Neuropathic pain is associated with nerve damage, which can result in the change in nerve function on the site and areas around it. Common causes of nerve pain are—diabetes, HIV infection, chemotherapy, amputation, multiple sclerosis, etc.
This condition can result in numbness, weakness, and pain to hands and feet. Patients with neuropathic pain often experience burning or shooting sensations.
In recent years, the use of medical cannabis for managing different types of pain has increased among patients. And, more Riverside medical marijuana doctors are suggesting cannabinoids to patients for alleviating neuropathic pain.
Does it really help?
How can medical cannabis help treat nerve pain?
Nerve damage can affect one or multiple nerves in different areas of the body—mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy. But, it all depends on which nerves are damaged. Usually, strong painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pills are prescribed for alleviating neuropathic pain.
However, cannabinoids present in cannabis are beneficial in relieving pain. It’s primarily due to the herb’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body.
Peripheral nerves that carry pain signals comprise cannabinoid receptors to which cannabis compounds bind. When you consume cannabis, THC and CBD activate cannabinoid receptors, thus regulating the neurotransmitters and central nervous system. This helps in reducing the pain levels.
In the case of sciatica, cannabis can help in activating CB1 receptors. The major benefit of activating these receptors in non-chemotherapy and chemotherapy neuropathic pain conditions is to weaken the strength of pain signals in the spinal cord.
However, over-activation of CB1 receptors can worsen the effects. Thus, it’s necessary to use balanced levels of CBD and THC.
There’s a wide range of studies conducted to examine the effectiveness of cannabinoids in treating nerve pain.
In a 2010 study, researchers found that participants who inhaled a 25mg dose of 9.4% THC three times a day for 5 days reported a reduction in pain and improvement in sleep.
Another study found that cannabinoids are beneficial in reducing pain associated with neuropathy, cancer, and other acute and chronic illnesses.
In 2015, a comprehensive review on 28 studies was conducted. The author concluded, “Use of Marijuana for Chronic Pain, Neuropathic Pain, and Spasticity Due to Multiple Sclerosis is Supported by High-Quality Evidence.” Five out of five studies related to neuropathic pain were found improvement in patients.
Top Strains for Neuropathic Pain
Here’re some of the top cannabis strains for neuropathic pain that you can purchase at medical dispensaries in Riverside–
- Jack Flash
- Afghan Kush
- White Widow
- Blue Dream
Medical Cannabis Vs Opioids
In North America, prescriptions of opioids have increased to 400% since 1999. And, there is also a surprising increase in fatal overdoses. Over 40 people die from prescription narcotic overdoses, and many turn to heroin and other cheaper alternatives.
Cannabis is a natural alternative to opioids and other pain medications. Researchers have provided evidence that patients who opt medical cannabis have significantly reduced pain and their reliance on opioids.
A 2013 study found that medical cannabis helped reduce pain effectively with low dosages.
According to a study published in the Journal of Pain by the University of Michigan, cannabis improved the quality of life, reduced the use of opioids and decreased side-effects of other pain medications.
Also, in recent years, the US states that have legalized medical cannabis have reported a significant reduction in opioid use.
Medical cannabis can help in managing pain associated with nerve damage by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. There’s a wide range of scientific researches supporting it. Unlike prescription pain medications, it’s safe. To purchase marijuana products from any state-licensed dispensary, you require a doctor’s recommendation. Talk to a Riverside medical cannabis doctor to get your MMJ card today!