March 2, 2020 | Using Medical Marijuana for Neuropathy
By, Lauraine Kanders, ANP, ACNP-BC
You may not be familiar with this chronic pain condition but Neuropathy, is a major complaint of many diabetics, those who get chemotherapy, physical trauma, PTSD, chemotherapy and stress and more. This condition occurs as a result of damage caused to the peripheral nerves, a network of nerves that run through all regions of the body through networks of nerves allow the brain to communicate with appendages and organs throughout the human body. When the peripheral nerve network gets damaged, the body’s system of control and regulation lead to to painful symptoms.
Overwhelming, the most common symptom of peripheral neuropathy is progressive worsening numbness across the limbs. This numbness gradually travels throughout the body, affecting the legs and arms. Less bothersome but also present may include tingling, throbbing pains, prickling, sensations of burning or freezing. In the worst scenario, the body’s balance and mobility systems will be disrupted and in the rarest of circumstance, paralysis may ensue.
A common form of the condition is autonomic neuropathy which deals with damage to the autonomic nervous system. This causes several system body changes that include: irregular bowel movement, dizziness, excessive sweating and disruptive digestion.
Medical Marijuana Can Help with Neuropathy
Scientists are now publishing valuable research that shows the promise of medical marijuana in treating neuropathy. They have uncovered, The Endocannabinoid system, a fancy network of cannabinoid receptors within the human body that help to regulate several processes such as memory, appetite, mood and even pain. It has been discovered that when nerves get damaged, the body responds by increasing its production of cannabinoid receptors along crucial pain pathways
Medical marijuana works by interacting with the Endocannabinoid system, interacting with the receptors to send out neurotransmitters and immune cells to reduce or eliminate pain.
Medical Marijuana is a much safer alternative to other medications known to be prescribed for Neuropathy. Gabapentin and Opioids carry debilitating side effects.