Fibromyalgia is an elusive and painful condition that affects a large percentage of the population. With nearly 3 million cases in the US, and a wide range of symptoms it’s a disorder that’s deserving of an effective treatment. Even though a number of medications can help control side-effects of fibromyalgia, they also come with side-effects themselves. Which is why many sufferers of the condition are turning to CBD. As research continues to grow into CBD and its effectiveness for fibromyalgia, it’s a natural remedy worth learning more about. Here we’ll explore the world of CBD and fibromyalgia symptoms to see just how the cannabinoid can help.
What is Fibromyalgia?
To put it simply, fibromyalgia is an erratic condition that affects those who have it in a variety of ways. More defined, the disorder causes widespread, chronic pain that can be debilitating, causing fatigue and cognitive difficulties. Known as a ‘fibro fog’, common tasks like focus, paying attention or concentrating are tough for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.
So, what causes the condition? Typically genetics, but conditions like arthritis or lupus can onset the development of fibromyalgia too. It should also be noted that more women are diagnosed with the disorder than men, as well. But what medical experts can address directly is why or how the pain is caused internally. That’s through neurotransmitters found in the brain that send signals for feeling, or not feeling pain.
Experts have concluded that repeated nerve stimulation creates a change in the brain of those with fibromyalgia. The adjustment affects the levels of neurotransmitters found in their brain. Ultimately affecting how much pain is felt, and making the neurotransmitters extra sensitive. This causes an overreaction to pain signals, overall.
This information is what has led many to believe that CBD and fibromyalgia could be positively connected. As CBD influences neurotransmitters to promote its benefits and soothing results. Next, we’ll learn more about how CBD works in connection with fibromyalgia.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in hemp plants. Through the endocannabinoid system, CBD provides a plethora of beneficial health effects like relieving pain, reducing inflammation, calming anxiety amongst others. So, what is the endocannabinoid system? The control center for neurotransmitters, just like the pain signals and receptors affected by fibromyalgia.
CBD binds to and interacts with neurotransmitters, which is how its effects are felt. One receptor that is specifically important to the treatment of fibromyalgia, is serotonin. CBD activates and stimulates the production of serotonin, which in turn affects pain perception, inflammation and body temperature, too.
Also noteworthy in reference to fibromyalgia is CBD’s relationship with anandamide. Which is a cannabinoid found naturally in the endocannabinoid system known for suppressing pain. The problem is, an enzyme also found in the body called ‘fatty acid amide hydrolase’ or FAAH eradicates the presence of anandamide naturally. Luckily, CBD inhibits these specific fatty acids, increasing levels of anandamide and consequently suppressing more pain.
Now that we know about fibromyalgia and CBD separately, let’s find out more about the studies that are helping to prove their connection.
CBD and Fibromyalgia
One of the most profound and recent studies into the connection of CBD and fibromyalgia gave us a deeper glimpse into the inner-workings of the painful condition. Results from research conducted in 2017 showed a correlation between microglia cells, CBD and intense pain felt from the central nervous system, brain and spinal cord.
When microglia cells become activated, they add to inflammation and can amplify pain signals. It just so happens that the CB2 receptor found in the endocannabinoid system regulates these microglia cells. And what influences the CB2 receptor? CBD. So not only can CBD regulate the number of microglia cells that intensifies pain caused by fibromyalgia, but it also helps reduce the inflammation they cause.
Another 2017 study concluded that CBD was one ‘pharmacological option’ effective as a ‘potential treatment avenue…for diminishing glial activity’ found in fibromyalgia. Remember when we learned about the hypersensitivity of neurotransmitters responsible for pain? Well, this study showed CBD is successful at counteracting that additional sensitivity.
Neuropathic pain is another side effect of fibromyalgia that can be debilitating to many. This pain is caused by damaged or malfunctioning nerves, much like the overstimulated nerves of fibromyalgia. Fortunately, CBD can help that symptom, too. The Journal of Experimental Medicine recently published that “cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting (specific) α3 glycine receptors.” Even more, in a study of rats with inflamed painful joints, and neuropathic pain, CBD reduced these symptoms with oral and topical applications.
Lastly, CBD is demonstrating neuroprotective capabilities through a number of studies. Beyond pain, like we mentioned fibromyalgia also induces a mental cloudiness or lack of focus. By being neuroprotective and stimulating cell repair, overall CBD can improve brain function found in the condition.
How to take CBD for Fibromyalgia
CBD is now available in a variety of different products, with a number of different options. Like full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolates (link to article on site currently). These classifications indicate whether or not legal amounts of THC (>.3%) are present or not.
Why is this important for the treatment of fibromyalgia? Because some experts recommend a combination of CBD and THC that is found in full-spectrum CBD products to effectively target fibromyalgia symptoms. The synergy of cannabinoids and plant matter cause what’s known as an ‘entourage effect’ with the compounds amplifying each other’s effects. This helps to curb the intense pain felt by the condition.
As we learned from studies, CBD taken orally or topically can help address specific areas of pain found with fibromyalgia too. When taken sublingually through a tincture or ingesting a CBD edible, the cannabinoid works from the inside out. When applying a topical to the skin you can directly target where the condition is most painful. The CBD topical reacts with the cannabinoid receptors found in the skin to produce its healing effects.
The CBD and Fibromyalgia Connection
Even though research on humans is still underway, the CBD and fibromyalgia connection is strong to say the least. What we do know from the way that CBD works and how fibromyalgia functions, is that their interaction could help provide an additional aid for those who suffer from the condition. If you’re seeking amplified yet natural soothing effects for pain or inflammation, early studies show CBD could be the ideal supplement. Always remember – the better your CBD product, the better your results can be. Shop Natures Pure premium and top-quality topicals, tinctures, gummies and more when you’re in the market for relief.