Can CBD Sprays Be Used To Alleviate Peripheral Neuropathic Pain
Peripheral neuropathic pain occurs when there is damage to nerves that exist outside the spinal cord and brain. This pain manifests through symptoms of pain, weakness and numbness, in the body. These symptoms are usually experienced on hands and feet, but they can occur in other areas as well.
Such damage to peripheral nerves can occur due to various reasons. A common cause is diabetes. Other causes include traumatic injuries, metabolic issues, heredity, and infections.
What Happens when there is Peripheral Neuropathic Pain?
The function of peripheral nerves is to carry information from the spinal cord and brain to other parts of the body. These nerves also carry signals related body’s senses to the spinal cord and brain.
Any of the functions of the peripheral nervous system can be affected as a result of neuropathic pain. Nature of symptoms depends on the type of peripheral nerves affected.
For example, if motor nerves, which are responsible for muscle movement, are affected, symptoms can include muscle weakness and paralysis.
If autonomic nerves, which regulate the functions of heart rate, bladder, digestion and blood pressure, are affected, then excessive sweating or lack of it, can occur. Other symptoms can include digestive, bowel or bladder issues, and blood pressure variations.
Sensory nerves are also part of the peripheral nervous system. These nerves enable the body to experience different sensations, including temperature variations, touch, pain and vibration. An injury to sensory nerves affects body’s ability to experience any of the above-stated sensations.
Other symptoms of peripheral neuropathic pain can include lack of balance and coordination, which causes falling accidents. Patients may also feel a weird touch sensation similar to that arising from wearing socks or gloves. This sensation exists even when people are not wearing gloves or socks.
Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathic Pain
The pain experienced by patients with peripheral neuropathic pain is often described as a burning, tingling or a stabbing pain. Neuropathic pain can be the result of an underlying condition such as diabetes or an autoimmune disease, or a tumor. In such cases, the underlying condition is treated to manage the pain.
If there are no underlying conditions, then treatment targets symptoms of pain. Treatments help patients manage neuropathic pain. Some common treatments include pain relieving medications, topical formulations and anti-seizure medications.
CBD for Peripheral Neuropathic Pain – Research on Animal Models
A research based on animal model studied the efficiency of CBD in treating one of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy – allodynia. The study showed favorable results.
Allodynia is pain that emerges from day-to-day activities that are not usually painful. People experiencing allodynia can find normal stimuli such as washing the face and brushing hair painful.
The study examined mice that had undergone treatment using 3 different chemotherapy agents. The mice were given either CBD, or THC, and in some cases both. Prevalence of allodynia was examined after the administration, for 2 weeks.
Different results were observed for individual and joint administration of the compounds.
The study concluded that CBD could be an effective treatment for peripheral neuropathy induced by chemotherapy. The study also stated that clinical potency of CBD could be increased by co-administering THC in low doses.
Another research on animal models shows how CBD is able to achieve suppression of pain related to peripheral neuropathy. In mice subjects used in the study, a peripheral nerve injury caused thermal and mechanical hypersensitivity. Such neuropathic reaction was witnessed on the ipsilateral (on the same side as the nerve injury) hind paw of the rats.
Mice started experiencing mechanical hypersensitivity from the 3rd day after injury. It became maximum between 7 and 14 days. The pain lasted for 4 weeks, at a minimum, from the day of injury.
Dehydroxyl CBD (DH-CBD) was administered to rats at the period of 12-14 days during the study. Administered at a dosage of 100 µg, DH-CBD significantly reduced the severity of neuropathic pain in the rats.
The ipsilateral PWT – Paw Withdrawal Threshold – of rats also increased significantly after administration of DH-CBD. Symptoms of hypersensitivity to heat were also examined. They showed a significant decrease. The effect of the drug decreased after 6 hours after injection.
This study explained the mechanism through which CBD is able to achieve neuropathic pain suppression in mice. The study highlights that CBD acts by targeting GlyRs or glycine receptors found in the central nervous system. Compounds such as CBD and THC act by making glycine currents more active, which results in greater expression of GlyRs.
It is believed that GlyRs contribute significantly to antinociceptive process. Most pain sensations in human body are believed to be a reaction to nociceptive stimuli (pain resulting from internal tissue injury). Even neuropathic pain is caused by irritation, inflammation or compression of neural tissues.
GlyRs are composed of α and β isoforms. Α isoform has 4 subunits (α -1 to α-4) and β isoform has a single subunit. The ability of CBD to suppress neuropathic pain comes from its potential to an α3 GlyR-based mechanism.
CBD for Peripheral Neuropathic Pain – What Research on Human Subjects Says?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is second to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), in availability and abundance in cannabis sativa plant. The difference between the above 2 compounds is that CBD does not cause intoxicate the senses of an individual as THC does.
THC is known for sending users into a heightened state. Studies have already proved that CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not send users into a heightened state.
A growing number of studies also shows positive evidence regarding the safety of CBD consumption.
A report by the global health safeguarding body – the WHO (World Health Organization) – allays the fears that consumers may have regarding CBD. The report states that there is so far no evidence of
CBD resulting in substance abuse in people. There is also no evidence of CBD causing health concerns in people, the report adds.
CBD is currently being considered a potent treatment for a range of medical issues, including insomnia, anxiety, childhood epilepsy and chronic pain. Research shows that CBD can help inhibit neuropathic and inflammatory pain. These two types of pain are seen as some of the most difficult pain conditions to treat.
CBD formulations, especially sprays and oils, have been found to be effective for managing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathic pain.
A study involving a 4-week examination of patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy found positive results through the use of topical CBD. This study was a placebo-controlled and randomized trial.
A group of 29 patients suffering from symptomatic peripheral neuropathy were chosen for the trial. There were older adults including older males and females of an average age of 68 in the chosen patient group.
15 of those patients were administered with a topical CBD formulation at random. 14 patients were given a placebo. 4 weeks later, patients from the placebo group moved over to the CBD treatment group.
A Neuropathic Pain Scale (NPS) was used to assess the patients’ pain symptoms in the course of the treatment. NPS scores were assessed twice every week.
After 4 weeks, study results showed a significant decrease in pain symptoms of patients in the CBD group. Patients experiencing symptoms such as sharp pain, intense pain, and itchy and cold sensations, recorded decrease in such symptoms. The reduction scale was greater in patients in the CBD group than in patients in the placebo group.
There were no adverse events reported during the study or after the treatment. The CBD formulation was well-tolerated by patients with no reports of side-effects.
This study concluded that administration of CBD through the transdermal route (meaning via the skin) can reduce symptoms of pain and other painful sensations associated with peripheral neuropathy.
The study also concluded that topical CBD can be a more efficient treatment alternative for patients than existing therapies for peripheral neuropathic pain.
CBD Sprays for Treating Peripheral Neuropathic Pain
A random double-blind study found that CBD sprays had a significant positive effect in treating peripheral neuropathic pain symptoms. The peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP) treated as part of the study was pain associated with allodynia.
The above-stated study involved a 15-week investigation into the efficacy of an oromucosal spray of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol combination. The study was placebo-controlled and a parallel group trial.
The study involved a total of 303 PNP patients with allodynia. 128 patients were administered with the oromucosal THC/ CBD spray at random. 118 patients were treated with placebo. These patients were already receiving an analgesic therapy for their pain.
Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) on a scale of 0-10 was used to measure pain in both sets of patients. Secondary factors such as patient sleep quality and Subject (patient) Global Impression of Change (SGIC) were also measured. SGIC rating refers to a patient’s belief about how efficient the treatment was.
The study showed favorable results for patients that were administered with THC/ CBD spray. Pain improvement scores were higher in the patient group that took the THC/ CBD spray. Sleep quality and SGIC rating were also higher in patients that underwent THC/ CBD treatment.
The study concluded that THC/ CBD spray when used on a reasonable subject sample showed positive results in terms of patient pain, sleep quality, and SGIC. The patients also showed a good tolerance for the spray. There were no safety concerns either regarding the use of the spray.
There are other studies too that showed that use of CBD in spray form can be a potent treatment for peripheral neuropathic pain.
This study, for example, used a formulation that had both THC and CBD as ingredients. This study involved 125 patients in total. Each of these patients had symptoms of pain for at least 6 months. There were 51 men and 74 women, and the average age equaled 53 years.
The study was a randomized placebo-controlled trial. A group of patients (63) with allodynia and unilateral peripheral neuropathy were administered a THC/ CBD oral spray. Another group of 62 patients were given a placebo. Pain symptoms and sleep were recorded for 7 to 10 days before the initiation of the study.
All medications that the patients had been taking before the trial, including pain medications, were continued for the duration of the trial.
Pain relief was taken as the primary assessment factor of the study. Secondary assessment factors included PGIC, allodynia testing, sleep disturbance rating, and reduction in cognitive abilities.
After excluding patients that withdrew from both the study groups due to various reasons, including side effects, the preliminary result favored the drug-treated group.
This group of patients experienced favorable results in pain reduction and sleep quality. There were however some side effects reported during the study. These included nausea, dizziness, vomiting, fatigue, and dry mouth.
Pain and other sensations caused by peripheral neuropathic pain can reduce the quality of life of patients significantly. Standard treatments fail to deliver the pain-relief sought by patients.
An increasing body of evidence shows CBD, in particular CBD sprays and topicals, to be an effective treatment for peripheral neuropathic pain. Exhaustive research with a larger sample of patients, including older adults, is being sought, to deliver more conclusive results.
If you are considering taking CBD, then it is crucial to get your doctor’s advice. Age, body weight, genetic predispositions, existing medications, and a range of other factors, play a role in CBD intake.
The authenticity of CBD formulation you take is also significant. CBD formulations must be research-backed and the ingredients must be clearly stated. The label must also specify dosage levels accurately. Evidence about 3rd party lab testing must also be included in the product’s data sheet.
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Do not let peripheral neuropathic pain affect your life. It is possible to live an active pain-free life with well-guided use of CBD sprays.
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