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2022 Study: Cannabis for Treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia

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A 2022 study entitled "The Role of Cannabis in Treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia Women" that was published in the journal Pain Practice aimed to "use the World Health Organization Quality of Life Bref questionnaire to characterize the impact of cannabis treatment initiation on the quality of life in women suffering from treatment-resistant fibromyalgia."

A woman in bed with her hand over her face.
Does cannabis help fibromyalgia?

Cannabis for Treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia Study

The study involved 30 women who suffered treatment-resistant fibromyalgia. Each fibromyalgia diagnosis was confirmed by a specialized pain physician. Each participant was between 18 and 70 years old and had exhausted conventional treatments (analgesics, neuroleptics, SSRIs, and opiates) for the syndrome.


"Cannabis treatment for the study participants consisted of 20 grams of marijuana per month for the first six months."

Cannabis treatment for the study participants consisted of 20 grams of marijuana per month for the first six months. Consumption avenue was determined by patient preferences and included smoking, ingestion (eating), and vaporization (vaping).


Before beginning cannabis treatment, fibromyalgia patients were characterized by poor general quality-of-life, low general health, high pain, and dependence on medication. They also exhibited reduced daily living activities that the scientists attributed to fibromyalgia, not lack of social care or poor finances.

A crop of cannabis plants.
Marijuana may help fibromyalgia.

Cannabis for Treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia Study Results

Cannabis for Treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia. After being treated with cannabis, the fibromyalgia patients showed a "marked improvement in general quality-of-life...and enhanced general health." Cannabis treatment also seemed to improve physical health, comprised mostly of reductions in pain, discomfort, and fatigue.


After being treated with cannabis, the fibromyalgia patients showed a "marked improvement in general quality-of-life...and enhanced general health."

Interestingly, because study participants were more active, their dependence on medication for activities increased slightly. Psychologically, cannabis treatment had a "significant positive effect," particularly for self-esteem, positive feelings, memory and concentration, recreation and leisure, and sex.


Following cannabis treatment, minor improvement was noted in mobility, body image, personal relations, and social support.

A woman holds her stomach in bed.
More research is needed.

Cannabis for Treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia Study Conclusions

Cannabis for Treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia. The scientists reported the following conclusions from their study:


"The role of cannabis in treating pain syndromes and fibromyalgia is still under evaluation concerning its efficacy, tolerability, and side effects. This study assessed the short-term impact of cannabis treatment on the quality-of-life in treatment-resistant fibromyalgia female patients using the WHOQOL Bref.


"In conclusion, our results suggest a potentially beneficial role of cannabis in treatment-resistant fibromyalgia women."

"In conclusion, our results suggest a potentially beneficial role of cannabis in treatment-resistant fibromyalgia women. Short-term cannabis treatment possibly results in a beneficial short-term effect on the quality-of-life through its influence on pain, sleep, and physical and psychological domains.


"Further studies are still indicated to understand this potential and its long-term impact. Future epidemiologic studies should examine other confounders such as BMI, anxiety, depression, personality disorders or traits, chronic medical issues, and various regular medications."


View the original study.

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