I am one of the many CBD users who could attest to how effective it is for pain management. Even without the hype, many studies can back it up.
CBD has anti-inflammatory components. Inflammation is the usual culprit when it comes to pain. Other than that, it is also known as an antioxidant to make your skin smooth and glowing.
Furthermore, CBD has an analgesic component, another ace on the deck. Studies showed the benefits of using CBD for pain – from arthritis to epileptic seizures. I even use CBD for my dogs as a supplement.
In this article, I’d like to share with you the basics of CBD and Peripheral Neuropathy. It may sound very technical, but I am sure that you may have felt it in one way or another.
Can CBD help cure nerve pain? Are there any studies to prove its efficacy? Let’s read on.
What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is the condition of which your nerves could not do their function. It happens when the nerves are damaged, irritated, or infected by a disease.
What’s the function of the nerves? The nerves connect the brain, the sensory organs, and the spinal cord to the rest of the body. They are like the “middle people,” they send messages to and for the brain.
When damaged, our nerves can no longer “send” the supposed sensation that we should feel. After I had my cholecystectomy a few months ago, I started to feel the weird numbness at the right side of my stomach.
I asked my doctor about it and he said it’s normal since some nerves were cut because of the surgery. A few months after, I still feel the numbness. Sometimes, I’d feel like my stomach is being sliced.
Actually, it’s indescribable. I feel pain when it’s supposed to be just numb. It is possible because that part of my tummy just lost its sensation.
Different Kinds of Neuropathy
My condition is an example of postsurgical nerve dysfunction. But it would not last long because it would heal over time. It would take a while, but it will definitely grow back and function like normal.
What’s worrisome are some conditions that may be for keeps. An example is having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS. This is most common for people who use computers more than the usual.
People who do manual labor can also experience CTS. Repeated use of the wrists even when it’s already painful is one reason some have CTS.
Those are just examples of conditions related to nerve pain. Actually, it is classified into two: mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy.
From the word itself, it’s obvious that multiple nerves are affected. These nerves do not function the way they should all at the same time.
The temporary numbness I feel can be considered under this category. But there are worse cases such as Vitamin B deficiency, kidney failure, cancers, and even alcohol abuse.
A common case of polyneuropathy is that of diabetic patients, specifically those who find controlling their blood sugar levels a challenge.
The worst is Guillain-Barre Syndrome or GBS. Though rare, this illness progresses rather quickly and is fatal.
In GBS, the nerve cells are damaged by the patient’s immune system. Do you see how rare it is? Since the nerve cells are done for, the muscle weakens. This leads to paralysis and, to most, death. Adults are more susceptible to this, but some cases in children are known to date.
If only one nerve is affected, it is called mononeuropathy. Trauma from an accident is one example. CTS is considered as mononeuropathy.
From the root word itself, the damage is centralized into one area. An example of this is facial paralysis caused by inflammation.
Femoral nerve dysfunction or losing the sensation on a portion of your leg is another kind of mononeuropathy. It usually happens when it’s a direct injury or a tumor is trapped in the nerve.
What are the Causes of Neuropathy?
There are three classifications of the causes of having neuropathy:
- Hereditary – when the illness is passed on to the child from his parents. However, this is rare.
- Acquired – when the illness is from an infection or trauma. Physical injury, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and alcoholism are some of the causes of acquired neuropathy.
- Idiopathic – when the illness is from an unknown source.
What are the Treatments for Neuropathy?
Doctors recommend the following treatment when you experience nerve dysfunction:
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. It is possible that you have neuropathy because of your bad eating habits or imbalanced diet. This way, your body can address the underlying causes of the illness.
- Use of foot or hand support. Splints can be used for people suffering from CTS to exercise mobility of the wrist.
- Undergo surgery. Worst cases usually require surgical procedures.
- Take prescribed medications. Some drugs recommended are also used for epileptic seizures.
Does CBD Work for Neuropathy?
Now, that we have the idea, the question lies: Is CBD effective for nerve pain?
Aside from inflammation, studies showed that cannabinoids could actually help suppress pain in the nerves. However, further research is needed to fully attribute CBD’s potential to cure neuropathy.
What’s clear now is that CBD can help alleviate the cause of pain. CBD targets the source of pain and helps soothe it. So indirectly, it somehow helps calm down pain caused by nerve dysfunction.
Researchers are positive that CBD as a breakthrough will surely provide the answer in the future. CBD for pain is already a leap towards maximizing its full potential.
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the hundreds of components extracted from the hemp plant. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. It is more focused on giving benefits to the body rather than harm.
CBD is best known as an alternative cure for chronic pain. Since it is not psychoactive, it does not give the user the high THC brings. It happens because CBD does not bind with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor in our body.
Ongoing Studies on CBD and Neuropathy
Scientists continue to pursue their quest in finding out how effective CBD is. Though it may be too early to tell, they believe that CBD is a breakthrough in the world of medicine.
Come to think of it, you get CBD from a plant. Hemp farmers follow strict farming guidelines to ensure the highest quality. The US even passed a bill about it.
You are pretty sure that you would not get “surprising” adverse effects compared with synthetic medicine. So, why not take time and do more experiments?
Here are some of the ongoing studies conducted by scientific researchers:
Sativex to Treat Neuropathic Pain
The National Institutes of Health has an ongoing study on Sativex as a treatment to Allodynia. Aside from neuropathy, people with allodynia suffer from multiple kinds of pain all at the same time.
Meanwhile, Sativex is a botanical drug extracted from cannabis. It is a combination of THC and CBD.
It is an approved medication in Canada and the UK – just over a decade old in the market. The components’ analgesic features help in alleviating pain among the subjects of the study.
CBD Targets α3 Glycine Receptors to Suppress Neuropathy
Another study started in 2012 would like to confirm CBD’s participation in suppressing nerve pain through α3 glycine receptors. Further studies are needed to prove that CBD can indeed help in fighting neuropathic pain.
CBD as a Standalone Cure for Neuropathy
For now, there are no studies to prove that CBD can cure neuropathy on its own…yet. However, no one has disproved that it could not either.
Hundreds of possibilities are out in the window. Scientists continue to research on CBD not just because it’s popular on the internet or TV. If they saw CBD’s potential in epileptic cases, what difference would that have with other illnesses, right?
A Piece of Advice
You might feel that the cure for nerve pain is so near yet so far. Further studies are required to prove that CBD might be a great help to combat nerve pain.
Prevention is always better than cure. If you take CBD as an alternative supplement, continue what you are doing as long as you are not feeling any adverse effects.
This way, you are preventing the possible causes of nerve dysfunction. You don’t need to wait for it to happen to you. As we age, we would never know what to expect from our body.
If you are suffering from neuropathy, it is still always best to seek professional help first. Your physician can give you the best advice on your condition.
CBD is indeed a popular alternative medicine for pain management. We are yet to discover if it works for neuropathy directly, but we are still on the lookout. Surely, there is more to it than we know now.
Overall, what you need is to choose what’s best for your body. I must say, natural is always the best.