Study: Fibromyalgia Patients Report Less Pain, Improved Sleep Following Medical Cannabis Treatment

Nazareth, Israel: Patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other inflammatory rheumatic diseases report experiencing reduced levels of pain and improved sleep quality following their use of medical cannabis products, according to data published in the journal Pain Research and Management.

Israeli investigators surveyed 319 patients about their use of prescription medical cannabis products. Among those with fibromyalgia (82 percent of the cohort), the mean pain level reduction was 77 percent and mean sleep quality improvement was 78 percent. Patients enrolled in the study who suffered from other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetic neuropathy, also reported significant levels of improvement. 

“MC [medical cannabis] has a favorable effect on pain level and sleep quality among nearly the entire spectrum of resistant ‘chronic pain syndromes’ seen or referred to rheumatology clinics, including inflammatory diseases resistant to biological treatment,” authors concluded. “Cannabis should be seriously considered in every ‘chronic pain condition’ whenever the accepted modalities of treatment are insufficient for alleviating patient’s pain and sleep problems.”

Separate survey data has previously reported that fibromyalgia patients frequently consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes. A recently published review of the relevant literature concluded, “[T]he use of cannabinoids and cannabis carries limited side effects in the treatment of FM [fibromyalgia], and they can also improve some common and debilitating symptoms associated with FM, thus making them an adequate potential treatment option, when other treatment lines have been exhausted.”

Full text of the study, “The effect of medical cannabis on pain level and quality of sleep among rheumatology clinic outpatients,” appears in Pain Research and Management. Additional information on the use of cannabis in patients with fibromyalgia is available from NORML.