In a recent post regarding the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms, comments were made regarding the helpfulness of a similar product called CBD oil (cannabidiol). What exactly is CBD oil and is it the same as medical grade marijuana? What exactly can it do for fibromyalgia?
Is It Legal?
The first thing you should know about CBD oil is that it is completely legal in the United States as long as it is made from industrial hemp rather than marijuana. It is viewed as a dietary supplement, similar to an herbal supplement such as Valerian Root which is commonly used by fibromyalgia patients to relieve insomnia and anxiety.
Some years ago I did medical transcription for a pediatric neurologist. Several parents whose children had epilepsy or seizure conditions asked the physician about the usefulness of CBD oil. Fibromyalgia patients often find themselves in the same boat as the children of these parents: the prescription pharmaceutical options usually have side effects that are too debilitating and unbearable. Thus, parents who were aware of the CBD oil treatment unequivocally preferred it over all of the prescription medication because it has no side effects. However, the physician always responded with the same answer, that he did not have any information about it and therefore was not willing to advise one way or another. While there have been a number of studies conducted on the efficacy of CBD oil for both epilepsy and fibromyalgia, it is apparently still not enough. That is why you will usually find the same disclaimer on CBD oil that you do for other supplements: “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
Regardless of a lack of scientific data, fibromyalgia patients on nearly every online forum dedicated to the condition mention CBD oil and marijuana as highly effective treatments at one point or another. That means it merits our attention.
What is CBD oil anyway?
“CBD hemp oil is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp, unlike medical marijuana products, which are usually made from plants with high concentrations of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Because hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, these hemp oil products are non-psychoactive,” say the folks at Medical Marijuana Inc., a leader in prescription grade CBD products. They add that since CBD interacts with our naturally occurring systems and is not psychotropic, it will not cause a high like traditional marijuana. For those suffering from fibromyalgia who must also function daily with jobs, children, or other responsibilities, a non-psychotropic option may be just the key. Think of how often you’ve tried to function with prescription pharmaceuticals for fibro, but get knocked down by the side effects of grogginess or fatigue. CBD oil could also be a great alternative for those who do not wish to use medical marijuana for religious reasons, or for the majority who simply lack legal access.
CBD oil comes in many forms, such as lotion, tinctures, drops, vape oil, spray, chocolate bars, salve, capsules, cream, and is even available for pets in drops. In the fibromyalgia community, drops seem to be the number one choice while capsules come in second.
What will CBD oil do for my fibromyalgia?
Fibro patients report a variety of symptoms that are often treated with CBD oil, but remember that everyone is different. Nonetheless, it is worth trying because fibromyalgia patients report that it helps greatly with chronic pain, sleep, endurance, anxiety, depression, inflammation, muscle spasms, overall mental health and well-being, mood, and more. Occasionally you will find those who say that CBD oil does nothing for them. However, it should be noted that an FDA report shows that some hemp oils only contain very little CBD while others have no cannabinoids at all. That may explain why some fibromyalgia patients say they have no response to the oil at all. In other words, quality matters and it would be helpful to check out the report to see the relevant brands.
Where can I get CBD oil?
There are high quality CBD oil distributors all over the internet, including Amazon where you can check reviews by thousands of people and search for the highest rated products. Additionally, most local health food stores carry it in one or many ways. The key is to do your research by checking online sources and talking to fellow fibromyalgia patients to see what brands and distributors have been the most helpful. If you have found a particularly good brand, please share it with us and tell us how CBD oil has helped your fibromyalgia symptoms.