Dealing with neuropathic facial pain — technically referred to as trigeminal neuralgia — is a condition that affects the trigeminal nerve. This can cause extreme pain and discomfort along various parts of the face. It can be triggered by something as simple as brushing your teeth or even wiping your eyes.

Imagine excruciating pain from a seemingly innocuous action such as this. At first, it could be a short, sudden attack, but neuropathic facial pain can build over time. It affects more women than it does men and tends to affect people over 50 more often than younger adults.

Medical marijuana for neuropathy is something to consider and consult with your doctor if you are dealing with this very serious and potentially debilitating condition.

What is Neuropathic Facial Pain & What Causes It?

When the trigeminal nerve function is disrupted, a person can experience a variety of neuropathic facial pain symptoms. Most of the time, the main problem originates with contact between normal blood vessels and the trigeminal nerve.

The trigeminal nerve sits at the base of the brain. When contact here is applied, it puts pressure on the nerve, thus causing pain signals to emanate throughout different parts of the face.

Symptoms of Facial Nerve Damage

There are a variety of neuropathic facial pain symptoms you might experience when dealing with this condition. Significant, shooting or even jabbing pain somewhere in the face that could feel like an electric shock is one of those symptoms. Other symptoms may include:

  • Attacks of pain that happen when you touch your face, chew, speak, or even brush your teeth.
  • Pain that can last from just a few seconds to several minutes.
  • Episodes of pain that can last for days, weeks, months, or even longer. You may go for periods of time without any pain experiences, though.
  • Constant burning or aching feelings that lead to a spasm-like pain.
  • Pain in parts your face that are directly connected to the trigeminal nerve, which includes the jaw, teeth, gums, lips, cheek, and to a lesser degree the eyes and forehead.
  • Pain that can affect one side of the face at a time, but not often affecting both sides.
  • Pain that is focused on one small portion of the face, but eventually spreads along a wider pattern.
  • Pain that becomes more frequent and intense over time.

Can Medical Marijuana Help Neuropathic Facial Pain?

When you are searching for neuropathic facial pain treatment, you might be prescribed a number of pain relievers and other medications. So, should you consider medical marijuana for nerve pain?

This is certainly something to consult with a doctor about. Marijuana for trigeminal neuralgia can offer some benefits. While not all doctors will talk about trigeminal neuralgia and marijuana in the same breath, there are those doctors who are on the leading edge of these treatment options who can better assist you in understanding when to consider this as a treatment option and the benefits it can provide.

Benefits of Marijuana on Severe Facial Pain

Medical marijuana for trigeminal neuralgia can be effective. That’s because CBD — or cannabidiol — is in ingredient found in marijuana that helps to relieve pain, potentially reduce the risk of seizures, and can diminish spasms as well as inflammation.

Cannabinoids can help regulate pain because they restrict neural transmission along key nerve pathways. So, medical marijuana for TMJ (a symptom associated with neuropathic facial pain) can provide relief.

The key is to determine which strain would be best for helping you or someone you care about alleviate the extreme pain and discomfort that neuropathic facial pain can cause.

Best Strains for Facial Pain

There are two key strains when talking about medical marijuana: Indica and Sativa.

Indica strains are more suited for nighttime use. They offer relaxation and sedative qualities. These strains more commonly focus on key inflammation points around the body.

Sativa strains focus more on cerebral effects, or how the brain works and functions. These can increase alertness and focus, which is why they are better suited for daytime use rather than evening applications. However, Sativa strains can more directly impact the neural network of the brain, helping to alleviate at least some symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia.

Often, when you are trying to answer the question of “does marijuana help trigeminal neuralgia,” it comes down to a hybrid of both Indica and Sativa strains. There are many options to choose from, which is why it is so important to consult an experienced and qualified doctor to determine the best course of action in helping to treat the symptoms you are facing.

Side Effects of Marijuana for Patients with Neuropathic Pain

There are possible side effects associated with marijuana. It is important to understand these and how they may affect you and your life, work, and other aspects of your daily routines.

The most common side effects people using medical marijuana for trigeminal neuralgia experience may include:

  • Increased hunger
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Slower reaction times
  • Paranoia
  • Short-term memory loss

Should I Get Medical Marijuana for Pain?

This is a question you need to answer with your doctor. This is not something to consult with friends or family members, no matter how much they may have read about medical marijuana for trigeminal neuralgia or their personal experiences.

You are different than other people. Your body is unique in not just what you are experiencing, but in how it may react to certain treatments. Depending on the prescription medications you may already be taking, lifestyle habits, and so forth, you should talk to an experienced doctor to determine whether medical marijuana for pain is ideal for you at this stage in your life.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card

The only way to get a legal medical marijuana card is by prescription through a licensed medical professional. Allow us to help connect you with a doctor close to you who has experience with not only assisting people just like you dealing with neuropathic facial pain, but also understanding the inherent benefits medical marijuana offers.