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CBD is one of the trendiest three-letter acronyms in wellness. The cannabis compound is in everything from skin creams to your gummies to oils.

If you listen to all the health claims — less anxiety, pain relief, and reduced inflammation, to name a few — it’s easy to see why CBD is the most famous part of the cannabis plant (that doesn’t get you high LOL).

While more studies need to happen, early signs show that CBD’s pain and inflammation-reducing qualities may help with sciatica symptoms.

That said, simply heading down to the store and buying the first thing that says “CBD” on it probably won’t help you.

Finding the right CBD is like finding the right workout app. Sure, there are a lot of options out there, but only the quality ones hold up to any scrutiny. You’ll want to spend your hard-earned money on the best of the best when you’re looking for CBD.

Researchers have yet to zoom in on how CBD can specifically help relieve sciatica pain. Current studies show that CBD could reduce overall pain and inflammation, though.

One 2018 review of studies between 1975 and 2018 concluded that CBD helped ease chronic pain for a number of conditions — fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain, to name a few.

And a 2020 study involving mice suggests that oral CBD may have a role to play in long-term chronic pain relief. But obvi, actual research in humans needs to happen.

It’s not cut and dry, but the gist of what’s out there on CBD and pain management points to CBD’s potential.

It’s not exactly the Wild West out there, but there are a lot of empty claims when it comes to CBD products. The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD like it does other drugs and supplements, so it’s important to do your own research.

We selected the following products based on criteria established by our team of medical experts.

Every product on our list is:

  • made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • made with U.S.-grown hemp that’s subject to certain agricultural regulations
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • has passing results for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

We also took a close look at other factors like:

  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
    • customer reviews
    • whether the company has been subject to an FDA warning letter
    • whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
  • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients

Pricing guide

Pricing for CBD products depends on the type of product and the strength of CBD dose you desire. The pricing guide below is based on the strengths we list under each product but may vary depending on your preference.

  • $ = under $45
  • $$ = $45–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best-rated CBD oil for sciatica

NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil

  • Price: $-$$$
  • Type: oil
  • Spectrum: full-spectrum
  • Amount of CBD per container: 300, 900, 1,800, 3,000, 6,000 mg (30 mg per serving)
  • Flavors: unflavored
  • COA: available online
  • Pros: available in multiple potencies, only two ingredients, excellent customer reviews
  • Cons: some complaints about the flavor

This highly-rated oil for Nuleaf Naturals might be a solid option if your sciatica is bugging you in more than one spot. That’s because edibles (including oils) are known for providing full-body relief.

The flavorless oil contains just two ingredients: Hemp extract and organic virgin hemp seed oil.

And with thousands of 5-star reviews, it’s clear folks love it. Another bonus? It’s available in several potencies, making it a good pick for newbies and pros alike.

Some reviewers are lukewarm on the flavor, which is on the earthy side. But it’s hard to find a product that’s got as many raving reviews as this one.

Best CBD oil for sciatica

Papa & Barkley Releaf Drops

  • Price: $$
  • Type: oil
  • Spectrum: full-spectrum
  • Amount of CBD per container: 900 mg per 30 millileters (mL)
  • Flavors: lemongrass ginger and natural
  • COA: available online
  • Pros: starter size option, 30-day money-back guarantee, simple dosing
  • Cons: some say they didn’t feel a diff after taking it, not everyone loves the taste

This medium-strength product has just two ingredients: Hemp-derived CBD and MCT oil, a coconut-based carrier oil that metabolizes easily so your body can quickly absorb the CBD.

Papa & Barkley has a solid reputation, largely due to its focus on clean production and transparency. Its hemp is grown on farms in California (where the company is based), Oregon, and Vermont. Its manufacturing process uses “chemical-free lipid infusion” which, in more basic language, produces highly concentrated oil without any potentially harmful chemical residue (which can happen with other extraction methods).

Choose from two flavors: lemongrass ginger or natural. For those who want to sample Releaf Drops before investing in a full-sized bottle, try the 15 mL starter size. Papa & Barkley also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

While peeps seem to love this stuff, a few complain about the taste and smell. And some customers note having issues with products not shipping in a timely fashion.

Best CBD gummies for sciatica

Joy Organics CBD Gummies

  • Price: $
  • Type: gummy
  • Spectrum: broad-spectrum
  • Amount of CBD per container: 10 mg per gummy (30 gummies per container)
  • Flavors: green apple, strawberry lemonade
  • COA: available online
  • Pros: tasty, easy to take, affordable pricing
  • Cons: slow to take effect, only one potency option available, a bit of an aftertaste

These vegan gummies come in fun flavors like green apple and strawberry lemonade. Joy Organics is a good starter for anyone who wants a high quality, organic CBD product without breaking the bank.

Gummies are a good entry point to trying CBD in general, too. They’re easier to use than oils and tinctures while often being more cost-effective per dose than creams and lotions. They do take a bit to kick in, though.

Overall, folks are happy with the gummies, but some note that they have a slightly nasty aftertaste — but that’s pretty common with these kinds of products. C’est la vie!

Best CBD topical for sciatica

Pure Kana Pain Relief Topical Ointment

  • Price: $$
  • Type: topical (ointment)
  • Spectrum: broad-spectrum
  • Amount of CBD per container: 600 mg
  • COA: available online
  • Pros: contains multiple pain-relieving ingredients, convenient dispenser, THC-free
  • Cons: only one potency option, limited cooling action

This topical contains CBD, capsaicin (a spicy pain-relieving ingredient that comes from chili peppers), and menthol (an icy pain-reliever) for a powerful trio of pain relief ingredients. It’s also THC-free, in case that matters to ya.

Topical ointments like this one are ideal for targeted relief. If your sciatica is really buggin’ you in one specific spot, this type of product can help you pinpoint it.

Reviewers say it works like a charm (and in a snap) and has an easy-to-use pump dispenser that delivers exactly the right amount of CBD-infused ointment every time.

A few say they wish it had a stronger cooling effect.

Best budget CBD topical for sciatica

Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Balm

  • Price: $
  • Type: topical (balm)
  • Spectrum: full-spectrum
  • Amount of CBD per container: 1,000 or 3,000 mg
  • COA: available online
  • Pros: contains additional pain ingredients, budget-friendly, not greasy
  • Cons: limited reviews

This balm from budget-friendly brand Lazarus Naturals is affordable AF. Like our more expensive Pure Kana pick, it contains menthol and capsaicin (and CBD, obvi) to provide targeted pain relief.

Keep in mind that this product is pretty new, so there aren’t a ton of customer reviews just yet. But people who’ve tried the Lazarus Naturals balm say it’s fast-acting and smells lovely.


Best high-potency CBD oil for sciatica

CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: oil
  • Spectrum: full-spectrum
  • Amount of CBD per container: 5,000 mg per 30 mL (167 mg per serving)
  • Flavors: unflavored
  • COA: available on product page
  • Pros: high potency, contains additional cannabinoids, nearly flavorless
  • Cons: pricey

CBDistillery’s high-potency tincture is a good option for CBD veterans or peeps who need something with a bit of extra oomph. The oil contains flavonoids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids. It’s also virtually flavorless with only a hint of an aftertaste, according to reviewers.

The biggest downside? The price. Though, with such a high potency, you definitely get a bang for your buck.

Ready to toss some boss CBD products into your shopping cart? Here’s what to keep in mind when buying CBD:

CBD type

You can choose from three diff CBD types, including:

  • Full-spectrum CBD. This option contains everything from the cannabis plant, from THC (never more than 0.3 percent for the federally legal stuff) to other compounds like terpenes and flavonoids. The theory of the entourage effect says that THC and CBD work better together than solo. But there’s no specific data on whether this is true for sciatica.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD. While full-spectrum products contain a lil’ bit of THC, broad-spectrum ones are THC-free but contain other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.
  • CBD isolate. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. No THC or other cannabis plant compounds are in this type of CBD. It’s 100% pure. Isolates are a good choice if you’re trying to stay totally away from THC. But you might miss out on some benefits (like the entourage effect).

CBD form

CBD products are available in different forms — some edible or ingestible, others topical.

To target specific pain points, some people prefer balms or lotions, while edible gummies or oils may help address full-body discomfort.

If you’re not sure what you prefer, you can always go with an oil and experiment using it orally and mixing it with your fave moisturizer to use topically.

Potency

There’s limited data on how much CBD is right for sciatica-related pain, so it’s a good idea to start with a low dose when dipping your toes into the CBD world.

For edibles, a good starting point is about 5-10 mg per serving.

For topicals, since it’s tough to determine dosage “per serving,” try opting for products that contain at least 200 mg CBD per container.

Third-party testing

No COA? That’s red flag city!

Always go with a CBD product that comes with an easily accessible COA and look to make sure the lab is testing for things like: heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, and mold (ew!).

If there isn’t a COA (or the info on it doesn’t match up with the product listing on the website), no thanks.

Using topical products is pretty self-explanatory — simply rub it in just like you would your favorite lotion. The simplicity goes for edibles, too, since brands typically state how much is in each gummy and all you have to do is eat it.

Oils and tinctures can take some getting used to though if this whole concept is new to you. The products come in a little dropper vial. Some have measurements on the droppers, others are plain.

Don’t panic if you don’t see measurements — just be prepared to do a little math. One drop equals around 0.05 milliliters, so your standard 10-milliliter bottle has about 200 drops. Once you know how many drops are in a bottle, divide the milligrams of CBD in the bottle by the number of drops.

Once you’ve measured out the dose to a T, tilt your head back a little and empty the dropper under your tongue and hold the oil or tincture there for 60 to 90 seconds before swallowing.

Dosage

If you’re going to invest in yourself and grab some quality CBD, you’re going to want to make sure you use it right and take the right dose.

There aren’t any official CBD dosage guidelines, but that doesn’t mean it’s a free for all. Be sure to ask a healthcare professional about amounts when you speak to them about using CBD.

Studies and reviews show that CBD is generally considered safe. Still, some people may run into some side effects like fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite and weight.

It’s also important to note that high fat meals may raise the risk of side effects because fat can increase CBD concentration in your blood.

Treat CBD like you would other supplements and medications and run it by a healthcare pro before taking it. This is especially true if you’re taking anything else, as CBD may interact with some medications.

Sciatica, a literal pain in the butt, can mess with your day, keeping you focused on your pain instead of everything else you’ve got going on.

Pretty often, sciatica pain will get better with rest. But it can become chronic. Moderate to severe pain that doesn’t go away isn’t something you should ignore.

Consider talking with a healthcare professional if your pain is constant, gets worse, or happens with other symptoms like muscle weakness or numbness.

Can sciatica go away on its own?

Sciatica-related pain often goes away with rest, but without treating the underlying cause, it’ll probably come back.

It’s important to address any posture issues or muscular imbalances that might be causing it, so it’s a good idea to check with a professional to see if medical treatment (like physical therapy) is a good idea.

What type of CBD is best for sciatica?

There isn’t any research saying what type of CBD is best for sciatica. If you’re interested in experimenting with the entourage effect, full-spectrum products are a great option for folks experiencing sciatica-related pain.

But if you’re trying to avoid THC, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate are good options too.

Can CBD ease sciatic nerve pain?

Research suggests that CBD can help relieve different kinds of pain, including nerve pain like sciatica. But everyone is different, so it’s possible it does nada for you.

What is the fastest way to cure sciatica?

You might find immediate relief by applying heat or ice to the painful area. CBD products can also help for short-term relief. But it’s a good idea to head to the doc for advice on treating the underlying cause of your pain.

Can you rub CBD oil on your back?

Yes! Most edible CBD oils are a-okay for topical use. Just make sure to check the ingredient label for stuff that might irritate your skin.

We’re still waiting on more research to know exactly how CBD can help ease sciatica pain, but the promising news is that early studies show CBD can help with other types of pain and inflammation.

If you want to give it a go yourself, then make sure you get choosey. There are a lot of CBDs making a lot of claims out there, and your money is best spent on a vetted product. The good news? Our list is an amazing place to start if you’re feelin’ overwhelmed.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.