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Best CBD Oil For Nerve Pain: Benefits & Dosage For Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat.

Only 40% to 60% of patients able to find partial relief from their symptoms with conventional treatments.

Recent evidence suggests CBD oil may be a powerful natural treatment option for nerve-related pain.

Learn how it works & how to use it.

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The human body is full of sensors leading to the brain. They sense temperature, touch, and tissue damage, and relay that information back to the brain for processing.

Neuropathic pain can be the result of damage to the nerves or pain sensors.

Learn what makes CBD so useful for treating neuropathic pain, how to use it effectively, and what other measures you can do to get the best chances of finding relief from your pain.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Updated on November 06, 2020

Table of Contents
  • Can CBD Oil Help With Neuropathic (Nerve) Pain?
    • The benefits of CBD oil for neuropathic pain include:
  • What’s The Effective Dose of CBD For Neuropathic Pain?
    • CBD Dosage Calculator
  • What Are The Side-Effects of CBD?
    • Here are some of the most common side-effects of CBD:
  • Which Type of CBD Should I Use?
    • 1. CBD Oils & Tinctures
    • 2. CBD Capsules
    • 3. Topical CBD Products
    • 4. CBD Edibles
  • What is Neuropathic Pain?
    • What Are The Causes of Neuropathic (Nerve) Pain?
    • Treatments for Neuropathic Pain
  • CBD For Spinal Cord Injury
    • What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
      • Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
      • Types of Spinal Cord Injury
      • The Location of the Spinal Cord Injury Matters
    • Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
    • What the Research Says
      • Results of This Survey Listed:
      • Potential Benefits of THC for Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Key Takeaways: Does CBD Oil Work For Neuropathic Pain?
  • References Cited in This Article
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    Can CBD Oil Help With Neuropathic (Nerve) Pain?

    CBD and other cannabinoids offer relief from various causes of neuropathic pain in humans [2, 3].

    It offers most of these benefits through its ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

    The ECS consists of a series of receptors and eicosanoids (called endocannabinoids) that regulate homeostasis (balance) throughout the body. There are endocannabinoid receptors found on virtually every organ in the human body, with the highest concentration in the central nervous system.

    The endocannabinoid system functions like “read receipts” used in text messages.

    When the nerves send a message, the receiving nerve cell uses the endocannabinoid system to tell the sending nerve that the message was received.

    This system keeps the entire nervous system in constant feedback with itself and prevents sending the same message more than once — which is essentially what happens when we experience neuropathic pain.

    CBD also supports nerve pain by reducing inflammation, activating the vanilloid pain receptors, and alleviates many of the common side-effects of nerve pain.

    The benefits of CBD oil for neuropathic pain include:
    • Protects the nerve cells & brain
    • Supports nerve cell regeneration
    • Blocks pain transmission
    • Regulates electrical activity in the brain
    • Alleviates anxiety & depression
    • Supports sleep

    What’s The Effective Dose of CBD For Neuropathic Pain?

    When it comes to treating neuropathic pain — a notoriously difficult type of pain to alleviate — a higher strength of CBD is generally recommended. Most of the research showing benefits from CBD noted an abnormally large dose of the compound to achieve this success.

    For this reason, it’s a good idea to work out the dose yourself to find out what’s best for you and your symptoms.

    You can use our CBD oil dosage calculator to find the best dose based on your weight and desired level of effects.

    Start small and increase the dose every day until you either experience relief from symptoms — meaning you’ve found your dose — or experience side-effects. If you experience side-effects, you may need to dial the dose back to the last side-effect-free dose.

    If you’re still not getting any reduction in pain symptoms with this dose, you may need to combine CBD with other forms of pain management — after consulting with a doctor, of course.

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    What Are The Side-Effects of CBD?

    Although CBD has been proven to be highly safe many times over, it’s important to know about the potential side-effects it may produce.

    Everybody is different, and what works for one person doesn’t always work the same way for another.

    Here are some of the most common side-effects of CBD:
    • Appetite suppression
    • Diarrhea
    • Drowsiness
    • Dry mouth
    • Lightheadedness
    • Lower heart rate
    • Sedation

    Which Type of CBD Should I Use?

    CBD comes in all different forms — not all are going to work for every condition.

    1. CBD Oils & Tinctures

    CBD oils and tinctures provide the easiest methods of taking CBD. All you need to do is measure out the desired dose (more on this later) and pop it into your mouth. You can choose to hold the oil/tincture under your tongue for faster absorption or swallow it right away — both will work well.

    2. CBD Capsules

    CBD capsules are another excellent dosing option you can employ. Capsules are small and easy to carry, deliver standardized CBD doses, and have great bioavailability. They’re also an excellent option for people who don’t want to taste the CBD oil — which can have an earthy, undesirable taste in some cases.

    3. Topical CBD Products

    Topical CBD is another good option, but only if the source of your neuropathic pain is close to the surface of the skin. It’s recommended that you use it alongside internal forms of CBD, such as capsules, edibles, or oils. This is because the cannabinoids in topical CBD products won’t reach the spinal cord and brain where most of the pain relief comes from when treating neuropathic pain.

    4. CBD Edibles

    CBD Edibles, including gummies or baked goods, are certainly a fun way of taking CBD — but they’re often inconsistent with dosing (with the exception of gummies). The dosages listed are estimates, and the actual CBD content inside can vary significantly.

    For this reason, we don’t recommend relying on CBD edibles as your everyday maintenance dose of CBD for neuropathic pain.

    What is Neuropathic Pain?

    Neuropathic pain is a type of pain involving damage to or dysfunction of the nerves and somatic sensors found throughout the body.

    Any damage to or dysfunction of the nerves and sensory tissues can send pain signals to the brain. These signals warn the body of real damage or dysfunction, but they can also be caused by false messages sent to the brain.

    These messages warn the brain of damage that may or may not exist. This makes neuropathic pain difficult to treat, especially when the underlying cause can’t be identified.

    1. Central Neuropathic Pain

    The central nervous system is any part of the nervous system inside the brain and spinal cord. This is separated from the peripheral nervous system by a semipermeable barrier called the blood-brain barrier.

    Central neuropathic pain, therefore, involves pain originating from nerves located inside the central nervous system.

    It’s caused by conditions such as:

    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Strokes
    • Spinal cord injuries
    2. Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

    The peripheral nervous system involves any part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord. This includes all the nerves in the limbs, abdominal cavity, legs, and face.

    Often, when a nerve becomes damaged, the repair process may not go as planned. Instead of returning the nerve to the way it was before the damage, the nerve becomes unusually sensitive and will send pain signals to the brain when it shouldn’t.

    The original damage can happen from many different causes, primarily traumatic injuries or specific viruses that target the nerve cells directly — such as herpes virus or shingles.

    This type of pain is caused by conditions such as:

    • Diabetes
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Herpes zoster infection
    • HIV infection
    • Nutritional deficiencies
    • Environmental toxin exposure
    • Cancer
    • Autoimmune disorders
    • Traumatic injuries

    3. Mixed — Peripheral and Central Neuropathic Pain

    Mixed neuropathic pain involves pain stemming from nerves found both inside the central nervous system and inside the peripheral nervous system.

    Causes for mixed neuropathic pain include:

    • Cancer
    • Chemotherapy treatments
    • HIV and other viral infections
    • Heavy metal toxicity

    What Are The Causes of Neuropathic (Nerve) Pain?

    Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or dysfunction of the nerve cells. There are many causes for nerve damage in the body, such as:

    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Varicella-zoster infection
    • Epstein Barr Virus infection (EBV)
    • Traumatic injuries
    • Trigeminal neuralgia

    Treatments for Neuropathic Pain

    • Antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, and tricyclic antidepressants)
    • Opiate pain medications (morphine, fentanyl, tramadol, and methadone)
    • Surgical nerve blocks (severe cases only)
    • Capsaicin
    • Topical analgesics (lidocaine)

    CBD For Spinal Cord Injury

    Spinal cord injuries can have debilitating and life-altering consequences. Injuries can cause varying levels of paralysis, spasticity, loss of sensation, muscle weakness, and nerve pain that can persist for the rest of that person’s life.

    There are some treatments available for this condition, most of which are supportive — helping those affected manage pain, depression, and other side-effects of the condition.

    CBD cannot cure a spinal cord injury — however, it does likely offer a great deal of support for those affected by managing symptoms and promoting the repair of nerve cells in the damaged areas of the spinal cord.

    There’s also some indication that CBD can support the recovery process — lowering the severity of side-effects and improving motor function in the affected nerves [5].

    The Benefits of CBD Oil For Spinal Cord Injury Includes:
    • Managing chronic pain
    • Relieving symptoms of mild to moderate depression
    • Adjunctive treatment to prevent antibiotic resistance during lung infection
    • Alleviating insomnia
    • Promoting nerve regeneration
    • Possibly reducing the extent of nerve damage from the incident

    What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

    The spinal cord is an extension of the brain. It contains high concentrations of nerve cell tracts that send and receive messages between the body and the brain. Any damage to the spinal cord can result in serious consequences, including paralysis, spasms, neuropathic pain, or loss of organ function.

    The spinal cord contains millions of nerve “intersections” that distribute signals to every part of the body. The area of the spinal cord that is damaged will determine what side-effects develop and where.

    For example, if the region of the spine containing the nerves that control leg muscles is damaged, it means that there will be a weakness or complete loss of function in those muscles and sensory deficits in one or both legs.

    Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
    • Paralysis/Weakeness
    • Motor deficits
    • Sensory deficits (of pain, touch, temperature, location, and vibration senses)
    • Bedsoresfrom prolonged immobility
    • Changes in mood
    • Chronic pain
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Frequent infections
    • Headaches
    • Incontinence
    • Infertility
    • Muscle pain
    • Nerve pain
    • Pneumonia
    • Poor libido
    Types of Spinal Cord Injury

    Depending on how severe the injury is, there are three main classifications that doctors use to describe the condition:

    1. Incomplete spinal cord injury — involves damage that hasn’t completely inhibited nerve transmission past the site of injury.
    2. Complete spinal cord injury — damage to the spinal cord is severe enough that no nerve signals can pass across the site of injury.
    3. Brown Séquard Syndrome— damage to exactly one half section of the cord, either left or right hemisection.

    There are also several other types of spinal cord injury such as: dorsal column lesion, irregular lesions, small or large central lesion, tumor of the dorsal root, or tumor of the meninges or bone.

    The Location of the Spinal Cord Injury Matters

    Nerves leave the brain and head down the spinal cord in bundles and pairs. They branch off at various points along the way to go to their target organs, and some tracts will cross sides.

    The location of the damage to the spinal cord will determine which areas of the body are affected.

    Complete damage of the spinal cord will prevent all nerves below the damaged point to stop receiving or sending messages. Therefore, to classify the level of injury, doctors will assess the lowest levels of different sensations and functions of the nerves in the spinal cord.

    There are four main divisions of the spinal cord — organized according to the vertebral column. The vertebral column starts at one at the base of the skull and goes all the way to the coccyx. The spinal cord, in fact, actually ends between vertebrae L1-L2, and is followed by a bundle of nerves called the cauda equina the rest of the way down.

    Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

    • Car accidents
    • Gunshot wounds
    • Stab wounds
    • Tumor growths
    • Sports injuries
    • Toxic exposure
    • Ischemic damage

    What the Research Says

    In 2012, researchers conducted a study on the use of CBD for spinal cord injuries in rats [5]. Rats were either placed in the treatment group and given CBD, or into the control group where no treatment was given. At the end of the six-day study, rats in the CBD treatment group had significant improvements in motor function and reduced injury side-effects than rats in the no-treatment group. Therefore, the researchers conducting this study concluded that CBD might be a useful treatment option for spinal cord lesions (injuries).

    Another study used a survey that was handed out to 10 spinal cord injury patients at the Spinal Cord Injury ward of the Miami V.A. Hospital who were using marijuana to treat their symptoms. The survey was kept confidential and involved questions about the most common symptoms of the condition and how marijuana use affected them.

    Results of This Survey Listed:
    Symptoms Made Worse Made Better No Effect Distraction Not Applicable
    Phantom Pain 1 4 2 2 1
    Muscle Spasticity 0 5 3 0 2
    Bladder Spasms 1 1 7 0 1
    Urinary Retention 2 0 8 0 1
    Headaches 0 5 4 0 1

    THC has also offered benefits for spinal cord injuries. For this reason, a full-spectrum cannabis extract containing both CBD and THC is considered the best option.

    Potential Benefits of THC for Spinal Cord Injuries
    • Reduces muscle spasms involved with spinal cord injuries [6]
    • Improves bladder control in spinal cord injuries [7]
    • Reduces pain associated with spinal cord injuries [8]

    THC remains illegal throughout most of the world, so it may be difficult to find products containing more than 0.3% THC concentration. Further robust studies will be needed to better characterize standard effects and determine efficacy.

    Key Takeaways: Does CBD Oil Work For Neuropathic Pain?

    The causes of neuropathic pain can range from neurological issues such as multiple sclerosis or a stroke to nutritional deficiencies and diabetes.

    No matter what’s causing neuropathic pain, the benefits of CBD remains much the same.

    CBD can support neuropathic pain in the following ways:

    • Increases anandamide levels
    • Activates the vanilloid receptors
    • Inhibits inflammation that may be causing neuropathic pain
    • Mildly activates the opioid receptors in the spinal cord and brain

    When it comes to treating neuropathic pain, a higher dose is usually recommended — however, this can vary from person to person. Whenever using CBD for the first time, it’s wise to start low and increase slowly over time until you receive the benefits you’re looking for.

    Research has shown CBD alleviates neuropathic pain that didn't respond to conventional treatment. View the best CBD oils for nerve pain.

    How to Use CBD Oil for Neuropathy

    How to Use CBD Oil for Neuropathy

    The endocannabinoid system is capable of controlling, and often suppressing pain within the human body. The endocannabinoid system naturally motions enzymes throughout the body until they attach themselves to neurotransmitters. Once the enzymes are connected to the neurotransmitters, signals are sent to the brain that helps to reduce the effects of physical pain or psychological trauma.

    As a natural remedy derived from hemp plants, cannabidiol (CBD) oil is capable of treating symptoms of physical and mental disorders. CBD has been known to help minimize the debilitating effects of old age in seniors, and it also helps people with neurodegeneration disorders cope with chronic pain and anxiety.

    There exists a close relationship between CBD oil and the endocannabinoid system. How do the two co-exist? Let’s look into that.

    What is neuropathy?

    Millions and millions of nerves help influence physical sensations within the human body. Neuropathy is a term describing when one or more of those nerves is damaged or no longer functioning as they should. Physicians are able to diagnose symptoms of neuropathy in patients who experience numbness or muscle weakness in their hands, feet, and other parts of the body.

    Neuropathic pain can be a very intense feeling. Muscle weakness leads to deterioration that subjects the body to sharp, painful sensations, resulting in conditions like arthritis. The end result is a vastly diminished quality of life due to intense inflammatory pain.

    Neuropathic pain control is the body’s way of dealing with symptoms of neuropathy, and the endocannabinoid system has been identified by scientists as a neurotransmitter system that can help to manage neuropathic pain. The neurons and immune cells that comprise the endocannabinoid system relieve physical agony in select areas of the body.

    What is peripheral neuropathy?

    Peripheral neuropathy describes damage or deterioration of nerves that live outside of the central nervous system in the brain or spinal cord. These nerves are part of the body’s peripheral nervous system, and their purpose is to send signals from the central nervous system to other parts of the body. When these nerves are damaged, the neurotransmitters fail to respond to the brain and peripheral neuropathic pain remains untreated.

    According to clinical research, the peripheral nervous system contains trace elements of cannabinoid receptors that are known as CB1R and CB2R. The research also revealed that virtually all cholinergic sensory neurons, interneurons, and motoneurons in myenteric ganglia express CB1R. When activated by neurotransmitters, the cannabinoid receptors can help inhibit the intense pain that is symptomatic of peripheral neuropathy.

    What causes peripheral neuropathy?

    An intense burning pain is a diagnosable symptom of peripheral neuropathy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition is frequently caused by injuries, infections, metabolic problems, or an inherited physical disability.

    However, one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. Diabetes is an inflammatory disorder that disrupts the body’s ability to naturally produce insulin, consequently causing high blood sugar. When too much blood sugar flows through the body, it damages the peripheral nerves and causes the searing pain that plagues people with diabetic conditions.

    How to use CBD oil for neuropathy

    CBD oil is an anti-inflammatory remedy that helps heal nerves within the body. CBD has helped several patients with diabetes live more fulfilling, pain-free lives.

    Inflammatory conditions like diabetes that cause nerve or tissue damage are combated by the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids attach themselves to neurotransmitters that, in turn, help to treat or prevent the intense physical pain caused by inflammatory symptoms.

    However, there are times when the endocannabinoid system struggles to produce enough endocannabinoids to suppress physical pain. CBD oil is chemically similar to the body’s natural endocannabinoids. As a natural remedy, CBD can function as a substitute for diminished endocannabinoids in the body.

    Even small doses of CBD oil can flow into the endocannabinoid system and attach to neurotransmitters. Once the healing remedies begin to correlate with the neurotransmitters, the signals from the central nervous system are reconnected to the peripheral nerves. CBD-infused transmitters can process the signals from the central nervous system in order to communicate to the body that it’s time to minimize or treat the physical pain in the peripheral nerves.

    How to treat neuropathy naturally

    CBD oil is a natural way to help minimize the symptoms and effects of neuropathic conditions. CBD is available in the form of a variety of products, including oils, tablets, lotions, and sprays. There are even CBD edibles that are easy to make at home, allowing people with inflammatory conditions to treat their symptoms with a delicious treat.

    The amount of CBD oil in any consumable product varies. It helps to consult with your primary doctor if you plan to take CBD oil for your condition so that you can treat yourself with a medically recommended dosage.

    CBD doses can be as low as 5 mg, but some people ingest as many as 100 mg of CBD oil per day. The effects of the oil can be felt in as little as 20 minutes, depending on the size of the dosage you take. Again, speak with your primary physician about CBD and ask for a recommended dosage to treat your underlying physical symptoms.

    Conclusion

    Neuropathic disorders can cause some of the most painful physical ailments within the human body. Treatment is the only way to relieve the pain caused by symptoms of these conditions. If you choose not to treat the condition, your quality of life will be greatly diminished due to the chronic pain that follows you everywhere.

    You should consider using CBD oil for neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy if you want a natural remedy to help minimize the effects of your condition. CBD has been known to help people with many physical – and mental – disorders lessen feelings of pain and live more satisfying lives. Speak to your doctor if you have neuropathic symptoms and ask about CBD oil. It could be your healthiest treatment of choice.

    Studies have shown that using CBD oil for neuropathy and inflammatory conditions can help lessen physical pain and improve overall qualities of life.