Research: hashish alleviates signs in sufferers with treatment-resistant fibromyalgia

The additional use of cannabis is linked to improvements in pain and other symptoms in patients with refractory fibromyalgia, according to the Journal of Cannabis Research.

An Italian researcher looked at the long-term use of different types of cannabis preparations (e.g., herbal cannabis, oil extracts, etc.) in a cohort of 38 patients with treatment-resistant fibromyalgia. Study participants used cannabis in combination with their prescribed medication for up to twelve months.

The author reported that “significant improvements were seen” in most patients after starting cannabis therapy. Participants were most likely to report a decrease in pain, as well as a decrease in their disability index and overall symptom severity. Most of the subjects who responded to medical cannabis reported having “no or slight side effects”. The subjects also did not appear to develop long-term tolerance to the substance, as the patients did not have to increase their doses of medicinal cannabis over the duration of the study period. No improvements in patients’ anxiety or depression scores were reported.

Similar to other studies, the majority of subjects who responded positively to cannabis therapy either stopped using prescription drugs or significantly reduced them.

The study’s author concluded, “The current study revealed the beneficial effects of MC [medical cannabis] Therapy in some patients with FMS [ fibromyalgia syndrome] and resistance to conventional treatment. Therefore, cannabinoids can be considered for FMS treatment, although several side effects can still occur. Further studies are needed to confirm these results. “

Numerous studies on fibromyalgia patients – like here, here, here and here – have also shown that cannabis is effective and well tolerated in patients with FMS.

NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “A growing number of patients with fibromyalgia are experimenting with cannabis products. The results of this study add to the growing literature indicating that cannabis is a promising alternative therapy option for many of these patients. “

The full text of the study, “Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Retrospective, Open Case Series” appears in the Journal of Cannabis Research. For more information on cannabis and fibromyalgia, please contact NORML here.

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