The results of an Israeli observational study show that fibromyalgia patients who had self-medicated with cannabis improved their symptoms of pain and were able to reduce the painkiller dose.
Fibromyalgia, a fibre-muscle pain, is a very complex pain syndrome. Those affected suffer from muscle and connective tissue pain in various parts of the body. Pressure pain above certain pain points can also occur. In addition, affected people often report other complaints such as exhaustion, headaches, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal problems.
The cause of fibromyalgia has not yet been fully clarified. It is assumed that various factors play a role in its development. For example, disturbed pain processing or altered nerve fibres in the muscle tissue can be the cause. In addition, various psychological complaints can also promote the disease.
Patients can alleviate symptoms with the help of movement therapy and relaxation techniques and are often prescribed painkillers or antidepressants.
Observational study in Israel
The doctors of the Laniado Hospital in Netanya and the Hospital of Nazareth observed a total of 101 fibromyalgia patients. 73% of the participants were female. The average age was 45 years old. Pure cannabis was smoked by 54% of the participants. Only 18% of the participants vaporized cannabis and just three participants used cannabis oil. The remaining participants medicated themselves with different combinations.
The results show that 47% of the participants did not take any further medication to alleviate symptoms due to self-medication with cannabis. 51% were able to reduce the dose of pain medication. Only one participant stopped medication with cannabis.
In addition, the doctors reported that pain symptoms and sleep improved by about 77% among the participants. The average daily cannabis consumption was relatively low. It was less than 1 gram.
From the results, the doctors concluded that cannabis may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.