Your nervous system consists of two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
The nerves of your peripheral nervous system transmit messages between your central nervous system — your brain and spinal cord — and the rest of your body.
These nerves regulate a large range of functions throughout the body, including voluntary muscle movement (motor nerves), involuntary organ activity (autonomic nerves), and the perception of stimuli (sensory nerves).
Peripheral neuropathy, which is often simply referred to as “neuropathy,” is a condition that occurs when your peripheral nerves become damaged or disrupted.
More recently, cannabis has been shown to provide relief to patients that are unresponsive to other forms of treatment. This is primarily due to the substance’s relationship to our internal endocannabinoid system.
Peripheral nerves that detect pain sensations contain cannabinoid receptors and are therefore impacted by any form of cannabis consumption. When THC and CBD enter your body, they activate your CB1 and CB2 receptors which regulate the neurotransmitter and central nervous system, helping to manage pain levels.
A small 2010 study found that “a single inhalation of 25mg of 9.4% tetrahydrocannabinol herbal cannabis three times daily for five days reduced the intensity of pain, improved sleep and was well tolerated.” A separate 2013 study found that when compared to traditional neuropathic pain medication, cannabis effectively reduces pain with low dosages (1.29%) as a pain reliever with a medium dosage (3.53%). And a study in 2015 found that cannabinoids are effective at lowering pain levels associated with cancer, neuropathy and other acute and chronic pain conditions. Further long-term studies need to be done to prove the relationship between cannabis and pain, but the evidence is well on its way.