A new study published in the official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer has shown that oral cannabidiol (CBD) is effective in preventing peripheral neuropathy that occurs following chemotherapy treatment. The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Clinical Oncology and Palliative Care at Zealand University Hospital in Denmark.
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a condition that affects nerves in the extremities (feet and hands) causing them to become weak, painful, and numb. Several factors may cause PN including diabetes, injuries, and exposure to toxins such as chemotherapy drugs. Common treatments for PN include the use of anticonvulsants (such as diazepam) antidepressants (such as amitriptyline) and pain medications (mild opioids).
While these treatments help to relieve PN symptoms, they neither prevent it nor address the underlying issue. Those suffering from PN often find that they have to be on PN medication for extended durations and this of course presents the risk for addiction and other adverse effects.
What’s CBD and How Can it Help?
Cannabidiol is one of the numerous phytocannabinoids that are present in cannabis. The therapeutic benefits of CBD in several areas have been confirmed by research. This includes the treatment of seizures, chronic pain, and social anxiety disorders among others.
This recent study was conducted to investigate the potential of CBD in preventing peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment (oxaliplatin or paclitaxel). The patients were offered two 150 mg doses of CBD. The treatment started a day prior to chemotherapy treatment and was continued for eight days. A control group (patients that did not receive CBD treatment) was also created.
At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that CBD attenuates the early symptoms of chemotherapy-induced PN without causing any major adverse effects.
While the neuroprotective benefits of CBD have been studied in the past, not much had been covered regarding its potential in the prevention or treatment of peripheral neuropathy. From this new research, it’s apparent that CBD can offer hope to those suffering from chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. This finding warrants further research in the form of randomized clinical trials.