In 2011, the Human Pharmacology and Neurosciences Unit at the Hospital del Mar Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain conducted a study to determine the effect of Cannabis use in patients with Fibromyalgia. Measuring symptoms relief and health-related quality of life, 28 FM patients who were cannabis users and 28 non-users were included in the study. Demographics and clinical variables were similar in both groups. Cannabis users referred different duration of drug consumption; the route of administration was smoking (54%), oral (46%) and combined (43%). The amount and frequency of cannabis use were also different among patients. After 2 hours of cannabis use, VAS scores showed a statistically significant reduction of pain and stiffness, enhancement of relaxation, and an increase in somnolence and feeling of well being. The mental health component summary score of the SF-36 was significantly higher in cannabis users than in non-users.
The researchers concluded the use of cannabis was associated with beneficial effects in Firbomyalgia patients and that further research is warranted.
Dr. Ethan Russo, a prominent neurologist and pharmacologist who has dedicated much of his professional career studying cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, theorized that fibromyalgia could be related to Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD).
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