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You have probably noticed the letters CBD are popping up all over the place. What does CBD stand for, is it safe, and is it beneficial to me?
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of several chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. The CBD found in most commercial products are derived from hemp and not marijuana. This causes confusion as to whether you can get high from CBD. The answer is no.
What is the purpose of CBD?
The overwhelming consensus is it makes you feel better. The benefit of CBD and the products derived from this chemical are a good alternative to opioids for dealing with pain. Areas that CBD offers relief is stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. People that deal with chronic pain, insomnia, and neurological illnesses may find relief with this product.
Is CBD safe?
Although the CBD product is fairly new to the marketplace, the research so far as found no known addictive or habit-forming properties. Some of the products available containing CBD include;
- CBD Oil
- CBD Lotion or Ointment
- Edible Snacks such as Cookies and Fruit
- CBD Tablets
- CBD Breathing Strips
- CBD Coffees and Teas
Is CBD beneficial to me?
- Overcoming Addictions
- Alleviating Pain from Arthritis
- Helping with Anxiety
- Helping with Depression
- Sleep Aid for Insomniacs
- Lessening inflammation
- Fighting Cancer
- Skin Issues
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Nausea Symptoms
Where should you purchase CBD products?
It is extremely important to buy CBD products from a reputable, known source. The concentration of CBD may vary and therefore it is vital to know what is exactly in the product you are purchasing. Some companies such as the one Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care uses come with a QR Code for proof of the complete composition within every bottle.
Is CBD legal for purchase and use?
Yes, as of June 11, 2019, with certain conditions regarding production and amount of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), some CBD products are legal in Texas for purchase.
If you are interested in learning more about this product, please call Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care at 972-596-1059 or schedule an appointment online today.
CBD for Sciatica: Here’s what you need to know
The sciatic nerve runs throughout the lower back and the legs, and when it is pushed too hard or rubbed the wrong way, it can cause terrible pain over a vast area.
There are many causes of sciatic pain, from herniated discs to bone spurs in the spine. Any of them can be complicated by factors such as obesity, passive lifestyle, advanced age, and diabetes.
As a chronic pain issue that impacts everyday life, people with sciatica have limited options. Painkillers and over-the-counter meedications are only so effective, not to mention potentially harmful. Many patients seek out alternative treatments, including CBD products such as oils and topicals.
In this post, we explore whether CBD can help with the management of sciatic pain, and provide our opinion on the best CBD brand for sciatica in 2020. We’ll talk about what sciatica is, who gets it, how it feels, and how CBD can work to treat it. We’ll explain why we like Spruce CBD generally and why we like Spruce CBD oil and Spruce CBD salve as complementary therapy for sciatica.
What Is Sciatica?
Mayo Clinic describes sciatica as a painful sensation radiating from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back and branches through the hips, buttocks, and legs. Obviously, this means aggravation of the nerve and sciatica can cause hip pain, leg pain, or back pain—and all of these symptoms of sciatica typically occur on one side of the body.
These factors make sciatica confusing. For example, it can seem like a localized injury on one side. But what’s really going on in each case—whether it’s a herniated disk, bone spurs (hard bumps forming on the spine), or spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine)—is compression of the sciatic nerve causing pain, numbness, and tingling in affected areas.
Sciatica can also cause regular motion to feel much more difficult because the feet and legs feel weak. Even the sudden movements caused by normal motion from coughing or sneezing can exacerbate sciatic nerve pain as motion shakes the nerve.
Although sciatica can last a very long time, in most cases, sciatica is a temporary condition lasting between four to six weeks.
A slipped disc from an injury is the most common cause of sciatica. When the soft tissue between other bones and the spine is moved out of place, a slipped disc can occur. This can lead the spine to push against the sciatic nerve causing sciatica.
It is difficult to treat slipped discs because they don’t typically go back in place or heal well on their own once they become dislodged from their original position beneath the vertebrae. As a result, a slipped disc often leads to chronic, frustrating conditions that can include intense, day-to-day pain.
Spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal and resulting compression of spinal cord nerves, is another very common cause of sciatic nerve pain. Spinal stenosis is frequently mistaken for general leg or back pain and typically occurs in older people.
Spondylolisthesis, a problem that causes the vertebrae to slip out of place, causing friction between the bones and the sciatic nerve, can also trigger sciatica. Spondylolisthesis is one of the leading causes of lower back pain, and many people do not realize they have it.
When protective discs that offer padding between the spinal cord and bones start to break down, it can cause discomfort and pain from pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is called degenerative disc disease, and it is another cause of sciatica.
Who is Likely to Suffer from Sciatic Pain?
Sciatica is, at a minimum, irritating. Just coughing or sneezing can be enough to trigger pain. Severe sciatica can cause intense pain that compromises ability to function, let alone perform.
Risk factors for sciatica include:
- Aging. Over time, the body’s discs become damaged and stressed. The sciatic nerve becomes irritated as bone spurs develop.
- Sedentary lifestyle. People such as office workers who sit for long periods of time are more prone to sciatica. This is because without the relief it gets from intermittent movement, the spine is under pressure for too long just from being held still. Mitigate this issue by using a high quality chair and getting up to take breaks frequently.
- Certain jobs. Some jobs are more likely to place extra stress on the spine or create injury by requiring the worker to carry heavy loads, twist their back, or otherwise perform risky tasks.
- Overweight. Carrying too much weight pressures the spinal cord and may trigger sciatica.
Of course, many people are susceptible to multiple risk factors. For example, someone who is overweight, doesn’t get much exercise, is older, and suffers from diabetes is at high risk for sciatica.
This is even more true if they work in a job involving heavy physical labor—particularly if they lead an otherwise passive lifestyle. Whether you’re sitting at a desk for eight hours at a time or engaging in repetitive motions, sciatic nerve pain is more likely to develop in people who work these types of jobs.
My Sciatica Issues: From One of Our Testers
As a kid I remember watching my grandmother struggle to stand up, grabbing her hip in pain. Later, as a young adult, it was my aunt who was suffering from sciatica. Now it’s me.
I’ve been coping with sciatic pain for about ten years now—since my late 30s. At first that shooting pain down my leg and back was just startling. Now it’s a serious problem, and some days I’m hunched over like an oldster.
I don’t have health insurance, but even if I did, I’m familiar with the traditional routine because my aunt went through it for years (and she still is). Cortisone shots last for a few weeks—and they don’t feel great going in, trust me. They’re still the best thing going, but they are less and less effective.
Muscle relaxers are a non-starter. They don’t work and make you gorked out. Stretching and yoga are excellent, but they can’t put a stop to sciatica pain that is already there. (Do them anyway!)
That’s why CBD is a really useful tool in the sciatic pain relief toolbox.
How Can CBD Help Relieve Symptoms of Sciatica?
Neuropathic pain is the kind that irritation, inflammation, or neural tissue compression causes. Nociceptive pain is triggered as the body reacts to painful stimuli, such as when the inflammatory response is triggered, and it does not itself cause nerve damage.
Sciatica generally causes both neuropathic and nociceptive pain, and research indicates that CBD can alleviate both types.
Cannabidiol or CBD is a critical part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), binding with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to send signals about conditions and restore homeostasis or balance in your body. In this role, CBD and other cannabinoids fight pain and inflammation, and therefore can help treat sciatica and other health issues.
Research has already proven that CBD is a potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Specific research also seems to support the idea that CBD can treat neuropathic pain—and this is certainly an element of sciatica. The remaining inflammatory response is also something that CBD can treat, as research indicates.
So, although no study has directly investigated the effectiveness of CBD in treating sciatic pain in humans, there is ample anecdotal evidence and plenty of suggestive science out there to make trying it a sound idea.
CBD oil will not cure sciatica; it doesn’t address the underlying issues such as compression of the sciatic nerve. However, its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties can alleviate some of the worst symptoms.
Conventional therapies for sciatica include anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and other over-the-counter painkillers. Doctors also recommend ice or hot packs and physical therapy.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a popular choice, but they only relieve nociceptive pain and inflammation, not neuropathic pain. In contrast, CBD oil has proven to have anticonvulsant and antidepressant benefits in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Pros and Cons of Using CBD to Treat Sciatica
- Safe. CBD has a very high safety profile and is well-tolerated by humans, even at high doses of as much as 1500mg daily.
- Legal. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, it is legal to produce and sell hemp-derived CBD oil, despite the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still has yet to meaningfully regulate the area or acknowledge that hemp-based products have therapeutic qualities.
- Easy. It is simple to find CBD products over the counter without a prescription, in contrast to medical marijuana products, which require some kind of authorization except in recreational states.
- Variety. CBD is available in a huge range of products, from gummies to tinctures, topicals, and vapes.
- Side effects. CBD oil has a few minor side effects despite its high safety profile, including dry mouth, fatigue, and appetite changes.
- Interactions. If you take prescription medications, you should always talk to a medical practitioner before supplementing with CBD because it may interact with some medications.
- Uncertainty. The research in support of CBD as sciatica treatment remains inconclusive.
What Types of CBD Work Best for Sciatica: CBD Oil or CBD Topicals?
This is a good question, although to a very real extent this will vary somewhat from person to person. Pain management is very personal. Still, there are a few ways to consider how to identify the best CBD for sciatica in your case:
Full-spectrum CBD and the entourage effect
CBD products may offer full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD retains all of the naturally-occurring phytonutrients from the hemp plant. This enables full-spectrum CBD products to produce the entourage effect, the result of multiple terpenes and cannabinoids working together in synergy to create greater benefits and/or function more efficiently.
The entourage effect is still produced by broad-spectrum CBD to some extent, but broad-spectrum products lack the trace amounts of THC that full-spectrum extracts retain. CBD isolates remove all other terpenes and cannabinoids, somewhat reducing the effectiveness of the CBD—so these products are best for people who regularly get tested for drugs.
Lame as it is, there are still some states that place limits on even hemp-derived CBD products, including where they can be bought and how they are labeled. Since marijuana-derived products are regulated far more strictly, stick to hemp-based CBD products.
Buy CBD products from reputable brands. If you are shopping around, look for organically-grown hemp from the US and CBD products made with the heatless and solventless supercritical CO2 extraction method.
Look for CBD products that are independently tested for content analysis by a third-party laboratory. Reputable companies post lab reports online or make them available so you can see the potency of CBD and verify that the product is free of any contaminants and dangerous substances.
Read real customer reviews. Focus on third-party websites and blogs on the use of CBD, not just product websites. Explore flavor options or CBD capsules if you dislike the naturally bitter taste of hemp. Are you hoping for a topical or tincture treatment option? Something different like a vape or CBD gummies?
For sciatica, CBD topicals, such as CBD salves, creams, lotions, and gels, can treat localized pain and discomfort in the lower back, buttocks, hips, and legs. Another excellent option is CBD tincture or oil sublingually twice a day.
Our Favorite CBD for Sciatica
Our favorite brand for treating sciatica? Spruce—and we like to hit it with a one-two punch of CBD oil in the form of 2,400mg Max Potency Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture and CBD topical in the form of Spruce 2,000mg Full Spectrum CBD Salve. Here’s why Spruce generally:
Quality. Spruce sources all of their hemp from family-owned Kentucky and Colorado farms known for sustainable, safe farming processes. These growers offer some of the highest potency and quality hemp and cannabis strains available for use for CBD consistently.
Process. Spruce extracts CBD using a unique technique with moonshine as a solvent to create a high-quality blend of high-CBD, low-level THC hemp seed oil. To ensure that there is zero aftertaste or effects from the moonshine, it is completely filtered out before bottling.
Purity. All Spruce CBD products are guaranteed to be free of harmful pesticides, chemicals, and heavy metals, and are tested by an independent third party laboratory to prove it. Lab testing information is available on the site.
Service. Spruce ships free within the US and delivers within 2 to 4 days, typically. You qualify for a full refund after your first purchase according to their return policy if you return your purchase unopened according to directions.
Can Medical Marijuana help Back pain
According to the American Chiropractic Association:
In U.S. around 31,000,000 people suffer from lower back pain at any given time.
Annually, half of all working Americans suffer from back pain symptoms.
80% of the US population suffer from back pain at some point their lives.
The Bone and Joint Initiative reveals:
The combined cost of lost work and treatment of back pain in the U.S. is approximately $253 billion annually.
About 10% of all visits to hospitals and emergency rooms are related to back and neck pain.
These statistics on back pain reveal how common a condition a spinal injury is and the impact it has on individuals and society as a whole. In industrial countries, 60 -70% of people will suffer from back pain at some point in the life.
Causes of back pain include:
Simple spain and/or strain
Conventional treatments for these conditions are medications such as anti-inflammatories, pills for treat nerve pain, and addictive medications such as narcotics, antidepressants and injection therapy. From time to time patient will end up with surgery, which can cause problems later. Today, many people are turning to medical marijuana to treated their back pain.
How Is Medical Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Back Pain?
Medical cannabis can be an alternative to traditional treatments. It is becoming an increasingly preferred treatment for patients with chronic back pain. For example, conventional medications can cause a multitude of side effects like nausea, stomach upset, ulcers and gastric bleeding. Medical marijuana does not have the same associated side effects. Here are some ways with medical marijuana can help treat back pain:
It may reduce your pain to a level where you can live an active life
It may allow you to be free from potentially dangerous and addictive medications, while having an overall better quality of life.
Chronic back pain can cause depression, insomnia and anxiety. Medical marijuana can eliminate or reduce many of these symptoms.
It is natural substance from plant, without chemicals,.
During a study conducted at the University of Colorado, they looked at 200 patients with back pain. The pain was due to conditions focused on degenerative changes. 89% of patients said medical marijuana reduced their pain moderately. 81% claimed that it worked better than narcotic medications. The consumption of medical marijuana by the patients was once or twice a day.
What Type of Back Pain Symptoms Are Treated by Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana can help alleviate many symptoms of back pain as there are wide range of symptoms with back pain. Here are some of the symptoms medical marijuana can help alleviate:
1. Pain and Muscle Spasms
Marijuana can help reduce muscle spasms. Some studies have reported a 45% reduction in the intensity of pain within 20 minutes of inhalation. And it is particularly effective in treating back spasms. Many states have approved the use of medical marijuana for muscle spasms. In Pennsylvania medical marijuana is approved for:
Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin
Severe chronic or intractable pain
2. Nausea and Vomiting
One of the properties for marijuana is to reduce nausea and vomiting. Traditional medications prescribed for back pain and chronic conditions are opioids and similar drugs. These have side effects of nausea and vomiting. Because marijuana treats both nausea and pain, many patients prefer the marijuana to other drugs. Furthermore, chronic pain can cause depression. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, can creduce depression and improve sleep.
Many states have approved medical marijuana to treat nausea and vomiting. In fact, marijuana has been used among the cancer patient population for a number of years to enhance appetite and as an antiemetic, reducing side effects of chemotherapy.
Marijuana has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It is a natural substance to treat inflammation from arthritis, as well as degenerative changes in the lumbar, cervical or thoracic spine. Most back or neck pain occurs due to degenerative changes in the spine. Many patients prefer marijuana to treat their pain due to the inflammation.
Ways to Use Medical Marijuana for Back Pain
Marijuana can be used topically or internally. Some of the best methods using marijuana are as follows:
Inhalation: This method is smoking or vaping the weed. This produces the fastest affect, within 1-2 minutes
Raw juice: One can use marijuana as dietary supplement through juicing. This will reduce the pain without a psychoactive effect.
Tinctures: Tinctures are usually placed under the tongue and swallowed. This produces a quicker result, due to absorption through the mucosal membranes.
Edibles: Edible marijuana will produce a slower response because absorption needs to transfer through the gut. But, it may last longer in terms of relief and produce a better psychotropic effect. Relief may take up to an hour before one feels the effect.
Topicals: Topical marijuana produces a different effect. Absorption is localized to the site of the injury. One can ramp up the use based upon the desired effect.
Strains of Marijuana Used for Back Pain
Marijuana has many different strains, and they worked differently for different people and varying symptoms. Heavy THC strains seem to work best at relieving pain, whereas CBD works best for relieving inflammation. However, heavy THC causes more psychoactive effects. Patients may want to use a low THC/high CBD combination during the daytime, to remain more functional, but high THC/low CBD at nighttime, for a better night sleep.
Here are some of the strains of medical cannabis which may help to reduce back pain:
Bubba Kush (indica): This strain contains up to 22 percent THC and up to 0.1 percent CBD. It is good for decreasing stress and decreasing muscle spasms.
Candyland (sativa): With around 24 percent of THC and one percent of CBD and CBN. Candyland is good for reducing muscle spasms and tension, to reduce pain. It does have a stimulating effect, so it also helps with fatigue.
OG Kush (indica): Contains up to 23 percent THC and around one percent CBD. Indica is a better strain to reduce muscle spasm while providing pain relief.
ACDC (sativa): Sativa is high in CBD but low in THC. It contains up to 24 percent CBD and around 1.2 percent THC, this allows one to be more functional during the day, without causing psychoactive side effects.
What are Side Effects of Marijuana for Back Pain
While medical marijuana is very effective at treating back pain, there is the potential of experiencing side effects. They are usually mild and go away once your treatment wears off. In any event, it’s good to know what they are, so you can sit down with your doctor to discuss them. There are certain side effects each patient should know about the use of marijuana for back pain, or any other pain. The side effects are usually mild and can go way as a treatment wears off. Patient should discuss the side effects with their doctor. Some of the common side effects are as follows:
Redness of Eyes: Commonly patients will experience redness of eyes. This is not harmful and can be treated by using eye drops such as Visine.
Short-term memory loss: This is a temporary side effect and does go away as the treatment wears off. Some patients may be more susceptible to it than the others.
Heightened sensory perception: This side effect can impact a patient’s site, hearing, sense of taste and smell.
Fatigue: This side effect is common with high THC strains. One can balance it with the use of low THC strains.
How to Get Medical Marijuana for Back Pain
If you’re suffering from debilitating back pain and would like to know more about medical cannabis, talk to a Comprehensive Pain Center licensed medical marijuana physician about the options. We will go over your symptoms, do full evaluation, give you diagnosis and recommend the medical marijuana path right for you.
You will have to get a medical marijuana card from the State of Pennsylvania. Then you will need to shop for a dispensary to get the marijuana strain(s) suited for you.
If pain interferes with your life, contact a Comprehensive Pain Center location nearest you for an immediate evaluation. We will work with you to best treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back to life. We have locations across Pennsylvania including Allentown, E. Stroudsburg, Pottsville, Reading, Lehighton, Bangor, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazelton. We take multiple insurance plans.
To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back your life, call us today.