CBD Oil For Nerve Pain?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 20.4% of U.S adults (50 million) suffer from chronic pain, and 8% have high-impact pain.
Among the people reporting pain in 2016, a study published in the Journal of Pain estimates that 15.7% likely had a syndrome with a neuropathic component.
From the numbers, neuropathic pain or nerve pain is very common in the United States and the chances of experiencing it increase as we age.
This presents a need for alternative solutions, mainly plant-based ones like CBD.
But does CBD oil help with nerve pain?
Pain is an essential signal in our bodies; without it, we would face life-threatening injuries and diseases without needing to correct it.
However, this vital signal is also a leading cause for sleepless nights for some people.
In this article, we look at CBD and neuropathic pain and how it may help.
What is Nerve Pain (Neuropathic Pain)?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), more than 20 million people in the U.S. experience some form of peripheral neuropathy and it suspects that the number may be significantly higher due to often misdiagnosis of its complex array of symptoms.
Neuropathy is a condition in which the nerves are damaged or dysfunctional.
This may result in several situations, including loss of necessary signals, distorted signals, or inappropriate signaling.
Neuropathy typically results in numbness, muscle weakness, tingling, and pain in the affected areas.
NINDS states that more than 100 types of peripheral neuropathies have been identified, but they can be classified into three depending on the type of nerves damaged; Motor, Sensory and Autonomic nerves.
Neuropathy may involve sensory nerve damage.
These are the nerves that transmit pain, temperature, and sense of touch. When these nerves are damaged, patients may suffer a loss of coordination, balance, and it may contribute to loss of reflexes.
Sensory nerve damage may also affect your ability to feel pain, cause increased pain sensation even to triggers that wouldn’t usually cause pain, difficulty controlling pain, and cause severe pain from a light touch that is ordinarily painless, for example, you may experience pain from the touch of bedsheets.
This is typically described as nerve or neuropathic pain.
There are several causes of neuropathic pain.
4 Causes Of Nerve Pain
There are four leading causes of neuropathic pain;
These include diseases and autoimmune conditions that affect the nerves, such as multiple sclerosis, myeloma, diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to NINDS, between 60% to 70% of people with arthritis have mild to severe forms of sensory, autonomic, or motor nerve damage.
The Cleveland Clinic states that about 30% of neuropathic pain is caused by diabetes.
Injuries to joints, muscle, tissue, especially in the back, hips, or limbs may cause permanent damage to nerves causing neuropathic pain.
The injury itself may heal, but the nerves may not, leading to persistent pains long after the injury.
Some infections, although rare, may cause neuropathic pain. These include postherpetic neuralgia, which is a complication of shingles.
4. Limb Loss
After an amputation, the brain may still think it is receiving pain signals from the missing limbs. This is caused by the nerves near the removed body part misfiring and sending faulty signals to the brain. This condition is known as the “phantom limb.”
How Nerve Pain is Treated
The most common treatments for neuropathic pain are over the counter medications, antidepressants, surgery, and prescription opioid medications.
However, due to side effects and the addictive nature of some of these treatments, the patient may decide to take on alternative treatments such as electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), massage, behavioral therapy, and herbal treatments such as CBD oil.
Does CBD Oil Help with Nerve Pain?
Several research studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD oil may help in the management of neuropathic pain.
CBD, cannabidiol in full, is one of the 100+ cannabinoids occurring naturally in the cannabis Sativa plant. CBD is legal federally as long as it is extracted from industrial hemp plants that contain 0.3% total THC or less.
CBD alongside other cannabinoids is associated with a variety of health and wellness benefits, including having pain relief potential, reducing inflammation, increasing appetite, and improving mood.
Unlike THC, the primary cannabinoid in cannabis, CBD does this without making you high.
Its anti-inflammation, pain relief, and mood-improving properties are essential in helping with nerve pain. But how does CBD oil help with nerve pain?
3 Ways How CBD Oil May Help with Nerve Pain
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
For the uninitiated, the human body produces its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are endogenous neurotransmitters that make up the ECS.
The ECS is responsible for maintaining balance in the human body, which means regulating critical bodily functions such as temperature, mood, inflammation, appetite, and, importantly, pain perception.
By interacting with the cannabinoid receptors of the ECS, CBD can influence how the body transmits and reacts to pain, including nerve pain.
CBD oil may help with nerve pain by;
1. Reducing Inflammation
By interacting with receptors of the ECS, CBD may help manage nerve pain by reducing inflammation, especially in cases where it’s caused by injuries.
One study published in 2016 found that it reduces inflammation and even delays the development of diabetes, a leading cause of neuropathic pain, in a rat model.
2. Improving Mood
Many patients with neuropathic pain also suffer from mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. CBD may help improve mood by causing a calming effect and a feeling of wellbeing throughout the body.
By interacting with the ECS, CBD may affect how your brain receptors respond to serotonin and inhibit the reuptake of the ‘joy’ hormone, anandamide.
A 2018 review of studies suggested that CBD may reduce depression and anxiety related to stress.
3. Improve Sleep
Neuropathic pain can cause sleep problems, including insomnia.
Several studies have suggested CBD’s potential for use as a sleep aid. By improving sleep, patients with nerve pain will experience improved mood and feelings of wellbeing.
CBD and Nerve Pain – What Research Studies Say
Although the research into CBD as a treatment for neuropathic pain is still in its infancy, several studies suggest its potential.
A study published in 2012 found that cannabinoids, including CBD, suppress inflammation and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors (GlyRs).
Further studies suggest that CBD has neuroprotective properties and may help slow neurodegenerative disorders that may cause neuropathic pain.
Another study review also found that CBD may be used to improve pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.
More research in humans is still required to confirm the effects and potential of CBD in the treatment of neuropathic pain.
Using CBD Oil For Nerve Pain
Here are some of the best CBD oils that may help provide relief for your nerve pain;
This product comes in three potencies that you may choose from depending on the level of pain; 500mg, 1000mg, and 1500mg for high pain levels.
It also comes in three flavors to make it more palatable, blueberry pineapple lemon, lemon-lime mint, and lychee lemon kiwi.
Pick one up from the Great CBD Shop for $34.50 to $67.85, depending on potency.
This CBD product offers a higher potency of CBD than most hemp tinctures; it ranges from 125mg to 3000mg. It’s also available in several flavors; natural, berry, and peppermint.
Blue Moon hemp tincture comes in a 30ml bottle and contains zero THC. It’s available on The Great CBD Shop for between $10.35 and $105.80.
Take Away; Does CBD Oil Help with Nerve Pain?
Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that it does.
However, although current research studies are promising, more studies, especially on humans, are required before CBD can be used as a treatment. Currently, the FDA has not approved any CBD product for the treatment of nerve pain.
Ensure you consult your doctor before using CBD to manage nerve pain symptoms.