The pain associated with peripheral neuropathy symptoms makes everyday life unbearable for patients. Studies have shown that neuropathy involves pain and other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. It can be unbearable when nerve pain plagues everyday life, like muscle spasms, stiffness, and joint inflammation.
Most people who have used conventional treatments, but to no avail, have started turning to natural resources such as CBD oil for their nerve pain. CBD is an emerging alternative treatment that supposedly has significant pain-reducing qualities. According to recent studies, CBD might ease neuropathy and help individuals manage their symptoms safely and effectively. While it's too early to make definite statements, these findings are promising for people with neuropathy. In this article, we look at some shreds of evidence on this subject.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, and it's one of the most abundant chemical compounds in the marijuana plant. CBD products are available in several forms, such as oils, topical ointments, and CBD edibles. CBD products don't usually contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that causes the high associated with cannabis. If a product contains THC, the quantities are generally very low. Van de Donk et al. (2019) showed the effectiveness of CBD oil for many conditions, including chronic pain, and how safe CBD products are.
Apart from one prescription product to treat rare forms of epilepsy, the U.S Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved any other CBD products. Serpell et al. (2014) looked at CBD’s effects on anxiety, pain, and movement. The study found that a meaningful proportion of patients improved sleep quality and pain when administered CBD.
What Is Neuropathy?
Every individual has a central nervous system (CNS) which consists of the brain and spinal cord. It is called the central nervous system because, much like a computer, it operates as a central processing unit, gathering important information from all over the body. This system works hand in hand with the body’s peripheral nervous system, which essentially carries the nerve signals from the CNS to different parts of our body.
While the CNS is protected by several factors such as the skull, vertebral column, and blood-brain barrier, the peripheral nervous system is exposed to a range of toxins, bacteria, and injury. When damage occurs in the peripheral system, there's a high chance of peripheral neuropathy. Although neuropathy can manifest in both the upper and lower extremities, patients and doctors often report neuropathy of the feet.
CBD Oil and Neuropathy In The Feet
Although neuropathy can strike any point in the body, it is most popular in the feet. Galluzzi (2007) stated that over 20 million Americans suffer from this disorder, and current treatments don't offer long-term relief. Xiong et al. (2012) showed that CBD oil might be a therapeutic option for neuropathy patients.
CBD doesn’t negatively affect cognition and may be very beneficial in helping patients with neuropathy. Stefania et al. (2018) indicated that CBD has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help patients with this disorder frequently experience swelling and inflammation. According to Baron et al. (2018), CBD may contain other therapeutic properties such as anti-anxiety and anti-emetic properties. Moreover, CBD oil may offer an alternative to the high cost and many side effects of prescription drugs. Johnson et al. (2013) reported how CBD had been well received by many health agencies, including World Health Organization (WHO); WHO states that CBD is generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile.
Causes of Neuropathic Pain
Neurons transport pain signals to the brain and although the feeling isn’t pleasant, its main role is to prevent injuries. That’s how it’s supposed to be for healthy people. However, the nervous signaling system fails in patients suffering from neuropathic pain. In other words, the brain receives pain signals, and an individual experiences the pain. Often, it’s the result of damage from a disease or physical injury such as
Tumors and cancer can restrain the neighboring nerves as they grow. Cancer cells may also sprout on their own out of the nerves. Also, chemotherapy or radiation may destroy nerve cells causing neuropathic pain.
Diabetes; If you’re a diabetic patient, you have a higher risk of suffering from nerve injury. Consistent high glucose levels accompanied by hypertension can damage the nerves at some point.
HIV can cause painful nerve injury. Nerve pain attacks almost a third of HIV victims, and the hands and feet is among the first areas. Also, antiretroviral (ARVs) treatments can cause nerve injury that causes pain.
Physical injuries are a common cause of neuropathic pain where nerves get crushed, compressed, or severed. Other causes include hormone imbalances vitamin deficiencies, regular stress, etc. Nerve pain can also occur without a reasonable explanation but in rare circumstances.
According to many studies, CBD has demonstrated the ability to reduce neuropathic pain. Besides, CBD can help with other neuropathic symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, spasms, anxiety, and inflammation. As we await more studies to be conducted in this area, CBD may be the next go-to treatment option for neuropathy. Consequently, CBD isn't the only cannabinoid found in cannabis that can help relieve neuropathy. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all phytonutrients naturally occurring in hemp, including flavonoids, terpenes, and trace cannabinoids. These compounds work together to amplify the health benefits of each cannabinoid through the entourage effect. It's the best type of CBD for neuropathy. Consequently, despite the product choice, ensure to check all marks on the quality checklist, including the source of hemp, extraction method, and third-party lab testing. Otherwise, we wish you quick healing and recovery.
Baron, E. P., Lucas, P., Eades, J., & Hogue, O. (2018). Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort. The journal of headache and pain, 19(1), 1-28.
Galluzzi, K. E. (2007). Managing neuropathic pain. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 107(s6), E39-E48.
Johnson, J. R., Lossignol, D., Burnell-Nugent, M., & Fallon, M. T. (2013). An open-label extension study investigates the long-term safety and tolerability of THC/CBD oromucosal spray and oromucosal THC spray in patients with terminal cancer-related pain refractory to strong opioid analgesics. Journal of pain and symptom management, 46(2), 207-218.
M Serpell, S Ratcliffe, J Hovorka, M Schofield, L Taylor, H Lauder, E Ehler. (2014) A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of THC/CBD spray in peripheral neuropathic pain treatment
Stefania Petrosino , Roberta Verde , Massimo Vaia , Marco Allarà , Teresa Iuvone , Vincenzo Di Marzo. (2018). Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Cannabinoid, in Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis.
Wei Xiong, Tanxing Cui, Kejun Cheng, Fei Yang, Shao-Rui Chen, Dan Willenbring, Yun Guan, Hui-Lin Pan, Ke Ren, Yan Xu and Li Zhang. (2012) Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors.
van de Donk, T., Niesters, M., Kowal, M. A., Olofsen, E., Dahan, A., & van Velzen, M. (2019). An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia. Pain, 160(4), 860.
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