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Neuropathy in New York

Medical cannabis has been shown to be effective for a multitude of conditions, including neuropathy. 

Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a result of damage to your peripheral nerves, often causing weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in your hands and feet. The pain has many characteristics from stabbing, burning, or shooting pain to senses of coldness or heat and can even affect the way walking feels. Many times patients note that their legs or hands feel weak or heavy, and often they feel like they are walking on pebbles. Your peripheral nervous system is like the body’s electrical system. It transmits information from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of your body. Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes, and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes mellitus, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid disease. Initial treatment is first aimed at finding the cause, and then if there is no identifiable cause, we may use medications, physical therapy, acupuncture, and other modalities to reduce the symptoms.

Symptoms of Neuropathy

Neuropathy symptoms have a high degree of variability from patient to patient, depending upon which area of the body is affected. Larger nerves (such as ones that extend to the toes) are usually the first to experience damage. Sensory, motor, or autonomic nerve functioning can all be impaired. Symptoms that a sufferer of neuropathy may experience include the following:

  • Gradual onset of numbness and tingling in the hands or feet, possibly spreading to the extremities
  • Burning, sharp, or jabbing pain
  • Over-sensitivity to touch
  • Changes in the integumentary system (skin, hair, and nails)
  • Loss of coordination

Indications of motor damage may be observed by the sudden onset of weakness or paralysis. Autonomic nerve damage may be exhibited by heat intolerance, digestive problems, incontinence issues, or dizziness caused by changes in blood pressure.

Medical Cannabis as Part of a Neuropathy Treatment Plan

From 2005 to 2010, research on the benefits of synthetic CBD and inhaled marijuana products found that both options are effective for managing neuropathy-related symptoms. Nabilone, a synthetic oral CBD, was noted as an effective option for patients with a history of allergic responses, resistance, and intolerance of traditional medications.Patients with neuropathy related to HIV, spinal cord and nerve injuries, CRPS type 1, and peripheral neuropathy benefited most from inhaled marijuana products.

Research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and in Canada documents the benefits of marijuana for neuropathy patients.Patients experienced significant reductions in pain, as well as improved ability to sleep and manageable side effects.

Research on Neuropathic Pain and Cannabis Based Treatments

Cannabinoid-opioid interaction in chronic pain

Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial

Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of THC:CBD Extract and THC Extract in Patients With Intractable Cancer-Related Pain

Adjuvant topical therapy with a cannabinoid receptor agonist in facial postherpetic neuralgia

Smoked medicinal cannabis for neuropathic pain in HIV: a randomized, crossover clinical trial

A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial of Cannabis Cigarettes in Neuropathic Pain

Open-label, add-on study of tetrahydrocannabinol for chronic nonmalignant pain

Oromucosal delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol for neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis: an uncontrolled, open-label, 2-year extension trial

[Topical cannabinoid agonists: An effective new possibility for treating chronic pruritus.] [Article in German]

Randomized, controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in central pain in multiple sclerosis

Efficacy of two cannabis based medicinal extracts for relief of central neuropathic pain from brachial plexus avulsion: results of a randomized controlled trial

Initial experiences with medicinal extracts of cannabis for chronic pain: results from 34 ‘N of 1′ studies

Efficacy of two cannabis-based medicinal extracts for relief of central neuropathic pain from brachial plexus avulsion: results of a randomized controlled trial

Analgesic effect of the synthetic cannabinoid CT-3 on chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial

Cannabis use for chronic non-cancer pain: results of a prospective survey

The effects of smoked cannabis in painful peripheral neuropathy and cancer pain refractory to opioids

Cannabis reduces opioid dose in the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain

Cannabinoid agonists attenuate capsaicin-induced responses in human skin

Intractable neuropathic pain due to ulnar nerve entrapment treated with cannabis and ketamine 10%

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