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Can CBD Help With Neuropathic Pain?

By Amelia Fenner-Prowle | 9th August, 2021 in Pain Management | 0 Comments

Can CBD Help With Neuropathic Pain?
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Article at a Glance

  • Neuropathy is nerve damage that typically results in muscle weakness, numbness, and pain in affected areas. 
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of neuropathy. Other causes are alcohol abuse disorder, nutrient deficiencies, traumatic physical injury, certain inflammatory conditions, and viral infection or a side effect of medicines.
  • A recent research study demonstrates that CBD may provide more effective treatment than other therapies that are currently available for neuropathic management.
  • CBD relieves neuropathic pain by reducing inflammation in the brain, restoring serotonin function, and reducing immune cell build-up in the spinal cord.

Neuropathy is a painful condition that affects your body’s nervous system. In the United Kingdom, it’s estimated around 1 in 10 people aged 55 or over are affected by this chronic condition. 

In the United States, it affects 20 million people (1). The available medications for neuropathic pain are opioid painkillers, anti-epileptic drugs, and certain anti-depressants. In some cases, these medications fail to provide effective relief against chronic pain or may lead to addiction and other side effects. Therefore, CBD could be another treatment strategy to avoid these safety concerns, especially as CBD is completely Non-Addictive.

Based on recent research studies, this article investigates whether CBD Oil is really beneficial for neuropathic pain management!

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy, which is sometimes called “peripheral neuropathy”, is a condition that results when one or more nerves that carry messages are damaged. 

The term actually means:

  • Peripheral: Outside (in this case, beyond the brain and spinal cord).
  • Neuropathy: Related to nerves

Your peripheral nervous system sends messages from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. This system includes various types of nerves with their own specific functions including:

  • Motor Nerves: responsible for muscle control.
  • Sensory Nerves: responsible for conveying sensations such as touch and pain.
  • Autonomic Nerves: responsible for controlling automatic functions of the body such as bladder function and blood pressure.

The symptoms of neuropathy depend upon which nerves are affected. Several conditions can cause neuropathy including (2):

  • Diabetes (it’s the most common cause of neuropathy)
  • Traumatic physical injury
  • Chronic alcohol abuse disorder
  • Side effects of certain medicines
  • Low thyroid hormone level
  • Certain nutrient deficiency
  • Certain inflammatory conditions such as vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
  • Certain viral infections 

Neuropathy Statistics

  • Commonly neuropathy is present in:
  • 60% to 70% of individuals with diabetes
  • 30% to 40% of individuals who have gone through chemotherapy for cancer treatment
  • 30% of individuals who have human-immune-deficiency-virus (HIV).

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of neuropathy depend upon which nerves are affected.

Signs And Symptoms Of Neuropathy

Affected Areas Of Nervous System

Corresponding Symptoms

Sensory Nerves

  • Severe sensitivity to touch
  • Sharp, throbbing, or burning pain
  • Pain during activities that typically don’t cause pain, such as pain in your feet when putting weight on them such as putting feet under a blanket.
  • Feels like you’re wearing gloves or socks, not being able to feel things
  • Gradual start of tingling or numbness in your feet or hands which can extend upward in your legs or arms.

Motor Nerves

  • Muscle weakness
  • Lack of coordination 
  • Paralysis
  • Falling

Autonomic Nerves

  • Low blood pressure that leads to dizziness or fainting
  • Too much sweating or not being able to sweat 
  • Heat Intolerance
  • Digestive problems such as bloating, nausea, or vomiting
  • Bowels (diarrhea or constipation)
  • Bladder problems related to urination

Please note that neuropathy may affect one nerve (mononeuropathy) or two or more nerves (polyneuropathy) in different areas. Most people with peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy. For effective diagnosis, you must visit your healthcare provider.

How Can CBD Help With Neuropathic Pain?

If neuropathy is developed from conditions such as diabetes, alcohol abuse, or nutrient deficiencies, then your doctor would seek to manage the condition first. Furthermore, the doctor may suggest medicines including:

  • Opioid pain killers
  • Membrane stabiliser medications
  • Anti-epileptics
  • Antidepressants

Sometimes these treatments are addictive and fail to provide effective pain relief and an individual may prefer to explore CBD Oil to relieve neuropathic pain. CBD Oil has neuropathic benefits as it:

Activates Serotonin Receptors In The Brain

Neuropathic pain disrupts the normal functioning of the serotonin hormone. A study stated that CBD activates serotonin receptors in the brain and restores its functioning which in turn helps to relieve neuropathic pain (3). Another similar study demonstrated that the interaction of CBD with serotonin receptors could potentially be helpful for people with diabetic neuropathy (4).

Reduces Inflammation

CBD Oils have ant-inflammatory properties. In one study, it has been shown that CBD lowers inflammation in the brain. Furthermore, it also reduces immune cells build-up in the spinal cord, which ultimately helps reduce inflammation and pain (5).

Targets Alpha-3 Glycerin Receptors

Glycerin receptors are mainly involved in pain perception. A review study stated that CBD suppresses chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting these receptors and therefore helps in chronic and persistent pain management (6).

Reduces Nerve Damage In Joint Neuropathy

A study suggests that CBD prevents the development of pain and nerve damage in osteoarthritis joints. The study also states that CBD may be a safe and useful treatment for treating joint neuropathic pain (7).

What Does The Research Say?

In a recent study in 2020, researchers randomized 29 individuals with neuropathy to receive CBD Oil for a duration of four weeks. The study concluded that participants who received CBD Oil tolerated the product well and experienced a significant reduction in neuropathic pain compared to those others who did not receive CBD therapy.

The study clearly stated that CBD may provide more effective treatment than other therapies that are currently available for neuropathic management (8).

Final Words From BWell CBD Experts

The neuropathy condition is irreversible, but you can take steps to prevent it or manage it through proper treatment as recommended by your healthcare provider. Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling neuropathic symptoms and avoiding further damage to your nerves.

If you want to explore CBD therapy, choose the right CBD product as certain products are falsely labelled and could include unexpected ingredients and quantities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CBD Oil Safe To Use For Neuropathy?

CBD is preferably safe when compared to other neuropathic pain management therapies including opioids, anti-depressants and anti-epileptic medications as their long-term use can lead to addiction and other negative side effects. 

How To Use CBD Oil For Neuropathy?

Taking CBD orally or applying it to a painful area may help relieve neuropathic pain. We highly recommend that you talk to your healthcare provider as they accurately understand your condition and will recommend CBD therapy accordingly.

Reference and Resources

  • https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Peripheral-Neuropathy-Fact-Sheet
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542220/
  • De Gregorio, D., McLaughlin, R. J., Posa, L., Ochoa-Sanchez, R., Enns, J., Lopez-Canul, M., ... & Gobbi, G. (2019). Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behaviour in a model of neuropathic pain. Pain, 160(1), 136.
  • Jesus, C. H. A., Redivo, D. D. B., Gasparin, A. T., Sotomaior, B. B., de Carvalho, M. C., Genaro, K., ... & da Cunha, J. M. (2019). Cannabidiol attenuates mechanical allodynia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats via serotonergic system activation through 5-HT1A receptors. Brain Research, 1715, 156-164.
  • Nichols, J. M., & Kaplan, B. L. (2020). Immune responses regulated by cannabidiol. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 5(1), 12-31.
  • Xiong, W., Cui, T., Cheng, K., Yang, F., Chen, S. R., Willenbring, D., ... & Zhang, L. (2012). Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 209(6), 1121-1134.
  • Philpott, H. T., O'Brien, M., & McDougall, J. J. (2017). Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain, 158(12), 2442.
  • Xu, D. H., Cullen, B. D., Tang, M., & Fang, Y. (2020). The effectiveness of topical cannabidiol oil in symptomatic relief of peripheral neuropathy of the lower extremities. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology, 21(5), 390-402.

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The information on this website is not intended to replace traditional medical treatment, but is offered as additional, complementary information. There are many scientific studies and anecdotal reporting of the far reaching benefits of CBD Oil, and associated CBD products that we feel it is important to bring this information to our customers attention as part of our mission to educate, inform, and promote honest transparency. However, it is important to note that CBD Oil is not a registered medication, it is registered as a natural food supplement.

Alternative therapies should not be used as a substitute for a varied, nutritional and balanced lifestyle, or an alternative to prescribed medication. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any prescription medication or are currently undergoing medical advice, please consult your doctor before use.

As with most medications, there is no guarantee of specific results from taking CBD, and results can vary from person to person. That said, we are confident in our CBD Oil and associated CBD products and would love to hear from you of your experiences with CBD.

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