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Cannabidiol (CBD) has numerous potential benefits, and researchers are increasingly studying its use as a treatment for sciatica pain. Here, we discuss our top picks and where to buy.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT selects products containing safe and high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage and how to take it.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis (COA): MNT selects companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s COA after receiving its third-party lab results.

We regularly check the products in our articles to make sure we provide our readers with safe shopping options. In this article, we replaced several products that made unacceptable claims or had outdated COAs with alternatives that continue to pass our rigorous vetting process.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

The following table compares the CBD products in this article on price, form, and more.

Price FormCBD typePotency per serving
Social CBD$49.99gummiesbroad-
25 mg
CBDistillery$70oil tincturefull-
33 mg
Plus CBD$27.99roll-onCBD isolate200 mg per 1.13 oz bottle
Charlotte’s Web$39.99gelfull-
510 mg per 1.7 fl oz bottle
Absolute Nature$59.99oilfull-
17 mg
Lazarus Naturals$12–$42balmfull-
• 800 mg per 16 g stick
• 3,600 mg per 72 g stick

Shopping for CBD can be confusing as so many products are available, and people may not be familiar with much of the terminology around CBD.

Manufacturers tend to use three main types of CBD in their products. These are:

  • Full-spectrum CBD: This contains all cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, including CBD and up to 0.3% THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: This contains a mixture of cannabinoids. It does not usually contain THC but may have trace amounts.
  • CBD isolate: This is pure, isolated CBD without other cannabinoids.

Some research indicates that full-spectrum CBD may work best due to its “entourage effect.” This is where the various other cannabinoids and compounds in the cannabis plant work together with CBD to heighten its beneficial effects.

However, this does not mean that full-spectrum CBD is the best option for everyone. Each person needs to find what works best for them and their symptoms.

CBD products are available in many different forms, including:

Each type of product has benefits and drawbacks. For example, a person does not have to worry about determining the dosage with gummies, as each will contain a specific amount of CBD.

However, it can be difficult to know exactly how much CBD a person is applying to the body with topical products.

As CBD products are not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it can be difficult to know what a person is getting when purchasing a CBD product. All the products in this article have passed our screening process.

Learn more about buying CBD.

Many studies demonstrate links between CBD use and reduced symptoms of various ailments, including anxiety, nausea associated with chemotherapy, some forms of epilepsy, and pain. This means that CBD could also help with sciatica pain.

Using cannabis to treat pain is not a new phenomenon. Many groups have noted their use of cannabis for many ailments, from joint pain and muscle spasms to conditions such as gout and malaria.

However, the scientific proof backing many of these potential benefits remains unclear.

Researchers have suggested that CBD may be beneficial for a range of clinical conditions, including:

Again, more research is necessary before researchers can definitively say that CBD can help relieve pain. However, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that it might.

CBD resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and in-depth resources on CBD.

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To get the most out of using CBD for sciatica pain, determine the specific goals for its use:

  • Easing pain in a sore spot: Individuals experiencing sciatic flare-ups in a specific location may find a topical product best suits their needs, such as a salve containing CBD.
  • Providing quick relief: CBD oil or tinctures may work quicker than other CBD products.
  • Maintaining a consistent level of CBD: CBD capsules or gummies give people a more accurate idea of how much CBD they are taking and offer a convenient way to manage CBD use.

There is limited scientific evidence to support the use of CBD for sciatica pain in particular. One 2020 study found that treating chronic pain with CBD for 7 days or more was helpful.

However, further research into using CBD for pain is needed, and a person should speak with a doctor before using any CBD products.

As with anything a person ingests, especially for medicinal purposes, CBD can cause side effects.

In studies, the most common side effects associated with CBD products include:

It is also very important for a person to ensure they discuss the use of CBD products with a healthcare professional, as CBD can interact with several different medications.

If a person takes any medications or supplements that warn of interactions with grapefruit, they need to be careful using CBD. This is because they both interfere with drug-metabolizing enzymes known as cytochrome P450 enzymes.

One study in mice suggests that, in large quantities, CBD may cause liver toxicity. However, it is important to note that the researchers fed these mice very large quantities of CBD-rich cannabis extracts.

Below are some of the most common questions and answers about using CBD for sciatica pain:

Does using CBD for sciatica pain work?

Research is ongoing, as current studies do not provide conclusive evidence that supports the use of CBD to ease sciatica pain.

However, a 2019 study in mice has shown promising results for treating chronic pain, such as sciatica, with CBD.

Researchers have also found that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which could help reduce pain.

Besides using CBD, what self-care practices can people try for sciatica pain?

Ice packs or ice massages may provide some relief in the first week after an injury or development of sciatica. After a week or so, heat can help promote blood flow and relax muscles.

Gentle movement and stretching can also support blood flow, promote healing, and reduce pain.

A person should consult a doctor to determine which treatments may work best.

Learn more about sciatica.

Does using CBD for sciatica pain make you high?

CBD does not cause people to feel “high.”

THC is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis and may cause a high feeling.

Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC.

Can CBD alleviate nerve pain?

A 2021 study has found that CBD can help alleviate nerve pain, although analgesic effects can vary depending on the dosage.

Further research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of CBD in treating nerve pain.

A person should seek a doctor’s advice before using CBD products.

Research to date, anecdotal claims, and historical evidence suggest that CBD may ease symptoms of a variety of health conditions, including pain.

A variety of oral and topical CBD products are available in numerous strengths. However, anyone wishing to try CBD should speak with a healthcare professional first, as it may interact with certain medications.