8 minute read

CBD for Peripheral Neuropathy

8 minute read

For those who have experienced neuropathy, they know the toll it can take on their daily lives. An intense pain with seemingly unrelated causes that is difficult to manage is typical of the disease. Patients suffering from the condition often seek relief, only to receive opioid pain medications like Vicodin. While pharmaceutical/conventional medications can be effective at reducing pain for individuals with neuropathy, the Center for Disease Control (CDC)1 notes that they pose a serious risk of abuse, addiction, and overdose. Aside from the serious side effects, these medications are costly and inaccessible to some people with low income. As a result, many with peripheral neuropathy seek out alternative, long-term solutions to alleviate their suffering and improve their general wellbeing.

One alternative that is becoming popular in recent years is CBD. There is a growing body of research on the role of cannabinoids (chemicals derived from hemp plants). In particular, cannabinol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid has dominated medical news due to its potential to help many conditions, including neuropathy. Plus, an official report2 by the World Health Organization states that CBD is safe for consumption with “no adverse public health risks.” But, before exploring the benefits and effects of CBD, it important to understand the challenges faced by people suffering from peripheral neuropathy.

internal skeleton and brain pain illustration

What is Neuropathy? – Definition and Causes

The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy3 describes neuropathy as a series of disorders resulting from the damage of peripheral nerves. “It occurs when nerves are damaged or destroyed and can’t send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin and other parts of the body.” People experience nerve pain differently – some report a burning, stabbing, electric shocks, tingling, numbness, or the sensation of needles. The pain from peripheral neuropathy can be experienced in many parts of the body and it is especially common in the hands, fingers, feet, and lower legs.

According to research data4, peripheral neuropathy affects more than 20 million Americans. The high prevalence of nerve pain in hands, feet, and throughout the body can be explained by the variety of possible causes highlighted below:

  • Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders: Diabetes is the leading cause of peripheral neuropathy in the United States. In fact, up to 70% of diabetes patients suffer from autonomous, motor, or sensory nerve damage.
  • Traumatic Injury: injuries from medical procedures, sports, falls, and automobile accidents are a common cause of single-nerve injury. Nerves are compressed, crushed, or stretched leading to neuropathy.
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Diseases that directly or indirectly attack nerves such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus are common causes of neuropathy.
  • Stress: Repetitive, prolonged, or awkward stress on different muscle groups may lead to damage or inflamed tissue,  in-turn damaging nerves.
  • Infections: Viruses such as herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, West Nile virus, and varicella-zoster virus target sensory fibers and can cause neuropathic symptoms.
  • Vasculitis: Conditions that decrease the supply of oxygen to peripheral nerves such as smoking, diabetes, and narrowing of blood vessels can cause damaged nerves in isolated areas – a condition known as mononeuropathy.
  • Environmental: Influences such as exposure to toxins, vitamin imbalances (especially B12 and B6), alcoholism, and certain medication have also been shown to cause neuropathy.
Peripheral and central nervous system chart

How CBD Helps People with Neuropathy – Benefits & Effects of CBD

In a recent scientific and medical study5, researchers noted that CBD has broad therapeutic benefits, including relief for sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and pain. But, how does CBD work in the body? When you consume CBD, it interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. Specifically, CBD stimulates receptors found throughout the body, including the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and immune system. These receptors help regulate the body’s reaction to stimuli and moderate responses for things like pain, inflammation, and sleep. The following research highlights the specific ways that CBD and the endocannabinoid system could improve the general wellbeing and pain tolerance of individuals with peripheral neuropathy and nerve pain:

  • According to a study6 “analgesia is one the principal therapeutic targets of the cannabinoid system and many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabinoid compounds in the treatment of neuropathic pain.”
  • A study7 published in the International Association for the Study of Pain found CBD helps manage pain and reduce inflammation by helping regulate the absorption of chemicals that signal pain perception.
  • Another study by a team of researchers8 concluded that “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain.” This helps muscles relax and releases tension that may hinder day to day activities.
  • People with nerve pain have a hard time sleeping due to the pain and discomfort experienced. A comprehensive study9 on CBD reviewed clinical trials and studies conducted between the 1980s and 2007. The results showed that CBD has significant potential for neuropathic pain and the author concluded that CBD helps improve the quality of sleep.
  • Studies10 have shown that the endocannabinoid system is an important modulator of immune tissues, the endocrine system, and brain activities.
  • “Clinical studies largely affirm that neuropathic pain patients derive benefits from cannabinoid treatment.” This was the conclusion by a study11 published in the Journal of Neurotherapeutics. The study also demonstrated a considerable improvement in the general wellbeing of the patients.
  • Regarding the risk of addiction from using conventional opiate medications, a study12 appearing in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs claimed that “there is a growing body of evidence to support medicinal use as an adjunct to or substitute for prescription opiates in the treatment of chronic pain.” The author went on to suggest that “increasing safe access may reduce the personal and social harms associated with addiction, particularly in relation to the growing problematic use of pharmaceutical opiates.”
Woman getting foot massaged for peripheral pain

Final Thoughts On CBD For Peripheral Neuropathy

It is not easy to deal with neuropathic pain in your feet, hands or throughout the body. Patients are often in a desperate search for an effective and safe remedy. CBD is rapidly becoming viewed as an effective natural therapy for a variety of health issues, including neuropathy. CBD helps people with peripheral neuropathy by suppressing the body’s response to nerve pain. It also has the additional benefits of improving the quality of sleep and reducing inflammation that can limit normal movement. Plus, unlike conventional options, CBD appears to be a safe alternative without the risk of overdose, addiction, or severe side effects. If you are seeking an alternative to help with your peripheral neuropathy, CBD may be worth considering and you should speak with a medical professional. If you are ready to start trying CBD, we recommend you check out our CBD oils and CBD gummies which are available on our online store.

Written by:

Sean Cope

Sean is a CBD expert and employee at Daddy Burt Hemp Co. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in Communications and American Culture in 2014 and has also worked in a variety of marketing positions. Sean currently specializes in educating people about the benefits of CBD through writing articles that are supported by scientific evidence. He has spent countless hours reviewing medical and scientific studies about cannabidiol and writing about them so that others can understand. Sean is a contributor for Nutritional Outlook Magazine and has been featured on Analytical Cannabis, Dayton.com, Cincinnati.com and many more.Sean wants to highlight the following Daddy Burt article: CBD for Addiction

Reviewed by:

Bob Estes

Bob is the founder and CEO of Daddy Burt Hemp Co. Bob has quickly become an authority and expert in the hemp & CBD industry. He originally developed an interest in science and engineering and received a degree in Industrial Engineering, which led him to a career in the nation’s space program. Bob worked for several aerospace companies supporting the space launch for NASA and the Department of Defense. Since Hemp farming has been revitalized in America over the last decade, his family legacy has called to him. Daddy Burt Hemp Co. is the rekindling of Bob's family's hemp farming legacy, dating back to the early 1800s.Bob has been profiled by Smiley Pete Publishing and has been featured in articles about CBD/Hemp on Forbes.com, Kentucky.com, MiamiHerald.com, NewsObserver.com and many more.

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  • How do you know what dosage to take?

    • Hi Jenny,
      CBD does not have a standard amount that you should take. For new users, finding the right amount of CBD is sometimes a bit of a learning process.

      When you begin taking CBD, start low and gradually increase until you feel your desired benefits. First-time users often start with 15mg of CBD a day, taking half in the morning and the other half in the evening. After seeing how you respond to the first few servings you can adjust from there. For daily CBD users, taking 25mg/day is the most commonly reported amount for their desired benefits.

      It is important to note that you can feel comfortable experimenting and testing out different amounts of CBD. According to medical research¹, humans can tolerate doses of up to 1500mg/day (60x the common serving).

      ¹Iffland, K. & Grotenhermen, F. (2017, June). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.

  • Hi: i am a 73year old women, who is desperately in need of some Neuropathy releaf! I suffer with lymphedema and fibromyalgia and been able to manage both untill the last couple of years.
    4 years ago l had a knee replacement and during recovery experienced a little tingling in the feet but went away as quickly as it came. But 2 years ago it came back full force but this time its like l am working on red hot needle ends and it also feels like there are iron rods down the sides of my feet and across the middle, the pain is brutal, l have explored many doctors and tried many prescribed meds but with no luck.
    I came across an add for a Neuropathy/ chiropractor who delt with treating patients with inferred lights. I even bought the inferred boot and use the machine 3 times aday for the past 10months but nothing works. In the past few weeks, l have also experienced swelling around my ankles and a painful raw feeling with flashing pins and needles from my ankles up to the calf as if they are in a vice. I saw my family doctor again and after blood work and ultrasound, blood clots, deep vain Thrombosis and tests where all ruled out! My doctor gave me antibiotics for maybe an infection in the inflamation in the lower legs. I took the meds every 4 hours for the week with no relief and that is where l am today. My gut feeling tells me during my knee replacement my nerve endings where either trapped or severed. Any ideas of a treatment to relieve this nightmare of 24/7 being in a constant feeling of walking on a fireball of needles that seemed to have also taken over the calfs as well.

  • I have peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, neck pain with c5 & c6 bulging disc’s w/spurs. Along with bi polar depression, high blood pressure, memory loss, along with other ailments. I am on Fentynal patches and have been for about 5 years. My PCP didn’t tell me Fentynal was a opioid. Started me out at 75mg, I got to reading up on it a couple years ago to find out that it was a opioid!! I panicked…next time I saw my pcp we discussed it and I told him I wanted to decrease it. I am down to 25mg and want to try CBD oil and get off of my patches and hydrocodone (as needed). I am desperate…how do I get off the patches without going through withdrawal from these opiods?? I asked my pcp if I could possibly smoke weed with these patches so I can gradually get myself off, but he said he didn’t know how they would interact with each other…ugh!! I don’t want to go through WITHDRAWL on these opiods. PLEASE HELP ME…..

  • My wife has peripheral neuropathy. She is not diabetic nor experiences pain in her feet. What she doe experience is numbness in her feet. Everything we see regarding neuropathy talks about pain. I can find nothing that says CBD will help reduce the numbness. Please send us your thoughts in the use of CBD oils, liquid, or salve.

    • Robert,

      That is a great question. Unfortunately, I don’t have a great answer. The majority of the research available for using CBD for peripheral neuropathy focuses on pain in the feet rather than numbness or tingling. I did a bit more investigating to try to understand. From what I found, it may be that these studies are broad in their characteristics of neuropathic pain to include numbness as a type of pain or there just hasn’t been enough research conducted on using CBD to specifically target individuals whose condition is expressed in numbness rather than pain. I am sorry that the research is not more helpful in this case.

      If your wife is interested in trying our CBD oil (ingested CBD oil appears to be the most common approach for people taking CBD for neuropathy), we do offer a full 30-day money-back guarantee. So she can order it, try it, and if she is not experiencing her desired benefits or relief from it within 30-days simply return the product and we would refund the purchase. Shop our Full Spectrum CBD Oil

      Please note: We do not claim that our products can treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease and that the research/claims that are cited in this article have not been reviewed by the FDA.

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