Causes are unknown, symptoms are inconsistent, and treatments are unreliable. This only adds to the mystery and the difficulty living with the disorder.
Diagnosis seeks to clarify the symptoms to differentiate the condition from similar problems. According to the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, “Patients must have widespread pain and tenderness in all four quadrants of the body.” Yet, there is no blood test or biomarker, but widespread pain is not normal.
Victims describe the pain as burning, deep, stabbing, and throbbing. The pain causes or corelates with total bodily fatigue. Drained of energy and sleeping poorly, the patients often complain of living in a fog with weakened memory and concentration. Other symptoms include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, chronic headaches, TMJ, chest pain, and more. The fatigue makes exercise difficult or impossible and leaves victims panting, sweating profusely, and dizzy.
Along with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling, Mayo Clinic recommends OTC preparations: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Doctors avoid prescribing opiates, but they may prescribe muscle relaxants or antidepressants, including Cymbalta or Savella. Or, they may opt for anti-seizure medications like Neurontin or Lyrica.
An increasing number of fibromyalgia patients are turning to cannabis products to provide a full body and mind relief. Here are the top 10 strains for treating fibromyalgia and pain:
1. Blue Dream (60% Sativa/ 40% Indica – THC: 17% – 24%, CBD: 2%, CBN: 1%) is reason enough to secure a medical marijuana card. It’s popular, available, and satisfying. The effect is probably ideal for fibromyalgia victims. It relaxes you fully and still stimulates your brain.
Blue Dream relieves pain, depression, and nausea. The sativa dominant effect offers a calm but euphoric response that still leaves you able to handle your daily tasks.
2. Cannatonic (50% Sativa/ 50% Indica – THC: 7% – 15%, CBD: 12%, CBN: 1%) boasts a high CBD content for killing pain. You can use it for daytime because the early buzz doesn’t last long. It will perk up your moods shaking anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
The high CBD guarantees relaxation without a long-lasting psychoactive experience. It warms you pleasantly with a tingling sensation starting in your extremities.
3. Critical Mass (80% Indica/ 20% Sativa THC: 19% – 22%, CBD: 5%) offers an intense but short body experience great for those suffering with insomnia. The high THC potency reduces pain and distress.
It’s a good choice for first-time smokers, still larger doses may improve sleep but risk paranoia. You’ll stay giggly and euphoric for the 3-hour uplift.
In the meantime, you’ll benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties for dealing with pain, involuntary spasms, and stress.
5. Grape Ape (90% Indica/ 10% Sativa – THC: 18% – 21%) serves up a sweet smelling grape aroma. It relaxes, calms, and sooths fibromyalgia pain. But, it also reduces anxiety and depression. This one will put you to sleep.
Because leaves you groggy after a few hours, you will use it before bed for pain, spasms, and insomnia associated with fibromyalgia.
6. Harlequin (75% Sativa / 25% Indica – THC: 7% – 15%, CBD: 10%) creates clear and alert effects. Patients who don’t do well with or aren’t looking for psychoactive experiences choose Harlequin because it alleviates anxiety, depression, and headaches.
You’ll giggle, eat, and reduce the ups and downs of the fibromyalgia experience.
8. Romulan (Indica – THC: 20% – 24%, CBD: 1%, CBN: 1%) offers straight Indica to help patients treating for muscle spasms and paid related to nerve damage.
Its profound and sleep effects treat fibromyalgia with pain relief and deep sleep.
9. Scooby Snacks (50% Sativa/ 50% Indica – THC 22%) calms with a high THC potency. Specifically recommended for fibromyalgia, you will feel inspired, happy, and hungry 15 minutes into a euphoric buzz.
The pain-relieving body high starts within five minutes. You’ll feel the relaxation start in the shoulders, neck, and upper back before it spreads throughout.
But, it’s mild enough overall to use before or during daytime activities.
Treating Fibromyalgia and Pain
The National Pain Report surveyed 1,300 fibromyalgia patients. Their conclusion is “Medical marijuana is far more effective at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia than any of the three prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the disorder.”
Specific survey results showed:
- 43% fibromyalgia sufferers feel their physician is not knowledgeable about the disorder.
- 35% feel their physician does not take their fibromyalgia seriously.
- 45% feel their family and friends do not take their fibromyalgia seriously.
- 49% said their fibromyalgia symptoms began at a relatively young age (18-34).
- 11% were diagnosed with fibromyalgia within the first year of symptoms.
- 44% said it took five or more years before they were diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
But, 95% of the participating patients reported that they received benefit from medical marijuana. 62% reported it was very effective, and 33% said it helped a little.
Combined with other therapies, including massage and light exercise, marijuana offers a real alternative for those suffering from fibromyalgia.