Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system, destroying nerve fibers, which causes numbness and pain in the limbs. The condition mostly affects patients with diabetes. As many as 27% of diabetic adults over 40 live with the condition. An estimated 20 million people in the United States suffer from some form of peripheral neuropathy.
There is no cure or instant treatment for peripheral neuropathy, but the underlying causes, such as diabetes, can be contained to prevent the situation from worsening. Cannabis is one alternative treatment that has been found to help reduce neuropathic pain. If you or someone you love suffers from neuropathy, medical marijuana may provide some relief. Before you begin a cannabis-based treatment, here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a broad term that refers to the damage of nerve cells. Healthy nerve cells send signals to the brain, but a damaged cell can send the wrong information. In many cases, patients report feeling a sharp, burning pain in their extremities.
The main cause of neuropathy is an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, although other diseases can also lead to neuropathic pain. A serious injury or accident can also lead to nerve damage.
What is the Prognosis of Peripheral Neuropathy?
There are no cures for peripheral neuropathy; treatments seek to manage the pain and slow the progress. Many neuropathy patients can resume normal activities after pain relief.
However, neuropathy is a contributor to functional impairments, especially in older individuals. Ironically, sometimes decreased pain is actually a sign of the nerve damage worsening. As the nerve fibers die, the brain has trouble communicating with extremities like the hands and feet. Many patients report numbness in their feet or lower legs and have trouble walking or balancing.
For this reason, neuropathy was one of the earliest conditions considered for medical marijuana in Texas. Cannabis may help reduce inflammation and protect nerve fibers.
Peripheral Neuropathy Treatments: Is Marijuana the Best Option?
While peripheral neuropathy does not have a known cure, it can be treated or contained through therapy or different medications. Treatment for different neuropathies depends entirely on the symptoms experienced, the extent and type of nerve damage, and the location of the damage.
The most effective treatment for neuropathy is often a lifestyle change. Control of blood sugar levels has been proven to reduce the progression of neuropathy in diabetic patients. Other remedies for neuropathy can include limiting alcohol, exercising, and physical therapy.
As for medication, pain relievers and antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed treatments for peripheral neuropathy. Since everyone experiences neuropathy differently, two people may have varying responses to the same medication.
In addition to potentially offering pain relief to many cancer patients, medical marijuana has shown promise as a treatment for peripheral neuropathy patients. For this reason, medical marijuana practitioners may advise patients with neuropathy to consider cannabis as an alternate form of treatment.
How Marijuana Helps Peripheral Neuropathy Patients
Medical marijuana, besides being a good pain reliever, may deescalate the progression of nerve damage in peripheral neuropathy patients. Some research has suggested that cannabis may reduce neuropathic pain. Incurable neurodegenerative diseases qualify for medical cannabis in many states, including Texas, where the Compassionate Use Act outlines the use of medical marijuana for neuropathy and other similar conditions.
The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) compounds in cannabis are the main agents that help alleviate pain for neuropathy patients. One study has suggested that a topical application, such as a THC/CBD spray, may be more effective for treating nerve pain than ingesting or smoking cannabis.
Potential side effects of using cannabis as a treatment for peripheral neuropathy include lightheadedness, fatigue, or difficulty concentrating. Working with a qualified medical marijuana doctor is the best way to calibrate your dosage and determine the best method of intake for your condition.
Is Cannabis Legal in Texas?
Yes, medical marijuana for peripheral neuropathy is legal, but patients need to follow the proper procedure to access medical cannabis in Texas.
Texas only permits the use of cannabis for specific medical purposes. To use cannabis in Texas, you must be qualified and have a letter of approval from a CURT-certified marijuana doctor. The Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) is the system that certifies cannabis physicians in Texas, and no marijuana doctor is allowed to operate without this license.
State legislation mandates that each patient be registered with just one doctor and that all prescribed patients' data be recorded into a registry for verification by authorities as needed. While it may sound complicated, an organization like Texas 420 Doctors helps to navigate the paperwork. Our services include the necessary documentation to register a patient with CURT and a letter of approval that authorizes patients to obtain cannabis as a peripheral neuropathy treatment.
How To Get Medical Cannabis in Texas
The first step to accessing medical cannabis for a qualifying condition is to get in touch with Texas 420 Doctors.
We make the whole process of beginning a cannabis treatment for neuropathy patients affordable, quick, and hassle-free. In just under a minute, you can check if you qualify for cannabis medication on our websites. If you meet the requirements for medical marijuana, we'll schedule a meeting with one of our licensed marijuana doctors to assist you in determining whether cannabis medicine is an appropriate treatment for your neuropathy condition, the right dosage, and the best method for administering it.
Our professional, confidential services are available in English and Spanish.
Once you get your prescription from us, we add your details to the CURT registry so you can successfully order marijuana from a Texas dispensary.
Throughout the year, you will have follow-up consultations with your doctor to discuss your treatment and make adjustments to your cannabis dosage as needed.
Medical marijuana is a powerful treatment for peripheral neuropathy that has a wide range of therapeutic applications. A marijuana doctor is the best option if you want to use cannabis effectively to alleviate your pain.
If you have peripheral neuropathy and would like to use cannabis treatment for your condition, Texas 420 Doctors offers the best medical marijuana services at an affordable price.
Contact us today to get started. We’re ready to answer your questions and help you find the best path forward in your treatment.