Can CBD make fibromyalgia worse?

Can CBD Make Fibromyalgia Worse?

CBD, the active component in hemp extracts, is known for its anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties. But is it possible that these benefits may come at a cost? More specifically, can CBD make the symptoms of fibromyalgia worse? 

Let’s dive into the adverse effects and risks of CBD to better understand if CBD could hinder rather than help with chronic pain. 

How Fibromyalgia Affects the Body

In the UK, nearly 2.5 million individuals grapple with fibromyalgia. This common disorder is characterized by persistent, widespread pain affecting joints and muscles. Its ramifications extend beyond physical discomfort, impacting sleep, energy levels, cognition, and mood.

While traditional treatments like medications, therapy, and stress reduction techniques are options, CBD has emerged as a promising alternative for those seeking relief.

Researchers are increasingly exploring CBD as a viable treatment for fibromyalgia. This is based on CBD’s potential to calm the nervous system and regulate inflammation within the body.

Alleviating fibromyalgia symptoms with CBD

CBD’s pain-relieving effects are attributed to its influence on brain function. It may interrupt nerve pathways transmitting pain signals between the brain and the body.

Cannabinoids like CBD attach to specialized receptors in the brain, such as the CB2 receptor, which aids in managing pain and inflammation. This interaction or stimulation might lead to reduced pain and inflammation.

A 2016 study suggests that a deficiency in endocannabinoids could contribute to chronic pain syndromes like fibromyalgia. CBD supplementation might rectify the lack of endocannabinoids, contributing to its success in alleviating chronic pain. However, further research is essential to comprehensively understand this process.

Side effects and CBD

In studies examining CBD’s impact on fibromyalgia, minor adverse effects were noted in less than 8% of participants. These included mild dizziness, dry mouth, or gastrointestinal symptoms.

Before using CBD, consulting a doctor is prudent as CBD might interact with certain medications and supplements, particularly those with grapefruit warnings. There are also concerns regarding CBD’s potential interference with the liver’s toxin breakdown process by affecting the cytochrome P450 complex, which should be taken into consideration.

Although side effects are typically mild and manageable, hydration, rest, and dose adjustments can alleviate these symptoms when consuming higher CBD doses.

Using CBD for chronic pain relief

While expert advice on CBD usage and dosing for chronic pain is limited, we’ve put together some tips that can guide you with consumption:

  • Consider oral or topical CBD application or a combination based on your body’s response.
  • Always consult a doctor before combining CBD with prescription medications, especially blood thinners, antibiotics, or antidepressants.
  • Start with a low CBD dose (10-20mg) and incrementally increase (5-10mg) to gauge desired effects.

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