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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical compound naturally found in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t cause a feeling of being “high.”

For decades, research into CBD and other cannabinoids has been limited because of federal restrictions on cannabis. However, in 2018, a federal bill legalized hemp cultivation and sales across the country. It also opened doors into research on CBD’s benefits.

While this research is still fairly new, some early studies show promising results for issues like sleep, anxiety, and pain.

For people with fibromyalgia, a condition causing chronic pain and fatigue, CBD can be a helpful tool in a range of treatment options.

Keep reading to learn about six CBD products that may be good picks for people with fibromyalgia, and how you can use CBD for symptoms of this condition.

Before taking a look at CBD for fibromyalgia, let’s start with the basics of the condition and current medical treatments.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body. It can also cause:

There’s currently no cure for fibromyalgia. However, some lifestyle adjustments and self-care techniques may go a long way to alleviate symptoms of the condition. Treatment often includes:

  • medications, such as prescription and over-the-counter pain medications
  • self-care strategies, including stress reduction and aerobic exercise
  • lifestyle changes, such as adjustments to diet and sleep patterns

Researchers have looked at cannabis as a possible treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms.

Several studies have examined the effect that cannabis, including hemp with less than 0.3 percent THC, has on fibromyalgia broadly and on specific symptoms of the condition.

CBD may help fibromyalgia, but research includes other cannabinoids, too

Most of the studies on managing fibromyalgia with cannabinoids have included THC, which is illegal in some states. These studies have found that people with fibromyalgia experience some improvements in pain when taking CBD combined with THC.

But because the study participants took cannabis that included both THC and CBD, it’s not yet possible to say what effect CBD alone might have.

Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system

CBD, like THC, interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a complex system responsible for signaling cells throughout the body. It plays a role in pain, sleep, and more.

Since cannabinoids interact with the ECS, it’s possible that CBD could help ease specific fibromyalgia symptoms like pain rather than treating the whole condition.

In that regard, we see a number of successful studies already.

Research on CBD benefits

  • Chronic pain. A 2018 research review reported that CBD may be able to treat chronic pain, such as what people with fibromyalgia experience.
  • Sleep quality. A small 2019 study found that people who took CBD daily reported better sleep and less anxiety.
  • Depression. Another 2018 research review found that using CBD may benefit people with conditions like depression, which does occur in people with fibromyalgia frequently.

Most of these studies also reported few, if any, adverse effects or problems with CBD usage. That may be reason enough for people living with fibromyalgia to try out CBD and see whether it helps.

While not a clinical study, a 2021 survey involving people with fibromyalgia found that those who used CBD reported minor to significant improvements in their symptoms.

We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made by a company that discloses the source of their hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

We also considered:

  • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients, including any added ingredients that may offer pain relief
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:

Pricing guide

CBD products span a wide price range, with the majority of products being $25 to $75.

Some CBD products are worth a slightly higher price tag, but do your due diligence. Research the product before you buy to make sure the extra money you’re spending is going to pay off with a benefit you can’t get from another product.

Reputable, high quality CBD products don’t have to be expensive.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $30
  • $$ = $30–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best full-spectrum CBD oil for fibromyalgia

Lazarus Naturals High Potency CBD Tincture

  • Price: $ to $$$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 750 milligrams (mg) per 15-milliliter (mL) bottle, 3,000 mg per 60-mL bottle, or 6,000 mg per 120-mL bottle
  • COA: available on product page

Fibromyalgia symptoms can fluctuate. You may experience periods when pain and tenderness are more acute. For those times, a CBD product with a higher potency may be a good option.

It takes several hours to feel the effects of a CBD oil, so be careful not to take multiple doses of a high potency product too closely together.

Additionally, keep in mind that this oil is full-spectrum and contains some THC. Even though it’s a small amount as a percentage, if you take a large enough dose and you’re sensitive to THC, you may feel some intoxicating effects.

Use code “Healthline10” for 10% off your first order. One time use only.

Pros

  • available in high potency formulations
  • users say it’s beneficial for alleviating stress, which can exacerbate fibromyalgia
  • has no taste and can be comfortably used sublingually
  • certified kosher

Cons

  • may not be appropriate if you’ve been advised against eating grapefruit; consult your doctor before using
  • contains THC
  • contains tree nuts (coconut), which may cause allergic reactions in some people

Best CBD isolate oil for fibromyalgia

Extract Labs Daily Support Hemp Tincture

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: isolate
  • CBD potency: 2,000 mg per 30-mL bottle
  • COA: available on product page

This isolate oil is a solid choice for those who want a pure CBD product. The formula contains CBD isolate along with organic coconut oil and offers a whopping 2,000 mg of CBD per bottle.

Extract Labs also uses U.S.-grown hemp that’s free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to make their CBD products, and this oil is even certified vegan. Just keep in mind that it contains coconut, so you might want to stay away if you have a nut allergy.

Pros

  • GMO-free
  • certified vegan
  • subscribers can save 25%
  • THC-free
  • third-party laboratory tested

Cons

  • contains tree nuts (coconut), which may cause an allergic reaction in some people

Best CBD gummies for fibromyalgia

Charlotte’s Web CBD Gummies, Daily Wellness

These yummy gummies from Charlotte’s Web are more than just tasty. The raspberry lime gummies are also free of additives and artificial flavors.

As a Certified B Corporation, Charlotte’s Web is committed to responsible, ethical business practices.

Pros

  • may be a good choice for people looking for a low dose CBD product
  • users say these gummies are tasty
  • do not contain additives, artificial flavors, or dyes

Cons

  • must be kept out of reach from children; be sure to store safely

Best CBD roll-on for fibromyalgia

Unoia CBD Muscle Relief

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 3,000 mg per 3-ounce (oz.) roll-on
  • COA: available online

Want to try CBD for your tired, aching muscles? Glide this convenient product from Unoia over your sore spots. It’s designed to provide an instant shot of cool relief.

The formula contains menthol for a cooling effect and aloe vera to keep your skin moisturized and healthy. The added arnica may provide additional pain relief.

Pros

  • may be beneficial for use directly on tender spots
  • users say it absorbs quickly into skin
  • contains menthol for cooling and arnica for pain relief

Cons

  • since it’s a roll-on, may be hard to determine the exact CBD dose per application

Best CBD balm for fibromyalgia

Lazarus Naturals Relief + Recovery Full Spectrum CBD Balm

  • Price: $ to $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 1,000 mg per 0.7-oz. container or 3,000 mg per 2.1-oz. container
  • COA: available on product page

In addition to CBD, this balm contains ingredients that can help with fibromyalgia symptoms like joint pain and fatigue. The invigorating scent of menthol and peppermint oil may increase your level of alertness, while camphor bark oil adds to the pain relief factor.

What’s more, the organic mango butter and organic beeswax make massaging sore joints or tender spots easier. Customers also have good things to say about the product in reviews.

Use code “Healthline10” for 10% off your first order. One-time use only.

Pros

  • contains capsaicin and menthol to help alleviate aches and pains
  • users say this product provides significant pain relief
  • absorbs easily into skin

Cons

  • may not be appropriate for people who have been advised against eating grapefruit; consult your doctor before using

First-time CBD shoppers may be overwhelmed by the number of claims and the list of ingredients in CBD products. This can make the purchasing process confusing.

But you can prepare yourself with this list of common CBD terms. Knowing these terms can help you better understand what you’re purchasing.

Types of CBD

  • Full-spectrum CBD. Products made with full-spectrum CBD are made with the whole hemp plant. That means the final product may contain other cannabinoids (including THC), flavonoids, and terpenes. Federally legal products will have less than 0.3 percent THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD products have had the THC removed. However, they can still contain any other component of the hemp plant.
  • Whole-plant CBD. This is another name for full-spectrum CBD.
  • CBD isolate. This is a highly purified extract that contains CBD only. It’s as close to THC-free as you can get.

Sources and active components of CBD

  • Cannabis. This is the plant from which CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are extracted.
  • Hemp. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that has very little, if any, THC. It’s often used for industrial production.
  • Cannabinoids. These are plant compounds naturally found in cannabis. They produce a variety of effects. Some common cannabinoids include CBD, THC, cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN).
  • THC. This is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” effect of cannabis. It also has other effects, like pain relief.
  • Terpenes. These organic compounds are responsible for the aroma and flavor of cannabis.

When searching for a CBD product, it’s important to keep in mind that the FDA doesn’t guarantee any over-the-counter CBD products to be safe or effective.

That makes it all the more important for you to do your own research before making a purchase. Understanding the markers of good CBD products can help you bypass inferior products and save money.

Spotting a reputable brand or company

Online reviews are an excellent place to start when seeking out a CBD source. The experiences of others can tell you a lot about the product, its quality, and the company’s dependability.

But don’t take word of mouth as the only measure of reputation. Consider also how the company presents its products and the results you can expect.

Statements of potency and purity are meaningless without reputable third-party testing results.

Brands that take the time and effort to have third-party testing completed will likely be eager to share those results with you both online and in stores. If they don’t, consider that a red flag.

Confusing terminology

Some CBD ingredient terms can be puzzling. For example, hempseed oil is sometimes used as a carrier oil in CBD products. Still, you’ll have to double-check that the label also notes CBD, cannabidiol, or hemp extract. If the label only says hempseed oil, hemp seeds, or Cannabis sativa oil, it doesn’t have CBD in it.

Assessing the rest of the label

Carrier oils are frequently used to house CBD or hemp extracts for easier use. These oils can stabilize the cannabinoid and preserve it for longer-term storage. They include:

But as mildly flavored as these oils are, they often do have a taste. Hemp itself has a kind of earthy flavor. If that’s off-putting to you, you may want to buy a flavored oil.

In addition, some CBD products like gummies are made with added ingredients for flavor and color. Sweeteners are often added, too.

Sweeping claims may be too good to be true

Keep a very simple rule in mind: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Reputable brands will offer guidance on the expected benefits, and they’ll turn to their third-party COAs to back up their products’ potencies.

You can also check the FDA’s warning letter database to see if a brand has been issued a warning for making unsubstantiated claims.

Taking claims into perspective

In addition to claims about what CBD can do, be sure to fact-check other claims like “organic” or “U.S.-grown” if you can. Reputable brands will let you know where their hemp is grown or sourced, and they may provide insight into their farming practices.

You can also check the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Organic Integrity Database to see whether a particular brand’s farm or business is certified organic.

Deciding on a CBD form

As the CBD market has expanded, so have the product offerings. You can buy lotions, oils, gummies, capsules, and more made with CBD. The potency of CBD can range within each of these product types.

Some brands make specific products to target specific issues, like CBD oils for pain. Often, they add additional ingredients that have been shown to be helpful for those conditions.

CBD gummies and oils are perhaps the simplest CBD products to use. They’re also portable and discreet.

CBD gummies are premeasured with set doses in each gummy. It’s easy to know and change your dose.

Oils and tinctures are often taken under the tongue. It takes several hours to feel the effects of the cannabinoid when you take it this way.

Topical CBD products, like lotions and balms, often need to be highly concentrated. That’s because CBD doesn’t easily pass through the skin barrier.

Vaporized CBD is a fast way to experience the effects of CBD, but not the healthiest. Avoid this option, especially if you have a lung condition or sensitivity to smoke, or if you live with others who do.

Dosage and onset time

It’s best to start with a small dose, especially if you haven’t taken CBD before. You can work your way up from there if needed. Talk with your doctor or a cannabis clinician for a specific recommendation.

The amount of time it will take for the effects to kick in will depend on the product type. Generally, oils taken sublingually, or under the tongue, have a faster onset time than products you consume or put on your body.

Most CBD studies have found few, if any, side effects. But it’s important to know that some side effects are possible.

Possible adverse effects of CBD use include:

  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • weight changes
  • interactions with medications and dietary supplements
  • interactions with some foods, like grapefruit

If you’re taking a CBD product by mouth, avoid eating a high fat meal with the product. According to a 2020 study, if you take them together, the fat in the food may increase the concentrations of CBD in your blood. This could increase the risk of side effects.

That’s why it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor before you begin trying CBD. Together, you can look for any possible interactions that could occur between the CBD and any medications you’re taking.

Your doctor may also be able to advise you on other considerations to keep in mind when looking for a product.

If you have a fibromyalgia diagnosis, talk with your doctor before starting a CBD regimen. They can make sure it won’t interfere with any medications, supplements, or other treatments you’re already using.

Only buy CBD from a manufacturer with a solid reputation for transparency. Only buy products that come with a COA that have been analyzed via third-party laboratory testing. Avoid products that come with “too good to be true” claims.

Consider dosage and whether the product contains THC. If you’re new to CBD, start with low doses that are easily measurable, like gummies.

Check the full ingredients list to make sure you don’t have allergies or sensitivities, too.

If you suspect you have fibromyalgia, talk with a primary care doctor or a specialist, such as a rheumatologist or pain management specialist, if possible.

A doctor can use the fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria to confirm whether you have fibromyalgia and get treatment started for you.

Whether you have fibromyalgia or not, a doctor can recommend treatments and lifestyle modifications to reduce and manage your symptoms.

Does CBD work for fibromyalgia?

It might help with certain fibromyalgia symptoms like pain. However, much of the research includes both CBD and THC together.

What’s the best way to use CBD for fibromyalgia?

Ingested products are probably best because they provide full-body effects. However, topical CBD products may also help with localized pain.

Can CBD make fibromyalgia worse?

Probably not. However, because researchers don’t yet know everything there is to know about CBD — and about fibromyalgia — it’s not possible to say for sure that CBD won’t make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. Additionally, some people find that CBD causes fatigue. If you have fibromyalgia-related fatigue, it’s possible that CBD could worsen it.

CBD research remains in its early stages. While some research suggests CBD may help with fibromyalgia symptoms like pain and insomnia, more research is needed before we can say for certain that CBD is a potential treatment for fibromyalgia.

If you have fibromyalgia and are considering CBD, it’s important to find a high quality product that fits your lifestyle and needs.

If possible, talk with a healthcare professional about your interest and anything you should consider before taking your first dose.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.