Study: Adjunctive Use of Cannabis Improves Symptom Management in Patients with Fibromyalgia

Milan, Italy: The adjunctive use of whole-plant medical cannabis extracts is associated with improvements in symptom management in patients with fibromyalgia (FM), according to clinical data published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.

A team of Italian investigators assessed the administration of cannabis extracts in 102 FM patients who had not previously responded favorably to conventional medical treatments. The adjunctive use of cannabis over a six-month period was associated with improvements in patients’ anxiety and depression in half of the study’s participants. Just under half of subjects reported improvements in sleep, and a third acknowledged a reduction in overall disease severity.

Authors concluded, "This observational study shows that adjunctive MCT (medical cannabis treatment) offers a possible clinical advantage in FM patients, especially in those with sleep dysfunctions."

The findings are similar to those of prior observational studies, such as those here, here, here and here, reporting that medical cannabis use reduces pain and other symptoms in FM patients.

Full text of the study, "Adding medical cannabis to standard analgesic treatment for fibromyalgia: A prospective observational trial," appears in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. Additional information on cannabinoids and fibromyalgia is available online.