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More research is needed on CBD for fibromyalgia, but existing studies show promise for many common symptoms. We’ve broken it down and recommended some of our favorite products below.

Healthline has sole editorial control over this article. Potential uses for the products listed here are not health claims made by the manufacturers. The information in this article is intended to be general in nature. It’s not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a healthcare professional. Healthline encourages you to make any treatment decisions with your healthcare professional.

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 the CBD products that may be good picks for people with fibromyalgia, and how you can use CBD for symptoms of this condition.

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% 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:

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% 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 U.S. 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.
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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.

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.

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 buying.

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% 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.

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 studies on CBD 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.

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

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

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.

Not all cannabinoids have been studied individually for their impact on fibromyalgia. But existing studies that show benefits for pain and sleep have looked at the effects of CBD and THC combined.

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% THC legal at the federal level. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them illegal at the federal level. Some states have legalized CBD, so 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.