Everything You Need to Know to Use CBD to Treat Fibromyalgia

Everything You Need to Know to Use CBD to Treat Fibromyalgia

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Can You Use CBD for Fibromyalgia?

I cannot tell you how much time I have put into the question of using CBD for fibromyalgia. The allure of something that could treat my pain without all the side effects was one that I couldn’t ignore.
 
I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t skeptical at first. There always seemed to be conflicting information out there. Any medical professional I would try to discuss the topic with dismissed it or wasn’t sure what to say. It hadn’t been studied or discussed to much extent, and they weren’t comfortable giving an opinion on it.  
 
I ended up trying a sublingual version that was available locally to see what would happen. I had some relief for my anxiety and slept much better. Unfortunately, it wasn’t doing much for my pain. Feeling defeated, I decided to go back to pain management and return to my medication. Fast forward about six months and I couldn’t take it anymore. I was in horrible pain because the medication wasn’t helping. On top of that, I spent most of my days in bed because I was so nauseous and dizzy. I was miserable. 
 
I decided to give CBD another try but this time I dedicated myself to put in the research time. I learned what makes it work and how it affects the body. Most importantly, I learned what I needed when it came to treating fibromyalgia with CBD. I am happy to report that I am off of all the medication that made me so ill. I also now have far more pain-free days now than I ever did on other treatments. 
 
I so often see others living with fibromyalgia asking “How do you use CBD for Fibromyalgia?” or “Does CBD help Fibromyalgia?” in support groups and online communities. I decided it was time to put together a complete guide to using CBD for Fibromyalgia. I wanted to help those out there who are not getting pain relief from traditional medication. To guide those who want something new, as well as a few things you need to be aware of to be safe while using CBD.
Of course, if your medications are working then, by all means, stay on them! This is in no way talking down about modern medicine. I am all for it if it helps. However, for me, it wasn’t. Also, be sure to taper off of medication with the help of a doctor if you decide to make the switch. It is not safe to just stop many of the medications traditionally prescribed for Fibromyalgia and I would never recommend anyone do this. 

Related: Did You Know? Five Odd Symptoms of Fibromyalgia 

use CBD to treat Fibromyalgia

Frequently Asked Questions About CBD

To begin with, I want to cover a few frequently asked questions about CBD in general. After that, we will get a little more in depth about using CBD for fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms. If you have any questions that aren’t covered in this FAQ please feel free to leave a comment. I will be happy to address your concerns as best I can. (note: I am not a medical professional and am unable to give medical advice. My answers are all anecdotal from my own experience) 

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. There are actually many different cannabinoids, such as CBD, in the cannabis plant. CBD is one of those that seems to be effective in treating a variety of symptoms. Many report decreased anxiety, less inflammation, and more. Research shows promising results in decreasing seizure activity for a few specific forms of epilepsy. Results for many other conditions remain unknown. This is due to the fact that cannabis remains a controlled substance.

Does CBD Get You High?

CBD does not contain the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. It will not give you the high that marijuana will. When smoked or ingested, the part of marijuana that creates the ‘high’ effect is THC. CBD is another part of the plant and does not create the same effect. When taken in large enough doses some may feel sleepy or more relaxed. However, the traditional ‘high’ feeling of marijuana is not present. 

Will I Pass a Drug Test if I Take CBD?

In most instances, the answer is yes. Drug tests are looking for THC, the psychoactive component which is not present in CBD oil. Some forms of CBD, called full-spectrum, contain small amounts of THC. There is a higher likelihood of a positive drug test with these oils. 

Is CBD Legal in My State?

Hemp-derived CBD is legal in most states. It does not have the psychoactive capabilities of full plant cannabis. Full-Spectrum CBD, which contains low levels of THC, may not be legal in your state. There have been some changes to CBD and medical marijuana legislature throughout the states as of late. It is always best to check your particular state legislature to be sure of the current status.

Is CBD the Same as Medical Marijuana?

The short answer here is no. Medical Marijuana is the full cannabis plant used for medical purposes. It is the same as recreational marijuana. In most cases, it is grown in a more controlled environment to create more of a Sativa strain or Indica strain. Sometimes, a particular mix of both helps create a product that is beneficial. (We’ll discuss medical marijuana in a later post so be sure to stay tuned!)
 
Some medical marijuana has CBD along with it. Studies show that low levels of THC along with CBD help enhance pain relief and decrease inflammation. Unless using full-spectrum products CBD will never contain THC. Due to this, it differs from traditional medical marijuana.

use CBD to treat Fibromyalgia

How to Use CBD to Treat Fibromyalgia Pain

CBD (cannabidiol) can be a great option for treating the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. But, there are a few things that you should know before trying to use CBD oil for Fibromyalgia. In general, CBD oil can be very safe to use regardless of the condition you are trying to treat. As with anything, there are steps you can take to ensure that you are using CBD safely. There are also ways to help ensure you are getting the effect you are looking for from CBD.

Dosing CBD Oil

One thing to understand with CBD is that it won’t give you the instant effect that some medications do. Instead, cannabidiol builds up over time to help relieve pain and inflammation. This compound effect can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month to reach its full potential.
 
When choosing your CBD dose it is important to know that using too much can be as ineffective as using too little. Some report effects such as headaches or dizziness when using too much CBD.

Note: One drop of CBD oil indicated a single drop and not a full dropper of liquid. Some have issues mistaking the directions and taking an entire dropper full of oil. This is incorrect as a full dropper contains several doses. While this won’t hurt you it won’t be an effective dose as it is far too much. 

Every CBD oil product should have a dose suggestion listed on the bottle. However, many choose one of two methods to find their optimal dose. In the first method, an individual starts with half of a dose for a week or so. Following this, they move to a full dose for a week, a dose and a half, and so on.
 
It is important to remember that you are not aiming for instant symptom relief. If going up in dose does not bring symptom relief you may want to step down and try a lower dose.
 
In the second method, known as microdosing, an individual uses a small amount of oil once every hour. Some believe this method brings longer lasting pain relief. This method can be a good choice for unrelenting pain and fatigue from Fibromyalgia. As with the first method, it is important to not overdo it. If you are not finding relief it is a good idea to take a “less is more” approach.

How to Take CBD Oil ( Which form is best for me?)

There are many forms of CBD oil available to use. Some use only the sublingual (under the tongue) drops. Others, who don’t enjoy the taste associated with the drops, choose gummies or capsules. For issues such as muscle pain, there are transdermal patches and even creams that can be rubbed directly on the affected area.

When choosing a form of CBD for Fibromyalgia it is important to think about bioavailability. This refers to the amount of cannabidiol available to use once the product has been processed by the body. Sublingual drops have the highest bioavailability as they are not processed through the liver. Rather, they go directly to the bloodstream through the tiny capillaries and the sublingual gland under the tongue. Transdermal patches, which also take a more direct route to the bloodstream can be an excellent option as well. Many decide to try vaping CBD for Fibromyalgia as it goes to the bloodstream through the lungs and tends to give a longer lasting ease of symptoms. 

Although the bioavailability is lower, I chose to go with gummies. The brand that I use offers great flavor high-potency gummies that I take twice a day. While this may not be the best option for some it works well for me. Of course, it is important to keep them out of reach if there are small children in the house as they do look similar to gummy bear candies. 

When to Take CBD Oil

The choice is yours when it comes to finding the optimal time of day to take CBD. Many choose to go with a twice a day dosing schedule. Others, as mentioned above, go with microdosing throughout the day. There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding when to take your CBD dose. 

If you are taking any other medications it is best to allow a two-hour window between this medication and CBD. This is especially true when taking medications that will interact with grapefruit juice. Many of these medications are metabolized through certain liver enzymes that also metabolize CBD. Taking the two together can cause differing blood levels of certain medications, which can increase the chance of toxicity with these medications. 

There are no restrictions when it comes to taking CBD with food or on an empty stomach. However, some do report a slight headache when taking it without food. A good option for those using sublingual oil is to mix it in a smoothie, tea, or other beverage to dilute the taste. However, it is still important to let the liquid sit in the base of the mouth for several seconds to let the oil absorb through the sublingual gland. 

Related: Getting Grounded as a Mom with Mental Illness (Tips on Dealing with Anxiety and Stress) 

use CBD to treat Fibromyalgia

Choosing the Best Oil for Fibromyalgia

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to treating any ailment with CBD oil. However, there are a few ways to help choose a good CBD oil to use.

Look for Testing

When choosing a CBD oil to use it is important to look over the testing results available for the product. These results will tell you things like any levels of contaminants in the oils. This includes heavy metals, pesticides, and microbiological contaminants.

In addition, many companies will show the terpenes that are in their oils. Terpenes are various oils in the cannabis plant. They work with cannabidiol to enhance benefits such as pain or inflammation relief. Certain terpenes can be useful in targeting specific symptoms. You can find an excellent explanation of terpenes in this article from CannaInsider

Trial and Error

Although there are CBD brands that many people believe to be effective there is a bit of trial and error involved in finding a brand that will best work for you. Unfortunately, several run into issues by doing one of two things.

Some don’t give an oil long enough to build up in their system and work. Remember, it is important to give around 2 weeks to one month for a full effect. It will not be an instant fix. Others stick with one brand because it has good reviews even though it may not be working for them. It may be an excellent brand but if it isn’t working for you then it may be time to look into another. 

When it comes to finding the best CBD for Fibromyalgia the answer lies more in the symptoms than the treatment. As mentioned above, terpenes are your friend. If you are experiencing more pain you will want to look for a brand with terpenes for pain and inflammation. If you are having a lot of fogginess, dizziness, or nausea you should look for a brand with terpenes for these symptoms. As a general rule, all brands of CBD will help minimize these symptoms to some extent. Terpenes will help you pinpoint a brand that will work best depending on the particular symptoms you are working on. 

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all and no way to definitively say one brand will be better for you than the next when it comes to CBD. However, by using this guide you can make better choices when it comes to narrowing down the many options available to one that will bring you true relief. 

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The ultimate guide with everything you need to know to use CBD for Fibromyalia from dosing, things to avoid, how to choose the best oils, and more. #CBD #Fibromyalgia #chronicpain #chronicillness

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