Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread and unexplainable pain throughout the body. No one really knows what causes it, though women with rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disorders are most at risk. When it comes to treatment, prescription pain relief seems to be the order of the day, but emerging research and first-hand experiences indicate marijuana could offer even better relief without the side effects.
A recent survey from The National Pain Foundation and NationalPainReport.com indicated those patients with fibromyalgia who tried marijuana for pain relief found better results than those using the three pharmaceutical drugs approved for its treatment. Of 1,300 respondents, 379 said they had used marijuana therapeutically.
Sixty-two percent of them said it was “very effective,” with only five percent remarking that it did not work “at all.” Compared to the three drugs Cymbalta, Lyrica, and Savella, these rates were considerably more impressive.
As for Cymbalta, 60 percent responded that it didn’t work at all; Sixty-one percent of Lyrica users said they had no benefits from the drug; and 68 percent of Savella users found no relief from the drug. Statements from some of the participants included:
- “Nothing but medical marijuana has made the greatest dent in the pain and mental problems.”
- “Marijuana does help a LOT; it numbs the pain, but it doesn’t last long and it makes your brain foggy.”
Many people who use medical marijuana are using it to treat chronic pain conditions. The plant’s ability to soothe what would otherwise be debilitating pain comes in addition to its potential to treat conditions like depression, PTSD, nausea, anxiety, and even cancer.
“The scientific rationale is there,” said Dr. Mark Ware of McGill University in Montreal. “There are some early preliminary, proof-of-concept clinical trials that demonstrate cannabis may be effective. Now your study adds additional weight that patients are reporting that cannabis may be better than the existing therapies. I think that this really should provide incentives for researchers to take a hard look at clinical trials to really explore that in much more detail.”