Fibromyalgia Patients Find Relief with Medical Marijuana in Ohio

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Written by Sindy Brent on 04/16/2024.
Data Last Updated: 07/22/2024.

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What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain condition that affects approximately 2 to 8 percent of Americans, with a higher prevalence in women, especially those aged 20 to 55. Characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep problems, memory issues, and mood changes, fibromyalgia can have a profound impact on sufferers’ quality of life. The good news for Ohioans is that fibromyalgia is an eligible condition for treatment with medical marijuana in the state.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes pain all over the body, typically concentrated near joints. Other common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and sleep disturbances
  • Cognitive and memory problems (“fibro fog”)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Digestive problems like IBS
  • Numbness and tingling in extremities

Fibromyalgia often co-occurs with other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and sarcoidosis, which can complicate diagnosis and treatment. Because it lacks obvious external symptoms, fibromyalgia is frequently called an “invisible illness.” Many patients suffer in silence and struggle to find adequate relief.

Medical Marijuana – A Promising Treatment

Medical Marijuana - A Promising Treatment

In recent years, medical marijuana has emerged as a promising treatment option for fibromyalgia symptoms. Research indicates that cannabis may help in several key ways:

  1. Pain relief – Marijuana interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in pain perception. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD can significantly reduce pain in fibromyalgia.
  2. Improved sleep – Many fibromyalgia patients struggle with insomnia or disrupted sleep. Marijuana’s relaxing and sedative properties may improve sleep quality and duration.
  3. Mood benefits – Cannabis, especially strains and products high in CBD, can alleviate anxiety and elevate mood. This may help combat the depression that often accompanies fibromyalgia.
  4. Fewer side effects – Compared to traditional pain medications like opioids, medical marijuana is generally well-tolerated with a lower risk of dependence or dangerous side effects.

A growing body of evidence supports the efficacy and safety of medical marijuana for fibromyalgia. In one influential study, patients reported a significant reduction in pain and stiffness after using cannabis, as well as enhanced relaxation and greater sense of well-being. Many were able to reduce their use of other medications.

Accessing Medical Marijuana in Ohio

Accessing Medical Marijuana in Ohio

Under Ohio law, patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and a recommendation from a certified medical marijuana doctor can legally purchase and use cannabis for symptom relief. The process involves three basic steps:

  1. Obtain a diagnosis of fibromyalgia from a physician.
  2. Have a consultation with a state-approved medical marijuana doctor who can confirm eligibility and provide a recommendation.
  3. Register for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program and purchase cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

Telemedicine platforms like Dr.Weedy make this process easy and convenient by allowing patients to consult with certified cannabis doctors remotely. Qualified patients can book a secure video appointment with a knowledgeable physician, obtain their recommendation, and get help registering with the state – all from the comfort of home.

Product Selection for Fibromyalgia Relief

Product Selection for Fibromyalgia Relief

Ohio has a robust network of medical marijuana dispensaries that can work with patients to select the best products for fibromyalgia based on individual needs and preferences. Options range from cannabis flower for vaporizing, to tinctures, edibles, topicals, and more.

Key considerations for fibromyalgia patients include:

  • Selecting strains and products with an optimal balance of THC and CBD, the two main therapeutic compounds in cannabis.
  • Using delivery methods that provide adequate symptom relief with a duration of effects that aligns with treatment goals.
  • Starting with a low dose and gradually adjusting until desired benefits are achieved.
  • Consulting a knowledgeable dispensary budtender or cannabis coach for personalized guidance.

Many patients find that a combination of daytime and nighttime formulas works well for fibromyalgia – something energizing and pain-relieving for the day, paired with a more sedative product in the evening to promote restful sleep.

The Bottom Line

If you’re one of the many Ohioans struggling with fibromyalgia, know that you have options beyond traditional treatments alone. Medical marijuana may significantly reduce your pain, improve sleep and mood, and help you reclaim a sense of well-being and functionality.

Speaking with a compassionate cannabis doctor is the first step. Reach out to a telemedicine provider like Dr. Weedy to start your journey to relief today.

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