IS CBD OIL EFFECTIVE FOR DIABETIC NEUROPATHY?

IS CBD OIL EFFECTIVE FOR DIABETIC NEUROPATHY?

Diabetic neuropathy defines a form of nerve damage that occurs because blood glucose levels have shot. There are at least four types of diabetic neuropathy affecting legs, feet, thighs, buttocks, arms, and hands, and can even extend to sensitive organs like the stomach, eye, and the heart. When not controlled, diabetic neuropathy may result in blindness and heart diseases. Consequently, people are worried about CBD oil for diabetic neuropathy(if the cannabinoid can be effective for this condition). No clinical trials have been done to claim with sufficient evidence that CBD oil can be effective for diabetic neuropathy. However, initial research claims that CBD oil may help manage the pain and inflammation that result from diabetic neuropathy, but such is limited since it majorly focuses on animal models or cultured nerve cells while not generally supported by advanced scientific studies. CBD is not marketed or recommended for curing diabetic neuropathy.

The Background Information of CBD Oil

CBD oil or cannabidiol oil is a hemp extract or one of the active compounds called cannabinoids present in the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike THC, that’s also closely studied, CBD oil is not linked to the ‘high’ effect and may not result in psychoactive effects, which is why it is marketed to help with just about anything in the name of a wellness challenge. CBD oil is available as isolate (99.9% or more pure CBD with no other cannabinoids), full-spectrum (CBD and other cannabinoids such as THC, CBG, CBT, and CBN present), and broad-spectrum formulations with all cannabinoids but THC. The last two CBD oil types are linked to the full entourage effect, especially because they have more than one cannabinoid. There are many forms of CBD oil, including topicals (serums, sticks, patches, lotions, massage oils, bath bombs, and more), edibles (gummies, lozenges, chocolates, brownies, and more), softgels or capsules, oils, and tinctures, smokables (hemp flower), and vapes (vape pens, cartridges, and more), and most of these products are easily accessible in stores, shops, and health/beauty stores.

Causes, Types and Consequences of Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy refers to the nerve damage that occurs when nerves in various body parts, primarily the lower extremities, are damaged because of elevated blood glucose levels. There are at least four types of diabetic neuropathy, including;

Mononeuropathy

Affects one nerve in any part of the body but majors on the legs and feet, causing dull numbing or sharp shooting pains.

Peripheral neuropathy

Affects the lower body extremities, including the legs and feet, causing sharp shooting pains, permanent numbness, or dull numbing pains.

Diabetic amyotrophy

Usually affects diabetic type II patients, severely impacting their legs, feet, thighs, and buttocks. Common symptoms of this form of diabetic neuropathy include sudden weight loss, swelling, and amyotrophic leg and feet muscles.

Autonomic neuropathy

It’s a severe form of diabetic neuropathy extending to critical organs like the heart, eyes, and stomach. Because it results in severe nerve pains in the affected regions, it is linked to increased heart rates, heart disease, blindness, erectile dysfunction, and more.

Is CBD Oil Effective for Diabetic Neuropathy?

Since conventional medication prescribed for managing diabetic neuropathy may not work for many. According to a study by Wallace, et al., (2015).,CBD oil may make an effective treatment or managing option for diabetic neuropathy. Currently, no clinical trials have been conducted to show that CBD oil can help with diabetic neuropathy. Even though some initial studies claim that CBD oil may help with diabetic neuropathy pains, such are not advanced and are limited in the sense that they majorly focus on cultures, nerve cells or animal models and are also not backed by recent advanced scientific studies.

CBD Oil for Managing Diabetic Neuropathy Pains

Although scientific studies do not support the use of CBD oil for managing diabetic neuropathy, some people are using it anyway. In fact, anecdotal evidence claims that some diabetic neuropathy patients have found relief in using CBD oil for managing diabetic pain. Still, the FDA has not approved CBD for pain management, whether from diabetic neuropathy or other causes. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine observed that when CBD was administered on rat’s nerve cells, there was a considerable pain reduction, suggesting that CBD oil may have some nociceptive (pain) regulatory roles. Many people bank on CBD oil to help them manage their neuropathic pain. Still, study does not recommend the cannabinoid or its products for pain management, especially because of the many knowledge gaps surrounding CBD oil studies. 

CBD Oil for Anti-inflammatory Effects

In most cases, pain stems from inflammation, and diabetic neuropathy is no exception. The condition comes with inflammation, which exacerbates pain in the affected areas, whether joints, hips, buttocks, legs, eyes or any body parts. Yet, one remarkable study by Cabrera, et al., (2021), it suggests that CBD oil may make a good inflammatory remedy. For instance, one study applied CBD oil gel on rats with arthritic inflammation and recorded reduced inflammatory markers. CBD oil proponents market CBD oil products for managing inflammatory effects and pains from diabetic neuropathy. However, until the uncertainties surrounding CBD oil are cleared, studies do not recommend CBD oil for any medical use, including managing diabetic neuropathy inflammation and pain.

Should You Use CBD Oil for Diabetic Neuropathy?

In view of the above, no clinical trials or scientific studies support CBD oil for neuropathic pain, even from diabetes. Besides, the FDA has not approved CBD oil for managing diabetic neuropathy, and using the cannabinoid anyway is a risky approach. Still, should one choose to take CBD oil for diabetic neuropathy, consult the doctor to know what dosages you should take or how to use the products.

Conclusion

Diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage caused by elevated blood glucose levels. It majorly affects the lower extremities like legs and feet but may extend to the heart and other critical organs. While some initial studies claim that CBD oil may be effective for diabetic neuropathy, no scientific studies back up the claim. As such, studies do not recommend CBD oil for this condition, and whoever chooses to go that route should consult a doctor before doing so.

References

Wallace, M. S., Marcotte, T. D., Umlauf, A., Gouaux, B., & Atkinson, J. H. (2015). Efficacy Of Inhaled Cannabis On Painful Diabetic Neuropathy. The Journal Of Pain, 16(7), 616-627.

Cabrera, C. L. R., Keir-Rudman, S., Horniman,

N., Clarkson, N., & Page, C. (2021). The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Of

Cannabidiol And Cannabigerol Alone, And In Combination. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 69, 102047.

Mental health expert
MS, University of Latvia

I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.

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