EducationCan CBD Oil reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Can CBD Oil reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

8 min read

Kerry Charron

Can CBD Oil reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia?


Fibromyalgia, also sometimes referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a chronic condition that results in pain throughout the entire body. It affects more women than men, and it usually manifests between the ages of 25-55. Up to 10% of the UK population is currently afflicted with fibromyalgia. 

Scientists are unsure of the causes, but they suspect it may be the result of an injury, genetics, or illness. There is no known cure for fibromyalgia. According to the NHS, fibromyalgia symptoms include:

  • sensitivity to pain
  • muscle soreness and stiffness
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • cognitive fog, such as difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • headaches
  • moodiness or irritability

Symptoms can fluctuate, so daily life can be unpredictable for patients dealing with fibromyalgia. Some patients experience flare-ups in which the symptoms are severe for a period of time. Of course, then the patient struggles to catch up in their home and work lives, which increases stress levels.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is known for its pain relief potential, and emerging studies are pointing to this medical cannabis product’s prospective applications for many health disorders, including the symptomatic relief of fibromyalgia pain. CBD’s possible ability to alleviate pain, anxiety, and insomnia are just a few reasons many individuals with fibromyalgia have integrated CBD into their wellness practices.

While research into the exact mechanisms behind how CBD may help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia is ongoing, many preliminary studies have shown promising results. CBD has been found to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, and it is thought that this interaction may help regulate pain signals throughout the body.

It’s important to note that CBD oil should not be used as a substitute for traditional medical treatment, nor should it be viewed as a cure for fibromyalgia. However, when used in addition to traditional treatments, it may be beneficial for managing the symptoms of this condition.

CBD and fibromyalgia symptom relief

As mentioned above, this area of medical research is still very much in its infancy. With that said, the currently available research is showing that CBD (and medical cannabis in general) may very well be a useful tool for reducing the effects of fibromyalgia symptoms. On top of this, anecdotal evidence sourced from patients backs up these results.

So, what does the research say?


CBD research studies have indicated, time and again, that the cannabinoid potentially reduces pain. Increased sensitivity is a common symptom for those with fibromyalgia. The pain can also occur in different parts of the body, with even a slight touch can feel overwhelmingly painful to a person who has fibromyalgia. Some patients describe the pain as travelling or migrating from one leg to another place on the body.

This study, which focused on cannabis as a whole and not just CBD, concluded “Cannabis administration in fibromyalgia patients showed a statistically significant reduction in pain and stiffness, enhancement of relaxation, and an increase in somnolence and feeling of well-being. The mental health component summary score was also significantly higher in cannabis users compared to non-users.”

Mental fog

Fibromyalgia can interfere with sound sleep and the pain can be distracting. Pain can make falling asleep and staying asleep seem impossible. It’s no surprise that many people with fibromyalgia experience brain fog or mental vagueness as a symptom. They have trouble getting enough restorative sleep, and as a result, they struggle through daily obligations such as work, school and family activities. They continuously feel exhausted physically and mentally.

This case series review, titled Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series”, looked into the effects of CBD on both anxiety and sleep. It found that cannabidiol very well may hold benefits for anxiety-related disorders and poor sleep. Sleep scores improved with almost 70% of the participants, but this did fluctuate over time. It also found that 79.2% of participants reported lowered anxiety levels.


As the above study shows, CBD oil can potentially help to reduce anxiety in a large subset of patients.

Anxiety is common among people with fibromyalgia as a result of their symptoms. Patients typically feel overwhelmed and experience physical discomfort that can prevent them from even leaving the house. On top of the overwhelming anecdotal evidence pointing to CBD as a potential anxiety-buster, there is also a large amount of scientific research backing up its efficacy.


CBD oil has been shown to decrease inflammation quickly and effectively in animal and human studies. A study of patients from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry shed light on treatment with CBMP oils for chronic pain. The study found that cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBMP) were associated with an improvement in pain-specific outcomes, health-related quality of life, and self-reported sleep quality. CBD oil provides more benefits than risks based on emerging clinical studies.

Possible side effects of CBD oil

Just like all treatments and medications, CBD can come with some unwanted side effects. Some of the most common ones include nausea, fatigue, changes in appetite, weight gain, dry mouth, and dizziness. Most of these side effects are generally mild and short-lived.

It’s important to note that it is possible for CBD oil to interact with certain medications. It’s always best to check with your doctor before adding any new supplements or medications to your routine.

Choosing the Right CBD Oil

When considering CBD oil, quality is key. You want to be sure you’re getting a high-quality product that has been third-party tested and contains no contaminants. The best way to do this is to source your CBD from a trusted company with a good reputation in the industry. Additionally, always make sure you read the label carefully and understand what it is you’re getting.

It’s also essential to find the right dose for your body and individual needs. Everyone is different, so it may take some trial and error to get the perfect balance that works for you. Start slow and increase your dosage gradually until you find the one that suits your needs best.

But, for the best possible health outcomes, it is imperative that you seek the advice and guidance of a doctor that is registered to prescribe medicinal cannabis, and one that has experience in doing so for fibromyalgia. Only they will be able to assess the right dosage for you, and they will also be able to provide ongoing medical support.

The medicinal cannabis sector is subject to much heavier regulative scrutiny than the general CBD sector, so it is important to note that the advice and guidance of a doctor is essential for those looking to try medicinal cannabis as a potential treatment for fibromyalgia.

Final Thoughts

CBD oil has become an increasingly popular supplement in recent years, especially among people who suffer from chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. While the research may be limited, what does exist points to CBD as a potential pain reliever and anti-inflammatory that may help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

It is critical to remember, however, that any new supplement or medication should be discussed with your doctor first before starting. This is especially true for medicinal cannabis products, as it can interact with certain medications and can have some unwanted side effects.

By doing your research and speaking with a medical professional, you can make an informed decision about whether CBD oil is the right choice for you and your fibromyalgia symptoms. And, if it is, then you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible product to help ease your pain and discomfort.

Releaf understands that medical cannabis can be life-changing for many people. That's why we offer tailored monthly packages based on your cannabis prescription, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection.

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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Kerry, with experience as a medicinal cannabis cultivation technician and expertise in business licensing applications, is passionate about developing educational content and advocating for better access to medical cannabis worldwide.

Our articles are written by experts and reviewed by medical professionals or compliance specialists. Adhering to stringent sourcing guidelines, we reference peer-reviewed studies and scholarly research. View our editorial policy.

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Editorial Team