Study Reveals Fibromyalgia Sufferers Choose CBD Over Pain Medications
A study conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School and the National Fibromyalgia Association was published on May 21, 2021, on the use of cannabidiol (CBD) among fibromyalgia sufferers and whether using CBD changed their pain medication routine.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. CBD is one cannabinoid among 100+ cannabinoids naturally occurring in the hemp plant. CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves and stalk of the hemp plant. CBD is non-intoxicating and does not produce a high feeling. Studies report that CBD can influence the body’s endocannabinoid system to help promote healing of various bodily systems and functions including pain, sleep, inflammation, memory, stress, and mood (among others).
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain (i.e., pain all over the body). Individuals that suffer from fibromyalgia tend to be more sensitive to pain. In addition to feeling pain, people with fibromyalgia have trouble sleeping, feel tired, and suffer from mental and emotional distress including depression and anxiety. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 5 to 8 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, and women are more likely to suffer from this condition compared to men.
Key Findings of the Fibromyalgia Study
The fibromyalgia study examined pain medication substitution patterns among 878 adults who suffer from fibromyalgia and use CBD, and specifically examined whether the use of CBD impacted the frequency and overall use of prescription medications. The 878 fibromyalgia participants predominately consisted of Caucasions (91.5%) and females (93.6%) with an average age of 55 ½ years.
- 72% replaced pain medications with CBD products.
- 59% replaced NSAIDs (e.g., over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen) with CBD products.
- 53.3% replaced opioids with CBD products.
- 35% replaced gabapentanoids (generally pain medications) with CBD products.
- 23.1% replaced benzodiazepines (generally medications that produce a tranquilizing effect like Xanax and Valium) with CBD products.
The study also revealed that most of the CBD using fibromyalgia participants either reduced or stopped using their pain medications because of the benefits they experienced from using CBD, including fewer side effects and better management of their fibromyalgia symptoms.
Access the full study here.