The combination of CBD and THC can help mitigate pain, anxiety, and poor sleep related to fibromyalgia and its symptoms. Here’s what you need to know. Best CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia in 2022 The National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) estimates that about 10 million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. This chronic illness Find out what we know about CBD oil for fibromyalgia, the possible side effects, and whether CBD oil is legal where you live.
Best CBD:THC Ratio for Fibromyalgia
The combination of CBD and THC can help mitigate pain, anxiety, and poor sleep related to fibromyalgia and its symptoms. Here’s what you need to know.
CBD and THC work to reduce pain, ease anxiety, and level out moods in people with fibromyalgia. Although CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol) don’t treat the underlying cause of fibromyalgia (which is often unknown), they can relieve negative symptoms in some patients.
These cannabinoids may also help patients who have endocannabinoid deficiencies (thought to be a cause for fibromyalgia).
Here’s everything you need to know about the best CBD:THC ratio products for easing your fibromyalgia symptoms.
Table of Contents
The Benefits of CBD & THC For Fibromyalgia Symptoms
The causes of fibromyalgia are largely unknown and likely differ between patients. People with fibromyalgia often experience widespread pain, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and depression.
Although there isn’t evidence that CBD and THC can treat the main causes of fibromyalgia — a tough metric to study given doctors’ difficulty nailing down the reasons fibromyalgia occurs — these cannabinoids can help in relieving the symptoms.
THC is a known and medically accepted pain reliever, and it works even better when taken in conjunction with CBD. Because of the entourage effect, both cannabinoids may be more effective when taken together.
Due to the emotional and mental distress fibromyalgia can cause, combining your THC with CBD is a good way to mitigate the psychological effects of getting high . If you’re worried about feeling anxious or paranoid from THC, try pairing it with a bit of CBD.
CBD also works to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms like anxiety and fatigue. If you experience fatigue from fibromyalgia, some studies show that a small dose of CBD alone can make patients feel more alert .
When taken together, THC works to relieve pain and muscle soreness while the CBD works to ease anxiety. The combination can also be used to improve sleep, help you fall asleep faster, and help you sleep longer .
Some fibromyalgia patients have endocannabinoid deficiencies . As cannabinoids, which interact with your endocannabinoid system, CBD and THC can improve your endocannabinoid levels.
Taking CBD And THC With Other Fibromyalgia Medications
Common fibromyalgia medications include antidepressants and anti-seizure medication. It’s important to ask your doctor about introducing cannabinoids to your treatment plan due to any interactions with other medications you take.
If you’re on antidepressants for fibromyalgia, taking too much CBD can cause serotonin syndrome. This occurs when serotonin levels are much too high, and it can be extremely serious.
However, it’s safe to take CBD and THC with antidepressants — you just might want to opt for a lower dose of CBD.
Best CBD:THC Ratio For Fibromyalgia & How To Dose
The best CBD:THC ratio for fibromyalgia really depends on your personal preferences. If you’re concerned about getting high, opt for a lower THC ratio.
Some fibromyalgia sufferers prefer ratios of 1:1, 2:1, or 3:1, meaning one or more parts CBD to each part THC.
Find your CBD:THC ratio dose by calculating your CBD dose using our dosage calculator. Then match up those mg with your THC product.
CBD and THC gummies or oils make it easy to dose out your ratios with more precise measurements than smoking marijuana flower.
If that’s too much math for you, you can buy CBD:THC ratio products at your medical marijuana dispensary.
Other CBD:THC Ratios
The best ratio of CBD to THC is a hot topic lately. While we already have a lot of data available for the benefits of both these cannabinoids for certain conditions — there’s very little information about what the optimal ratio of each one is when used in conjunction.
As more research comes to light on the intricate synergy between these two compounds, scientists are uncovering insight into ways we can get even more effectiveness out of cannabis.
Here are some of the other optimal CBD to THC ratios based on the current evidence so far:
Final Thoughts: Best CBD:THC Ratio For Fibromyalgia
The best CBD:THC ratio for fibromyalgia is 1:1, with one or more parts CBD to each part THC.
This means you can enjoy the pain relief of the THC while easing the psychological effects of getting high.
The CBD will also work to ease pain, and the combination will help you get better sleep. In all, taking CBD and THC won’t treat the underlying cause of fibromyalgia, but it can make it a bit easier to treat the symptoms and develop a healthier lifestyle with better sleep and less anxiety.
Additionally, if fibromyalgia turns out to be the result of endocannabinoid deficiencies, CBD and THC may ultimately be the best form of treatment for this condition. However, research on this is still in development.
Best CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia in 2022
The National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) estimates that about 10 million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. This chronic illness entails a combination of bad symptoms such as pains, aches, stiffness, fatigue, and sleep problems.
The conventional treatment for fibromyalgia revolves around several types of prescription medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, and antidepressants.
However, each of these drugs is known to result in an array of adverse reactions and side-effects, and many of them are simply ineffective.
These are the reasons why many people suffering from fibromyalgia look for natural alternatives to make their lives more manageable. Among these natural solutions is CBD oil, a high-CBD extract derived from cannabis plants.
In this article, I’ll give you my personal recommendations regarding the best CBD oil brands for alleviating your symptoms. I’ll also cover the research on CBD and fibromyalgia and discuss different consumption methods and dosages.
Best CBD Oil Brands for Fibromyalgia
Choosing the best CBD oil for symptoms of fibromyalgia can prove a challenge, especially with so many brands and different products available in the booming market.
Plenty of factors come into play, such as the source of hemp, extraction method, laboratory testing, the potency of CBD, and the cannabinoid spectrum of your oil.
It’s important you only buy from trusted brands that provide a high level of transparency to prove the quality of their products.
I’ve been using CBD oil for over 4 years now and I know the pain of trial and error. To save you from throwing blind guesses, I’ve prepared a list of 3 brands that I completely trust. Each of them offers full-spectrum CBD crafted to the highest standards and lab-tested for potency and safety.
1. Royal CBD
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
- Royal CBD uses locally-grown organic hemp
- The company makes its products with supercritical CO2 extraction
- Their product lineup features full-spectrum CBD oil, capsules, and isolate-based gummies
- The oil comes in 4 potency options: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg
- Very potent: up to 83.3 mg of CBD in each mL of oil
- The hemp extract is suspended in premium MCT oil
- Each batch of product has been tested in a 3rd-party laboratory
- Slightly more expensive than the other brands, although it’s well justified by the quality of ingredients
My Thoughts on Royal CBD:
Royal CBD is a relatively new brand. The company first launched in 2018 by a group of health-conscious cannabis aficionados who decided to make simplicity and premium quality of ingredients their identification mark.
Royal CBD offers full-spectrum CBD oil in two basic formats — oil drops and capsules. The oil is available in four different strengths:
The 2500 mg bottle is the new addition to the company’s product lineup — for people who need higher doses of cannabidiol in their lives. Unlike many other oils, this one has a nice, natural taste accented by nutty undertones that make the whole experience very smooth.
If you don’t have the time for measurements and need a more convenient way to take CBD, you may try Royal CBD softgels. Each capsule comes with a fixed concentration of CBD (25 mg per capsule), allowing for easy dosing and hassle-free use on the go.
2. Gold Bee (Best Organic)
- Unique product selection
- non-GMO, Colorado grown hemp
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- 1200 mg of CBD per bottle (40 mg/mL)
- Sweetened with organic honey
- Third-party lab tested for potency and purity
- No high-strength oils
- Limited flavor options
My Thoughts On Gold Bee:
Founded in California by a group of cannabis advocates with a background in the superfoods industry, Gold Bee specializes in all-organic CBD products, including full-spectrum CBD oil, capsules, gummies, and honey sticks.
What makes Gold Bee stand out from the crowd is the unique formula they use in their extracts. Gold Bee combines organically grown hemp with honey that comes from Brazillian rainforests. The company’s CBD oil is available in one potency option: 1200 mg of CBD per bottle. This product contains 40 mg of full-spectrum CBD in each milliliter. As a whole-plant oil, it also evokes the entourage effect, which researchers describe as the synergy between all active compounds in hemp. Gold Bee has infused the CBD extract into MCT oil for increased bioavailability and a more subtle flavor.
All Gold Bee’s products are third-party lab tested for potency and purity. The company has a 30-day money-back guarantee for those looking to try out their CBD oil in a risk-free way.
- CBDPure products are sourced from Colorado-grown organic hemp
- The company uses supercritical CO2 to make its extracts
- All products go through 3rd-party laboratory testing for potency and purity
- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed — you can return your product within 90 days for a full refund.
- Narrow product selection
- The oil is slightly less potent than Royal CBD
My Thoughts on CBDPure:
CBDPure is a Colorado-based company that’s been selling high-quality CBD oils made from organic hemp for over 3 years now.
Although the company has a very modest product lineup — they only sell CBD oil and capsules — it’s mastered these formats. All CBDPure products are made with CO2 extraction and tested in a third-party laboratory to prove their quality.
Their CBD oil isn’t as strong as the one offered by Royal CBD, so it works better for a general health boost or mild symptom relief. If you want something stronger but like the transparency of CBDPure, you may go for their softgel capsules — they come with 25mg of full-spectrum cannabidiol.
If you somehow end up unsatisfied with your purchase, CBDPure will give you a full refund if your return your order within 90 days under their 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed program.
- Their products are made with locally-grown hemp
- Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil (THC-free)
- Each batch of product is sent to a 3rd-party laboratory for content analysis
- Up to 5000mg of CBD per bottle
- CBDistillery is a very affordable brand
- The company doesn’t use organic hemp
- No flavored options available
My Thoughts on CBDistillery:
CBDistillery is a company that emphasizes the importance of education on top of selling high-quality CBD oil at very affordable prices. The company caters to every type of CBD consumer out there — the products they offer are available in a wide potency range from 250 mg to 5000 mg of total CBD.
They also sell CBD isolate slab, capsules, gummies, and vapes — all of these products have been tested in an independent laboratory for quality assurance and the company publishes the lab results on their website so you know exactly what you’re buying.
The reason why CBDistillery scores lower than Royal CBD and CBDPure is the way they source their hemp. The plants aren’t organic, so the quality of the end product is lower than the competition. Nevertheless, that’s well justified by the way CBDistillery prices its CBD oil. The company may not offer the best CBD oil out there, but it’s definitely the best CBD oil in this price range.
What Exactly is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that occurs when a person suffers from recurring pains in the bones and muscles, chronic fatigue, and localized tenderness. The causes of fibromyalgia aren’t clear yet and the symptoms may vary between individuals — it is often misdiagnosed as another illness.
Despite the scant knowledge in this area, doctors and medical researchers stress that fibromyalgia may derive from several different causes, from genetics to stress, trauma, infections, as well as certain auto-immune conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Gender plays an important role, too, since women make up 80–90% of all fibromyalgia patients.
Due to the complexity of the disorder, many medical professionals refuse to classify fibromyalgia as a separate disease. Still, the awareness of this condition is growing and researchers are striving to understand the nature of fibromyalgia and find an effective treatment.
Among lifestyle changes — such as diet, physical activity, sleeping habits, stress management — people often incorporate natural supplementation into their daily routine. One of these natural (and highly versatile) supplements is CBD oil.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a high-CBD extract sourced from cannabis plants.
CBD is one of the 100+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. When used in a concentrated form like CBD oil, this compound offers a number of health benefits.
Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive on its own. Hemp-derived CBD oils contain less than 0.3% THC — they can’t get you high and are legal in all 50 states. CBD oil from marijuana is totally different. These products contain significant concentrations of THC (5–20%) and produce psychoactive effects. Their legal status depends on local state laws.
In this article, I’ll focus on the hemp-derived CBD.
Can CBD Oil Relieve Fibromyalgia?
Humans are somewhat hardwired for cannabis. Each of us has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters is considered the prime system and the “bridge” between the nervous and immune systems. The ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are located in both the brain and almost every part of the body.
This system regulates nearly every homeostatic function, including memory, mood, stress management, pain perception, immune function, cognitive processes, body temperature, and more.
In short, the main role of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain chemical balance in the body to prevent dysfunction and allow people to perform normally throughout the day.
CBD is a modulator of the endocannabinoid system, meaning it engages with cannabinoid receptors and boosts the system’s activity to improve our well being and help us alleviate different symptoms.
One way CBD can assist fibromyalgia patients is by reducing pain and stiffness — two of the key symptoms of fibromyalgia.
In the section below, I’ll cover the scientific evidence surrounding the analgesic effects of CBD and its impact on this chronic condition.
Research Overview of CBD & Fibromyalgia
The effectiveness of CBD in reducing pain is linked to its ability to interrupt pain signaling to the brain. Moreover, CBD acts on cannabinoid receptors to alter the way humans process pain.
Research from 2013 suggests that CBD may be an effective painkiller in various conditions that involve chronic pain, such as multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, migraines, and fibromyalgia.
CBD and other cannabinoids are also believed to be novel anti-inflammatory agents that help reduce swelling and heat caused by injuries or internal inflammation, which contributes to alleviating pain.
When it comes to the causes of fibromyalgia, recent studies indicate that the condition may largely depend on the function of microglia — a type of cell in the brain and spinal cord that triggers inflammation and amplify pain transmission when activated.
In a 2016 study published in the Swiss journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, researchers concluded that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may derive from the modulation of CB2 receptors.
In addition to reducing pain and inflammation in the body, CBD has been shown to offer neuroprotective properties and stimulate the growth of new cells in the brain. This activity has been observed particularly in the hippocampal region which is responsible for the formation of memories and cognitive functioning. These effects may prove helpful for mood swings associated with the condition.
Fibromyalgia patients also experience sleeping difficulties. At high doses, CBD tends to induce sedation, not to mention it keeps the user longer in the deep sleep stage while not interfering with the REM stage, the one when we dream.
Sleep disturbances may be caused by other accompanying side effects of fibromyalgia, such as anxiety and depression. These two conditions are prevalent among fibromyalgia patients. In a 2017 human study, CBD administered at a dose of 300 milligrams caused a measurable drop in cortisol and anxiety levels.
However, none of the above studies were conducted specifically to examine the effects of CBD on fibromyalgia, so from the official standpoint, research is “inconclusive” at the time of this writing.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take for Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
The FDA hasn’t approved the use of CBD for medical purposes other than treatment-resistant epilepsy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to the hemp-derived cannabidiol. The approved drug is called Epidiolex and it contains synthetic CBD.
Because of that, there is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) or prescribed dosage of CBD oil for fibromyalgia.
The optimal dosage for an individual depends on their weight, metabolism, age, diet, genetics, as well as the seriousness of the condition and the potency of CBD oil.
General guidelines from experts suggest that those new to CBD should start at 1mg to 6mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. As with any supplement, it’s best to start with a smaller dose and observe the effects for a few days — adjusting the dosage as needed.
Here’s a Handy CBD Dosage Chart for Pain Sufferers Based on Weight:
|Weight||< 25 lbs||26–45 lbs||46–85 lbs||86–150 lbs||151–240 lbs||> 241 lbs|
|Mild Pain||4.5 mg||6 mg||9 mg||12 mg||18 mg||22.5 mg|
|Moderate Pain||6 mg||9 mg||12 mg||15 mg||22.5 mg||30 mg|
|Severe Pain||9 mg||12 mg||15 mg||18 mg||27 mg||45 mg|
What the Experts Say
According to Dr. George Habib, the co-author of a 2018 retrospective review study in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology examining medical cannabis as a treatment for fibromyalgia, cannabinoids offer new hope for fibromyalgia patients.
“In general, the impression (from the study) was that this type of medication is more effective than pregabalin and duloxetine,” Habib said.
Habib, who is a rheumatologist in Netanya, Israel, believes that despite the lack of larger randomized trials, the initial research is promising and that he would prefer trying medical cannabis for fibromyalgia soon after diagnosis, rather than considering it as a last resort when other treatment options fail.
However, Habib stresses that we need to dig deeper into the ratios of CBD to THC in CBD oil for fibromyalgia.
“A small fraction of our patients used oil, and mostly containing some THC, so only a very small number of patients used pure CBD oil,” he concluded.
Dr. Ginevra Liptan, who runs The Florida Center for Fibromyalgia and is the author of “The FibroManual: A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide For You… And Your Doctor,” said that a large number of her patients experienced relief from symptoms such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, and muscle tension as a result of using full-spectrum CBD extracts.
She is a proponent of the entourage effect, a concept where all cannabinoids in the extract work synergistically to amplify the effects of one another.
“CBD oil on its own, without any other treatments, typically does not give strong analgesic effects,” she explained. “Successful pain relief without any additional prescription medications usually requires products that contain some amount of THC in addition to the CBD. I see much greater benefit from full-spectrum CBD oils, which contain other cannabinoids and sometimes trace amounts of THC, compared to the CBD isolates, which do not have the synergistic effects of the whole plant extract.”
Both experts also note that the effectiveness of CBD oil on fibromyalgia vary from patient to patient. Some notice significant pain relief, while others report only a mild improvement in pain management. Nevertheless, Liptan emphasizes that CBD oil is safer for pain relief than prescription medication although she doesn’t want to depict CBD oil as a cure for fibromyalgia.
Final Thoughts on CBD & Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition and CBD oil alone won’t cure it. However, it may be effective in alleviating its most debilitating symptoms.
The effects of CBD oil on fibromyalgia depend on a number of individual factors and thus it may be difficult to find the optimal dosage right away. It’s best to start low and slow and monitor the effects, gradually increasing the dosage until you feel the difference in your symptoms.
CBD is more effective when combined with other cannabinoids and even trace levels of THC, which is why many people choose full-spectrum extracts over CBD isolate.
However, if you’re suffering from fibromyalgia, make sure to make an appointment with your doctor before incorporating CBD into your daily routine — especially if you’re already on some prescription medications, to avoid negative interactions.
- Borgelt, L.M., Franson, K.L., Nussbaum A.M., Wang, G.S. (2013). The Pharmacologic and Clinical Effects of Medical Cannabis. Pharmacotherapy, 33(2), 195–209.
- Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S.A., Hedge, V.L. & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as Novel Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Future Medical Chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349.
- Albrecht, D.S. et al. (2019). Brain Glial Activation in Fibromyalgia — A Multi-Site Positron Emission Tomography Investigation. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 75, 72–83.
- Turcotte, C., Blanchet, M. R., Laviolette, M., & Flamand, N. (2016). the Cb2 Receptor and Its Role as a Regulator of Inflammation. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS, 73(23), 4449–4470.
- Beale, C., Broyd, S. J., Chye, Y., Suo, C., Schira, M., Galettis, P., … Solowij, N. (2018). Prolonged Cannabidiol Treatment Effects on Hippocampal Subfield Volumes in Current Cannabis Users. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 3(1), 94–107.
- Babson, K.A., Sottile, J. & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current Psychiatry Reports, 19(4), 23.
- Chang, M.H. et al. (2015). Bidirectional Association Between Depression and Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Nationwide Longitudinal Study. The Journal of Pain: Official Journal of the American Pain Society, 16(9), 895–902.
- Zuardi, A.W. et al. (2017). Inverted U-Shaped Dose-Response Curve of the Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol during Public Speaking in Real Life. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8, 259.
- Habib, G., Artul, S. (2018) Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: Practical Reports on Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Diseases, 24(5), 255–258.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia: Is it Effective, Safe, and Legal?
Further research is needed to prove its effectiveness
Adrienne Dellwo is an experienced journalist who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has written extensively on the topic.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
David Ozeri, MD, is a board-certified rheumatologist. He is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he does research at Sheba Medical Center. Previously, he practiced at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
CBD oil is getting a lot of popular attention as a potential treatment for fibromyalgia. So far, we don’t have a lot of research on it, but we do have some—and it’s promising.
Still, a lot of people don’t really understand what CBD oil is or how it works, and it tends to be wrapped up in the controversy over medical marijuana. That can make people hesitant to try it. There’s also a lot of confusion over whether it’s legal—but there are also some positive changes on that subject.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD stands for “cannabidiol,” which comes from the cannabis plant. Yes, the cannabis plant is where we get marijuana. However, CBD oil doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, which means it doesn’t get you high.
The substance responsible for the high associated with marijuana comes from a different substance, which is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol.) Growers who want to maximize the plant’s high use breeds and techniques that focus on higher THC levels. Meanwhile, cannabis that’s grown for hemp is generally richer in CBD than THC, and that’s where CBD is derived from.
CBD that’s extracted from cannabis is being used for a lot of medical purposes, and you can find a lot of impressive-sounding claims online. Are they true? From a scientific standpoint, the answers are more like “possibly” and “some of them appear to be” than a firm “yes,” and it depends on which claims you’re looking at.
People are using CBD oil for a lot of different medical purposes, including:
- Chronic pain and inflammation
- Pain from glaucoma
- Epilepsy, especially in children
- Social anxiety disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Movement problems from Huntington’s disease
- Assistance with smoking cessation
- Stopping the growth of cancerous tumors
As of mid-2018, CBD oil is not FDA-approved for any conditions. Research in the United States is in the early stages, though, since for decades, legal restrictions made it extremely difficult to study the medical benefits of marijuana or any of its components. We may see applications submitted to the agency as research continues to move forward.
CBD oil is used in various ways. You can smoke it, swallow capsules, use it under the tongue, in spray or drop form, and topically.
Effectiveness for Treating Fibromyalgia
General CBD research is in its infancy, so research on CBD for fibromyalgia could be considered embryonic. We just don’t have much to go on right now. A 2016 survey of the literature concluded that there’s not enough evidence to recommend any cannabis-based treatments for fibromyalgia or other rheumatic conditions.
However, this topic is likely to get a lot of future attention, for several reasons.
First, we have a pain epidemic in the U.S., and fibromyalgia is a major contributor to that. Current treatments just aren’t good enough for most of us, so there’s an enormous financial incentive to find something that’s better at relieving our pain and other symptoms.
We also have an opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. Studies have demonstrated that when a state legalizes marijuana, the number of opioid prescriptions drops. That’s good news for healthcare providers looking for safer pain treatments, law enforcement agencies struggling to control the tide of illegal opioid use, and lawmakers looking for solutions to the opioid problem.
CBD oil is believed to be effective against pain and inflammation, and, in its pure form, it’s generally regarded as safe.
Finally, while anecdotal evidence certainly isn’t scientific proof of anything, we have an abundance of it from people with fibromyalgia who say CBD helps them, and you can bet that when patients who have hard-to-treat conditions tell their healthcare providers something works, it piques their interest.
As for the scientific motivations behind further study, consider that CBD is believed to help relieve:
When it comes to fibromyalgia symptoms, those three are significant.
A 2017 paper published in Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets suggested CBD as a possible way to diminish the activity of brain cells called glia, which leads to central sensitization. That’s a major feature of fibromyalgia and other central sensitivity syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraine.
Fibromyalgia also involves something called endocannabinoid deficiency. That’s the system that deals with your body’s natural endocannabinoids as well as cannabis products that you may take in. That makes cannabis products a promising treatment.
A 2016 review published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found evidence that CBD is effective in migraine and irritable bowel syndrome, which are related to fibromyalgia. It also stated that some cannabis-based treatments appeared effective for fibromyalgia. The authors stated that CBD is often preferable to patients due to the high and other effects associated with THC.
Some have suggested that CBD can fight inflammation. Fibromyalgia isn’t currently classified as an inflammatory condition, but research suggests that at least some cases may involve inflammation of a body-wide web of connective tissue called the fascia. If that’s accurate, it could be one more reason CBD should be considered.
CBD Side Effects
We don’t have a full picture of the possible side effects of CBD. Some reported side effects include:
- Changes to liver enzymes used to process drugs
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Increased tremor in Parkinson’s disease, at high doses
These effects are possible but require more study, according to the World Health Organization:
- Alteration of hormonal levels
- Immune system stimulation at low levels, and immune suppression at higher levels
Addiction and abuse don’t appear to be problems with CBD, and it appears to have a low toxicity level meaning that it takes a lot to overdose.
Non-Drug Fibromyalgia Treatments
Fibromyalgia treatments other than medications include:
Is CBD Oil Legal?
You’d think the question, “Is CBD legal?” would be answerable with a simple yes or no. It hasn’t been, and while it’s getting easier to answer that question, it’s still not cut-and-dried (nor is the question of whether or not CBD oil can result in a positive drug test).
You’ve long been able to find a lot of claims by hemp growers and CBD sellers that their product is legal in all 50 states as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC. However, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling disagreed.
Enter the 2018 Farm Bill. This piece of legislation was wildly popular in both the Senate, where it was passed in June of 2018, and the House, where it was passed in December of 2018 and signed into law soon after. It re-classified hemp as a legal agricultural product, which makes CBD products legal at the federal level.
In states where marijuana and/or CBD is legal, there’s no longer a clash between state and federal law. That’s a win for those wanting to take CBD products medicinally.
However, some states have specific laws on the books banning hemp products. So what does the Farm Bill mean for those states?
Technically, federal law overrules state law. That doesn’t mean that those states will stop arresting and trying people on CBD charges, though, especially if they want to challenge the new federal law. If you’re in one of those states, be safe and talk to an expert about any possible trouble you could get into for using CBD products.
The website ProCon.org has information about which states have laws specific to CBD oil. A site called Governing maintains a map of where marijuana is legal in some form.
A Word From Verywell
Certainly, you have a lot to consider when it comes to any treatment, and even more so when it comes to CBD. Consider the pros and cons—including the legal ones—carefully. Be sure to discuss this option with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re safe, and, as with any treatment, watch for side effects.
With legal changes in-store and more research coming, expect things to change rapidly when it comes to CBD oil and other cannabis-based treatments. We’ll likely know a great deal more about the effectiveness and safety of these products a few years from now.
Frequently Asked Questions
There’s no single answer for this question. Everyone needs to try different treatments and see what works for them.
Common fibromyalgia painkillers include:
: Cymbalta (duloxetine), Savella (milnacipran), amitriptyline
- Anti-seizure drugs: Lyrica (pregabalin), Neurontin (gabapentin)
- Opioids (despite a lack of evidence that they’re effective): Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen), OxyContin (oxycodone) and related products
Fibromyalgia needs a customized treatment regimen and there’s no “best” treatment that’s been identified. Three drugs are FDA-approved for fibromyalgia—Lyrica (pregabalin), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Savella (milnacipran)—but many other drugs and supplements are used to treat this condition.
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