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Healthline has sole editorial control over this article. Potential uses for the products listed here are not health claims made by the manufacturers. The information in this article is intended to be general in nature. It’s not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a healthcare professional. Healthline encourages you to make any treatment decisions with your healthcare professional.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found naturally in cannabis plants. While research into its effects is ongoing, some studies suggest CBD may offer pain and inflammation relief. For this reason, some people use CBD to help relieve sciatica symptoms.

There are many CBD products on the market, but not all of them are created equal. To help you choose a great product, this article will highlight some of the best options out there. We’ll also help you sort out what to look for when shopping for CBD, as well as how to use it. Where available, we’ve included special discount codes for our readers.

It’s important to keep in mind that while research suggests that CBD may help manage pain in general, there’s nothing that makes one CBD product better than another for managing sciatica specifically. Instead, you’ll want to focus on simply choosing a quality product overall.

CBD glossary

  • Full-spectrum CBD: contains all cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, including CBD and THC (though less than 0.3 percent THC)
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: contains a mix of cannabinoids, usually without THC
  • CBD isolate: pure isolated CBD, without other cannabinoids or THC

We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

As a part of our selection process, we also considered:

  • the company’s certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients and whether the product contains any additional ingredients that may support pain relief
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $40
  • $$ = over $40

Best balm

Charlotte’s Web Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Balm Stick

Use code “HEALTH20” for 20% off

Price: $

This balm stick combines 525 milligrams (mg) of CBD with menthol, peppermint oil, turmeric oil, and ginger oil, which reviewers say gives it a great fragrance. Turmeric is said to relieve pain and have other health benefits, while menthol and peppermint oil may also relieve pain.

The stick shape allows you to easily apply it to large parts of the body, such as your back and thighs, which is where you’re most likely to experience sciatic pain. It’s well-priced, considering the amount of CBD in the product.

Charlotte’s Web produces their products in a facility that follows the FDA’s good manufacturing practices (GMP). They also grow their hemp.

Although they have been subject to an FDA warning letter, they’re also one of the largest and oldest CBD companies.

Best tincture

Papa & Barkley Releaf Drops

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: Full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 900 mg per 30-mL bottle or 450 mg per 15-mL bottle
  • COA: Available online

Price: $

With 30 mg of CBD per 1 mL serving, this is a medium-strength product. It’s vegan and comes in either natural or lemongrass ginger flavors.

If you’re new to CBD or don’t want to commit to a full-size bottle, you can purchase the product in a 15-mL bottle. Papa & Barkley also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and has an excellent rating on Trustpilot.

Best gummies

Sunday Scaries Extra Strength CBD Gummies

Price: $$

Each Sunday Scaries extra-strength gummy has 25 mg of broad-spectrum CBD, which is a big jump from their standard gummies, which have 10 mg of CBD each. If you’re new to CBD, you’ll want to keep that in mind.

Sunday Scaries offers this extra-strength version for stress relief. COAs for all products are prominently displayed on their website. They also offer a 100 percent money back guarantee and customer service by real human beings.

Best cream

Extract Labs CBD Muscle Rub Cream

Price: $$

Extract Labs CBD Muscle Rub Cream is a good option if you have sciatica and sore, tense areas. It’s enhanced with menthol, arnica, and fragrant essential oils, and includes hydrating shea butter. This makes it great for massaging your lower back.

With 1,500 mg full-spectrum CBD in an 84 g tin of cream, this topical offers great value. Extract Labs also offers a subscribe-and-save option, a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, and a discount program for teachers, veterans and active military, and first responders.

CBD is often used to reduce pain and inflammation, both of which characterize sciatica.

Research from 2018 looked at studies on CBD and chronic pain conducted between 1975 and 2018. The studies were on various kinds of pain, including fibromyalgia, cancer-related pain, and neuropathic pain. The review authors concluded that CBD was effective at relieving pain with few noticeable side effects.

While CBD hasn’t been tested for its ability to relieve sciatica specifically, the above research is promising for pain in general.

Currently, the FDA doesn’t guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or quality of over-the-counter CBD products. However, in order to protect public health, they can take action against CBD companies that make unfounded health claims.

Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products in the same way they do drugs or dietary supplements, companies sometimes mislabel or misrepresent their products. That means it’s especially important to do your own research and find a quality product. Here’s what to look for.

Test results

Only purchase CBD products that are third-party tested. You should be able to read a lab report, such as a certificate of analysis, or COA, on the company’s website. Some companies might also include the COA with your product shipment. Other times, you may need to request the COA by email.

When reviewing the COA, check to make sure that the product is free of pesticides, heavy metals, and mold. Also, review the cannabinoid profile. This will allow you to confirm that the product actually contains what the label says it does.

Ingredients

Check the label to make sure the product contains CBD. If it only lists hempseed oil, Cannabis sativa oil, or hemp seeds, it doesn’t have CBD in it. CBD is found in the leaves, flowers, stems, and stalks of the hemp plant. It isn’t found in the seeds.

CBD source and type

Look for products made from organic, U.S.-grown hemp. Hemp grown in the United States is subject to agricultural regulations and can’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC.

Whether you choose an isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum product is a personal choice. If you want to avoid THC altogether, look for an isolate or broad-spectrum product. If you’re fine with taking in a small amount of THC, a full-spectrum product may be a better choice due to the entourage effect.

Product type

Topical CBD products are ideal if you’re experiencing pain in a targeted area.

However, if you’re experiencing pain all over, you may prefer an oil or gummy. It can be costly and time-consuming to rub your entire body with a CBD topical.

Keep in mind, too, that different methods of taking CBD may have varying degrees of bioavailability, and some may take longer to kick in than others.

It’s difficult to dose topical CBD products because it’s hard to measure how much you apply to your skin. In general, you should use as much as you would if it were a regular topical product. If it doesn’t feel any different after some time has passed, use a little more.

If you’re taking an oil or gummy, start with a low dose — perhaps 10 mg or 20 mg per day. Keep in mind that it sometimes takes a while before you notice an improvement.

After a week, assess your symptoms. If the CBD hasn’t helped as much as you’d like, increase your dose by 5 mg per day. Continue doing this until you find the ideal dosage.

Check out our CBD dosage guide for more information.

CBD is generally considered safe for human consumption, according to research. However, there are a few potential side effects of CBD, including:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

Some research suggests that consuming CBD with high fat meals could increase your risk of side effects. This is because high fat meals can increase CBD blood concentrations, which can increase the risk of side effects.

It’s also important to note that CBD can interact with some medications, especially medications that carry a grapefruit warning.

Regardless of whether you take medication, we recommend talking with your healthcare professional and a knowledgeable cannabis clinician before using any CBD products.

Will CBD oil help sciatica?

You can use CBD oil for sciatica. CBD is often used to manage pain and inflammation. Although there’s a lack of research on the benefits of CBD for sciatica, other research, such as a 2018 research review, might relieve pain.

Will CBD help with a pinched nerve?

As with sciatica, there aren’t any large-scale human clinical trials that explore whether CBD can help with a pinched nerve. However, because CBD might reduce pain and inflammation, it might also soothe a pinched nerve. Inflammation puts extra pressure on nerves, which can cause or worsen a pinched nerve.

How do you use CBD for sciatica?

People typically use CBD daily. Depending on your tastes, you can take CBD in the form of a tincture, oil, capsule, or gummy. You can also use CBD topical — such as a cream or balm — by massaging it into the affected areas.

Many people find that CBD helps relieve sciatica effectively, and it may be worth a try if you have sciatic pain. Remember to talk with your healthcare professional before using CBD, and do your research in order to find the best CBD product for your symptoms.

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.