CBD Oil for Nerve Pain; Does It Work?
CBD is everywhere and being used for a wide range of health conditions.
Does CBD Oil help with nerve pain?
Nerve pain or neuropathy continues to mystify scientists. People experience it differently; to some, it’s a stabbing pain in the middle of the night, while for others, it’s accompanied by a chronic tingling, prickling, or a burning sensation throughout the day.
Nerve Pain Explained
Pain is not such a bad thing; it’s meant to warn us of danger.
For instance, when your leg gets too close to the fire, your nerves send signals to the brain, prompting you to move your leg before more damage.
When the nerves are damaged, they may send confused or false signals- causing you to feel pain even when there’s no reason. Some people have even reported experiencing pain from bed sheets draped over their bodies!
Nerve pain is not very uncommon.
Data shows that at least 20 million Americans have some form of peripheral neuropathy. Here are the common types of neuropathy:
- Autonomic Neuropathy- This affects the non-sensory, non-voluntary nervous system. It affects internal organs such as the cardiovascular and the digestive systems.
- Multifocal Motor Neuropathy- Affects the muscles, characterized by symptoms such as muscle paralysis, cramps, twitching, and weakness.
- Sensory Neuropathy- Experienced in the body’s extremities, such as the hands and feet. It can also be felt in the legs and arms. Common symptoms include numbness, tingling, increased pain, or inability to feel pain.
Nerve Pain Treatment
If left untreated, neuropathy can worsen.
Typical treatments for nerve pain include pain relievers such as OTC NSAIDs (ibuprofen), opioid painkillers, e.g., tramadol, anti-seizure medications, e.g., carbamazepine.
However, apart from being ineffective, most of these drugs can be habit-forming or even cause death from overdose.
There are also neuropathy therapies such as Plasma Exchange and Intravenous Immune Globulin, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Physical Therapy, and even Surgery.
However, for people who want to avoid such extreme measures, CBD oil may be an option.
Although CBD will not cure or prevent neuropathy, it may be an ideal choice for those looking for a natural option to manage this pain. But does it work?
CBD Oil for Neuropathy
The link between CBD and nerve pain is the endocannabinoid system, which is a special cell-signaling system found in mammals, including humans.
Unlike THC, another naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive and hence won’t cause any mind-altering effects. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties in the body.
Several studies, including this 2012 literature review, have found out that CBD may help suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by impacting alpha-3 glycine receptors.
Other studies have also found out that CBD oil may help with nerve pain by activating serotonin receptors in the brain.
According to experts, neuropathy may disrupt serotonin balance in the brain. This 2019 study shows that CBD was able to relieve nerve pain in animals by restoring the brain’s serotonin levels.
The sentiments were echoed by this research, which notes that the positive interaction between CBD oil and serotonin receptors may be beneficial for people suffering from diabetic neuropathy.
Although few, several human studies have supported CBD’s potential to suppress nerve pain.
The use of Nabiximols (a cannabis-based pharmaceutical) to treat nerve pain is probably the most compelling evidence so far. Clinical trials in Canada and the UK have demonstrated that a combination of CBD and THC can play a great role in relieving nerve pain.
Can CBD Oil Help Sciatica Nerve Pain?
According to Mayo Clinic, Sciatica is a type of back pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the human body. It runs from the back, through the buttocks, down to your knees.
Sciatica nerve pain is often excruciating and debilitating that all you want is to stay slumped on the couch. Some people may also experience numbness or tingling in the affected body part, e.g., the leg.
In some cases, you may experience numbness in one part of the leg and pain in another part. It’s caused by different reasons with the common ones being injuries, a ruptured disk, and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine canal)
Can CBD oil from hemp relieve sciatic nerve pain?
Mild sciatica nerve pain symptoms will often not require a visit to the doctor. This is where CBD oil may come in as a form of self-care.
Although CBD won’t cure sciatic nerve pain, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may help relieve the pain. This is because by reducing inflammation, CBD may help reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve pain.
Regular exercises have also been found to be effective in managing sciatic nerve pain.
How to Use Topical CBD for Nerve Pain
If wondering how to consume CBD oil for nerve pain, topical CBD application may be your best bet.
This is because although there are many ways of consuming CBD, including edibles, inhalation, and tinctures, topicals offer direct and targeted relief to the affected area.
Nerve pain tends to be isolated to particular body parts. CBD creams and salves allow you to target these specific areas instead of the whole body.