What is chronic neuropathic pain and contemporary treatment
Neuropathic pain is a common chronic disease. It may be caused by damage to the central or peripheral nervous system, which as the result of injury or infection. Also, it can be the result of a variety of conditions, commonly including:
- Facial nerve problems
- HIV infection or AIDS
- Multiple myeloma
- Multiple sclerosis
- Nerve or spinal cord compression from herniated discs or arthritis in the spine
According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2018, there are about 34.2 million Americans, or 10.5% of the population, had diabetes. And this is responsible for 30 percent of neuropathic cases, according to the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical center and a leader in research, education, and health information.
The best treatment for neuropathic pain is to identify the underlying disease or condition that’s responsible for the pain at the beginning, and then treat it based on specific disease.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Aleve and Motrin usually used to treat neuropathic pain. Also, there are other medicines for treatments and even surgery.
However, the latest research at the University of New Mexico shows that hemp oil may be effective in treating chronic neuropathic pain.
Hemp oil in treating chronic neuropathic pain
According to a recent research at the University of New Mexico, researchers demonstrated that cannabis is effective in treating chronic neuropathic pain. This research used an animal model (in mice) that exposed mice to post-operative neuropathic pain, which is equivalent to several years of chronic pain in human patients. The result of this study shows that cannabis hemp oil could reduce mechanical pain sensitivity 10-fold for several hours in mice with chronic postoperative neuropathic pain.
One of the lead investigators, Dr. Karin N. Westlund, Department of Anesthesiology said, “Our lab utilizes a unique nerve injury model mimicking human neuropathic pain that has allowed demonstration of hemp’s reversal of the pain related behavior.”
Although hemp is now gradually legal to produce and consume in most states in the United States because of the 2018 Farm Bill proposed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. This is the first study measuring the therapeutic potential of legal hemp oil with low THC levels.
Differently from the criminally prohibited cannabis-based products, hemp generally refers to cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per mass and used in the legal cannabis industry.
“Cannabis plants with low THC are still psychoactive, but tend to result in less psychedelic experiences, while still offering profound and often immediate relief from symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and depression,” said by Dr. Jacob Miguel Vigil, associate professor in the UNM Psychology Department and one of the researchers involved in the study.
Moreover, “Hemp plants contain numerous therapeutic constituents that likely contribute to analgesic responses, including terpenes and flavonoids, which in theory, work together like members of a symphony, often described as the entourage effect,” according to Jegason P. Diviant, who is one of the researchers.
This is an important research that shows full-spectrum hemp oil could provide a relatively safe alternative option for treating chronic pain compared to contemporary treatment. Hence, researchers suggest that future studies could focus on how the whole plant extracted hemp oil affects multi-sensory and cognitive-attentional systems that process pain.
How hemp oil work in treating chronic neuropathic pain
Pain may be acute or chronic nature, for the short or long term. There are various treatments that include medicine for pain treatment. But the hemp oil could effectively help in relieving the pain without any severe side effects to a certain extent. Hemp oil has the potential to become the best treatment for pain release, although there is more research needed on the effectiveness and safety of the hemp oil.
Hemp oil contains the cannabinoids which interact with the CB-1 receptors in the human body, and prevents the activation of the endocannabinoid system, which known as a vital system to maintain body stability. This is the basic principle for the hemp oil works in treating and releasing pain.
The interaction between hemp oil and CB-1 receptors could helpfully soothe down the hyperactive nerves, nervous, and immune systems. Therefore, the hemp oil is capable of against mental, nervous, and auto-immune diseases.
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