Written by Christopher Koulouris
Originally posted on scallywagandvagabond.com
CBD Oil for Neuropathy: The case for alternative medicine to naturally treat common ailments as new studies continue to show the potential for healing and pain management.
Do you suffer from neuropathy and are wondering if you can use CBD oil for neuropathy? Read this article to find out what you need to know about CBD oil.
CBD products have taken the market by storm. Regarded as a “miracle supplement”, CBD is constantly being studied and used to treat a wide variety of conditions from A to Z. It’s also used as an overall health supplement, and it’s already been infused in just about every beauty product on the shelf.
There’s even CBD made just for our furry friends.
In addition, clinical trials and research continue to yield positive results. A recent study on CBD oil for neuropathy has proven especially effective for chronic pain and inflammation when taken orally and applied topically.
So, if you’ve been wondering if you can use CBD oil for neuropathy, you’re in for quite a treat. Keep reading to learn more about CBD and how it can help manage neuropathic pain.
What Is CBD?
If you’re wondering what does CBD stand for and what does it do, then you’ve come to the right place. To put it simply, CBD is short for Cannabidiol—which is one of the many naturally occurring compounds within the Cannabis plant. It’s actually a phytocannabinoid, which is the plant version of the same cannabinoids our bodies make.
Wait, our bodies make their own cannabinoids?
The answer is yes—we as humans have what is called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which creates endocannabinoids. As a matter of fact, all living species have an ECS. The ECS is responsible for regulating all of the body’s systems—we’ll talk more about this and how it correlates with CBD in a bit.
You’re probably also wondering if CBD comes from the Cannabis plant, does it get you high like THC? The answer is no, CBD does not get you high. While it comes from the same marijuana plant as THC, it is considered a non-psychoactive compound—but it still has plenty of therapeutic properties. This is what makes CBD such a great option for those who benefit from medical THC but do not benefit from the high or cannot legally use THC due to state and/or work regulations.
More specifically, CBD is largely extracted from the hemp variety of the Cannabis plant. This is due to the fact that the hemp produces a much larger amount of CBD and very little THC. Adversely, THC comes from the well known Indica and Sativa varieties that produce larger amounts of THC and very little CBD.
How Can CBD Help the Human Body?
As we mentioned above, our bodies are equipped with an Endocannabinoid system that is responsible for maintaining the balance throughout the entire body and all of its systems. For example, when you feel cold or hungry, your body sends out signals to the ECS that respond to correct any imbalances to bring relief.
Without getting too scientific, the ECS works through a network of cell receptors. Your cell receptors are what send out signals to alert the ECS of any imbalance. From there, the ECS creates endocannabinoids along with enzymes to bind with the receptors to create a balance and to eliminate any extra endocannabinoids that weren’t used. Pretty cool, right?
It has been theorized that endocannabinoid deficiency plays a large role in people who suffer from chronic illnesses and conditions. The theory posits that root causes for conditions like depression, chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, etc., all lie in an insufficient amount of naturally produced endocannabinoids within our bodies. The reason for this deficiency is said to be as simple as an individual’s diet and exercise—or lack thereof.
In other words, when we overstimulate our cell receptors with unhealthy foods, sugary drinks, alcohol, drugs, etc. while living a sedentary lifestyle, the overall function of our ECS decreases. Hence, an endocannabinoid deficiency.
CBD to the Rescue
So, where does CBD come into play? Well, as we know so far, CBD is essentially a phyto—or plant—cannabinoid. It’s able to mimic the endocannabinoids produced within our bodies.
While the science is still being researched, CBD is believed to work in one (or both) of two ways: It either binds with our receptors once absorbed into the bloodstream, helping our natural endocannabinoids to create and maintain a balance, or it inhibits the enzymes from terminating excess endocannabinoids, allowing them more time to work.
Because of this, CBD is a potential form of treatment for the following conditions:
- General anxiety and anxiety disorders
- Depression and Bipolar disorder
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Chronic pain and inflammation
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkison’s disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Chronic migraines
- Menstrual pain
Of course, clinical trials are still being conducted as the efficacy of CBD varies among individuals and phases of different conditions. In its short time on the market, however, CBD is becoming a fast natural alternative to pharmaceuticals and other forms of harmful treatments. It can also be used as a dietary supplement for overall health and wellness and as a preventative measure.
Best of all, CBD is safe to use. Negative side effects of taking CBD for the first time are minimal but very rare. They include diarrhea, change in mood/appetite, nausea, and anxiety. Those who are already on other prescribed medications should consult with a doctor before adding CBD to their daily regimen.
It has been estimated that about 20 million Americans suffer from what is called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy refers to any medical condition characterized by nerve damage to the peripheral nervous system. This would the network of nerves—the communication system—located between the brain, spinal cord, and the rest of the body.
Causes of nerve damage include:
- Physical injuries or traumas—usually from an accident
- Certain types of cancers and/or cancer treatments
- Vascular and blood problems
- Autoimmune diseases
- Certain types of immune system infections
- Kidney and Liver disorders
- Repeated stress on certain muscle groups
- Poor hormonal and/or nutritional health
All of these conditions can exist on their own, which is why they are often misdiagnosed in terms of neuropathy. Of course, when they are compounded by neuropathy, individuals will experience muscle weakness, increased pain, uncontrollable twitching, a reduced sense of touch (which can greatly impact balance), and more.
Other symptoms of nerve damage can also include excess sweating, issues with blood pressure, and gastrointestinal issues. These symptoms are typical of individuals that struggle with type 1 diabetes.
CBD Oil for Neuropathy
So, what does CBD do to help neuropathy
If you’ll recall the way that CBD interacts with our Endocannabinoid System, it’s easy to understand that CBD has the capacity to work as an analgesic. According to multiple studies and clinical trials on both animal and human models, CBD oil and topical CBD gels and creams were able to provide relief from inflammation and pain among a variety of neuropathic conditions.
The reason why CBD oil is typically recommended for most conditions including neuropathic conditions is because of its bioavailability when taken sublingually. The tincture is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream by the hundreds of tiny capillaries beneath the tongue, working its magic usually within 20-30 minutes.
The CBD is able to bind to specific receptors in the brain and the immune system responsible for the anti-inflammatory response. Inflammation is your immune system’s response to an injury, infection, or damaged tissue. In those who suffer from autoimmune disorders where the immune system ends up attacking healthy tissue, CBD has shown to be extremely helpful.
It also is said to inhibit the body from absorbing anandamide. Anandamide is a fatty neurotransmitter in the brain that’s referred to as the “bliss molecule”—because our bodies release it to help us feel good. By inhibiting the absorption of anandamide, CBD allows it to linger within the system, counteracting the pain that is felt throughout the peripheral nervous system.
Is CBD Right for You?
If you suffer from neuropathic pain and inflammation, or another type of condition, CBD might be just what you need. CBD has had the most success in treating anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and inflammation. It’s constantly being studied and put through clinical trials as more and more people turn to CBD as a natural and safer alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.
Whether you’re looking to get CBD oil for neuropathy or just your overall health, it’s a good idea to do your research and always consult with your physician first.
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