Talk to sufferers of fibromyalgia, autism, and anxiety and they may be able to describe to you their symptoms, but chances are they won’t be able to tell you the “why is it here?” or the “where does it come from?”. All three disorders come with devastating effects on the minds and bodies of those who suffer with them. Only a decade ago, fibromyalgia was referred to as hysteria and came with a laundry list of symptoms that were experienced uniquely in each case. Some doctors had a hard time even diagnosing such seemingly disjointed symptoms. How could a neurological disorder be so complicated that it causes any combination of chronic fatigue, anxiety, weakness and joint stiffness, headaches, and a thing called “fibro fog.” But that was before studies commenced on something called the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of receptor sites found all over the human body. The receptors are regularly topped up by endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body. The goal of the endocannabinoid system is homeostasis, meaning that the body’s systems and organs—brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells—are running smoothly despite fluctuations in the environment outside the body. Well, marijuana also has cannabinoids that mimic those that the body makes naturally. Right now, even if you’ve never smoked a joint in your life, your body is creating THC-like (and CBD-like) endocannabinoids and sending them to your receptors. A shortage of endocannabinoids can have chronic effects on a person’s overall health, including things like fibromyalgia, autism, and anxiety.
How does CBD help Fibromyalgia?
According to the National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, more than 5 million Americans have fibromyalgia, and most of those who suffer are women. After being misdiagnosed, misunderstood and thrown just about every prescription in the drug store, fibromyalgia studies are getting funding in pursuit of a cure. Chronic pain is only one of the debilitating symptoms of this disorder, and it meant a lot of prescriptions for opiates were used to quell the daily pain. As those types of pharmaceutical drugs grow less and less favorable due to their highly addictive nature, cannabis and CBD treatments, in particular, are becoming a gentle way to ease the pain, anxiety, and inflammation associated with fibromyalgia. Balancing the endocannabinoid system with CBD-rich medicine means better communication between the brain, the immune system, glands and hormones, connective tissues, and organs—all areas that are affected in varying degrees by fibromyalgia.
If studies prove that fibromyalgia comes from an unbalanced Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD), it could mean that it goes on the qualifying disorders list of more states which are MMJ-only.
Can CBD also treat autism?
Some parents are already treating their child’s autism with cannabis, despite the lack of research that has studied the subject. But they are hardly going in blind. The treatment, using a CBD-rich cannabis oil, has many cases supporting its side. One endocannabinoid, in particular, called anandamide, seems to play a significant role in how the brain manifests motivation and pleasure, and it mimics the cannabinoid called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But the cannabinoid that helps with the greatest number of autism symptoms is cannabidiol (CBD), which eases spasticity, anxiety, and depression. Patients have had success with varying combinations of CBD and THC or THCA (the non-psychoactive version of THC), but most aren’t even given access to the drug because of state and federal laws. There are no clinical studies on cannabis and autism.
Cannabis Oil for Anxiety
Anxiety is similar to both fibromyalgia and autism in that it presents in unique ways in each patient. It’s almost as if the three disorders are as individual as the patient’s fingerprint. Anxiety isn’t just something manifested by the brain; it can reside in any of the body’s systems, creating all kinds of havoc from eating disorders to irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic headaches. Anxiety is a mood disorder that sometimes manifests as compulsive or obsessive behaviors, such as those seen in cases of an obsessive compulsive disorder. The treatment can vary as much as the potentially traumatic events that brought the anxiety on in the first place. Although there is no cure, relief for stress is available to those who live in cannabis-friendly states, all you need is one of the many marijuana pipes we offer and some relaxing bud.
Cannabidiol has the effect of boosting the signal to serotonin receptors, just like SSRIs do. But they do it a lot more naturally. The treatment allows anxiety sufferers to regulate their responses to triggers and stressors in the environment without impacting their life or relationships. CBD oil is non-psychoactive and can be taken discreetly as drops placed under the tongue, mixed with food, or taken as a capsule.
One thing holding some people back from treating anxiety with cannabis is the fact that marijuana tends to have a stress-inducing effect, described as intense paranoia. And, yes, while many pot smokers will experience paranoia, elevated heart rate, and anxiety, the side effect is almost non-existent when the THC is taken out of the equation, or by choosing a strain that has enough CBD to help negate the THC overload.
The good news for sufferers of any of the three diagnoses above is that that are strains out there now, and even more being developed, that contain tons of the CBD. These strains did poorly in the black market when buyers were looking for more THC for their buck, but now they are being used and talked about by patients, health nuts, and even a few celebrities. No two strains will work in the same way for every symptom or everybody. Just relax into the trial-and-error part of the process, and you’ll enjoy it. And remember, you don’t have to smoke or vaporize a high-CBD strain to get the benefits. There are oils on the market, and even edibles, that boast a lot of CBD and varying amounts of other cannabinoids besides.
Snoop Dogg brought us Leafs by Snoop, a line of cannabis strains with patients in mind. Canadian patients, mostly, sold through one of their medical marijuana licensed distributors, Tweed. The THC:CBD ratio of 3D CBD sits at
about 5:8, with the THC coming from an earthy sativa. Fibromyalgia sufferers will enjoy how useful this strain is in treating pain, inflammation, and muscle tension without any THC-fueled anxiety or paranoia. 3D is 100% smooth sailing for a highly-productive day.
This 80/20 indica-dominant strain has an equal ratio of THC and CBD. So, while it busts through pain, anxiety, and inflammation it also has a light intoxicating effect
. You can trace this hybrid strain back to one called Shark Shock indica. Where the CBD comes from is a mystery. Expect to be hit in the nose with some sweet notes of fruit followed by earthy herbs.
You’ve heard of the knock-out Afghani landrace; well, Afghani CBD is a high-CBD variant of it produced by another Canadian licensed producer, called Tilray. Say goodbye to insomnia and chronic pain if you happen to get your hands on this intense strain.
From a collaboration between CBD Crew and Dutch Passion comes this hybrid strain with equal parts THC and CBD. If you like Kandy Kush but wish the THC level sat closer to 7% then you’ll like how CBD Kush works on pain, inflammation, and anxiety without the mental fog of Kandy Kush.
CBD Crew hits again with a collaboration with Paradise Seeds to create this 60/40 sativa-dominant strain with 7% CBD. The 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC is what make this strain so devine—that and it’s ambrosia-sweet scent. Bust through any pain that is holding your back without zapping your momentum and energy.
TJ’s Organic Garden, in Washington State, bred this high-CBD strain to have a mellow flavor profile and a peaceful physical relaxation without leaving patients in too much of a haze. You may remember this flower for winning Best High-CBD Flower at the 2015 Oregon DOPE Cup.
Barney’s Farm created CBD Critical Cure from Critical Kush except that this one has a more gentle 8 percent CBD and 5 percent THC. Just like its parent, Critical Cure annihilates everything in front of it—pain, stress, and inflammation beware. The indica influence makes it an enjoyable flower for winding down.
A blockbuster strain from CBD Crew in 2013, Mango Haze is a dispensary hit all over the United States. The buds have a spicy, syrupy sweetness, like mango and pineapple seasoned with black pepper. CBD Mango Haze is sativa dominant, making it an excellent choice for daytime medicating.
CBD Medi Haze
CBD Crew created this strain by crossing Super Silver Haze, Neville’s Haze, and something else that was obviously rich in CBD. Anxiety sufferers can enjoy this strain all day long without the drowsy side effects of other strains. Plus, the fragrances of pine and mint are heavenly.