CBD Oil For Trigeminal Neuralgia

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Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is caused by damage or dysfunction in the trigeminal nerve, resulting in severe pain on the face. How Chronic Pain Made Me Stop Worrying And Love CBD After an MS diagnosis, a quest for nerve pain relief led me to reassess my ’80s anti-marijuana programming. 133 shares Send Me

CBD Oil for Trigeminal Neuralgia – August 2022

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a form of neuropathic pain condition caused by dysfunction in the trigeminal nerve, or fifth cranial nerve . The nerve is responsible for carrying sensation signals from the face to the brain.

TN pain has been reported to be so severe that it has been called the “ suicide disease ” (5) .

Slight stimulations on the face, such as touching, brushing, and washing may cause severe facial pain . TN may also cause muscle spasms, feelings of electric shock , and burning sensation .

TN treatments include anticonvulsant agents, antispasmodic agents, and potentially invasive surgical procedures.

Antiepileptic medications, such as gabapentin and carbamazepine, have been used to treat TN (6) . However, the lack of intolerability and efficacy has been observed among these medications after prolonged use (7) .

CBD is a proven antiepileptic treatment (8) . A recent study posted in Molecules mentioned evidence of CBD ’s anticonvulsant and neuroprotective properties. These actions might help reduce spasms and nerve pain (9) .

Studies have not investigated CBD ’s efficacy on spasms caused by TN. However, CBD might have therapeutic benefits for treating chronic pain caused by TN (10) .

A review shared that cannabinoids , such as CBD , might help alleviate neuropathic pain and hyperalgesia (pain sensitivity). The review mentioned that there is evidence that cannabinoids might block the pain pathway ’s neural transmission (11) .

The authors added that the nociceptive effects produced by cannabinoids might be a potential therapeutic approach to the management of trigeminal neuralgia (12) .

The analgesic and anti-hyperalgesic effects of CBD were supported by an animal study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (13) .

The study mentioned that CBD possesses therapeutic benefits that might reduce pain and inflammation that causes neuropathy (14) .

Neuropathy is dysfunction or damage in the nerves that may cause pain, tingling and burning sensations , numbness, or muscle weakness.

Moreover, the authors added that CBD was able to mitigate hyperalgesia in mice models. The study concluded that CBD reduced persistent inflammation and neuropathic pain (15) .

Another study shared in the European Journal of Pharmacology demonstrated that CBD may possess potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects (16) .

In the study, oral CBD was administered on rat models with induced sciatic nerve compression. Researchers found that CBD treatment reduced hyperalgesia and reduced inflammation (17) .

According to experts, trigeminal nerve pain can be caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve . This compression causes damage to the trigeminal’s protective coating (myelin sheath) (18) . In severe cases, this vessel may need to be surgically separated from the trigeminal nerve.

Moreover, researchers observed that high blood pressure increases the risk for TN (19) .

A preclinical study acknowledged that CBD has cardiovascular benefits (20) . The authors mentioned that healthy volunteers (age 21-29) whose hypertension is triggered by stress displayed a lower resting blood pressure after taking CBD .

Clinical studies without limitations are needed to confirm CBD ’s potential ability to reduce blood pressure in older individuals.

Most of the studies mentioned have shown results using animals as test subjects. More clinical studies are needed to prove CBD ’s efficacy in alleviating nerve pain .

How CBD Oil Works to Help With Trigeminal Neuralgia

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is essential in maintaining homeostasis in the central nervous system , peripheral nervous system , immune system, and organs.

The ECS is composed of receptors that are spread across the human body. These receptors include the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and glycine receptor (GLyR) (21) .

Studies acknowledged that modulating the receptors in the ECS might influence bodily functions, resulting in several therapeutic benefits (22) .

Modulatory effects can be triggered or stimulated by cannabinoids , such as cannabidiol ( CBD) , tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG) (23) .

A study posted by the Journal of Experimental Medicine suggested that modulating the ECS might have therapeutic effects in pain management (24) .

Moreover, the authors mentioned that glycine receptors in the central nervous system are an essential target for alleviating neuropathic pain (25) .

The authors added that cannabinoids , such as THC and CBD , might strengthen nerve impulses in the glycine receptors, resulting in analgesic potency (26) .

Glycine receptors are ion channels that are responsible for neurotransmission.

The study found that oral CBD treatment provided a binding glycine activity that reduced hyperalgesia and neuropathic pain in mice models.

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The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Trigeminal Neuralgia

The Pros
  • Studies demonstrated that CBD might have therapeutic effects in pain management by modulating receptors in the ECS (27) .
  • Researchers acknowledged that CBD might strengthen nerve impulses in the ECS receptors, resulting in analgesic potency (28) .
  • Animal studies have shown that oral CBD treatment might be useful in alleviating neuropathic pain and hyperalgesia (pain sensitivity) (29) .
  • Studies have shown that CBD might reduce blood pressure . High blood pressure might increase the risk for TN (30) .
  • Researchers acknowledge that CBD is well-tolerated and has an excellent safety profile (31) .
The Cons
  • There are not enough clinical studies that support CBD ’s efficacy in treating trigeminal neuralgia .
  • Studies mentioned that CBD might cause adverse effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and CBD -induced drug interactions (32) .
  • An animal study has shown that CBD might cause hepatotoxicity (liver damage) when taken in extremely high doses. This hypothesis is supported by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (33) .

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Trigeminal Neuralgia

There are not many alternative treatment options for painful conditions, like TN. The efficacy of alternative anticonvulsants for treating TN is currently not supported by scientific studies.

A popular alternative treatment for TN is acupuncture. A review mentioned that a 66-year woman suffering from TN believed that she was successfully treated by acupuncture (34) .

Acupuncture is a Chinese tradition that uses microneedles to balance the energy in the body.

Researchers mention that acupuncture may help maintain homeostasis in the ECS and must be investigated. So far, no direct studies have been made on how acupuncture might trigger the cannabinoid receptors (35) .

A study published in Frontiers of Molecular Neuroscience has found that electroacupuncture on osteoarthritis rats was able to increase receptor activity, resulting in reduced chronic pain (36) .

Electroacupuncture is conducted by sending electrical signals through acupuncture needles.

CBD has somewhat similar characteristics to electroacupuncture. A study discussed that CBD ’s modulation of adenosine receptors resulted in reduced pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis mice (37) .

Another alternative treatment for TN is vitamin B12. Studies have shown that vitamin B12 has analgesic properties that might be useful for treating neuropathic pain (38) .

A review from Neural Plasticity cited clinical studies that produced positive results from neuropathic patients following treatments of methylcobalamin (MeCbl), a form of B12. These clinical studies included patients with neuropathic health conditions, such as TN and diabetic neuropathy (39) .

Clinical studies have yet to test CBD ’s efficacy on TN and diabetic neuropathy. However, a study acknowledged that CBD might also possess therapeutic benefits for neuropathic conditions.

CBD ’s modulation of glycine receptors resulted in alleviating chronic pain and hyperalgesia in mice models (40) .

How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Full-spectrum CBD oil carries all the major cannabinoids found in hemp plants, such as CBD , CBG, CBC, and 0.3% THC .

Full-spectrum CBD is recommended for treating neuropathic pain . A study posted in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management acknowledged the analgesic effects of other cannabinoids present in hemp (41) .

Broad-spectrum CBD contains the same cannabinoids in full-spectrum without THC . Broad-spectrum is recommended for individuals who do not want traces of THC in their system.

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum types provide individuals with the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect means that all the cannabinoids are working in synergy.

Individuals who cannot tolerate other cannabinoids may opt for CBD isolate. This concentration contains 90% CBD .

Additional tips to consider before buying CBD :

  • Customers may check for cannabinoid concentration in the product by referring to the certificate of analysis (COA).
  • Checking testimonials and reviews from other customers is helpful.
  • Consulting with a neurologist before taking CBD is important.

CBD Dosage for Trigeminal Neuralgia

More clinical trials are crucial in determining the correct CBD dose for health conditions.

The British Journal of Pharmacology published a study that recommended a low dose of less than 1 to 50 milligrams kilograms per day (

Individuals may increase their dose once their bodies get used to having CBD in their system.

Moreover, a clinical study published by the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry mentioned that a dose-response curve was observed with CBD (43) .

The authors explained that 300mg pure CBD treatment produced positive results, while 150mg and 600mg did not produce any changes.

Also, a high dosage of CBD is not recommended. A study released by Molecules observed that extremely high doses of CBD caused hepatotoxicity in rat models (44) .

How to Take CBD Oil for Trigeminal Neuralgia

CBD oil may be taken orally in forms of capsules, softgels, and gummies. Individuals may also take CBD capsules , gummies, and other edibles with a glass of water.

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A study observed that CBD remained in the system three to four hours after oral intake (45) .

Individuals who want a higher potency of CBD may opt for sublingual administration. CBD tinctures may be taken by using an applicator to drop CBD under the tongue.

More studies are needed to determine absorption speed and plasma concentrations for sublingual delivery.

The half-life of sublingual CBD administration has been observed to be dose-dependent. Nevertheless, researchers observed that plasma concentrations are faster when individuals are in a fasted state (empty stomach) (46) .

CBD tinctures may have an earthy taste due to the presence of terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in the plants.

Some individuals may want the fastest method for pain relief . Thus, CBD vape pens and cartridges may be recommended.

Studies have shown that the lungs can be very efficient in delivering CBD into the bloodstream (47) . The authors explained that inhaling CBD through vaporization could deliver plasma concentrations to the body in less than 10 minutes.

However, another study reported that vaping might cause side effects , such as chest pain, shortness of breath, allergic reactions, and chemical irritation (48) .

Are CBD Oil and Medical Marijuana the Same?

Some individuals may mistake CBD for medical marijuana . However, these compounds differ in cultivation and concentration.

Medical marijuana or medical cannabis can come from several cannabis strains. The cannabis plant is harvested for its flowers and leaves, after which they are cured and dried for consumption.

CBD is usually extracted from Cannabis sativa, particularly hemp, using CO2 extraction, solvent extraction, or steam distillation.

The extraction method creates a more concentrated version of hemp. The cannabinoids are manufactured into carrier oils, capsules, edibles, vape juice, and other products.

CBD and medical marijuana also differ in terms of THC content.

CBD contains only 0.3% THC or less, making it legal in all 50 US states and territories (49) . Meanwhile, some dispensaries sell cannabis products that may contain up to 25-28% THC (50) .

Recreational and medical use of marijuana is illegal in the US, except for 11 states. These states may require consumers to procure a medical marijuana card (51) .

Although CBD products are legal, the CBD market remains highly unregulated.

Individuals are advised to always look for the certificate of analysis (COA) before buying the product. The COA is a third-party lab test result from ISO-certified laboratories.

These labs test for cannabinoid concentration and harmful chemicals, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants.

The COA allows consumers to know that the product is high-quality and safe for humans or pets.

Conclusion

Studies have shown that CBD might be useful in alleviating neuropathic pain and hyperalgesia . This mechanism is due to CBD’s ability to block neural transmission in the pain receptors (52) .

Researchers also acknowledged that CBD might produce analgesic potency by strengthening nerve impulses in glycine receptors (53) .

Moreover, studies have shown that CBD might indirectly reduce TN pain by lowering blood pressure (54) .

More direct studies are needed to prove CBD ’s efficacy in alleviating neuropathic pain .

However, researchers mention that CBD ’s therapeutic potentials showed promise in improving the quality of life of individuals with TN (55) .

How Chronic Pain Made Me Stop Worrying And Love CBD

After an MS diagnosis, a quest for nerve pain relief led me to reassess my ’80s anti-marijuana programming.

  • 133 shares

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I spent my teens in the eighties listening to the Nancy Reagan “Just Say No” anti-drug commercials. I counselled friends in high school to stop “doing pot.” I was a Sunday school teacher in my early twenties. Call me a goody-goody if you want, but I always felt like I needed to be a good role model. Which is why I found it so difficult when my doctors finally suggested I take marijuana to help treat my chronic pain: it meant embracing something I’d been programmed my whole life to view as a gateway to wickedness.

Marijuana —recreational and medical—has been legal in Washington State for several years. After my multiple sclerosis diagnosis two years ago, several neurologists suggested I try medical marijuana as part of my treatment path, but I resisted. Why did I resist? I think I thought of any exploration of cannabis as shameful, even when recommended by medical professionals. Looking back, this shame was irrational, but there it was.

A Late Night Visit To The Dispensary

What changed my mind was multi-week attack of trigeminal nerve pain. Imagine getting a root canal during the worst migraine of your life. My neurologist recommended some options, ranging from opioids I couldn’t take to ketamine, which I felt even more nervous about than marijuana. Maybe there was something safer and easier to obtain, with fewer side effects.

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This is how I came to find myself wandering late at night into a gritty suburban dispensary. I stuck out like a sore thumb: while the other customers wanted to know how high a product might get them, I was only interested in medical interactions. I couldn’t inhale anything because of asthma, so I came home with a bag of edibles and topicals, but these interacted badly with my other medications.

Author Jeannine Gailey was staunchly anti-drug her whole life, until chronic pain made her try CBD and reassess her preconceptions.

Trying CBD To Treat My MS

I was just about to give up on marijuana as a pain management option when a friend of mine suggested CBD oil, a marijuana-derived oil with many of the positive medicinal qualities of marijuana but without THC, the substance that gets you high. I felt much more comfortable after I learned that the negative side effects I associated with getting stoned were mostly related to the substance THC.

Turned out my local pharmacy had a great selection of CBD products, and I came home with products I felt more comfortable with—which separated the mood-altering qualities of marijuana from the ones of medicinal benefit—and definitely a shopping experience I felt more comfortable with. A clean, well-lit pharmacy with actual pharmacists put me more at ease than the somewhat dingy dispensary I went to.

I was converted. CBD was not a cure-all, but I could see why so many MS doctors and patients were enthusiastic recommenders of the product.

The trigeminal nerve pain had been so severe I had not slept well in several weeks. Though my first night trying CBD did not relieve all the pain, I felt more relaxed and able to sleep. After three days of the same procedure— massaging the area with CBD oil, and taking a little of the tincture before sleep—the pain started to ease slightly. I also notice the CBD helped with other MS symptoms, such as waking up with muscle spasms and tremors. I experienced zero side effects.

I was converted. CBD was not a cure-all, but I could see why so many MS doctors and patients were enthusiastic recommenders of the product.

Maybe I could still be a role model, but this time for MS patients who were unsure of whether or not trying CBD might be morally okay for them, or who might have echoes of anti-drug propaganda from the past in their heads. CBD did not make me high, or hungry, or unable to function, or any of the possible problems I had been worried about. In fact, it had fewer side effects that some of the prescription medications I had been given for my MS symptoms.

It’s hard to get rid of mid-western eighties anti-drug programming, it turns out.

Why did it take me so long to get over the stigma of the dispensary and becoming someone who was open to using a drug that was vilified as a “gateway” drug during my childhood? Was it my church upbringing that taught me to abstain from drugs or alcohol, or the (it turns out, incorrect) assumption that marijuna would turn me into an addict? It’s hard to get rid of mid-western eighties anti-drug programming, it turns out. I wish I had been more open from the beginning. Now I’m recommending it to my parents, who both suffer from arthritis and sleep issues, as a possible alternative to more dangerous drugs. They’re in Ohio, where CBD has just become legal.

Not A Panacea—But Not a Gateway to Evil, Either

So, no surprise to most of you, I did not automatically turn into a zombie, a drug addict, or any kind of criminal miscreant after my use of CBD. The only side effects I experienced is that I giggled a bit more than normal and slept slightly longer than usual. So, would I recommend other MS patients from trying out cannabidiol products for their symptoms if they are legal in their area? A qualified “yes.” I did not find it to be the panacea that some people claim it to be, but if it eases pain, aids sleep, and addresses MS-specific problems like muscle spasticity, then maybe forget the stigma and don’t be too afraid to heed the advice of your doctors (or in my case, five doctors.) You too can stop worrying and learn to love CBD!

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