Neuropathy is a condition caused by nerve damage that can occur in one or more parts of the body at a time. Symptoms include pain, weakness and numbness which can be debilitating and impede motor function, coordination and balance. The most common areas where neuropathy develops is the hands and the feet, which are peripheral regions. It is commonly cause by diabetes, but injuries, infections and exposure to toxins are also contributors. More than 3 million people are diagnosed with this condition each year and there is no known cure. Current treatments include anti-depressants, pain killers, anti-seizure medications and pain relieving topical applications. Most prescriptions come with a long list of side effects that vary from user to user.
CBD- What Is It and How Does It Work in the Body?
In therapeutic doses, CBD (cannabidiol) doesn’t have adverse reactions. CBD is a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in the hemp plant. It doesn’t have psychoactive effects like THC, so it doesn’t get the user “high.” In fact, people find the relief they need from a variety of conditions and function normally throughout their day.
CBD works through a physiological system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has two major receptors, CB-1 and CB-2, which interact with other systems to create internal balance. The ECS uses cannabinoids to fuel its processes and CBD is an exceptional choice. While other cannabinoids only bind to one receptor, cannabidiol is able to effectively bind to both. The ECS is responsible for regulating functions like mood, sleep, inflammation, pain and the immune system.
How Can CBD Treat Neuropathy?
One of the major causes for neuropathy is chronic inflammation, which can cause other health problems over time. Inflammation is an immune system response to harmful stimuli, like injury or infection. CBD has shown the ability to act as a powerful anti-inflammatory throughout the body.
ECS receptor CB-2 is directly linked to the immune system and the peripheral nervous system. The ECS utilize CBD to regulate the cytokines, proteins released by the immune system to resolve inflammation, and balance the body’s response.
CBD also works on the same pathways that pain killer’s effect. ECS receptor CB-1 will provide quick and effective relief for pain when it is activated by cannabinoids. There is also evidence that CBD is able to activate glycine receptors, which relieve peripheral pain. Specifically, cannabidiol is being studied for its antinociceptive behaviors. Antinociceptive behavior is medically defined as “the action or process of blocking the detection of a painful or injurious stimulus by sensory neurons.” There is also evidence that CBD is able to activate glycine receptors, which relieves peripheral pain associated with neuropathy.
Neuropathy can also cause sleep disturbances in those suffering. CBD works directly through the ECS to help people fall asleep and obtain quality rest. While the physical toll of neuropathy has been discussed, it can have an emotional effect on people as well. Living in a state of constant pain can cause depression and anxiety, as people struggle to live their normal lives. Neuropathy doesn’t present with visible symptoms, so others may not recognize the severity of pain suffers experience. CBD also regulates mood through the ECS by working directly on serotonin and dopamine receptors. Balancing these neurotransmitters will alleviate the effects of anxiety and depression. With sedative-like qualities, CBD relieves stress in the user promoting a sense of calmness and well-being.