Study: Cannabis May Help Those With Treatment-Resistant Fibromyalgia

According to new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Pain Practice and epublished by the U.S. National Institute of Health, cannabis may play a “significant role” in combatting treatment-resistant fibromyalgia in women.

Fibromyalgia is a complex pain-focused syndrome, and previous studies “showed that Cannabis is efficacious in promoting sleep, deepening and lengthening the sleep cycle, and good pain relief (compared to SSRIs and SNRIs)”, states the study’s abstract. This new study “aimed to use the World Health Organization Quality of Life Bref questionnaire (WhoQoL-bref) to characterize the impact of Cannabis Treatment initiation on the quality of life in women suffering from treatment-resistant fibromyalgia.”

The study was a prospective cohort study involving women aged 18-70 years old diagnosed with fibromyalgia who have “exhausted pharmacological fibromyalgia treatment, and started Cannabis treatment.” Pregnant women were excluded.

WhoQoL-bref was filled before Cannabis treatment initiation and one month following treatment.

Women’s average age was 46 years “with a poor general quality of life, poor general health, pain and discomfort, and dependence on medication prior to Cannabis intervention.” According to researchers “cannabis treatment for 30 days showed a marked improvement in general quality of life, general health, physical health, and psychological domain.”

Financial resources and home environment “were not influenced by cannabis treatment.”

“Results suggest a potentially significant role of Cannabis in treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia women”, concludes the study. “Early Cannabis treatment may result in a beneficial short-term effect on the quality of life through its influence on pain, sleep, physical and psychological domains. Further studies are still indicated to understand this potential and its long-term beneficial impact.”

Below is the study’s full abstract:

Abstract

Background: Fibromyalgia is a complex pain-focused syndrome. Previous studies showed that Cannabis is efficacious in promoting sleep, deepening and lengthening the sleep cycle, and good pain relief (compared to SSRIs and SNRIs).

Purpose: This study aimed to use the World Health Organization Quality of Life Bref questionnaire (WhoQoL-bref) to characterize the impact of Cannabis Treatment initiation on the quality of life in women suffering from treatment-resistant fibromyalgia.

Methods: a prospective cohort study involving 30 women aged 18-70 years old diagnosed with fibromyalgia, exhausted pharmacological fibromyalgia treatment, and started Cannabis treatment. Pregnant women were excluded. WhoQoL-bref was filled before Cannabis treatment initiation and one month following treatment.

Results: Women’s average age was 46 years(±5), with a poor general quality of life (1.47±0.63), poor general health (1.47±0.78), pain and discomfort, and dependence on medication (3.77±1.3 and 3.07±1.74 respectively) prior to Cannabis intervention. Cannabis treatment for 30 days showed a marked improvement in general quality of life (1.97 scores, p < 0.01), general health (1.83, p<0.01), physical health ( 1.5, p<0.01), and psychological domain (1.3, p<0.01). Financial resources and home environment were not influenced by cannabis treatment (p=0.07, p=0.31, respectively).

Conclusion: Results suggest a potentially significant role of Cannabis in treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia women. Early Cannabis treatment may result in a beneficial short-term effect on the quality of life through its influence on pain, sleep, physical and psychological domains. Further studies are still indicated to understand this potential and its long-term beneficial impact.