Petach Tikva, Israel: The administration of herbal cannabis is safe and effective in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, according to clinical data published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.
Israeli investigators assessed the use of cannabis over a six-month period in 211 patients with the disease. Eight-one percent of subjects reported "at least moderate improvement in their condition … without experiencing serious adverse events." Patients were most likely to report overall reductions in pain and overall improvements in their quality of life following cannabis therapy.
Twenty-two percent of subjects "stopped or reduced their dosage of opioids," and 20 percent reduced their use of benzodiazepines – findings that are consistent with those of other studies.
"In the present study, we demonstrated that medical cannabis is an effective and safe option for the treatment of fibromyalgia patients’ symptoms," authors concluded. "Considering the low rates of addiction and serious adverse effects (especially compared to opioids), cannabis therapy should be considered to ease the symptom burden among those fibromyalgia patients who are not responding to standard care. … Future studies should aim to compare medical cannabis to the standard therapy of fibromyalgia, to establish the proper place of cannabis in fibromyalgia therapeutic arsenal."
For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in fibromyalgia," appears in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Additional information on cannabis and fibromyalgia appears online.