Cannabis: Is it Really the Best Fibromyalgia Treatment than the Modern Painkiller Drugs

If you have fibromyalgia, then you know just how terrible living with pain can be. Sometimes, the pain is so powerful that even the most basic daily activities can feel like major chores. Other times, you can’t really do anything else other than stay in bed all day. And then there are the days when you feel that it may soon go away.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that frequently gets misunderstood. It is very commonly misdiagnosed, we cannot understand its causes and even the very fact that the pain does not appear to have any actual answer is a mystery to the entire medical world. Some doctors will go to such extents as to say that fibromyalgia is not even a real medical condition. But for you, for that someone you love and has been diagnosed with this terribly misunderstood syndrome and for other 5 million Americans of all ages, the pain is more real than anyone else can imagine.

Understanding Fibromyalgia: Is It Really Possible?

At the moment, we cannot understand fibromyalgia’s real nature. Its causes remain unknown even today, in the 21st century when so many means of medical exploration are available out there and when so much research has been done. There are, of course, certain factors medical researchers take into consideration, but beyond that they cannot put their finger on the precise cause that leads to the development of this syndrome.
These risk factors include genetics, stressful events (both at an emotional level and at a physical one), insomnia, chemical imbalances of the body and many other things. However, none of them can explain clearly why some people get fibromyalgia, why there are so many symptoms that come with it and why it is so different from one person to another.
Treating fibromyalgia mostly involves treating the separate symptoms. More recently (starting with 2007), the Food and Drug Administration in the United States of America has approved three types of drugs that are proven to be effective in treating fibromyalgia. These drugs are Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella, all of which work with the neurotransmitters dealing with pain in the human body (serotonin, to be more exact). The first two were initially created to treat other medical conditions (such as nerve pain caused by diabetes, the shingles rashes, seizures, depression and anxiety), but the last one was created from the very beginning with the sole purpose of treating fibromyalgia.

Indeed, these drugs can be efficient in making patients feel better. But at the same time they can be quite tricky. Two of them are anti-depressants in their very nature, which means that they come along with the side effects typical of these types of drugs: insomnia or excessive sleepiness, weight gain or weight loss, excessive sweating and even intense suicidal thoughts. It is very important that, before you accept taking any treatment (prescription or not, natural, alternative or traditional), you inform yourself on the side effects that can appear because some of them can make things worse for you.

Cannabis: Is It Any Good for Fibromyalgia?

Few topics are as much debated as cannabis and its legality. More recently, some states in the U.S. have legalized recreational marijuana too, but medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states (to which you could add DC). Even more than that, medical cannabis has been around for a long while.
It was the Chinese that first mentioned it in 2727 BC. Further on, even Romans and ancient Greeks knew of the properties this plant can have. Native Americans used it for spiritual purposes too. And, later on, in the 19thcentury, many legal medicines were based on cannabis.
It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that cannabis came under the magnifying glass as a potentially dangerous plant and, by the 1930s, all the American states had placed marijuana as illegal. Later on, in the 1990s, medical marijuana was back in legality in certain states. However, this did not come without a scandal, as the laws putting marijuana under “compassionate treatment” for the terminally ill and the laws legalizing it for medical use have been in contradiction with federal laws too.
You can buy medical cannabis only with a prescription and only in the states which allow this. With the prescription, you will get a special card that places you on the list of those who are allowed to buy marijuana and you will be able to purchase it from legal and authorized drugstores.
Medical marijuana has been proven to be efficient in alleviating all kinds of chronic pain. One study placed several subjects under marijuana treatment of various dosages and under a placebo as well. When asked which type of treatment functioned better for their pain, most of the subjects agreed that the largest dosage was the most efficient (and they were not aware on which was the largest dosage). Apparently, the cannabinoids in marijuana affect various symptoms such as pain, depression, anxiety and so on and this is precisely why this plant may prove very efficient for fibromyalgia patients too.
There are people who are skeptical about the benefits medical marijuana can bring for patients with fibromyalgia or for patients with other diseases and medical conditions. According to these people, marijuana either does not show any actual benefit or its potential side effects are worse than the symptoms experienced by the patients. Among the major concerns the use of cannabis (medical or not) rises, the fact that it is considered to be addictive, to cause hallucinations, increased blood pressure, numbness, panic, lung problems and vomiting – all of which are considered to be unsafe for the patients.

Also, it is worth noting that a drug based on cannabis has been approved as well (Marinol), but it is comprised out of one of the hundreds of cannabinoids marijuana contains and that means that it may not be as efficient as the real plant itself. However, if you don’t feel comfortable taking medical marijuana (smoking, eating it or on any other way), then don’t do it. Do only the things you feel comfortable with and inform yourself on every way of treatment there is because you may find the one that is the most suitable for you and your symptoms.

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