“Can CBD truly cure pain?”
That’s one question I keep hearing a lot these days. And it makes sense given how popular cannabidiol has gotten over the world.
But, unfortunately, the answer to this seemingly simple question is somewhat rather complicated.
I’ve used CBD to keep my back pain in check after struggling a lot with many different types of medications.
Yet, I cannot say for certain if this substance will be right for you.
Treating neuropathic pain is not easy. Contrary to what many self-proclaimed gurus preach, you cannot massage, knead, or wish away this type of pain.
When the nerves are involved, you can bet that the remedy for pain is more far off than what you imagine.
But, I wouldn’t be writing this guide if I didn’t have even a glimmer of hope to give you. By the end, you’ll understand how CBD affects nerve pain and how to use it to your advantage.
So, give it a read.
Table of Contents
Why does neuropathic pain matter?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, in the United States alone it is estimated that 20 million people suffer from some of the other type of peripheral neuropathy.
They have a condition that is caused by damage to their peripheral nervous system, which is the communication network responsible for transmitting information between our central nervous system and other body parts.
As far as neuropathic pain symptoms are concerned, here are the most common ones:
- Allodynia is a condition where the person experiences abnormal sensitivity to touch, making even the slightest poke uncomfortable
- Parenthesia refers to certain numbing or prickly sensations that one can feel in the extremities
- Other symptoms such as weakness, gland or organ dysfunction, burning sensation, problem with digestion, sexual functions, excessive sweating
All these symptoms are caused by damage to the nerves connected to our internal organs. Then there is nerve damage from diabetes, which strikes the fibers farthest from our brain.
So, typically the symptoms will start from the feet and then go up the legs to reach our arms and even fingers.
Unless you find a way to contain these symptoms, even extreme measures such as amputation may be necessary. That’s why doctors always advise taking neuropathic pain seriously.
Nerve Pain Causes
Unless your condition has been influenced by genetics, the root of all nerve pain can be narrowed down to certain incidents or other causes:
- Repeated Stress
Awkward, prolonged stress on your muscle groups may lead to inflammation, causing pain and mobility issues in your joints.
Traumatic injury is one of the leading causes of nerve pain. And the worst part is that the symptoms often start becoming visible long after the injury has taken place.
Traumatic injury to the peripheral nerves has the potential to affect up to 43 pairs of central nerves that run from the brain to the spinal cord.
These nerves are fragile, and injury can be both minor and excruciating. You require professional diagnosis and management to manage the condition better.
Traumatic injuries often occur from falls, sports injuries, auto accidents, and even following surgical procedures.
- Autoimmune Disease
In this type of disorder, our body’s immune system mistakenly attacks our body parts like joints or skin. Under normal circumstances, the immune system can differentiate between host cells and foreign cells. However, when a person is afflicted with an autoimmune disorder, that is no longer the case.
Some common autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis and type I diabetes. If you want to learn more about autoimmune diseases, check out this helpful article.
- Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders
One of the most common metabolic disorders is diabetes mellitus, where the body has chronically high blood sugar levels. According to an article by Washington University in St Louis, this disorder affects roughly 6.5% of the US population.
People affected by this disease, feel light pain, which becomes uncomfortably high as the disease progresses.
Simply put, vasculitis leads to inflamed blood vessels. This disorder can cause weakening, narrowing, thickening or even scarring of the blood vessel walls. Moreover, vasculitis can be limited to a single organ or can even attack multiple organs at once.
Vasculitis leads to reduced oxygen flow to the nerves, and this can further deteriorate nerve tissues. This disorder can be a cardio risk as well.
In case of serious accidents, injuries, or even surgeries, a neuroma, which is growth or tumor of nerve tissue, can occur from trauma caused to a nerve. Unlike cancerous tumors, neuromas are benign.
However, being benign doesn’t mean neuromas are harmless. In fact, they can result in severe pain, and can also cause additional damage.
- Cancer Tumors
As you might already know, chemotherapy, which is used to treat cancerous tumors, can be quite painful. In some cases, it can result in extensive nerve damage, and it can also cause severe chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy or CIPN in short.
Even if cancer affected person doesn’t undergo chemotherapy, the cancerous tumor itself can cause nerve damage.
Last but certainly not least are viruses. Viruses such as shingles, herpes, Epstein-Barr, and more, attack the human body’s nerve tissues and that results in painful conditions.
Neuropathic pain isn’t just limited to the causes mentioned above; it can also be caused by alcoholism, nutrient deficiencies, and exposure to toxins.
How does CBD work on the human body?
As you might already know, cannabidiol or CBD is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants can refer to both marijuana and hemp plants. However, the percentage of CBD found in the plants differ drastically. While marijuana plants have a significantly higher THC content, the major constituent of hemp plants is CBD.
In recent years, research on CBD has thrived due to people discovering therapeutic benefits as well as governments relaxing their stand on this substance. However, we still do not fully understand exactly how CBD interacts with the human body. Hopefully, as research progresses in the coming years, more therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol will be discovered.
As of now, scientists have discovered that CBD is a pleiotropic drug as it primarily acts on the human body through several molecular pathways. Till date, over 65 molecule targets of CBD have been identified.
If you want to learn more about how CBD functions in the human body, check out this informative article.
CBD and Neuropathy – The Present Scenario
Now, some of you might be wondering if CBD is so great, why haven’t pharmaceutical companies stepped into this field yet? Well, actually, they have.
In fact, back in 2005, an oromucosal spray, Sativex, was approved by the Canadian government, primarily for the treatment of central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis. Moreover, in 2007, it was approved for use in cases of intractable cancer pain. You can read more about this topic here.
So, what exactly is Sativex? Well, simply put, it is a combination of THC and CBD, much like the full spectrum hemp extract which is commonly found in many CBD oil products.
In 2006, Sativex was also approved by the FDA of the United States for trials to keep neuropathic conditions in check for cancer patients. More recently, in a study published in 2012, it was found that cannabinoids like CBD were effective in providing relief to painful conditions by activating the glycine receptors.
The present scenario of CBD and neuropathy shows a lot of promise. Hopefully, as research progresses, we can discover more benefits which will help treat many other serious conditions.
What does the future look like?
In short, it looks bright. CBD products have been quite effective in treating nerve pain and neuropathic conditions. And best of all, all the research points to little or no side effects when consuming CBD. That is a huge benefit when you consider the fact that a lot of pharmaceutical drugs carry some serious side effects.
Moreover, there is no fear of getting addicted to CBD, unlike synthetic and highly addictive drugs like codeine, Oxycontin, and morphine.
These benefits of CBD make it highly attractive. And we can only expect to discover more therapeutic benefits and uses of this wonder substance. Also, in the future, when FDA starts overseeing the manufacturing process of CBD products, we should see a rise in quality.
Well, that about wraps up my informative guide on the topic of CBD and neuropathy. I’ve used many CBD products over the years to treat my chronic back pain and sleep problems successfully. And I believe many others who suffer from serious, painful conditions will benefit as CBD becomes more mainstream.
So, have you used CBD products to treat your conditions? If so, do share your story in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.