Methods: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted for eight weeks to determine the benefit of a THC-rich cannabis oil (24.44 mg/mL of THC and 0.51 mg/mL of cannabidiol [CBD]) on symptoms and quality of life of 17 women with fibromyalgia, residents of a neighborhood with a low socioeconomic profile and a high incidence of violence in the city of Florianopolis, Brazil. The initial dose was one drop (∼1.22 mg of THC and 0.02 mg of CBD) a day with subsequent increases according to symptoms. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) was applied at pre- and postintervention moments and in five visits over eight weeks.
Conclusions: Phytocannabinoids can be a low-cost and well-tolerated therapy to reduce symptoms and increase the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia. Future studies are still needed to assess long-term benefits, and studies with different varieties of cannabinoids associated with a washout period must be done to enhance our knowledge of cannabis action in this health condition.
Objective: To determine the benefit of a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich cannabis oil on symptoms and quality of life of fibromyalgia patients.
Keywords: Cannabis; Chronic Pain; Fibromyalgia; Marijuana; Pain; Tetrahydrocannabinol.
Results: There were no significant differences on baseline FIQ score between groups. However, after the intervention, the cannabis group presented a significant decrease in FIQ score in comparison with the placebo group (P = 0.005) and in comparison with cannabis group baseline score. (P < 0.001). Analyzing isolated items on the FIQ, the cannabis group presented significant improvement on the “feel good,” “pain,” “do work,” and “fatigue” scores. The placebo group presented significant improvement on the “depression” score after intervention. There were no intolerable adverse effects.
Previous research shows that some people substitute medical cannabis (often with high concentrations of THC) for opioids and other pain medications, reporting that cannabis provides better pain relief and fewer side effects. However, there is far less data on CBD use.
“I was not expecting that level of substitution,” said Boehnke, noting that the rate is quite similar to the substitution rate reported in the medical cannabis literature. People who said they used CBD products that also contained THC had higher odds of substitution and reported greater symptom relief.
As the ravages of the opioid epidemic lead many to avoid these powerful painkillers, a significant number of people with fibromyalgia are finding an effective replacement in CBD-containing products, finds a new Michigan Medicine study.
For this study, the team focused on 878 people with fibromyalgia who said they used CBD to get more insight into how they used CBD products.
“Fibromyalgia is not easy to treat, often involving several medications with significant side effects and modest benefits,” Boehnke explained. “Further, many alternative therapies, like acupuncture and massage, are not covered by insurance.”