The science behind nerve pain is still murky. Essentially, nerve pain is a condition with various origins and effects, with no real understanding of the mechanisms that bring about these changes. But can CBD help? Let’s find out.
Moreover, nerve-pain-induced sensations can vary from person-to-person. These may crop up in any part of the body randomly, with no apparent rationale. As scientists are still uncertain about the condition’s working, there’s no treatment available today to manage nerve pain reliably.
But, this doesn’t mean we can’t target nerve pain. There are some options. Among these is CBD oil, or cannabidiol, a cannabis extract with a whole host of therapeutic properties, including neuroprotection.
CBD is found in the cannabis plant along with another popular cannabinoid, THC. While THC is illegal in many states because of its psychoactive properties, CBD has an excellent safety profile. CBD is not known to cause any side effects or pose substance abuse threats. This is why many people are using CBD products to medicate nerve pain, which science is also now starting to advocate. New research suggests that CBD-based pharmaceuticals may play a pivotal role in chronic pain management treatment in the future.
This article will take a comprehensive view of what nerve pain is and how CBD can help manage its symptoms.
What Is Nerve Pain or Neuropathic Pain?
Pain is our body’s natural reaction to cellular ambiguity. For instance, if your hand accidentally touches a hot iron, your body will immediately react, sending signals to the nerves in that area to pull away.
Unfortunately, when our nerves are damaged, our immediate ability to respond to pain goes haywire. This causes us pain alarms to shoot up throughout our body without any apparent reasons. This is neuropathic pain.
Common Nerve Pain Symptoms
The symptoms of neuropathy aren’t the same in every individual. Some common sensations include:
You might experience these sensations quite frequently. In some cases, they may persist for hours without any relief. Moreover, neuropathy may attack any part of your body, with hands and feet being the most common targets. In some cases, the pain is also triggered when you lie in uncomfortable positions or indulge in strenuous physical activities.
Often, people living with neuropathy cannot pinpoint the reason behind the pain and wait for months before seeking medical assistance. After a certain period, the intensity of pain increases due to which something as simple as tapping someone on the shoulder may trigger pain.
As the hands and feet are the most affected regions in neuropathy, you might feel a loss of sensation in these areas. This can make accomplishing your day-to-day activities an uphill task. People with nerve pain have reported that they always feel like they’re wearing a woolly, skin-scratching sweater all the time and have a difficult time performing simple tasks, such as typing, sewing, and even walking.
CBD for Nerve Pain: How Does it Work?
The link between CBD and nerve pain is based on cannabidiol’s interaction with the Endocannabinoid system. The Endocannabinoid system produces natural compounds called endocannabinoids, which control numerous physiological functions, including alleviating pain and fighting inflammation.
CBD and other cannabis-based compounds may mimic the activity of endocannabinoids and have a similar influence on the endocannabinoid system’s pathways. This is why they’re also called phytocannabinoids.
Researchers believe CBD stimulates the activity of chemicals that bind to CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors are found in nerve endings and are often associated with pain sensations.
CBD slows down the metabolism of endocannabinoids in the body that regulate pain pathways. This leads to an incremental buildup of these compounds at CB1 receptors, which curbs painful sensations.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of the most popular compounds of the cannabis Sativa family. The other one is THC; however, THC is psychotropic and has been known to alter consciousness and induce paranoid and delirium. Therefore, its sale and distribution are illegal in many states.
Although CBD and THC have similar origins, CBD products contain less than .3% of THC in their composition. This is because CBD is extracted from hemp, a plant part of the cannabis family, which has only trace amounts of THC. Because of this, most hemp-based products are safe to use. This makes them perfect for people who are worried about failing a drug test.
Cannabis and CBD for Nerve Pain: What Science Says
While FDA hasn’t greenlit any CBD-based pharmaceutical-grade drug to treat nerve pain, preliminary studies paint a promising picture. Here is a list of recent research on CBD for nerve pain:
Many studies have studied the effect of neuropathic pain resulting from HIV. The participants of these studies smoked medical cannabis and placebo as part of their treatments. Thirty-four patients of the cannabis group reported a significant reduction in their symptoms, whereas the placebo group didn’t observe any noticeable improvements.
Another similar research explored the reliability of cannabis to treat nerve pain in HIV patients. In the study, 27 patients took cannabis, whereas 28 took the placebo. A huge chunk of cannabis-using participants reported a 30% decrease in their pain, much more than what the researchers observed in the placebo group. There were also no side effects reported even at high CBD doses.
One more study looked at the effectiveness of Sativex, a CBD-based spray, for neuropathic pain. Sixty-three patients took Sativex, out of which 50 described a reduction in pain sensations.
Nerve pain can make your life miserable. And medical science hasn’t come up with a reliable treatment as of yet. Scientists themselves claim that conventional treatments aren’t as effective and may cause adverse side effects.
In the end, considering CBD’s relatively safe chemical profile, CBD-based drugs may be used as viable remedies for neuropathic pain. However, CBD science is still in its infancy. And before we can say anything concrete about CBD’s pain-relieving qualities, extensive human clinical trials need to be carried out to furnish conclusive evidence. That said, if you’re suffering from chronic nerve pain, there’s no harm in exploring an alternative treatment like CBD.