January 04, 2021 4 min read
As many welcome the roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine, Bell's palsy and neuropathy have been in the news. Bell's palsy is a rare but usually short-term condition that requires immediate care to minimize recovery time. Neuropathy is a more common problem that affects about three million Americans. Depending on its cause, neuropathy can be treated and sometimes cured.
Both conditions relate to nerve dysfunction or damage. When healthy, the nervous system receives information through the senses, processes it, and triggers reactions. For example, you see a friend and smile or sip boiling tea and feel the burn.
Bell's palsy occurs when the normal activity of the facial nerve is disrupted on one side. Everything from blinking to tasting on that side of the face will lose function. The severity of the condition varies with symptoms from mild to severe.
Medical professionals aren't sure of the exact cause, but the facial nerve in Bell's palsy patients is swollen and inflamed.
Most scientists suspect that impaired immunity from stress, sleep deprivation, physical trauma, minor illness, or autoimmune syndromes trigger a dormant viral infection. The infection causes swelling in the facial nerve and restricts the blood and oxygen supply to the nerve cells, resulting in apparent paralysis.
Many factors can cause neuropathy, including diabetes, traumatic injuries, infections, medications, hormonal imbalances, kidney or liver disorders, and exposure to toxins.
Neuropathy can affect any part of the body but usually shows up in the hands or feet when nerves are damaged or malfunction. A single or several nerve paths may be involved, depending on the case.
CBD's efficacy with the nervous system is evident in the FDA-approved epilepsy drug Epilodex. Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system, and CBD reduces seizures in hard-to-control forms of epilepsy with few to no side-effects.
As a natural plant molecule, CBD interacts with the integral endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in humans and animals. CBD and plant terpenes naturally activate ECS receptors throughout the brain, body, and nervous system to reduce pain, manage inflammation, fight infections, protect brain cells, and modulate the nervous system.
Only about 40,000 people get Bell's palsy each year, and few clinical studies have been done with CBD and Bell's palsy patients. However, multiple studies demonstrate CBD's effectiveness as a:
Each of these benefits addresses either a symptom or likely cause of Bell's palsy. Because of its relationship with the head-to-toe ECS system, CBD can influence the body holistically.
Case studies, like this one published by a medical doctor about his patient with Bell's palsy who took CBD, indicate CBD reduces pain and improves recovery rate.
In a clinical study of 29 patients with peripheral neuropathy, topical CBD reduced symptoms including intense or sharp pain and cold or itchy sensations in the CBD group compared to the placebo group, with no adverse events reported.
Scientists are interested in CBD for neuropathic pain because it remains effective even with extended use and does not present the existing prescription options' dangerous side effects.
A hefty body of research shows CBD to be effective against inflammatory and neuropathic pain. For chronic neuropathic patients, long-term use of prescription pain killers, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may irritate chronic diseases or cause unwanted side-effects. CBD offers pain relief more naturally and without the dangerous side-effects of opioids or NSAIDs.
A less-known ECS receptor, the GPR55, is thought to extend CBD's benefits in the nervous system. Cannabinoids, like CBD, that attach to the GPR55 receptor have been found to promote overall functionality within neurons throughout the body. They help neurons retain their charge and incite the proper responses when triggered.
At Jampha, we fortify each of our organic, full-spectrum CBD products with an entourage of naturally-occurring plant terpenes to enhance and support its function. Terpenes add to CBD's anti-inflammatory, neuroprotectant, and pain-relieving qualities.
A primary benefit of using CBD products in treating neuropathic pain is it can reduce reliance on pain medication. In the United States in 2018, 128 people a day died from an opioid overdose. About 30 percent of those were prescribed.
A small percentage of people who use CBD do report some side-effects. These include dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. People who already take medication with a grapefruit warning, or patients with liver damage should consult their doctor before and during CBD use.
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