Medical Marijuana For Neuropathy
At Warner Orthopedics & Wellness, we have recently started offering medical marijuana recommendations in our clinic for certain conditions. Dr. Meredith Warner is certified to recommend those whom she believes could benefit from this powerful, plant-based method of pain relief.
Medical marijuana has a variety of therapeutic uses – and few side effects. So while research is still ongoing about its many benefits, you can rest assured that negative side effects are few and far between. That being said, Dr. Warner will arrange for close follow-up to ensure that your response to this plant-based therapeutic is optimal.
Today, we’re going to look at just one therapeutic application of medical marijuana.
Let’s talk about how it can alleviate symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy:
What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?
If diabetes goes unchecked, it can eventually damage nerve endings. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to pain, tingling, and numbness in the extremities – particularly the feet.
Neuropathy can be painful in its own right, but when it leads to numbness, other, more worrying complications can arise. Those with advanced neuropathy may injure their feet and not feel it – leading to open wounds that, if left unchecked, could lead to infection and even amputation.
What Is Medical Marijuana?
“Medical marijuana” refers to any legal marijuana products that are used for therapeutic, not recreational purposes. In Lousiana, medical marijuana is legal, and those with qualifying conditions can receive a recommendation from a qualified physician to access products from certified dispensaries.
Marijuana contains more than 60 different cannabinoids. These cannabinoids can interact with your body’s internal regulatory system (the Endocannabinoid system) to exert their effects. The two main cannabinoids that have been studied for therapeutic benefits are:
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC: this is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. However, it does appear to have therapeutic properties as well. There are synthetic forms of THC available as prescription medications, such as dronabinol, which is a drug used to treat appetite loss and nausea.
Cannabidiol, or CBD: CBD does not produce psychoactive effects. A prescription form of CBD, Epidiolex, is currently available in the U.S. for the treatment of epilepsy. CBD’s purported health benefits include anti-inflammation, stress relief, improved sleep, antioxidant benefits, and more.
The terpenes and flavonoids – plant-based compounds within the plant other than cannabinoids like THC and CBD – can also have an “entourage effect.” When you take in cannabis, you’re taking in hundreds of therapeutic botanical compounds. Each has unique effects and benefits – but their behavior may change in the presence of other compounds.
A 2010 study showed that patients with cancer pain, when given a THC/CBD combo product instead of pure THC extract, reported less pain.
How Medical Marijuana Can Help
The THC and CBD within marijuana can bind to specific cannabinoid receptors in the brain and peripheral nervous system – helping relieve the chronic pain, numbing, and tingling of diabetic neuropathy.
When they interact with these receptors, they help regulate neurotransmitters, promoting healthier and more balanced pain signaling. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of medical marijuana also work to help alleviate pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.
Free radicals, which are generated when the body encounters stress, toxins, poor lifestyle habits, and more, can damage nerve endings, exaggerating the effects of the condition. Cannabis is packed with beneficial compounds that are rich in antioxidants, helping to diminish oxidative stress and irritation.
If you think that you could benefit from therapeutic cannabis use, click below to schedule your virtual consultation with Dr. Meredith Warner today! During your consultation, Dr. Warner will assess your condition and determine if it qualifies you to receive a recommendation to a medical marijuana dispensary.
If approved, you can legally access this safe and therapeutic method of naturally relieving neuropathy pain!