What makes you cry in pain when you incidentally touch a hot object? What makes you withdraw your hand in that infinitesimal moment?
Nerves! The simplest answer that describes the events of a reflex action.
However, it is not just the involuntary movement to which nerves’ role is limited. Rather, millions and millions of nerves play a key role in the perception and relaying of sensory signals, as well as producing the final effect of nerve transmission.
Intricate yet a super-effective phenomenon!
Neuropathy: An Overview
The clock doesn’t tick over smoothly all the time. Things can go south at times. A town a little ahead of the south is called neuropathy, a term that describes nerve damage. It is a chronic pain condition that can make the life of a person suffering from it, miserable. Finding adjectives that describe the damage to quality of life inflicted by neuropathy aptly is some task. Nerve functioning can be impaired because of several reasons (which we will explain a few lines later) but often, the result is a burning and stinging pain shooting either through the entire body or through specific areas only.
As mentioned earlier, this type of pain is usually neuropathic. Hence, worsening of the condition over a longer period is bad news that cannot be swept under the carpet either. And as you will see later in this discussion, medical conditions like diabetes can add more fuel to the fire, thereby making the life of a person suffering from neuropathy a very poor one, quality-wise.
Neuropathy in Numbers
So is it just nerve pain that only a few people in old age might have to experience. We know that is the precise thought that is swirling in the mind of most readers. Those of you who are thinking of this pattern, hear this: more than 20 million people in the USA alone are estimated to be suffering from neuropathy of some sort. This is just a careful estimate made by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the actual numbers might be scarier. One of the primary reasons why neuropathy is underreported is its misdiagnosis. When it is finally and correctly diagnosed, pain typically has advanced to the critical stage.
Reasons for Neuropathy
Neuropathies are classified into different types, primarily based on the area affected. However, the reasons why a nerve might be damaged in the first place are important to discuss as well. In this section of the discussion, we briefly comment on these reasons.
In the last few decades, alcohol abuse has emerged as one of the key factors influencing neuropathy. However, this is not the only reason for nerve damage. Besides, not everyone having trouble with saying no to a glass of alcohol falls prey to neuropathy either. Other reasons for neuropathy include nutrient deficiency, infections, inflammatory conditions, and certain hormonal disorders. It is pertinent to mention here that determination of the cause of neuropathy with precision is not the outcome in every diagnosis. However, treatment options are suggested nevertheless, regardless of the cause of neuropathy in the first place.
While there are many types and subtypes of neuropathy that are classified by neurologists, four types are most prominent in any discussion concerning the topic. We talk about these four key types of neuropathy in this section:
1. Peripheral Neuropathy
A common form of diabetic neuropathy, this kind of neuropathy affects the feet and hand. It is also dubbed peripheral symmetric neuropathy.
2. Autonomic Neuropathy
This type of neuropathy affects involuntary function controlling nerves e.g. urination, heart rate, etc.
3. Proximal Neuropathy
This type of neuropathy is identified as thoracic and lumbar root neuropathy.
Instances in which only one particular type of nerve is damaged are dubbed as mono-neuropathies.
How Is Neuropathic Pain Treated Traditionally?
Medications from certain classes are prescribed for the treatment of neuropathy. For some, a medicine like gabapentin may work like a charm, a drug that is chiefly involved in membrane stabilization. For others, using an anti-epileptic might be a better option. Anti-depressant drugs are prescribed in many cases as well.
But what if the traditional methods fail?
CBD: A Recap
Let us ask you something. How many of you are familiar with the term Cannabidiol? It is popularly recognized as CBD. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Oh dear, guess we better revise the basics first before we comment upon CBD’s effectiveness in the treatment of neuropathy. Some eyes are gleaming with curiosity, we see you!
The cannabis plant is enriched with several cannabinoids, perhaps the most important of which is Cannabidiol (CBD). The fact which gives CBD so much importance is its non-psychoactive nature. CBD doesn’t produce the sensation of high, for which marijuana is notoriously famous. Gauging the pharmacological impact of CBD is one of the hottest research topics in the scientific world right now. One of the most popular forms in which CBD is used is CBD oil, another CBD topicals, like roll on’s and other topicals. For now, just keep that little fact in your mind!
Can CBD Help with Neuropathy?
In a study titled “Cannabidiol inhibits paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain through 5-HT (1A) receptors without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy”, rats were used as a subject to determine whether or not CBD can mitigate neuropathic pain. In this study, the neuropathic pain against which CBD was used as an alleviator was chemotherapeutic treatment neuropathy. The results of this study suggested that CBD was indeed a favourable option that can be considered in neuropathy treatment.
Giving recommendations based on a rat study, huh? We appreciate the concern that has suddenly hit you. Let us state a couple of things quite clearly here. One, there is definitely a need for more research and scientific evidence before CBD can be recommended with one hundred percent confidence for the treatment of neuropathy. Second, studies that used human subjects are also suggesting the same as the rat study. Consider this study published in the Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology that aimed at determining the effectiveness of topical CBD oil in providing symptomatic relief of peripheral neuropathy. Not only did the subjects of the study tolerate the product well, but they reported a significant improvement in neuropathic pain as well. A few more studies like these, and time will hail CBD as the wonder drug that changed the landscape of neuropathic pain treatment!
Using CBD for Neuropathy: A Novice’s Guide
If you are someone who is suffering from neuropathy of some sort but has never used CBD ever before, well this section of the discussion is just for you. Let’s quiz you first, which CBD products are the most popular ones right now? Well done if you remembered CBD oil and topicals, a fact that we asked you to keep in mind some lines ago. Well, usage of CBD products depends upon the nature of the product you have purchased. For example, apply sublingually if you are taking CBD tinctures. You place the drops under your tongue. Rub well in case you think a bottle of CBD pain cream will help you fight neuropathy better. It is pertinent to mention here that pain creams are more precise when it comes down to delivering a particular dose of the cannabinoid directly to the affected area, like a sore ankle, knee or back. On the other hand, CBD oil is not as precise as one might have hoped it to be. Tinctures applied sublingually every night take at least two to three weeks to obtain the optimum amount of CBD that is ingested and dispersed into your immune system.
This brings us to the next query that needs to be answered in this discussion. What is the right kind of CBD dose for treating neuropathy? We are afraid that there is no one quantitative answer to this question. Rather, it varies from person to person, depending upon various factors like the extent of nerve damage, type of neuropathy, age, etc. However, there is one golden rule of using CBD for neuropathy that we must share with you. Start low to get in a flow! It is never ideal to start with a high dose whenever one is dealing with CBD products. If a neuropathic patient’s body tolerates CBD, then there is no harm in amping up the dose. Let us state it very clearly, there is no official recommended dose of the substance, you will just waste your time Googling for one!
If your goal is to manage your neuropathic pain by transforming your treatment into a CBD routine, opting for CBD topicals instead of tinctures is a better choice because you feel immediate relief from rubbing the cream onto a sore or affected area.
Is CBD A Safer Option for Neuropathy Treatment?
In general, the FDA is still shy of giving a final verdict on the use of CBD. While the FDA has refrained from giving its nod of approval to these CBD products, it is still studying some of the most popular CBD products like CBD oil for assessing its effects better.
CBD Products for Your Consideration
Still sounds like a better option than popping dozens of tablets with very little improvement, right? Well, for those neuropathic patients who want to give CBD a go, here are a couple of products that can help them significantly in their battle against neuropathy or neuropathies.
1500mg CBD Freeze Roll On
Pain relief and wellness enhancement are some of the key pros of this CBD product. Higher dosage CBD infused topicals made with 99%+ pure hemp-derived CBD and added Cannabis-derived terpenes to optimize the full spectrum effect, without any additional cannabinoids. It is extracted from organically grown hemp and is one hundred percent vegan plus gluten-free. The Pain Cream is super helpful in providing pain relief, as well as aids in relaxation, sleep, discomfort, and inflammation. It contains about 30-40mg CBD per application.
You can feel the cream and CBD penetrating deep into your skin. It is a warm feeling that lasts for a good while as it sinks into your skin. You can apply it to your painful areas as many times per day as needed. The product comes as a roll on and you can carry it in your purse or briefcase.
1500mg CBD Rejuvenating Pain Cream
Another product that promises similar results but is full-spectrum CBD. Neuropathic patients can try either of these products and see which one works best for them.
However, if one does manage to tick all the boxes and buys a quality CBD product, then the benefits that are associated with CBD certainly outweigh the cons. Neuropathic patients have a new ray of hope to cling to, let us see if CBD can alleviate some, if not most of their pain. Of course, only time and much needed additional research can answer this question with one hundred percent accuracy. But the future does look bright for sure!