Multiple research studies show that marijuana is often a preferred by neuropathy patients for symptom relief because it is effective, even for those who have not responded to pharmaceutical therapies, and the psychoactive side effects are not as debilitating as those presented by opiates.
The pain of neuropathy is often described by patients as feeling like tingling and numbness, shooting and burning, or prickly pins and needles — the result of confused nerves sending false pain signals to the brain.
The two most commonly diagnosed types of neuropathy — peripheral and diabetic — produce similar symptoms, but whereas peripheral is usually caused by injury, the diabetic counterpart is brought on by damage from high blood sugar.
The pain tends to be chronic and is often unrelenting. Treatment options are limited, the most common being pharmaceutical pain killers. Opioids prescribed for MS can lead to addiction, especially when dosages must be increased over time to maintain the same level of pain relief. Marijuana is a safer alternative that does not lead to addiction or fatal overdoses.
Medical marijuana in conjunction with opiate pain killers, or replacing them altogether, reduces the risk of developing an addition by up to 25 percent.