Living with fibromyalgia is living a life of pain. Day in and day out, fibromyalgia patients have to endure excruciating pain and pressure on tender points throughout the body. Other symptoms include difficulty sleeping, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, morning stiffness, painful menstrual periods, restless leg syndrome, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, and many more.
To date, there is still no known cure for fibromyalgia. Since this condition was only discovered recently, many in the medical and scientific community still understand very little about it. But there is hope with cannabis: fibromyalgia is one of the several conditions that cannabis has been proven to treat effectively and without the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
In 2014, the National Pain Foundation conducted a survey of over 1,300 fibromyalgia patients. Almost a third of the respondents admitted to having used medical cannabis to treat their pain. Sixty-two percent of the participants reported that cannabis was “very effective” in alleviating their symptoms, 33% said that it “helped a little”, and only 5% that it didn’t help at all.
Now there’s new hope for fibromyalgia patients in the form of cannabis gum.
The cannabis-infused gum is called MedChewRx, and has been developed by Quay Pharmaceuticals, the British partner of AMIX Biotech, a pharmaceutical company that focuses on cannabinoid research and product development. MedChewRx comes as a medical breakthrough for the company, who has been looking for innovative solutions to provide patients with CBD and THC medications for fibromyalgia that don’t have to be smoked.Before MedChewRx, there has never been a product in the market that has been created specifically for fibromyalgia patients. AMIX released CanChew back in 2013, the predecessor to MedChewRx. CanChew was a CBD-based gum infused with vitamins developed with the intention of treating several conditions including joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome. CanChew was a novel idea; no one had ever seen anything like it in before. As a result, it quickly gained international recognition in media.
MedChewRx provides almost immediate relief because it was designed to be ingested and absorbed in the body through soft tissues found in the mouth. Known as the oral mucosa, the soft tissue combined with acidic juices in the mouth efficiently metabolize the compounds in the gum for quick absorption into the blood stream.
MedChewRx could just be the solution that many fibromyalgia patients have been hoping for. The gum contains 5mg of CBD and THC, offering relief from pain, anxiety, and memory loss all in one small but powerful piece of gum. Patients can also enjoy all the other medicinal properties of both cannabinoids offered in a gum such as protection from nerve damage, stress relief, and cerebral stimulation.
So far, there is no other cannabis-based solution in the market that targets fibromyalgia pain faster than MedChewRx. However, it’s definitely good news for fibromyalgia patients who will soon have more options in the market, such as the fibromyalgia patch. The cannabis community welcomes these developments with open arms, as patients no longer have to be confined to pharmaceutical drugs.
MedChewRx is still in its early phases of clinical trials. AXIM has collaborated with partners to obtain cannabis strains from the Netherlands as part of its study, in order to extract and purify them into medical-grade cannabinoids. Bedrocan, a Dutch company, is responsible for producing these strains for AXIM within a supervised facility of the Dutch government’s Office of Medicinal Cannabis. According to AXIM, European and American schools are also working to evaluate the effects of MedChewRx. Last year, they also announced that they had plans to offer MedChewRx for free to multiple sclerosis patients at the Free University of Amsterdam as a clinical trial, which they did in conjunction with Britian’s University of Plymouth and an unknown educational institution in the United States.
“The development of MedChew RX gum will be carefully formulated to ensure that the drugs are preferentially absorbed orally within a specific window of time to provide the best therapeutic outcome for the patients,” says Maireadh Pedersen, Quay CEO.
Although it’s going to be a while until MedChewRx hits the market, fibromyalgia patients can turn to the patch, or other forms of administering cannabis for safe and natural relief.