Year after year, researchers discover more about the therapeutic wonders of cannabis. Clinical and cultural interest in this plant is growing, and CBD, a natural cannabinoid with an impressive safety profile, could have what it takes to help hundreds of thousands of people in the UK living with pain. debilitating nervousness?
What is nerve pain?
Our nervous system is responsible for transporting messages to and from the brain and body. It takes information from the world around us, processes it in the brain, and then controls our automatic movements and reflexes. Nerves (or neurons) are the “electrical wiring” that transmits these signals. When these are damaged, this can have serious consequences.
Nervous pain, also known as neuropathic pain or neuropathy, is a form of chronic pain that results from a damaged or dysfunctional nervous system. Affecting 8% of all adults in the UK, nerve pain can be felt in different ways. The main symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Burning, stinging or stinging pain all over the body
- Loss of balance
- Muscle weakness, especially in the feet
Nervous pain can be complex to manage. Treatment depends on the underlying cause, not all are curable. Standard painkillers often do not work, so patients usually do prescribed a specific antidepressant or certain antiepileptic drugs. In recent years, more and more people are turning to CBD to relieve their chronic pain. With significantly milder side effects than existing medications, it seems like a great natural alternative, but does it work?
CBD and ECS
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa plant. It interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cellular signaling network that regulates our mood, appetite, sleep, pain levels, immune health and more. By coordinating these biological functions, the ECS strives to maintain the stability of the body.
ECS acts as a messenger between the nervous system and the immune system. It does this through the activity of the cannabinoid receptors (CB), CB1, and CB2, which cover the brain and peripheral nervous system, respectively.
Cannabinoids, such as CBD, can modulate the activity of these receptors and, in turn, influence the functioning of our ECS. CBD can also bind to other vital receptors throughout the body and, as a result, has widespread effects on our health and well-being.
In recent years, research has established that CBD can help control seizures rare forms of epilepsy. It looks promising in treatment anxiety i inflammatory disorders. There is even growing evidence to suggest that CBD could go directly to nerve pain, potentially helping people across the UK to manage their debilitating chronic pain.
Could CBD help with nerve pain?
Despite a wealth of evidence that CBD can effectively manage chronic pain, there is currently very little clinical evidence to support this. That said, the results of recent small-scale studies are very promising.
In 2020, researchers investigated the effects of CBD oil on 29 people with neuropathic pain. They found that participants who received 250 mg of CBD experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those who received a placebo.
Another small-scale trial, this time with 55 participants with diabetes-induced neuropathy, found that taking 20 mg CBD tablets three times a day provided significant pain relief. Clinical trials with larger samples are needed, but these results indicate that CBD may reduce nerve pain.
Numerous studies with animal models have produced similar results. In 2014, a to study found that doses of 2.5 to 10 mg per pound of CBD significantly reduced chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain in rats. A 2017 to study also found that several doses of CBD prevented the development of pain and nerve damage in rats with osteoarthritis.
Although these findings need to be replicated in humans, they suggest that CBD may be effective in reducing the nerve pain associated with many other health conditions.
What about cannabis?
Research into the effects of CBD when co-administered with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabis plant’s psychoactive cannabinoid, has yielded even more promising results. A to study published in 2013 found that vaporized cannabis, even in low doses, offered significant pain relief to people with neuropathic pain.
Another to studypublished in Journal of Neurology in 2014, it investigated the long-term effects, tolerance, and safety of an oral THC / CBD spray in 380 participants. They found that cannabinoids were “beneficial to most patients” with nerve pain associated with diabetes or allodynia.
How it works? Although it is known that THC can directly activate CB1 and CB2 receptors and, in turn, modulate the activity of nerve cells, it is not known. exactly as CBD may help relieve nerve pain, but several hypotheses have been proposed. A 2021 review paper suggests that its ability to indirectly increase endocannabinoid anandamide levels may have side effects on our pain receptors, subsequently decreasing the sensation of pain.
Although more research is needed on CBD and cannabis-based products on nerve pain, “recent meta-analyzes of clinical trials that have examined the use of medical cannabis in chronic pain present a moderate amount of evidence that [cannabinoids] exhibit analgesic activity, especially in neuropathic pain “, according to one Revision 2018.
Is CBD safe?
Due to the lack of evidence supporting the use of CBD to control chronic nerve pain, many consumers are concerned about the safety of doing so. Because CBD is being investigated under countless conditions, there is a wealth of solid security data available. If you feel like trying CBD, but you have concerns, let us reassure you.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that CBD is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”, but has been shown to cause mild side effects in some people. This could include nausea, changes in appetite, and fatigue, but these side effects are usually resolved with the right dose and are mild compared to existing drugs used for chronic pain.
If you are taking other medications, it is important to consider the risk of drug interactions while using CBD. If you want to try CBD to control nerve pain, do not substitute your current medications. Instead, you should consult a physician or medical professional before adding CBD to your treatment plan.
How to take CBD for pain
While CBD is not currently an approved treatment for nerve pain, high quality commercial products are widely available for those who think CBD could help. Unlike THC, which is just that legally available with a prescription in the UK, CBD is completely legal to buy and use, as long as the product contains less than 1 mg of THC per pack.
Here, we review just a handful of many ways to take CBD and how each could be used to specifically address nerve pain.
Oils are a very popular way to take CBD. When it falls under the tongue, CBD oils have a high bioavailability and quick start of action. In this way, the effects can be felt almost immediately. The drip tray also allows you to control your dose, allowing you to take more of the days you need it most. To help you decide which CBD is right for you, take a look at ours guide on CBD oil.
Capsules are another way to experience the benefits of CBD oil without the taste. Because the encapsulated oil must pass through the digestive system, the effects take a little longer to begin (between 30 minutes and 2 hours). There are, however, some tests to suggest that CBD stays in the body longer when consumed orally, so that CBD capsules can provide more lasting relief.
For those looking for specific pain relief, balms, creams and gels with CBD infusion may be a good choice. When applied to the skin, CBD can penetrate the surface of the skin and reach the source of the pain directly. One on a small scale to study he even found that “transdermal application of CBD oil can achieve a significant improvement in pain” in people with neuropathy.
Vaping is another quick way to introduce higher doses of CBD into the bloodstream. Because a vape is also portable, it can provide immediate relief on the go. Evidence suggests that vaporized cannabinoids only provide short-term pain relief, so CBD vaporizers may only be beneficial in relieving pain throughout the day. Another thing to keep in mind is that the long-term effects of vaping on our health are not fully understood, so approach this method with caution.
He take away
While the initial evidence is very promising, much better-designed clinical trials are needed in larger patient populations before solid conclusions can be drawn about CBD and nerve pain.
CBD may not cure all diseases, but it is already helping thousands of people with chronic pain around the world. If you feel like trying it out but don’t know where to start, take a look at ours CBD Beginner’s Guide.