Low THC Cannabis Study Kicks Fibromyalgia’s Ass

July 8th 2019

“Our study has several important limitations. First, this study was of an observational nature and could not establish causality between medical cannabis use and improvement in fibromyalgia outcomes. … Second, the close to 30% non-respondent rate in the six months follow-up may have resulted in a non-response bias. … Third, the fibromyalgia diagnosis was established by the referring rheumatologist; therefore, we could not verify that the American College of Rheumatology preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia were fulfilled in every case. Fourth, we had no control group to compare the clinical outcomes of medical cannabis use. … Fifth, the change in the utilization of other drugs (than cannabis) for the treatment of fibromyalgia was based on self-reports and was prone to recall biases.”

Table S5 is for some reason not visible to me. Other than (perhaps in that data table), there seems to be no specific accounting of the various other regular medications (including Opioids and Benzodiazepines, as only briefly even mentioned) were being used concurrently along with the Cannabis products used (THC or CDB). Why anybody would think (from their particular methods in “questioning Nature”) that their “results” indicate anything meaningful about the use of Cannabis products themselves – rather than being used in conjunction with what are (apparently) not even reported various other medications – is beyond me. This strains credulity. The ethics and mechanics of controlled studies of those suffering is an understandable practical limitation – but this study (at best) indicates that Cannabis products (might) be a useful adjunct (and not a replacement). Their stating, “cannabis could be a promising therapeutic option”, seems to me like a fairly misleading claim.”

With whole plant access people would be able to get low or high THC. Whatever is best for them, not what the government thinks.

Cannabis significantly reduces pain and improves quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia, according to Israeli researchers who conducted one of the first studies to look at the effectiveness of cannabis in treating fibromyalgia.

Nearly 300 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia completed the 6-month study at a Tel Aviv clinic. Participants suffered from fibromyalgia symptoms for a median length of seven years and nine out of ten reported constant daily pain. Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread body pain, fatigue, poor sleep, anxiety and depression. Standard treatments for fibromyalgia often prove to be ineffective.

“It is commonly accepted that chronic pain can be treated with cannabis, but there is scarce evidence to support the role of medical cannabis in the treatment of fibromyalgia specifically,” says Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, head research scientist at Tikun Olam, a cannabis producer that sponsored the study.

Patents began with a low dose of cannabis every 3-4 hours that was gradually increased until it had a therapeutic effect.

Participants were treated with two Tikun Olam strains of cannabis; the high-THC “Alaska” strain and the high-CBD “Avidekel” strain, which has virtually no THC.  Both strains are available as a tincture, topical oil or for use in a vaporizer.

Over 80 percent of the patients reported at least moderate improvement in their pain. At the start of the study, the median pain level for patients on a 1 to 10 scale was 9, but after six months the median pain level was reduced to 5.

In addition to lower pain intensity, nearly 93 percent of patients said they slept better and about 80 percent said there was improvement in their depression. Nearly two-thirds said their quality of life was good or very good. Appetite and sexual activity also improved.

The most common side effects were relatively minor, including dizziness, dry mouth and gastrointestinal symptoms.

“Our data indicates that medical cannabis could be a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of fibromyalgia, especially for those who failed on standard pharmacological therapies. We show that medical cannabis is effective and safe when titrated slowly and gradually,” researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

“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.”

During the study, about one out of five patients either stopped or reduced their use of opioid pain medication or benzodiazepines while taking cannabis.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Israel since the early 1990s. A recent survey found about 27 percent of Israeli adults have used cannabis in the past year, one of the highest rates in the world.

Again, With whole plant access people would be able to get low or high THC. Whatever is best for them, not what the government thinks.


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