Here at CBDfx, we are often asked how CBD can be used to help manage symptoms of various health issues, and among these are Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. Currently, the pharmaceutical industry’s solutions for these conditions are less than satisfactory in that they can cause unwanted side-effects and are not wholly effective.[6],[7]

Meanwhile, cannabinoids are gaining popularity as a self-treatment option for pain sufferers, as CBD’s anecdotal reputation continues to rise. Researchers worldwide are busy conducting studies to learn more about CBD and draw clinical conclusions about its potential future efficacy. To better understand how CBDfx’s full-spectrum CBD products can potentially help with pain, we need to address a few questions. What are Fibromyalgia and chronic pain? Are there differences between the genders with regards to these conditions? What are these gender-based differences? How might CBD work to help manage these issues?


What are Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain?

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic and widespread musculoskeletal pain and affects women at a greater rate than men[1], with men only making up 10% of patients.[2] Along with pain often comes fatigue and cognitive difficulties. The reason for this gender skew is not readily apparent.[2]

Also, while there were no gender differences shown when analyzing the measures of pain experienced by each sex, the genders differed in their psychology and coping strategies. Compared to men, women exhibited comparatively more psychological strains where men were more focused on the corporeal pain; this indicates that the path for treatment should take into account these gender-based differences, with men focusing on pain management and women addressing the psychological aspects of the disorder.[3] Another interesting aspect of this affliction is that it rarely exists in a vacuum, with many patients also exhibiting signs of Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraines and tension headaches.[4] According to the CDC, these other aforementioned maladies may actually also be symptoms of Fibromyalgia.[5]

CBD and Fibromyalgia

Even with ongoing research, the root cause of Fibromyalgia and the difference between it and chronic pain from other sources is not well understood; many researchers’ current opinions being that it’s caused by an issue in the way the brain processes pain signals, inadvertently amplifying pain sensations.[4]

This leads to the inevitable question:

 

What can be done to mediate the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and other Chronic Pain?

 

To date, while some drugs appear to have an ability to help with some of the pain and other symptoms, they have not been wholly successful either due to incomplete symptom management or undesired side-effects.[6],[7]

Naturally, afflicted people and medical researchers continue to look for alternative options outside the realm of current pharmaceuticals. Another way to augment pain symptom management is currently being researched: The Endocannabinoid System.


What is the Endocannabinoid System?

What is the Endocannabinoid System, exactly, and what does it have to do with pain management? The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a system of receptors throughout virtually all tissues in the body which mediate a wide variety of physiological processes.[8] These include pain and its regulation, memory functionality, appetite, stress, and anxiety modulation, sleep regulation, various aspects of metabolism, immune function, and even aspects of reproductive function.[9][10]

With Fibromyalgia and chronic pain occurring throughout the body, it would make sense that targeting a cosmopolitan receptor system would be an effective method for managing specific and nonspecific pain. The ECS is receptive to both endogenous (produced within us) and exogenous (taken into ourselves from outside) cannabinoids.[8]

One exogenous cannabinoid which has been garnering a lot of attention from the scientific and medical communities is CBD.


What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid present in members of the Cannabis genus. When ingested or applied to the human body it interacts with the ECS and has been shown to potentially reduce pain and interfere with pain signaling, which has been thought to be at the root of Fibromyalgia.[4],[11]

Alongside direct pain management, many therapies for Fibromyalgia and chronic pain focus on physical exercise, meditation, and mindfulness, as well as the general reduction in exacerbating factors such as stress and anxiety.[1]

CBD, as mentioned above, also is being explored as a potential augmentation for stress and anxiety management — making it an ideal accomplice for those looking for an alternative treatment option to add to their existing regimen. Also, since it appears that women benefit more from the reduction in psychological triggers for Fibromyalgia, in the future CBD may especially help women improve their pain management outcomes.

Really Works!

Helps take the edge off and relaxes you, helps me sleep too. Also helps me with Fibromyalgia pain. I’m taking two different anxiety meds and meds for fibro, but it’s this little pen that gets the job done. I cannot thank you enough.
Kelly – 5 Start Review

Are all CBD products created equal?

Based on the initial wave of anecdotal reactions and encouraging early clinical studies, consumer excitement around CBD is here to stay and still growing. However, early adopters of CBD should realize that, as it stands today, not all CBD products are created equal. One major difference between brands is the source of the CBD itself. There are products with just CBD oil, those with CBD isolate, and those with full-spectrum CBD extract added to their products. CBD isolate is the ultra-purified form of CBD, and looks like a white powder. Ultra-pure sounds good, right?

Well, not exactly. CBD isolate does a great job of doing what its name implies (providing you with pure CBD), but a growing body of research is coming around to the idea that there’s more to the cannabis plant than just the CBD itself. With CBD isolate, you’re getting CBD alone and only an extremely limited number of other compounds from the plant. On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD includes more of those potentially beneficial nutrients from the hemp plant. The reason for this is something called the “Entourage Effect”. This effect, simply stated, means that the more compounds from the Cannabis plant that are included, the greater the effect they have through their synergy.[12],[13],[14]

Full spectrum CBD extracts, in contrast to isolate and CBD oil, contain the widest variety of the naturally occurring compounds which create this Entourage Effect. These compounds include CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and many other compounds.[13]

For that reason, many savvy CBD users are sticking strictly to full-spectrum CBD products.


The CBDfx Difference

soft gel capsules

Here at CBDfx, we pride ourselves in only using full-spectrum CBD extracts to create our products. We source our full-spectrum CBD from organic US farms, which maintain the highest standards of cultivation, environmental practices, and safest extraction techniques. This means there are no harmful chemicals used during cultivation. This is great for both the end user and the environment, as it reduces the chemical footprint in the surrounding ecosystem as well as preventing these chemicals from ending up in the extracted full-spectrum CBD. They also use the most modern extraction techniques, shunning less-effective techniques which result in an end product that is not of the highest possible quality. Organic, ethical, and effective – that is the CBDfx difference.


[1] https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Fibromyalgia

[2] Yunus MB. Gender differences in fibromyalgia and other related syndromes. J Gend Specifi Med. 2002, 5:42–47.

[3] Lange M, Karpinski N, Krohn-Grimberghe B. et al. [Patients with fibromyalgia: gender differences]. Schmerz. 2010; 24: 262.

[4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354780

[5] https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm

[6] Atzeni F, Gerardi MC, Masala IF, Alciati A, Batticciotto A, & Sarzi-Puttini P. An update on emerging drugs for fibromyalgia treatment, Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs, 2017; 22:4, 357-367.

[7] Lawson K. Emerging pharmacological strategies for the treatment of fibromyalgia. World Journal of Pharmacology , 2017; 6:1, 1-10.

[8] McPartland, JM., Matias, I., Di Marzo, V., Glass, M. Evolutionary origins of the endocannabinoid system. Gene. 2006; 370:64-74.

[9] Alger, BE. Getting High on the Endocannabinoid System. Cerebrum Dana Forum Brain Sci. 2013;2013.

[10] Maccarrone M, Bab I, Bíró T, et al. Endocannabinoid signaling at the periphery: 50 years after THC. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2015;36(5): 277-296.

[11] Woodhams SG, Sagar DR, Burston JJ, Chapman V. (2015) The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Pain. In: Schaible HG. (eds) Pain Control. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, vol 227.

[12] Russo EB, Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Parmacol. 2011; 163 (7): 1344-1364.

[13] Sanchez-Ramos J. The entourage effect of the phytocannabinoids. Annals of Neurology. 2015; 77(6):1083

[14] Pamplona FA, Rolim da Silva L, Coan AC. Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis. Front.
Neurol.2018; 9:759.