Fibromyalgia and Medical Marijuana

“Make the most of the hemp seed, sow it everywhere”, George Washington

I’m not very humble when I say that I believe my book will one day be a steppingstone toward a greater understanding about why certain types of people are more prone to fibromyalgia. Furthermore, I haven’t read any books which outline all of the various theories regarding the cause of this condition such as mine has. Hearing the voices of others who suffer daily can help the reader know that s/he is not alone in the day- to- day struggles. I give details of various treatment modalities and I believe the book to be a valuable source of information about not only cause but what can be helpful in living with the daily challenges of this dis-ease. Yet, surprisingly, in spite of this comprehensive review and analysis I had never explored whether or not  marijuana (Cannibas Sativa)marijuana-leaf1  as prescribed by a physician could be useful for pain control. In fact, even now I have mixed feelings about the issues surrounding fibromyalgia and marijuana use even though I believe that cannibas is very helpful for several other medical conditions, in particular following chemotherapy.

In the February,2008  issue of Journal of Pain it was reported that 40 patients were part of a study at the University of Manitoba in which a control and an experimental group were given either a placebo or Nabilone, (brand name Cesamet) a pain drug based on marijuana’s active ingredient. The results indicated that after one month there was significantly less pain and a better quality of life for those who took Nabilone.

I believe that the ways in which cannabinoids are taken is extremely significant. For example, smoking could not in any way be thought to be beneficial for someone with fibromyalgia since smoking is harmful to the lungs and of course increases chances of cancer, among other conditions. Those with terminal cancer and in great pain have been reported to do well with smoking  marijuana, whereas, someone with such conditions as Multiple Sclerosis or  Rheumatoid Arthritis have benefited from an oral spray. Others have suggested that eating various forms of cannabis, in the form of cake (brownies) can help with certain conditions.

The battles to legalize or decriminalize marijuana are ongoing in many countries, but it is not my intent to discuss those legal issues. Instead, I would place the smoking of marijuana and regular tobacco, as well as alcohol consumption in the same category and believe that all three are harmful for those of us with fibromyalgia and an already out of control nervous system. While I have never smoked anything, I am not  a moral judge of anyone who does. I myself am addicted to sugar (chocolate especially) and know what a battle addictions can be! I used to enjoy a glass of wine with a meal but have given that up now for many years as it acted as a stimulant and made me feel worse. Oh! The discipline required to avoid caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and fast foods. However, we all chose (or not) our own poisons. Furthermore, I am not suggesting that those who smoke an occasional joint or who drink alcohol sensibly are addicts. My point here is that these habits are not particularly helpful for those of us with fibromyalgia, particularly since we already have highly sensitive nervous systems!

Many believe that smoking or taking marijuana in any form helps to relieve their fibromyalgia pain . People who do so and have reported this publicly usually have a prescription from their physicians. To report  publicly otherwise is to face  breaking the law in many countries. I have no doubt they have reached the point that their pain is unbearable and none of us can place a judgement on them. We cannot walk in any other person’s shoes. I would hope however that the choice is one made with the understanding of other risks involved (if smoked) that could worsen fibromyalgia. My final thought though is not about the use of marijuana, but rather of the many legal chemical medications  that are often prescribed for fibromyalgia and the trauma to our bodies from over medicalization.

About Barbara Keddy

I am a Professor Emeritus, School of Nursing, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. My B.Sc.is in Nursing while my MA. and Ph.D. are in Sociology. I am married, a mother and grandmother living on the east coast of Canada. I have personally lived with fibromyalgia for about 40 years. I published a book with iUniverse in 2007. This book detailed living with this condition and allowed the voices of twenty women who have fibromyalgia to tell their stories.
This entry was posted in alcohol, Cannibas Stiva, Journal of Pain, legalize marijuana, medical marijuana, multiple sclerosis, Nabilone (Cesamet), oral spay marijuana, over medicalization, Rheumatoid Arthritis, smoking and fibromyalgia and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Fibromyalgia and Medical Marijuana

  1. Scott says:

    Dear Barbara,

    Let me start off by saying that I have a sister who I suspect has Fybromyalgia after having a year long bout with symptoms following a surgery, she recovered 100% for a year and a half. Two weeks ago she got a UTI, took antibiotics, and has had the same symptoms return. Doctors told her in the past that nothing was wrong with her, etc., but i know my sis, and she’s not crazy. So, even this time around when it’s apparent this an underlying, recurring condition; doctors still have no diagnosis. She is sick and scared. I’ve done plenty of research and have come to my own conclusions because no doctors seem to come to a consensus. Even if she doesn’t have Fybromyalgia, the symptoms match up. All that being said, I stumbled across your article after trying to convince my sister that marijuana will help relieve her symptoms.

    Your article strikes me as a open-minded with a side of ignorance. Before you are offended, please hear me out. I actually read the referenced study done in Canada with Nabilone right before I found your article. Why didn’t they use marijuana instead of a derivative is my first question? There most certainly should be a study done.

    You seem to accept that some people’s fobromyalgia symptoms are relieved by marijuana, but there’s an underlying tone of fear of social unacceptance to your rhetoric. For example, vaporizers are one of the most popular methods for medicating with weed. They produce little to no smoke and leaves the individual with ZERO negative effects to their health. You did site edibles as a form of medicating, that’s great! Even if a government deems something illegal, that is no right to not dispose the truth. I guess I’m just put-off by the fact that you start your article off with a predisposition when it’s clear you have very little knowledge about the history, cultivation, and use of marijuana. Why would you ever place it in a category with alcohol and tobacco when marijuana quite literally kills brain cancer cells?! http://www.forbes.com/feeds/hscout/2009/04/01/hscout625697.html

    Anyways, I encourage you to give marijuana a try. My main concern with my sister was your final thought. I don’t want her suffering any more ramifications because of the steroids, hormones, cortisone, etc. they have fed her in the past; I’m baffled as to why anyone would not try some 100% natural, organic marijuana just once to see if it helped.

  2. Scott says:

    Wow, I just read my post and it sounds negative! haha, sorry that wasn’t my intention. Your site is great and what you’re doing is great. One of your points in another post really hit home with me…

    “stop the talk therapy that only brings up the same negative stories we have told ourselves over and over and continues to reactivate our nervous system;”

    The glaring things I see out of my sister becasue there are no physical symptoms is the lack of positivity. She constantly talks about how bad it was, how she doesn’t want to do it again, how she’s going to have to go on sick leave, how it might never go away”, and Iike you said, this makes things worse. But how can I help her to do this, I try every word of inspiration I have. She relishes in telling people what’s wrong and getting their comfort and support. Is there a connection between what you said and a solution to getting there? I hate seeing my sister so depressed.

  3. barbara keddy says:

    Hi Scott: You are such a nice brother! your sister is very lucky that you are so concerned. My main point is that marijuana in most countries is illegal; it was not my intent to discuss the legalities of this law, just that to obtain medical permission to take marijuana is a long drawn out procedure and physicians are often hesitant to even do so! My second intent was that actually smoking of it would be harmful to the fibromyalgia person who has enough medical difficulties without taking on more. It has been my observation that those of us with fibromyalgia have a tendency to breathe in a shallow way (that is why I advocate diaphragmatic breathing exercises) and smoking anything would further aggravate breathing tendencies. However, taking organic marijuana that is medically prescribed (without fear of the law) in forms other than smoking should, in my view, be an option for many people in chronic and acute pain. Sorry I was not too clear on my views in that regard.
    I really appreciate your comments. Depression is common in people with fibromyalgia and then it is difficult to become motivated to pull oneself out of it. But, you aren’t even sure your sister has fibromyalgia. Maybe the first step would be to encourage her to find a sympathetic, physician who knows a great deal about the condition and who could make the diagnosis (if indeed she has it) and that would help her begin the slow climb out of the uncertainty?
    Keep on supporting and caring for her. That is the most you can do at this point and that is certainly more than many people have in their lives… a friend and relative like you!
    Best wishes, Barbara

  4. Pauline says:

    I have been suffering with Fibromyalgia since 2002, and have tried every treatment known to pain management. Presently I am on 25mcg/hr of Fentanyl and 20 mg of Kadian (morphine) due to the severity of my chronic pain. Both of these drugs are opiates and they have extremely dangerous side effects. Now, I have been doing a great deal of research on the medical marijuana controversy, and I was amazed on how much safer marijuana is to treat what I have along with other diseases. Ten years ago, I would have frowned upon its use. Right now, in my state, Pennsylvania, we are in the process of trying to get HB1393 passed, which is the Compassionate Act for the use of medicinal marijuana and I am proud to be a part of this movement. Forget about what we were told about this plant being a gateway to drug abuse. It’s not the marijuana that causes the abuse, but the behavior of the individual. You have to ask yourself why is our government keeping a plant from being available to people who are ill. How many people have died from marijuana? Do the research because I have. There were zero deaths. Now look up the two drugs I’m presently taking and see how many deaths has occurred. I pray that this bill is passed in Pennsylvania because I want to be relieved of my pain in a far more safer fashion. There are better ways to use medical marijuana. It doesn’t have to be smoked. The THC can be extracted from the plant and prepared in food such as cookies, brownies, etc and beverages as well. Please do more research before you make a final decision. Marijuana is a plant that grows naturally from the ground. It is not manufactured in a strange lab. It can be cultivated safely without chemicals or dangerous pesticides. There are so many strains of this plant and they can be prescribed for specific illnesses. It was legal until 1934 and Benjamin Franklin himself had a factory where he manufactured the hemp plant. I am not concerned about the recreational use of marijuana because to me this is a separate issue. I say this because I don’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol because of my religious beliefs, but I do believe that there are cures and natural medicines that God put on this beautiful earth to help ease our suffering and pain. There will come a time for me when I will build a tolerance to the drugs I am on and the dosage will increase. That is scary because that increases the level of danger, side affects, and damage to my vital organs. Marijuana doesn’t pose any of those threats. The FDA should be ashamed of themselves to state that marijuana has no medical use what so ever, yet they approve drugs like Fentanyl, Vioxx, Prozac, etc. Ask yourself this after you do the research, which is safer?

  5. Dear Pauline: Thank you for your very thoughtful letter. I hope that you are able to help change the law in your state. I could not agree with you more… the overwhelming number of toxic ‘medications’ we are often prescribed is frightening..from pain medications to mood altering drugs for depression and anxiety! We have to become the expert of our own lives and decide for ourselves that which we believe to be less harmful and more appropriate for our own health. Very best wishes and good luck with your challenges to find that which works best for you.
    Kind regards,
    Barbara

  6. Jean F says:

    Tinctures are another option besides smoking or using a vaporizer. These are quite easy to prepare by soaking the herb in alcohol for a period of time, straining, then one way you can consume the tincture is by putting a few drops in the hot tea of your choice (allowing the alcohol to evaporate). Most medical marijuana clinics have classes which advise you on the best way to consume the drug for your condition, which types of herb are best for different diseases (there are sativas, indicas and hybrids, all with varried effects-some are better for spasm, some for nausea). Its rather like taking an advanced pharmacy course! There is an excellent strain bred just to treat Fibro called “Medicine Woman”, its a mild anti-spasmotic herb with reduces muscle pain while leaving you clear-headed. Its won several awards for its medical properties. The plant breeders wife has severe fibro.

  7. barbara keddy says:

    Thanks for this information, Jean. I am learning so much about various forms of medical marijuana. The interest in this blog is amazing and I appreciate the comments and the private e mails I receive about this (or any other blog). Then of course there are the various countries and in the US, the different states, which will allow its use. Learning more each day!
    Regards,
    Barbara

  8. charky says:

    i just wanted to throw out that i’ve had fibromyalgia for 6 years, and that medical mj is the ONLY thing that has helped me with only positive effects. i’ve never once had a negative effect from medical mj, and it actually makes the side effects from OTHER meds go away. (eg, headaches, dizziness, tremors, Nausea…)

    i shall be back later to expound further. been typing too much tonight and my fingers/wrists/me need a break!

    <3charky~^~

  9. barbara keddy says:

    Thanks for your comment Charky. I look forward to your follow up! Barbara

  10. Dawn Riga says:

    I used to smoke a bud just before going to bed, to help me get to sleep. Unfortunately, I’ve become allergic to it and the allergic reaction eventually out weighed the benefits. I suspect it may be due to the way it is grown or dried, unlike the good old days when it was much more organic.

    I did have something happen over the weekend that made me take stock in what may be causing some of my “super flare ups” in the fibro area. Other than the usual, pushing myself too hard, stress. etc. I had ingested too much sodium on Sunday and found myself in the middle of a “super flare up”. I tried to think of what may be causing it to hit so hard, and realized that it may be the sodium.

    From time to time over the years, I had noticed different issues that I could only attribute to ingesting too much salt. I checked with my Dr. to see if there had been any studies done in regards to the effect of sodium on the fibromyalgia, but he hadn’t heard of any and just basically blew me off.

    I’d like to ask if anyone else has noticed this and am planning to keep a journal of the “super flare ups” to try and find a pattern. I’m calling it a super flare up, basically because every day is a flare up. But a super flare up is when I get hit very hard with several symptoms at once.

    So if you have noticed anything regarding sodium and flare ups, or if you notice anything in the future can you post it here?

    Many Thanks,

    Dawn

  11. barbara keddy says:

    Dear Dawn: Since I don’t know the answer to this question regarding salt and flare-ups I hope that others will comment about this issue. Fat, salt and sugar are all so bad for us I can’t help but think any or all of them to excess would cause major flare ups. The idea of a journal is a great one. I too am addicted to sugar and it isn’t easy breaking the habit. One step forward and two backward, especially when my energy is depleted and I need a comfort food:-( ! Good luck, Barbara

  12. JANE LEVINE says:

    I am 61 yrs old. An incompetent Dr prescribed 240(not a typo)mg of methadone/day. I ended up in the hospital for 110(not a typo) days. I lost everything-house, retirement, pension, bank accounts, health insurance-not to mention my family. I was homeless by the time I was discharged. I applied for SSI on 9/24/07- my hearing date is 11/13/09!!!
    I tell you all this because with no insurance-no meds. I have such acute chronic pain from fibro, migraines, IBS, irritable bladder, & RLS, that I pray everyday to die. If I couldn’t eat edibles(cookies,etc. with weed in them) I would actually have killed myself. A true friend gives me the scrap weed(can’t be smoked-only good for cooking), & I make butter from it- & then cookies.
    I do have a prescription for it. It’s legal in CA. So as long as all I do is use for myself for medical reasons, it’s OK. I don’t know how it is grown(i.e. pesticides or not)- but I seriously doubt that it is more dangerous than methadone. I was told (by the Dr in the hospital) that methadone is THE most difficult drug to withdraw from- more difficult even than heroin. I weighed 69.5lbs (I’m 4’9″) when I was first sent for treatment. Can you imagine me taking 60mg of methadone every 6 hrs ?????
    How could anyone think that is better than eating weed?? I really would like to hear from anyone who disagrees with me.
    I weigh 95lbs now(20lbs more than my old normal weight-which I would like to lose). So I can identify with your sugar addiction. Everytime I try to stop eating all of the things we are told not to, I fail. If anyone has any suggestions- I’m sure we would all love to hear them.
    THANK YOU FOR READING THIS

  13. barbara keddy says:

    Dear Jane: How brave you are for writing this story. It is very moving and so very sad. Yet, you are a strong, courageous woman. I am not sure what you mean about losing 20 lbs if you only weigh 95 now. Are you certain that 75 lbs would be a healthy weight? I can’t and don’t give medical advice, but what you have experienced sounds so devastating that I wish I could wave a magic wand. It seems that all I can do is to send you warm wishes and hope for a better future. I do hope that others will respond to your wonderful letter with hopeful messages. Take good care of yourself, Sincerely, Barbara

  14. Aiden says:

    I’ve had Fibromyalgia since 1997.Thinking I was just tired after working 14 hour days for several years in my own printing business, I didn’t go to the doctor, as I’ve never had good experiences with them. By the time I did go to the doctor, I was so sick I couldn’t think and could barely speak in congnitive sentences. The doctors gave me anti-depresants and ADD meds, which didn’t help. I was not able to be my own advocate so I spiraled into even worse health, lost my business, my savings, my relationship, my home, my car, my mind. I finally received SSI in 2002, and Section 8 in 2003. I’m still suffering, unable to work or function in any sense of what is normal. I struggle with trying to cure myself thru websites like yours, when my mind is clear enough. Scott’s sister is very luck to have him in her corner. Jane, hang in there, SSI helps so much with the anxiety of having no money. (You should get a back settlement to the date when you first applied.) Also, apply for housing assistance as soon as you can. Good luck to us all.

  15. barbara keddy says:

    Dear Aiden: Your comments are very common…the hard working, diligent, empathetic person who eventually cannot get the nervous system to calm down. Struggling and suffering are both terms that I associate with this demon called fibromyalgia. I feel sadness when I read about the extreme poverty that often is the final straw from pain and fatigue. I can write about practicing Mindfulness Meditation and acceptance of pain without struggling against it, but the REALITY of living with this suffering can often be extremely overwhelming, especially when faced with economic despair. I hope Jane was able to have some degree of hope from your kind words to her.
    Kind regards, Barbara

  16. Linda Griffin says:

    Was diagnosed first with Cronic Fatigue Sybdrome 22 yrs. ago then with Fibromyalgia later. Than it hit my brain and had to quit my job and went to a Dr. out of my small town to find out with urine and blood tests that I had Lymn Disease and they tried Antibiotic’s but it was too late by then and there is no cure for it after this amount of time has gone by. It may be a combo Fibromyalgia/Lymn Disease that has ravaged my brain and body now for all these years. Really curious if Marijuana could help me by eating foods with it in the food?
    I’m going to try to get a card today as it is legal here. Nice site to visit.

  17. barbara keddy says:

    Dear Linda: It seems that many who have written comments on this blog have had relief from medical marijuana. Other than smoking it (just because smoking is so bad for those of us with compromised breathing due to constricted rib muscles and because smoking is bad for everyone!)I am of the view that perhaps it is worth a try, particularly as it is legal in your part of the world. FMS, LD and CFS are not good friends. I am so sorry you are living with all three of them. I should think with those bad invaders of your body that obtaining a card should be somewhat easy. Keep in touch and thanks for the compliment regarding the site, Best wishes, Barbara

  18. Linda Griffin says:

    Thank you Barbara for the encourgemant! Will get my photo I.D. card in three weeks! Woopee! Always voted against it during voting times but have changed my thinking since my best friend of 51 years went to UCSF today with her husband to see if they have a expermintal or trail treatment for her cancer which started in her lungs and then a huge one in her liver, it’s on her kidneys and Adrenal Gland also. The four of us started smoking as teens but all but my friend have quit smoking over 25 years ago. I’m very angry but keep it to myself because she had to give up her carpeting business and has been through Chemo twice with little ill effects..that she still smokes and only drinks Dr. Pepper all day..sips it a time. She wants to be cured but the poison is still coming into her lungs and hates water. Waiting to hear about her trip today. My husband and I are in the ‘Donut’ hole as of last week because of the price of our Meds. My husband had a 4-way by-pass 10 yr’s ago and 2 new metal knee’s and is getting ready to go out of state with one of our sons on a hunting trip. He is my inspitation and last month I joined a bowling team as I was invited to by these 2 gals from my high school class reunion. It is only one night a week and I have to take meds to go but I got a 141 in one of the games last week. Then the other day that I go out is to church which is very important to me and I’m the only one of the 4 of us that goes and it really helps me Spiritually. Couldn’t make it in this life without it. Would like to try the Tinture and the Bud Butter as it is called to put it in brownies and other foods. My friend with the cancer has a niece who is a distributer and gives her all she needs..she uses a steamer. Thank you for allowing to voice my opinions. Linda Griffin

  19. Best wishes, Linda,
    Barbara.

  20. alice says:

    I have had Fibromyalgia Syndrome for at least 10 years that I know of. The drugs that my doctor prescribes just take the edge off of my pain, it never goes away. Never. I hurt all over most of the time. I have headaches that can last for a month at a time. I have degeneration of L4 and L5 and have had constant, nagging pain in this area for years and years. Anyone ever pull their back out or have a sore back from lifting too much? That’s what it feels like. I’ve had that pain 24/7 for over 10 years. I’m constantly fatigued. I had to stop working almost 3 yrs ago because I was falling asleep at my desk and was ready to commit suicide due to the constant pain and other than work, I had no life. I never slept more than a couple of hours at a time. Quitting work caused me to go into a severe depression. I was ready to end my life. My doc put me on Cymbalta, which took away the depression but I still suffer from a great deal of pain and the quality of my life has decreased so much. My day consists of getting up, making lunch and not doing much more than that for the rest of the day. When I have a good day, that means I feel well enough to get myself up, get dressed and go visit my parents or maybe go shop in a small store (usually CVS) where I can lean on the cart to get around. That wears me out entirely for the rest of the day.
    My doctor has me on Lyrica and muscle relaxers. The muscle relaxers are good for sleeping, but I hate the idea of poisoning my liver and the drugged feeling I have when I get up in the mornings. I want a clear head.

    I tried marijuana for my pain and sleeping problems about a year ago. If I take about 3 hits, I can sleep all night and NO druggy feeling when I get up in the morning. I only smoke in the evenings when I’m ready to relax and go to bed. I’ve never smoked during the daytime. If I have a lot of pain, I will smoke earlier in the evening. It causes me to forget about the pain. I know the pain is still there if I remember it, but if I’m not thinking about it, I don’t feel it. Without the muscle relaxers, I have a clearer head, I have more energy and I will have a better day than when using the muscle relaxers.

    There’s so much of a negative stigma attached to this herb that our society shuns it without thinking, most of the time. This is a medicinal plant that has been used in many cultures for centuries. In my opinion, and I’m a former law enforcement officer, it should be legalized. Not only for medicinal purposes, but for everyone. After all, we sell more dangerous drugs both by prescription and OTC to our citizens every day. It does not lead to other drugs, and it’s less harmful to the body than alcohol/cigarettes/drugs and our country would benefit from the sales (taxwise). We grow it, sell it and smoke it all the time…it’s never going to end, we might as well do it legally. Tobacco is harmful to everyone and it’s legal. Let’s do a trade! 😉

    Some documentaries to see that might help to understand about this plant:
    American Drug War:The Last White Hope
    MSNBC just made one called Marijuana Nation, very good
    Grass- The History of Marijuana
    Emperor of Hemp

    or just Google “marijuana documentaries”. You’re going to be surprised at the history of marijuana in this country, why it was banned and how our government uses the drug trade to keep the lower class down.
    These documentaries also cover the ill and how it helps them to cope. 🙂

  21. barbara keddy says:

    Dear Alice: Good for you putting all those documentaries out there for people to review and judge for themselves. I could not agree with you more…the amount of meds and kinds prescribed for those of us with fibromyalgia are NOT good for our poor livers. Having had fibromyalgia for over 40 years as a very young woman I was prescribed all sorts of meds without anyone knowing what was even wrong with me. I cringe now at what a mis-diagnosis can do and the various types of meds prescribed for me! Your story is so sad and so typical of the many I hear about. I send you many best wishes, Barbara

  22. Jessica says:

    I have had fibromyalgia for over 6 years and am only 21 years old. I experienced similar feelings to those noted of severe depression and inability to function, and still experience these things to a lesser degree. After being diagnosed two years ago, I was first put on elavil, tramadol, and then lyrica. My reaction to these drugs were the spark for my first panic attack due to the mood changing effects and I have been experiencing anxiety ever since. I no longer take any of these medications. With the help of a wonderful physical therapist who specializes in fibromyalgia, I learned how to more effectively manage my symptoms and learn better coping methods. Although I have never felt complete relief from my symptoms, I find that medical marijuana (I am a legal patient in the state of California) smoked at night helps me get restful sleep without feeling groggy in the morning as well as for the most part relieves my overall pain. I also experience strong IBS symptoms and medical marijuana relieves my nausea and gi pain. Although medical marijuana is not the right solution for everyone, it is an amazing alternative to the opiate pain relievers used in the treatment of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders, mainly in the sense that as chronic pain sufferers, we need to find non addictive therapies that help us go on with fulfilling our day to day lives in a meaningful way. I smoke marijuana daily for these medicinal reasons and maintain a 3.8 GPA as a fulltime student in college, as well as maintain an active social life which was hard when my pain was more severe. If anything, alcohol is the main substance that adds to my fibro pain which i avoid at all costs. I would definitely recommend to at least try medical marijuana for anyone who has fibro. As stated before by other people, vaporizers and edibles are great, smokeless ways to medicate. I would also recommend using an indica dominant strain, the likes of which are more effective at relieving pain and inducing sleep. If you do not recognize the term indica or know the difference between an indica and a sativa, please reference a site such as wikipedia which will gladly explain it for you. Thanks for listening!

  23. Hi Jessica: As you can see from the comments already posted those who use marijuana have only positive things to say about the relief from the pain and helping with sleep. You have provided me and the readers with much needed information! Congrats on being such a great student and going beyond being a victim of this demon we call fibromyalgia. Kind regards, Barbara

  24. Mitzi says:

    I firmly believe cannabis causes fibromyalgia and / or lupus like autoimmune disorders. I know 4 women with fibromyalgia and all of them were heavy pot smokers in their youth. A man I know now is dying from lupus/fibromyalgia, the doctors can’t seem to agree on which one he has, and he has been a chronic marijuana smoker since his teens and still smokes it today and believes he can’t live without it. I believe it is killing him. He is now 57. Another victim in Dallas, female, smoked marijuana heavily from age 16 to age 42, when she was diagnosed with lupus and quit smoking marijuana. Studies say that cannabis stops the pain of fibromyalgia. Well yes, when you give an alcoholic a drink he feels better too. I think fibromyalgia is a withdrawal symptom of habitual cannabis use and can last a lifetime. Until research is done to show what is happening in the muscles and cannabis’ role in what it did to the nerves and muscle tissue, the confusion will only grow. Also there are those whose only goal is to see marijuana. I hope someday to see someone get this connection and do a study to see if fibromyalgia / lupus disorders can be caused by marijuana.

  25. barbara keddy says:

    Dear Mitzi: Your response to this blog is unlike the others and so I welcome it. We always need contrary opinions to help people make better informed choices. Your statement about fibromyalgia being a withdrawal symptom of habitual cannabis isn’t accurate since many, many of us have never indulged in cannabis. I think perhpas you meant for the people you know and mentioned here?
    Lupus caused fibromyalgia is like fibromyalgia that develops after many conditions, such as multiple sclerosis. It is a very complex issue this relationship between chronic conditions that eventually end in fibromyalgia, as not all do. I believe a person has the predisposition to develop fibromyalgia and it may or may not be tied in to an accident, surgery or some other chronic illness. There is of course primary and secondary fibromyalgia.
    It is likely that cannabis does stop the pain of fibromyalgia, but it also requires that the person continue to take it. Your analogy of the peson who drinks to numb the pain is a good one. People with fibromyalgia are often so distressed and frustrated with trying to live with the daily challenges that it is little wonder many turn to cannabis as a last resort. The issue of medical marijuana is a hot topic right now and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in many countries.
    Smoking marijuana cannot be good for anyone’s lungs (nor can smoking of any kind), but many who take it through edibles feel more comfortable than inhaling. It is a real dilemma for many. I personally have never tired either so can’t speak through experience. However, I can’t fault anyone who does as we all have to make personal choices, as long as they are informed choices.
    I really aprreciated your comments,
    Barbara

  26. Bryan says:

    Hi,I have read all of your blogs!!! First I am a 50 year old Male with fibromyalgia I was told I had this two months ago, I have been in pain for years I honestly am scared more now after reading your blogs. I do not want my wife ever to read these she is worried about me as well as I am. I want to try medical Marijauana I live in Wi and they just legalized it. I see my Dr on Monday and I will be asking him for it. I am having a hard time with this but knowing people have been living with this for many years gives me hope and I want a more natural way to deal with Fibro. I also have Cheiroarthropy along with the fibro. Lucky me .
    I wish you all a safe healthy and happy new year.
    Bryan

  27. Please Bryan: Do Not be frightened! Fear is our worst enemy. You must look into neuroplasticity and find ways of managing your chronic pain that is based upon positive, not negative thoughts. Also remember that ignorance is NOT bliss. Your wife should read about fibro so that she can know how to help you when you are having a flare-up. This website is meant to help, not scare people. This is non life threatening, remember that, please! Very best wishes and keep in touch.
    Regards, Barbara

  28. Heather says:

    I have been diagnosed fibromyalgia for 10 years, but lived with it for at least 5 years beforehand. There are good days, primarily when I follow a gluten-free, dairy free, almost raw vegan diet with plenty of water, green tea and absolutely NO carbonated beverages of any kind. The biggest trigger that I have noticed is sugar, some of which is almost unavoidable since almost everything we consume has HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in it. If we really want to link fibro to anything, link it to the end of standard farming and the rise of industrialized factory farming, and Monsanto’s poisoning of America with chemicals in both the seeds that are used to grow the veggies and the pesticides that are sprayed on them. I have a Master’s degree and am actually now going back to school for massage therapy, which is beneficial to myself and will help clients with fibromyalgia. When I eat bad, my body reacts in such a bad way that I want to die. It took years to get myself off of all the drugs that the FDA (Federal Death Administration) is allowing us to take and clear my head. I was really bad over the holidays and got myself addicted to sugar again and had a flare up so excruciating that I will give up everything to not have that again. The only thing that has helped to ease my pain was when a friend offered me some marijuana. Keep in mind, I haven’t used marijuana in the past and I feel like it helped and since I live in a state that has legalized it, I’m going to get my card. And, yes, I feel that using a vaporizer or some other method is much better and has better results than directly smoking it. I wish everyone would realize that a lot of our diseases are caused by the food and drink we consume. For more info on the real problems that are going on in the health industry as well as our global community, please check out http://www.naturalnews.com and http://www.rense.com. Best wishes to everyone who has to live with this disease–its time to take back our bodies and reclaim our lives. Find out what works for you and don’t be ashamed if it is marijuana.

  29. Dear Heather: You are so right about sugar. I too am addicted to it and it is very upsetting for my fibromyalgia. The ads for sugar and availability of it is very distressing and so appealing. As you can tell from the many comments, marijuana has helped many with their pain. We have to become the experts of our own lives and find ways that are right for us. I wish you the very best and like you I am on the road to giving up sugar, even while knowing I will have relapses:-(
    Barbara

  30. ALINE says:

    I have been suffering with this stupid disease for a long time and I often wish I could just go to sleep… I have restless severe leg syndrome that gives me pain and discomfort every day. I am taking Pramipexole for that but it only works to a point. I also have the depression that goes with it and it is very scary. I often pray for God to take make and let someone else live that actually wants to be alive. I am not suicidal but I think about death all the time, for years now. I am on medication (Remeron) but it only helps to a certain point. I can’t imagine what shape I would be in if I didn’t smoke pot to get me through. I am 52 but sometimes feel like 90. It is very exhausting to keep going, a day sometimes seems like 2 or 3. It has been a really rough life so far and I dont really look forward to more but it’s not my time yet.

  31. Aline says:

    Mitzi….I started smoking pot AFTER I was diagnosed with Fibromialgia by the recommendation of a doctor. I never smoked as a young person, not until I was in my 30’s. It relaxes me and lessens the pain.

  32. Dear Aline: My heart goes out to you as it does to all who write about their suffering. Depression and restless legs along with pain seems unbearable at times. We have to maintain some degree of hope that with the new brain research there will soon be strategies that health care professionals can help us with to calm our nervous systems. Whatever relaxes you and helps with the pain is your choice and no one can walk in your shoes. Please accept my best wishes, Barbara

  33. Sarah says:

    Heather I just wanted to thank you for your post and tell you that I found it particularly encouraging. I am 28 and was just diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few months ago. I have always led what I thought to be a relatively healthy and active lifestyle, but the last year or so I started battling terrible chronic fatigue and pain that grew progressively worse until I could barely function. In the last 6-8 months my symptoms got so out of control so fast that I was scared I was going to have to quit my job or drop out of school because just getting out of bed was so hard and so painful. I sought treatment from an Naturopathic medical physician who specializes in dietary modification and alternative therapies. I started a program that sounds very similar to what you’re following about six weeks ago. My symptoms are by no means gone or completely under control but it has made the biggest difference already just by giving me some relief from the pain and the tiniest bit of energy. Sugar, dairy, and gluten are things I am learning I just can’t tolerate because the aggravation to my symptoms and the misery that follows just isn’t worth it!! I am also doing a mostly vegan, lots of raw foods, juicing, whole grains kind of diet. I think the biggest challenge with this plan is following it on days when I feel really awful and just want to eat every sugary thing in sight! But as I said before it is making such an incredible difference and I hope that if I stick with it that my symptoms will resolve almost entirely. It’s encouraging to me to hear of someone who has been following this sort of plan with success for an extended period of time. I also believe whole heartedly that there is a very strong link between the food and drink we consume and much of the disease in our country. I am actually pursuing a pre medical degree and had already planned on applying to alternative medical schools next year. I am more convinced than ever that there is a great need for medical professionals to provide treatment that emphasizes custom dietary modifications for this type of disease. Anyway I was interested in researching the use of medical marijuana for the chronic pain of fibromyalgia and this information has given me a good starting point. I was mostly interested in finding out in what form people are having the most success as far as edibles, tinctures, vaporizing etc? I agree with the previous comments that smoking anything whether it has medicinal properties or not probably isn’t a good idea as it might aggravate my symptoms. Thank you everyone for the information thus far and I look forward to following this discussion.

  34. Hi Sarah: I could not agree more with you about sugar! It is deadly for anyone and in particular with fibro as it aggravates muscles beyond belief! I’m not sure about dairy, but many say it is almost as bad as sugar. However, my addiction is not to dairy, but sugar. Dairy seems to affect each person differently, and there is the added benefit of calcium. Sugar, by contrast, particularly if it is found in other than fruit, is so bad for anyone. Yet, the candy, cake and cookies ads really entice us as a comfort food:-( especially in times of stress and fatigue.
    This blog of mine gets more ‘hits’ than any of the others, although itching is also a big one! I’m sure there is a relationship between sugar and itching?!
    Regards, Barbara

  35. Canada17 says:

    Barbara,

    I have suffered with Fibromyalgia (FM) all my life (though it is said not to be a degenerative dis-ease, it feels that way for me) but I was only diagnosed June 2009.

    What you have written here echos my own thoughts – right down to calling FM a “dis-ease”. Whilethe jury is out as to whether or not FM is a disease I am certainly not at ease with it.

    I have tried all the pharmaceuticals my doctors have offered me, from anti-depressant to muscle relaxers, even Lyrica. Most I have not been able to take more than one dose (Cymbalta was by far the worst, my husband kept trying to take me to the hospital, I suffered the side effects of one 60 mg dose for more than 24 hours!). The few which had beneficial results also gave me allergic reactions (ie. amityptiline – I slept like a baby, like I’d never slept before. I felt so good that I could actually get out of bed in the morning and get going, no more hour long wake-up routine. But, after one week I developed pimple-like blisters all over my hands and had to be immediately taken off of it; I was only taking 10mg at bed). I even tried Nabilone – it was not my friend. It did not relieve my pain and gave me some unrelenting side effects.

    I have resolved to ingesting marijuana. My doctor is on board and almost jump out of her chair with joy when I told her how I was gaining relief. Like I had proven something that she had so desperately been trying to get across to her colleagues.

    When I ingest it, I take between 0.4g and 0.6g in gel capsules. It takes effect in about 30 minutes and lasts for about four hours. I do not get “high” from it nor do I suffer motor or cognitive impairment (not anymore than my FM bestows upon me that is); I can still work! I don’t have to call in sick as often because I feel like I got hit by a truck. God forbid I actually contract some sort of bug!

    I was taking Naproxyn for relief but it wasn’t lasting the whole 12 hours it was supposed to, only about four to six hours depending on the severity and “cause” of my pain. My doctor prescribed me a time release version and within 20 minutes of taking one dose I knew I was in trouble. Cold sweats, fast heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, confusion, headache, vision disturbances, etc. I went straight to my doctor who was extremely concerned, I was presenting like I had an infection aside from no fever, he said if I did brake into a fever I would have to go straight to emergency.

    I suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity, as do most Fibromites. While my doctor describes my FM as “the best case she’s seen”, I feel like a canary in a coal mine! My doctor believes I have an allergy to narcotics. While I do gain some relief from Naproxyn, it really isn’t effective for every day pain management, I only use it for muscle spasms now. I attribute my “best case” FM to marijuana use. I used to smoke for recreational purposes but I quickly realized what relief I obtained from it. I had been gaining relief from it for almost three years while trying to find a diagnosis. I am changing my mode of use from smoking to ingestion as much as possible. I already have issues due to second and third hand smoke from my parents and I don’t want to compound that.

    It is difficult knowing that until I obtain my medicinal marijuana license that I am breaking the law. I feel that I should have a right to pain relief. Who I am harming? And, I am certainly not harming myself anymore than an alcoholic. It’s not as though I am living off the government. I go to work everyday, I have a family, I pay my bills as quickly as most people do, and I am a generally honest and law abiding citizen.

    If this study is really to have any merit, especially with treating FM, then an organic product must be used. There are very few things concocted in a lab that my body can handle. From preservatives in my food to perfume, cleaners to cosmetics, I am organic by necessity not by choice (canary in a coal mine, remember). The fact that they used a man-made version of something mother nature made perfectly and were still able to obtain positive results only further illustrates the benefit of marijuana use for pain relief.

    While I wholeheartedly agree that smoking marijuana, in society and the law, should be no different than having a drink or smoking a cigarette, those of us who use it medicinally would benefit from a more restricted use.

    I find it exceedingly curious that so many doctors are fine with prescribing the “next-best-thing” at treating such-and-such a condition (Savella for FM?) but when it comes to marijuana we might as well be talking about feeding a drug addicts addiction. Narcotics are not without risk, no treatment is, but when used properly and on the advice of a physician, they can be very beneficial to chronic pain sufferers. However, research has revealed that those of us suffering with FM may not benefit from narcotic use.

    If the powers that be could at least approve marijuana as a drug and give it a Drug Identification Number, then the $800 (that’s pretty much the maximum prescription in Canada) a month I have to spend on it to get through could be covered by insurance. It would greatly lessen the additional financial burden I bear just to be able to get out of bed, go to work, and raise my beautiful baby girl.

    Thank you for your website!

    SD

    PS>>I am a sugar addict as well, I avoid it as much as possible (FM will never get my chocolate it is medication for at least one week out of every month!) I use organic cane sugar instead and it is very agreeable with me. 🙂

  36. Thanks Canada 17! I am so sorry that you have to spend the $800 a month on something that helps your pain. Given that we have one of the best health care systems in the world it seems to me that marijuana could be ascribed a Drug Identification Number! Your story like that of others on this blog helps to clarify some of the legal issues and makes us all wonder why there is a prohibition on marijuana but not alcohol, cigarettes, perfumes, preservatives and so on?! I wish you all the best and hope you will read my book and comment on the theory I have developed about the cause of FMS!
    Regards, Barbara

  37. Catia Buendia says:

    Alas marijuana is on of the few things that relieves anxiety, lessen pain, RLS and promotes a good nights sleep without the hangover effects of exspensive and harmful drugs, unfortunately Im not able to use it due to my employment. Im not sure how much longer I will be able to work or how long my vital organs will last with exposure to FDA approved drugs , believe you me big pharma doesnt really care about our health. I suffer daily because I refuse to injest tons of pharmacueticals needed to control this FM. Why cant the patient consume what works?

  38. Dear Catia: Well said.The legal medical ‘drugs’ are permitted even though most of them (if any) don’t work and they are actual ‘chemicals’! What they are doing to our bodies is rarely documented. The vast array of these drugs that FMS people are taking never fails to amaze me and fill me with horror. Yet, what choice do we have when the pain,sleeplessness and fatigue are so overwhelming? A sad commentary on our lives. I am so sorry you may have to leave work soon. Very best wishes, Barbara

  39. Christine says:

    I have only recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after 8 years of going to the doctor. The pain got most severe over the last six months. I was on a steady diet of Lean Cuisine & soup, super high in sodium. Dawn Riga’s post got me to thinking about the possibility of a connection. There may be something there. I have also been relieved to see the posts about chemical sensitivity. I thought I was crazy to think that I can’t handle refined sugar, but raw sugar is okay. Many of the posts that I’ve read were helpful. I am at the very beginning of navigating myself through this. If anyone knows of websites or resources that were more helpful than others, I’d appreciate the direction.
    As far as medical marijuana goes . . . I was a big fan when I was younger, but ironically, I hate the way it makes me feel now that I could qualify for it as a CA resident. Nuerontin at a pediatric dose has made a huge difference. The doctor that made the diagnosis recognized that I was sensitive to medications, and developed a plan to start slow.

  40. Dear Christine: This blog is the busiest of any I have written over the years! I can’t speak to the efficacy of marijuana since I have not used it but like you I have found relief with a Neurontin baby dose! I too am very sensitive to medications. Seems all of us with fibro have many reactions to various ‘medications’. Keep in touch, Regards, Barbara

  41. Linda says:

    I just started to think about marijuana for the pain, I’m tired of all the medicine. One thing I have been doing is eliminating the night shade vegetables (green and red peppers (and products containing them), corn (and corn products), tomatoes (and tomatoes products, like ketchup) eggplants, soy products etc.) and diet soda. This does help, however I still have pain (just not as bad), and still have problems sleeping.

  42. Diet is an interesting factor with fibromyalgia. I have found that caffeine and sugar overstimulate my nervous system and that affects my pain. With sleeping I take a baby dose of Gabapentin and a Melatonin at bedtime and that seems to work well IF I have not had an overstimulating day! We all have to find what works best for us. Good luck with your challenges! Best wishes, Barbara

  43. Sheryl says:

    I agree with Linda. I was a habitual marijuana smokers for years. I finally decided to quit and (irony), that’s when I really noticed all the pain! Before I started, I had painful pelvic and knee pain, back and shoulder pain which was all explained away by various doctors. I now go to a nurse practitioner who prescribed Lyrica and amitriptylene (sp.) which helps but on the bad days… Oh man! The vice grip like pain was so bad!

  44. Sheryl says:

    I was a habitual marijuana smokers for years. I finally decided to quit and (irony), that’s when I really noticed all the pain! Before I started smoking, I had painful pelvic and knee pain, back and shoulder pain which was all explained away by various doctors. I now go to a nurse practitioner who diagnosed me and prescribed Lyrica and amitriptylene (sp.) which helps but on the bad days… Oh man! The vice grip like pain is so bad!
    My mother-in-law (an RN) read various articles about how marijuana studies on fibromyalgia ARE helping. The naysayers are the doctors who think people are making up the pain stories just to legally get high, which unfortunately, ruins the whole thing for people who could benefit from it. I myself am going back to smoking it, but just on my really bad days.
    My question is, is there a specific website I can go to that have marijuana recipies? I have heard of the brownies and teas and I’m interested in going that route instead of wrecking my lungs. Thanks for the website! It was very informative on this subject!

  45. Hi Sheryl: So many people write that medical marijuana has helped. I agree that smoking it is not good for your lungs! I don’t know of any recipes for brownies or teas…maybe some of the readers can give suggestions? Is medical marijuana legal where you live? I have a family member with MS who uses a spray that is medically prescribed but it isn’t pure marijuana. Keep in touch and best wishes. You are not alone with this devil of a condition:-(
    Barbara

  46. i have panic attacks and my doctor reccomends relaxation exercise:,,

  47. That makes sense Ethan. But more than that we have to re-train the brain. Read David Burns book on Depression and Panic Attacks as a starter. It is good to get to the root of why the brain wants to go in that direction and establish new pathways for the messages to the brain to travel!
    Barbara

  48. Steve DeMarco says:

    I’m 34 and have suffered from Fybro since I was 16. I also suffer real bad anxiety which keeps me away from the drs’ office. Long ago I was recomended to go to a pain clinic because of a bad car accident, and all they do is give out opiates. I’m an ex-opiate addict, and I originally used opiates to kill the pain from the fybro when I was younger. I was on Methadone, which is the worst thing on this planet, IMO. Good luck trying to detox off that crap. It took me over 2 years and two trips to the E.R. to get me off it. My body hurts all the time from the fybro. I never get comfort, even from the meds I’m on. Xanax for anxiety, Trazodone to help me sleep, and Flexril as a muscle relaxant. I’ve also tried all the anti-depressants before being put on a benzo. A few months ago, I got my hands on some good pot that took away ALL my pain for a few hours, took away my anxiety, (and I have a lot), gave me motivation and is the best at putting me to sleep. All it takes is 2 or 3 hits before bed and I wake up with absolutely no hangover effect like I get from OTC sleeping pills. I could literally get rid of all of my synthetic medications if I could get my hands on the same type of pot,(Bubble Gum), I got before. I would never need another pill again, but it’s hard to get the same strain, and believe me, there’s dozens of strains to do different things, and some were cross-bred to do multiple things at once. It’s just so tough when different states have different laws. I live in N.H., and Mass. just passed a law that personal possession of an oz or less would be a $100.00 fine. Our state wouldn’t even allow for a 1/4 oz to possess with a fine if caught. Vermont, right next to me, has laws for people to get a prescription, but doesn’t have any dispenceries. Every state needs to get on the same boat. We need to get the old fuddy-duddies out of the government. They’re the ones who came out with “Reefer Maddness”,lol. Seriously though, we have not only THC receptors in the brain, but we actually produce a close resemblance to THC ourselves. It is thought that it’s there to help us relax in stressful situations. Finally, we are doing some research, but we need to get it off the ” Schedule I” drug list. That means that it is up there with heroin and methanphetamine(sp), but Cocaine is “Schedule II”, so according to the federal govt., Coke is safer than Marijuana??! Where’s the common sense? And to think, I live in a state with a motto of “Live Free or Die”. No ones free to do what they want here.

  49. Thanks for your comments Steve. As you can tell many write that marijuana helps a great deal with FM. While I wish you weren’t smoking it because of the danger to your lungs, I am happy that it gave you some relief in the past. If only it was as effective in food so you didn’t have to inhale. Still, when I think of all the drugs you were on this seems so relatively mild in comparison. When will it ever be consistent among all the countries and why do people have to search and hide if it is not readily available? I wish I knew the answer to this puzzle. Your story is a sad one and your pain is believable to me. I wish some of the other options would help, like meditation so that you weren’t in such a high anxiety state. Very best wishes, Barbara

  50. Steve DeMarco says:

    Like I wrote before, I’m 34 yrs old, and I can remember all the way back to the age of 2 when my first panic attack hit me. Since then, I’ve been sensitive physically and mentally to everything. I’ve taken classes for Yoga and was taught breathing techniques, problem is, I was born with the anxiety and it seems everyone in my extended family has it, like cancer runs in other families. I take enough anti-anxiety med to knock the normal person out, yet they barely scratch the surface of what I deal with for me. The fybro just seems to be stacked on top of it. It stopped me from doing the things I love, because when I do those things, my body hurts for a couple weeks afterwards. Then my head went through my car window @ 80mph and that’s when the pain killers came into my life. As for smoking, I totally agree w/you. They say the reason smoking is so bad is because of the chemicals they dip the paper in so it doesn’t go up in flames when you light it, and the glue they use to keep it together are both known to cause cancer. But they do make vaporizors to smoke with that take away 99% of all the harmful stuff going into your lungs. Eating it works much better, you just need so much marijuana to make food with it, so getting it illegally means you’d be driving around with enough to put you in jail for a while. I don’t smoke a lot. An oz will last me 6 months, but I have to buy that much to keep me off the streets and away from the cops. I’d rather go to a smoke shop and buy just what I need, when I need it and can afford. Another problem is, you don’t know what your buying off the streets. It may be the kind that stresses you out, instead of relaxing the muscles and taking away the pain. There is so much this plant can do for us if the government would just get out of the way and let us live and use the meds we choose to take. And they don’t need to come from man. Mother-nature is a wise woman.

  51. jenny says:

    I am 28 and I have been in and out of the hospital since early december with severe pain nausea loss of appetite hair loss and many other symptoms. After being told I had borderline persoonality disorder by a doctor whoo met me for five minutes while I was high on morphine and unable to walk due to the ppain I made a symltom list and my doctor diagnosed me with fi romyalgia. Stilll everyrime I go to the doctor my mental health is questioned I feel mistrusted and guilty for being sick. This week I am ha e a flarw up of my whole right side the doctor increased my gabapentin to 300mg three times a day. It is doing nothing and she will not offer anything elkse. Blood was also drawn to check for lupus and any inflldammatory markers. I liive in vermont but am having trouble finding people to talk to here about medical mj.

  52. I am so sorry for your pain and other horrible symptoms. I hope you will read more of my blogs regarding ‘changing your brain’ as i believe that we must become our own advocates and try not to overmedicate ourselves. Someone as young as you are would do very well with strategies such as meditation, light exercise and in particular movement, even when in pain. I don’t mean to downplay your symptoms as I too have been plagued with them since I was 25. I hope you will buy my book and the respond to me about whether or not it helps. Best wishes, Barbara

  53. kelly says:

    @ Jenny,

    I am 22 and I have very similar symptoms to what you to described…I have fibromyalgia and I also have a disease that causes my thyroid to be underactive, which can cause the hairloss, loss of appetite, and many other things. Have you ever had your thyroid levels tested? Fibromyalgia and thyroid disease often go together in women who are in their 20’s…I’m not an expert, but it’s definitely worth looking into. Hang in there!

  54. Yes, Jenny, I too have an under active thyroid and have taken medication for it for 25 years!I don’t believe that thyroid problems cause fibro but I believe fibromyalgia results in thyroid problems.So many systems are affected when the nervous system is hypersensitive. I have my thyroid tested twice a year but since the medication it has not changed much over the years. Best wishes, Barbara

  55. Marcy M says:

    I am in seventh heaven! I am 64 yrs old, female, and had never in my life tried cannibis / marijuana,
    until recently. And I found a form that doesn’t make me “HIGH”, as I cannot stand
    the feeling of being high, stoned, drunk or whoozy.

    I have severe pain from fibromyalgia, from head to toe, radiating, penetrating to the bone pain.
    The only thing that has ever given me any relief has been Tramadol but it has only taken the edge off
    the pain a bit.

    After trying “joints”, gelcaps, and cookies, I found great pain relief but couldn’t tolerate
    the high that came with those forms. So I tried Apothecary Star Elixer, both Indica (Grape
    Wreck strain and Sativa (Blue Dream strain). At low doses, 1/3 to 1/2 a dropperful in a
    glass of cocoa or chocolate milk and lo and behold my pain decreases from 90% to 100%.
    And I only take it twice a day…..morning and bedtime. I still take the Tramadol also but have
    been able to cut down to 2 doses at 50mg each. The attendant at the dispensary said that
    the two types of MJ I was trying were high in the CBD properties of marijuana, not the THC
    properties. Evidently it is the CBD that is killing the pain.

    I am not sure if other tinctures or elixirs of different strains or name brands will work as well
    as the ones I am trying but for anyone else who doesn’t like the high I would sure try to find
    this Elixir or another one comparable if you live somewhere that marijuana is legal. I live in
    California so I was lucky that it is legal here.

  56. Great news for you Marcy! Hope others can benefit form reading your comments! Regards, Barbara

  57. Jamie McMahan says:

    Like many of us with fibro, I have spent years having doctors tell me it’s in my head or think I’m a medication seeker (which is farthest from the truth). I am comforted by the fact that I have been able to see a change in the last ten years in acknowledgement and acceptance of fibro as real. My best friend who is 20 yrs older than I am (I’m 37) has has had unnecessary surgeries due to the ignorance. She has lost everything from her appendix to a full hysterectomy. I am grateful to live in a time where there is at least acknowledgement if not understanding.

    I was discharged from the military medically and when I was treated by the VA, at one point I was on over 17 meds all contradicting each other and making me a zombie. I walked away from all of that, stumbled into accupuncture which helped a bit. For me, that’s how it seems to go, something will help a bit and then no more.

    I have gotten migraines since I was 3 years old and after giving me enough morphine for a full grown man with no relief even after I begged them not to, I was finally given an injection of Toradol which took the pain away in 20min. So I went home and researched the chemical make up of Toradol and found there was a prescibable version that called Tramadol. My pain management doctor has prescribed it three times a day and I find a definite, huge relief in pain. I also take oxycontin three times a day and have been for about 8 years. Many worry about addiction but I am very blessed to not have a problem with it. I am able to stop if necessary as I did to have my child but after every since anti-depressant and mood stabilizer and every other drug didn’t work after doing this med thing for about 14yrs now, I know what works for me. Diet definitely has an an effect and stretching helps too. I also have these wonderful patches I can place on my lower back which help.

    I hypothetically tried MJ one time but it made me goofy and foggy and underneath I was still aware of the pain. I don’t think it is for me.

    This is a life sentence. There are good times and bad times and most of us will process our life before and life after as if we were grieving ourselves because we are. We are grieving a loss and it hurts but we then have to step in and make a new life. It’s never all roses. It breaks my heart to not play with my son like I want to or to have to lay down after loading the dishwasher which seems to be my hardest chore. But there are those days when I look at my husband and tell him my pain is only a 2 or 3 and we enjoy a nice family day and that’s what keeps me going. I refuse to let this awful disease defeat me. I am not fibro, I simply have it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wait for them to find a cure.
    Good luck to you all and many blessings.

  58. Rachelle says:

    hello all! I too have fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorder (ELS -LUPUS) and celiac disease. I was overweight and so frustrated with the so many anti depressant/anti-anxiety meds and the doctors that missed the positive ANA test results, refused to believe that it was the medication that they were prescribing me was not right. I began medical marijuana a few years ago, quit taking medications that were not specifically designated gluten free. Began a highly gluten free eating habits and lost 45 lbs in 6months. The weight loss itself was a great pain relief and to combine that with a better direction of what is actually wrong with me and the patients of a good doctor who understands your medical history and genetics is the most beneficial of all. many other situations for me that helped were, sleep – you really need a good rest, so tell your friends/family to leave you alone when your sleeping, it is your best medication. Therapy be it either counseling or physical pool therapy it will make a difference in your strength and your bodies ability to fight that nasty winter cold that usually takes me down for days – so much for the 24 hour flu for me. Keep your air clean around you and send the stress packing. You don’t let someone hit you and take it do you? fight back and take control of yourself – you WILL feel better over time.

  59. Good for you Rachelle! You have the right attitude!So many are on a gluten free diet and do NOT actually have celiac disease like you and all they do is feed into hype about gluten. At least you know for sure you have it and can control it with avoiding gluten. You are a strong individual and have a good message to share with others, thank you! Barbara

  60. Lyn Griffith says:

    I have suffered with fibromyalgia for 10 years. It has changed the way I do most anything. I used to be outgoing, upbeat, and ready for most anything. Now I have to prepare myself mentally and physically for events or family get-togethers I must attend. Others can’t understand what you are going through. Many have said, “but you don’t look sick”. I tell them it is like having the flu.
    I take several medications to ease the pain and to sleep. I do not like taking them, as they all have side effects, and you don’t know the damage to your body. I have an infared sauna that does help to calm the pain, but I can’t sit in it all day. I have a hot tub that helps also. I listen to meditation tapes and do my best to relax and keep my stress low. I don’t exercise as often as I should because I have a difficoult time getting myself going when I feel the way I do. I have tried marijuana in a tincture and it seems to help. I too do not want to feel the high.

    I have also learned to say no. I know my limits and help others when I can, but when I can’t, I say so. I hope the medical system will be more aggressive on finding a good treatment and cause for fibromyalgia.

  61. Dear Lyn: You could be my clone! Except I have never tried marijuana, otherwise ditto everything about you is like me! Barbara

  62. Dee says:

    As I said in an earlier post, I have fibro & hypersomnia/narcolepsy. Due to the narco/hypersomnia, I can’t take any muscle medications besides IB Profun because of the extreme sleepiness and grogginess (I tried just flexaril once a night for 2 months & slept for 12 hours+ each day; I couldn’t wake up. Then I tried Klonopin for anxiety and panic attacks. I slept for hours and couldn’t function for the 2 weeks even on half of a regular pill!) I have found that not only does Medical Marijuana help my muscle pain and stiffness, it also helps my hypersensitivity by kind of “slowing” my brain down. It helps me to be less anxious for sure, and also helps me to pay attention (Usually I am distracted and can’t focus for long before my brain starts worrying or thinking about something else and I move onto another activity. Watching a movie in one sitting is basically impossible) and relax even if just for a few hours. It has been a life saver to me after years of pain, tests, and sleepiness/brain fog due to prescription medications. Each person is different, but I am glad in the way that I treat myself. It has made me feel so much better to go off ALL prescription meds except Nuvigil to treat the narcolepsy. I wish it were not illegal however so I could not be afraid to discuss how much it truly helps (in moderation of course — too much of something is NEVER a good thing!)

  63. Hi Dee: Although I have never tried marijuana, there are certainly those who have and have found some degree of temporary relief. I would say that meditation, mild exercise and proper diet are the big #3 for working with fibromyalgia,especially if you are smoking as the lungs will suffer! I agree that moderation is sensible! Good luck, Barbara

  64. Samantha says:

    Don’t say anything because you have never smoked marijuana so you have no right to say this. I myself have fibromyalgia from genetics. When I smoke pot all my pain is relieved yeah sure it helps for awhile and after it hurts again but one thing I know is that it is the only thing that has helped my symptoms. Don’t get me wrong I have tried other things I tried pain reducers and i am currently on an antidepressant and I can tell you they don’t help for sh**. It’s people like you that make it so hard to legalize a drug that was once used all the time. There is no study of significant danger of marijuana. No one has died from smoking marijuana alone. When I have the symptoms I can’t eat, i can barely move, my muscles tense so bad i start to cry because I can’t do anything for it even after i have taken my pain medication. Due to this condition I have lost so much weight I’m sure I can only eat about 600 calories a day forcing myself. So tell me what can I do if you say not to smoke weed what now? The creator of this earth put it here for a reason to use it. Trust me it’s not harmful it’s when those stupid teenagers (not all, the stupid ones) start to do other drugs because they’re bored of marijuana that’s the reason why the perception of marijuana is so bad in today’s society. Try marijuana and then you can speak because I do want to hear how you felt, no pain after smoking, how everything was relaxed, you deserve to feel it.

  65. Dear Samantha: I would never chastise anyone for doing whatever they can to relieve symptoms. While it is true that I have never smoked anything at all, that isn’t to say that I have a moral attitude against it. In fact, it seems very reasonable to me that it should be legalized! My view of smoking in general is that it isn’t good for anyone’s lungs and I have advocated putting marijuana in food to avoid the lungs involvement. I wish you very best wishes and better health ahead. Regards, Barbara

  66. Chad says:

    Well I’m 37, and male. I’ve had this fibro thing for ah hell…let’s see…6 years yaup. Prior to that I had chronic headaches, started when I was 21. Woke up with a headache, and after 10 years of chronic headaches everday, with multiple things done to try and remedy it, I finally found the answer. I was clinching my teeth at night. The fix for the headaches where easy, wore a mouth brace and in three months, no more headaches. I couldn’t freakin believe it. Out of pain for the first time in 10 years…amazing. Then, two months later while mowing a lawn, my feet began to hurt so bad I almost couldn’t finish it. Over the coming days I thought I had pulled muscles, but eventually it all came down to “fibro”. To deal with it I’ve been taking tramadol for about 4 years. But it keeps me unable to work basically. I’m pretty sure I’m going to smoke weed…

  67. Ah Chad: These aggravating symptoms can really drive anyone to ah well… smoke, I guess. It stands to reason that a person with so many frustrations regarding pain control would try anything to help. Just remember the risks of actually smoking, marijuana or anything!Please read some of my other blogs where there are strategies that one can adopt to ‘change the brain’ and best wishes, Barbara

  68. Mandy says:

    There is an alternative to smoking that is like smoking. It is using a vaporizer. It is much healthier for the lungs and esophagus than traditional smoking as there is much less carbon in the vapors, but the THC and CBD content remain the same as with smoking. I’m 22 and have used marijuana before. I was fine and healthy and happy a few years ago, but have recently begun to experience a lot of pain and muscle spasms. I have also had some cognitive impairments and short term memory loss (which, yes can be symptoms of marijuana). I have stopped using marijuana and have been off of it for about a month now. I know that a month is about as much time that is needed to be completely free of the effects of marijuana. It is extremely unfortunate that I’ve been having these cognitive impairments (which, I was having way before I started smoking marijuana) because I have a high IQ and go to the best engineering college in the country. I like cars and engines and love working with things of the mechanical nature. I know the effects of weed and I know that the fatigue, memory loss, and cognitive impairments I experienced under its high were very different than those I’m experiencing now, which are continuing to get worse. I quit smoking weed, not because I think it’s evil or bad, but because my family thinks it is what’s causing my problems and they are blaming it wrongfully. Plus, I do need to quit it if I am to finish college (I’m only one year away). I have even quit using alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and have reduced my salt intake (have had tinnitus pretty bad and have been thinking it could be a heart problem, going to see a cardiologist later this week, heart problems do run in my family). Fibromyalgia also runs in my family. I first began having problems when I developed migraines and anxiety attacks. They seemed to come out of nowhere and didn’t seem to be caused by anything in particular. I have endured some recent major stresses and have had to drop out of school as a result of my symptoms, though I have been readmitted for the next term that’s coming up. My family doesn’t seem to trust me much anymore, and it hurts me (emotionally) because what I feel is real. But, I have not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, so I cannot say for sure that I have it. I do experience almost all the symptoms, though. Including dry mouth and eyes, IBS, muscle tension, muscle spasms, parasthesia, cognitive impairment, disturbed sleep cycles, hypersensitivity to pain, heat, and cold, and I checked the “tender” points and some of them feel lightly bruised, but there is no bruising and there has not been. And, I know that those spots on me have always felt like that ever since I was pre-teen and I thought it was strange, but didn’t think much of it at the time. Currently I have normal MRI, which is good. If I do have fibromyalgia, I might have caught it at onset. Currently I’m being treated for my migraines only by a neurologist (Zonegran and Magnesium Oxide), though they don’t seem to be helping much at all and in fact my symptoms seem to be getting worse. I have barely slept at all this past weekend, due to the pain and muscle spasms. I find that I can only sleep for a couple hours, but then awaken easily and suddenly. I think marijuana is a great plant and should be utilized by those who need it. However, I do know that it is not for everybody because everybody’s bodies are different and the chemistry inside one person’s body can react much differently with the chemistry of marijuana as opposed to another person’s chemistry. I myself have found relief in marijuana for pain, anxiety, and concentration issues. However, I have recently discovered that marijuana and Zonegran do not mix well (for my body at least) as both can induce anxiety (though, fibromyalgia can have anxiety run with it too). I feel bad that marijuana can be possibly blamed for the feelings caused by fibromyalgia, as has occurred in my family. My mother has the exact same feelings and has used marijuana too. She is now destitute and isolated from the family and nobody will believe a word she says except for me. She is currently not using marijuana and she is still having the same pains and spasms. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and trying to find answers for myself. It’s really difficult having to wait for doctors’ appointments as I’ve been very scared and in a lot of pain and I don’t know what’s going on and those closest to me are beginning to turn against me and I’m beginning to find out that life is really horrible and all people are just evil and cruel and untrusting. But, I know this not to be true and I have faith in people. I’m just scared and in a lot of pain and alone. I just have to wait for the doctors now.

  69. Dear Mandy: Your letter sounded so full of anxiety. It is very alarming waiting for doctor’s appointments wondering if all will be ok. This is especially true when one has the anxiety that is associated with fibromyalgia. I hope all goes well with the cardiologist as that is such an extreme worry. Do keep in touch, Regards, Barbara

  70. Sharon says:

    I was originally diagnosed with this about 31 years ago. About 25 years ago, I flushed away all the pills (and their horrible side effects) and switched to an approach of keeping weight in a certain range, trying to remain reasonably active (always easier said than done) and using mj to help.

    I firmly believe that pain pills are not the way to go due to tolerance issues and side effects involved. When you consider this is generally an issue you will deal with the rest of your life, I’d rather have something to use that I can control vs. something that could end up controlling me.

    I love the increased research in what types of strains of mj help with different conditions. I wish more mmj states would include Fibro in their list of approved conditions.

    Good luck to all trying to find the right solution for them.

  71. Thanks Sharon for your comments. Hopefully the stigma over fibro will subside and we will not continue to be blamed for our own limitations.
    Barbara

  72. Rhonda Hickman says:

    Ms Keddy, I’m a 20yr sufferer of fibromyalgia. I landed in ER 18yrs ago about to stroke out from fibromyalgia pain. My BP was off the charts from trying to fight pain. I was put on morphine. It took care of pain, but side effects are BAD!!! Recently I was convinced to try marijuana. After 20yrs of complete misery, something took away horrid pain, and other terrible symptoms. I’m not a street drug person at 58yrs old. HOWEVER, I will have my marijuana, until a cure, or other natural relievers manifest. If you have not tried. Try once when in a bad flare up, and write a book on that experience.

  73. Dear Rhonda:
    I can relate to you beginning to take marijuana. My own adult children are trying to convince me to at least eat a cookie or a brownie in lieu of smoking. It is true that I can’t comment on something unless I have tried it. In my view marijuana should be legalized and not require a medical certificate to obtain it. I am not sure why I am hesitant to try it. I guess it is because I have heart disease and have not investigated how it would interact with the numerous meds I am taking. “Food” for thought though!I definitely would not smoke it as smoking anything is bad for the lungs, but eating it I would surely consider!
    Best wishes,
    Barbara

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *