Fibromyalgia is a disorder that disproportionately affects women causes symptoms of intense musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep problems, cognitive and memory issues, headaches, morning stiffness, painful menstrual cramps, numbness or tingling, restless leg syndrome, temperature sensitivity, Irritable bowel syndrome, and depression. Fibromyalgia exacerbates pain symptoms because it affects the way the brain processes pain signals. Current treatment options target the symptoms of fibromyalgia with pain relievers, antidepressants, exercise, and therapy, and thanks to cannabis' analgesic, sleep-inducing, and antidepressant properties, it could soon be viewed as a potential treatment option as well.
Many studies have confirmed cannabis' ability to improve sleep disruptions and physical function as well as reduce symptoms of pain, depression, joint stiffness, anxiety. All of these effects could benefit the quality of life for patients who suffer from fibromyalgia. In one study, fibromyalgia patients who were treated with cannabis for seven months not only felt significant improvements in regards to pain intensity, but they also reduced their opioid doses. Another study found that four weeks of cannabis treatments reduced pain and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients, while the placebo group did not witness any improvements. Lastly, another study reported fibromyalgia patients experienced reduced pain and stiffness, enhanced relaxation, and an increase in somnolence and feelings of well being within two hours of smoking or orally consuming cannabis.
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