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).
The nature of neuropathy
The neuropathic pain arises from irritated, damaged, or dysfunctional nerves. Damaged and confused, the nerve cells send mixed signals to the brain and other bodily systems. And, of course, no two people respond in the same way.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports, “An estimated 20 million people in the United States have some form of peripheral neuropathy, a condition that develops as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system — the vast communications network that transmits information between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and every other part of the body.”
- Paresthesia refers to the tingling, prickly, or numbing sensations you might feel in extremities like your hands.
- Allodynia is an abnormal sensitivity to stimulation, leading to an intense or distorted experience of touch.
- Symptoms include burning, muscle wasting and weakness, nocturnal pain, organ or gland dysfunction, and/or paralysis.
- Digestion, sweating, sexual function, and urination may suffer from damage to nerves supplying the internal organs.
Nerve damage from diabetes first strikes the nerve fibers farthest from the brain. So, symptoms will work from the feet up the legs or fingers up the arms often leading to amputation of toes, fingers, or legs. If you are specifically dealing with foot pain we recommend our skincare line.
The Causes of Nerve Pain
Some few nerve pain conditions are genetic disorders. Most 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.
The care of nerve pain
The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy identifies the standard protocols for treating neuropathic pain. It starts with over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and NSAIDs.
Doctors may also recommend opioids, corticosteroid injections, or nerve blocks which inject painkillers deep into the affected tissue or joint.
But, the Foundation also recognizes medical cannabis as a therapy. Specifically, they say, “Limited evidence suggests that medical marijuana, which is prescribed by doctors and legal in selected states in the U.S. and some countries internationally, can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and reduce chronic pain and muscle spasms associated with neuropathy.”
CBD for Neuropathy (Nerve Pain). Does CBD Help With Pain?
A study published in Neurotherapeutics claimed, “Clinical studies largely affirm that neuropathic pain patients derive benefits from cannabinoid treatment.” Pain printed a study on “Sativex successfully treats neuropathic pain characterized by allodynia.” And, the Journal of Experimental Medicine concludes, “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors.”
The list of research studies into the influence of CBD on chronic nerve pain continues. But, it has yet to define the mechanism by which CBD relieves or modulates pain. THC does influence mood and sense perception. Its psychoactive influences may distract users from their pain or help them forget with a loss of short-term memory. But, how CBD works on pain remains unclear.
What we do know is that CBD works indirectly, running interference on other factors that contribute to pain. For instance, it keeps the body from absorbing anandamide (the “bliss molecule”), a fatty neurotransmitter that sends messages on pain. That frees more anandamide to circulate.
CBD limits inflammation, autoimmune responses, and insomnia produced by pain. Its effects, however, assume regular use at an effective dosage. Used consistently, CBD may prevent and manage neuropathic pain.
You can consume CBD Oil for neuropathy or other cbd products in different forms that fit your lifestyle. Consumed at regular intervals through the day, 10mg to 25mg doses should manage chronic pain. And, you can find additional help from topicals massaged into pain points. We also offer:
- 25mg CBD Gel capsules using pharmaceutical grade coconut oil.
- For consumers that are new to CBD oils we have sublingual oils that start at 150mg and go up to 1500mg
- CBD-infused edibles, CBD gummies, lollipops, and beverages are also available.
If you are one of the millions who suffer from some form of chronic neuropathy, you beg for relief. You might even risk dangers to your health like addictive opioids, or you might seek relief in self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs.
But, if it does not conflict with other therapies, CBD will provide a nice form of relief with no psychoactive side effects. And, hemp-derived CBD is available legally throughout the United States. It’s certainly worth a try for those who suffer!