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The Amazing Benefits of CBD: The Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoid and Neuropathy

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Old 08-01-2018, 09:39 PM   #1
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Default The Amazing Benefits of CBD: The Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoid and Neuropathy

I haven't posted much of anything on here for a long time. But Ive been wanting to write this very long post about cannabidiol or CBD for a while but Ive held off for two reasons. One is a simply that Ive just been very busy with work and getting things done that I havent been able to get to for months, and sometimes for years. This is actually because of what CBD has done for me. The second reason is that I wanted to have enough time and data before I wrote anything.

First some background/context. I have full body idiopathic small fiber neuropathy, but thats just a formal diagnosis. In addition to this, with all the sensory and autonomic issues, I clearly also have large fiber involvement, since I have tremors or shaking and muscle weakness. Multiple attempts to pick up on the large fiber involvement has failed, but all of them were about 3-4 years ago, and my neuropathy has definitely progressed since then. My disease has progressed overall but at a moderate pace.

To give you some idea about what life is like for me on a day to day basis, Ill list some things. Sometimes I drop things, sometimes I feel some burning, sometimes I have heart palpitations and difficulty catching my breath, and then there is the skin damage, muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, and much more. The worst symptom to me is my constant tremors or shaking or vibration, however you want to phrase it. It happens throughout my whole body and it gets worse when my body is stressed, so when Im tired, angry, hungry, and so on. There are other symptoms, but I dont want to go on and on.

In addition to the nerve related issues, I have been depressed and anxious for years, even before my diagnoses, but likely concurrent with when the disease started without me knowing it had started. My life has gone nowhere for years even though Im in my 30s and in the prime of my life. I have felt no desire or motivation for anything, but instead Ive been living day by day. This is partly because I have no energy, but also because I was severely depressed. As many of you know, this is a common symptom of chronic conditions, especially ones that are left undiagnosed and degenerative.

I write all this by way of background/context, so that it becomes clear what CBD has done for me. Over the years Ive taken every supplement under the sun. Now let me get to the point. About 3 months ago, I began taking CBD derived from hemp. I had smoked marijuana for years, but only recreationally and sometimes as a sedative for sleep. But as my anxiety and depression worsened with my disease, THC caused me more problems than it did good. I also knew my fair share about CBD and other cannabinoids. But I had never thought to take CBD in its pure form or that it was available in this form, and shamefully I didnt know that many (though by no means all) of the medicinal benefits of cannabis were from CBD and crucially and embarrassingly that it was not psychotropic, that it didnt get you high but quite the opposite.

The impact on my health was immediate. The depression and anxiety lifted, my energy and motivation noticeably increased, and I felt positive about life for the first time in years. My pain significantly reduced, there were no blood pressure issues or heart palpitations, and a number of my other symptoms disappeared entirely. This includes my worst symptom, the shaking/tremors, which shouldnt be surprising given how effectively CBD works for epileptics. My sleep, focus and memory all dramatically improved. The stiffness and horrible aching pain in my joints and the numbness in my feet and hands lessened, which is likely partly because CBD is a vasodilator. Actually, when Im on it, my joint pain disappears entirely.

I had read about all these things, having read all the animal and human studies I could find, which are thin to be sure given the idiotic, politically driven and unscientific prohibition of Cannabis throughout the world but especially in the states, where so much of the research funding originates. But I didnt believe it could be such a panacea! Who could? But it turned out its all true.

A few months in and its clear that CBD is a game changer for me. Sometimes I notice how effective it is when Im not on it, when I miss a dose because Im out or cant get to it. I start shaking, my temperature starts changing, my hands and feet hurt and feel stiff and numb. The tingling and sharp needle like pain returns. I start to shake and to feel joint pain again. I could go on and on.

Ive since also met about a dozen neuropathy sufferers in person and online who have seen similar results, some even better than mine. Two people have seen an almost complete reversal of their neuropathy over 2-3 years of daily use. Others have at least seen their symptoms lessen and their quality of life improve. Its too early to tell for me, but at this early stage Im at least in the latter camp. I wish I had started earlier, I wish I had known about CBD in this pure form before. But Im grateful I am using it now. Im thinking long term, since nothing changes overnight. The best results Ive seen are from people who have used it for many months and years and who have been patient. One person I spoke to felt nothing for an entire 2 months until she started to feel the benefits. Most people feel it immediately once they have figured out the right dose for them.

You can get hemp derived CBD in many countries in the world, certainly in the states, Canada, and most European countries. The legality of it is unclear in many places, but its sold and shipped to every corner of the USA, Canada, and again most of Europe. In some of these places its also entirely legal. Its not like marijuana in that hemp has a legal amount of THC so to speak. That is, what qualifies as hemp are cannabis plants that have less than .3% THC, and often less than .2 or even .1 percent THC. Some of the best companies for quality CBD are in the states, so Americans have it good. Canada, where I am, is more complicated, and Ive had to work hard to find a quality affordable product that is effective. I dont know Europe as well, but Im happy to help with suggestions where I think I can help. Any Canadians out there who need help, should send me a message. Things are more complicated in Canada but we have a few options including legal ones.

Here are a few important facts for those considering CBD:

1. There are two main kinds of CBD, full spectrum and isolate. Full spectrum is about 90 or so percent CBD and 10 percent or so other phytochemicals, so other cannabinoids and terpenes, including trace amounts of THC (not nearly enough to have any psychotropic effect even if you consume massive amounts). A few preliminary studies seem to show that full spectrum is more effective in various ways, because of the so called entourage effect arising from the other phytochemicals. For example, CBN, CBC, CBG and even THC have all been shown in preliminary research to have immense medicinal benefits of their own, not to mention some of the terpenes and their medicinal properties. However, Im one of the few who tolerates CBD isolate much better. In fact, for whatever reason, two thirds of the neuropathy sufferers Ive spoken to have all had the same experience and so use isolate. My suggestion would be to try both. Also, its important to know that every full spectrum product from a specific plant/farm is like a unique strain or combination of phytochemicals, so if you cant tolerate one full spectrum oil, it doesnt mean you cant tolerate them all. Ive actually found one full spectrum product that I like at times. But I still use isolate 90% of the time.

2. Dosing is complicated and specific to each person. CBD can have a biphasic effect. Low doses work as stimulants and high doses can lead to drowsiness and a good nights sleep. I take lower doses in the morning and afternoon when I need to be energized and focused on my work, and higher doses in the evening when I need to relax and wind down for bedtime. What constitutes a low dose and what a high dose will be specific to each person. There are a number of factors, such as weight and what youre treating. This is very important. Depending on your condition, you may require higher doses, so pain requires higher doses, whereas relief from anxiety requires much lower. These general principles are for the most part true across the board, but you will still have to experiment and figure out your own high and low doses on your own.

3. CBD is unregulated in most places including in Canada and the states. I can recommend CBD companies (all online) that are excellent, and there are a number of them, so feel free to ask me. But as a general rule, what you want and what makes the companies I use good, is transparency. You want third-party testing for as many markers are possible. Testing for potency, residual solvents and heavy metals are ideal. Some places have these and also testing for pesticides and microbes. This is rare because its expensive to do. But at a minimum you want testing for potency (and for residual solvents for CBD isolate at least). There are lots of places selling dangerous and often synthetic things so be careful. You dont want to be consuming chemicals and you dont have to if you attend to what matters and make sure the company is properly vetted. There are also lots of places that have terrible markups. CBD is not that expensive, so you dont need to pay high prices for a quality product.

There is so much more to say, so below are some articles you can read. These are the ones that make the rounds on CBD forums, and they will have links to a few studies. One of them is a survey of side effects. So I also include something on the side effects, which are minimal. Even at very high doses CBD is very well tolerated by humans and animals. The few side effects are almost always reported at very high doses, often thousands of mg per day, and in a small minority.

What Are The Medical Benefits of CBD? - Leaf Science
Why Doesn't CBD Do Anything For Me? | POPSUGAR Fitness
Does CBD Make You Sleepy or More Alert? - Leaf Science
An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies
What Are The Side Effects of CBD? - Leaf Science

I dont want to give anyone false hope. Lord knows I experienced my fair share of false hope over the last few years. I had given up and had zero expectation when I tried CBD. And so the story goes. I very much hope that CBD can help some of you out there as it has helped me so much. Just know that you have to give it a real chance and experiment with different forms, brands and doses. I use a tincture and a topical (for neuropathic itch and muscle/joint pain), but you can also vape or ingest it. You have options. The tincture works the best for most, because its safe and gets into your blood stream immediately. In the end, all you need is time and patience to experiment and see what works for you. The first product or two (or even three) may not be effective for you, but then you may find one that changes everything. I had to try a few before I found what worked for me.

Good luck!

Last edited by DavidHC; 08-01-2018 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:15 PM   #2
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Thumbs up I Love the CBD Salve!

Thank you David for the wealth of information you have provided on the use of CBD for SFN and PN. There is nothing like a testimonial by one of our own to motivate me to try something new.

I have used the salve for muscle aches and pains for awhile. One night I decided to try it on my lips for the chronic burning pain and it completely relieved the burning. I now use it on the daily. It's also better for dry lips then the commercial alternatives.

Since CBD is legal I will begin experimenting immediately. What have I got to lose?

Thanks again.
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Lewis Carroll
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:07 PM   #3
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Thank you for your kind words, Carol.

Honestly, I'm just hoping it helps people out there like it has me. It's not a cure all, well not for now, but it have dramatically improved my life as you know. I've done what I tend to do, which is extensive research and personal experimentation, and these are my results.

And yes, what do we have to lose? Unlike some other things I've tried, it is also very rare to have side effects and even rarer to have major ones, so all the better.

I'm so glad the salve had worked for you. I use it for my burning and itching on my lips, where it gets rid of it immediately, and on other parts, where it makes a major difference. I hope you continue to see results and more of them going forward.

For anyone wondering what salve we are using for this purpose, it's the regular one from Fully Activated. I imagine other products could do the same, but this one is cheap, from a great company, and with only organic natural ingredients. They also have an actual lip balm, which is almost the identical formulation as the salve. But I've been meaning to try other topicals myself and will soon.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:04 PM   #4
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Thanks David! I had wondered how you were doing and apparently you have been doing quite well, thanks to CBD.

Unfortunately, CBD is not legal in my state and my pain mgmt doctors would stop treating me if I tried it at this point. But I hope things will change soon, as I have read many positive points on using CBD and yours really detailed all it has to offer.

So glad you are doing well and it made such a difference in your life. Please keep us posted.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:31 PM   #5
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Well, hello! It's nice to hear from you. It's been too long!

I often wonder how you're doing. I hope you're doing well, or at least as well as can be expected given all we have to deal with.

I'm relatively. The CBD has really helped. My neuropathy has progressed since we last spoke, but the CBD has done a lot for me. It came out of no where. Once important thing it has done is indicate that inflammation is a serious component of my disease. CBD is an anti-inflammatory and it's in this respect that it's done the most systematic good for me.

A question, are you sure CBD from hemp is illegal? You're in Virginia, right? Technically, the DEA claims it's a schedule 1 drug, those morons. But recently the first cannabis derived medicine was approved by the FDA, so the DEA will almost certainly be forced to remove CBD from the schedule 1 listing. The drug is called epidiolox and all it is is CBD.

I also found This in case it's relevant: Virginia's Limited CBD and THC-A Oil Law - MPP.

Regardless, American companies ship to all states, so it wouldn't be an issue to get it. But your doctor might be a problem. I find his/her position so sad and typical.

I believe the new farm bill in the USA has passed the senate and will become law sooner than later. If so, and if it doesn't change, CBD from hemp will be legal federally, or so my American friends are saying.

If you think I can help, let me know. And I do know people all over the states, so I can ask someone in your state, if you like.

Either way, it was nice to hear from you!

EDIT: Here is some information about what's happening with the 2018 Farm Bill: Farmers hope 218 Farm Bill will lift 8-year ban on hemp - UPI.com

Last edited by DavidHC; 08-03-2018 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:30 AM   #6
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Excellent information! I've used high CBD marijuana for several years. My pain is only episodic and relatively short-lived but is sudden, severe and wide-spread. The great thing about CBD for a situation like this, is the immediate relief when used via tincture or vaping. Thanks for the very thorough post.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:57 PM   #7
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You're welcome. I'm just trying to spread the good word about CBD.

It sounds like you're doing it all right. I also use high CBD strains sometimes, like 1:1, 3:1, 5:1 or even higher like 15:1 and 20:1. I use it for sleep when I need a little THC. I smoke it because I don't have a vaporizer, but I really shouldn't smoke. I really need to buy one. But vaping, smoking and tincture are definitely the most immediate methods of administration, and apparently with the highest bioavailability. Well, you could always use an IV, but that's a little extreme. For me, the tincture is as close to immediate relief as possible. At most it takes 10-15 minutes, but often within just a few I start feeling it. It's really amazing.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:10 PM   #8
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A few people have sent me PMs asking about the kind of neuropathy sufferers I met for whom CBD has worked so well. That is, what was the etiology of their neuropathy. So I thought I'd post something here. They were really all over the map, three had complications arising from lime disease, where CBD helped with many of their symptoms, not just the neurological ones (if you can even separate things out); another 2-3 had diabetic neuropathy, and CBD can help lower blood sugar level in addition to other benefits; one was due to heavy metal toxicity; and finally the others were all idiopathic. I hope this helps anyone who is wondering about this particular issue.
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Old 08-09-2018, 05:17 PM   #9
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I joined the NYS medical marijuana program last year. I went in thinking, "they are going to give me CBD" and was met with, THC laid out as the likely course and a 1:1 THC/CBD tincture to start.

NYS is a no combustion state and they are slow on titrating (which was great, save the wait for the vaporizer for break through). I understand the idea, it makes sense, though feels fastidious at times.

Over the course of the first year I dropped Topamax and Lyrica from my medication plan and I have greatly curbed Tramadol since the addition of the vape pen.

I take 3-4 capsules of 20:1 THC/CBD daily 9.5/.5. The vape pen I use in between when needed and it has aided my sleep, which while spotty does not include a first hour wake up for the first time in years. I have plenty of hard moments, but I also have something that was absent for years despite my drive, effort- I have hope again.

I pass out less after work. I have more good moments.

I have taken to CBD salves for muscle issues and I wish NYS offered some strains in acceptable forms that have been groomed for my symptoms- likely an indica as they are CBD dominant. I am grateful, but wish they did more. Changes have happened, as capsules are newer im NYS, but work should be done on accessibilty- it is pricey and there are waits for certification. I waited 5 minths for an appointment.

Do I think CBD is worthwhile to look into- yes. One thing discussed at my quarterly check ins with my provider is each persons biology reacts differently. The dispensary pushes CBD from hemp is fifferent, but I do not know the veracity of that statement. I tried CBD from a local health food store- it was pricey and in olive oil, so it coated my mouth, which I really hated.

The tinctures I used prior to the capsules at the dispensary were alcohol based- which I didn't love, but they also didn't coat my mouth.

I am happy that the CBD is working for you, David. It certainly seems like a reasonable thing to try first- and I love the CBD salves- though I have found THC as an analgesic has been a boon.

Some people have very intense encounters with THC. It is certainly not for everyone, just like Neurotin rubbed me the wrong way.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:38 PM   #10
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Thank for the informative post! As coincidence would have it, I just ordered some CBD oil a few days ago. Am still waiting for it to arrive.

I had tried it before without much success, but I really didn't know how much I should be a taking. I'm giving it another shot now with more education...as well as more non-neuropathic pain.

Fingers crossed for good results.
Idiopathic, Full Body, Small Fiber Neuropathy since 11/2013. Symptoms include altered sensation in toes; constant tingling/vibrations in feet and lower legs; intermittent tingling in temples, scalp and face; full body "buzzing" in the morning (suspect mild dehydration); referred sensation in feet cause by touch; occasional bouts with severe cramping in my feet and legs; when flaring, full body burning.

Metabolic issues: FBG -88 A1C - 5.1 with glucose spikes near 300, can't metabolize alcohol, and salt consumption makes my neuropathy 100x worse.

Current treatments:
  • Omega 3's - Fish Oil (2400 mg EPA, 1200mg DHA), 200 mg Magnesium Threonate
  • 5 mg Meribin Biotin for low-normal biotinidase levels.
  • Low carb "back to the farm" diet, lots of water
  • Quell TENS unit, 5% lidocaine patches, magnesium cream, CBD oil
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cbd, doses, i’m, i’ve, it’s

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