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New Fibromyalgia research from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry

Published: 08/06/2023

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder which is characterised by widespread pain and tenderness in muscles and soft tissues. It may also cause an increased sensitivity to pain, meaning that the pain experienced by those with fibromyalgia in response to a painful event may be even higher that normally expects. People with fibromyalgia also commonly experience fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and headaches. The treatment for fibromyalgia varies from person to person and may involve medications, psychological therapy, and lifestyle changes.


Fibromyalgia Facts

  • Fibromyalgia is common and is thought to affect approximately 1 in 50 individuals.
  • Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, but it’s more common in women than men.
  • The exact causes of fibromyalgia are not currently known.


What is Sapphire Clinics Doing to Help?

One of the most common symptoms for which those with fibromyalgia seek help is chronic pain. The pain is felt within the muscles and soft tissues and may be more severe in trigger points on the back, shoulders, or neck. The pain may also be more noticeable after long periods in the same position such as in the evenings or first thing of a morning.

Sapphire Clinics are dedicated to ensuring that they play a defining role in helping clinicians and patients make the right decisions for their healthcare. As part of this commitment, we have developed the UK Medical Cannabis Registry to help analyse the outcomes of patients seen at the clinic to help inform the care of other patients in the future.


Recent Research

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been implicated in several important physiological and cognitive functions, including pain sensation and perception pathways. There is a growing trend towards patients seeking alternative treatments for pain management and other symptoms which may be relevant to fibromyalgia.

The increasingly widespread prescribing of medical cannabis for patients with fibromyalgia and other conditions, combined with growing clinical evidence makes the continued evaluation of cannabis-based medicines in these settings particularly important.

Researchers from Sapphire Clinics recently published an analysis from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry of the outcomes of patients with fibromyalgia. A total of 306 patients with fibromyalgia were included for analysis. These findings explore whether there are changes in fibromyalgia specific symptoms, sleep, anxiety, and health-related quality of life at up to 12 months.

These results reported a change in fibromyalgia-specific symptoms, sleep, anxiety, and health-related quality of life after being prescribed medical cannabis. The authors note that more research – in particular, randomised controlled trials – are needed to examine the exact effects of medical cannabis for symptoms of fibromyalgia and to add improve our understanding of the exact role medical cannabis may play in the management of fibromyalgia in the future.

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