When nerves become damaged, they result in a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, which causes weakness, numbness, and pain. Symptoms of neuropathy depend on the types of nerves that are damaged. Damage to sensory nerves causes a tingling, stabbing, or burning pain sensation, while damage to motor nerves causes muscle weakness and interferes with coordination. Autonomic nerve damage can result in heat intolerance, bowel and bladder problems, digestive issues, and changes in blood pressure. Current treatments focus on the underlying cause of neuropathy and its symptoms, and now studies show that cannabis may be beneficial in targeting neuropathic pain.
Both THC and CBD activate cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system that are responsible for regulating the release of neurotransmitter and central nervous system immune cells, allowing them to manage pain levels. Several studies have found cannabis effectively lowers pain levels in treatment-resistant neuropathic patients, specifically when it comes to diabetic neuropathy. MS and central neuropathic pain patients also experienced pain relief while only experience minor adverse side effects throughout their two year THC and CBD treatment program. Additionally, CBD was able to reduce neuropathic pain in cancer patients without interfering with the efficacy of chemotherapy and without affecting the nervous system. One study found that 90% of HIV-positive patients witnessed an improvement in nerve pain and 94% felt improved muscle pain through the use of cannabis. Another study found 12 out of 15 chronic pain patients who smoked cannabis felt pain relief.
This information has been adapted from Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.