Fibromyalgia - a disorder that causes full-body pain, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating - is still not that well understood by the medical community and by the public at large. What patients themselves don't fully understand yet is that there's growing evidence to suggest that medical marijuana could provide some relief from fibromyalgia. According to a 2015 article in Whaxy, "cannabis treats not only the pain" associated with the syndrome, "but other symptoms of the condition as well, including insomnia, fatigue, restless legs syndrome, depression, and anxiety."
According to The Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia is believed to "amplify painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals," the pain it causes is definitely real to sufferers - most of them women, and most of whom have experienced some sort of trauma, whether surgery, an infection, or other triggering effects. Plus, according to the American Academy of Neurology, there's "growing body of evidence" to suggest that it's a "true neurologic disorder."
A 2014 online survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation found while only a small percentage (379 sufferers) had tried cannabis to treat their condition, those who did reported major relief - more than that offered by some commonly-prescribed medications.
The number of people using cannabis to manage the disorder could be larger than the National Pain Foundation study suggests: a 2012 study revealed that about 13 percent of participants were using cannabis to help relieve their symptoms. As one sufferer reported:
"I would use [marijuana] when the burning pains started down my spine or my right arm, and shortly after, I found I could continue with housework and actually get more done. I was desperate to find something for the burning pain so I could function. I'm glad that I made this decision, because it works for me."
While more research is needed on how, specifically, cannabis can help manage fibromyalgia-related symptoms, what we already know about the plant's salutary effect on chronic pain conditions seems to indicate that cannabis is worth a try for sufferers - and educating doctors about both the disorder, and this potential treatment, is an obvious next step.