I’m sure I mentioned before in a blog, but I have a disease called fibromyalgia. Here’s a blog I wrote about the disease for a client who owns a medical marijuana clinic.
Fibromyalgia is a neuro disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia, often shortened to just fibro, amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and non-painful signals.
There are three primary symptoms of fibro and they are:
- Widespread pain: The pain associated with fibro often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist. It’s typically triggered after a traumatic physical occurrence such as surgery or pregnancy.
- Fatigue: People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired even after sleeping for more than 8 hours. Getting restful sleep is difficult due to the pain feeling “crushing” when they lay down. Patients with fibro also often have restless leg syndrome and/or sleep apnea.
- Cognitive difficulties: “Fibro fog” impairs the patient’s ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
Fibro often is accompanied with other conditions, such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Migraine and other types of headaches
- Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Many medical professionals and researchers believe that repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain and spinal cord of people with fibro to change. The change involves abnormal increases in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain. Additionally, the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a sensitization to pain which is why they can overreact to painful and non-painful signals.
There are likely many factors that lead to these changes, including:
- Genetics: Since fibro tends to run in families, there are reasons to believe that genetic mutations make you more susceptible the disorder.
- Infections: Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibro.
- Physical or emotional events: Fibro can sometimes be triggered by a physical event, such as a car accident, surgery or pregnancy. Prolonged psychological stress may also trigger the condition such as lifelong anxiety and depression.
The overall mortality is not increased in patients with fibro, and it is not an organ-threatening disease. However, many patients with fibro continue to suffer from long-term widespread pain since there is no cure.
Medical Marijuana and Fibromyalgia
This disease cannot be cured but medical marijuana eases symptoms to give patients a better quality of life. MM has been used to treat epilepsy and stop seizures for at least a century. Additionally:
- “One recent study found that the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) appears to be helpful in treating epileptic seizures in children. The researchers observed that for children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and dissociative seizures, those given a treatment of oral CBD experienced a significant reduction in the frequency of their seizures compared to those taking a placebo; nearly 40 percent of those taking CBD had their seizure frequency reduced by 50 percent or more.
- Separately, a recent evaluation of combination CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis oil also saw a significant drop in seizure frequency among children with Dravet syndrome, with seizure frequency reduced by an average of 70 percent over the course of the 20-week study period.” (Analytical Cannabis Co)
Marijuana strains that help with associated proteins and anxiety include:
- Granddaddy Purple: This indica strain relieves anxiety and promotes a good night’s sleep along with helping with muscle stiffness and pain. Patients say it gives the body a dreamy feeling in low doses that is great for relaxing when it’s not time for bed yet.
- Tahoe OG: This hybrid strain is 30/70 in indicas favor, combining the best qualities of both. It relaxes your mind, eases your pain and helps you get to sleep.
- Harlequin: This potent sativa has a higher CBD content and helps patients have both less pain and less anxiety without so many psychoactive effects.