Study: Medical Marijuana Associated With Reduced Opioid Use in Fibromyalgia Patients
Fibromyalgia patients suffering from lower back pain respond favorably to medical cannabis as a treatment, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, and epublished by the National Institute of Health.
For the study, researchers assessed the analgesic efficacy of both opioids and medical cannabis in 31 fibromyalgia (FM) patients with lower back pain. Participants were treated with inhaled cannabis containing less than 5% THC for a six month period
According to a press release from NORML, patients reported greater pain improvement with medical cannabis as opposed to the use of opioids alone. Patients demonstrated increased range of motion following cannabis treatment, but did not show any similar improvement with opioids. While undergoing cannabis treatment, the majority of patients elected to “decrease or discontinue pharmaceutical analgesic consumption”.
Authors concluded: “This observational cross-over study demonstrates an advantage of MCT (medical cannabis treatment) in FM patients with LBP (lower back pain) as compared with SAT (standard analgesic therapy). Further studies randomized clinical trials should assess whether these results can be generalized to the FM population at large.”
The full text of the study, titled Effect of adding medical cannabis treatment to analgesic treatment in patients with low back pain related to fibromyalgia: An observational cross-over single center study, appears in the latest issue of the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.