CBD is well-known for reducing inflammation and pain, symptoms that appear in almost any kind of health condition we can suffer from. As a result, doctors are investigating how this cannabinoid could further help people treat more serious conditions, like neuropathy.
Although there is no definite evidence that indicates you can use CBD oil for neuropathy, preliminary studies have shown promising results for both patients and doctors, opening the door to a new way to treat this painful condition.
What is Neuropathy?
Before delving into how CBD can help you treat this condition, we have to start by asking ourselves what peripheral neuropathy is. This is a condition in which peripheral nerves malfunction, causing severe pain. These nerves are located outside the brain and spinal cord, causing weakness, numbness, and pain, especially in the hands and feet. Other body functions affected are digestion, circulation, and urination.
The peripheral nervous system is in charge of sending information from your brain and central nervous system to the rest of your body. Likewise, the peripheral nerves send sensory information to the central nervous system. Thus, its damage significantly impacts the quality of life for those affected.
People suffering from neuropathy can experience severe pain, which can be stabbing, burning, or tingling. Moreover, because every nerve in the peripheral system has a specific function, several areas of your body could be affected, like sensory nerves, motor nerves, and autonomic nerves, which control functions such as heart rate, digestion, and blood pressure.
What Causes Neuropathy
Several conditions can cause neuropathy, all of them different. The most common causes of peripheral neuropathy include:
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy. More than half of the people who suffer from diabetes will develop some type of neuropathy.
- Infections like shingles, Lyme disease, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C and B, HIV, diphtheria, and leprosy.
- Hereditary types of neuropathy
- Tumors, either malignant or benign, can develop on the nerves or press on them. As a result, people can develop neuropathy. Moreover, polyneuropathy (more than one nerve affected) can arise as a result of some cancers related to the body’s immune response.
- Exposure to toxic substances like industrial chemicals and heavy metals: Mercury and lead for example.
- Certain injuries resulting from falls, motor vehicle accidents, or sports injuries can damage peripheral nerves.
- Vitamin deficiencies. B vitamins — including B-6, B-1, and B-12 — vitamin E and niacin are very important to nerve health.
How to Treat Neuropathy Naturally
Although it is a highly studied condition, the treatments available for neuropathy might not always be effective, as research is still needed to find better ways to approach it.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t treat neuropathy at all. There are several things you can do to treat neuropathy naturally to complement your medical treatment, ensuring the successful management of this painful ailment.
Exercising at least 3 times per week helps the body reduce blood sugar levels, a key aspect to reduce or treat diabetes, one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy. Moreover, you will reduce pressure on peripheral blood vessels, benefiting your body if you are at risk of neuropathy.
As we previously mentioned, vitamin deficiencies can lead to suffering from peripheral neuropathy. For instance, vitamin B is essential for your nerve health, and while you can get it from food, you should also take a supplement.
Moreover, vitamin D can also help prevent nerve pain. If you don’t take this vitamin from sunlight, make sure to take a supplement to reduce neuropathy pain.
Among the many damages smoking causes to our health, the narrowing of blood vessels is one of the most critical. Without proper blood circulation, the pain produced by peripheral neuropathy can become numbing.
Change your Diet
Since diabetes is the leading cause of neuropathy, changing your diet to reduce your blood sugar levels can reduce symptoms of neuropathy.
To treat neuropathy naturally by making dietary changes, you can eat meals rich in fiber and low in simple carbohydrates. You may want to avoid:
- White bread
- Processed snacks
A diet rich in antioxidants and low in sodium and saturated and trans fats will also help you reduce the pain caused by neuropathy.
Although it sounds odd, this spice contains capsaicin, an ingredient that contains pain relief properties. Many topical creams include this spice in their ingredient list, decreasing the intensity of pain signals sent through the body.
Whether you season your meals with cayenne pepper or take a capsaicin supplement, both will help you treat neuropathy naturally.
These alternatives may sound great to treat neuropathy, but there’s one secret that can make a total difference in your symptoms: using CBD oil for neuropathy. Does it work?
CBD Oil for Neuropathy
Thanks to a small 2020 study, we found out that using CBD oil for neuropathy might be a great alternative to pain killers since the participants showed a statistically significant reduction in pain. However, researchers must carry out more studies to state one can take CBD oil for neuropathy.
Furthermore, an animal study from 2017 showed that CBD might help prevent chemotherapy‐induced peripheral neuropathy. If the product combined THC and CBD, the effects would be more potent. Plus, anecdotal evidence states that CBD oil helps them ease their symptoms.
However, if you want to take CBD oil for neuropathy, it is important to talk with your doctor. CBD interacts with several medicines, making it risky to combine in case you have a prescription.
Once you completely decide you want to use CBD for neuropathy, you have to think of the best products to do so. While CBD oil is a great option to treat neuropathy, you can also try out CBD topicals. This way, you can relieve acute pain in a specific area, and you will feel a relieving sensation almost immediately. For instance, you can try using fourfive CBD Muscle Rub, a blend of natural ingredients infused with 300mg of CBD isolate. This topical cream will help you relax your muscles, easing the symptoms of neuropathy.
If you want to learn more about CBD and how it can help you stay healthy, our entry about CBD and its benefits will give you a broader view of this powerful gift of nature.