CBD for Sciatica – Does it Help?

Painful, frustrating and irritating are three words that perfectly describe the nerve pain known as sciatica. With many potential causes and few treatments, this condition can make even the most optimistic person a negative Ned or Nancy. While some over-the-counter treatments help sufferers deal with the pain, many still choose to try CBD for sciatica as a healthier alternative to painkillers and other drugs that can be harmful in the long run.

CBD for Sciatica

While CBD oil will not cure sciatica, it has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can help with the symptoms associated with sciatica.

Although studies are still ongoing regarding the potential benefits of CBD, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence that suggests that CBD can be useful when trying to treat sciatic pain.

What Is Sciatica?

According to Mayo Clinic: “Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.”

Basically, sciatica is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve, which can be caused by various things, the most common being:

  • Slipped Disk: In over 90% of cases, it is caused by a slipped disk, which is when a soft tissue between the bones in your spine slips out. This tissue presses against the sciatic nerve, compressing it and causing the dreaded pain known as sciatica
  • Spondylolisthesis: This condition causes vertebrae to slip out of place, which then presses against the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatica
  • Spinal Stenosis: A condition that usually occurs in older people, spinal stenosis is when the spinal canal narrows, compressing the spinal cord nerves, which can trigger sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Stress: As with many other conditions, stress can also be a cause of sciatica. When stressed, the brain deprives the nerves of oxygen, leading to the pain associated with sciatica

Since the sciatic nerve runs through different parts of the body, sciatic pain can be presented as leg, hip, or back pain, usually on only one side of the body. However, there are rare cases where it occurs on both sides.

Sciatic pain can be excruciating, but it usually lasts only a few weeks (between 4-6 weeks) and can be resolved by non-invasive treatments. However, people who have severe sciatica that interferes with the natural function of the bladder and bowels may require surgery.

What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

There are several symptoms that point to sciatica, specifically:

  • Pain down leg, lower back, and buttock
  • Pins and needles in leg and foot
  • Pain when moving
  • Loss of bladder/bowel control
  • Numbness in lower back, buttock, leg and foot

How Is Sciatica Treated?

Depending on what caused your sciatica, it can go away over time with some self-care and at-home treatments that alleviate the pain and prevent future occurrences. Let’s take a deeper look at at-home treatments.


According to a study done in 2013, yoga poses such as locust pose and cobra pose can improve sciatica symptoms. Using yoga as a way to alleviate symptoms of sciatica is not only great for soothing the pain, but also for reducing the use of pain medication and improving movement limitations, all of which can impact your lifestyle.

A few poses besides locust pose and cobra pose you should try to improve your symptoms:

  • Downward-Facing Dog
  • Half Moon Pose
  • Knees-to-Chest Pose
  • Reclined Pigeon Pose

Doing the above poses daily may help you feel better, but remember to listen to your body. If you are in too much pain to try these poses, rather avoid doing them.

Hot or Cold Packs

Another way to try and ease symptoms of sciatica is by using both hot and cold packs. For one week, apply a cold pack or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to painful area for about 20 minutes. Continue doing this a few times a day if possible.

After a week of just using a cold pack, switch to a hot pack or heating pad. If you are still struggling with pain, switch between the two to see which one works best for you.

Over-the-Counter Medication

While not the best option, sometimes taking over-the-counter medication to help with sciatica is unavoidable. Some of these include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Just be careful if you use aspirin, as it can lead to ulcers and bleeding in some people.

Always consult with your doctor before using pain meds for conditions such as sciatica.


The use of CBD to alleviate symptoms associated with sciatica has become popular after some studies found that CBD can help relieve inflammation. Inflammation of the sciatic nerve is the cause of sciatic pain, so the anti-inflammatory properties found in CBD has the potential to soothe the inflamed nerve, which in turn can reduce pain.

There are many promising anecdotal accounts from sufferers who tried CBD for their sciatic pain. Many use CBD as an alternative treatment or with other medication.

Research suggests that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to relieve pain. The ECS is a system of cell receptors the body uses to contribute to homeostasis, which is how your body maintains balance and stays healthy. There has been evidence found in various studies that pain can be relieved when CBD interacts with the ECS.

Many scientists also believe that CBD can be useful for relieving stress and anxiety, which may relieve sciatic pain that is caused by it.

However, much more studies need to be done before any claims can be guaranteed. Currently, most are purely anecdotal.

How to Take CBD for Sciatica?

You can take CBD oil orally or apply it to the affected area. Getting someone to massage the area with CBD oil may be especially soothing.

How much you use or take depends on the product, but you would usually start with about 10 mg a day if taking CBD oil, and then slowly work your way up as your body adjusts to it.

CBD oil usually comes with a dropper that you can use to apply directly under your tongue if taking it orally. Alternatively, you can add CBD oil to food or drinks if you don’t like the taste, as it can be too strong for some.

Another great way of using CBD is by massaging it into the affected areas. Using it orally or topically can help with some sciatica symptoms, but keep in mind that it can take a while before there are any noticeable changes.

Are There Any Side Effects of Taking CBD?

While side effects are very rare, you still need to be conscious of the following potential side effects that CBD can cause:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weight changes

It is also important to keep in mind that some CBD products may show up in tests if you work for a company with mandatory drug testing.

Consult your doctor first before using CBD or self-medicating in any way. CBD can interact with certain medications and health conditions, so be sure to chat with your doctor before using it.

Best CBD Products for Sciatica

Here at CBD village, we have a whole range of different CBD products to get you going on your CBD journey. From CBD oil to CBD massage balms, there’s something for everyone.

Give CBD a chance and see what it can do for you.

The post CBD for Sciatica – Does it Help? first appeared on CBD Village UK.

Back to blog