Sciatica refers to pain brought about by a problem of the sciatic nerve. Any irritant of the nerve, mild or severe, can cause pain. Mostly, a compressed lower spinal nerve, injury, or a herniated disc are the main causes. This problem stems from the lower back and can be felt in the hip, the buttock, and it will continue down one of the legs. People who perform tasks that require heavy lifting, those who sit for long hours, those with obesity, and diabetics are prone to risk.
With the list of those that may be affected by sciatica being wide, there is also a wide variety of treatment options. Recently, marijuana for sciatica has become a viable treatment option and we analyze its effectiveness below.
How marijuana helps with sciatica
Marijuana particularly relates to cannabis products made from parts of the cannabis plant; leaves, flowers, seeds, and stem. Research studies have been conducted and have proven that medical cannabis can be used to treat nerve pain; sciatica is pain experienced within the sciatic nerve. Humans experience pain through sensory involvement.
These studies have shown that there is a correlation between the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in marijuana and its connectivity with the brain. THC is part of the many cannabinoids contained in marijuana and is what is commonly associated with being high. THC reduces sciatic pain through the disruption of the signals between the brain’s pain processing pathways.
Every vertebrate has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) and this system is responsible for the regulation of vital functions such as one’s pain, mood, sleep, and appetite. The body makes cannabinoids for the modulation and activation of different functions. Cannabinoids that exist in a cannabis plant can modulate and activate the human ECS. It is the ECS that is associated with neuropathy. This is a disorder of the nerve that can cause neuropathic pain, especially where the system is dysfunctional. Due to this, cannabinoid receptors play a role in neuropathic pain. The use of cannabis activates receptors in the ECS to reduce the neuropathic pain brought about by sciatica.
Marijuana For sciatica
Marijuana is best for the treatment of nerve inflammation and reducing chronic sciatica but not so much or fully for acute sciatica. This is because, even when delivered into the body, the cannabinoids will only be distributed but not concentrated where nerve endings are situated. It is also predetermined that these cannabinoids are not highly concentrated for acute sciatica.
Even as you use marijuana to relieve sciatic pain, it is vital that you accompany it with other treatment options as advised by a clinician.
There are a variety of ways through which marijuana can be administered for sciatic pain. The most common form of administration is inhalation through smoking or vaping, but those that cannot inhale can choose to do it orally. Orally, it may be taken in tea or through cannabis edibles for example, cookies and brownies. Cannabis oil can also be used for administration.
Potential side effects of using marijuana
Even for those that feel that marijuana can help with their sciatica, it is essential that they seek professional help for a proper diagnosis. Once it is confirmed that it can be used for treatment, they can then be advised to work with a marijuana counsellor. This allows for the determination of the right ratios of THC, CBD (cannabidiol), and the best method of administration.
This is mainly because even though marijuana will be effective in relieving chronic pain, it can also have significant side effects. THC being the cannabinoid responsible for intoxication in marijuana, can lead to mood and perception changes, a raised appetite, feelings of drowsiness, and work or activity impairment. The use of cannabis can also lead to fatigue, paranoia, and overall addiction.
Even though sciatica has several treatment options, marijuana for sciatica has become a viable option. Different studies and research have revealed that cannabis and its compositional contents can relieve chronic pain and most specifically, sciatica. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that if not administered properly, can lead to addiction. Due to this, when used for medicinal purposes, it must be administered as per the instructions by a professional. Administration can be done alongside other sciatica treatment options but, as advised by a physician.
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