Jul 20, 2016 9:20 AM

Is Marijuana More Effective for Fibromyalgia Than Drugs?

In the United States, more than five million people suffer from fibromyalgia, but unfortunately, this condition is often misdiagnosed and therefore not treated effectively by prescription drugs. However, the curative properties of marijuana appear to treat this condition better than the conventional medications, according to an online survey carried out by the National Pain Foundation (NPF).

Fibromyalgia is commonly characterized as chronic pain in muscles and connective tissue, but patients’ symptomatology shows that it is a complex neurological disorder. It is often hard for doctors to diagnose this ailment because patients complain of the variety of concurrent symptoms like chronic fatigue, headaches, anxiety, general weakness, and joint stiffness.

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Although the cause of this condition is still unknown, some cannabis scientists suppose that fibromyalgia could be caused by improper function of the human endocannabinoid system, which regulates the internal environment in your body. Imbalance of the endocannabinoid system leads to many health problems affecting muscles, digestive tract, mood, and sleep—symptoms that are often associated with fibromyalgia patients.

Moreover, medical cannabis appears to be far more effective for treating symptoms of fibromyalgia than any contemporary drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The online survey carried out by the NPF in 2014 revealed surprising findings confirming the effectiveness of cannabis in treating fibromyalgia. More than 1,300 self-reported patients suffering from this disease took part in the survey. Nearly 30% of respondents used medical marijuana to relieve their chronic pain, and far more patients reported improvement in their state after using cannabis. 62% of respondents said that cannabis was very effective in treating their condition, while 33% of patients found that cannabis helped them a little, and only 5% of participants did not notice any improvement.

In contrast, only 10% of fibromyalgia patients that used such FDA-approved drugs as Savella, Cymbalta, or Lyrica, found these medications “very effective,” while nearly 70% of patients responded that those drugs did not relieve their symptoms at all.

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In addition, the survey discovered that not all patients were diagnosed and treated correctly, as 44% of patients said they were diagnosed with fibromyalgia five years after the first symptoms appeared, and over 35% of respondents felt that their doctors were not knowledgeable enough about this disease.

Moreover, there is no doubt that cannabis has a safer profile than the FDA-approved medications, as this natural remedy does not have adverse side effects.

Unfortunately, this survey does not have the same weight as scientific studies do, and further random-controlled trials are still required. Hopefully, new scientific evidence will help fibromyalgia patients not only escape from their pain but also improve their life.

If you have already used marijuana to treat fibromyalgia, share your experience in the comments below.

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