Living with fibromyalgia is challenging and painful. Those suffering from this illness also experience fatigue and cognitive difficulties that can provoke unpleasant ups and downs. A disorder that affects women twice as often as men thankfully can be treated with cannabis.
A recent study published in Pain Practice found that marijuana has a short-term beneficial effect on the quality of life in women with treatment-resistant fibromyalgia. The new findings build on a recent study done in Israel, which showed that fibromyalgia patients who use cannabis saw reduced pain as a result.
"As the worldwide use of cannabis rises, investigators question its role in treating fibromyalgia as one of the most common pain syndromes nowadays," the researchers explained. "Modern medicine found the endocannabinoid system's role in the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain. Previous studies showed that cannabis is efficacious in promoting sleep, deepening, and lengthening the sleep cycle. Other advantages of cannabis treatment include good pain relief without significant side effects."
The investigators used the World Health Organization Quality of Life Bref questionnaire (WhoQoL-bref) to analyze the impact of cannabis treatment in 30 women aged 18-70 years with treatment-resistant fibromyalgia.
The questionnaire considered four domains, including psychological, physical health, social relationships and environment. Participants filled out questionnaires prior to the cannabis use and during the 1-month follow-up.
At the follow-up, participants reported improvements in general quality of life (1.97 out of a 5-point score), as well as activities of daily living, psychological domain, general health and physical health, as well as reductions in pain, discomfort and fatigue.
Women taking cannabis also reported having higher self-esteem and enjoying more recreation and leisure activities. Other listed improvements were related to memory, concentration, positive feelings and sex.
Researchers pointed out, however, that more research is needed.
"Future epidemiologic studies should examine other confounders such as body mass index (BMI), anxiety, depression, personality disorders or traits, chronic medical issues, and various regular medications," they said.
Cannabis Operators Making Scientific Breakthroughs
Meanwhile, cannabis operator Flora Growth Corp. FLGC was among the first to undertake scientific clinical trials on the use of cannabinoids for treating fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
The company signed an agreement to begin scientific clinical trials globally last year, with primary research sites located in the United States and the United Kingdom.
"Our team is incredibly excited to announce our entry into cannabinoid science which will help us achieve our goal of developing pharmaceutical cannabis products while working to advance global cannabinoid research and become a thought leader in the space," Luis Merchan, president and CEO of Flora Growth, said at the time.
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