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Fibromyalgia (FM for short) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain, usually associated with physical or psychological trauma, surgery, or widespread infection, and is accompanied by fatigue, sleeplessness, mood swings, and even significant memory loss.
Many fibromyalgia patients also experience several more severe symptoms, like tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.
Scientists say that this condition amplifies all sensations of pain by influencing the way the brain processes these signals.
Women are most susceptible to this kind of condition, with causes not always being restricted to or defined by specific triggers like traumas or surgery (like those mentioned above).
Understandably, a complicated issue, fibromyalgia has no cure. You can only manage these with the help of some medications, exercise, and some relaxation and stress-relieving measures that can help control depression and anxiety, associated with fibromyalgia.
But can CBD be an option? While research in this area is still ongoing, a 2013 review surely seems to indicate that it can help patients with fibromyalgia, besides those of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS), in combatting pain and inflammation and maintaining body temperature by activating the body’s serotonin receptors. Besides, CBD has also been independently found to be effective in curbing anxiety, sleep, and depression, apart from helping those with different forms of psychosis.
Let’s find out if and how far CBD can help in managing fibromyalgia’s complex set of symptoms…
Best Brands of CBD Products for Fibromyalgia : Making the List
With the rise in demand for CBD products, a large number of small and big brands have forayed into the marketplace. But not all of these brands are safe or reliable. While some brands offer high-quality CBD oils, quite a few unscrupulous and rogue brands, with little repute, manage to con vulnerable patients with severe chronic issues into buying low-grade products or even fake ones with harmful chemicals in them.
To keep yourself and your family safe, you need to do considerable research to get to know the industry, the brands, their products, their services, and practices, and overall ratings. Understandably, that is a herculean task for someone who is ill and unable to thoroughly study the market. So, we at The Cannabis Radar, regularly and persistently keep our readers informed about the goings-on in the market, keep them abreast of the best brands and products, and which products are safe and effective for different conditions, including fibromyalgia.
In this article, we will inform you about the Top 3 Brands of CBD Oils that are formulated to effectively control and manage symptoms of fibromyalgia.
1) FabCBD’s CBD Oil- full - spectrum
Like most other premium brands, Fab’s CBD products are organically sourced, contains only all-natural ingredients (botanical extracts), uses high-tech extraction and manufacturing methods
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2) Joy Organics’ CBD Oil- all organic
Joy Organics uses high-tech methods to extract the hemp materials, as well as to formulate and manufacture its products.
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3 best CBD oil of 2020 : TCR’s List of Selected Brands
FabCBD is a small, yet reputed CBD brand that has gained traction within a very short period, thanks to the support of a large customer base, who are impressed by its ability to provide potent, safe, and affordable products, produced from high-quality hemp strains.
Like most other premium brands, Fab’s CBD products are organically sourced, contains only all-natural ingredients (botanical extracts), uses high-tech extraction and manufacturing methods, and are tested independent laboratories. So much so, most of its products are also vegan and gluten-free. Despite all these, this brand has managed to provide high-quality products at reasonable prices.
FabCBD is a very transparent brand. It openly discloses its farming and manufacturing practices and makes its lab tests publicly available.
Besides maintaining high standards of customer care services, FabCBD offers free shipping across the US and guarantees a 100% money back on products found dissatisfactory by customers if they are returned within 30 days.
300mg, 600mg, 1200mg & 2400mg (all in 30ml bottles)
Berry, Citrus, Mint, Natural, and Vanilla
$39 – $129 ($0.05/mg – $0.13/mg)
Joy Organics is a reputed, family-owned brand that offers premium-quality, THC-free, organically sourced CBD products. It is one of the few consumer-oriented brands that make their products accessible to one and all by being fairly priced.
Joy Organics uses high-tech methods to extract the hemp materials, as well as to formulate and manufacture its products. Its co-founder and the person behind the brand’s vision, Joy Smith, was once a victim of chronic and debilitating pain issues. So, when she set up her own brand of CBD products, she made sure that consumers can avail of the best of what nature has to offer without having to bear the high expenses that are generally associated with CBD products. She also wanted to provide all the benefits of cannabis without its side effects (psychoactive effects of THC).
Like most other premium brands, Joy Organics’ products are safe, potent, and clean. They are regularly tested by different third-party laboratories. The brand also provides a free shipping option for orders within the US and maintains a 30-day full refund policy on all its products.
225mg – 1350mg (all in 30ml bottles)
- Tranquil Mint
- Summer Lemon
- Orange Bliss
Depending on the batch, Joy Organics’ CBD oils are tested by:
- PIXIS Labs
- Botanacor Services
- Green Scientific Labs
- PhytaTech Metrics & Solutions
- Cloud labs
$29.95 – $99.95 ($0.07/mg – $0.13/mg)
Another well-liked and reputed all-American CBD brand, CbdMD is known for its high-quality products made with impeccable quality control and organic farming, its affordable pricing, and free shipping policy across the US.
Not only are its products clean and pure, but they are also absolutely safe, THC-free, and potent. CbdMD’s tinctures are 100% vegan and gluten-free and are available in six different CBD strengths and four amazing flavors. Like all its products, its tinctures are all tested by third-party labs. The brand also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its products.
CBD Oil: 300mg, 750mg, 1500mg, 3000mg, 5000mg, 7500mg (all in 30ml bottles)
- Natural (hempy/earthy)
$29.99 – $339.99 ($0.05/mg – $0.10/mg)
A majority of scientific research pointed to the efficacy of medical marijuana, rather than CBD, in dealing with fibromyalgia symptoms – something that you’ll notice in the below-mentioned citations. Nonetheless, there are a few studies that have a somewhat optimistic overview of the use of CBD for treating fibromyalgia – which has also been cited below.
- According to 2009 review that studied the historical and anecdotal evidences of the use of cannabinoids, titled ‘The Analgesic Potential of Cannabinoids’, found that almost all cannabinoids, including CBD, has analgesic properties and can be used as an alternative to typical pain medications that have way too many side effects or used alongside other conventional pain killers.
- In a 2011 study, titled ‘Cannabis Use in Patients with Fibromyalgia: Effect on Symptoms Relief and Health-Related Quality of Life’, 56 individuals suffering from fibromyalgia (mostly women) were selected. Among them, 28 were cannabis users, while the rest were non-users. The trial proved that 2 hours after cannabis use, the cannabis-users showed visible signs of improvement. For instance, the cannabis-using subjects were more relaxed, felt much less pain and joint stiffness, a visible increase in sleepiness, and an overall sense of well-being.
- In a 2015 review, titled ‘Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation’, the therapeutic effects of CBD have been well documented.
- A 2015 review of available research on cannabinoid usage for chronic pain, ‘Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: An Updated Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials’ found 7 out of the 11 studies taken into consideration indicated that CBD may be used for chronic pain issues.
- According to another 2015 clinical review‘Medical Marijuana for Treatment of Chronic Pain and Other Medical and Psychiatric Problems’, medical marijuana is a potent agent in treating chronic pain. This study reviewed the results of 28 randomized, clinically controlled trials of medical marijuana as a treatment for pain, of which quite a few trials focused on pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS).
- A 2016 study has also pointed out the CB2’s influence over the microglial cell function and CBD’s effects on it. This study, ‘The CB2 receptor and its role as a regulator of inflammation’ has an optimistic overview of CBD’s effects on inflammation.
- A 2017 paper ‘Sleep disturbances and severe stress as glial activators: key targets for treating central sensitization in chronic pain patients?’inferred that CBD impedes the hypersensitivity of certain brain cells (known as glia) that surround the pain signaling nerves in people with chronic pain, including patients of fibromyalgia, and other central sensitivity syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraine. A 2019 study has suggested that it is the microglia in the brain and spinal cord that has a hand in this condition. In fibromyalgia, these cells get activated, leading to inflammation and heightened pain sensation in individuals.
- Another 2017 study from Israel, titled ‘Modulation of Astrocyte Activity by Cannabidiol, a Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoid’ also pointed to possibility of glial cells (astrocyte) activity getting disrupted by CBD’s presence in patients with ischemia, Alzheimer-like and Multiple-Sclerosis-like neurodegenerative, sciatic nerve injury, epilepsy, and schizophrenia, thus enabling the subject to function better.
- A 2019 Israeli study, conducted on hundreds of fibromyalgia patients (82% women) over a period of 6 months, also established that medical marijuana (which contains high levels of THC and requires a medical cannabis card for purchasing it) is a safe and potent treatment for fibromyalgia. At the beginning of this study, titled ‘Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia’, 52.5% of participants (193 people) complained of severe pain. After six months, only 7.9% of them (19 people) said that they still experienced high levels of pain.
- Apart from all these studies, there is also proof of CBD’s efficacy in treating different issues associated with fibromyalgia, including neuropathic pain, anxiety, depression, migraines, sleep disorders, fatigue, memory issues, and irritable bowel syndrome.
According to Dr. Ginevra Liptan [MD, a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine, board-certified in internal medicine, and founder and medical director of The Frida Center for Fibromyalgia], who developed fibromyalgia as a young adult, CBD is “not a panacea or a cure-all, but it is much safer than many of the other pain-relieving options out there, like opiates or NSAIDs”.
Can CBD Really Help Manage Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
It certainly seems so… Not only have many CBD users vouched for it, many researchers and scientists believe that CBD can, indeed, help curb the symptoms of fibromyalgia to quite an extent (and even prevent its progression or aggravation) by offering relief from pain, inflammation, and anxiety, as well as by improving mood, sleep patterns, appetite, clarity of mind, and memory, besides enhancing the overall wellbeing of a person and enabling him/her to function better.
The best part about using this natural chemical substance is that it more or less has all the benefits of medical cannabis without any of the psychoactive effects of its sister cannabinoid THC. This makes CBD not only safe but also a potent healing agent.
Unfortunately, scientific evidence of CBD’s effects on fibromyalgia and its symptoms are still quite scanty. The reasons for it are that very few studies in this area have been done so far. Besides, the few that have been done have provided no clear-cut results, have not involved placebos for exact clinical tests, and have mostly relied on the subjects’ personal opinion on how CBD has helped manage the symptoms, and not on objective tests of its exact efficacy.
Apart from these, research on CBD also faces many other challenges, including some legal hurdles. The other challenges include:
- Finding measurably high-quality CBD extracts
- Finding the right dosage for all (we all know that there is no specific CBD dosage that is applicable for one and all)
- Efficiently controlling the potency of extracts (owing to the varying quality of hemp strains, manufacturing processes, filtration procedures)
- The exact proportion of each cannabinoid in the extract, as their isolation is a difficult process, and the extracted substance usually contains numerous cannabinoids (in both active and acidic forms)
Another issue faced by scientists working in this area is that it is not entirely clear how CBD helps in the management of each one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
According to one school of thought, CBD disrupts the nerve pathways that send pain signals to the brain, thus reducing the sensation. It has a similar effect on inflammation. Together, this substance is believed to reduce the pain sensation in a person.
According to another school of thought, chronic pain syndromes, like fibromyalgia, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome, are caused due to the lack of endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters that bind with cannabinoid receptors). This is exactly what a 2016 review published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research talked about. These scientists believe that CBD use can, in fact, rectify this deficiency.
It is also believed that CBD is more effective on a person when combined with the other natural components of cannabis plants. That is why a lot of brands offer full-spectrum and broad-spectrum cannabinoid products. This combination includes THC as well. Now, as per the law, THC levels within any CBD product is required to be under 0.3% by weight, unless you have a medical marijuana card that allows you to buy this medical cannabis, which contains higher levels of THC.
In this connection, it is interesting to note that a 2006 study, which examined the physiological and clinical effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), found out that CBD works best with THC.
How to Use CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder, requiring a lot of care and awareness. Although most established CBD brands print their usage and dosage instructions on the labels as well as post them on their website’s product pages, you can always contact them for more information.
Generally speaking, it is up to the user to choose the delivery method that is best suited for him or her, depending on the symptoms experienced, time at which it is used and the effects’ duration, as well as your personal convenience.
As per the effectiveness, the time taken by our bodies to react to them, as well as based on their safety quotient, the best delivery methods are:
- Sublingual tinctures: Safest and one of the fastest-acting method; ideal for systemic application and offers fast action and higher bioavailability
- Suppositories: Safe, but most inconvenient; fast-acting and high on bioavailability; good for those who need quick and systemic application without having to experience the taste or respiratory issues
- Topical: CBD creams, salves, and balms sold by most big CBD brands; good for localized pain and inflammation, non-systemic use; CBD oils can also be added to regular pain relief creams (containing botanical or chemical pain-relieving ingredients) for topical use; CBD doesn’t enter the bloodstream, but the local skin and muscle cells, tissues, and joints to act on the affected areas.
- Edibles: Pills, soft gel capsules, gummies, tinctures mixed in different food items while cooking or baking, or even CBD oils blended with cool smoothies are effective edible delivery methods; less effective than the ones mentioned above and requires more time to react as CBD loses its bioavailability and becomes less effective for treating severe chronic symptoms that are usually associated with fibromyalgia; also a systemic form of administration
- Vaping: This is the most effective and fast-acting option, but may not be safest; may be harmful to those allergic to vape liquids or having pulmonary issues and unfit for those who dislike the aroma in their nasal chambers; also systemic administration
How Much CBD Do You Need For Fibromyalgia?
One can never be sure or exact about CBD dosage. No matter what you’re suffering from, no two patients will exhibit the same symptoms or even with the same intensity. Even an individual whose body reacts in a certain way towards CBD at one time may react differently at other times.
To make sure you get the right dose of CBD for fibromyalgia, you have to first take into consideration:
- Your Bodyweight: Higher the weight, higher the requirement for CBD (in mg)
- Your Age: Adults generally need more than kids and elderly people
- Your Gender: If you’re a woman, you would probably need less than your male counterpart
- Extent and Intensity of your Condition: The more intense and widespread the condition and its symptoms, the higher the dosage required.
- Convenience vs. Bioavailability vs. Safety Issues: Sublingual use (CBD oil tincture) is more effective than, but as safe as edibles. However, one must taste and smell the substance, as it is gradually absorbed through the sublingual glands. CBD e-liquids are the fastest delivery methods but carry the risk of harming the user’s pulmonary system. Besides, it is not always convenient to carry around the device, its charger, its batteries, its cartridges, etc.
- Type of Extract vs. Potency: Although CBD potency is determined by its concentration in milligrams, its net potency increases when mixed with other natural components of cannabis plants. For that reason, full-spectrum products have better efficacy than CBD isolates on fibromyalgia patients.
- The Hemp Strain used & the Cannabinoid Blend: These aspects of a CBD product are controlled by the brand. Unless and until you use a product, you won’t know if and how it will react with your body. Hemp strains and formulations with higher THC-content has better effects on fibromyalgia patients. [Make sure to find out the legalities of CBD oils in your state]
- Your Endocannabinoid System: The effectiveness of a CBD oil depends heavily on the sensitivity and receptibility of the user’s endocannabinoid system. You may benefit a lot from it or you may end up wasting money on it.
Like we mentioned many times before, Fibromyalgia is a complex condition. Even if your symptoms are extremely severe, you should not take a high dose of it. Using a high dose at the very onset will only be a waste of money and can even lead to adverse effects. In fact, you should never use it without consulting a doctor first.
Even if CBD is a natural extract, it is still a chemical that your body is not accustomed to. Only after a physician has determined that your condition is indeed one that requires the help of CBD oils, should you attempt to treat yourself with it. But, once you have started on it, make sure you remain regular and consistent with your dosage. Fibromyalgia’s symptoms are numerous as they are severe. You will need time and patience to deal with them. So, don’t expect magic!
Additionally, make sure you begin with a small dose and increase gradually until you find a little relief. Continue with that dosage as long as you feel a progressive improvement. If you don’t experience any improvement, then increase it further.