There has been a lot of coverage on how effective CBD hemp oil in the UK can be for different health complaints, ranging from arthritis to depression. However, little is spoken about the effect of the product for patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
Here we look at if – and how – CBD can be a solution for those with this debilitating disease and the best ways to use it.
What is fibromyalgia?
Firstly, you might not known what fibromyalgia is. Before popstar Lady Gaga revealed she suffers from the life-long condition, few people had ever heard of it before.
For those who don’t know, it is an ailment that causes pain all over the body, for no other explicable reason. It can also make the sufferer extremely tired all the time, have difficulty sleeping, muscle stiffness, headaches, an increased sensitivity to pain, irritable bowel syndrome and problems with memory and concentration, known as ‘fibro-fog’.
It can be extremely difficult to live with, as the singer-cum-actress attested in an interview with Vogue. She told the publication: “For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder, all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result.”
She went on to say: “Chronic pain is no joke. And it’s every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel.”
What are the causes?
Although Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, believes her condition stemmed from mental health problems, nobody really knows the cause of fibromyalgia yet. However, it appears to affect seven times more women than men, most commonly developing between 30 and 50. It is thought to be triggered by an emotionally stressful event, from a bereavement to giving birth.
Due to the uncertainty of its cause, it can be difficult to treat the illness. For this reason, doctors tend to prescribe medication that relieves its symptoms, such as painkillers, antidepressants, or cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling. Lifestyle changes, such as exercise, a better diet and meditation can also help.
How can CBD treat fibromyalgia?
One of the reasons why CBD is an obvious treatment for fibromyalgia is because it is known to be effective at relieving pain. Just like it can be used by arthritis sufferers for joint inflammation, it can prove successful at reducing symptoms for those with fibromyalgia.
It is thought this occurs as it attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the body, which encourages the body to produce its own natural ones, particularly CB1 and CB2. As these are associated with controlling pain and the immune system, boosting these receptors helps the body respond to aches better.
Another way CBD products could be effectual is because they are often used by those suffering from anxiety and depression. Medical News Today reported that as CBD’s cannabinoids connect with the brain’s receptors, this can change blood flow to regions of the organs that are associated with anxiety.
This could mean CBD causes the body to change the way it responds to stress and helps the person to remain calm, reducing other symptoms of fibromyalgia as well.