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CBD Health Pain

Ask A Doctor – CBD Interactions And Neuropathic Pain

Ask a doctor
Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

So what is neuropathic pain and how does it manifest? Neuropathic pain is “a form of chronic pain. If you stub your toe, or break your arm, that is not neuropathic pain. That is acute pain, also called – nociceptive pain.” But there’s more…

The World Health Organization has estimated that 22% of the people who go to see their doctors have chronic debilitating pain. Neuropathic pain is chronic. The pain in neuropathy has both continuous and episodic components. “Continuous” denotes burning or coldness, “pins & needles”, numbing & itching. “Episodic” denotes the sensation of stabbing or electric shocks.

Question: Can I still take cannabis oil if I’m using morphine patches?

Answer: Yes, it is completely safe to take cannabis oil while using the morphine patches.
CBD binds to receptors inside the cell. Morphine works by binding to receptors located on the cell surface.

Question: I have a spinal cord injury and have chronic back pain. What products would be suitable and legal in the republic of Ireland?

Answer: CBD is legal in the Republic of Ireland as it does not fall under the Misuse of Drugs act. THC is not legal as it is included in the Misuse of Drugs Act. CBD testers can provide the product that is legal in the Republic of Ireland.

Question: Which is better to treat neuropathic pain – THC or CBD?

Answer: CBD is far more effective than THC. THC works on the cell surface to reduce pain. It binds to the CB1 receptor on the cell surface and then through a combination of events, causes the release of dopamine with decreases the level pain. In an excellent study, published in “Molecular Psychiatry” in June 2012, using positron emission tomography imaging, people who used THC regularly, down-regulated their CB1 receptors.
The result of this meant that more and more THC had to be taken to achieve the same pain relief. This is known as drug dependence. CBD works inside the cell. It binds to TRPV1 and GPR55 receptors inside the cell, and blocks the transmission of pain from travelling the brain. It also increases the level of anandamide which is the “bliss” hormone. Since CBD works inside the cell, there is zero dependence. CBD is a “clean” agent.

CBD treats neuropathic pain in three ways:

1) It binds to the TRPV1 receptor.
2) It binds to the GPR55 receptor.
3) It increases anandamide.

Question: Can CBD applied to the skin help decrease inflammation and pain?

Answer: Yes, this was demonstrated in the peer-reviewed journal, “European Journal of Pain”, July 2016. Arthritis of the knee was induced in rats. CBD gels were applied to the skin about the area that had the pain and swelling. After the CBD was applied to the skin, there was decreased swelling, increased movement of the inflamed knee joint, and decreased pain. Examination of the blood revealed a decrease in inflammatory enzymes.
Thus, the CBD not only reduced the pain and swelling of the joint, but it stopped further deterioration of the joint.

Question: I have neuropathy from chronic low back pain that began after falling off a ladder. My neurologist said I have dysesthesia and allodynia. What does that mean?

Answer: Dysesthesia comes from the Greek word “dys”, which means “not-normal”, and “aesthesis”, which means “sensation.”. The sensation can be burning, itchy, electrical, wet, or pins & needles. Visually, in dysesthesia, there is no apparent damage to the skin or other tissue. The patient feels pain, but the doctor sees no “proof” of the pain. But – the pain is real! Allodynia comes from the Greek word “állos” which means “other” and “odúnē” which means “pain”. Taken together, it means “other pain.” Allodynia leads to the triggering of a pain response from a stimulation that is not painful.
For example, brushing the lower back with a feather may feel like a light touch in a normal person, but in someone with neuropathy of the lower back, it may feel like a painful burning sensation. Visually, in dysesthesia, there is no apparent damage to the skin or other tissue. The patient feels pain, but the doctor sees no “proof” of the pain. But – the pain is real!

As per your request, we are moving the weekly In-house doctor session from Thursday at 1 pm EST, to Thursday at 3 pm EST (That’s UK’s 20:00, NYC’s 15:00 and LA’s 12:00)

If you want to read more from Dr Zachar, check out: ‘Ask A Doctor – Benefits of CBD

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About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.