Using CBD to Treat Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral Neuropathy is caused when nerves and surrounding tissue suffer damage. It causes a breakdown in communication between the brain, the central nervous system, and individual parts of the body. Symptoms are wide-ranging, but the condition is generally characterized by pain, inflammation, weakness, and tingling sensations. Cannabinoids, such as THC-free CBD, have been shown effective in treating the pain and inflammation caused by neuropathy.
Causes and Symptoms of Neuropathy
There are multiple causes of neuropathy. Several common ones are damage due to diabetes, injury, and underlying neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis. Each causes damage to different part of the nervous system at various locations throughout the body. Because of this, they exhibit varying symptoms.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
This is a common debilitating effect of the disease. A 2017 position statement by the American Diabetes Association reports that up to half of all people with diabetes will develop the condition. It causes pain, tingling, and decreased sensation in extremities, particularly the feet. There is a substantial risk of injury due to infection of undetected lacerations in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Major symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy are:
- Stinging or prickling sensation, especially in the feet and hands
- Non-specific pain described as jabbing, burning, freezing, or throbbing, with no apparent cause
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Lack of sensation in affected areas
Peripheral Neuropathy Resulting from Autoimmune Disease
Patients with autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) often experience symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. This is a result of damage to nerve-insulating myelin as the diseases progress. Increased pain sensation and sensitivity to stimuli have been reported. This can be debilitating to patients already struggling with other effects of the disease.
Autoimmune disorders can cause damage throughout multiple nerve systems. Symptoms are generally not isolated to a single physical area or aspect of nerve function. They may include:
- Muscle weakness and paralysis
- Loss of coordination, balance, or fine motor skills
- Reduced tolerance for heat
- Loss of function or control of bladder or bowel functions
- Irregular blood pressure causing dizziness
Not all cases of neuropathy are related to a disease. For many people, damage to nerves is the result of an injury. In fact, sudden injury is the most common cause of single site nerve damage resulting in peripheral neuropathy.
Injuries generally damage nerves in a single area of the body. A classic example of this is carpel tunnel syndrome, where nerves are pinched within the wrist. If you have injury-related neuropathy, you may experience any of the symptoms already described. Your exact symptoms will largely depend on where they injury was sustained, and what type of nerves were damaged. You may experience:
- Partial or full paralysis of an area
- Loss or decline of fine motor skills
- Pain that feels like burning, freezing, or pins-and-needles
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD, is the non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis or marijuana. Numerous research studies have shown it to be an effective agent against pain, inflammation, muscle spasticity, and a host of other ailments. It is non-addictive, non-psychotropic, and side effects from use are generally minimal.
How CBD Eases Neuropathy Pain
Cannabinoids work on specialized receptors within the body, helping to reduce pain and increase the analgesic effects of other treatments. Cannabidiol can be delivered without the mind-altering effects of THC. Studies show it to be highly effective for nervous system disorders, including neuropathy.
Produced from the hemp plant, THC-free CBD targets the CB2 receptors found distributed outside of the central nervous system. This makes it an ideal treatment for peripheral neuropathy, which affects nerves outside of the CNS.
This is welcome news for neuropathy sufferers. In the past, treatment options were based on anti-convulsant and anti-seizure medications, opioids and OTC medications for pain, and steroid injections to address symptoms. There are numerous negative side effects associated with these treatments, as well as the potential for addiction or overdose.
In contrast, CBD offers a relatively safe and effective treatment option for peripheral neuropathy. Instead of simply masking pain, it disrupts signals within the damaged nerves to reduce pain and reduce sensitivity in the affected area.
Using CBD as a Treatment for Neuropathy
Cannabidiol is readily available in tincture/oil forms. Its refined extract is sometimes mixed with a carrier oil to ensure correct dosing and minimize the hemp flavor. Capsules, pills, and powdered forms of THC-free CBD offer added convenience to users.
Because this is a relatively new field of treatment and study, unified dosing recommendations have not been established. Children have been shown to need larger doses per body weight to produce desired beneficial effects of Cannabinoids. However, research has indicated tolerance of CBD at high doses with little or no adverse effects.
Extensive studies of Cannabidiol have shown it is highly effective when used in combination with other treatments. Look for products that are designed to maximize this symbiotic relationship. An excellent example of such a product is Symbio Wellness’ MEND. Each capsule contains a specially-formulated blend of supplements widely recognized for their positive effect on joint health: THC-free CBD, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM. MEND offers superior joint and cartilage support to help ease pain and increase function.
Peripheral neuropathy can be a debilitating condition. Pain and inflammation caused by damaged nerves can lead to disability and diminished quality of life. Symptoms vary depending on the location and types of nerves affected. They may include altered sensation, non-specific pain, tingling or burning feelings, reduced motor skills, loss of coordination, and paralysis. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your health care provider if you experience any of these symptoms or you have been diagnosed with neuropathy.
Cannabidiol has been shown to target receptors distributed throughout the body, effectively reducing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy without the negative effects of THC compounds. Dosing can vary greatly between individuals, and more is not always better. It is recommended that you start with small doses and gradually work up to a dose that is effective for your particular needs.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. Symbio Wellness LLC assumes no responsibility for the improper use of these products. We recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician when preparing a treatment plan for any and all diseases or ailments. Symbio Wellness LLC does not make any health claims about our products and recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician prior to consuming our products or preparing a treatment plan. It is especially important for those who are pregnant, nursing, chronically ill, elderly or under the age of 18 to discuss the use of these products with a physician prior to consuming. You must be 18 years or older to visit this website and/or purchase Symbio Wellness LLC products. The information on our website is intended to provide general information regarding our products and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction.