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Neuropathies and Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana may be effective at reducing chronic nerve pain from many conditions, including neuropathies from diabetes and other disease states. Many patients may not achieve pain relief from conventional treatments, and look to cannabis for relief.

About Neuropathies and Treatments

Neuropathic pain is a form of chronic pain resulting from nerve injury, diabetes, chemotherapeutic treatments, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), multiple sclerosis, and herpes zoster infection (Shingles). Neuropathic pain is often resistant to conventional drug therapies. Cannabinoids, drugs that share the same target as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psycho-active ingredient in cannabis, have the potential to address this need.

Cannabinoids interfere with the body’s response to painful stimuli produced by traumatic nerve injury, disease, and toxins. Clinical studies largely affirm that neuropathic pain patients derive benefits from cannabinoid treatment. Subjective (rating scales) and objective (stimulus-evoked) measures of pain and quality of life are considered. More recently, cannabis has been shown to provide relief to patients that are unresponsive to other forms of treatment. This is primarily due to the substance’s relationship to the internal endocannabinoid system.

Peripheral nerves that detect pain sensations contain cannabinoid receptors and are impacted by any form of cannabis consumption. When THC and CBD enter your body, they activate your CB1 and CB2 receptors, which regulate the neurotransmitter and central nervous system, helping to manage pain levels.

 

Links

More evidence cannabis can help in neuropathic pain

National Institutes of Health

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Efficacy of Inhaled Cannabis on Painful Diabetic Neuropathy.

Natioanl Institutes of Health

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A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group study of THC/CBD spray in peripheral neuropathic pain treatment.

National Institutes of Health

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Journal of Pain--A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial of Cannabis Cigarettes in Neuropathic Pain

The Journal of Pain

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