A recent study found that high THC cannabis can effectively treat the chronic pain experienced by patients suffering from fibromyalgia. The study was conducted by Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) in the Netherlands, in cooperation with Bedrocan International, according to a report from The Growth Op.
The 20 patients who participated in the study were given high THC medical marijuana via a vaporizer. The participants also were administered strictly CBD, and a placebo for comparison. Somewhat surprisingly, the researchers discovered that “cannabis flos with only cannabidiol (CBD) did not provide the patients with relief.”
This study provides an interesting development for the cannabis industry and advocates of the plant medicine. It has been commonly thought that CBD is an effective treatment for pain management, but this study is indicating that THC might be the better option for patients with fibromyalgia – and possibly for pain management in general. Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition with about 3 million reported cases per year, according to WebMD.
“The outcome is very important for patients who suffer from fibromyalgia. Now we have the serious clinical evidence that medical doctors are asking for when prescribing our products and that health insurance companies want to have, to legitimize reimbursement,” said Tjalling Erkelens, founder and CEO of Bedrocan.
Fibromyalgia causes widespread musculoskeletal pain and those with the condition often experience difficulty sleeping and extreme fatigue. Cannabis is an effective treatment for sleep disorders such as insomnia. Additionally, reducing stress is one way to help control the symptoms of fibro. Anyone who has experience with cannabis knows that it is great at relieving stress, which is yet another reason why fibromyalgia patients could benefit from the plant medicine.
“The study is the first time that a randomized, placebo-controlled four-way cross-over study is conducted into the therapeutic effects of inhaling Bedrocan’s medicinal cannabis products. Fibromyalgia patients experience pressure pain on muscles and tendons especially. THC is effective in this specific condition,” said Professor Albert Dahan, head of LUMC’s Anesthesia & Pain Research Unit.
As we already know, the opioid epidemic is widespread, and many studies have indicated that patients with various conditions could benefit from cannabis medicine. Professor Dahan believes THC might help reduce the need for pharmaceutical opioids, such as oxycodone.
“The next study takes place with patients at home. I want to investigate whether THC can be used as an opiate-saving drug. Many people use, and abuse opiates, such as oxycodone. We think that you do not have to prescribe much oxycodone if you also allow patients to use THC,” Dahan said.
It has become a broken record by now, but more studies need to be conducted so there is more recorded proof of what cannabis supporters already know – which is that the plant is an effective treatment for many conditions. Naturally, federal prohibition of cannabis in the U.S. halts the progress of this much-needed research.