Neuropathy occurs as a result of damage, dysfunction, or injury to nerves. Two common types of neuropathy, peripheral and diabetic. produce similar symptoms. Peripheral neuropathy is caused by nerve injury. Diabetic neuropathy is caused by damage from high blood sugar.
Nerves that are damaged send false pain signals to the brain that can be described as
- tingling and numbness
- shooting and burning, or
- pins and needles.
Neuropathy is considered to be a chronic condition with limited treatment options outside of pharmaceutical pain relievers (read opiates).
Cannabis and CBD as alternate therapies for neuropathy
Opiates are the most common treatment for 380 million people around the world who suffer from neuropathic pain; however opiates have dangerous side effects and can lead to addiction for users.
Cannabis on the other hand has been used to treat many different medical conditions, including pain relief, for centuries. Recent research and anecdotal evidence is bringing cannabis and other cannabinoids to the top of the list for treating neuropathic pain.
Cannabis and Endocannabinoid receptors
Cannabinoids bind to the same set endobinoid receptors throughout the body that regulate physiological receptors for pain, mood, memory, and appetite. Opiates also bind to the same receptors, but not as naturally as cannabinoids. Cannabis react with the body’s receptors more efficiently and without risk of life threatening addiction.
Research studies reveal that cannabis is effective method for relief of neuropathic symptoms. Psychoactive side effects are less debilitating than opiates. The effectiveness of medical cannabinoids can be enhanced when used together increasing the efficacy.
The Entourage Effect
Research linked the inflammation-reducing characteristics of CBD to significant symptom reduction in neuropathy patients when combined with THC. CBD also has known sedative properties that are known to assist pain sufferers in getting much needed rest.
Low doses of medical cannabis along with CBD have been shown to effectively reduce symptoms and that the benefits of use outweigh the potential risks.