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Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat.
Only 40% to 60% of patients able to find partial relief from their symptoms with conventional treatments.
Recent evidence suggests CBD oil may be a powerful natural treatment option for nerve-related pain.
Learn how it works & how to use it.
The human body is full of sensors leading to the brain. They sense temperature, touch, and tissue damage, and relay that information back to the brain for processing.
Neuropathic pain can be the result of damage to the nerves or pain sensors.
Learn what makes CBD so useful for treating neuropathic pain, how to use it effectively, and what other measures you can do to get the best chances of finding relief from your pain.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
It offers most of these benefits through its ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS consists of a series of receptors and eicosanoids (called endocannabinoids) that regulate homeostasis (balance) throughout the body. There are endocannabinoid receptors found on virtually every organ in the human body, with the highest concentration in the central nervous system.
The endocannabinoid system functions like “read receipts” used in text messages.
When the nerves send a message, the receiving nerve cell uses the endocannabinoid system to tell the sending nerve that the message was received.
This system keeps the entire nervous system in constant feedback with itself and prevents sending the same message more than once — which is essentially what happens when we experience neuropathic pain.
CBD also supports nerve pain by reducing inflammation, activating the vanilloid pain receptors, and alleviates many of the common side-effects of nerve pain.
When it comes to treating neuropathic pain — a notoriously difficult type of pain to alleviate — a higher strength of CBD is generally recommended. Most of the research showing benefits from CBD noted an abnormally large dose of the compound to achieve this success.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to work out the dose yourself to find out what’s best for you and your symptoms.
You can use our CBD oil dosage calculator to find the best dose based on your weight and desired level of effects.
Start small and increase the dose every day until you either experience relief from symptoms — meaning you’ve found your dose — or experience side-effects. If you experience side-effects, you may need to dial the dose back to the last side-effect-free dose.
If you’re still not getting any reduction in pain symptoms with this dose, you may need to combine CBD with other forms of pain management — after consulting with a doctor, of course.
Although CBD has been proven to be highly safe many times over, it’s important to know about the potential side-effects it may produce.
Everybody is different, and what works for one person doesn’t always work the same way for another.
CBD comes in all different forms — not all are going to work for every condition.
CBD oils and tinctures provide the easiest methods of taking CBD. All you need to do is measure out the desired dose (more on this later) and pop it into your mouth. You can choose to hold the oil/tincture under your tongue for faster absorption or swallow it right away — both will work well.
CBD capsules are another excellent dosing option you can employ. Capsules are small and easy to carry, deliver standardized CBD doses, and have great bioavailability. They’re also an excellent option for people who don’t want to taste the CBD oil — which can have an earthy, undesirable taste in some cases.
Topical CBD is another good option, but only if the source of your neuropathic pain is close to the surface of the skin. It’s recommended that you use it alongside internal forms of CBD, such as capsules, edibles, or oils. This is because the cannabinoids in topical CBD products won’t reach the spinal cord and brain where most of the pain relief comes from when treating neuropathic pain.
CBD Edibles, including gummies or baked goods, are certainly a fun way of taking CBD — but they’re often inconsistent with dosing (with the exception of gummies). The dosages listed are estimates, and the actual CBD content inside can vary significantly.
For this reason, we don’t recommend relying on CBD edibles as your everyday maintenance dose of CBD for neuropathic pain.
Neuropathic pain is a type of pain involving damage to or dysfunction of the nerves and somatic sensors found throughout the body.
Any damage to or dysfunction of the nerves and sensory tissues can send pain signals to the brain. These signals warn the body of real damage or dysfunction, but they can also be caused by false messages sent to the brain.
These messages warn the brain of damage that may or may not exist. This makes neuropathic pain difficult to treat, especially when the underlying cause can’t be identified.
The central nervous system is any part of the nervous system inside the brain and spinal cord. This is separated from the peripheral nervous system by a semipermeable barrier called the blood-brain barrier.
Central neuropathic pain, therefore, involves pain originating from nerves located inside the central nervous system.
It’s caused by conditions such as:
The peripheral nervous system involves any part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord. This includes all the nerves in the limbs, abdominal cavity, legs, and face.
Often, when a nerve becomes damaged, the repair process may not go as planned. Instead of returning the nerve to the way it was before the damage, the nerve becomes unusually sensitive and will send pain signals to the brain when it shouldn’t.
The original damage can happen from many different causes, primarily traumatic injuries or specific viruses that target the nerve cells directly — such as herpes virus or shingles.
This type of pain is caused by conditions such as:
Mixed neuropathic pain involves pain stemming from nerves found both inside the central nervous system and inside the peripheral nervous system.
Causes for mixed neuropathic pain include:
Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or dysfunction of the nerve cells. There are many causes for nerve damage in the body, such as:
Spinal cord injuries can have debilitating and life-altering consequences. Injuries can cause varying levels of paralysis, spasticity, loss of sensation, muscle weakness, and nerve pain that can persist for the rest of that person’s life.
There are some treatments available for this condition, most of which are supportive — helping those affected manage pain, depression, and other side-effects of the condition.
CBD cannot cure a spinal cord injury — however, it does likely offer a great deal of support for those affected by managing symptoms and promoting the repair of nerve cells in the damaged areas of the spinal cord.
There’s also some indication that CBD can support the recovery process — lowering the severity of side-effects and improving motor function in the affected nerves .
The spinal cord is an extension of the brain. It contains high concentrations of nerve cell tracts that send and receive messages between the body and the brain. Any damage to the spinal cord can result in serious consequences, including paralysis, spasms, neuropathic pain, or loss of organ function.
The spinal cord contains millions of nerve “intersections” that distribute signals to every part of the body. The area of the spinal cord that is damaged will determine what side-effects develop and where.
For example, if the region of the spine containing the nerves that control leg muscles is damaged, it means that there will be a weakness or complete loss of function in those muscles and sensory deficits in one or both legs.
Depending on how severe the injury is, there are three main classifications that doctors use to describe the condition:
There are also several other types of spinal cord injury such as: dorsal column lesion, irregular lesions, small or large central lesion, tumor of the dorsal root, or tumor of the meninges or bone.
Nerves leave the brain and head down the spinal cord in bundles and pairs. They branch off at various points along the way to go to their target organs, and some tracts will cross sides.
The location of the damage to the spinal cord will determine which areas of the body are affected.
Complete damage of the spinal cord will prevent all nerves below the damaged point to stop receiving or sending messages. Therefore, to classify the level of injury, doctors will assess the lowest levels of different sensations and functions of the nerves in the spinal cord.
There are four main divisions of the spinal cord — organized according to the vertebral column. The vertebral column starts at one at the base of the skull and goes all the way to the coccyx. The spinal cord, in fact, actually ends between vertebrae L1-L2, and is followed by a bundle of nerves called the cauda equina the rest of the way down.
In 2012, researchers conducted a study on the use of CBD for spinal cord injuries in rats . Rats were either placed in the treatment group and given CBD, or into the control group where no treatment was given. At the end of the six-day study, rats in the CBD treatment group had significant improvements in motor function and reduced injury side-effects than rats in the no-treatment group. Therefore, the researchers conducting this study concluded that CBD might be a useful treatment option for spinal cord lesions (injuries).
Another study used a survey that was handed out to 10 spinal cord injury patients at the Spinal Cord Injury ward of the Miami V.A. Hospital who were using marijuana to treat their symptoms. The survey was kept confidential and involved questions about the most common symptoms of the condition and how marijuana use affected them.
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THC has also offered benefits for spinal cord injuries. For this reason, a full-spectrum cannabis extract containing both CBD and THC is considered the best option.
THC remains illegal throughout most of the world, so it may be difficult to find products containing more than 0.3% THC concentration. Further robust studies will be needed to better characterize standard effects and determine efficacy.
The causes of neuropathic pain can range from neurological issues such as multiple sclerosis or a stroke to nutritional deficiencies and diabetes.
No matter what’s causing neuropathic pain, the benefits of CBD remains much the same.
CBD can support neuropathic pain in the following ways:
When it comes to treating neuropathic pain, a higher dose is usually recommended — however, this can vary from person to person. Whenever using CBD for the first time, it’s wise to start low and increase slowly over time until you receive the benefits you’re looking for.