Pain, numbness, and tingling along the sciatic nerve from the lower back down the leg can make it difficult, if not impossible, for many people to go about their daily lives normally. When the sciatic nerve is compressed or pressed on, pain is experienced. Many people seek relief from prescription and over-the-counter painkillers like gabapentin and tricyclic antidepressants. However, many drugs, including opioids, may not be effective for all people.

Years of study have shown that cannabis is effective in relieving neuropathy and other nerve problems related to sciatica. Cannabinoids and their receptors in adipose tissue make up the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for medical cannabis‘ therapeutic effects. The ECS is involved in the experience of pain, the regulation of homoeostasis and temperature, the reduction of inflammation, and the modulation of the immune system.

The endocannabinoid system is influenced by cannabis and its cannabinoids, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While CB2 receptors influence peripheral neurones and many organs, CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system, including the spinal cord. Transient receptor potential (TRP) receptors are just one type of receptor that cannabinoids like CBD aim for. They may also play a role in relieving pain.

CB1 receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves have been shown to affect both short-term and long-term pain signals, making them a potential target for the treatment of sciatic nerve pain. An increase in the neurotransmitter anandamide (AEA) is produced when CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated; this, in turn, triggers the release of a protein by astrocytes (a brain cell involved in immunity and support) that is thought to stimulate the development of new nerve fibres and lessen inflammatory signals, nerve pain, numbness, and tingling associated with sciatica.

Why Should I Treat My Sciatica with Medical Marijuana?

The following additional advantages may accrue to persons who use medicinal cannabis to treat their sciatica:

Increases in Quality of Sleep

Improvements in emotional state and psychological suffering, especially with regards to anxiety and depression

Reduced exhaustion

Sleepiness, drowsiness, disorientation, tachycardia (faster heart rate), dry mouth, and psychosis are some of the negative effects of medicinal cannabis.

Suggested Cannabis Dosage for Sciatica

If previous drugs have not alleviated nerve pain, clinical guidelines recommend using cannabis as a third or fourth line of therapy. We recommend reading our guides on neuropathy and back pain for more detailed advice on relieving the symptoms of sciatica. Our chronic pain page also explains how to get started on analgesic, or pain-relieving, medical marijuana medication. Until you find out what works best for you, it’s best to start with a low dose.

You should always check with your doctor for clearance before starting any new therapy or changing the dosage of any drugs you’re already taking. Getting off any drug you might be on safely and smoothly requires medical care. However, with the support of your doctor, you may discover that cannabis is the pain management solution you’ve been searching for to deal with sciatica and other nerve pain disorders.

To alleviate pain from a pinched sciatic nerve, try cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

Because of the widespread nature of the radicular pain caused by sciatica, many people have found relief from taking CBD products alone. When bound to transient receptor potential (TRP) receptors, CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. As an added bonus, unlike THC, it won’t get you high. Topical solutions like creams or CBD oils, which may also be used orally, may be helpful for patients taking CBD for sciatica. 

Evidence on Cannabis’ Effect on Sciatica

The benefits of medicinal cannabis on individuals with sciatica, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs were studied in 2016. The study was published in the International Journal of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. Prior to the start of the experiment, these participants had already attempted conventional therapy for 12 months and at least two different narcotics without success. Patients with imaginable causes of sciatica were followed for 12 months, with assessments of pain and mobility throughout the research.

This study’s lengthy follow-up time allows for a thorough examination of medicinal cannabis’ effects on those suffering from sciatica and lower back pain. The study found that the patients’ range of motion, cognitive performance, and discomfort in the back all improved after treatment.

In 2018, researchers looked at how cannabis helped 15 individuals with persistent nerve pain. Every six hours, nine of the males received an average of 15 mg of THC sublingually. The placebo group consisted of the other six males in the trial. The average pain rating from the individuals before therapy began was 53% on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 being the worst possible pain and 0 meaning no pain at all. THC-treated patients reported an average pain reduction of 35 points after therapy. Those who received placebos nonetheless reported a significant improvement in their pain levels compared to the control group, suggesting that the THC was effective.

These findings not only provided compelling evidence for the use of medical marijuana in patients with neuropathy and sciatica, but they also implicated the anterior cingulate cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the regulation of pain perception. Researchers concluded that THC may aid in the restoration of pain connection channels that have been destroyed due to prolonged pain.

Reasons Why You Get Sciatica

Sciatica is nerve pain that often starts in the lower back and travels down the leg to the foot, and it can be caused by a number of different things. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve, a large nerve that originates in the lower back and travels down both legs, is compressed. A herniated or bulging disc in the spine; Spinal stenosis; Injuries such a pelvic fracture; Lower back or pelvic muscle spasms and inflammation; Nerve problems; Poor posture; Unnatural sitting postures; Spinal abscess; Obesity; Blood clot; Herniated or bulging disc in the spine;

Sciatica’s Adverse Effects

Pain, tingling, and numbness down one leg are not the only symptoms of sciatica in some people. If the pressure on the sciatic nerve isn’t relieved, complications from sciatica or other significant underlying disorders can arise. Increased discomfort, a slipped or herniated disc, numbness or paralysis in the afflicted limb, incontinence, or permanent nerve damage are all possible outcomes.

To know more about where to buy medical cannabis in Australia and other medical marijuana resources, you should book a consultation session with a professional from Chronic Therapy today.

More to read: Treating Carpal Tunnel with Medicinal Cannabis