Fibromyalgia symptoms can include widespread pain in the body, stiffness and fatigue. Painkillers are recommended by the NHS to help relieve discomfort, but some health experts say supplements can be helpful for addressing muscle pain the condition causes – including CBD oil.
Fibromyalgia symptoms tend to be experienced by the sufferer between the ages of 20 and 60, though the condition is more common with increasing age.
It causes widespread pain in the body, but discomfort can vary depending on the person.
The pain may be worse at some times than others, and can feel like a deep ache in your muscles, like a burning or throbbing, or intense, persistent pain.
Fibromyalgia can also make you more sensitive, meaning that even the slightest touch can feel painful.
The condition can also make you feel tired and worn out, and while painkillers can help, nutritional therapist Dr Sarah Brewer said cannabidiol supplements (CBD oil) can offer pain relief.
Cannabidiol is an active ingredient extracted from the flowers, leaves and stems of industrial hemp plants.
Dr Brewer explained on her site: “These plants are specially selected to ensure high levels of CBD but low levels of the psychoactive substance, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) found in marijuana.
“CBD is mixed with olive oil, coconut oil or hemp seed oil to maximise its absorption.
According to Dr Brewer, cannabidiol oil has direct effects on the brain to reduce pain perception, relieve anxiety, lift mood and promote refreshing REM sleep.
Dr Brewer added: “It works by enhancing the effects other brain chemicals, such as serotonin, and through effects on the brain’s own endocannabinoid systems.
“CBD does not produce a ‘high’ and is not addictive.”
CBD oil is now available at highstreet health stores. It was launched in February this year, but a number of brands – including Healthspan – have launched it in a more palatable capsule form, which is more tolerable and effective.
According to The Cannabis Trades Association UK at the time of the launch, there are now 250,000 users of CBD oil across the UK, which is up form the 125,000 recorded this time last year.
The oil is said to be able to treat a variety of problems.
At the end of last year, a World Health Organisation report revealed that it may help successful treat symptoms relating to Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, MS, pain, anxiety, depression, cancer and diabetic complications.
While there has been some research to link cannabis oil to improved health benefits for people with certain ailments, this should be treated with caution, according to Dr Thornber.
He explained: “The individual needs of the patient vary and what works for one person may not work for another.
“This is also not classed as an official medication which can be prescribed.”
Dr Thornber would always recommend anyone wanting to take any medicine that isn’t registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council to do so with caution.
He said: “Almost always have a chat with your pharmacist or GP at your next visit to take their advice.”