Over 70% of fibromyalgia patients are swapping opioids for CBD cannabidiol hemp oil, says US study

Patients who used CBD cannabidiol hemp oil were able to decrease use or stop taking other pain medications all together.

Research carried out by the University of Michigan‘s school of medicine has identified that large numbers of people suffering from the condition are substituting opioids for cannabis-derived products, which have fewer side effects and less potential for abuse.

Results showed that 70 percent of participants who used CBD substituted it for opioids or other pain medications. These participants reported that they either decreased use or stopped taking these medications as a result.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition which is extremely difficult to treat, with patients often relying on strong pain killers which can lead to adverse side effects.

But many are now finding relief in CBD cannabidiol hemp oil.

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD cannabidiol hemp oil are thought to help reduce pain levels, which can interfere with sleep disturbance, fatigue and cognitive impairment.

CBD cannabidiol hemp oil is the second most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and has been marketed for everything from mood stabilisation to pain relief, without the intoxicating effects produced by THC.

Previous research shows that some people substitute medical cannabis (often with high concentrations of THC) for opioids and other pain medications, reporting that cannabis provides better pain relief with fewer side effects. However, there is far less data on CBD use.

Kevin Boehnke, a research investigator from the Department of Anaesthesiology, Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Centre at the University of Michigan, said: “CBD is less harmful than THC, as it is non-intoxicating and has less potential for abuse.

“If people can find the same relief without THC’s side effects, CBD may represent a useful as a harm reduction strategy.”

Boehnke and his team surveyed people 878 people with fibromyalgia about their use of CBD for the treatment of chronic pain.

Boehnke and his team surveyed people 878 people with fibromyalgia about their use of CBD for the treatment of chronic pain.

“Fibromyalgia is not easy to treat, often involving several medications with significant side effects and modest benefits,” Boehnke explained.

“I was not expecting that level of substitution, noting that the rate is quite similar to the substitution rate reported in the medical cannabis literature.

“People who said they used CBD products that also contained THC had higher odds of substitution and reported greater symptom relief.

“Yet, finding the products containing only CBD also provided pain relief and were substituted for pain medications is promising and merits future study.”

The team also noted that much of the widespread use of CBD cannabidiol hemp oil is occurring without physician guidance and in the absence of relevant clinical trials.

“Even with that lack of evidence, people are using CBD cannabidiol hemp oil, substituting it for medication and saying it’s less harmful and more effective,” he said.

Boehnke stressed the need for more controlled research into how CBD cannabidiol hemp oil may provide these benefits, as well as whether these benefits may be due to the placebo effect.

He added: “Clinically, opening up lines of discussion around CBD cannabidiol hemp oil use for chronic pain is imperative, for medication safety reasons as well as for enhancing the therapeutic alliance and improving patient care.”

The use of CBD products in many cases of fibromyalgia can be safe and effective, and an alternative option to opioid analgesics and stronger pain killers which can be addictive with more side effects.

Written by: CannabisHealth

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