Marijuana for fibromyalgia pain is something you see discussed a lot on the forums and boards for patients.
There are many studies that have been conducted and evidenced gathered, but it never seems to outweigh the public opinion that using marijuana for fibromyalgia pain is a good idea.
There is a lot of myth and misunderstanding surrounding medical marijuana and its effective use.
It is not a treatment that is recommended for those with fibromyalgia specifically because of the risk it represents to their immune system long term.
Why so many people think it works
Medical marijuana has been in use for decades for palliative and care treatments for those with certain cancers and HIV/AIDS.
It has a long folklore history of being the drug of choice for those who wish to relax, but not disappear from life altogether.
Plus, compared to all the pharmaceuticals out there – the concept of having a natural plant to help ease the pain and other symptoms makes it very attractive.
The sad truth is that it remains a powerful anti-emetic but doesn’t do much else effectively.
Since few fibromyalgia sufferers have the type of nausea that someone who has experienced chemo or is taking an AIDS medication do – it is overkill as an anti-emetic too.
Why science and medicine hesitate to prescribe it for pain
With all the hoopla about medical marijuana, a lot of people suffering from fibromyalgia are surprised that their doctors are very reluctant to prescribe it to them for pain relief.
As of the most current findings, and based upon a forensic evaluation of scientific material over the past few decades – there is not enough evidence present to show that medical marijuana can help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms effectively.
The gathering evidence about how fibromyalgia works in the body and the brain is also suggesting that the majority of it would be beyond the reach of the cannabinoid action of marijuana in the body too.
While it may provide some minor short-term relief, it carries some serious long-term risks you should be aware of so you can make an informed decision about its use.
What are the real risks?
Forget everything you think you know about the risks of marijuana being about short-term memory loss and hunger – the real risk that has people worried are the long-term effects.
There is a demonstrable change in cognitive power, but that can decrease with abstinence.
What does happen as a permanent change within the body is the immune system can become impaired as a result of ingesting cannabis.
This is the number-two reason why marijuana for fibromyalgia pain is not recommended – if you have fibromyalgia your immune system is already compromised, regular smoking can create serious damage to your immune system that will not help you in the long run.
The number one reason it is not recommended is it is considered to be a very poorly effective painkiller.
There are many more effective choices available to you that don’t carry the risks that marijuana does.
What if it works for your pain?
The problem is that for some people marijuana does work to temporarily relieve their pain.
This can make it hard to accept that when it comes to pain relievers, even natural ones, marijuana is not the most effective and the risks associated with it are too high. It is a powerful anti-emetic, but a very poor painkiller.
The myth about it is it is better for you because it is a natural plant, but that is not true.
It is a plant, but it contains powerful psychoactive and depending on where you got it from – maybe inundated with dangerous chemicals that make it more risky to ingest than a laboratory-created painkiller.
What are the alternatives?
If part of the issue that is making you consider using marijuana for pain relief is a desire to avoid the potentially toxic and harmful side effects of prescription medication there are many natural treatments for fibromyalgia that have been proven to help some.
These natural treatments lack the risk factor of marijuana and can provide you with a way to control your symptoms without risking side effects from medication.
It is also common knowledge that there are lifestyle and diet changes that can really help you to control your pain and other symptoms too.
Make sure you find out what the recommended diet to avoid flare-ups and the types of exercises that you can do to manage all of your symptoms better as well.
What harm can really come from using marijuana for fibromyalgia pain?
Some people are choosing to self-medicate with marijuana that is not obtained by a prescription and not classified as medical marijuana.
While the risks of ingesting any form of marijuana remain the same, there is another greater risk with using any form that is considered to be illegal.
As it is considered to be a “cash crop,” and also illegal, growers tend to use many pesticides that are banned for human consumption in order to make sure that the plant survives until harvest.
This means you could be ingesting highly toxic and carcinogenic substances, as well as chemical substances that could cause an interaction with other medications that you are on.
There is not enough supporting evidence to risk what is rated as minimal relief from marijuana to take this course of action.
Talking to your doctor about all of your options
Talk to your doctor about all of your options, including marijuana and fibromyalgia.
While it may not be useful or appropriate to prescribe it for pain relief it may be appropriate if you are dealing with severe nausea.
Weigh the costs and benefits of the different therapies and treatments with your doctor before deciding anything.
You have to remember that the end goal is to create a better quality of life for yourself, and that may mean making some difficult choices.
I never tried this one but might just need to do so. The current approach – mild workouts, massage, and a healthy dairy-free diet – seems to work rather ok for me but I just was diagnosed with fibromyalgia so I might need to change my approach in the following years.
You took the words right out of my mouth. I have Fibromyalgia/CFS. Before my diagnosis they had me on several medications (Hrt, Effexor and Zofran), thinking it was hormonal. Once those didn’t make me any better and the nausea medicine stopped working and actually made me feel worse, I went off of everything, cold turkey (which I do not recommend doing!). That is when I started using cannibus. It’s been 4 years and is the only thing that helps me feel better regarding daily nausea, depression (from being sick), restless legs, insomnia and pain. I do not want to take western medicine. Once diagnosed, I’d be on 6 different medications if they had their way. I am not willing to put myself through that miriad of side effects from these prescriptions, separately or together, so it looks like I will have to keep doing what I’m doing and make sure I get organic cannibus or grow my own? This illness is horrible and I hope everyone that has it, will someday get more answers.
I have to agree with the article. I’ve had fibromyalgia for 27 years and 3 months ago I started using Medical cannibis and while I did feel great relief for the pain this past week I developed pneumonia. This was as a direct result of using the cannabis.
Also, it’s expensive for me and I was having to take more and more. I