CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia [What We Know and What We Don't]
There are few supplements on the market today as popular as CBD Oil. Since its legalization in 2018, the popularity of the compound has exploded. According to recent survey data, as many as 1 out of 3 American adults have tried CBD, and those numbers are likely to keep increasing.
CBD's growth has also expanded rapidly. Some estimates hold that CBD will more than double in growth every year.
This popularity can be attributed to the many benefits of CBD. Many believe the compound can help manage many types of pain, physical and emotional. There is ample evidence to support these claims.
While more study is needed, research conducted has shown that CBD tinctures may be helpful at addressing many issues and might reduce the negative symptoms of many disorders.
One such example is fibromyalgia.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a devastating disorder that can cause a wide degree of symptoms. It is characterized by moderate to severe pain and does not appear to have any set cause or triggering event.
In addition to muscle pain, fibromyalgia can cause a variety of other symptoms, including sleep disorders, mood disorders, and cognitive difficulties. Fibromyalgia can also cause limb stiffness, soreness, and mobility issues.
As anyone with fibromyalgia can tell you, this disease can be truly debilitating. It can make it impossible to work or live an otherwise normal life.
Women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. According to estimates from the United States Center for Disease Control, four million American adults are believed to have fibromyalgia. This is roughly 2% of the country's population.
The worst part of fibromyalgia is that there is no cure. Unfortunately, it is simply one of many chronic conditions that can only be managed, but not completely eliminated.
Thankfully, there are many treatments that have been developed to help individuals manage their fibromyalgia. This includes medications, exercise, types of therapy, and education.
Research into fibromyalgia is ongoing, including the development of new drugs that may be helpful in treating the problem. CBD is one such example.
What Does the Research Say About CBD and Fibromyalgia?
Since fibromyalgia has proven to be so resistant to any type of cure, individuals with fibromyalgia have turned to CBD in order to help treat their symptoms. CBD Oil is an all-natural compound extracted from hemp plants and infused into a carrier oil, typically MCT oil. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. Though they both come from hemp, there is a big difference between CBD and THC.
One thing is clear: More research is needed, and the limited amount of research conducted on fibromyalgia and CBD has been on relatively small populations. However, that research has shown that CBD has potential when it comes to helping people feel better from their fibromyalgia.
A 2019 Dutch study examined 20 women with fibromyalgia. All 20 participants were given 4 types of medication: a placebo, a substance with high THC & CBD, a substance with high THC and low CBD, and a substance with low THC and high CBD.
The study found that the high THC & CBD substance, Bediol, gave the most pain relief. A whopping 90% of participants reporting a reduction in pain. This was a significantly higher amount than those taking the placebo.
Another study, this one in Israel, took place in 2019. This study examined hundreds of people with fibromyalgia. The study gave patients cannabis that contained high levels of THC and low levels of CBD.
There was a significant reduction in the number of fibromyalgia sufferers who still reported pain at the conclusion of the study.
However, this study was limited - only 70% of people could actually be contacted for follow up. These limitations were noted by the researchers who conducted the study.
It is clear that more research is needed. However, the good news is that many studies have been conducted on CBD and pain, and many of those studies have shown positive results.
For example, a 2018 review of CBD and pain examined all of the available literature and reviewed the theoretical basis by which CBD can help with pain. The review found that the theoretical basis was sound, and that available evidence did support the notion that CBD might help reduce pain.
A variety of studies have found that CBD may be able to help control pain for numerous medical conditions. For example, a study on rats with arthritis found that, when the CBD was applied topically to the rats, the rat showed reduced pain behavior, increased mobility, and decreased joint swelling.
The Arthritis Foundation even put out a guide on best practices for people with arthritis who want to take CBD.
Other studies have similar findings. For example, a 2010 study examined whether or not CBD could be useful for people who suffered from pain and nausea as a result of cancer treatment.
The study did find that CBD could provide relief for these individuals.
Other studies have found that CBD can provide pain relief for people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis spasticity, a painful side effect of Multiple Sclerosis in which muscles can lock and become rigid.
What to Know Before Taking CBD
First and foremost, anyone with fibromyalgia should speak with their doctor or a medical professional before taking CBD. While reports have generally found the side effects of CBD to be safe and minimal, there are some concerns that CBD may have negative interactions with certain drugs.
As such, it is safer to speak with a doctor before going out and buying a CBD oil tincture.
Second, make sure to check the lab test of any CBD product you purchase. Unfortunately, there are many bad CBD actors in the marketplace. A 2017 study from the University of Pennsylvania tested 81 CBD products and found that nearly 70% were mislabeled for a variety of ingredients, including THC.
The United States Food & Drug Administration does not have any testing or labeling requirements on CBD products. This means consumers have to be careful about where they buy their CBD.
Thankfully, more reputable CBD vendors – such as Eden's Herbals - always publish a third-party analysis of their CBD products. This is a test done by a third party that confirms the content of a CBD product.
Only make a CBD purchase if you can confirm that a third-party Certificate of Analysis is available.
Last, make sure you are prepared for potential side effects. As noted above, CBD's side effects are rare, and when they do occur, mild and tolerable. However, you should be prepared the first time you try CBD. Everybody reacts a little bit differently.
Side effects have been known to include an upset stomach, fatigue, or dry mouth. In other words, don't take CBD for your first time before going for a long car ride where you may not be able to access a bathroom. Once you’ve taken CBD a couple of times, you will know how your body handles it.
More research is needed to determine CBD's ability to help people who suffer from many illnesses, including fibromyalgia. In time, it may prove to be a great long term alternative to popular over the counter medications. However, the research conducted on CBD is limited. The findings so far have been positive and show CBD's potential for chronic pain relief. Hopefully, further research will continue to support the idea that CBD benefits people who suffer from fibromyalgia.
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