Cannabis for Treating Fibromyalgia vs. Prescription Drugs
Robnett is not alone in her experience. The National Pain Foundationconducted a survey in 2014 of over 1,300 patients. Remarkably, nearly a third — 30 percent of respondents — reported having used medical cannabis.
Of the more than 390 survey participants who had used cannabis, compared to FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, far more people reported cannabis as being effective:
- 62% reported cannabis as “very effective” in treating their symptoms
- 33% reported that cannabis “helped a little”
- Only 5% said it did not help at all
- A mere 8 – 10% reported Cymbalta, Lyrica, or Savella as “very effective”
- 60 – 68% responded those drugs “[did] not help at all”
No wonder “big pharma” is scared of cannabis! In the hierarchy of evidence, a survey is not weighted the same as a random-controlled trial (RCT). However, given the relative safety profile of cannabis and absence of adverse side effects compared to the FDA-approved medications, the data clearly suggests more research is warranted.
Synthetic Cannabinoids for Fibromyalgia
There has been just one double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized, controlled trial (RCT) of synthetic cannabinoids. Researchers concluded nabilone was a “beneficial, well-tolerated treatment option” that could be a viable adjunct to other therapies.
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Marijuana is one of the safest, therapeutically active substances known to man.
But, anecdotally, patients report they prefer botanical cannabis. Only 10% to 20% of the THC makes its way into the bloodstream after metabolizing. Furthermore, nabilone doesn’t come cheap! 30 capsules cost more than $1,000.
Robnett is happy with cannabis. “With cannabis I can vary by strain and consumption method according to how I feel or what time of day it is. More importantly, over the 28 years I’ve suffered from this condition, I found cannabis is by far the most effective and efficient treatment.”
Given the widespread frustration patients have with available treatments, and the devastating nature of fibromyalgia on those who live under its grip, it’s hard to find a morally defensible reason to deprive patients like Robnett the right to not only alleviate their suffering, but find a new lease on life.
Have you used cannabis to treat fibromyalgia? If so, share your experience with us in the comments section.