Many people are interested in medical marijuana for a variety of conditions including fibromyalgia. Currently patients use medical marijuana for relief for a long list of conditions like cancer, arthritis, irritable bowel disease, and many more conditions. It is no surprise then that someone suffering from fibromyalgia would look to medical marijuana in Maryland or Delaware for relief. In this article we are going to examine what fibromyalgia is and how medical marijuana could help you find relief.
If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and are in need of a Maryland or Delaware marijuana doctor, the Green Relief Health team is here to help! Start the process of becoming a legal Maryland or Delaware medical marijuana patient by simply scheduling your appointment today.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that effects 4 million adults in America. This is roughly 2% of the adult population that is affected in some way by fibromyalgia, so it is no wonder many are looking to medical marijuana as a treatment option. Typically, fibromyalgia is characterized by patients experiencing pain all over their body. It can also affect sleep, cause fatigue, and can lead to emotional and mental distress.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia included the following:
- Pain and stiffness all over the body
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
- Headaches, including migraines
Other symptoms may include:
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Pain in the face or jaw, including disorders of the jaw known as temporomandibular joint syndrome (also known as TMJ)
- Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS)
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Unfortunately, the exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but there are some ideas as to what may cause it. Some doctors and researchers think there may be a genetic cause to fibromyalgia. There is a possibility that serotonin receptors and transporter genes may be the cause. Serotonin is a chemical that sends signals through our nervous system. It is thought to be active in constricting smooth muscles, and it contributes to wellbeing and happiness, among other things.
There is also some evidence to suggest that fibromyalgia can be brought on by major traumas to your body. And there appears to be a potential link between fibromyalgia and psychological conditions like depression, which are often diagnosed alongside of fibromyalgia.
How Can Medical Marijuana Help Fibromyalgia?
Medical marijuana has several properties that can be useful for someone that is dealing with fibromyalgia. Medical cannabis can help with pain relief which is a primary symptom of someone dealing with fibromyalgia. A survey done by the National Pain Foundation found that 62 percent of patients who had tried marijuana said it was very effective in treating their pain symptoms and another 33 percent found some relief. Only 5 percent of people who tried it said it provided no relief.
Medical marijuana can help with pain through its interaction with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a naturally occurring network of receptors spread throughout the entire human body. It wasn’t until in the 1990s that researchers first discovered endocannabinoids, which are the natural cannabis-like molecules produced by the human body. Scientists began to realize that cannabinoids from plants like marijuana influenced the human body by mimicking our own naturally occurring endocannabinoids.
The ECS has receptors located all throughout the body including the brain, central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system (digestive tract, immune system, reproductive system, skin cells, heart, and more). The endocannabinoids work by binding to their corresponding receptors, giving our cells specific directions. Certain cannabinoids like THC found in medical marijuana increase the number of endocannabinoids present in the body.
Medical Marijuana For An Endocannabinoid Deficiency
There is some research that suggests that many conditions such as fibromyalgia could be caused by an endocannabinoid system deficiency in our bodies. This means that the body does not produce enough of its own naturally occurring endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids may play a role in blocking pain and inflammation in the body. If you do not naturally have enough in your body, it could be helpful to supplement them with cannabinoids such as THC from the marijuana plant.
Medical Marijuana Relief
In addition to treating the pain associated with fibromyalgia, medical marijuana can help with some other symptoms. Medical cannabis can help with mood. As we know many that are diagnosed with fibromyalgia also experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. Through medical marijuana’s interaction with the ECS, it can also reduce cortisol in the body. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone. Higher levels of it can lead to anxiety and depression.
Marijuana also has a powerful ability to help with digestive tract issues like pain, nausea, vomiting, and more. As we know digestive problems are another symptom of fibromyalgia. Medical marijuana’s strong ability to deal with these issues has been demonstrated with cancer patients that are undergoing chemotherapy. This same ability to help cancer patients with digestive issues is also present for fibromyalgia patients.
How To Get Medical Marijuana For Fibromyalgia
Accessing medical marijuana for fibromyalgia is a two-part process in the states of Maryland and Delaware. The first part in Maryland requires applying with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). To complete an application with the MMCC you will go on their website and create a new patient registry. In the process of registering you will need to verify your residence in the state of Maryland, which typically requires submitting a state issued ID although there are other ways to verify your residence. In addition to submitting residency information you will have to submit a passport photo that will be used for your medical marijuana card.
After you have completed an application with the MMCC you will wait to receive a patient ID number from them. It is this number that you will need to take with you when you meet with a medical marijuana doctor to certify you for medical cannabis. When you meet with your medical marijuana certifying provider you will need to provide information about your qualifying conditions. Maryland has a list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis but the most common include chronic pain, PTSD, severe pain, and more. If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia you would likely be able to demonstrate that you do indeed suffer from chronic pain
Once you are certified you will be able to access any medical marijuana dispensary of your choosing in the state of Maryland.
The process in Delaware is somewhat different than the process for patients in Maryland. In Delaware applying for your medical marijuana card is simple: Do it online here or print and mail the completed application. After your doctor authorizes treatment and the State receives the application, it could take two to four weeks for you to receive your card.
Overall, the research surrounding medical marijuana and fibromyalgia is promising. If you suffer from fibromyalgia and have more questions about treating your symptoms with medical marijuana, speak with a Green Relief Health team member today at 410-368-0420 or 302-564-9994.