If you’d like a nicely put together summary of the medical research on marijuana for pain, you can check out my free e-book here:
Fibromyalgia – Marijuana and Medications – What do you want to know?
I’ve created two special reports as part of the Wellness Bundle for the Fibromyalgia Summit. They are:
- An update of the medical research on marijuana, its derivatives and other substances that affect cannabinoid receptors.
- A chart of commonly prescribed medications for fibromyalgia and known interactions with foods, nutrients and supplements.
Fibromyalgia, Medical Marijuana, and Nutrition Interactions #fibromyalgia #marijuana #nutrition Click To Tweet
Here’s a bit of the research about marijuana and medications:
Marijuana, its derivatives and other substances that affect cannabinoid receptors
This 2014 review article on the Recent advances in the pharmacological management of acute and chronic pain (1) recommends:
A thorough and holistic approach is encouraged in order to explore the multiple factors affecting patients experiencing pain, whether this be acute, chronic, or in many situations, both.
- There is some efficacy shown for cannabinoids for some neurological disorders including spasticity and neuropathic pain.
- There is limited data, although there are some trials currently underway with cannabinoid receptor medications.
In this 2014 review of the medical literature Care and Feeding of the Endocannabinoid System: A Systematic Review of Potential Clinical Interventions that Upregulate the Endocannabinoid System(2) discusses the new evidence of a “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome” (CEDS). This syndrome may be linked to not only fibromyalgia, but also migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, psychological disorders, and other conditions.
- Most of the studies published have not been randomized clinical trials, but were done in animals (in vivo) or in cell cultures (in vitro). Results from these studies may not translate to an effect in most people, but we don’t know until the studies are done.(3)
- Omega-3s may help with the endocannabinoid (eCB) receptors; and certain pesticides may negatively impact eCB function.
- Similar to many medications, long-term use of THC can “desensitize” and “downregulate” the eCB receptors which means that over time they develop a tolerance to the medications and do not function properly; although one study in humans showed that after four weeks abstaining from smoking marijuana, the number of cannabinoid receptors returned to normal levels.(4)
- Some recommended lifestyle approaches to enhance the eCB system include exercise, maintaining ideal bodyweight, and stress modification.
Medications commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia
- Cannabinoids – Marinol/Dronabinol, Cesamet/Nabilone, Sativex/CBD&THC – Avoid alcohol
- Non-opioid analgesics – Tylenol/Paracetamol/Acetaminophen, NSAIDS (Sprix/Ketorolac, Cambia/Voltaren/Diclofenac) – Avoid alcohol
- Opiod/Narcotic Analgesics – Nucynta/Tapentadol, Sublimaze/Fentanyl – Avoid alcohol
- Narcotic-Like Analgesics – ConZip/Tramadol – Avoid alcohol
- Anticonvulsants – Lyrica/Pregabalin & Gralise/Neurontin/Gabarone/Horizant/Gabapentin – Avoid alcohol
- Anaesthetic – Ketalar/Ketamine – Avoid alcohol
- Anti-depressant – Elavil/Endep/Vanatrip/Amitriptyline – Avoid alcohol
- Selective Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSNRIs) – Cymbalta/Duloxetine – Avoid alcohol and speak with your doctor if you drink caffeine
Alcohol is not recommended when taking any of these medications, so if you want ideas for 100 stealth ways to drink less alcohol at parties, check out this blog post.
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.