Will medical marijuana stop the pain I experience with fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia isn’t an easy disorder to live with. Sufferers are plagued with widespread chronic pain. But with no visible signs of illness, it’s easy for those around them to discount or doubt that there’s a problem. Many go years without the correct diagnosis, and even then, the treatment options are limited and often ineffective.

But cannabis provides some hope in this painful situation. Many fibromyalgia sufferers, myself included, have found that marijuana provides significant relief of their symptoms, and helps them lead a more functional life. Now the science is starting to catch up with these patient reports—and shows that cannabis is an effective treatment option for fibromyalgia.

Thankfully, cannabis can help. I know because it helps me with my fibromyalgia every day. First diagnosed in my early 20s, I always had extra pain, but was having a hard time coping with it as I transitioned into adult life.

With the widespread discomfort, fatigue and anxiety, college life was challenging. I couldn’t sleep; I was in constant pain; and I was having a hard time focusing and concentrating when doing schoolwork. I was so sick that I had to take time off from school. I simply couldn’t function

Scientists are starting to notice what I did: Cannabis is much more effective than the pharmaceutical options are. One study of 1,300 people with fibromyalgia conducted by the National Pain Foundation showed that cannabis is effective at treating fibromyalgia—and much more so than the other medical options are.

Smoking or vaping cannabis are both effective options if you need immediate relief. Their quick-acting effects can provide respite within minutes, easing pain and tension while uplifting mood.

If you’re not interested in inhaled methods, sublingual marijuana options like tinctures or sprays can provide a similar quick- acting effect. The downside is that these methods don’t last as long, so you may need to keep using them every two to three hours to maintain pain relief.

For longer-lasting relief, look to marijuana edibles. These tasty options stay in your system longer, so you can go four to six hours without taking another dose. I wish you luck in treating your fibromyalgia.

Emily E