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Five Best Strains for Fibromyalgia Treatment

Jessica McKeil
cannabis, fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia treatment, medical cannabis, cannabinoids, Lady Gaga, pain, inflammation, CB1 receptors, endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid receptors

Many patients report that cannabis is the only thing that works for their fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a painful lifelong illness, but it’s very poorly understood. Lady Gaga has vividly detailed her own struggle with the disease. She describes it as a “global and mental pain.”

Similarly, the Arthritis Foundation says: “Fibromyalgia is not a single disease, but a constellation of symptoms.” It’s a heightened sensation of pain, coursing throughout the body for no apparent reason.

Conventional fibromyalgia treatments are effective, sometimes, for some people. Their success rate is often sporadic, and patients with the disease are often frustrated by lackluster results. As a result, many patients are desperate to find an effective treatment.

Exasperated Patients Turn to Cannabis

As Lady Gaga stated in her documentary, Five Foot Two: “I just think about other people who have maybe something like this, that are struggling to figure out what it is, and they don’t have the money to have somebody to help them. I don’t know what I’d (expletive) do if I didn’t have everyone here to help me. What the hell would I do?” Even with the resources available to her she is often left incapacitated by the symptoms.

cannabis, fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia treatment, medical cannabis, cannabinoids, Lady Gaga, pain, inflammation, CB1 receptors, endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid receptors

It’s due to this exasperation that people have started to seek alternative treatments. And cannabis has proven to be a very effective fibromyalgia treatment. For some patients, it has provided relief where other medications have failed. As one member of the RxLeaf community stated: “Cannabis has given me back most of the life I lost.”

Because fibromyalgia is so poorly understood, medical professionals struggle to understand why cannabis is such an effective treatment. Historically, many assumed the disease was an issue of inflammation, and it was one of the few ideas what could explain the spreading, pulsating sensation of pain throughout the body. But according to the American College of Rheumatology, “Fibromyalgia is not from an autoimmune, inflammation, joint, or muscle disorder.” Instead, it’s now believed to be an issue the central nervous system, and the way our bodies experience pain.

How Cannabis Can Target the Systems of Fibromyalgia

Patients are increasingly working with cannabis as a novel fibromyalgia treatment. It makes sense; cannabis targets a “constellation” of pathways unlike most conventional medicines. Chronic diseases, like fibromyalgia, are often a combination of convoluted system issues, not just one specific system failure. In other words, no single pill is going to solve the problem. In fact, many patients get locked into a vicious ‘pill cycle’ of taking even more meds for the side effects of the previous.

Furthermore, cannabis is multifaceted. According to a recent report on CBD in the New York Times, CBD by itself has more than 65 cellular targets. It’s why “CBD may provide a kind of full-body massage at the molecular level.” And it’s not just CBD. There are over 100 additional cannabinoids in cannabis, all with synergistic relationships to one another. 

cannabis, fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia treatment, medical cannabis, cannabinoids, Lady Gaga, pain, inflammation, CB1 receptors, endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid receptors

The most famous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), works with cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 receptors, located within the central nervous system. Other cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD), are not as strongly linked to a specific receptor. Still, they operate within the endocannabinoid system, pushing it towards a healthy internal balance called homeostasis.  Part of the beauty of cannabis is that all cannabinoids are molecularly similar, but have distinct therapeutic value. They work together synergistically to target the same issues like pain, inflammation, and balanced endocannabinoidal function.

Cannabis may work well for fibromyalgia treatment due to this multi-targeted approach. Finding a strain with a complex mix of cannabinoids and terpenes can help boost its possible benefits.

5 Suggested Strains for Fibromyalgia Treatment

What strains work best for treating fibromyalgia? It comes down to cannabinoid profile, personal preference, and time of treatment. It’s best to look for strains with 1:1 ratio split between THC and CBD. This encourages a synergistic therapeutic value between the two cannabinoids, but optimal day-time function. Of course, pain doesn’t just occur during the day. You may also want to have a more powerful chronic pain strain handy for nighttime use. high THC strains can help target nighttime pain while acting as a natural sedative.

Here are a few suggestions for all your fibromyalgia treatment requirements. Keep in mind you may want to experiment with the strains suggested below (or try new ones), as the perfect option is also based on personal preference.

 

Blue Dream

Profile: Up to 24 percent THC. Hybrid.

Suggested Use: Useful for immediate relief of chronic symptoms, including pain and inflammation. It has high levels of THC, and minimal levels of CBD, making it best suited for after-work recovery or nighttime relief. It may also help with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues associated with fibromyalgia.

Harlequin

Profile: 7-15 percent THC and 10 percent CBD. Sativa-dominant hybrid.

Suggested Use: A great day time selection, with a gentle mixture of THC to CBD. Said to treat symptoms of pain, inflammation, headaches, and fatigue. It seems to target muscle and joint paint effectively.

Cannatonic

Profile: 1:1 CBD to THC. Hybrid.

Suggested Use: As Cannatonic is very rich in CBD, it will combat anxiety, depression, and neuropathic pain. For those looking for reliable day time medicinal benefit, Cannatonic has an equal ratio of THC to CBD. This ratio makes it good for symptom relief, while maintaining productivity. It’s associated with feelings of happiness, energy, and mood improvement.

cannabis, fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia treatment, medical cannabis, cannabinoids, Lady Gaga, pain, inflammation, CB1 receptors, endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid receptors

Via Leafly; Cannatonic

Critical Mass

Profile: 20 percent THC and 5 percent CBD. 70 percent Indica.

Suggested Use: This is another great option for those who need pain relief, with a milder intoxicating effect. Critical mass is a potent indica, but one with around five percent CBD. This higher CBD ratio helps reduce the “high”, without compromising on relief.

Headband

Profile: 17 to 24 percent THC. Indica-dominant hybrid.

Suggested Use: Because of its very high THC profile and indica heritage, this is an excellent strain for pain relief. Especially good for nighttime use, as it may have strong sedative powers. It get its name from its applications for headaches and migraines, which is another common symptom of fibromyalgia.

Of course, there are thousands of strains to choose from these days. You may not readily find Cannatonic or Harlequin on your retailer’s shelves, but don’t despair. Ask the budtender for direction, and look for similar blends of cannabinoids for a similar effect. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from the people behind the counter. A qualified budtender likely has experience helping other patients with fibromyalgia and may have information on strains that have worked for others.

Jessica McKeil
Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She is lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where the cannabis industry is exploding. When not writing, she spends much of her time exploring in the coastal forests.

5 Comments
  • Avatar
    Tracy Hannah

    That’s a poor list. Those were not good enough for me ✌️

    May 22, 2019 at 12:38 pm Reply
    • Jennifer Grant

      Please add to the list. We did an informal survey from our patients and these were the most often cited as strains that worked. But, everyone is different, so please feel free to describe what did work. 🙂

      May 22, 2019 at 1:04 pm Reply
    • Avatar
      Lorie Murphy

      What symptoms do you have that the strains listed above did not help? I’m sincerely curious, I haven’t tried those specific strains but have tried a few that have given me relief. I find that most clinics do not have the strains listed above so I tend to go with straight Indica and use at bedtime.

      August 14, 2019 at 11:57 pm Reply
  • Avatar
    Melissa Henley

    What about sour diesel? It has a way of controlling my pain and my tummy.

    August 15, 2019 at 10:57 am Reply
  • Avatar
    Stox

    I find treating my fibromyalgia i need a multi layered attack i have Cbd tablets ( home made ) then i smoke pure weed throughout the day plus one or two keto bombs through the day. I was on 28 pain meds a day going through shear hell every waking minute never went out i was using crutches to say i was suicidal is an understatement. Then i found Cannabis, four years on i walk six to eight miles a day i also do Yoga, Just started working out again love my garden and the best bit is i can now do ALL these thing mostly when i want. I do still have bad days but even on my worse days i still walk our beautiful Collie every day. NEVER give up trying different strains i tried loads , Liberty haze works well for me Buba kush also, Medical mass another good one. As a sixty four year old i have never felt better.

    September 22, 2019 at 5:59 am Reply

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