Sciatica is the name given to a set of symptoms that arise from nerve pain, localised to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the whole body, running from the end of the spinal cord in the lower back, splitting down both legs and ending at the feet.

When something causes an irritation to the nerve or it gets damaged it can result in enormous amounts of pain for the person. Many different things can be the cause of sciatica ranging from bone spurs and spinal stenosis to a herniated spinal disk. The symptoms include severe pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, knees and feet. In the majority of cases the pain lasts for 6 to 12 weeks but can reoccur multiple times.

CBD to treat sciatica

There are many existing treatments for sciatica, including pain killers, anti-inflammatory medication, physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy and in some cases, surgery. All of these treatments hold their own benefits but when dealing with severe pain the person has to be careful as to which pain killers they are using and for how long. Due to the fact that the pain can last for extended periods of time and can continue to come back it is safer to use a pain killer with a lower risk of addiction.

One possible alternative is Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is one of the two most abundant chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant. It, along with the others, interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. This system is directly related to our central nervous system and regulates our mood, memory, pain, motor functions and much more.

Researchers have found that CBD has many analgesic properties with few negative side affects and it is considered to be low-risk for addiction. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which could help reduce any inflammation of the sciatic nerve in the case of a herniated disk. All of these aspects highlight the great potential CBD has in the treatment of sciatica and sciatic nerve damage.

References

Russo, E. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management,

[online] Volume 4, pp.245-259.

Iffland, K. and Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, [online] 2(1), pp.139-154.

Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S., Hegde, V. and Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Medicinal Chemistry, [online] 1(7).

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