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Medical Marijuana and Fibromyalgia

Posted by Jason Draizin on 01/12/2011 in Medical Marijuana Conditions

For the 12 million Americans who suffer from fibromyalgia, pain is an every day occurrence. The condition is characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety. But the worst part is, there is no cure.

Fibromyalgia patients instead must turn to pain management strategies that are essential for helping them cope with the disease. Medical marijuana is very effective in relieiving pain, and it is a natural alternative to the traditional pain medications often prescribed to fibromyalgia patients.

Research shows that using medical marijuana is an effective way to relieve the pain and anxiety associated with the disease. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine found in their report titled Marijuana and Medicine that the cannabinoids found in marijuana can relieve a variety of symptoms, including chronic pain. Additionally, a 2008 Canadian study that was published in the Journal of Pain reports that patients with fibromyalgia who were treated with a synthetic form of marijuana called nabilone showed significant reductions in pain and anxiety.

Nabilone, like Marinol, is currently used for treatment of nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy. But this study was the first randomized, controlled-access trial to evaluate nabilone for pain reduction and quality-of-life improvement in fibromyalgia patients. The study concluded that nabilone has significant reductions in pain and anxiety, and has significant benefits for pain relief and functional improvement in fibromyalgia patients.

While we always recommend medical marijuana in its natural form, these test results for nabilone are great news for fibromyalgia patients who live in states that have not yet adopted medical marijuana laws.