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Adrienne Dellwo

No-High Marijuana: Future Treatment for Fibromyalgia Pain?

By April 11, 2011

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Research Brief

In a new study, researchers say they've found a way to remove the "high" from marijuana while leaving the pain-relieving effects intact. This discovery could help remove the stigma and controversy from marijuana-based treatments.

Several studies suggest that marijuana may be an effective treatment for some people with fibromyalgia.

Would a no-high version of marijuana appeal more to you? How do you feel about medical marijuana in general? See the poll and lengthy discussion about it here: Medical Marijuana for Fibromyalgia Pain.

Learn more or join the conversation!


Photo The Power Of Forever Photography/Getty Images

April 11, 2011 at 1:25 am
(1) Seabourne says:

I invite all to visit and review the articles and videos to gain insight to the subject of medical cannabis. The website was created to use it as a tool to inform and educate the public, medical profession, members of congress and others at the state and federal level including the ONDCP, DEA and FDA. Please visit

April 11, 2011 at 2:44 am
(2) Jesse says:

See the idea that you could have all the positive effects of marijuana in a pill is interesting but I would question a lot of things.

First we have a few types of synthetic chemicals that mimic marijuana but work nowhere near the level of regular ingesting/inhalation of pot because there are so many chemicals that work together to make the desired therapeutic effect.

The second is that a big company would be able to possibly swoop and monopolize the drug would be asinine. If someone was able to make drug that worked like pot and was as effective, than that would help many people who would not want to use it now. Marijuana never should have been made illegal and it should be legal today…

April 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm
(3) THERESIA says:

I welcome anything that would help with the Fibromyalgia. The continue medication that is available for people with FMS has so many side effect and leave you almost comatose on the couch.

April 12, 2011 at 8:42 am
(4) Sparrow says:

I would be curious what the side-effect profile would be. Fatigue is a major issue for me and so is concentration. I would not want to worsen these problems. It would just be a trade-off: less pain for more fatigue/cognitive issues.

Cost would be a major issue for me, also. If it were brand-name or more expensive than the pills I take now, it would be prohibitive.

If weight gain or increased hunger is a side-effect, I’d have to consider this very carefully as I’m at risk for diabetes and have enough strain on my joints already. Then again, my current meds cause enough troubles… I remember when I was on Lyrica, so that’s certainly not an argument AGAINST the drug, just a personal consideration. Most fibro drugs out there now have weight gain as a possible side effect.

I would like this option to be available to those who decide it is right for them. Personally, I would need more details before I would make the choice. I would not be basing my choice on “moral grounds” but on side-effects and effectiveness.

April 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm
(5) Colleen says:

I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain Syndrome (extensive). My entire body is in pain every minute of the day and night. However, I will not take addictive medication. As well, I am limited to the medication I can take for treatment because I react quite badly to many of the meds used for these illnesses. One of the doctors I saw did ask if I would take medical cannabis and I declined. I have seen many lives destroyed because of both physical and psychological addiction and I do not wish to be involved in or support anything leading to addiction in any way. As well, being chronically ill leaves one in an even more vulnerable position when it comes to the chances of addiction, therefore I believe we should tread very carefully in regards to the use of cannabis in any way. Having said this, if the addictive component was some how removed from cannabis and other prescription drugs, I would be more likely to listen(very cautiously) to opinions concerning the use of any of these type drugs. However, one can still develop a psychological addiction especially being in a vulnerable state. This why I think considering treatments such as healthy eating, supplements, massage, sunshine, careful graded exercise, moist heat, etc. are so very necessary.

April 15, 2011 at 7:02 pm
(6) Diane says:

Colleen, you obviously have not done any research on this topic. Medicinal Marijuana is NOT addictive, there are just people that tend to get addicted on anything and everything. If you get a strain of cannabis such as East Coast Sour Diesel, Jack Herer or Sweet Blu, which have a high level of CBD and a low level of THC (which gets people high, it is very beneficial for someone in pain. Anyone of us could get addicted to all of the pharmaceuticals, too, but I hate the side effects from all of them… Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Fentanyl. Come on, really? I’ve tried a marijuana tincture, a condensed oil and I’ve made tea with it and it does work without giving me a ‘high’ which I’m not interested in.

April 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm
(7) Colleen says:

If you read my comments more thoroughly you’ll see I made reference to physical and psychological addition when discussing the issue of drugs in general. Even ‘safe’ medications can have harmful side effects with some people. Some people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have chemical sensitivities to drugs. Besides I’d rather be mindful and alert and not have to deal with any more issues concerning concentration and memory. I don’t need additional ‘brain fog’. As well, I have stated my opinion which is something we all have a right to do without being mocked.

August 21, 2011 at 2:07 am
(8) Droseph says:

Then just die already. “god” knows it would take a burden off your “loved” ones. But if you really did love your family you wouldn’t be pretending to hurt because you are bored and feel you are not getting enough attention.

April 15, 2011 at 6:56 pm
(9) Diane says:

I’m in Arizona, where the final regulations for medicinal marijuana were just filed with the Secretary of State. In the last several months, I’ve been doing a LOT of research on this medicine. There are 3 specific strains that are recommended for Fibromyalgia: East Coast Sour Diesel, Jack Herer and Sweet Blu. For Fibromyalgia pain, we need a strain with a higher CBD level instead of the THC level (which gives people the high). Quite frankly, if I wanted to get high, I could take Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and etc. I’ve tried cannabis tincture, the condensed Oil and I’ve made my own tea with it.
It really does work! I recommend it if you get a chance to try it.

April 24, 2011 at 3:29 am
(10) Marsha says:

I am just trying the tincture tonight and hope it doesn’t cause any type of high. At 64 yrs old and always having been a “Goody Two-Shoes” when it comes to drugs or drinking, I have found myself trying different types of Cannabis in this last month to try to relieve the severe, head to toe pain I have with fibromyalgia. The cookie, joints, and gelcaps I have tried, all purchased at a dispensary here in California, leave me whoozy, dizzy, off balance and all leave me with a generally “drunk” feeling which I absolutely hate. Any type of marijuana that helps with pain without the high would be wonderful to know about…so thanks Diane for the tips on East Coast Sour Diesel, Jack Herer and Sweet Blu. Any one else with tips on “no high” marijuana please keep them coming.

April 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm
(11) Marcella says:

Unfortunately nearly all medications have their side-effects including marijuana but, when you are in chronic pain it’s a question of what poison you are willing to take or which med you will derive the best results for the type of pain you are suffering. My approach is multi level. I try to never depend on one type of medication for very long. Mild meds for mild pain. Heavy duty for extreme pain. One of the advantages of medical marijuana is that it really helps to relax muscles that become tighter and tighter from guarding your pain. I have pretty much accepted that I will always need some kind of med to manage pain and will be willing to fight for my right to use what I feel I need to experience a better quality of life. One last thought. A live in masseuse and a hot tub, paid for by my insurance company would sure help out a lot.

May 2, 2011 at 2:58 am
(12) Marsha says:

Follow up from my previous post: No High Marijuana / Cannabis

I am in seventh heaven! I am 64 yrs old, female, and had never in my life tried cannibis / marijuana,
until recently. And I found a form that doesn’t make me “HIGH”, as I cannot stand
the feeling of being high, stoned, drunk or whoozy.

I have severe pain from fibromyalgia, from head to toe, radiating, penetrating to the bone pain.
The only thing that has ever given me any relief has been Tramadol but it has only taken the edge off
the pain a bit.

After trying “joints”, gelcaps, and cookies, I found great pain relief but couldn’t tolerate
the high that came with those forms. So I tried Apothecary Star Elixer, both Indica (Grape
Wreck strain and Sativa (Blue Dream strain). At low doses, 1/3 to 1/2 a dropperful in a
glass of cocoa or chocolate milk and lo and behold my pain decreases from 90% to 100%.
And I only take it twice a day…..morning and bedtime. I still take the Tramadol also but have
been able to cut down to 2 doses at 50mg each. The attendant at the dispensary said that
the two types of MJ I was trying were high in the CBD properties of marijuana, not the THC
properties. Evidently it is the higher CBD properties that is killing the pain.

I am not sure if other tinctures or elixirs of different strains or name brands will work as well
as the ones I am trying but for anyone else who doesn’t like the high I would sure try to find
this Elixir or another one comparable if you live somewhere that marijuana is legal. I live in
California so I was lucky that it is legal here.

May 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm
(13) Chuck says:

Unfortunately, those who suffer from “Fibromyalgia” will never feel relief from their “pain.” Typical fibromyalgia sufferers feed off of their “sickness.” It becomes their way of life and their go-to when they need another excuse to be lazy, late, etc…. (usually lazy). THC without the high will just become another medication that either get’s added to the doesn’t work for me list or the miles-long list of allergies to meds. Those with fibromyalgia usually need a therapist most of all.

May 9, 2011 at 6:18 am
(14) Ital totty says:

I agree, I used pot for 7 years to help with my pain, and realised that I was still in pain. Stopping was easy, as I believed i was using it for pain relief, and was still in pain. the hardest part was accepting that it was my problem and it was down to me to decide how much I allowed my pain to consume me. Distraction is the best form of pain relief for me. I try to ensure that every minute of my day is paced (a distraction in itself) and filled with activities……even if that activity is meditation on the flare up days.

June 24, 2011 at 9:35 pm
(15) Lucy says:

I live in CA and so medical MJ is legal. About 9 months ago, I started it after everything else I tried either didn’t help or had horrible side effects, sometimes severe as in the case of any of the SSRI medications.

NONE of my doctors have expressed disapproval. They have even asked me how I got the registration card so they can tell others patients about it. My sleep doc is also an ER doc and says he has seen people in trouble from a lot of drug, both legal and illegal but has never had anyone in the ER need treatment for their MJ use.

I use Indica gel capsules and they have made a huge difference with sleep because I don’t have so much night time pain waking me or keeping me from getting to sleep. I don’t get any sensation that could be described as a high. I rarely take it at any other time but bedtime.

I think it is ignorance and hysteria that keeps MJ illegal. It certainly presents far fewer problems than alcohol or tobacco both of which are highly addictive and cause life threatening illnesses but remain legal. We waste a lot of money fighting a war on MJ.

Speaking of ignorance, I suggest we all just ignore Chuck and his hateful missles. Just don’t reply to his ignorance. He isn’t worth the bother.

June 28, 2011 at 2:25 am
(16) becomingcassidy says:

Cost??? Please describe the cost of medicinal marijuana. And the comparison to prescription pharmaceuticals. I would be interested also, to know if the use of medicinal marijuanna decreases the need for prescription meds significantly. For example, has anyone found that, once beginninng the use of a marijuanna they have been able to stop taking one or more of their previous medications? Thank you! Oh, and what about those who live in states where marijuanna is not legal for medical use. I know that is asking a LOT. But, honestly, it is NOT legal, where I live, but I find myself considering relocation! I can’t advocate breaking the law! Desperate people take desperate measures. And selling my home to relocate is drastic, but frankly, I want to LIVE! And the meds I am on do relieve the pain some, but the cost, excessive sleeping, is so terribly high.

January 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm
(17) Danielle Ireland says:

I am in New Zealand, and we are about a million years away from legalized medicinal cannabis. I would much rather take something for the pain that is actually from a natural plant than the cocktails that come from pharmaceuticals. If I were living in a State where I could at least give it a try, I certainly would!! Don’t bag something until you have tried it.
Especially as they can take the ‘high’ out of it. You are lucky if you have the opportunity to give it a go as I am sure it could detrimental to the body as the standard prescription pain relievers

January 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm
(18) Danielle Ireland says:

**Meant to say – as I’m sure it couldn’t be as detrimental to the body as standard prescription pain relievers. See, perfect example lol. I can’t even write a sentence without leaving words out. I want pain free as much as anyone and I would love no fibro fog!!!

January 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm
(19) mickey says:

How and why would scientists want to squash the high? That is one of its healing qualities if you’re having a fibromyalgic flare and a bipolar flare. The real green has been used for thousands of years in China as a treatment for depression. No mainstream medical pharmaceutical anti-depressant that takes weeks to kick in, is as effective as undoctored marijuana, which lightens one’s mind in minutes . . . and is benign, free of side effects. This is what has kept me sane over the past year and a half and the next 2 years of surgeries.
Excuse me, why do scientists often intrude on the flow and respect of nature? Surely, it eventually comes down to control over medical marijuana. I don’t want to come within 20 feet of scientists’ cloned marijuana. Yuck.

February 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm
(20) Bill says:

I just do not understand the excuse of, “I don’t want to use marijuana for medication because it will make me high”, yet the same peole that say things like that have no problem using narcotic pain meds prescribed by a doctor which also makwe you high. You cannot improve on what God made in nature!

March 6, 2012 at 10:47 am
(21) hypothekee says:

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Seeking the right Match

Bicycling footwear come in two sorts. You will find those pertaining to path cycling as well as off-road cycling. The 1st kind will be seen as a their particular uncovered spikes. These sneakers are strictly with regard to riding a bike functions as they are really really irritating to walk within. The other sort offers sunken shoes, which make sure they are ideal for jogging. You’ll find variations associated with cycling shoes utilizing various components and also engineering.

The fit of your cycling sneakers has got to perfect so that you can accomplish their own purpose. They have to be comfortably comfortable and there should be enough room inside the shoe to help you change your current toes with out stops. It’s very important that your particular heels are usually warm in the shoes and they will not move about as you pedal in order to execute correctly. Your instep of your foot should not be pushed firmly when fastening your current shoes. You realize you might have identified the fit when you are able sleep your current ball of the foot without having contracting the idea knowning that the particular broadest area of the sneaker can cradle the actual ball of your foot perfectly.

Appealing Functions to look out for

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Biking Footwear for Different Forms of Employs

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Traveling sneakers mimic those of ordinary sports shoes given that bi-cycle touring means extended trips plus a lots of walking if not for the motorcycle. The spikes aren’t uncovered and the lone is usually created from silicone with regard to flexibility. Biking shoes with regard to alpine race wants more stability, manage and speed. It is crucial that the only hold onto the particular pedals needed on this particular type of bicycle. Your rearfoot component and also toe cover are offered using extra assistance to be sure fluidity throughout movements.

April 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm
(22) Brian FMS says:

There are strains of cannabis that provide substantial pain relief without the psychoactive effect i.e. the “high.” Likewise, there are methods of consumption that minimize the “risk” of “getting high,” specifically by ingesting in a food item. Also, those who consider using medical marijuana may want to take some free time to determine their proper dosage. A very small dose of cannabis may be all that is needed for pain relief…and this, of course, would also reduce the risk of psychoactivity.

However, while it is true that many of us need to “keep our wits about us” during working hours, why are we so morally predisposed to discount the mental and physical health benefits of “the high,” specifically during our non-work hours? No one is suggesting that we go overboard, consume excessively, or behave irresponsibly. Nonetheless, there is something to be said about the reduction of stress, the uplift of mood, and even a brief moment of the giggles to improve one’s ability to cope with FMS on the worst days. Muscles relax. Pain perception alters and reduces. One is finally able to sleep decently.

Moderation in all things. Of course, one needs to sober at work or when doing any other potentially hazardous activity. And, one can get medical marijuana that has more of the non-psychoactive medicinal properties and little of the high-inducing THC for those times. Still, there are times when a small amount of consciousness alteration is actually good for anyone who suffers from FMS.

August 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm
(23) Stormy says:

Even when your State says its legal it isnt. :(
I have Fibromyalgia its pretty severe, everyday brings on a new symptom. My age is 54, so I am not some young person trying to get high.
I am in constant pain, burning, twitching, itchy skin, Sleep problems among tons of other symptoms. My Doctor has prescribed a few different medications. Finally she prescribed Vicodin….Ok ….I really didnt want to start something like that but I was desperate. After taking 1 for awhile it stopped working. The bottle said I could take up to 12 a day!!!??? What…yeah that wasn’t going to happen. I pretty much kept it at 3 and only when the pain was bad,, bad, bad. Break thru pain. Finally after much research I tried Marijuana, and it seemed to work. What!??! …So I ended up getting a card. (California) I found that it worked and only used the Vicodin when the pain got really bad. Usually after a day of over working myself. I was sleeping better, the pain was better, I was more relaxed and not as stressed.
So one day a Nurse called from my Doctors office (kaiser) and said I had to take a urine test before they would renew my prescription. Ok no problem….I am thinking they are checking my kidneys or liver because of the medications. I get a call from the Nurse after the test and says the Doctor would not be able to prescribe Vicodin anymore cause I tested positive for marijuana. Really……nobody told me I was getting drugged tested. I feel violated and judged. Finally find a mixture that semi helped with the pain and they do this? Now this is in my file forever? I call my Doctor and of course the nurse wont let me talk to her. I tell the nurse I have a medical license. She says the doctor said that its still illegal Federally. Are you kidding me? It seems the State Law means nothing. I am fighting this cause I want it removed from my file.
So even though its legal and was voted in by the people. That means nothing.
Sorry for ranting but it still bothers me.

August 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm
(24) matt says:

Its not illegal to use and the doctors at Kieser cannot discriminate you for using cannabis. If you showed them you have a valid rec then they HAVE to take you as a normal patient. If they dont you can sue them.

February 9, 2014 at 8:57 pm
(25) Kathy says:

Everyone with Fibromyalgia can get extreme benefit from using a foam roller. It will help tremendously! And a little Pot never hurts :-)

May 9, 2014 at 11:58 am
(26) Lavern L says:

Some of the disparaging comments regarding FM & its sufferers.

I started with migraines & IBS over 30 years ago, developed chronic fatigue, joint aches, sensitivity to touch, & on & on… It is not a mental disorder.. the pain is all too real. Sometimes I feel like I’m being jabbed with ice picks all over my body.

I just got my MM license (I live in Denver), so I haven’t had time to test out my options, but from my research, we need CBD cannabis. This is related to the oil they are using for kids with seizure disorders. No high, improved quality of life.

I can’t wait! And as for the haters, I hope you never develop FM.

May 18, 2014 at 5:47 am
(27) Allie says:

I was DX’d with FM in 1998, 5 years after I quit drinking and smoking pot. It’s no coincidence to me — I’m sure I’ve had fibro all my life, and equally sure I drank and smoked marijuana and took assorted other drugs to self-medicate the chronic pain. Since getting sober 21 years ago, I’ve never taken more than a few ibuprofen at a time to ease the pain, my diet is relatively healthy and well-balanced, and I usually walk a couple of miles a day, but the pain never subsides unless I’m asleep (and often wakes me). I’m now drawn to CBD, and only CBD, because I wish to protect my continuing sobriety, and using marijuana that gets me high might be a dangerous, and definitely undesirable, trigger. I saw Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s special about the little girl whose parents found a strain of MJ in Colorado with exceptionally low THC levels, now called “Charlotte’s Web.” Has anyone else heard of this, or of any similar strain that might be available to those of us living in MM-legal states (I live in California)?

May 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm
(28) Jeremy says:

If you are looking for High concentrate CBD’S that you can vape……. PLEASE VISIT MY SITE!!! http://www.HempVape.me

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