Since then we’ve not only discovered a bit about how this neurological disorder works, but also what might be causing it and how it could be treated. The answer, as you’ll find, is somewhat surprising and controversial, being that researchers are saying that cannabis might be the best treatment possible for this disease. In fact, surveys have proven that medical marijuana is even more effective at treating fibromyalgia than the current industry standard pharmaceuticals being prescribed by doctors.
Fibromyalgia Becoming a Big Problem
While many people are just becoming familiar with the term, there are already more than 5 million people in the US with fibromyalgia, most of whom are women. The symptoms of this disorder are typically anything but subtle, with sufferers complaining of joint pain and stiffness, weakness, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, cognitive problems, and digestive issues. Despite affecting a notable portion of the female population, many physicians are still ignorant to the inner workings of this disease and how it should be treated, especially since it is commonly thought to be “impossible” to cure. To the contrary, it seems that the cure, or at least an effective treatment, might be medical marijuana obtained by cannabis seeds.
Correcting a Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency
While there is an ongoing debate surrounding the cause of fibromyalgia, Dr. Ethan Russo, a well-known pharmacologist and neurologist who specializes in studying the endocannabinoid system, has postulated that the disease may be caused by clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps regulate how our organs, tissues, glands, and other components communicate with each other. When the ECS is imbalanced, a variety of symptoms related to mood, digestive health, sleep, and joint or muscle pain can appear. In fact, the symptoms of CECD match up with fibromyalgia well enough for many experts to subscribe to Dr. Russo’s hypothesis.
Nearly a Third of Fibromyalgia Patients Use Cannabis to Treat their Symptoms – Survey Says It’s More Effective
According to a survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation in 2014 containing responses from more than 1,300 patients, more than 30 percent of respondents reported using medical cannabis to treat their symptoms. Out of the nearly 400 patients who reported using cannabis as a treatment, 62% described it as “very effective” and 33% said that it “helped a little” while only 5% said it did nothing. That might seem unremarkable until you contrast it with the responses of the rest of the patients, only 10% of whom reported that their prescription drugs were “very effective” with a shocking 68% saying that the prescription drugs “didn’t help at all.”
Giving Fair Care to Patients Who Need It
Based on the results of the aforementioned studies, it would seem that cannabis is currently the only effective treatment for fibromyalgia, and yet it remains difficult to access and/or illegal for many patients. As such, we can expect to see a continued effort from advocates and activist groups like NORML who hope to incite legislative change that will allow people with fibromyalgia to access the only medicine that is currently working for them.