How Much CBD Oil To Take For Sciatica

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We're constantly being asked if CBD will help with a number of issues, like whether you can use CBD Oil for Sciatica. Let's take a closer look. Although the research into the health benefits of CBD for sciatica is in its infancy, CBD has been praised for its anti-inflammatory and pain killing properties. Check out the best CBD oils for sciatica in 2022. Sciatica is a common condition, and there’s an increased demand for natural alternatives to help with back pain. Learn about how CBD could benefit people with sciatica.

CBD Oil For Sciatica: An Osteopath’s Guide

Whilst CBD oil is a hot topic these days with a myriad of brands and countless types of products from bath bombs to gummies, not many people actually know what it is, what is a good product and how to use it to benefit themselves.

The vast majority of CBD products on the market are just that – CBD in a carrier oil. CBD is one cannabinoid of many in the cannabis plant. CBD has useful properties in its own right but is merely one player in a team of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

Sadly, most people buy a CBD extract with precious little else in it and whilst it may help some people it is often ineffective or only partially successful on its own.

What you really want to look for is not CBD oil but a full spectrum plant extract that contains all the other clever parts of the plant in the right balance. Unfortunately, unscrupulous sellers of CBD often label their product as full spectrum when it clearly is not.

A true, high-quality CBD oil is dark in colour and has a complex earthy, spicy smell and taste. One customer described it to me as smelling like a walk down a country lane. I think that is a pretty good description.

The name CBD oil is actually a misnomer as what we are really looking at is a cannabis extract. Our Life edition oil is actually a raw CBD product and is as close to nature as one can get with all the right, legally acceptable, the balance of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

This means that with all CBD One’s products you get the vital entourage effect – the synergy of all the compounds in cannabis that make it potent and effective. This is far from the case for many low-grade CBD oils sold in the UK right now.

Disclaimer: This article may contain occasional references of CBD “for” a specific topic, for example, “CBD Oil for Sciatica”.

It is important for us to clarify that CBD is a food supplement that, while very useful for many people, is not sold “for” any specific purpose other than general health and wellbeing.

Any references of CBD for a specific subject are simply so we can clarify this to anyone searching for these terms.

Can CBD Oil Help With Sciatica?

People regularly ask will “CBD help me with…” and then you can add just about any illness or pain known to humanity!

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is simple but disappointing: “We don’t know if it will help.”

One thing we do know is that CBD oil is remarkably safe to take so if you are taking CBD oil for sciatica the one thing we can say with confidence is that it will do no harm.

Now if you compare that to an over the counter anti-inflammatory we see a very different story.

For every thousand users of these drugs, three have heart attacks, one of which will be fatal. They are potent drugs but they come with a potentially serious price for your health.

Given the choice between something that is natural and causes no harm and may be of benefit compared to a drug that comes with risks and merely suppresses the healing response of your body, I know what I would try first.

What Is Sciatica?

Osteopaths see a lot of sciatic type problems. We also have a lot of patients who attend our clinics telling us they have sciatica when it is quite obvious they do not.

Sciatica is a dumping ground diagnosis that often comes from a lack of knowledge of anatomy and/or a failure to examine a patient effectively. If you go to the doctor and tell them you have pain down the back of your leg there is a good chance you will be told you have sciatica regardless of any other symptoms.

There are also a thousand doctors in the pub and I can assure you they will tell you that your problem is sciatica if you mention pain anywhere near your hip or leg.

So what is sciatica?

The word simply refers to pain from the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the longest nerve in your body so simply referring to sciatic nerve pain doesn’t help us establish what or where the problem is.

Let us take a look at the anatomy of this nerve.

More often than not the nerve is formed from the union of five branches of nerves that come from the lumbar spine. Each of these branches exits your spine through a foramina. This is a gap in your spine to allow nerves out to supply your body and allow it to function and move. The gap is formed of two vertebrae, one on top and one below and between them, they effectively form a bony tunnel for the nerve to exit your spinal cord.

The sciatic nerve has the vital role of supplying the skin, muscles and joints of your thigh, leg and foot.

Where Does The Sciatic Nerve Get Injured?

The sciatic nerve can be injured by a variety of problems that irritate it, inflame it or compress it.

Common injuries can be caused by a facet joint injury in the spine. This causes swelling and inflammation around the joint and since this is close to the sciatic nerve the swelling can impinge upon the sciatic nerve OR the inflamed joint releases chemicals that heal you but can also, during the healing process, irritate the nerve causing you to get the pain down your leg.

Damage to the foramina that causes it to become narrowed can compress one of the branches of the sciatic nerve. This is often from arthritic changes but can also be because of a trauma.

Disc problems can also cause sciatic pain because whether it is a slight tear of the disc or a full-blown prolapse there are chemicals released as part of the injury that irritates the nerve and the disc can also bulge and compress the nerve.

One area that is often neglected is where the nerve passes through your hip muscles to get to your leg. In about 50% of the population, the sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle and if this becomes injured or contracted from postural strain and muscle imbalances, often from things like prolonged sitting, then you will get sciatic pain. This is called piriformis syndrome.

So you can see from this list, which is far from the full list, that to just dump sciatica upon somebody without investigating WHY they have the problem can lead to a pain that does not get fixed.

A common problem I see with most treatments of sciatica is that everybody stares at the site of the injury. Let’s say for the sake of argument that the injury is being caused by a disc problem in the lumbar spine.

The one question rarely asked is ‘why?’ Why has this injury happened at this place? In my experience, it is often because this area is being overloaded because another area is not working properly so the key is to hunt out the areas that are not working correctly.

I often find the area of the spine above the lower back is very stiff, especially between the shoulder blades and the hip muscles are also closed up and tight. Between the two lies the very mobile and relatively vulnerable lower back which then gets overworked because it is making up for the imbalances everywhere else. Lo and behold you get a disc injury that causes the sciatic pain but the cause is most definitely other areas not working.

If people investigated this before they embarked on major surgery they may find they can begin to change their problem without the need for a surgeon’s knife which, no matter how well-intentioned or skilfully applied, is not addressing the underlying reasons for the lower back injury.

How Does CBD Work?

Your body has a widespread system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a series of receptors in your central and peripheral nervous system. It is also in many of your organs and tissues, including your skin.

When you take CBD the cannabinoids in it effectively talk to the ECS and help it function well. The ECS is involved in homeostasis, or the ability of your body to maintain its balance regardless of the circumstances you are in. The ECS is a great balancer of your body.

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CBD is also well known for having interesting anti-inflammatory effects. Because inflammation may be involved in sciatic pain CBD may have a role to play in helping. Most importantly do not forget that inflammation is a healing response and we do not want to suppress this healing or there is a possibility of ending up with a long term problem.

However, CBD is generally considered very safe and gentle acting and certainly does not come with the many serious side effects of taking too many opiate-based painkillers or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen or Naproxen so it is highly unlikely to stop your body healing.

So if there is an inflamed injury there may be some sense in taking CBD. However, if there is a serious structural problem CBD will not fix this so make sure you speak with your doctor or health professional.

Warning signs that there may be a more serious problem are when your bowel or bladder does not seem to be working normally or you have a change of sensation in the area we call the saddle area ie. the area you would use to sit on a bicycle seat.

How To Use CBD Oil For Sciatica

You have three main choices when using CBD: oral products, a topical CBD cream or even our new CBD patches.

The oral option then subdivides into a CBD oil or a water-soluble CBD.

I would suggest that a great starting point is to look at an oral product. The oils are taken up to three times a day and up to three drops at a time. Drop them under your tongue and let them stay there for a few minutes before swallowing.

Our water-soluble products can be added to any hot or cold drink and most people, most of the time, take just one dose a day. Of course, this is a very personal choice and you may safely take more if you wish.

When it comes to CBD dosage the key on how to get the right dose for you is to listen to your body. When you see changes you can maintain the dose or increase or lower it depending on your progress. Some people find they can take CBD every other day but others find they have to take it much more regularly. This is a very personal choice and relies on you observing what is happening.

The best place to start is with a middle strength CBD product such as Signature Blend No2 or Absorb Pure or Ultra. This allows you to increase or lower your dose. If you start with a lower strength product and nothing changes the temptation is to think CBD did not work for you when it may simply have required something with a little more strength to begin with.

Some people use a topical cream to apply to the area of pain. I suspect with a sciatic problem this will do little good because the injury is often quite deep inside and there is little chance the CBD will get anywhere near the site of the injury.

How Soon After Taking CBD Should The Pain Subside?

Do not despair if you do not see instant relief from your problem. Whilst many see rapid improvements it can take from a few days to a few weeks to really get the optimum from CBD whatever you may be taking it for.

I have seen people get almost instant relief and others report that they felt nothing then after 8 weeks, everything improved all of a sudden.

I have also seen some people get no relief at all. There is no substance on planet earth that fixes everyone all the time but the key with CBD is that it comes with little risk, therefore, is a safe option for possibly great gains. It certainly does not come with the risk of heart disease or internal gut bleeding that the NSAID group of drugs comes with.

Will Taking The Oil Versus The Absorb Range Impact How Fast It Works?

We find that the oils tend to have a more calming effect whilst our Absorb products tend to have a more energising effect. I suspect this is because the water-soluble Absorbs get into your system faster.

Because they both have these slightly different initial effects many people get one of each and take the Absorb first thing in the morning for an energising hit then take the oils later in the day for their more calming properties.

Do I Have To Keep Taking CBD Oil For Sciatica?

The answer one of my osteopathic tutors would give to this question is succinct and to the point, “You don’t have to do anything!” I take CBD oil regularly because it is good for me.

With chronic problems, more action is often required to make a permanent fix than just taking CBD. So with sciatica, I would suggest you add a few other important changes to make more permanent improvements.

Many back problems are caused by a chronic lack of movement and I refer to these as ‘too much sitting syndrome’ so please look at how you use your body. We are built to move and if there is one posture more unhealthy and guaranteed to cause more trouble than any other it is prolonged sitting.

Take up pilates and/or yoga with a trained tutor who can tailor the exercises to help you safely and make sure you practice a little every day. If you have an injury do not just turn up at a class at your local gym without getting guidance from a tutor first. With the greatest will in the world, a generic class at your local gym may be perfectly fine for most of us most of the time but if you have pain you need skilled support and advice on a one to one basis first.

People often worry about the cost of such one to one lessons but my answer back is what is the cost to you of your pain?

A skilled osteopath is also a useful option where they can look at the cause of your problem and find ways to fix it and also give you lifestyle advice to prevent further trouble.

Fasting can also help because this allows your body to direct its energy into healing and repair processes rather than digesting food. Do not underestimate the power of this simple act. We have evolved to be able to have periods of fasting and it is an incredibly healthful thing to do.

Which CBD Oil Is Best For Sciatica?

I would suggest going for a moderate to high am/pm bundle which gives you a potent combination of the best of our products. The Absorb will get to work fast and then later in the day and overnight you will benefit from the slower more calming effects of the oil.

If you have any questions about your problem and what may help, get in touch via our free health advice service.

Best CBD Oil for Sciatica: Top Hemp Products for Sciatic Pain (2022)

The sciatic nerve runs through the lower back to the legs, covering a vast and sensitive area that can release painful signals to the brain when pushed too hard.

Sciatic pain can have many causes, from herniated discs to bone spurs. Factors such as advanced age, lack of physical activity, obesity, and diabetes can increase the risk of sciatica and cause deterioration of symptoms.

Other than a few rare exceptions, sciatica typically occurs on one side of the body. People suffering from sciatic pain seek help in over-the-counter painkillers; some of them use prescription analgesics to mitigate the painful sensation; there are also folks seeking natural aid, such as CBD oils and topicals. These two types of hemp-derived supplements are often used as complementary treatments for different types of pain.

In this article, we’ll answer whether or not CBD oil is a viable option for static pain — and how to use it to relieve the discomfort. We’ll also share our list of the top 4 CBD brands whose products actually make a difference.

Let’s take a look at the link between CBD and sciatica.

Does CBD Help with Sciatica Pain?

Mayo Clinic defines sciatica as a painful sensation that radiates from the sciatic nerve, which occurs in the lower back and the buttocks, and down each leg.

Since sciatica typically affects one side of the body, it can be confused with back pain, leg pain, or hip pain. While these are all symptoms of sciatica, having them doesn’t mean you also have the condition.

That’s because the pain doesn’t stem from an injury in one of those areas. Sciatica results from a compressed sciatic nerve, caused by hard bumps forming on the spine (bone spur), herniated disk, or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis).

People who partake in heavy physical labor on a regular basis have a higher risk of developing sciatic pain. However, the condition may also affect those with a passive lifestyle, as a consequence of the lack of walking and stretching.

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Sciatica can negatively affect one’s daily life. A simple cough or sneeze can heighten the intensity of the sciatic pain. In severe cases, pain prevents individuals from normal functioning.

Although CBD doesn’t cure sciatica — it doesn’t get to the cause of sciatic pain — cannabinoids like CBD have been well documented in the scientific literature as potentially effective anti-inflammatory and painkilling agents.

A 2004 study defined sciatic pain as a combination of neuropathic and other kinds of pain (1). Another study conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), linked sciatica to an inflammation of the nervous system (2).

Neuropathic pain comes from injuries or illnesses of the somatosensory system, which plays an important role in our pain perception, pressure, touch, and mobility.

Inflammation is triggered when the immune system releases antibodies to tackle an infection or injury.

An inflammatory response causes the dilation of blood vessels in order to pump more blood into the injured area — causing that part of the body to become red and swollen.

One large animal study discovered that the topical application of CBD could reduce inflammation and fix behavioral problems associated with arthritis (3).

However, sciatica and arthritis are two different conditions, and no study has yet analyzed the efficacy of CBD specifically for sciatica.

Long story short, CBD oil may not cure sciatica, but it may help mitigate inflammation and pain experienced by sciatica sufferers — translating to the effective management of this condition.

How to Use CBD for Sciatica

CBD is one of the most trending health supplements today, so it’s no wonder you can find it in several forms, including CBD oil, edibles, capsules, vapes, and topical products.

CBD oil is hands down the most popular choice both among beginners and experienced users alike. This form of CBD is applied sublingually (under the tongue); you need to squeeze the product’s dropper and place a few drops in the area beneath the tongue. Once there, hold it for up to 60 seconds, then swallow. The oil will absorb through the tiny blood vessels in your mouth, ensuring relatively fast effects and long duration, up to 6 hours.

Oral products, such as CBD capsules and edibles, provide a fixed dose of CBD per serving. They are the preferred form of CBD among users looking for consistent dosages and low-profile consumption. However, oral products have a delayed onset due to first-pass metabolism in the digestive system. The effects of capsules and edibles usually kick in within 40–120 minutes after consumption, lasting up to 10 hours.

Vapes, such as CBD vape pens and concentrates, are the fastest way to deliver CBD into your body. Inhaled CBD will manifest its effects within around 5–10 minutes after inhalation, lasting up to 4 hours, with peak effects after 1.5–2 hours.

For localized problems like flare-ups from sciatica pain, topical products such as creams and gels may come in handy. They target affected areas, reaching cannabinoid receptors in the skin and bringing relief from pain and inflammation.

Should You Take CBD Oil or Use CBD Cream for Sciatica?

With so many CBD products available out there, it’s natural to wonder which type of CBD will work best for sciatic pain.

Should you take CBD oil or use CBD cream for sciatica?

It largely depends on what you want to achieve with CBD.

For example, if you want to use CBD to reduce inflammation in the sciatic nerve or mitigate pain signals that the nerve sends to the brain, we recommend choosing products such as CBD oil, capsules, edibles, or vapes.

However, if you aim for easing localized discomfort, you can add a CBD cream to your routine, especially if you suffer from sciatica-related flare-ups.

Best CBD Oil for Sciatica

As new companies enter the market every day, offering different forms of CBD with various formulas and potencies, it may be challenging for new users to pick the right product. No two CBD oils are made the same, so it’s important to be able to pick the nuances and effectively narrow down your options to a few trustworthy suppliers.

In this section, we’ve done the job for you.

Here’s the list of the best CBD oils for sciatica according to our team at CFAH.org.

1. Royal CBD (Overall Winner)

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

Product Details

  • American-grown, non-GMO hemp
  • CO2-extracted
  • full-spectrum CBD
  • Available in 4 strengths and flavors
  • Up to 2500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
  • Neutral natural flavor
  • Not available in local CBD stores (this may soon change)
  • Slightly more expensive than competitor brands (but they have a great reward program)
Why Royal CBD Is the Best CBD Oil for Sciatica

Royal CBD is a Nevada-based manufacturer that offers a broad selection of CBD extracts in different spectra, including full-spectrum CBD oil, capsules, broad-spectrum vapes and topicals, and THC-free gummies.

The entire Royal CBD collection comes from organic hemp plants and is extracted with supercritical CO2, ensuring consistent potency and purity throughout every product batch. These products are rigorously tested in a third-party laboratory for potency and the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial impurities.

The Royal CBD oil is available in four concentrations: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg. This is a full-spectrum extract, so you’re getting the entire range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients naturally occurring in hemp. The company has infused this extract into premium-grade MCT oil for higher bioavailability and the added benefits of essential fatty acids for the brain.

If you don’t like the earthy flavor of natural CBD oil, Royal CBD offers three flavored options: Mint, Berry, and Vanilla. The strongest bottle is only available in the natural flavor, as the addition of flavorings would compromise the potency of the final product.

You can try out Royal CBD’s products in a risk-free way by using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Gold Bee (Best Organic Formula)

Product Details

  • Sourced from US-grown organic hemp
  • Contains full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 33 mg CBD/mL
  • Great potency range for beginners
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Great honey flavor
  • No high-strength CBD oils
Why We Recommend Gold Bee CBD Oil for Sciatica:

Gold Bee makes the best-tasting full-spectrum CBD oil out there. The product is flavored with natural honey and available in a delicious kiwi flavor that is very pleasant for the taste buds. Although Gold Bee doesn’t sell any high-potency oils (yet), the company produces its extracts under lower temperatures than the competition, which helps maintain the original biological profile of the hemp plant. It’s a great company if you’re a new user, or if you already have experience with CBD oil but your daily dosage locks in at 40 mg.

3. CBDistillery (Runner Up)

Product Details
  • Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil
  • Extracted with CO2
  • 5 potency options to choose from
  • Up to 166.6 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
  • Very affordable
  • The hemp isn’t organic
  • No flavored oils available
  • The website gets clunky sometimes
Why We Recommend CBDistillery CBD Oil for Sciatica

CBDistillery is one of the largest suppliers of CBD oil in North America and a daughter brand of Balanced Health Botanicals. The brand sells various forms of CBD, from CBD oil to capsules, powders, to vapes and topicals.

The CBD oil comes in two variants: you can choose between full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD. The broad-spectrum version contains all the non-psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes, but without any THC. Unlike CBD isolates, broad-spectrum extracts evoke some of the entourage effects.

The CBD oil sold by CBDistillery is available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD; the latter is labeled as “pure oil” and contains all the non-psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes, but with no traces of THC. The THC has been removed later during a series of extraction processes.

CBDistillery covers the entire range of potencies, from 250 mg to a whopping 5000 mg of CBD per bottle. The strongest version carries 166 mg CBD in each milliliter, which is a very potent dose, and the oil itself may last for months to come. These are hands down the best CBD oils for sciatica when it comes to shopping on a low budget.

4. CBDPure (Good Value)

Product Details:
  • Sourced from organic Colorado-grown hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity
  • 90-day return policy
  • Low potency
  • No topicals available
Why We Recommend CBDPure CBD Oil for Sciatica

CBDPure is another brand offering low-strength CBD oils, although the guys at CBDPure have recently added a 1000 mg concentration to their collection — catering to users with higher dosage needs. Despite the lack of high-potency extracts, the formula behind these products has been mastered to perfection. CBDPure uses locally grown hemp and supercritical CO2 for extraction, which is the current golden standard in the industry. On top of that, the company offers a 90-day Satisfaction Guarantee for people who aren’t ready to commit to a brand upon the first purchase. If you decide the product isn’t for you, you can send it back for a full refund within 90 days.

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CBD Dosage for Sciatica

There are no standardized dosage charts or recommendations for CBD oil and sciatica. In fact, agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have yet to investigate its efficacy and safety in this subject.

Existing research doesn’t suggest specific amounts of CBD to relieve pain and inflammation in humans.

Most studies on the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD come from animal models.

When trying to determine the right dosage for sciatic pain, you can follow the dosage instruction on the product’s label.

Different brands have unique product formulas, with different concentrations of CBD and other ingredients, so dosage recommendations may vary from one brand to another.

In general, CBD is safe and well-tolerated in humans, even in doses as high as 1,500 mg daily. However, it’s recommended to start with the lowest dose (e.g. 5 mg) and gradually work your way up to the point where you experience the desired relief from sciatic pain. You can keep a journal or log to monitor the results, with 7-day trial periods for specific dosages.

Since CBD isn’t the go-to sciatica treatment for patients, we encourage you to consult a doctor experienced in cannabis use before buying any CBD product. Doing so will help you avoid potential CBD-drug interactions on top of figuring out the right dosage for your individual situation.

Final Thoughts on Using CBD for Sciatica

CBD has been shown to have remarkable anti-inflammatory and painkilling qualities, both of which can effectively help sciatica patients manage their symptoms. Not only that, but CBD can also alleviate other painful conditions, including chronic pain and neuropathy.

However, no study has yet investigated the efficacy of CBD specifically for sciatica, so while it’s difficult to deny the above effects, we need more quality research on this subject to draw definitive claims.

People with sciatic pain should consult their doctors before taking CBD oil for sciatica, especially when taking medications that could potentially interact with CBD.

If you’re browsing the web for the best CBD products for sciatica, always do solid research on any company that sells CBD oil out there. The market is still unregulated, with plenty of mislabeled products sold in-store and online. You can use our product recommendations from above if you’re in a hurry; all brands from our list sell organic, lab-tested products that contain the advertised amount of CBD and are safe to use.

Do you take CBD oil for sciatica? Do you use it alone or in combination with topicals? Share your stories in the comment section below!

References:

  1. Baron, R., Binder, A. [How neuropathic is sciatica? The mixed pain concept. Der Orthopade, May 2004, vol 33(5), pp 568-75.
  2. Massachusetts General Hospital. Neuroinflammation seen in spinal cord, nerve roots of patients with chronic sciatica. Press Release, May 9, 2018.
  3. Hammell, D.C. et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain, Oct. 30, 2015, vol. 20(6).
Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

Sciatica is a common condition, and there’s an increased demand for natural alternatives to help with back pain. Learn about how CBD could benefit people with sciatica.

Due to the increasing research into the health benefits of CBD, the CBD oil market continues to grow rapidly in the UK and worldwide. In 2018, the UK Parliament passed legislation legalising certain cannabinoids including CBD. The following year, it was governed that CBD products are to be considered a food supplement, and CBD companies must submit a Novel Foods Application to the Food Standards Agency. Currently, industry analysts estimate that the annual value of the UK CBD industry is approximately £700 million, with the figure expected to surpass one billion GBP by 2025.

Whilst there are numerous health claims of CBD, a number of these require further peer-reviewed research before being verified, and it’s wise to be wary of any claims that CBD is a ‘wonder drug’ or ‘miracle cure’.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica refers to the pain which radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, through the buttocks and down each leg. Usually affecting just one side of the body, sciatica usually occurs when a herniated disc or spinal stenosis compresses or irritates the nerve, causing inflammation and pain, tingling or burning sensations. Symptoms usually improve in 4 to 6 weeks, but can last longer.

How Many People Have Sciatica?

Sciatica is a common condition, affecting up to 40% of the population at some point in their lifetime. Back pain is one of the top reasons that someone might visit their doctor, or take time off work.

What are the Main Types of Sciatica?

Sciatica can be categorised into different types, depending on the duration of symptoms, and whether one leg or both are affected.

Acute sciatica

This refers to a recent onset of sciatica, which may last from 4 to 8 weeks. Pain is managed at home, and typically does not require medical intervention.

Chronic sciatica

Chronic sciatica is persistent and lasts for more than 8 weeks. This type of sciatica may require non-surgical or surgical treatment.

Alternating sciatica

As the name suggests, this is a type of sciatic nerve pain which affects both legs alternately, however it is rare and often resulting from sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Bilateral sciatica

This rare type of sciatica occurs in both legs together and occurs due to wear and tear in the vertebrae at different levels, or due to a condition called cauda equina syndrome.

Is There a Link Between the Endocannabinoid System and Sciatica?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell-signalling system in the human body which plays a role in regulating a number of functions including sleep, body temperature, hunger, and more relevant in the case of sciatica – pain and inflammation. Any imbalance in the body, such as an injury sends the ECS off balance. CBD (cannabidiol, the second most active ingredient in cannabis) offers the ECS cannabinoids that set the receptors in a corrective mechanism mode, bringing back balance, potentially resulting in sciatica nerve pain relief. However, further studies are required into the functionality of the ECS and whether it may influence body processes.

Research into CBD for Pain and Inflammation

While more studies need to happen, there is some evidence to demonstrate that CBD’s pain and inflammation-reducing qualities may help with sciatica symptoms. A 2018 review of studies between 1975 and 2018 concluded that CBD helped ease chronic pain for a number of conditions including fibromyalgia and nerve pain. . Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by reducing inflammation, combating the anxiety associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain and supporting sleep and improving overall state of relaxation.’

What CBD Product is Best for Sciatica?

Topical CBD products are highly recommended as they can be applied directly to the lower back, calves, and other areas where there may be pain and discomfort. However, those looking for on-the-go relief may want to try a CBD oil, capsule or gummy.

Check our review of the best CBD OILS here

How to Use CBD for Sciatica

If you are using a CBD balm or topical CBD oil for sciatica, it can be tricky to measure how much you should use on your skin. It is recommended that you apply it as you would any other topical product, and re-apply when you can no longer feel its effects. If you are taking CBD gummies, or an oral CBD oil for sciatica, it is advised to start on a low dose (around 10-20mg per day) and increase the dose by 5mg daily – but bear in mind that results can take a while to show.

What are Some Natural Ways to Treat Symptoms of Sciatica?

Aside from using CBD oil for sciatica, acupuncture could be useful for the treatment of sciatic nerve pain. It works by relaxing tight muscles, improving blood flow and releasing neurotransmitters which can reduce pain. A 2009 study of 90 patients suffering from sciatica showed that this traditional Chinese therapy reduced the symptoms of sciatica. Massage is another natural way to treat sciatica, due to its ability to increase the range of motion and reduce pain in the lower back, leg and buttocks. Similarly, physical therapy and stretching can also help to reduce the pain of sciatica and improve flexibility.

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