Approximately 20 million individuals in the United States are affected by neuropathic pain. Specific demographics are more affected than others, with 26% of those over 65 and 30% of diabetic patients affected with nerve pain. Unfortunately for many, the lack of effective treatment and restricted access to medical cannabis forces doctors to prescribe addictive medications, often including opioids, which may worsen their condition- and also contributes to the increasing number of Americans abusing opioids. Other non-opioid medications can also cause addiction, not to mention headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and decreased appetite. By contrast, the compounds CBD and THC, both found in the cannabis plant, have allowed people to reduce nerve pain without any negative side effects. In many cases, harmful drugs can be replaced with cannabis or are sometimes used less often.

Here is everything you need to know about how cannabis can help soothe your nerve pain.

What Is Nerve Pain?

Common nerve pain symptoms include a burning sensation, numbness, tingling or a "pins and needles" feeling.

This condition can arise due to an illness or injury to the neurological system. The following causes might escalate or be triggers for nerve pain:

  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Diabetes
  • Shingles
  • Spinal stenosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and herniated discs
  • Radioactive particles and chemicals used in chemotherapy

Which Components Of Cannabis Relieve Nerve Pain?

Cannabinoids are the collective name for more than 120 chemical compounds that make up cannabis. Cannabidiol, often known as CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are two types of cannabinoids of particular interest to nerve specialists. Researchers are investigating the functions of other cannabinoids, but currently, their properties are not fully understood. Each compound has distinct effects and therapeutic applications, but CBD is the component that most people report helpful for nerve pain.

CBD is a subtle cannabinoid that doesn’t provide the same feelings of intoxication and euphoria that the cannabinoid THC does. CBD’s most popular use is as an anti-inflammatory and for pain relief. In addition, it may also alleviate symptoms of migraine, anxiety, seizures, and nausea.

Medical Cannabis vs. Synthetic Cannabis

While millions of people have found the cannabis plant to be effective for a wide range of health issues, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has currently only approved medical cannabis as a safe or efficient therapy for two diseases. These are severe and uncommon types of epilepsy that cause seizures that no other medications have been able to stop. Epidiolex is one drug that contains refined CBD, and it was approved by the FDA in June 2018. Additionally, the FDA has authorized drugs using the synthetic THC cannabinoids dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). These medications stimulate appetite in HIV-positive individuals and lessen nausea in cancer patients. Drugs derived from cannabis used to treat pain have not yet received FDA approval.

Drugs such as K2 and Spice are also referred to as synthetic cannabis. These are not cannabis and they are not advised for any usage, as the side effects of these products can be lethal. Synthetic cannabis attempts to mimic the effects of the plant's constituent parts. However, many studies have found that the cannabis plant as a whole has a more powerful therapeutic impact when the many synergistic components interact together. This is called The Entourage Effect.

CBD's Nerve Pain Benefits

CBD research is still in its early stages with growing positive results. CBD may be a reliable treatment for sleep issues, epilepsy, anxiety, and certain types of pain, including neuropathy or nerve pain.

  • A 2018 analysis indicates that CBD relieves nerve pain by halting and delaying nerve transmissions and lowering neural inflammation
  • CBD is an excellent neuropathic pain medication with few adverse effects according to a 2019 study CBD reduces nerve injury pain in rats
  • A study in 2020 indicates that transdermal CBD therapy was beneficial for acute neuropathic pain and cold/itchy feelings
  • A 2021 study found a 1:1 combination of CBD and THC helpful for alleviating neuropathic back pain.

What Research Further Says About Cannabis For Nerve Pain

Continuing studies have recently examined how cannabis affects chronic pain. More research is required since some studies employed only specific components of the cannabis plant, while others used the complete plant. In 2015, several trials achieved successful outcomes, according to a source of information on the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for various chronic pain problems. According to the researchers, cannabis or cannabinoids may help treat certain forms of chronic pain, such as neuropathy (nerve pain).

According to a 2016 study, using cannabis to treat cancer pain reduced opioid consumption by 64%, increased quality of life, and reduced adverse drug reactions. Participants also used fewer prescription drugs as a result.

How To Take CBD For Nerve Pain

CBD is available in various forms, including edibles, capsules, oils, topicals and tinctures. Kiva currently offers a variety of CBD products ranging from chocolates, gummies, bites and mints.

The following are some guidelines to follow when taking CBD. In every instance, make sure to follow the application instructions on your product label:

Edibles

Always start with one edible and wait for the full effects to be felt before consuming more.

Topicals

Apply to the skin on the affected area.

Tinctures And Oils

Generally, you can either ingest these directly or mix them with your favorite beverages.

Capsules Or Soft Gels

Swallow as if it were a standard pill.

How Does Cannabis Relief Nerve Pain?

Cannabis has proven to be a viable alternative or supplementary medication for peripheral neuropathy, a painful condition from which conventional drugs frequently fail to give adequate relief. Products derived from the Cannabis sativa plant are highly regarded for their analgesic qualities and treat patients who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain. The majority of researchers have found that inhaled cannabis also results in a moderate improvement in pain.

Relieves Radicular Pain

According to a study released in the September 5, 2018 issue of Neurology, the official American Academy of Neurology journal, medical marijuana may reduce pain by diminishing connections between the brain's emotional and sensory processing regions. The study focused on radicular pain, a kind of nerve pain that spreads from the spine into the lower extremities.

Changes Neural Response To Injury

Neurons along the nociceptive pathway that have suffered nerve damage become sensitized and therefore more receptive and susceptible to pain signals. The process comprises a chain reaction of biological activities, leading to the growth of nerve endings that are sensitive to pain.

Cannabinoids are said to alleviate pain by changing the reactions within cells. Activation of CB2 receptors in immune cells reduces the release of nociceptive chemicals. The 20 CB1 receptors located in nociceptive terminals along the peripheral nervous system are responsible for inhibiting pain transmission. They also block the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and nociceptive conduction in the ascending spinothalamic tract. In other words, they may effectively block pain transmission, regulate temperature, and desensitize painful reactions to touch.

Painkillers vs. Cannabis For Pain Relief

Opioids are potent painkillers that work by affecting the neurological system. As a result of their high level of addiction, withdrawal symptoms are frequent. According to the National Library of Medicine, more than 3 million U.S. citizens, and 16 million people throughout the world, have had or currently suffer from opioid use disorder.

Is Marijuana Preferable To Opioids?

Opioids are addictive but medical cannabis may provide a safer alternative. Nearly 3,000 medicinal cannabis users were polled, and it was discovered that 30% of them had taken opioids during the previous six months.

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that marijuana was more beneficial when used alone rather than in conjunction with opiates. Additionally, 97% agreed or strongly agreed that they could reduce opioid use.

Order Cannabis Edibles From Kiva Confections

Although there is still much to learn about CBD, it appears to be a promising treatment for chronic nerve pain. Compared to opiate side effects, cannabis usage often has few negative consequences. While there are many CBD-containing products and methods available, do not hesitate to consult with a medical professional to determine the best course of action for you.

At Kiva Confections, we offer a wide variety of cannabis-infused edible products, from gummies and chocolates, to mints and chews, that you can consume in your daily life to support your management of nerve pain. In California, your favorite edibles can be delivered right to your door, and in other states including Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Canada.