Sciatica is a very common condition that affects around 40% of people at some point in life.
It is caused by inflammation in the sciatic nerve that results in leg and buttock pain, along with reduced mobility and a reduction in quality of life.
The most common treatment for sciatic nerve pain is pain medication, but some people prefer to take a more natural approach.
While CBD may not be a recognised treatment for any condition, it can help manage wellness, promote better health, and restore balance.
In addition, since CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, and this system is involved in regulating inflammatory response, there is hope that it could one day pave the way for new treatment options.
So, today we are diving deeper into the topic of CBD for sciatica, by looking at the following:
- Can CBD oil help with sciatica?
- How to use CBD oil for sciatica
- Which oil is best for sciatica and back pain?
In this guide:
What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is a nerve that runs from your lower back to your feet. When this nerve is pinched or irritated, it causes sciatica.
The nerve irritation causes pain along the entire nerve.
As a result, the lower back and legs become painful when a person suffers from sciatica. Secondary to that, the pain can radiate into the hips and buttocks.
These affected areas will feel achy, inflamed, and painful.
Relieving sciatica pain is not an easy task. Without the right help, sciatica only lasts 4 to 6 weeks. However, in some cases or without any support, sciatica can take longer to heal.
The most common treatment for sciatic pain is an anti-inflammatory medication. Some people also add supplements such as CBD oil to their daily routine to help support an overall sense of well-being or some people find that a massage helps.
However, before undertaking any form of treatment, the best thing to do is speak to your doctor about treatment options and pain relief.
Is CBD good for sciatica?
While CBD is not a medicine intended to treat or cure any conditions, many people are exploring how it could be added to their daily routine to help promote better health and wellness.
As explained above, sciatica affects nerves in the lower body, and sufferers may find it difficult to relieve pain and treat the issue.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays many roles in the body, including dealing with pain and inflammation. While CBD cannot directly treat pain or inflammation associated with sciatica, it has a holistic effect that improves overall wellbeing.
CBD is an extremely versatile supplement. It can be taken orally or applied directly to the skin as a topical balm or cream. It’s also possible to combine CBD products for maximum impact.
CBD is generally considered to be safe for healthy adults to take, provided they do not exceed more than 70mg per day. So, while it should not be used as a treatment, many people are happy to explore how it could support their wellbeing.
How does CBD oil for sciatica pain work?
Sciatica causes pain and inflammation. It is usually caused by a herniated disc or bone spurs.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes inflamed under compression, causing sharp, shooting pain. CBD helps to support the ECS, and the ECS plays a vital role in the inflammatory and pain response.
CBD also supports the ECS by increasing the availability of anandamide. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that binds to cannabinoid receptors to stimulate a sense of happiness and wellbeing.
It is produced in the body and broken down by enzymes when it has done its jobs. CBD helps to stop the release of the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, which means there is more of it available in the body.
In essence, CBD oil can generate an overall state of relaxation for the mind and body – the opposite of stress, which is a key factor in developing sciatica.
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How do you use CBD oil for sciatica?
There are various ways to use CBD oil for sciatica and to boost your overall wellbeing, and each method has a different bioavailability.
A high bioavailability just means more of the CBD molecules are used by your body instead of being filtered out by the digestive system.
Remember that CBD should be treated as a supplement to traditional treatments, not a replacement or a quick fix.
Sublingual CBD oil drops
A common way to use CBD oil is through the sublingual method.
This offers the second-highest bioavailability of all the methods, as it bypasses the liver and digestive system and directly enters the bloodstream.
For oil, the typical dosage, to begin with, is 10 to 20 mg per day. From there, the dosage can be increased until an ideal dosage is found, but you should not exceed 70mg of CBD oil per day.
If you choose the sublingual method, these are the steps to follow.
- Place the CBD oil under your tongue using the dropper
- Hold it there for up to 90 seconds
Topical Balms and Creams
You can apply your CBD oil product directly to your skin, but you may find that specific topical CBD balms and creams are better for this.
Muscle balms and rubs can be excellent for sciatic pain as they often contain heating or cooling ingredients. Similar to a muscle rub like Deep Heat, CBD balm can help to ease inflammation and pain linked to sciatic nerve pain using warmth alone.
Simply massage oil or balm on the area that hurts and wash your hands after use.
Keep in mind that topical CBD has low bioavailability as it does not directly enter the bloodstream, therefore it might take longer to work.
Edible CBD & CBD capsules
One of the most common ways people take CBD is through CBD capsules, which can be taken the same way vitamins are taken. These are a great way to add CBD to your routine.
However, because the CBD in edible products needs to be digested first, the bioavailability is lower. This means you may notice fewer benefits than if you use CBD oil sublingually.
Another method for consuming CBD oil is through vaping.
This offers the highest bioavailability as the CBD molecules enter the bloodstream directly through the lungs.
Take note that you can’t vape standard CBD oil products because you have to get specific vape liquids. The majority of CBD vape oils contain CBD isolate.
Vaping CBD isn’t ideal for people wanting to experience the entourage effect from the other ingredients in typical broad-spectrum CBD products.
How to use CBD oil for sciatica
Take CBD oil drops under the tongue for easy usage and high bioavailability
Take CBD orally through convenient CBD capsules or delicious CBD snacks
Topical CBD balms
Apply CBD balm to affected areas for heating and cooling properties
Add special CBD vape liquid to your vape for fast results
How much CBD oil to take for sciatica?
The appropriate CBD dosage for sciatica can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of symptoms, body weight and the CBD product used.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation, and you will need to experiment to find your perfect dose.
When starting with CBD for sciatica, it’s best to start low and go slow. This will allow your body to adjust to the CBD and help you find the appropriate dose.
As you gradually increase the dosage, closely monitor how your body responds. Keep track of pain levels, and raise or lower your dose accordingly.
Never exceed 70mg of CBD daily, as this is the upper limit of CBD recommended by the FSA.
How to choose the best CBD oil for sciatica UK
When choosing the best CBD oil for sciatica, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first is the type of CBD you prefer: CBD oil, topical creams, capsules, or edibles.
CBD oil is more versatile than capsules and creams due to its dropper application. The application and dosage can also be tailored to you, making it easy and versatile to include in your routine.
For sciatic nerve pain, it could also be beneficial to add a CBD muscle rub to your daily routine. Since this won’t be absorbed into the bloodstream, you don’t need to worry about adding up your total CBD intake.
Secondly, you will also have a choice of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate products. This refers to the cannabinoid content of the product.
- Full-spectrum CBD contains other beneficial cannabinoids, including legal amounts of THC. It also contains beneficial terpenes and flavonoids.
- Broad-spectrum CBD contains the same as full-spectrum CBD, but with the THC removed.
- CBD isolate only contains the cannabidiol compound, with all other beneficial compounds removed.
Terpenes and flavonoids offer additional therapeutic benefits, so it makes sense to choose a broad or full-spectrum CBD oil for sciatica. CBD isolate is often used in topical CBD products, in which case you should look for extra ingredients such as peppermint or chilli to provide hot and cold therapy.
Why should you be wary of companies selling CBD oil for sciatica?
Many companies in the CBD market claim to be selling the best product.
Some even claim that they can treat ailments such as sciatica, which is not true.
CBD is not a medicine or treatment, so it is important to be wary of companies making such claims. Instead, it is best to purchase CBD oil products from companies that claim to be able to aid general wellness and restore balance.
Final thoughts on CBD oil for sciatica
Chronic sciatic nerve pain can be long-lasting without the proper care. Sciatica pain can go away without treatment – but it could worsen, or simply return a month later.
The best way to approach sciatica pain is to improve your overall health and well-being to prevent ailments like this.
CBD oil is a great option to restore balance and attain better health. It is a safe, convenient, and versatile option to encourage well-being and restore the body’s natural processes to manage sciatica.
If you suffer from stress and lack of sleep due to sciatica, you may find CBD oil also helps to relax you.