Anyone who has suffered from a repetitive stress injury will tell you the pain and inflammation caused by it can be debilitating. People that have developed this condition are always looking for ways to treat it. This naturally leads to the question: Can you use CBD for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
In recent years, CBD has been linked as a treatment option for a variety of different conditions, including sleep, depression, and both pain and inflammation.
Knowing that CBD is being used for pain and inflammation is promising, but what does the science say about using CBD Oil for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a passageway that is surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. In this passageway the median nerve rests and runs from your forearm into the hand.
When the median nerve is squeezed, irritated or pinched you are at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), although repetitive hand motions seem to have a direct correlation to its development. This being said, there is normally no one cause of carpal tunnel syndrome and a combination of things leads to its development
Symptoms of CTS
Carpal tunnel syndrome can become extremely painful and make it almost impossible to use the effected hand if left untreated. If left untreated for too long, CTS can even cause permanent muscle and nerve damage.
The first sign of CTS is tingling or numbness in your fingers that almost feels like a small electric shock. People often report that holding items in that hand will increase this feeling, even sending a shock up the arm.
You may also experience weakness in the effected hand. The median nerve controls the thumbs pinch function, so impingement of this nerve can affect that function.
CBD for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Early research shows that CBD has many of the same medicinal effects that the cannabis plant has long been known for, without causing the high associated with smoking it.
Once CBD enters your body, it interacts directly with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the receptors that work with the ECS found throughout the body, CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The ECS works directly with many of the bodies normal functions and plays a role in maintaining homeostasis. CB1 and CB2 receptors have been found in especially high concentrations in areas of the brain, nervous system and the immune system.
When something is “off”, be it a chemical level is too high, or there is too much inflammation in an area of the body, studies show CBD appears to help stimulate receptors to modulate the effects and return conditions to normalcy.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by a suppression of the nerve in the wrist (entrapment neuropathy). One of the common treatment options is to reduce inflammation in the tissue around the nerve.
We found two studies that look at different forms of neuropathy and CBD. The first, a double-blind study published in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology used a topical CBD product vs a placebo to study the effect on pain.
The difference in the reported pain between the CBD group and the placebo was significant. The study concluded that the topical application of CBD can help reduce pain and other sensations caused by neuropathy.
The 2nd, a study done by European Journal of Pharmacology showed the effect of oral CBD treatment on rats suffering from sciatic nerve inflammation. While this study was done with animals, the results showed a reduction in inflammation surrounding the affected nerve.
Arthritis is one of the conditions that is linked with contributing to CTS. With arthritis, the patient suffers from inflammation in their joints, often causing tenderness and pain.
This inflammation, when it happens in the wrist, can cause pressure or impingement of the medial nerve. While not the only way to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, CTS incidence is higher in patients with arthritis.
Unfortunately, the only studies that have been done on arthritis have been performed using animal models. These studies, although delivering promising results, are not clear carryovers to human trials.
CBD Oil for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome vs Traditional Treatments
The two most common medications for carpal tunnel syndrome are over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and prescription opioids. Both of which come with some less than desirable side effects.
The side effects of NSAIDs range from mild conditions like indigestion and headaches to much more severe items like stomach ulcers and even liver or kidney damage.
Opioid addiction is a fairly well documented problem with excessive or long-term use, but they carry with them side effects such as drowsiness, confusion and nausea with normal use.
In rare cases CBD has been reported to have mild side effects similar to NSAIDs. The long-term effects of CBD use are less researched, but as of now no serious side effects have been reported.
Many people have looked for alternative treatments for CTS in effort to avoid many of the side effects that come hand in hand with NSAIDs and opioids. Just like cannabis, many of these alternative treatments are from plants or herbs.
The two most common, Devil’s Claw and Indian Olibanum, are often used for inflammatory conditions including arthritis. Unfortunately, many of the herbs have no more research than CBD published on them.
CBD, and many of these herbs considered alternative medicine for treating CTS, may not have much clinical research, but have generations of anecdotal evidence from the native people that have used them.
How to Take CBD Oil for Carpal Tunnel
The best CBD Oil for carpal tunnel syndrome will vary a bit from person to person. Which CBD product is best to treat your CTS depends on two things, how you want to take it, and the type of CBD product you want to use.
If you are new to CBD, you may be confused about the difference between full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. These three products all contain CBD, but differ in the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found within.
You definitely want to start, by choosing between one of these types. After that, you can pick out how you’d like to use your CBD product.
In the studies we linked to above, the two products that had undergone research with promising results were and oil-based product and a topical solution. Therefor, when picking out the best CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome, we stuck to these two types.
Best CBD Oil for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil has long been one of our favorite CBD brands, and is still the oil we use before we go to bed! These full spectrum CBD oils are packed with everything you would find in the hemp plant allowing you to benefit from the entourage effect.
This brand is U.S. Hemp Authority Certified and comes in three different strengths, 7, 17, and 60mg/ml.
If you are looking for a 0% THC option, our runner up for best CBD oil for carpal tunnel syndrome is Medterra CBD. Medterra leaves everything in their oils from the plant, except the THC.
Best CBD Topical for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Joy Organics CBD Salve
Joy Organics CBD Salve is widely accepted as one of the best topicals on the market today. All of Joy’s products are THC free, having a premium extraction process that involves a third-party lab test for every single batch they produce.
While you are visiting Joy Organics website, check out their water-soluble CBD softgels that are 2x more potent than standard oils!
Dosing CBD to Treat Carpal Tunnel
As of right now, there is no standard for dosing CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome, or any other condition for that matter.
The dosing guidelines we normally follow, especially for someone who has never taken CBD, is to start with 0.2mg of CBD per 10lbs of weight.
For example, a man who weights 200lbs and has never tried CBD before should start at 10mg of CBD per day. For many people this is too low of a dosage to relieve the pain and inflammation caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.
A summary of studies done and published in the British journal of Clinical Pharmacology stated that recommended dosages from 1 to 50mg per kg per day. This falls in the range recommended by our dosing guidelines as well.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
As with many other forms of pain and inflammation, using CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome is showing promise in early studies. CBD as a treatment option does need to undergo further human trials before it can be a verified treatment though.
As always, if you are considering adding CBD to your treatment plan make sure to first consult with a medical professional.