Cannabis for peripheral neuropathy: The good, the bad, and the unknown
Cannabis may be an effective alternative or adjunctive treatment for peripheral neuropathy, an often debilitating condition for which standard treatments often provide little relief. Most studies show moderately improved pain from inhaled cannabis use, but adverse effects such as impaired cognition and respiratory problems are common, especially at high doses. Data on the long-term safety of cannabis treatments are limited. Until riskbenefit profiles are better characterized, doctors in states where cannabis therapy is legal should recommend it for peripheral neuropathy only after careful consideration.
Small clinical studies have found that cannabis provides benefits for peripheral neuropathy, including pain reduction, better sleep, and improved function, even in patients with symptoms refractory to standard therapies.
Adverse effects such as throat irritation, headache, and dizziness are common, and serious neuropsychiatric effects can occur at high doses.
Safety may not be adequately assessed in US trials because cannabis supplied by the National Institute of Drug Abuse is less potent than commercially available products.
M arijuana, which is still illegal under federal law but legal in 30 states for medical purposes as of this writing, has shown promising results for treating peripheral neuropathy. Studies suggest that cannabis may be an option for patients whose pain responds poorly to standard treatments; however, its use may be restricted by cognitive and psychiatric adverse effects, particularly at high doses. 1
See related editorial, page 950
In this article, we discuss the basic pharmacology of cannabis and how it may affect neuropathic pain. We review clinical trials on its use for peripheral neuropathy and provide guidance for its use.
PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY IS COMMON AND COMPLEX
An estimated 20 million people in the United States suffer from neuropathic pain. The prevalence is higher in certain populations, with 26% of people over age 65 and 30% of patients with diabetes mellitus affected. 2–4
Peripheral neuropathy is a complex, chronic state that occurs when nerve fibers are damaged, dysfunctional, or injured, sending incorrect signals to pain centers in the central nervous system. 5 It is characterized by weakness, pain, and paresthesias that typically begin in the hands or feet and progress proximally. 4 Symptoms depend on the number and types of nerves affected.
In many cases, peripheral neuropathy is idiopathic, but common causes include diabetes, alcoholism, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and autoimmune disease. Others include toxicity from chemotherapy and heavy metals.
Peripheral neuropathy significantly worsens quality of life and function. Many patients experience emotional, cognitive, and functional problems, resulting in high rates of medical and psychiatric comorbidities and occupational impairment. 4,6,7 Yet despite its clinical and epidemiologic significance, it is often undertreated. 8
STANDARD TREATMENTS INADEQUATE
Peripheral neuropathy occurs in patients with a wide range of comorbidities and is especially difficult to treat. Mainstays of therapy include anticonvulsants, tricyclic antidepressants, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. 9 A more invasive option is spinal cord stimulation.
These treatments can have considerable adverse effects, and response rates remain suboptimal, with pain relief insufficient to improve quality of life for many patients. 9,10 Better treatments are needed to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience. 11
CANNABIS: A MIX OF COMPOUNDS
Cannabis sativa has been used as an analgesic for centuries. The plant contains more than 400 chemical compounds and is often used for its euphoric properties. Long-term use may lead to addiction and cognitive impairment. 12,13
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main components and the 2 best-studied cannabinoids with analgesic effects.
THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. Its effects include relaxation, altered perception, heightened sensations, increased libido, and perceptual distortions of time and space. Temporary effects may include decreased short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor function, conjunctival injection, paranoia, and anxiety.
CBD is nonpsychoactive and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation without the effects of THC. 14
Other compounds in the cannabis plant include phytocannabinoids, flavonoids, and tapenoids, which may produce individual, interactive, or synergistic effects. 15 Different strains of cannabis have varying amounts of the individual components, making comparisons among clinical studies difficult.
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The endogenous mammalian cannabinoid system plays a regulatory role in the development, homeostasis, and neuroplasticity of the central nervous system. It is also involved in modulating pain transmission in the nociceptive pathway.
Two of the most abundant cannabinoid endogenous ligands are anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol. 9 These endocannabinoids are produced on demand in the central nervous system to reduce pain by acting as a circuit breaker. 16–18 They target the G proteincoupled cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, located throughout the central and peripheral nervous system and in organs and tissues. 12
CB1 receptors are found primarily in the central nervous system, specifically in areas involved in movement, such as the basal ganglia and cerebellum, as well as in areas involved in memory, such as the hippocampus. 12 They are also abundant in brain regions implicated in conducting and modulating pain signals, including the periaqueductal gray and the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. 16–20
CB2 receptors are mostly found in peripheral tissues and organs, mainly those involved in the immune system, including splenic, tonsillar, and hematopoietic cells. 12 They help regulate inflammation, allodynia, and hyperalgesia. 17
Modifying response to injury
Following a nerve injury, neurons along the nociceptive pathway may become more reactive and responsive in a process known as sensitization. 21 The process involves a cascade of cellular events that result in sprouting of painsensitive nerve endings. 21,22
Cannabinoids are thought to reduce pain by modifying these cellular events. They also inhibit nociceptive conduction in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and in the ascending spinothalamic tract. 20 CB1 receptors found in nociceptive terminals along the peripheral nervous system impede pain conduction, while activation of CB2 receptors in immune cells decreases the release of nociceptive agents.
STUDIES OF CANNABIS FOR NEUROPATHIC PAIN
A number of studies have evaluated cannabis for treating neuropathic pain. Overall, available data support the efficacy of smoked or inhaled cannabis in its flower form when used as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for relief of neuropathic pain of various etiologies. Many studies also report secondary benefits, including better sleep and functional improvement. 23,24
However, adverse effects are common, especially at high doses, and include difficulty concentrating, lightheadedness, fatigue, and tachycardia. More serious reported adverse effects include anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis.
Wilsey et al, 2008: Neuropathic pain reduced
Wilsey et al 25 conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study that assessed the effects of smoking cannabis in 38 patients with central or peripheral neuropathic pain. Participants were assigned to smoke either high- or low-dose cannabis (7% or 3.5% delta-9-THC) or placebo cigarettes. Cigarettes were smoked during treatment sessions using the following regimen: 2 puffs at 60 minutes from baseline, 3 puffs at 120 minutes, and 4 puffs at 180 minutes. Patients were assessed after each set of puffs and for 2 hours afterwards. The primary outcome was spontaneous relief of pain as measured by a visual analog scale.
Pain intensity was comparable and significantly reduced in both treatment groups compared with placebo. At the high dose, some participants experienced neurocognitive impairment in attention, learning, memory, and psychomotor speed; only learning and memory declined at the low dose.
Ellis et al, 2009: Pain reduction in HIV neuropathy
Ellis et al 23 conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial in patients with HIV neuropathy that was unresponsive to at least 2 analgesics with different modes of action. During each treatment week, participants were randomly assigned to smoke either active cannabis or placebo, while continuing their standard therapy. Titration started at 4% THC and was adjusted based on tolerability and efficacy. Twenty-eight of the 34 enrolled patients completed both cannabis and placebo treatments. The principal outcome was change in pain intensity from baseline at the end of each week, using the Descriptor Differential Scale of Pain Intensity.
Of the 28 patients, 46% achieved an average pain reduction of 3.3 points (30%). One patient experienced cannabis-induced psychosis, and another developed an intractable cough, which resolved with smoking cessation.
Ware et al, 2010: Reduced posttraumatic or postsurgical neuropathic pain
Ware et al 24 performed a randomized crossover trial in 21 patients with posttraumatic or postsurgical neuropathic pain. Participants inhaled 4 different formulations of cannabis (containing 0%, 2.5%, 6.0%, and 9.4% THC) during 4 14-day periods. They inhaled a 25-mg dose through a pipe 3 times a day for the first 5 days of each cycle, followed by a 9-day washout period. Daily average pain intensity was measured using a numeric rating scale. The investigators also assessed mood, sleep, quality of life, and adverse effects.
Patients in the 9.4% THC group reported significantly less pain and better sleep, with average pain scores decreasing from 6.1 to 5.4 on an 11-point scale. Although the benefit was modest, the authors noted that the pain had been refractory to standard treatments.
The number of reported adverse events increased with greater potency and were most commonly throat irritation, burning sensation, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. This study suggests that THC potency affects tolerability, with higher doses eliciting clinically important adverse effects, some of which may reduce the ability to perform activities of daily living, such as driving.
Wilsey et al, 2013: Use in resistant neuropathic pain
Wilsey et al 26 conducted another double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study assessing the effect of vaporized cannabis on central and peripheral neuropathic pain resistant to first-line pharmacotherapies. Dose-effect relationships were explored using medium-dose (3.5%), low-dose (1.3%), and placebo cannabis. The primary outcome measure was a 30% reduction in pain intensity based on a visual analog scale.
In the placebo group, 26% of patients achieved this vs 57% of the low-dose cannabis group and 61% of those receiving the medium dose. No significant difference was found between the 2 active doses in reducing neuropathic pain, and both were more effective than placebo. The number needed to treat to achieve a 30% reduction in pain was about 3 for both cannabis groups compared with placebo. Psychoactive effects were minimal, of short duration, and reversible.
Wallace et al, 2015: Use in diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Wallace et al 27 conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study evaluating cannabis for diabetic peripheral neuropathy in 16 patients. Each had experienced at least 6 months of neuropathic pain in their feet. The participants inhaled a single dose of 1%, 4%, or 7% THC cannabis or placebo. Spontaneous pain was reported with a visual analog scale and also tested with a foam brush and von Frey filament at intervals until 4 hours after treatment.
Pain scores were lower with treatment compared with placebo, with high-dose cannabis having the greatest analgesic effect. Pain reduction lasted for the full duration of the test. Cannabis recipients had declines in attention and working memory, with the high-dose group experiencing the greatest impact 15 minutes after treatment. High-dose recipients also had poorer scores on testing of quick task-switching, with the greatest effect at 2 hours. 27
Research and market cannabis are not equal
Results of US studies must be qualified. Most have used cannabis provided by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), 23–26 which differs in potency from commercially available preparations. This limits the clinical usefulness of the analysis of benefits and risks.
Vergara et al 28 found that NIDA varieties contained much lower THC levels and as much as 23 times the cannabinol content as cannabis in state-legalized markets.
Studies based on NIDA varieties likely underestimate the risks of consumer-purchased cannabis, as THC is believed to be most responsible for the risk of psychosis and impaired driving and cognition. 24,28
CBD MAY PROTECT AGAINST ADVERSE EFFECTS
Studies of CBD alone are limited to preclinical data. 29 Evidence suggests that CBD alone or combined with THC can suppress chronic neuropathic pain, and that CBD may have a protective effect after nerve injury. 30
Nabiximols, an oromucosal spray preparation with equal amounts of THC and CBD, has been approved in Canada as well as in European countries including the United Kingdom. Although its use has not been associated with many of the adverse effects of inhaled cannabis, 30–32 evidence of efficacy from clinical trials has been mixed.
Lynch et al, 31 in a 2014 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover pilot study 31 evaluated nabiximols in 16 patients with neuropathic pain related to chemotherapy. No statistically significant difference was found between treatment and placebo. However, the trial was underpowered.
Serpell et al, 32 in a 2014 European randomized, placebo-controlled parallel-group study, evaluated 246 patients with peripheral neuropathy with allodynia, with 128 receiving active treatment (THC-CBD oromucosal spray) and 118 receiving placebo. Over the 15-week study, participants continued their current analgesic treatments.
Pain was reduced in the treatment group, but the difference from placebo was not statistically significant. However, the treatment group reported significantly better sleep quality and Patient Global Impression of Change measures (reflecting a patient’s belief of treatment efficacy).
META-ANALYSES CONFIRM EFFECT
Three meta-analyses of available studies of the effects of cannabis on neuropathic pain have been completed.
Andreae et al, 2015: 5 trials, 178 patients
Andreae et al 1 evaluated 5 randomized controlled trials in 178 patients in North America. All had had neuropathy for at least 3 months, with a pain level of at least about 3 on a scale of 10. Two studies had patients with HIV-related neuropathy; the other 3 involved patients with neuropathy related to trauma, diabetes, complex regional pain syndrome, or spinal cord injury. All trials used whole cannabis plant provided by NIDA, and the main outcomes were patient-reported pain scales. No study evaluated pain beyond 2 weeks after trial termination.
They found that 1 of every 5 to 6 patients treated with cannabis had at least a 30% pain reduction.
Nugent et al, 2017: 13 trials, 246 patients
Nugent et al 33 reviewed 13 trials in 246 patients that evaluated the effects of different cannabis-based preparations on either central or peripheral neuropathic pain from various conditions. Actively treated patients were more likely to report a 30% improvement in neuropathic pain. Again, studies tended to be small and brief.
Cochrane review, 2018: 16 trials, 1,750 patients
A Cochrane review 34 analyzed 16 trials (in 1,750 patients) lasting 2 to 26 weeks. Treatments included an oromucosal spray with a plant-derived combination of THC and CBD, nabilone, inhaled herbal cannabis, and plantderived THC.
With cannabis-based treatments, significantly more people achieved 50% or greater pain relief than with placebo (21% vs 17%, number needed to treat 20); 30% pain reduction was achieved in 39% of treated patients vs 33% of patients taking placebo (number needed to treat 11).
On the other hand, significantly more participants withdrew from studies because of adverse events with cannabis-based treatments than placebo (10% vs 5%), with psychiatric disorders occurring in 17% of patients receiving active treatment vs 5% of those receiving placebo (number needed to harm 10).
The primary studies suffered from methodologic limitations including small size, short duration, and inconsistency of formulations and study designs. Further evaluation of longterm efficacy, tolerability, and addiction potential is critical to determine the risk-benefit ratio.
RISKS OF CANNABIS USE
Like any drug therapy, cannabis has effects that may limit its use. Cannabis can affect a person’s psyche, physiology, and lifestyle.
Impaired attention, task speed
Neurocognitive changes associated with cannabis use—especially dizziness, fatigue, and slowed task-switching—could affect driving and other complex tasks. Evidence indicates that such activities should be avoided in the hours after treatment. 26,27,32,33
Concern over brain development
Most worrisome is the effect of long-term cannabis use on brain development in young adults. Regular use of cannabis at an early age is associated with lower IQ, decline in school performance, and lower rates of high school graduation. 35
Avoid in psychiatric patients
It is unlikely that cannabis can be safely used in patients with psychiatric illnesses. Anxiety, depression, and psychotic disorders can be exacerbated by the regular use of cannabis, and the risk of developing these conditions is increased while using cannabis. 36,37
THC potency affects tolerability
High concentrations of THC (the highest concentration used in the above studies was 9.5%) can cause anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis.
Long-term cannabis smoking may cause wheezing, cough, dyspnea, and exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. There is some evidence that symptoms improve after stopping smoking. 33,38
SHOULD WE RECOMMEND CANNABIS?
Where cannabis can be legally used, doctors should be familiar with the literature and its limitations so that they can counsel patients on the best use and potential risks and benefits of cannabis treatment.
A recent conceptualization of pain suggests that a pain score reflects a composite of sensory factors (eg, tissue damage), cognitive factors (eg, beliefs about pain), and affective factors (eg, anxiety, depression). 39 Physicians should keep this in mind when evaluating patients to better assess the risks and benefits of cannabis. While pharmacotherapy may address sensory factors, cognitive behavioral therapy may help alter beliefs about the pain as well as anxiety and depressive symptoms that might influence subjective reports.
Ideally, patients being considered for cannabis treatment would have a type of neuropathic pain proven to respond to cannabis in randomized, controlled studies, as well as evidence of failed first-line treatments.
Relative contraindications include depression, anxiety, substance use, psychotic disorders, and respiratory conditions, and these should also be considered.
Although current research shows an analgesic benefit of cannabis on neuropathic pain comparable to that of gabapentin, 40 further investigation is needed to better evaluate long-term safety, efficacy, and interactions with standard therapies. Until we have a more complete picture, we should use the current literature, along with a thorough knowledge of each patient, to determine if the benefits of cannabis therapy outweigh the risks.
We thank Camillo Ferrari, BS, and Christina McMahon, BA, for their helpful comments.
CBD for Type 2 Diabetes: What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The trendy complementary treatment is rising in popularity. Here’s what you need to know before you use CBD to manage type 2 diabetes.
CBD may help relieve symptoms that can contribute to high blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Everyday Health
You probably don’t have to look farther than your local drugstore or beauty product supplier to know CBD has taken a starring role in everything from sparkling water and gummies to tincture oils and lotions. Some may even say that cannabidiol (CBD) — which, like THC, is a component of the cannabis plant, but doesn’t contain its psychoactive effects — is the “it” ingredient of our age.
You’ve probably also heard that CBD can help lessen stress, anxiety, and pain. “When people are in pain, they have a stress response, which causes an increase in cortisol and an increase in blood sugar,” says Veronica J. Brady, PhD, CDCES, a registered nurse and an assistant professor at the Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas in Houston. Relieving pain can help alleviate the stress response and improve blood sugar levels, as well as aid sleep, she says.
If you’re managing type 2 diabetes, it’s natural to be curious about whether CBD might help you manage those symptoms, too, to help stabilize your blood sugar. In fact, the prevalence of cannabis use increased by 340 percent among people with diabetes from 2005 to 2018, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence in July 2020, which surveyed people on their use of cannabis (CBD or THC, in any form) in the previous 30 days.
But does it work for treating diabetes? Some healthcare professionals say CBD may have a role to play, but it’s important to understand that the only health condition CBD has proved effective for is epilepsy in kids. The jury is unfortunately still out, owing to the lack of comprehensive research on CBD and type 2 diabetes.
Still, in the aforementioned survey, 78 percent of people used cannabis that was not prescribed by a doctor. “Diabetes patients might still use cannabis for medical reasons, but not have a prescription,” says Omayma Alshaarawy, MBBS, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of family medicine at Michigan State University in East Lansing, who led the study. Recreational use is another factor. She points to a separate study, published September 2019 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that found that more than 50 percent of people with medical conditions such as diabetes or cancer use cannabis recreationally.
How People With Type 2 Diabetes Are Using CBD
In Nevada, where Dr. Brady used to work as a certified diabetes educator, her patients with type 2 diabetes used CBD for nerve pain. She says patients would use CBD in a tincture or in oils that they rubbed on painful areas, including their feet. Patients could buy CBD at medical marijuana dispensaries, which would offer dosing instructions. “They worried about the impact on their blood sugars,” says Brady.
Ultimately, though, Brady says that her patients reported that CBD reduced their nerve pain and improved their blood sugar. She adds that those people who used CBD oils for nerve pain also reported sleeping better.
Heather Jackson, the founder and board president of Realm of Caring in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a nonprofit that focuses on cannabis research and education, senses an interest in CBD within the diabetes community. “In general, especially if they’re not well controlled, people are looking at cannabinoid therapy as an alternative, and usually as an adjunct option,” says Jackson. Callers have questions about CBD for neuropathy pain, joint pain, gastrointestinal issues, and occasionally blood glucose control, according to a spokesperson for Realm of Caring.
The organization receives thousands of inquiries about cannabis therapies a month. It keeps a registry of these callers, where they live, and their health conditions. Jackson says that people with type 2 diabetes are not a large percentage of the callers, but they currently have 540 people with diabetes in their database.
Jackson says that Realm of Caring does not offer medical advice, and it does not grow or sell cannabis. Instead, it offers education for clients and doctors about cannabis, based on its ever-growing registry of CBD users, their conditions, side effects, and administration regimen. “We are basically educating,” says Jackson. “We want you to talk to your doctor about the information you receive.”
Scientific Studies on CBD and Type 2 Diabetes, and Barriers to Research
Despite interest among people with type 2 diabetes, large, rigorous studies showing how CBD may affect type 2 diabetes are lacking, says Y. Tony Yang, MPH, a doctor of science in health policy and management and a professor at George Washington University School of Nursing in Washington, DC. Specifically absent are randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard of medical research.
Early research suggests CBD and diabetes are indeed worth further study. For example, a small study published in October 2016 in Diabetes Care in the United Kingdom looked at 62 people with type 2 diabetes and found that CBD did not lower blood glucose. Participants were not on insulin, but some took other diabetes drugs. They were randomly assigned to five different treatment groups for 13 weeks: 100 milligrams (mg) of CBD twice daily; 5 mg of THCV (another chemical in cannabis) twice daily; 5 mg CBD and 5 mg THCV together twice daily; 100 mg CBD and 5 mg of THCV together twice daily; or placebo. In their paper, the authors reported that THCV (but not CBD) significantly improved blood glucose control.
Other CBD research is still evolving. Some CBD and diabetes studies have been done in rats, which leads to findings that don’t always apply to human health. Other studies have looked more generally at the body’s endocannabinoid system, which sends signals about pain, stress, sleep, and other important functions. Still other studies, including one published in the American Journal of Medicine, have looked at marijuana and diabetes, but not CBD specifically.
That there are so few studies of CBD in people with type 2 diabetes has to do with a lack of focus on CBD as an individual component. Historically, cannabinoids (a group of chemicals in the cannabis plant) have been lumped together, including CBD, THC, and more than 100 others. The 1970 U.S. Controlled Substances Act classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug with the highest restrictions. Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow cannabis for medical use and 11 states allow cannabis for recreational use.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the controlled substances list, clearing the way for more production and research of CBD. Meanwhile, growers and manufacturers are better able to isolate CBD, mainly by cultivating industrial hemp that is high in CBD and very low in THC, says Jackson. So, perhaps in the coming years, more research on CBD and diabetes will emerge.
How the FDA Views and Regulates CBD for Disease Treatment
Yet, as evidenced by the July 2020 study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, people with type 2 diabetes aren’t waiting for further study to hop on the trend. Brady says her patients have been open about using CBD, particularly the younger patients. She says one of her older patients was initially uncomfortable about buying CBD in the same shop that sold marijuana but eventually gave in. Brady adds that many people associate CBD with smoking marijuana, despite their distinctly different effects on the body.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first CBD medication in 2018, for treating childhood epilepsy. Currently, there is no other FDA-approved CBD medication for diabetes or any other condition, according to the FDA. In December 2018, the FDA said it was unlawful under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to sell food or dietary supplements containing CBD. In April 2019, the FDA stated that it would be taking new steps to evaluate cannabis products, and it held a public hearing about cannabis products in May 2019.
“The FDA, for the time being, has focused its limited enforcement resources on removing CBD products that make claims of curing or treating disease, leaving many CBD products for sale,” wrote Pieter Cohen, MD, and Joshua Sharfstein, MD, in a July 2019 perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Cohen is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and Dr. Sharfstein oversees the office of public health practice and training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
Precautions for People With Diabetes Looking to Try CBD
For the CBD products already on the market, Jackson says it’s often difficult to know what’s inside. A study published November 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that only 30 percent of CBD products were accurately labeled, with under- and over-labeling of CBD content, and some products containing unlisted chemicals such as THC.
Vaping liquids were the most commonly mislabeled CBD products in the study. The International Research Center on Cannabis and Health in New York City warns that consumers should not purchase vape products from unregulated and illicit markets. A small investigation by the Associated Press in 2019 showed that some CBD vapes had synthetic marijuana.
Jackson points out that CBD may affect certain cholesterol and blood pressure drugs, and a study published in June 2017 in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research detailed these interactions. Other side effects of CBD include tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in weight or appetite, the researchers write.
“What you put in your body is really important,” says Jackson, adding that’s especially true for people with major health conditions like diabetes. Jackson speaks from personal experience as a mom finding CBD treatments for her son’s epilepsy. She says consumers should ask manufacturers whether CBD products are free of mold, pesticides, and other toxins.
Realm of Caring, Jackson’s nonprofit, created a reference sheet for evaluating products and manufacturers. It also endorses products that adhere to standards such as those from the American Herbal Products Association and the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.
“There is little known about cannabis health effects, especially among patients with chronic conditions. Research is growing, but still solid evidence evolves,” says Dr. Alshaarawy. For these reasons, she recommends that patients talk to their doctors so they can discuss the benefits and potential harms of cannabis and monitor their health accordingly.
How to Talk to Your Healthcare Provider About Using CBD for Type 2 Diabetes
Jackson and Brady advise people who are considering CBD for diabetes to ask their providers about the complementary therapy before adding it to their treatment plan. Brady says it’s difficult to find research about CBD and type 2 diabetes, even in her capacity as a diabetes educator. Still, in her experience, if people are looking for a natural way to manage pain, it’s worth a conversation with their healthcare provider. “It’s something that should be talked about, especially if they’re having significant amounts of pain, or really any pain at all associated with their diabetes,” says Brady.
“It’s a reasonable alternative,” says Brady. “As it gains in popularity, there needs to be some information out there about it.
CBD Oil Treatment For Chronic Pain – Pain Management Clinic in NYC
CBD oil is one of the latest and most promising treatment options for many different conditions. CBD oil benefits may prove helpful to you if you check with your pain doctors in NYC. To date, CBD treatment has proven effective for everything from chronic pain to anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease. CBD treatment for ADHD is showing promising results for adults with the condition. Talk to your doctor at Pain Physicians NY about CBD oil treatment for your chronic pain or inflammation.
Everywhere you go, cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be getting touted as the latest trend in pain management. As more and more people discover the many CBD oil benefits of this up and coming treatment, its popularity continues to spread. Although CBD oil is a derivative of marijuana plants, it contains 0.3 percent of the plant’s tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This means that it doesn’t have the same intoxicating effects.
Marijuana plants contain 80 different active cannabinoid chemicals. The effects of these chemicals are the result of the way they interact with your body’s receptors. Because of its lack of THC, CBD oil reacts differently with the receptors in your brain that produce the high or euphoric sensations that pot normally delivers. The reaction caused by CBD oil is about 100 times weaker than marijuana and doesn’t alter your perception.
CBD Oil Benefits
The benefits of CBD oil treatment are numerous, and the growing interest continues to spark further research. Some of the conditions that CBD treatment has proven effective for include:
- Pain relief and reducing inflammation. CBD treatment presents a much more natural solution to different types of pain than prescriptions or over-the-counter medications. Research shows it to be an effective treatment for stiffness and chronic pain.
- Cancer. CBD is being studied as an anti-cancer agent because it appears to have the ability to restrict the growth of cancer cells and block them from spreading to other areas of your body. It’s even believed to block cancer cells from entering some areas of your body entirely.
- Withdrawal from drugs. Early findings lean to CBD’s ability to ease opioid withdrawal due to its direct affect on symptoms such as:
- Mood changes
- Muscle cramps
CBD treatment for ADHD can offer noticeable relief from these relentless symptoms and reduce dependence on stimulant medications like Ritalin or Adderall.
- Epilepsy. The role of CBD oil treatment for epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders is another ongoing area of research. It’s believed to have substantial anti-seizure properties, backed by an extremely low risk of side effects.
- Schizophrenia. CBD oil treatment is currently the subject of studies attempting to prove that it has similar effects as certain anti-psychotic medications used in the treatment of schizophrenia.
- Anxiety. Chronic anxiety can be a truly debilitating condition that affects people from all walks of life. People with chronic anxiety are generally advised against using THC since in some cases, it enhances feelings of anxiety. Researchers firmly believe that CBD can drastically reduce anxiety behaviors in additional disorders, such as:
- General anxiety
- Panic disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Social anxiety
While CBD oil benefits are hard to deny, its legality varies from state to state. Thankfully, New York State is one of the 46 states where CBD is legal. Since it’s still such a groundbreaking treatment, little is known about long-term risks, but very few problems have arisen so far.
Discussing CBD with a medical expert is the best place to start. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are a lot of different brands and misinformation on the market. The specialists at Pain Physicians NY are happy to discuss all of your available treatment options to determine which are best for you.
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