Safety and Efficacy of Cannabis for Fibromyalgia


A 2019 clinical study involving hundreds of human participants entitled "Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia" published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine explored the potential therapeutic role of cannabis and two of its primary chemical classes, cannabinoids, and terpenes, in the treatment of fibromyalgia.


"Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome of chronic pain, often accompanied by sleep disturbances, cognitive impairment, and psychiatric symptoms," reported the study. This disease affects up to eight percent of the population and is "the most common reason for generalized pain among working-age women worldwide."


The scientists noted that cannabis may offer "a promising therapeutic option" for fibromyalgia sufferers "due to its effectiveness and relatively low rate of serious adverse effects." They also reported that "only a handful of studies" conducted in the past have investigated the effect of cannabis on fibromyalgia patients.


The scientists reported that "overall treatment success was achieved in 194 out of 239 patients (81 percent)" and defined this success as "at least moderate improvement in their condition while still receiving medical cannabis without experiencing serious adverse events." 


The researchers noted that 73 percent of participants who reported sleep problems at the beginning of the study (196 patients) experienced improvement and that sleep disorders "completely disappeared" in 26 participants. Of the patients who reported depression-related symptoms at intake (125, or 59 percent), the study noted that 101 (81 percent) experienced improvements.

The study's authors concluded that their human trial data demonstrate "that medical cannabis is an effective and safe option for the treatment of fibromyalgia patients' symptoms." They noted what they called "significant improvement [reduction]" in pain intensity and "significant improvement in patients' overall quality of life and fibromyalgia-related symptoms" after six months of medical cannabis therapy.


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