Focal Neuropathy and Medical Cannabis Treatment
Focal neuropathy is a head, torso, and leg nerve condition that causes muscle weakness. It is often associated with diabetes and can affect sufferers of any age that have to live with the condition and see no relief unless casting, medication, or surgery are prescribed or performed.
The Foundation of Peripheral Neuropathy reports that medical cannabis can alleviate the nerve disorder. Citing several studies, including the 2006 periodical Current Neuropharmacology report “Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pai Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes,” the foundation confirms “some efficacy of medical marijuana/cannabis in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain.”
Focal Neuropathy Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
Like diabetes, focal neuropathy causes damage to small blood vessels as well as elevate the levels of the fat called triglyceride. WebMD notes several symptoms of the condition, including double vision, eye pain, Bell’s Palsy, and chest and stomach pain, and the never damage is seen in diabetic patients.
The American Diabetes Association details other types of neuropathy similar to focal, including Charcot’s Joint, cranial neuropathy, compression mononeuropathy, femoral neuropathy, thoracic/lumbar radiculopathy, and unilateral foot drop. Treatments of focal neuropathy vary. According to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), the three main ways are by wearing splints, taking inflammation medication, and having surgery.
Neuropathy and the Impact of Cannabinoids
The journal Neuropsychopharmacology published a study in 2008 that proved that cannabis alleviated neuropathic pain in AIDS/HIV patients. The double-blind, placebo-controlled, study concluded: “smoked cannabis was generally well-tolerated and effective when added to concomitant analgesic therapy in patients with medically refractory pain due to HIV-associated distal sensory predominant polyneuropathy (DSPN) pain.”
Additionally, a 2015 periodical PAIN study confirmed that “inhaled cannabis may alleviate chronic neuropathic pain.” Along with noting the analgesic benefits of medical cannabis, the Foundation of Peripheral Neuropathy report “expenses for medical marijuana are not covered by health plans and are out-of-pocket, knowing the cost-effectiveness of medical marijuana may impact patients’ decisions regarding its use.”
Furthermore, the study concludes that whether medical cannabis is consumed sublingual, oral, smoked, or vaporized, it can “have demonstrated analgesic benefit in the treatment of this costly and disabling condition, and some treatment guidelines for neuropathic pain recommend consideration of cannabinoids as a second or third line agent.”
Lastly, another study reveals smoked cannabis is considered a cost-effective second or third-line treatment for chronic neuropathic pain. While more research and reviews conclude that medical cannabis can alleviate focal neuropathy, some who suffer from the depilating condition already prove it does.