Trigeminal neuralgia — also called suicide disease— is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve.
This nerve is one of the largest nerves in your head, and has three branches. They are:
- the ophthalmic nerve,
- the maxillary nerve, and
- the mandibular nerve.
These nerves are responsible for sensation to your eye, nose, and jaw, respectively.
Diagram showing the 3 branches of trigeminal nerve (source)
The pain in trigeminal neuralgia is usually described as sharp, electric shocks that can last for a few seconds to a few minutes. The pain is often triggered by activities like brushing your teeth, eating, or drinking.
Trigeminal neuralgia is more common in women and people over the age of 50. The exact cause of the condition is unknown.
But it's thought to occur when an abnormal blood vessel compresses the trigeminal nerve.
This short video has more details about the condition.
In this article, we’ll discuss how CBD might help with trigeminal neuralgia and why it might be a better option than conventional meds in many cases.
What Is The Medical Treatment Of Trigeminal Neuralgia?
While there is no cure for Trigeminal Neuralgia, Carbamazepine is the first-line medication for pain management.
But it is not well-tolerated by everyone and can interact with other drugs you might be taking. Some of the side-effects it can cause include:
- Liver damage
- Low blood sodium, which can cause fits and coma
- Low white blood cells, which can increase your risk of infections
- Double vision
Plus, you'll have to undergo several tests after you start carbamazepine to ensure the drug doesn't cause damage. These include liver function tests and complete blood counts.
Even with meds, patients can suffer terribly, as intense pain as people talk about how they are "totally disabled from the pain" or how "pain just stops you dead in your tracks and literally takes your breath away".
This collage of YouTube comments highlight the severity of the condition.
How Can CBD Help With Trigeminal Neuralgia?
CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant.
It works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for regulating pain, inflammation, and other important functions.
Since trigeminal neuralgia is a pain condition, CBD might help treat it by downregulating the body's perception of pain.
While there are no scientific studies on the effects of CBD on trigeminal neuralgia yet, we have scientific evidence that CBD works against similar conditions.
One example is this study conducted by researchers at the Gartnavel General Hospital, University of Glasgow.
It looked at the effectiveness of a CBD-containing spray in 303 patients with allodynia.
CBD for Trigeminal Neuralgia: Our Recommended Products
Now that you know that CBD might help with trigeminal neuralgia, here are two recommendations from our product line that you can check out.
Imaginal curcumin CBD softgels combine the best of both worlds.
Just like CBD, curcumin has been known to have anti-pain properties. And according to this review published in Phytomedicine, there is compelling evidence that it can be used against neuropathic pain.
Plus, softgels are easy-to-swallow, which means taking your daily dose of CBD won’t be a hassle.
In addition, we’ve designed these softgels to ensure they have increased bioavailability.
At Imaginal, we use nanoemulsion technology when formulating our CBD products. This means we break down CBD particles to make them 4 times smaller than the usual size.
This allows an increased amount of CBD to enter your bloodstream after you take these softgels, increasing their pain-relief effect.
If curcumin softgels don’t work, you might want to try out our elderberry gummies.
These contain a higher dose of CBD per gummy at 50mg, which might be needed to manage TN pain.
Besides, CBD, these gummies contain elderberries which are known for their powerful immune-boosting properties so that's an added bonus.
Our elderberry gummies are also formulated using nano-emulsion, and they are full-spectrum — along with CBD, they contain other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant such as THC, terpenoids, and flavonoids.
Since THC has 20x the potency of aspirin and 2x the potency of hydrocortisone, Imaginal Elderberry gummies could be better than broad spectrum or CBD isolates.
Your Checklist For Choosing CBD For Trigeminal Neuralgia
If you're thinking of using CBD for trigeminal neuralgia, there are three things you should keep in mind:
- Buy your CBD products from a reputable source. The CBD market is not regulated by the FDA, so there are a lot of low-quality products out there.
- Start with a low dose and increase gradually until you find a dose that works for you. Everyone's body is different, so what works for one person might not work for another.
- Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking CBD because CBD can interact with other medications you might be taking.
The Bottom Line
There is as yet no cure for trigeminal neuralgia.
Different patients experience TN differently — for some it's a constant part of life, and for others the pain can come and go.
There are years where you might not have pain, only to suffer from sudden flareups.
But TN has the potential of wrecking you quality of life, as this video shows.
When you are diagnosed with TN, your doctor will either prescribe specific medications, or if your condition is severe, surgical intervention.
But none of these methods are foolproof — you may develop resistance to medication, or the pain might recur after surgery.
Or you can try out CBD since it has demonstrated pain relief properties.
Be sure to buy from a reputable source and start with a low dose. And as always, talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment.
(This article has been written by Eilaf Meenai)