Fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain, fatigue, sleep deprivation, and mood instability or depression, can be effectively treated with the use of medical cannabis because the organic chemical compounds that make up the plant, called cannabinoids, mimic the body’s own naturally produced endocannabinoids. The cannabinoids in cannabis bind to the same endocannabinoid receptors that are responsible for regulating many body systems including pain, appetite, mood and memory.
Although the increase in the number of states legalizing the use of medical cannabis may seem new to some, it is actually history repeating itself. Medical cannabis tinctures were available for over the counter purchase in drugstores throughout the United States until the 1930s. Phillip Leveque, the Oregon-based doctor known for being a pioneer of medical marijuana activism, was alive when cannabis tinctures could be found on store shelves, and he was also one of the first doctors to recommend medical cannabis once it was legalized in 1998. Leveque reported that he was in care of approximately 100 patients suffering from fibromyalgia, at any given time, and they all found medical cannabis to be a very effective treatment.
Many patient testimonies align with what experts and researchers have revealed about the symptom relief that results from the use of medical cannabis. Multiple cannabinoids are known for alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia. For example, THC can significantly reduce or even eliminate pain and nausea while helping to improve mood, and CBN is a powerful sleep aid. While single cannabinoid therapy, like the use of just THC or just CBN, will be effective, the efficacy of medical cannabis increases dramatically when multiple cannabinoids are able to work together in a process known as the entourage effect. An example of this is revealed in the results of a recent online survey of fibromyalgia patients, conducted by The National Pain Foundation. Sixty-two percent of participants found medical cannabis to be “very effective” in the treatment of multiple symptoms.