How CBD Can Help Reduce Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain can be a severely debilitating condition to deal with, and to ensure that the individual can carry with daily functions, it is necessary to find and utilize an effective remedy. The medications and treatment methods that are used for pain arising from damaged tissue do not work for this kind of pain. Neuropathic pain originates from damage to nerves through which the information is transferred in the central nervous system. The brain and spinal cord use the nerves as a channel of communication to pass on ‘instructions’ to the various parts of the body. These nerves, when injured, can result in significant pain.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a staggering 20 million Americans are known to suffer from this problem. Even more alarming is the fact that the Institute believes these numbers are understated because many cases are misdiagnosed or not reported.
Neuropathic pain can arise in any situations:
- When you have suffered an accident that caused physical trauma
- If you have certain vascular problems
- Some autoimmune diseases also cause this
- Diabetic patients complain of neuropathic pain
- Some cancers and certain chemotherapy drugs spark this off
- Kidney/ liver ailments can cause it
- Even nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances can result in this kind of pain
Neuropathic pain generally manifests as a burning sensation in a specific area where the skin may be highly sensitive to touch. It can also take the form of excruciating pain localized in an area or a general pins-and-needles sensation. The individual may experience numbness in the area, rendering them unable to differentiate between cold and hot when the skin in that area is exposed to varying temperatures. The slightest of pressure upon the area can aggravate the pain.
As is evident, neuropathic pain can be very difficult to manage, and it may have a very detrimental impact on your lifestyle as a whole, making it impossible for you to manage essential functions at times. An effective solution is a must-have for those suffering from this kind of a pain, but herein lies the problem. Often, you can only manage the pain to a certain extent, and you must learn to live with it. To find management methods, doctors may have to follow a trial and error method, which is quite a circuitous route.
The nature and severity of the pain, its impact on your life, and the lack of a proven remedy that can offer immediate relief, all make neuropathic pain a challenging condition to tackle. Again, remember that the usual pain killers you get over the counter or the ones you use typically for a headache or a sprain, such as aspirin or paracetamol, do not work for this kind of pain.
If the conventional painkillers do not reduce neuropathic pain, then what works? This is where cannabidiol comes to the rescue. Studies have indicated that cannabidiol or CBD may be effective in treating neuropathic pain.
CBD as an effective treatment method for neuropathic pain
There are many treatment methods that doctors try out to treat this kind of pain. Alternate treatments are quite popular, owing to the severe nature of this pain, and the fact that it affects life so drastically. Among these alternative methods is herbal remedies, and within this cluster, we have CBD as a promising remedy.
What exactly is CBD and why does it work so well for neuropathic pain?
CBD or cannabidiol is a natural extract that comes from the cannabis sativa plant. This plant has two main species- hemp and marijuana. Extracts from this plant have various effects on the human system, and when it comes to CBD, it has been found effective with pain relief, inflammation relief, skincare, stress management, and much more. This is a rather versatile compound that finds its place in many cosmetic products like facial cream, glow oil, facial serum, anti-aging facial serum, eye serum, face cream, recovery lotion, sleeping mask, body oil, and more.
However, despite its many benefits, CBD is viewed with suspicion by many, owing to some misconceptions about the psychoactive effect it has. These myths arise from CBD’s association with the cannabis sativa plant and the fact that marijuana is also extracted from the same plant species. While it is true that marijuana has psychoactive effects, that is, it produces a ‘high’ when consumed, CBD does not. This is because of a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is present in significant quantity in marijuana and which is responsible for the high. In CBD, THC is present in negligible quantities, and so consumption or use of CBD cannot give you a high. Both marijuana and hemp plants have CBD. When the CBD is extracted from hemp, the THC content is below 0.3%, and is not at all capable of producing any psychoactive effects.
CBD works so well for pain relief because it helps the body’s internal endocannabinoid system to work efficiently. Yes, the body does actually have its own cannabinoid-based system. When this system is functioning the way it should, your body’s bone health and immunity are at peak levels. When this system breaks down, you see the signs in many ways, including pain.
When you use a CBD product, the cannabinoids work in tandem with your body’s internal endocannabinoid system to restore its balance. Research has shown that CBD impacts the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors and brings about many beneficial changes, such as promoting an anti-inflammatory response. CBD interacts with the central and peripheral nervous system effectively to result in pain relief. It has this positive impact on pain arising from different factors-cancer-associated pain, arthritis pain, neuropathic pain, pain owing to skin inflammations, etc.
Research on CBD’s pain relief capabilities
- According to research quoted in Drugscience, in a study involving 177 participants suffering from cancer, THC was given for pain relief. These individuals had taken opioids before but had negligible relief. One group was given THC, another THC plus CBD, and the third was given a placebo. The THC plus CBD group had about twice the number of individuals (as compared with the other groups) who said that they experienced a 30% or greater relief in pain. The conclusion is that it is not just the THC component but CBD itself that works wonders in pain relief.
- CBD appears to work where other pain relief measures fail. This has also been studied in detail, and the conclusion was that when CBD is used for pain relief arising from nerve injury, human immunodeficiency virus, and multiple sclerosis, apart from others, it works better than conventional medicines. Clinical studies affirm that CBD does have a positive impact on pain in such cases.
- CBD may be just as useful in pain relief spray format as well as per a study carried out in Scotland that specifically studies its impact on neuropathic pain. This was a study that lasted over 15 weeks, involving 303 patients. About 128 of these patients were exposed to a spray containing CBD and THC, while the others were given conventional analgesic therapy. The evaluation showed a significant improvement in pain among those who had been using the THC/CBD pain relief spray as compared to the other group. Interestingly, the patients who got the CBD/THC spray also exhibited better sleep patterns, which validates the claims of CBD being a good anxiety-relieving treatment method as well. The conclusion of the study was that this pain relief spray was well-tolerated and had significant benefits to offer.
- In UK, a company by the name GW Pharmaceutical is already developing cannabis-based medicines to address a range of medical problems. Their CBD products are designed to be used in spray, vapor, and tablet format, and all these formats are under testing to evaluate their efficacy. Back in 2002, GW Pharmaceuticals had announced research carried out on patients with cancer-related pain, patients with brachial plexus injury pain, and other painful conditions. The company also stated that significant improvement had been seen in the pain levels of patients who had received CBD/ THC pain relief spray.
Why CBD is a great pain relief option?
The use of CBD in pain relief spray form, pain relief roll-on, or cream form is catching on quickly, and more brands are setting foot into this niche to take advantage of the growing demand. But why is there such a demand for these products now?
The first reason is that it is effective and quick. In cases of debilitating pain, such as what is experienced with neuropathic pain, the patient is looking for something that can give speedy relief so that they can resume work or get respite. In many cases, people in chronic neuropathic pain resort to using opioids, and this is something that is avoidable. According to the CDC, the fatality rate from opioid overuse stands at about 130 per day. Many end up completely dependent on pain meds as well, which is again a very avoidable situation. But without a viable alternative, it is not possible for such individuals to quit the pain relief measure they are currently using. CBD can be the perfect answer to such cases, helping reduce dependence on pain meds that may harm in the long run.
In addition to this aspect, CBD pain relief products are available in a variety of forms- as pain relief spray, pain relief roll-on, and pain relief cream. There is a choice for the patient to pick the preferred format. This offers great flexibility and lets each patient choose the most convenient and effective method for getting the most benefit. For example, if the pain is in the middle of the back, a roll-on or cream may not be a very useful product because the area is difficult to reach. However, a pain relief spray may work easily and quickly. Since CBD can be formulated in various ways, this advantage does add to its value for the patients.
With CBD Must and CBD Plus pain relief spray, pain relief roll-on, and pain relief cream, there is yet another advantage that patients dependent on tablets do not enjoy. It is possible to apply the CBD product on the exact area where the pain is felt, and the localized application often results in speedier effects. With tablets, this relief may take time until the tablet enters the system and begins to take effect. If you need instant relief, CBD sprays, roll-ons, and creams are the way to go.
Many people are averse to taking tablets in general, and they choose to live with the pain instead of opting for conventional pain killers. For these people, CBD sprays, roll-ons and creams offer a great alternative that does not require them to ingest anything. With a mere topical application, they can get rid of the pain and improve their overall state.
In effect, CBD is not just a proven, tried, and tested pain relief medication for chronic pain that is associated with nerve damage or injury, but also a convenient treatment method for most. As studies show, adding CBD based pain relief to conventional ones has proven to be very effective as well in dealing with this kind of pain. This indicates that CBD has some specific advantages over conventional modes too.
Research is still going on about the various ways in which CBD can be used, its effectiveness, and any potential side effects. So far, there have been no indications to show that the product’s side effects may overwhelm its many benefits. In fact, researchers do agree that CBD appears to be very effective in dealing with neuropathic pain arising from various factors. Further research holds a promise of revealing how else CBD can be used for overall well-being and for better outcomes from painful conditions. Until then, there is no reason to put off this proven pain-alleviating method that is readily available in so many easy-to-use forms.
As more and more research, studies, and clinical trials into cannabis and its derivatives are being published and peer-reviewed, its medicinal benefits are quickly becoming undeniable.
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