Does Hemp Oil Help with Sciatica Nerve Pain? (Spoiler Alert: Yes!)
If you’ve ever experienced sciatica, you know what a pain it can be (literally!). Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica only affects one side of the body and most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine, or narrowing of the spine compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain, and numbness in the affected leg, which can be severe and significantly affect one’s daily life and well-being.
You’ve probably tried many things to reduce your sciatica pain, but have you ever tried using hemp seed oil (aka hemp oil)? Today, we’re going to discuss how hemp oil can help ease the life-disrupting pain of sciatica so you can feel more comfortable and participate in all the activities you love.
What exactly is hemp oil?
Hemp oil is made by cold pressing the seeds from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). Don’t worry—it won’t cause you to get giggly or hallucinate! Although hemp oil comes from the same plant as marijuana buds and cannabis oil, hemp oil does not contain any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” feeling associated with using cannabis. Unlike marijuana or cannabis oil, hemp oil doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, is 100 percent legal in all 50 states, and has been sold for decades as a health food supplement in grocery stores.
Is hemp oil good for sciatica pain?
Put simply, yes! Hemp oil has been shown to reduce pain associated with inflammatory conditions, such as sciatica nerve pain, when ingested or applied topically. There are certain compounds in hemp oil that you can thank for its pain-relieving properties: polyunsaturated fatty acids.
How polyunsaturated fatty acids can help reduce pain and inflammation
Fatty acids, which we obtain from food, are vital for the healthy functioning of all body systems. There are four types of fatty acids, but the ones we’re interested in are polyunsaturated fatty acids (also known as PUFAs). Hemp oil contains high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the optimal 3:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, which has been scientifically proven to be anti-inflammatory.
Preliminary scientific research also shows that an omega-6 contained in hemp oil called gamma-linoleci acid (GLA) may also reduce inflammation. While omega-3 fatty acids are much more powerful in terms of stamping out inflammation, the GLA found in hemp oil also plays a role in relieving pain and inflammation.
Don’t underestimate the potential of these natural compounds. Studies have suggested that consuming higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids is so powerful that it can play a role in regenerating nerves after an acute injury.
Using hemp oil for sciatica pain
For optimal results, it’s recommended that you use an “inside and outside” approach by adding hemp seeds to your diet and applying it topically via a hemp oil cream. To reap the benefits of hemp oil through your diet, use cold-pressed hemp oil in smoothies, salads, and veggie or pasta dishes. You can also add whole hemp seeds to your smoothies and salads to receive the same benefits.
For topical use, seek out a hemp oil-infused pain relief cream or simply use cold-pressed hemp oil. To apply hemp oil or a hemp oil cream topically for sciatica pain relief, rub the oil or cream in a circular motion into your lower back and buttocks area. Be sure to also rub the cream on your iliotibial band (IT band), which runs along the outside of your leg from the hip to the knee and shinbone.
To further work the hemp oil in and get your blood flowing, try giving yourself a relaxing self-massage. Apply moderate pressure with your knuckles as you knead from the top of your lower back down to your hips.
Try hemp oil for sciatica nerve pain
Hemp oil is an effective natural remedy that has the potential to ease your sciatica nerve pain and reduce associated inflammation. For best results, use hemp oil internally and topically every day. While hemp oil is not a cure-all, it can likely help reduce your sciatica pain, especially when used alongside a healthy diet, proper hydration, massage, and stretching.
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This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Please consult a medical professional prior to using this or any other product for pain relief.