Neuropathy is a common issue for many Americans. Approximately 20 million people in the United States suffer from this condition. Neuropathy can be a debilitating condition for which there are few effective treatments. And those who have neuropathy have an understanding of the uncomfortable, irritating, and often painful sensation it creates.
If you don’t know what neuropathy feels like, think of a time when you laid on your arm for too long and felt your arm or hand “fall asleep.” It will usually go numb, and then you feel a tingling and prickling sensation that can be painful—as well as affect the function of your arm. This is comparable to what people who suffer from neuropathy feel constantly.
With few effective therapies available for neuropathy, people are venturing into natural, alternative approaches to find relief for their neuropathy symptoms. CBD products have been used successfully by many people to manage pain and other conditions.
If you’re interested in trying CBD oil for neuropathy, make sure you speak with your doctor before you make any changes to the medications or supplements you take. And since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products, always look to a reputable source that can help you find high quality CBD products that are third-party tested for quality.
Below, we breakdown what is known about the potential use of CBD oil for neuropathy.
CBD Oil for Neuropathy: Just the Facts
Neuropathy is a common condition that is most often a result of diabetes. Current therapies are only somewhat effective and often have side effects. Scientists are researching the potential use of using CBD oil to help manage neuropathy symptoms. To date, there have been very few human studies, and most research uses CBD products that also contain THC. Although preliminary research is promising, more research is needed to determine how well CBD may be in helping with neuropathy.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy means dysfunction of nerves. It results from damage of some kind to the nerves and is most common in the hands and feet—this is known as peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can, however, also affect the nerves that control bodily functions such as blood pressure, urination, and bowel control.
When nerves are damaged, they are unable to send or receive messages properly. And that interferes with motor control, sensation, and other signaling.
While neuropathy is often associated with diabetes, it can be caused by several other conditions as well, such as:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Vitamin Deficiencies
- Exposures to Toxins
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Thyroid Dysfunction
What are the Symptoms of Neuropathy?
The symptoms of neuropathy depend on which nerves are affected. For example, if the sensory nerves of the feet are affected, a person is likely to have sensation changes like tingling or burning in their feet. If the nerves that control muscle movement are affected in the hands, a person may have an issue with making a fist or holding onto things. Common symptoms of neuropathy include:
- Issues with Balance
- Burning Sensation
- Changes in Muscle Control
- Sensitivity to Touch
- Changes in Blood Pressure
- Urinary or Bowel Control Symptoms
Current Approaches to Managing Neuropathy
When addressing neuropathy, it is crucial to consider the underlying cause. In the case of diabetes, regular and continual high blood sugar damages the blood vessels that supply the nerves. In these cases, getting the person’s diabetes under control is essential to prevent further damage.
Unfortunately, in most cases, a reversal of neuropathy is unlikely once the damage has occurred. In some cases, such as vitamin deficiencies, there is a better chance of reversing neuropathy once the vitamin deficiencies are corrected.
Conventional Treatments for Neuropathy
Conventional treatments include pain medications like opiates, which have a high potential for addiction, making people less inclined to take them. Other approaches include drugs like gabapentin, NSAIDS, and Lyrica. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly know how some of these actually work.
The few treatment options neuropathy sufferers have at their disposal leave many feeling hopeless. People with neuropathy do not want to live with continual pain and discomfort, and some are looking for other, better options.
Researchers and neuropathy sufferers alike are looking into the benefits of using herbal products such as CBD oil for neuropathy. Let’s take a look into what we know so far.
What We Know about CBD Oil for Neuropathy
Researchers have been looking at how cannabis products can help relieve pain, and they’re finding positive results. Most studies, however, look at whole plant cannabis sativa products, which are different than CBD products.
Distinguishing CBD from Marijuana
Cannabis sativa is the family of plants from which both marijuana and CBD products are derived. However, the two are very different. Although they are from the same family of plants, CBD that’s used in legal CBD products comes from the industrial hemp plant, which differs from the marijuana plant in composition.
Both the industrial hemp plant and the marijuana plant contains various types of cannabinoids. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a type of cannabinoid, as is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The marijuana plant contains CBD as well as high levels of THC, which is the psychoactive cannabinoid that makes you feel “high.”
CBD products from the industrial hemp plant contain minimal (if any) levels of THC, and CBD products on the market must contain less than 0.3% THC.
What the Research Says about Using CBD Oil for Neuropathy
So far, there have only been a handful of studies on using CBD products to help manage neuropathy and its symptoms, and most of those studies focused on products that contain both CBD and THC.
Animal studies have looked at the use of cannabis products for diabetic-induced neuropathy. They found that cannabis products have helped reduce the symptoms of neuropathy by reducing inflammation as well as pain levels. However, these trials used products that contain both THC and CBD—research on using just CBD for neuropathy is still needed.
A recent human clinical trial published in the European Journal of Pain looked at the effects of a CBD/THC product, Nabiximols, on neuropathic pain. They found that the product significantly improved pain levels for many of the participants. Again, this product contained THC, so it does not confirm that CBD alone would be effective for neuropathy.
Also, a review of several research studies found that the combination of THC and CBD products, such as Sativex, are effective in reducing neuropathy and neuropathic pain for many people.
CBD Oil’s Mechanisms of Action
There have been numerous studies that look at how CBD oil can affect pain. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates emotions as well as the perception of pain and inflammation. In addition, using animal studies, scientists have also found that CBD interacts with glycine receptors, whichhttps://www.bestcbdoils.org/best-cbd-inflammation/ suppresses inflammation and neuropathic pain.
A Summary of What the Research Says
Currently, there are very few studies on isolated CBD oil for neuropathy.
CBD has been shown to interact with both the endocannabinoid system and glycine receptors to reduce inflammation and pain for many.
Final Thoughts on Using CBD Oil for Neuropathy
If you suffer from neuropathy, you are likely frustrated with the constant numbness, tingling, and burning sensations you feel. Furthermore, if other therapies have not helped, you may be looking for alternative approaches to help with your symptoms.
Research on using CBD oil for neuropathy is minimal at this time, and frankly, we need more studies to be conducted. What we do know is that research on cannabis products that contain CBD and THC for neuropathy have seen positive results.
In short, we can’t say for sure if CBD is helpful for neuropathy, but CBD has been shown to help many people manage pain from other conditions, including other types of nerve pain.