I must admit that when I first started researching the benefits of CBD oil, I had no idea how many different conditions there were in the world. Finding them one by one made me feel ignorant; made me realize how much people suffer and; made me realize how much CBD oil is needed in the world right now. Neuropathy was one of those conditions I had never heard of. But, through looking into CBD oil and neuropathy, I uncovered yet another profound condition that for some, CBD oil is the perfect solution.
The website creatingbetterdays.com gives a short introduction to neuropathy:
The nature of neuropathy
The neuropathic pain arises from irritated, damaged, or dysfunctional nerves. Damaged and confused, the nerve cells send mixed signals to the brain and other bodily systems. And, of course, no two people respond in the same way.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports, “An estimated 20 million people in the United States have some form of peripheral neuropathy, a condition that develops as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system — the vast communications network that transmits information between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and every other part of the body.”
- Paresthesia refers to the tingling, prickly, or numbing sensations you might feel in extremities like your hands.
- Allodynia is an abnormal sensitivity to stimulation, leading to an intense or distorted experience of touch.
- Symptoms include burning, muscle wasting and weakness, nocturnal pain, organ or gland dysfunction, and/or paralysis.
- Digestion, sweating, sexual function, and urination may suffer from damage to nerves supplying the internal organs.
Nerve damage from diabetes first strikes the nerve fibers farthest from the brain. So, symptoms will work from the feet up the legs or fingers up the arms often leading to amputation of toes, fingers, or legs.
So, it sounds like neuropathy is more like a set of conditions rather than a single condition. This set of varying conditions is caused by nerve damage or, as it says in the article – irritated, damaged, or dysfunctional nerves.
So, is it possible to repair nerve damage?
Harvard health thinks so:
In many medical conditions, it’s more difficult to identify and treat the cause than the symptoms. With peripheral neuropathy, it can be the other way around: once the cause is removed or at least reined in, the nerves may heal and the symptoms ease up. Peripheral neuropathy from diabetes is a prime example. Blood sugar levels can be controlled with diet, exercise, and, if need be, medication. Better blood sugar control can help stop neuropathy from getting worse. Another example of a treatable cause of neuropathy is excessive alcohol use: heavy drinkers can cut back.
This perhaps paints too rosy of a picture. In many cases, even when the cause is known, people with peripheral neuropathy need relief from the symptoms, especially if one of them is pain. Unfortunately, conventional painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin may not be very effective.
Instead doctors often prescribe medications originally designed to treat seizures and depression. Examples of alternatives include pregabalin (Lyrica), gabapentin (Neurontin), amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), and nortriptyline (Pamelor). The side effects (drowsiness, dry mouth, weight gain) can be a drawback but they may be a reasonable trade-off if there’s relief for troubling symptoms, especially pain.
Many people with peripheral neuropathy say yoga, acupuncture, and other somewhat unconventional treatments have done wonders. Supporting data are scarce, but these alternative approaches might be worth a try as long as there’s little risk of harm.
It is interesting to note that the tone of the Harvard article, whilst, of course, mentioning mainstream pharmaceutical treatments gives a shout out to ‘alternative approaches’. In my articles, I often talk about yoga as a means of increasing transportation function in the channels of the body. My observation from my research has led me to feel like often the biggest issue with many conditions that we suffer as humans, is this ability for the body to transport blood, oxygen and other compounds around the body.
Doctors speak of nerve damage, often, like it is something permanent. As I said before, sure there must be situations where the nerve damage is irreparable. But, I like to think that the body is capable of repairing its nerves as it is also capable of repairing many things that occur within the body. But, to do that we need to maximize its resources aka the ability to send and receive vital compounds as needed.
So what part does CBD play in this process?
A study published in Neurotherapeutics claimed, “Clinical studies largely affirm that neuropathic pain patients derive benefits from cannabinoid treatment.” Pain printed a study on “Sativex successfully treats neuropathic pain characterized by allodynia.” And, the Journal of Experimental Medicine concludes, “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors.”
Essentially, they appear to be saying ‘It works‘.
CBD is a strong anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant. I think this should not be forgotten and the situation should not be complicated. First, it might help neuropathy by increasing blood flow. This increased blood flow might help to bring the correct compounds to the area to initiate nerve maintenance. One thing we do know is that when stress-induced tension is reduced, there are a whole plethora of conditions in the body that can be helped by this. Neuropathy, it seems, might be one of them.
This article is a collection of ideas by the author. It does not constitute facts or advice in any form. Please consult a medical professional and check the legality in your area before purchasing or taking CBD products.
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