What Is CBD and Can It Really Help Fibromyalgia?

December 18, 2019

To live with fibromyalgia is to get up every day facing pain and fatigue from the beginning to the end of the day. A feeling of brain fog is often connected with the fatigue. It's like having the flu, without the expectation of getting it over with.

To make matters still worse, the condition can come with sleep issues like insomnia, and cognitive problems that become obvious in struggles with long-term memory. Fibromyalgia is considered incurable at the present time. It can impact anyone, although women are hardest hit.

And given the way fibromyalgia so stubbornly resists treatment in most everyone it afflicts, people are asking about and indeed desperate for new treatments. Could CBD for fibromyalgia have breakthrough potential? A growing number of people want to know, and they want the scientific take on using CBD oil for fibromyalgia.

If you live with this debilitating condition, you, too, might be wondering: What is CBD, actually? And what could it have to do with relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Let's take the questions one at a time — starting with a description of CBD oil for those readers who are just starting to learn about this product.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a cannabis derivative, but it will not get you high. CBD oil is one of many chemical compounds derived from legally farmed industrial hemp.

Because this compound engages our bodies’ serotonin receptors, it has an effect on our sense of well-being and our perception of pain. Other CBD benefits exist as well. This is not controversial. The benefits have been demonstrated in the scientific literature, and they are widely understood. Cannabidiol has a known anti-inflammatory effect, and it also plays a supporting role in thermoregulation — the moderation of our body temperature. Research further indicates that CBD can help people with depression. These findings suggest that CBD offers promise for pain disorders that can impact the way our mind functions.

So, can CBD hemp oil and fibromyalgia interact in a health-affirming way? Let's look.

CBD Oil and Fibromyalgia: What We Do and Don't Know Today

First, it's important to point out that there are currently no published studies on fibromyalgia that consider the effects of CBD on its own. Not surprisingly, then, there’s no approval from the Food and Drug Administration for CBD as a treatment for fibromyalgia (or for most other conditions).

A significant body of global research suggests potential benefits of CBD for fibromyalgia's most commonly reported symptoms, though — especially the research on:

  • CBD on inflammation and pain. As Forbes has observed, CBD supports a more healthful path over the long run than heavy doses of prescription pain medicines.
  • CBD and calming anxiety to help people with sleep disorders. A new, large study appears in the Permanente Journal.
  • CBD and mood and stress relief. The Depression Alliance tells us that a significant number of experts in the field consider CBD a possible pain reliever, with value in reducing the depression that can come along with chronic pain. Depression alters the brain. It has specific effects on the hippocampus. This is the section of the brain related to learning, memory, and emotional states.

So, again, while no research yet exists to definitively connect CBD oil and fibromyalgia relief, CBD does have a significant research profile with respect to the condition's worst symptoms.

Reducing Sensitivity to Pain, Improving Mental Outlook

Conventional treatments often fail to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Prescribed treatments are usually customized, to address each individual's situation. Treatments often focus on easing the obvious pain. Fibro makes the skin feel like it's burning. It makes the muscles throb and ache, from head to toe. To people who've never experienced it, it's overwhelming, inexplicable pain. And finding out what eases this deep hurting can be a long, involved journey.

A step on that journey may involve trying CBD hemp oil, in the hope that CBD can boost a sense of well-being and bring a degree of pain relief. In many people, it will. Why? Our bodies produce internal cannabinoid receptors. These endocannabinoids mean that CBD is naturally received by our bodies. These internal receptors regulate pain sensitivity, appetite, mood swings, and sleep patterns. They release serotonin, a feel-good chemical with uplifting effects.

How to Use CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia

Once a fibromyalgia sufferer decides to try CBD oil, then the questions become what kind of CBD oil to take for fibromyalgia and how much. We answer:

  • Steer clear of iffy CBD oil products. Look for a third-party certification on the CBD bottle.
  • Generally, we recommend taking CBD by mouth, daily and regularly. People who report successfully using CBD oil often start with 5 to 10 mg a day, and work up to the amount needed for a gently improved sense of well-being. Effects should start in about an hour and a half after the dose, for a time period of about 24 hours.

Important: Because we can offer general product information but not dispense medical advice, you should speak with your doctor before beginning. This way you will receive advice specific to you, taking into account any existing symptoms or medications you personally have.

For Painful Conditions, CBD Offers an Alternative Way Ahead

CBD is receiving attention and funding. We expect to learn much more about difficult-to-treat conditions as the findings come out.

What can we say today about CBD and fibromyalgia? For people who've had enough pain, and found relief elusive, CBD offers an alternative path.

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