CBD for fibromyalgia: What does research say?

Fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic pain disorder. Those affected often have a long-suffering path until the diagnosis is made. Treatment is also difficult in many cases. Many people are then looking for a natural alternative and then come across cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid from the hemp plant. But can CBD help with fibromyalgia? Are there any recent studies? And what exactly is fibromyalgia? These questions are answered in the following article.

Was ist Fibromyalgie?
Fibromyalgie – Symptome
Fibromyalgie – Therapiemöglichkeiten
Medikamentöse Behandlungen
Fibromyalgie – alternative Heilverfahren
Fibromyalgie und Endocannabinoiden
CBD bei Fibromyalgie:Studienlage
CBD auf Fibromyalgie-Symptome
Anwendung von CBD bei Fibromyalgie

Until recently, fibromyalgia syndrome was classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a special form of soft tissue rheumatism. Now, however, the disease is assigned to the chronic primary pain syndromes.

The Rheumatism League states that about one to five percent of people in western industrialized countries suffer from FMS. Women are affected much more frequently than men. In children and adolescents, on the other hand, the disease is very rare.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia means "fibrous muscle pain" from Latin, which basically describes the main symptom of the disease. So far, the causes are not fully understood. However, it is assumed that the patients' perception of pain is altered. The brain seems to perceive mild stimuli as pain. The cause of this could be a low serotonin level. A study has also shown that the small nerve fibers in the muscle tissue of those affected show changes.

In addition, fibromyalgia may develop in association with other diseases, such as rheumatic diseases, infectious diseases (Epstein-Barr viruses, hepatitis viruses, HI viruses) and certain tumor diseases.

Fibromyalgia - Symptoms

The main symptom of FMS is chronic, diffuse pain. Patients often describe these as deep muscle pain with feelings of stiffness, numbness, burning and tingling. The symptoms can occur in several regions of the body. However, the symptoms most frequently occur in the arms, legs, back and neck.

In addition, many sufferers also struggle with gastrointestinal problems, headaches/migraines, sleep disorders and fatigue. Since pain is always a psychological burden, anxiety and depressive symptoms may also occur.

Fibromyalgia - therapy options

It is not possible to cure the disease. Since FMS can vary in severity among sufferers, individually adapted therapies are necessary. Important components of the treatments include:

Exercise training: Regular exercise is extremely important to relieve pain. Moderate endurance training is recommended. Swimming, cycling, walking and targeted training that strengthens joint and muscle function are particularly suitable.Physical therapy: heat can improve symptoms, whereas cold can make them worse. Medicinal baths can also help with the condition.Relaxation techniques: Stress can exacerbate FMS symptoms, so learning relaxation techniques (e.g., autogenic training, yoga, or Thai chi) is recommended.Psychotherapy: cognitive behavioral therapy can help affected people cope better with chronic pain.

    Drug treatments

    Common painkillers usually do not provide relief for those affected. The use of anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen is also of little use, since fibromyalgia is not associated with inflammation. The anti-inflammatory cortisone also has no effect here. Therefore, only the following drugs are usually used to treat FMS:Antidepressants: In pain therapy, antidepressants are supposed to have an anxiety-relieving, mood-lifting and pain-relieving effect. Antidepressants from the group of selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRI) or tricyclic antidepressants are frequently prescribed for FMS.Anticonvulsants: These drugs are used to treat epilepsy and nerve pain. The active ingredient pregabalin can trigger pain-relieving effects because it blocks certain messenger substances involved in the transmission of pain signals.

    However, treatments with these drugs can cause severe side effects. Therefore, the risk-benefit ratio must always be weighed.

    Fibromyalgia - alternative cures

    Since medications can put additional strain on the body, many patients look for alternative healing methods or natural remedies. While some have good experiences with acupuncture and osteopathy, others try homeopathic remedies. Another alternative to conventional medical treatment could also be cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid from hemp. But does CBD help with fibromyalgia?

    The connection between fibromyalgia and endocannabinoids

    The endocannabinoid system is involved in numerous control processes in the body. Most important are processes such as the sensation of pain, inflammation, emotions and sleep. If necessary, the organism itself even forms various endogenous cannabinoids (cannabinoids), which are very similar to cannabinoids from hemp.Researchers assume that a lack of endocannabinoids limits the functions of the endocannabinoid system. As a result, the development of various diseases such as FMS could be favored. Studies have found evidence that endocannabinoid deficiency may be present in the spinal cord of FMS patients.The theory of the researchers is that the administration of cannabinoids could compensate for the endocannabinoid deficiency and thus also relieve the pain in FMS.

    CBD for fibromyalgia: what is the study situation?

    However, what sounds so simple in theory has yet to be further researched. While there are several studies that have investigated the effect of medical cannabis on FMS, they are inconclusive so far.For example, in one study, subjects with FMS received a high-THC, low-CBD cannabis oil and experienced symptomatic improvement. In contrast, another study found that inhaling a cannabis strain containing THC increased the pressure pain threshold in FSM patients.Although much research is still needed on the effects of phytocannabinoids such as THC and CBD, there are some fibromyalgia patients who are prescribed medical cannabis and benefit from it.

    Effects of CBD on Fibromyalgia Symptoms

    Numerous FSM patients use freely available CBD products. Researchers surveyed 878 patients who regularly took CBD and concluded in their article that the most common reason for taking CBD was improved symptom management. For example, respondents suffered less anxiety and insomnia. The perception of pain was also influenced with the help of CBD. In addition, some respondents stated that they were able to reduce the dose of their painkillers.

    Possible application of CBD in fibromyalgia.

    The effect of CBD on fibromyalgia syndrome has not yet been adequately proven in studies. However, this does not mean that CBD cannot have any effects. Other studies have shown that CBD can, among other things, change the sensation of pain and relieve anxiety. Only in rare cases mild side effects occur.

    It is known from a variety of testimonials that CBD hemp extract can have a positive impact on the general well-being. When buying CBD products (e.g. CBD oil), however, it is important to make sure that they are of high quality. Here, above all, the starting material as well as the respective extraction method play an important role. Preferable are products in organic quality and a CBD extract that was obtained by means of the gentle CO2 extraction process.


    What is fibromyalgia?

    Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic disease that cannot be cured and, depending on its severity, limits the patient's life. The pain symptoms can occur in different parts of the body. The arms, legs, back and neck are most frequently affected. Until now, there has been no adequate treatment, which is why those affected often look for natural remedies and come across CBD oil.

    Was hilft gegen eine Fibromyalgie?

    If the fibromyalgia syndrome is particularly severe, antidepressants and anticonvulsants are often prescribed, since common painkillers usually do not bring relief. However, regular exercise and physical therapies are the most important components in the treatment of FMS. Many patients also rely on natural product such as CBD oil.

    Can CBD be used for fibromyalgia?

    The medical effect of CBD against fibromyalgia symptoms has not yet been sufficiently researched. However, it has been shown that CBD can change the sensation of pain. In addition, CBD has sedative and anti-anxiety properties. Many FMS patients use freely available CBD products (e.g. CBD oil) to improve their general well-being.