Pain due to misfiring of neurons (aka neuropathic pain) can be extremely difficult to treat. Once a pain pathway sets in, disrupting it becomes an enormous challenge. People have tried acupuncture, supplements such as benfotiamine and medications such as gabapentin or pregabalin. With the rapidly increasing popularity of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic component of cannabis and hemp, many patients wonder whether this compound could ease their suffering from nerve pain.
Is CBD Oil Helpful for Neuropathic Pain?
Q. I would like to know if CBD oil would be helpful against neuropathy.
A. A placebo-controlled trial tested a product with 250 mg cannabidiol (CBD) per 3 fluid ounces to treat neuropathy of the feet (Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, online Dec. 1, 2019). The scientists report “significant improvement in pain and other disturbing sensations” among those who applied the product for a month.
“The potential benefits of cannabis-based medicine (herbal cannabis, plant-derived or synthetic THC, THC/CBD oromucosal spray) in chronic neuropathic pain might be outweighed by their potential harms.”
However, the 16 trials they reviewed were not testing topical applications, but rather products people ingested or inhaled. As a result, we can’t extrapolate their fears of psychiatric harm to products that contain CBD oil in cream.
Unfortunately, CBD products, like other botanical medicines in the US, are essentially unregulated. Consequently, you may want to consult ConsumerLab.com to see if the CBD oil you are considering to treat your neuropathic pain has been tested for quality.