When noth­ing else works or they’ve had enough of the side ef­fects of con­ven­tional med­i­ca­tions, peo­ple with fi­bromyal­gia are turn­ing to med­i­cal cannabis to man­age their con­di­tion.

ZOOMER Magazine - - FOOD -

Fi­bromyal­gia causes wide­spread chronic pain.

About one million Cana­di­ans—2% to 3% of the pop­u­la­tion—suf­fer from fi­bromyal­gia, a chronic con­di­tion that af­fects the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. The defin­ing symp­tom is wide­spread pain, but it can also cause a range of symp­toms such as fa­tigue, poor sleep, stiff­ness, de­pres­sion, lack of con­cen­tra­tion and mem­ory, mood swings, gas­troin­testi­nal prob­lems, and a height­ened sen­si­tiv­ity to touch. It can sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact a per­son’s daily life.

The causes are not un­der­stood.

For many pa­tients, the cause of fi­bromyal­gia is un­known. About a third of cases can be at­trib­uted to a stress­ful trig­ger, like a se­vere ill­ness or trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence. An­other sug­gested cause is a de­fi­ciency in the body’s en­do­cannabi­noid sys­tem—a sys­tem of nat­u­ral chem­i­cals called en­do­cannabi­noids and their re­cep­tors that are lo­cated through­out the ner­vous sys­tem. The en­do­cannabi­noid sys­tem is in­volved in many pro­cesses, in­clud­ing pain sen­sa­tion, in­flam­ma­tion, and mood.

Treat­ment aims to re­lieve symp­toms.

Un­for­tu­nately there’s no cure, nor is there a gold stan­dard of treat­ment for fi­bromyal­gia. Man­ag­ing the con­di­tion in­volves al­le­vi­at­ing the most trou­ble­some symp­toms to im­prove qual­ity of life. They may be treated with pain-re­liev­ers, an­ti­con­vul­sants, or an­tide­pres­sants. Some med­i­ca­tions have limited pos­i­tive ef­fects or un­de­sir­able side ef­fects, and can even worsen symp­toms. For ex­am­ple, opi­oids (used for pain) may ag­gra­vate de­pres­sion, sleep prob­lems, and gas­troin­testi­nal symp­toms.

Med­i­cal cannabis is a safe, reg­u­lated op­tion.

The ac­tive in­gre­di­ents in the cannabis plant (THC and CBD) are sim­i­lar to the cannabi­noids our bod­ies nat­u­rally pro­duce and sup­ple­ment the en­do­cannabi­noid sys­tem. Clin­i­cal tri­als have sug­gested ben­e­fi­cial ef­fects of cannabi­noids in the man­age­ment of fi­bromyal­gia symp­toms. A sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion of pain and stiff­ness, and im­proved sleep and feel­ing of well-be­ing have been shown.

It’s the #1 pre­scribed use of Can­niMed pa­tients.

At Can­niMed, a li­censed pro­ducer of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal-grade cannabis, fi­bromyal­gia is the most com­mon stand­alone con­di­tion that pa­tients are us­ing med­i­cal cannabis to treat—19% of their pa­tients take it for fi­bromyal­gia pain. Oth­ers with fi­bromyal­gia use cannabis for a more rest­ful sleep or to im­prove symp­toms like anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion, and headaches. Talk to your doc­tor about whether cannabis is right for you. Look for a rep­utable li­censed pro­ducer with an in-house phar­ma­cist who can pro­vide ad­vice on dos­ing and which prod­uct is suit­able for your symp­toms.

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