These are some of the reasons why CBD is used as a pain disorders’ treatment and not THC.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia refers to a chronic pain disorder that is characterized by musculoskeletal pain, cognitive issues, insomnia, joint pain, irritable bowel issues, migraines, and fatigue. People that suffer from fibromyalgia are highly sensitive to pain. In the past, this condition was rare. However, it now affects between 5 and 10 million individuals in the U.S alone. It’s also one of the primary rheumatoid diseases that are diagnosed by physicians.
Fibromyalgia can be explained by a deficient endocannabinoid system. This system is generally a complex network that consists of cannabis-like chemicals and receptors. When the endocannabinoid system is functioning properly, it regulates pain, sleep, immune system, inflammation, appetite, reproduction, and mood.
But when the endocannabinoid system fails to function normally, a person is said to have a condition known as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency. And when a person has this condition, everything feels wrong. What’s more, this condition is consistent with its symptoms.
Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia and most sufferers are women. However, it’s not known why it affects more women than men and what triggers it. But, some health experts feel that this condition occurs when the brain misinterprets signals from the peripheral nervous system thereby leading to its symptoms.
Conventional pain relievers that include opioids, NSAIDs, sleep aids, and muscle relaxants are used as treatments for this condition. However, there are patients that prefer CDB products when it comes to treating fibromyalgia. That’s because they find CBD safer than prescription medication.
How CBD Helps to Alleviate the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Although more research is required, there are studies that indicate that dysregulation or endocannabinoid deficiency causes fibromyalgia. Endocannabinoid deficiency occurs when the endocannabinoid system functions poorly. This happens when a person has an abnormal endocannabinoids levels in the body.
If the body fails to produce enough endocannabinoids, their sensitivity to pain goes up. Endocannabinoids are basically neuro-modulators. These are responsible for regulating pain perception. Generally, the endocannabinoid system can’t perform its role of maintaining balance properly without adequate endocannabinoids. That’s why a person with fibromyalgia experiences more pain.
CBD helps the endocannabinoid system perform its duties by interfering with the natural process via which the body breaks down endocannabinoids. Using CBD oil as a supplement increases endocannabinoids level thereby taking care of the endocannabinoid deficiency that may be causing fibromyalgia.
A 2008 study on fibro and cannabinoids showed that CBD is capable of blocking peripheral, gastrointestinal, and spinal mechanisms that enhance pain in fibromyalgia, IBS, headache, as well as in related disorders.
In another study , researchers compared the experiences of individuals with fibromyalgia that used CBD and patients that did not use it. The findings of this study revealed that patients that used CBD reported a significant reduction of pain and stiffness, increased somnolence and well-being, as well as enhanced relaxation.
Benefits of Using CBD for Fibromyalgia
Patients that use CBD for fibromyalgia have reported numerous positive effects.
• Improved mood
• Less inflammation
• Improved sleep
• Cessation or reduction of the use prescription medication, hence a decrease in their side effects
Side Effects of Using CBD for Fibro
Generally, there are fewer side effects of CBD. That’s because CBD is a non-psychoactive product. Nevertheless, CBD can be sedating in some people especially when the dose taken is high. However, you can avoid this side effect by starting your use of CBD with a lower dose.
Other side effects of CBD, though minor include:
• Dry mouth
What Fibro Patients Say about Using Cannabidiol
Fibromyalgia patients have reported positive impact on different symptoms after using CBD oil to treat them. However, it’s important to note that people are different. Generally, CBD is worth trying if you are suffering from fibromyalgia because other patients have reported positive impact from its use. For instance, CBD helps with muscle spasms, chronic pain, endurance, sleep, depression, anxiety, mood, overall well-being and mental health.
How to Use CBD for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia patients find sublingual tinctures or vaporizing as the best way to use CBD because these methods provide quick effects. Currently, there are THC dominant, CBD dominant, and CBD/THC products in the market. CBD/THC products are useful in relieving pain.
However, if you are using CBD for the first time, it’s advisable to start with CBD dominant products. That’s because CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. That means CBD dominant products won’t have side effects or cause a high feeling.
Start with 5-10mg of CBD and increase your dose as necessary until you achieve the desired effect.
Why Use CBD for Fibromyalgia
The exact mechanism of hypersensitivity to pain in Fibromyalgia patients is not understood fully. However, CBD has shown neuro-protective qualities that show efficacy in the prevention of the nerve damage that is shown by fibromyalgia patients.
More research into the CBD’s mechanism of action is required. However, the available studies show that a strong correlation between CBD and a decrease in the negative effects on life quality exists. Studies have also shown that CBD down-regulates cytokines and chemokines production. These chemicals agitate human nerve cells thereby causing pain and ache. These are common among fibromyalgia patients. Thus, CBD can alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms via these actions only.
Generally, bearing in mind the fact that no conventional treatment for fibromyalgia exists and fibromyalgia patients have reported positive effects after using CBD, it’s wise to try it out.