Article by James Pegler, Fibromyalgia Treating
Fibromyalgia is a complicated disease with many symptoms, and it affects each person differently. Cannabis is also a complicated medicine with different strains and cannabinoid compounds that act on the body in different ways. Saying that weed will help with fibro may or may not be true. If you are trying to treat chronic pain and you get a THC dominant strain, then it may not work at all. If you are trying to treat insomnia, then a THC dominant strain may have the opposite effect of making you sleep. For anyone with fibro that has tried weed one time and decided that it did not work for them, what strain did you use? Was it THC or CBD dominant? It is quite likely that the strain that you had was not optimum for the symptom you were trying to treat. So here is a Look at THC vs CBD for fibro symptoms, and a breakdown of the most common fibro symptoms with the best strains to treat them.
Before we get into the breakdown of symptoms and strains, here is a closer look at marijuana and cannabinoids.
As a side note: With the great increase in strains and hybrids, it may be more difficult to make broad generalizations, but we are somewhat forced to do so. Also, Cannabis has such a complex chemical composition with cannabinoids, terpenes, etc, and each acts differently on the body. Strain effects can vary from one crop or dispensary to the next.
Cannabinoids (THC vs CBD):
Cannabis has two major cannabinoids that are used to regulate what your body will feel. The plant actually has many more cannabinoids that can have benefits for many other purposes. Several whole plant hemp oils can be purchased that can give you access to those compounds without the psychoactive effects of cannabis. However, when you purchase Cannabis, most dispensaries will mark each strain with THC or CBD content. Here is a closer look at THC vs CBD.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a chemical found in marijuana. This is the compound that attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the body, and it is responsible for the euphoric “head high” feeling. Generally speaking, Higher THC usually means a more euphoric and head-heavy high. THC dominant strains are also responsible for an energetic feeling that can be as effective as caffeine.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another cannabinoid and it reduces the “head high” (or psychoactive effects) of TCH by binding to the Cannabinoid receptors and blocking THC from binding with them. CBD is the chemical in weed that is responsible for fighting inflammation, muscle spasms, anxiety, depression, cancer, and oxidation. CBD is one of the most beneficial medicinal compounds in cannabis. Generally speaking, higher CBD means that your high will not be as “heady,” and will likely be more body focused. For fighting pain or insomnia, you want a strain with a higher CBD content.
(while higher CBD strains are great for pain, do not discount the benefit of THC for making pain easier to deal with.)
When we are dealing with pain in regard to fibromyalgia, we usually mean neurological pain. Most of the strains that are good for treating pain are Indica in variety, and heavier in CBD in chemical makeup. Indica/CBD dominant strains will give you a stronger body sensation. However, THC can be very helpful for making the effects last longer, and the head high can make it easier to cognitively reframe your pain, making it less intense. Most of the recommendations for pain are an indica and CBD dominant strains, but hybrids work well too.
Strains for pain
Indica: Critical Mass is one of the very best strains of Indica for pain. It is high in CBD, and is also great for relieving stress and anxiety. This is a great strain for totally relaxation without losing your cognitive abilities.
Sativa: Harlequin is a Sativa dominant variety, but a CBD dominant strain. This means that it gives you the uplifting energy of THC, while providing the great pain killing power of CBD. This strain is the best of both worlds without the psychoactive properties of most Sativa dominant strains.
Hybrid: Cannatonic is a hybrid strain that is CBD dominant. It is excellent for pain, and can also be used for stress or muscle spasms. The high CBD content reduces the psychoactive effects of THC very well.
Unlike pain, fighting fatigue requires a THC dominant strains. CBDs block the THC from entering the Cannabinoid receptors, and the THC is what will give you the energetic feeling. Therefore, there are not any indica strain recommendations for fatigue here. However, it is always possible to combine a high energy strain with your favorite CBD dominant pain-fighting strain to see what results you get.
Strains for Fatigue
Sativa: Green Crack is a Sativa/THC dominant cannabis strain, and despite its name there is no other substances involved. Also called Green Cush (with a C), this strain is THE BEST strain you will find for energy, bar none. There is an Indica dominant strain that goes by the same name, but Sativa is the ticket for fighting fatigue.
Hybrid: White Widow is one of the most popular strains on planet earth. This strain is great for a burst of energy that will get you moving, yet the CBD content helps to limit the psychoactive effects.