Scientific research on cannabis and neuropathy
According to a recent pain and headache report, researchers have found that low-dose vaporizing and oral delivery of cannabis is effective in treating neuropathic pain and that it is not only tolerated well, but is just as effective as other treatments that can have significant side effects.
Another study on chemotherapy-induced neuropathy showed that the activation of CB-1 and CB-2 endocannabinoid receptors with cannabis was effective in the reduction of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy that resulted in pain, tingling, and other negative symptoms. Still yet another study investigated the efficacy of inhaled cannabis on treating diabetes-related neuropathic pain. After four single-dosing sessions of cannabis with different levels of THC, it was discovered that the doses with the highest levels of THC had a significant impact on the subject’s pain scores.
Research has been performed testing cannabis in treating neuropathy from HIV-associated sensory neuropathy as well as anti-retroviral associated neuropathic pain that results from the drugs used to treat AIDS. All studies point to the same conclusion: cannabis is a natural alternative to other treatments for neuropathy with fewer negative side effects and less possibility of dependency.
How does cannabis treat neuropathy?
Cannabis can improve the symptoms of neuropathy on a number of different levels. First, the pain that is associated with neuropathy usually comes from peripheral nerves that have cannabinoid receptors. When cannabis attaches to these receptors, it regulates the neurotransmitter and central nervous system which in turn helps the body and mind manage pain levels.
Cannabis is also a neuroprotector, a neurogenerator, and an analgesic as well as being anti-inflammatory. CBD can actually protect the myelin sheath that covers the nerve and prevent the nerve from suffering more damage by reducing oxidative stress. It can also inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines, a type of signaling molecule that promotes inflammation in the body. The sedative and anti-anxiety properties of cannabis can also help those suffering from neuropathy get a good night’s sleep and manage stress levels, all of which aid in the treatment of pain.
When treating neuropathy with cannabis, most healthcare professionals suggest a high CBD tincture during the day to treat pain and inflammation along with a high THC tincture at night to change the pain perception of the body. Using CBD during the day does not interfere with normal activities while the high THC tincture in the evenings can help sufferers sleep.