Almost a third of fibromyalgia patients using CBD reported it helped with pain and about 40 per cent said it eased insomnia and anxiety.

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As with many other conditions, fibromyalgia often manifests in more ways than one. The disorder, which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, includes symptoms such as mental fog, chronic pain, sleep issues, depression and more. Two to four per cent of the population suffers from the condition.

Traditional methods for treating fibromyalgia focus on using pharmacological options combined with alternative therapies. However, as traditional pharmacological use has grown from 10 to 39 per cent among individuals with fibromyalgia, symptoms in the population haven’t generally improved.

A University of Michigan survey released last month that explored fibromyalgia and CBD found that of the 2,701 participants with the condition, 38.1 per cent had never used CBD, 32.4 per cent currently use it and 29.4 per cent have tried it.

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Of those who used CBD to treat the condition, some reported that it had helped to improve individual symptoms by “much” or “very much”. Specifically, 30.5 per cent of those who used CBD reported it helped to improve pain, 40.1 per cent for insomnia/sleep problems, 40.0 per cent for anxiety, 20.0 per cent for fatigue, 32.3 per cent for depression, 21.9 for memory/clarity of thought and 43.2 per cent for other symptoms.

Of those who had never tried CBD, safety was noted as their biggest concern. Additionally, cannabis use was the factor most associated with CBD use.

Where to go with the information?

The survey results seem to indicate that further investigation is required. A previous study showed that CBD in combination with THC or full-spectrum products had more statistically significant effects. Additionally, it must be considered if the hype around CBD may be leading people to report more dramatic improvements than they would otherwise.

The majority of participants in the latest survey generally reported at least trying CBD after feeling that their symptoms weren’t being properly managed. This survey included respondents from a number of jurisdictions, including every U.S. state and Canada, with the majority of those who reported using cannabis stating that it was for a medical reason.

Most participants reported that they had discussed this choice with a physician, and 48.3 per cent said their physician was either comfortable or very comfortable with the choice, while 27.3 per cent reported their physician was either a little or very uncomfortable with it.

Further research, review and education are needed, including for doctors who could then discuss the potential benefits of the CBD option for those with fibromyalgia.

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