Marijuana for Neuropathy: Does It Help?
The pain of nerve damage, known as peripheral neuropathy, can be extreme. With multiple causes and challenging symptoms, relief becomes necessary to cope with the condition.
Evidence is building that you can use marijuana for treating peripheral neuropathy symptoms. While continued studies are required, it seems the properties of cannabis make for excellent supplemental treatment for the pain of nerve damage. But how does weed help with neuropathy?
Keep reading as we explore the link between cannabis and neuropathy.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Before we explore the use of marijuana for neuropathy, we need to know what this condition is. Peripheral neuropathy is a condition resulting from damage to nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. It can affect body functions such as digestion, urination, and blood flow.
Nerves that spread from the brain and spinal cord to other body parts are called the peripheral nervous system. These peripheral nerves, such as the nerves in the fingertips, send signals from the central nervous system to the rest of the body and transmit sensory information back.
The peripheral nervous system can become damaged in a lot of ways. Common causes of peripheral nerve damage include physical damage and infections. Metabolic issues and exposure to toxins can also damage peripheral nerves. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has a long list of causes of peripheral nerve damage.
This damage can significantly reduce the quality of one’s life. That is why more and more studies are looking at marijuana treatment for neuropathy and trying to answer the question, “does weed help with neuropathy?”
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Because the peripheral nervous system runs through the entire body and affects different body functions, the effects of peripheral neuropathy can look different in everyone. Therefore, using marijuana for neuropathy can affect each person differently. There are generally three types of nerves that fall into this group:
- Sensory nerves (feeling and sense)
- Motor nerves (movement and coordination)
- Autonomic nerves (body functions such as breathing)
Signs of peripheral neuropathy include, but are not limited to:
- Muscle weakness
- Coordination issues
- Drops in blood pressure
- Sharp pains from touch or even without touch
- Gradual and escalating numbness and tingling feelings in the limbs
Further symptoms exist as well. Can these symptoms of peripheral neuropathy be treated with cannabis? The nature of cannabis suggests so.
Your Brain on Weed
The efficiency of marijuana for peripheral neuropathy pain results from the chemical process between weed and the brain.
There is compatibility between cannabis and the human body at a fundamental level due to the endocannabinoid system. This system is a series of receptors found in the body that absorb and respond to cannabinoid chemicals. Based on the name, you can see already that cannabinoids exist in cannabis. Two of the most well-known of these chemicals are CBD and THC.
But what does science say about the use of marijuana for neuropathy?
Does Weed Help With Neuropathy?
The question of whether weed helps with peripheral neuropathy symptoms shows some promise. Research is still necessary, given the relatively recent adoption of medicinal marijuana in treating conditions. However, existing research suggests that medicinal marijuana does have a place in treating symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
For example, one study found that cannabis can help with peripheral neuropathy by reducing pain and improving sleep, even in patients with symptoms refractory to standard therapies. However, the study does advise caution on using marijuana for neuropathy as some issues can result from doses that are too high. However, as far as studies go, this is promising, especially with proper dosing.
Another study used randomized, controlled trials to evaluate the effects of cannabis on peripheral neuropathy pain. Results suggest that vaporizing low-dose cannabis in the short term can treat neuropathic pain.
A 2017 study also shows promising results. The study’s conclusion suggests that cannabis-based medications seem effective for chronic pain treatment, particularly chronic pain associated with neuropathic pain. As with other studies, the research pool on using marijuana for neuropathy is limited but growing.
So, does weed help with neuropathy? Research suggests it does.
The pain of peripheral neuropathy can be intense and brutal. Thankfully, it seems medicinal marijuana may help to reduce that pain. In Arkansas, peripheral neuropathy is one of the 18 qualifying conditions for medicinal marijuana. Other neuropathies can also be qualifying conditions in Missouri.
If you are suffering from chronic nerve pain, medicinal marijuana is a solid supplemental option to soothe the symptoms. To see if you qualify for marijuana for peripheral neuropathy pain, begin certification with Ozark MMJ Cards.