Fibromyalgia is one of those disorders with an unknown cause but with a highly disabling syndrome that, precisely because its etiopathogenesis (causes), added to the lack of specific effective treatments, has been difficult for medicine to recognize as a disease. Recently a “naturalistic” (observational) study carried out in Barcelona has just been published, in which the perceived benefits of self-medication with cannabis in a group of women suffering from this disease have been evaluated.
Other theories explain the symptoms by an alteration of the immune system. Cannabis treatment seems to fit each of these theories, since, for example, the endocannabinoid system is known to be involved in physiological functions that include the regulation of the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, in the regulation of the physiological stress response and, in addition, the immune system.
In fact, the main symptom of fibromyalgia is a very low threshold to pain and the subjective sensation of pain is mediated, among others, by these three physiological processes mentioned, so, regardless of what the causes are, it is coherent to think that the Fibromyalgia treatment with cannabinoids may be a therapeutic option to consider.
The researcher Ethan Russo has proposed as an explanation that the common cause of these disorders is based on a dysregulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system (http://es.scribd.com/doc/43672268/Clinical-Endocannabinoid-Deficiency-CECD-Russo), Which, although at the moment it is just another hypothesis to explain these clinical syndromes, due to the fact that they share a certain level of efficacy in cannabis treatment, for the moment it seems the most plausible idea. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia, apart from pain, which as has been said is the main symptom, are chronic fatigue, morning stiffness, constant sleep and affective problems. Fibromyalgia sensitivity points.
The study in question, developed by the Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica de Barcelona, has been published in the free access scientific journal PLoS One (http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371% 2Fjournal.pone.0018440).
Cannabis vs drug treatments
A healthy brain compared to the brain of a fibromyalgia patient
In summary, it is a naturalistic study, which has its intrinsic limitations when drawing definitive conclusions, but at the same time a high ecological validity, in the sense of reflecting well the daily life of patients with this type of pathology.
It should be noted, in any case, that the patients in the cannabis group were refractory to routine treatments and had come to cannabis as a last option. It would be interesting to investigate whether, in women with the disease that is less resistant to treatment, cannabis could be more useful than conventional pharmacological treatments, which have greater side effects.
In any case, the fact that, thanks to consumption, they had reduced other medications, they did not show significant secondary effects secondary to consumption and subjectively perceived relief in most of the symptoms suffered, taking into account that the medications to use show little efficacy in treating symptoms, finding some kind of relief at a negligible physiological cost can already be a great advance in the treatment of your disease by itself. And, in another vein, studies like these will allow in the future to clarify whether diseases such as fibromyalgia are due to a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system and thus gain knowledge about the etiopathogenesis of this highly disabling disease.