Fibromyalgia: Effective Treatment With Medical Marijuana


Fibromyalgia is a very painful, complex disease causing spasm of muscles and accompanying nerves and has been a contentious puzzle to both victims and their doctors.

It seems nobody has the slightest idea what causes it and its symptoms and signs can be so diverse that it has been called the “invisible disease” with no specificity except the victim’s typical statements that, “I hurt all over.”

Most doctors reaction or response to a patient presenting with the above just responded with “It’s all in your head,” or alternatively “You just want drugs.” This is and was incorrect, they wanted relief!

The self-hypnosis of many doctors was usually that depression causes fibromyalgia. This decries the fact that chronic pain does cause depression. One very prominent doctor in Oregon made an international reputation for himself by treating hundreds of patients with a very widely used anti-depressant, amitriptyline (Elavil). It helped their depression but it didn’t help much for their fibromyalgia pain and spasms.

Another of the attempts to treat the painful muscle spasms was with cyclobenzaprine (Flexaril) which my patients told me just made them dopey or feel stupid. This is just not too good for someone who has to work.

Anti-seizure drugs such as gabapentin (Neurontin) have been tried. I tried this myself for causalgia, severe burning pain in my feet caused from damage to my sacral nerves. It made me so dopey and dysfunctional I called my neurosurgeon and told him I wouldn’t prescribe it to my worst enemy. I do have a former patient who takes it in high doses for severe discogenic disease. His wife says he is now completely disabled AND dysfunctional.

Some other medications have been tried, success has been minimal.

It was not a surprise to me to read of successful trials in Germany for fibromyalgia with THC, the medicinal chemical in cannabis/marijuana. I have about 100 fibromyalgia patients using marijuana/cannabis very effectively. It is known that cannabis has good analgesic, antispasmodic and euphoriant actions.

It is also known also that the body produces endo cannabinoids, anandamide and 2AG also produce analgesia, antispasm and euphoriant actions, and that plant and natural cannabinoids are better than any other chemical/pharmaceutical trial drug or combination.

It is estimated that 5% to 7% of the population has fibromyalgia. This means that several million patients in the U.S. are afflicted. I note that Eli Lilly & Company are advertising a new drug for fibromyalgia. Three years ago they ballyhooed a drug for ADD. It was a bust. Eli Lilly was once a leading producer of cannabis medicines. I think they should go back to that, it works.

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Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician, Toxicologist and Pharmacologist.
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  1. I have FM and I hurt almost every minute, some times a LOT sometimes a little. I have been reading on the internet about cannabis helping. I have taken a lot of RX meds everything from antidepressants to painkillers to muscle relaxers to lyrica. I never believed depression caused the pain. A psychiatrist told me depression caused by long term exposure to pain. After reading, thinking and praying, I asked my doctor. He was very kind. He said if he could he would prescribe it. The rest of the conversation was positive. So I finally tried it. It DID WORK. I didn’t even feel guilty or sad that I tried it. Society makes it sound bad or wrong.
    It even helped a little the next day. So now I will continue to write whenever I can about it! Thank you for the opportunity to speak out. I have written emails and made phone calls to both my national and state Representatives. The more we speak up the more they might listen. We all need access to medical marijuana, not just a few states. If your state already has medical mj let your representatives know how much it helped you. Please it might make the way for the rest of us. I used to think people just wanted to get high. There is proof it helps a lot of illnesses.
    The government has a patent on marijuana cannabinoids showing they have anti oxidant and neuroprotectant qualities. I think it should be legal for whatever the doctor prescribes it for, not just specific illnesses.
    By the way, the pain medication caused side effects, including “feeling high”. I still hurt after the RX meds. They are only about 60-75% effective.
    I hope I helped describe the story more. Also you should look up the history of how it became illegal it might open your mind a little farther!
    Good luck to all of you that have FM . I hope we can all have medical cannabis legal soon.

  2. I happen to be a male in the world of fibromyalgia. I say this because of the fact that it is most common to females. I will tell you this, that I do believe that because I am a male, and I was athletic most of my life, having started to experience the symptoms when I was around 33. I was running up to 8 miles a day, and was in better shape than I had been when I was younger. Without getting into the symptoms and how it started, I do feel fortunate at the least because I think I am able to endure it more than a female because of our design and my athleticism. But with that said, it does not mean that I do not suffer because I do. I also raise and 11 year old son on my own, and I must wake each and every day no matter.

    But I think what bothered me more than the symptoms at the beginning was the doctors who looked me in the eye and told me it was in my head. And now I realize that they also could have been thinking that I only wanted to have them write for a pain killer or some other drug.

    In the end, I have a doctor that believes in the condition, and does not accuse me of being crazy and or manipulative, and even though I am still waiting for that magic cure, I realize that it will not be coming in my lifetime. I am still waiting for a test that can show the diagnosis, but I do not see that coming either.

    And finally, I worry about what will happen to me when I get into my 60’s or 70’s, will I then be dismissed as just an elderly person that just wants a script, or that just has it in their head?

    So yes, I hope that they eventually legalize it in all states for medicinal purposes, and then they just need to legalize it for everyone, so that I could try to enjoy life without having to convince a Doctor of this as well. I work in a job that requires random drug testing, so I will not use it until it passes the Federal regulations, so until then, I will just have to live my life the way it comes each day!