A recent Canadian study has brought out that one in eight suffering from ‘fibromyalgia’ use pot and other cannabis products as a part of self-medication against the illness.
Dr. Igor Grant, Head of Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at University of California said that such a step to use cannabis by patients suffering from a chronic illness is natural since there are no known treatments available. He added that patients look for other remedies since they need help. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia experience pain in their muscles and joints. These are sometimes accompanied by fatigue or severe headaches as well.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost two percent adults suffer from fibromyalgia.Although people look up to treatments like physical therapy, pain medications, anti-depressants and other therapies; cure for the disease is not assured. Ste-Marie and his team collected information from the medical records of approximately 457 patients who came to the pain-unit at McGill University. Of them, 302 were confirmed as having fibromyalgia as their primary diagnosis.
Almost 10 percent of the participants confirmed that they smoked marijuana for medical benefits while three percent used a synthetic form of the active chemical available in cannabis plants. Ste-Marie said that knowledge of the pain-reliving ability of marijuana could be the reason for the 10 percent of participants giving it a try.
He added that since there is no cure currently available for this condition, patients would try other remedies including cannabis products for possible cure. Although earlier studies have shown that ingestion of marijuana can relieve patients from pain caused by illnesses like HIV, there is no evidence that it can relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia.
There is also no proof which suggests that fibromyalgia sufferers can regain their ability to perform activities like house-keeping or working by using marijuana. Peter Ste-Marie, pain-researcher at McGill University and team member of the study said that it is essential that any remedy should not just relieve pain but assist patients in getting back to performing routine activities.