Do you ever experience a sharp, tingling pain sensation that runs from your lower back, and down the leg to your foot? You could be among the staggering 40% of the population that suffers from sciatica pain. So, what exactly is sciatica? Today’s blog will focus on the efficacy of CBD as a treatment for this common problem.
The term “sciatica” is commonly misdiagnosed but can be specifically applied to the condition in which the sciatica nerve is compressed, most commonly caused by a herniated disc, this and the subsequent inflammation can cause pain, numbness and a tingling pain sensation. The spinal cord has a nerve bundle that sits and is protected by the vertebrae, when the cushioned discs in between the vertebrae degenerate the spacing in the spine that provides support and protection is lost- this causes the bones to rub up against one another and results in pinched nerves and bulging discs- or herniations.
There are many underlying causes of sciatica pain, herniated discs are just one with others ranging from age-related spinal narrowing, bone spurs and tumors. No matter the cause, the goal is to reduce inflammation, reverse the degeneration and give the body a chance to heal. Mitigating pain sensation is also a useful and impactful narrative.
As explained, most sciatica pain is caused by the pressure and inflammation created around the sciatica nerve. Because of the delicate nature of the spinal cord region and the nervous system, even slight stressors can aggravate the nerve and send shooting pain throughout the lower regions of your body including the buttocks, legs, knees, and feet. The pain follows the path of the effected nerve endings. CBD provides the body with an overall anti-inflammatory and sedating effect- an obvious choice for clinicians in the treatment of an inflammatory based condition. Lets explore a few studies to help provide a scientific framework for our theory.
- In a 2014 study published by the medical journal PLoS One, concluded that “considering that cannabidiol presents an extremely safe profile and is currently being used clinically, these results suggest that this compound could be useful in the treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration.”
- In another study done on animals, mice with sciatic nerve damage were provided free access to CBD at their discretion. Over the course of 3 weeks, the mice demonstrated decreased signs of pain, pointing to CBD as a possibly valuable treatment option.
- Another study –this one in humans—was conducted and showed that CBD may be effective for the treatment of sciatica. This study was done with patients who dealt with a range of conditions, including spinal injuries, neurological dysfunctions, and nerve damage. This study provided pain sufferers with CBD as a treatment option. After 2 weeks, those who were given CBD over the placebo demonstrated pain relief “significantly superior to placebo.”
- In the September 2020 Volume 161 Issue of “PAIN” “Cannabidiol possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties and significantly improved the mobility of large domestic canines afflicted with osteoarthritis in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled veterinary study.”
As always, we will look to plant medicine for a cure. Rather than relying on the commonly prescribed opioids as the pharmaceutical companies continue to push. Common opioid drugs for sciatica include Vicodin, OxyContin, Duragesic, Demerol, and Ultram. Each of these drugs has a similar mechanism for relieving pain symptoms. Cannabidiol and plant medicine is an enduring, healing treatment option with no risk of addiction and no side effects.