CBD may be a good alternative treatment for neuropathy pain. CBD may have the ability to lower pain which is linked to its potent effect as an antioxidant and ability to lower inflammation significantly, and quickly. CBD and neuropathy treatment go hand in hand. In fact, when put head to head against the other well-known antioxidants alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) and ascorbate (Vitamin C), cannabidiol beat both of them in effectiveness with regards to lowering glutamate toxicity in neurons.
Cannabinoids have been extensively studied as a target for treatment of neuropathic pain in the medical literature. According to some researchers, they hold the most potential as a natural solution since nearly all pharmaceutical treatments fall short and have caused researchers to conclude that pharma “treatment options for neuropathic pain have limited efficacy and use is fraught with dose-dependent adverse effects.”
Due to this extreme shortcoming of Western medicine treatment for neuropathy, many neuropathy patients are understandably curious about Hemp, namely cannabidiol, as a potential option for pain management. Nature provides us with many healing plant compounds that don’t have adverse side effects, and many people are starting to wake up to that fact.
Relief from Chronic Pain Is Here: CBD and Neuropathy
Chronic pain has become an epidemic, especially as the Boomer generation approaches old age. In Europe, chronic pain affects 1 in 4 elderly people.
In Australia, this epidemic is of massive proportions, extending to over half of the elderly population, and as high as 80% of patients in nursing homes.
In the US, responses to an ABC News poll indicate that as many as 38 million adults in the US deal with chronic pain on a daily basis, and as many as 12 million US citizens have used cannabinoids to help alleviate this pain.
To this point, the available medications for attempting to treat this pain are limited to anti-steroids, opiates, and anti-depressants – all hardcore drugs with harsh side effects of their own, and limited effectiveness. It’s almost as though the patient is trading a half-cure for being put on even more drugs to deal with the debilitating side effects.
What Causes Neuropathy?
It’s probably pertinent to give a quick background with regards to exactly what is neuropathy. I find that it always helps to understand the underlying causes of health issues if you have any intention to solve the problem and not just put a band-aid on it.
Peripheral neuropathy has many causes. At its core, it is nerve damage due to chronic inflammation in the body. I’ve discussed inflammation at length here on the blog already, but essentially what it is is your body’s natural warning response that is triggered due to behaviors and incoming stimuli that threaten your health, put simply. Most people ignore this inflammation and develop chronic health issues over years of abusive habits. It is only after the diseases and health problems arise and becoming nagging that they seek a solution.
Neuropathy symptoms can arise due to inflammation related to:
Alcoholism: nutrient deficiencies, stress, excess estrogen, and liver complications
Autoimmune diseases: these typically develop due to chronic inflammation that goes unaddressed
Diabetes: a vast majority of diabetics develop neuropathy
Exposure to toxins: environmental toxins, pesticides, plastic polymers, and other endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause inflammation in the body
Nutrient deficiencies: key micronutrients are needed for proper nerve health, namely B vitamins, antioxidants like Vitamin E and C, and minerals like the electrolytes Calcium, Sodium, Magnesium, and Potassium
Trauma: accidents or traumatic injury can cause nerve damage that leads to neuropathy
These are just a few of many potential causes of neuropathy, albeit the most statistically common.
Cannabidiol, CBD May Aid in Calming Neuropathic Inflammation
Sativex (CBD) was found in multiple clinical trials to be extremely effective in controlling neuropathy pain in MS patients, as well as arthritis. It was later approved by the United States FDA in 2006 for trials to control cancer-related neuropathy.
Historically, and quite ironically, Western understanding of the biological underpinnings of the pain system in the body was originally glimpsed through the lens of studying the plant's hemp, opium poppies, Willow bark, and chile peppers.
Out of the study of these plants – and the naturally effective medicine inherent in them – pharmaceutical companies formulated synthetic, highly addictive, drugs such as morphine, codeine, oxycontin.
Due to lack of commercial feasibility and patentability, pharmaceutical companies, before the early 2000s, have not made any endocannabinoid drug-derivatives. Cannabinoids, however, are very well known for their analgesic effect in controlling pain in humans. Ask any anesthesiologist and they will agree, activation of the CB1 receptor (cannabinoid receptor 1) will lead to almost immediate alleviation of pain and inflammation. This pain reduction can be seen in fibromyalgia patients when treated with cannabis and even in cases of intestinal pain with IBS.
Cannabinoids like CBD, cannabidiol have been shown to alleviate this pain by also activating glycine receptors.
This study found some really convincing evidence for this neuropathic pain control in rats. According to the researchers,
The non-psychoactive compound, cannabidiol, or CBD, is the only component present at a high level in the extractable to bind to this receptor: thus cannabidiol was the compound responsible for the antinociceptive behaviour observed.
CBD Looks Promising As A Neuropathy Treatment
In conclusion, CBD oil is looking really promising for neuropathy patients and I’d say it’s definitely worth a shot, especially if you’ve been using opiates, NSAIDs, or antidepressants to try and control your neuropathy to no avail.