All pains are not equal. Doctors will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. But, pain is much more complex than that, and neuropathic pain is its own unique problem — chronic, annoying, and excruciating for some. Regardless of the cause, neuropathic pain comes from damaged nerves. Powerful medications are often used as a treatment, however, these drugs fail to work nearly half the time. Exciting scientific research is making the case for using CBD as nerve pain treatment.
Cannabidiol (CBD) For Chronic Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is pain caused by damage or disease affecting the somatosensory nervous system. If you suffer from chronic neuropathic pain, you know. You also know finding relief isn’t easy.
All pains are not equal. Doctors will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. But, pain is much more complex than that.
Neuropathic pain is its own unique problem — chronic, annoying, and excruciating for some. Often associated with diabetes, that’s not the only cause.
Nerve pain is not an ache, bruise, or muscular pain easily massaged or kneaded away. There is no sure cure, solution, or remedy. But, pain victims can find relief in several therapies, including that provided by CBD (cannabidiol).
What Causes Chronic Neuropathic Pain?
While some nerve pain conditions come from genetic disorders, many have other explanations:
- Traumatic Injury: According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “The peripheral nerves comprise 43 pairs that branch off from the central nerves of the brain and spinal cord, and they supply sensation and motor function to the entire body. Injury to these fragile nerves can be minor or devastating and require expert diagnosis and management to restore optimal function.” The trauma may follow auto accidents, sports injuries, falls, and surgical procedures.
- Repeated Stress: Repeated, awkward, or prolonged stress on muscle groups may inflame and damage movement in the elbow, wrist, or other joints. Such trauma may be caused by repetitive movements at work.
- Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders: Chronically high blood sugar levels signal the presence of diabetes mellitus. Most diabetics feel light pain that progresses to heavy pain as it progresses.
- Vasculitis: Narrowed blood vessels will reduce oxygen flow to the nerves and cause further damage to nerve tissue. The inflamed blood vessels walls harden, thicken, and scar presenting cardio risk.
- Autoimmune Disease: Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome are common causes of peripheral neuropathy. As the diseases work differently to damage connective tissues, joints, and organs, they, directly and indirectly, damage nerve fibers or the sheathing surrounding them.
- Cancer Tumors: Tumors, as well as the chemotherapy or radiation used to treat them, can cause extensive nerve damage and severe CIPN (chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy).
- Neuromas: Nerve tissue builds where a penetrating injury occurred from accident or surgery. These otherwise benign tumors can cause severe pain and additional damage. These neuromas may also develop along nerves in those suffering from the genetic disorders Neurofibromatosis I and II
- Viruses: Epstein-Barr, West Nile, shingles, and herpes simplex are all viruses that attack nerve tissues causing pain. Lyme disease, diphtheria, and Hansen’s disease all attack peripheral nerves.
Other diseases and external environmental influences will contribute to peripheral neuropathy which registers across the range of pain perception.
Regardless of the cause, neuropathic pain comes from damaged nerves.
Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages that are carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (for example, a fall, or cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines to those used for pain from damaged tissue.
Several products based on the cannabis plant have been suggested as treatment for pain, including neuropathic pain. These products include inhaled herbal cannabis, and various sprays or tablets containing active cannabis ingredients obtained from the plant, or made synthetically.
Some people with neuropathic pain claim that cannabis-based products are effective for them, and that is often highlighted in the media.
Traditional Treatments For Chronic Neuropathic Pain
Powerful medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, opioid painkillers, and antidepressants are often used to treat chronic neuropathic pain. However, these drugs fail to work nearly half the time.
In addition to the chronic pain and other symptoms of neuropathy, the treatment of this condition also poses a problem. Conventional treatments often involve anti-inflammatory drugs, opioid painkillers, antidepressants, and other powerful medications. Unfortunately, these drugs do not work for up to 42% of people with neuropathy. Additionally, many of the medications that are prescribed for people with neuropathy can carry risks of physical dependence, addiction, and a vast array of side effects. There is, however, a possibility that CBD might be worth trying for people with neuropathy.
What Is CBD?
CBD or Cannabidiol is a compound found in the hemp plant. It can be used in several different ways including, but not limited to, vaping, tinctures, capsules, and edibles. CBD has recently seen a surge in popularity due to the amazing therapeutic benefits the compound offers.
According to a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology:
CBD benefits including acting in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and is therefore a potential medicine for the treatment of neuro-inflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia
Treating Chronic Neuropathic Pain With CBD
The scientific explanation for using CBD as nerve pain treatment is pretty clear; our bodies naturally make chemicals we call endocannabinoids, which are involved in the whole-body system that controls various physiological processes (including appetite, immunity, inflammation and crucially here, pain sensation).
Endocannabinoids circulate via the bloodstream and cause their effect by binding to our cannabinoid receptors. Currently, we know about two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. The ones which are important with regard to nerve pain are our CB1 receptors. These are found in nerve endings and the brain, and have been linked to the origin of the pain sensation.
CBD works on the body by reducing the metabolic breakdown of endocannabinoids, which our bodies make naturally. By slowing this breakdown process, CBD indirectly increases the amount and activity of endocannabinoids at the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This in turn causes the pain sensation to alleviate, and sometimes even reverse.
At TheraJoy, we have been making CBD products in the US for three years, and are proudly a market leader in CBD topicals. TheraJoy is always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed. Our products are always all-natural, organic, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.
Remember, always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your doctor at your next appointment.