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Research is limited on CBD for neuropathy, but some evidence suggests it may help. Read on for a breakdown of the research and our top product picks.

Healthline has sole editorial control over this article. Potential uses for the products listed here are not health claims made by the manufacturers. The information in this article is intended to be general in nature. It’s not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a healthcare professional. Healthline encourages you to make any treatment decisions with your healthcare professional.

Research into the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in the cannabis plant, is still in its early stages. But people are increasingly turning to CBD to address any number of issues, including anxiety, chronic pain, nausea, and even neuropathy.

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other well-known active compound in cannabis, CBD has no intoxicating effects. That means you won’t experience the “head high” associated with THC. Instead, you may benefit from its therapeutic properties.

If you’re exploring CBD as an option for managing symptoms of neuropathy, here’s what to understand about the early research and the products worth considering.

Neuropathy is a disorder stemming from malfunctioning peripheral nerves. It can be caused by a number of conditions, including diabetes, systemic illness, or infection.

Symptoms of neuropathy include:

There’s limited research about the role of CBD in treating neuropathy, but there is some evidence that it may help.

One small study of 29 people looked at the effects of topical CBD oil for relief and found significant improvement in pain and troublesome sensations.

A study from 2018 shows that medical cannabis consumed through vaporization or sublingually may also help symptoms of neuropathy. However, it’s important to note that the cannabis used had different THC concentrations.

Additionally, an animal study from 2017 found that CBD may help prevent chemotherapy‐induced peripheral neuropathy. Combining THC and CBD seemed to enhance the effects.

Plus, there’s anecdotal evidence, with people who have neuropathy claiming that CBD helps their symptoms.

Still, it’s important to understand that CBD isn’t a cure-all for neuropathy symptoms, and more studies are needed to definitively declare that it’s an effective treatment.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about CBD. For that reason, it’s important to speak with your doctor or healthcare professional before trying CBD for neuropathy. That’s especially important if your neuropathy results from a condition like cancer or diabetes or if you’re currently taking medications or supplements.

CBD may interact with some medications and supplements. People who are pregnant or under the age of 18 shouldn’t take CBD.

While CBD is generally well-tolerated, research shows that there can be side effects. These include:

  • changes in weight or appetite
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea

Dr. Marisa Weiss, chief medical officer of Breastcancer.org and a breast oncologist at Lankenau Medical Center, says it’s important to check the COA before you use any cannabis product.

“The cannabis plant is like a vacuum cleaner of the junk that is in the soil in which it is growing. Hemp has been historically used as a soil cleaner because it is a bioremediator. It’s unhealthy to have impurities — like mold, pesticides, and heavy metals — make it into the plant and the products that you are using,” Weiss explains.

If you’re still interested in trying CBD for neuropathy and have gotten the OK from your doctor, be sure to do your research. Not all products are created equal.

CBD glossary

CBD is sold in different forms. Here’s what they are and what they mean:

Healthline chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3% THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

As a part of our selection process, we also considered:

  • the company’s certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:

Where available, we’ve included special discount codes for our readers.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

There are a number of ways you can use CBD, depending on the product type.

If you’re using a CBD oil, taking it sublingually (or beneath the tongue) means you’ll feel the effects faster.

Topical CBD products are applied directly to the skin for on-the-spot relief.

In general, it’s a good idea to start with a low dose and slowly up your intake over time after assessing how you feel. Check manufacturer guidelines for a dosage starting point, but keep in mind that there are a lot of variables that will affect CBD dosing, including your body weight and individual body chemistry and the potency of your product.

It’s easy to find CBD products just about everywhere these days. But that doesn’t mean they’re all safe or effective. Ultimately, as the consumer, it’s up to you to research your options before buying any CBD products. Here are a few tips:

  • Check for COAs from a third-party lab to confirm the quality of a specific product: This will give you information on whether the product contains what the label says it does. Make a point of reviewing cannabinoid potency, and whether the product passed tests for contaminants like molds and heavy metals.
  • Check for FDA warning letters or lawsuits: If a company has received a letter from the FDA for unverified health claims, or it’s been involved in a lawsuit, you can find out quickly with a simple online search. Reputable brands also include an FDA disclosure on their websites noting that their products aren’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
  • Check the company’s reputation and customer reviews: This will give you an idea of what real customers think of a company and its products, so look for feedback on third-party review sites.

Treatments for neuropathy depend on the underlying disorder, but in many cases, a combination of treatments is most effective.

Medications, both over the counter and prescription, can be useful for controlling pain. Medical treatments, including blood transfusions and transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation, are another option.

If neuropathy affects your feet, legs, hands, or arms, ergonomic splints and cases may be helpful.

Self-care can be another avenue worth exploring. Many people find relief from their symptoms with meditation, yoga, and moderate exercise, and by cutting back on alcohol and quitting cigarettes if you smoke. Both alcohol and tobacco aggravate nerve pain.

Other treatments like chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage can also offer relief.

It’s important to talk with a doctor or healthcare professional before you try a CBD product for neuropathy.

“Most doctors are not formally trained in medical cannabis. That being said, it is still important to let your doctor know if you plan on trying a cannabis product,” Weiss says.

“Cannabis is broken down by the liver, so if you take other products that are broken down by the liver, there could be an interaction. For example, some blood thinners are broken down in the same part of the liver as CBD,” she explains.

If you take a blood thinner, talk with your doctor before you try CBD.

“The best person to ask about drug interactions when it comes to the use of cannabis is a pharmacist in a dispensary — especially if you are experiencing a significant medical symptom or condition like peripheral neuropathy. Don’t depend on untrained employees working behind the counter in the dispensary for medical advice on what products to use,” Weiss says.

In some states, like Pennsylvania, the law states that a cannabis-trained physician or pharmacist must be available to consult with caregivers and patients.

In the event that you cannot meet with a pharmacist in the dispensary, a trip to your local pharmacy may answer your questions.

“Your local pharmacist can perform a search for you and look up drug interaction information with the medicine you have been prescribed,” Weiss says.

Remember, there are many potential benefits and some risks when you try a CBD product, so talk with your doctor or a healthcare clinician before you try one.

Is CBD effective for neuropathic pain?

It is possible. Animal research has shown the therapeutic potential for CBD to treat neuropathic pain.

But we need more evidence from clinical trials on humans to make any conclusions.

“The value and role of CBD to manage neuropathic pain is currently unknown and being studied. There is hope that CBD may help reduce the pain in the hands and the feet due to peripheral neuropathy,” Weiss says.

Does CBD help with neuropathy in feet?

CBD may help with neuropathy in feet, but further research is needed.

A small 2020 study with 29 people found that topical CBD oil was effective for the relief of pain and other symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

What CBD product is best for neuropathy?

There are not any official guidelines to help you choose a CBD product for neuropathy. Always talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional before you try a CBD product.

It’s important to choose the CBD product that fits your needs.

If you want to avoid THC, broad-spectrum CBD or isolate may be the right fit. For those in search of the full potential benefits of the entourage effect, a full-spectrum CBD product may be the best option.

How is CBD used for neuropathy?

CBD research for neuropathy focuses on symptom reduction and prevention.

A 2014 animal study found that CBD effectively protected against the effects of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain in mice.

One ongoing clinical trial explores CBD’s potential to reduce the duration and severity of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain.

While research about how useful CBD is in treating symptoms of neuropathy is still limited, there is some evidence that it helps. If you’re considering CBD for neuropathy, speak with your doctor or healthcare professional first. Then explore CBD oils and topical products to see how they work for you.

Is CBD legal? The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC legal at the federal level. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them illegal at the federal level. Some states have legalized CBD, so be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Jessica Timmons has been working as a freelance writer since 2007, covering everything from pregnancy and parenting to cannabis, chiropractic, stand-up paddling, fitness, martial arts, home decor, and much more. Her work has appeared in mindbodygreen, Pregnancy & Newborn, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Coffee + Crumbs. See what she’s up to now at jessicatimmons.com.