The percentage of patients with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and lupus who are using marijuana to manage their symptoms has tripled in five years. In 2019, 18% of patients surveyed said they’ve used cannabis, up from 6% in 2014. Use was more prevalent in and near states where cannabis is legal.
The investigators, who presented the research at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology last year, surveyed more than 11,000 patients enrolled in a registry.
Of those who said they used cannabis, 62 percent said it was helpful in relieving symptoms (24% said they were not sure and 14% said it was not helpful). Cannabis users were more likely to report suffering from more severe symptoms, such as pain and fatigue, they were younger, had a history of depression, and reported opioid use for their pain than non-users.
Those with fibromyalgia were almost twice as likely than other patients to use cannabis. Given the poor results from traditional medications, marijuana could be a major factor in relieving fibromyalgia pain. It also may help with sleep problems, low energy, and other symptoms. Strains that may be helpful for treating fibromyalgia can be found here.