Survey Finds Many Fibromyalgia Patients Finding Symptom Relief with Medical Cannabis

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Almost 50% of fibromyalgia patients use cannabis for symptom relief, according to new study. Experts suggest results underline need for clinician awareness, further research.

The publication of results from an online survey of patients with fibromyalgia by investigators at the Mayo Clinic is offering new insight into patient perspectives on use of medical cannabis for management of symptoms associated with the chronic condition.

Analysis of survey results, which included more than 1300 respondents with fibromyalgia, indicate nearly half of all patients reported using cannabis since receiving their fibromyalgia diagnosis, with 82% reporting perceived improvements in symptoms for pain with use. Investigators believe these results underscore the growing need for clinician awareness and knowledge on use of medical cannabis for symptom management in fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders.1

“Considering that cannabis is a popular choice among patients for managing fibromyalgia symptoms, clinicians should have adequate knowledge of cannabis when discussing therapeutic options for fibromyalgia with their patients,” wrote investigators.1

With the changing legality making medical cannabis an accessible option for more and more patients across the US, a team of investigators led by Abhinav Singla, MD, an assistant professor and senior associate consultant at the Mayo Clinic Rochester, sought to better understand contemporary trends in the use of cannabis in symptom management among patients with fibromyalgia. With this in mind, investigators designed their study as an analysis of an electronic, cross-sectional survey administered to patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia.1

Outcomes of interest for the analysis included rate reported cannabis use, most common symptoms for reported use, and improvement in symptoms. In total, the survey was administered to 5234 patients with fibromyalgia. A cohort of 1336 patients responded and met the investigators’ inclusion criteria. The group had a median age of 48 (Q1-Q3, 37.5 to 58) years, the majority identified as female, and 49.5% reported use of cannabis since their fibromyalgia diagnosis. Of the 661 patients reporting cannabis use, 38% reported daily use.1

Among those using cannabis, treatment of pain (98.9%), fatigue (96.2%), insomnia (93.6%), or stress, anxiety, or depression (93.9%) were the most commonly cited reasons for use. Further analysis indicated 82% of patients reported perceived improvements in pain symptoms with cannabis use, with most patients reporting cannabis use reporting improved symptoms of insomnia as well as stress, anxiety, or depression.1

An accompanying editorial from Paula David, MD, Aia Mohsen, MD, and Howard Amital, MD, MHA, all of the Zabludowiz Center of Autoimmune Diseases of the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, offered additional perspective into the growing interest and use of medical cannabis in management of fibromyalgia and other conditions. The trio detail how the potential of medical cannabis in alleviating chronic pain and improving sleep make the study by Singla and colleagues insightful and timely for clinicians to better understand patient perspective on use. However, before concluding their editorial, the group note it is important to move forward with action given the relative lack of well-designed trials on the subject.2

“Despite growing excitement about using [medical cannabis] to treat [fibromyalgia syndrome], it is important to be cautious. The systematic review of Strand et al. pointed out that there is not enough high-quality evidence, especially from controlled trials, to fully understand how well [medical cannabis] works for [fibromyalgia syndrome],” wrote David, Mohsen, and Amital.2 “This means more research is needed to determine the best doses and composition for each symptom, long-term safety, and whether people might become dependent on [medical cannabis] when using it to manage [fibromyalgia syndrome].”


  1. Singla A, Anstine CV, Huang L, Rosedahl JK, Mohabbat AB, Philpot LM. A Cross-Sectional Survey Study of Cannabis Use for Fibromyalgia Symptom Management. Mayo Clin Proc. 2024;99(4):542-550. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2023.12.018
  2. David P, Mohsen A, Amital H. Is Medical Cannabis a Solution for Controlling Fibromyalgia Symptoms?. Mayo Clin Proc. 2024;99(4):524-526. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2024.02.016