Does CBD Help Neuropathy?
Does CBD Help Diabetic Neuropathy? More importantly, does CBD help neuropathy in general? In the US, millions of people suffer from neuropathy, or properly known as peripheral neuropathy.
Symptoms of this condition may vary depending on the underlying cause. There is a broad range of treatments for neuropathy, including medications that act on the central nervous system, antidepressants, and anti epileptics.
Diet and counseling are two other treatments often considered when dealing with this condition. And then there’s alternative medicine, and it’s in this category that CBD belongs. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is an extract of the Cannabis Sativa plant and has recently gained attention due to its potential to help with various health conditions, neuropathy being one of them.
What Is Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy, or simply neuropathy, is a term describing the condition affecting the peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves are those nerves beyond the spinal cord and the brain. Neuropathy is a disease and is arguably one of the most excruciating sensations a person could experience.
This condition occurs when there is damage or dysfunction to the nerves, resulting in the sensation, movement, and organ or gland function to be impaired. In other words, it affects the autonomic, sensory, and motor nerves in the body. This often results in a variety of symptoms.
Aside from peripheral neuropathy, there is also diabetic neuropathy. While peripheral neuropathy is usually a result of injury, diabetic neuropathy is a result of the damage to nerves caused by high blood sugar. You can say that neuropathy gets the nerves confused.
As a result, they would send erroneous pain signals to the brain. Patients of this condition describe this as a feeling of numbness and tingling, as well as burning or shooting. Others report the presence of prickly needles or pins.
For patients suffering from chronic neuropathy, the treatment options are often limited to pharmaceutical painkillers. In the past decades, opiates have been among the most common forms of treatment. Just recently, though, medical cannabis has been taking the stage due to its potential of relieving chronic pain.
For years, medical cannabis has been used to treat various health conditions. Recent studies, plus anecdotal evidence, have brought it back to the vanguard of neuropathic pain treatments.
If you’re not aware of it yet, what gives cannabis most of its healing properties is cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD. Click this link for a wide range of high-quality CBD products tested and proven to provide health benefits, including the relief of pain.
Causes And Risks
Before we discuss how CBD can help with neuropathy, let’s first discover what the causes and risks of this condition are. There are several ways nerve damage can happen and result in neuropathy. This often affects the nerve axons, myelin sheath, or even both at the same time.
Among the most common health conditions that often result in neuropathy according to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy or FPN is diabetes, particularly one that’s poorly managed. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a common type of neuropathy and affects diabetics with poorly regulated blood sugar. This condition accounts for 60% of the total number of people with neuropathy.
Cancer can also result in neuropathy, although it usually affects those who have undergone chemotherapy. Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy affects 10% of individuals with neuropathy in the United States alone.
Meanwhile, about 2% of the total cases of neuropathy can be attributed to HIV/AIDS. In most cases, this is due to the effects of either the HIV virus or the drug medications used for the treatment of the condition.
It’s also interesting to note that the second-largest group of individuals with neuropathy are those with no identifiable cause. Their condition is referred to as idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.
Nutrient deficiency is also a common factor contributing to neuropathy. People with vitamin B12 deficiency are at risk of developing the condition. This is a common occurrence in up to 15% of people aged 60 years and above. B12 deficiency can cause damage to the myelin sheath surrounding and protecting the nerves. Without such protection, the nerves won’t be able to function properly.
In the same manner, too much of a nutrient can also result in neuropathy. For instance, too much vitamin B6 can also be toxic to your nerves. The requirement is not more than 2mg per day, and yet, a lot of B6 supplements contain 50 times more than the required amount.
How Can CBD Help?
One reason CBD is continuing to rise to popularity is its potential to help with neuropathy. CBD is a type of cannabinoid, an organic chemical compound that gives medical cannabis much of its healing capabilities.
When ingested, CBD binds to the cannabinoid receptors present all throughout the body and brain. Cannabinoid receptors are a part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is responsible for the regulation of various physiological functions, including memory, mood, and pain.
Pharmaceutical drugs used to treat neuropathy are also designed to interact with the said cannabinoid receptors the same way CBD does. However, these drugs rarely bind in the same manner that cannabinoids like CBD do.
Cannabinoids bind more naturally with such receptors, which is what makes medical cannabis a very effective treatment option for neuropathy and similar medical conditions.
Where conventional therapies may not be able to offer enough relief to offset the potentials for addictions and other side effects, CBD can often interact with the receptors in the body in a more efficient manner without the risk of the patient becoming addicted.
Multiple studies reveal that CBD is a method preferred by many neuropathy patients not only because it is effective, but also because it doesn’t have side effects as debilitating as the ones that come with opiates. Many neuropathy sufferers often comment on how CBD helps them in ways pharmaceutical therapies couldn’t.
CBD is known to treat symptoms like anxiety, sleep deprivation, mood disorders, inflammation, and pain. In the same manner, when multiple cannabinoids work together, an “entourage effect” is achieved, and this dramatically increases medical efficacy.
The good news is that high-quality CBD products can provide such an effect. This is possible through the use of full-spectrum CBD products, such as those offered by Green Roads. Click here to gain access to a wide range of Green Roads CBD products and enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect as described here.
What Research Says
Lots of anecdotal research has proven that CBD can provide pain-relieving effects. History also tells us how cannabis has been used in many places across the globe for centuries now, particularly as a form of pain reliever.
Research done by leading medical experts reveals that CBD can be utilized safely and effectively in treating a huge variety of medical conditions, including pain. In many cases, CBD works successfully when nothing else seems to work.
Studies also show that where neuropathy can be resistant to conventional treatment options, CBD, even in low doses, can effectively reduce symptoms. Experts also report that the positive effects of CBD greatly outweigh the risks.
For instance, in 2011, a study published in the Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics journal found that CBD combined with opiates may offer synergistic effects. When patients were given a regular dose of CBD in addition to their prescription of opioids, a 27% greater reduction in pain was reported.
A study from Canada that involved patients with neuropathy caused by HIV, as well as other neuropathic conditions, focused on neuropathic pain. The study found that the effectiveness of cannabis can be compared to that of conventional medications often prescribed for neuropathic pain.
The study concluded that cannabis may be a useful alternative in the management of pain related to peripheral neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy being one of the most common.
Neuropathy can be a long-lasting and even permanent condition. And as mentioned, the pain can be debilitating in most cases. Different treatments are available, of course, although studies and anecdotal evidence both show that traditional treatment options may have adverse effects. It’s not to say that available treatment options are not effective.
The truth is that these treatment options can offer real relief. However, there is also growing evidence that cannabinoids from industrial hemp, such as CBD, may offer relief in a way that conventional approaches cannot.
For instance, CBD has been found to help reduce pain without the negative side effects that often come with pharmaceutical drugs. For many sufferers of neuropathy, this is good news.
So, does CBD help neuropathy? As I have discussed so far, the answer is ‘Yes.’ CBD can be an effective alternative treatment for neuropathy, and it may even offer relief that traditional treatment options may not be able to provide.
If you’re considering using CBD for neuropathy, I highly recommend you discuss the matter with your doctor first. Once you’re ready, you can always go to this page and start looking for the right CBD-based product that you can use for your condition.
The best thing about CBD is that it’s not only good for neuropathy, but it’s also been tested to work on many other medical conditions. This means that by using CBD-based products, you could be hitting two birds with one stone.