Cannabis May Help Reduce Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients, Another Study Finds

Cannabis May Help Reduce Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients, Another Study Finds
Pharmaceutical-grade cannabis may have some pain-reducing effects in fibromyalgia patients, but those results vary depending on the chemical contents of the specific plant. The study with that finding, "An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia," was published recently in the journal Pain. Cannabis is increasingly considered as a pain medication, particularly because it may be an alternative to opiates. In order to test the effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in patients with chronic pain caused by the fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome, investigators recruited 20 women who were experiencing chronic pain (defined as an average of at least 5 on a pain scale from 1 to 10 for most of the day). The patients participated in the study on four separate occasions; each time, they were given a different variety of cannabis. The cannabis plant has hundreds of components that have a biological effect, and the two most well-known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is primarily responsible for the cannabis "high." CBD doesn't cause a high, but there's evidence it can have other effects, including altering mood. The four strains used had different amounts of those two compounds, i.e., high THC/low CBD, low THC/high CBD, high THC/high CBD, and a control strain (placebo) that had neither THC nor CBD. The patients inhaled the cannabis fumes with a vaporizer and were then monitored and given tests for pain. The researchers also took blood samples from patients to measure the amount of THC and CBD in their bloodstreams. The researchers administering the test and the patients were both blind to which strain was being used on any of the four visits. Howe
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