Neuropathic and Sciatic Nerve Pain

Curtis Swift, Ph.D., Mesa Lavender Farms

Summary of research findings and suggestions: As explained in the following research, lavender essential oil plus CBD is the combination to use when dealing with neuropathy and sciatic pain. Mesa Lavender Farms suggests the combination of topical and oral (sublingual) methods of application being used. CBD Lavender Body Butter or TRI salve with 100 mg of CBD per ounce, and Lavender or Lavender Lemon full-spectrum CBD oil (600 mg/oz) are available at Mesa Lavender Farms.

Introduction:

Neuropathy is the term used by medical professionals to define a disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing “weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet.” [1]  Peripheral nerves are those nerves beyond the brain and spinal cord. [2] Peripheral nerves include the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is a peripheral nerve which, when damaged, results in pain. This nerve is considered the longest nerve starting in the lower back and running along the buttock and the back of the leg. Peripheral neuropathy differs from Sciatica. For an excellent explanation on how to determine which affects you check this out.

According to Zhuo, chronic pain, particularly neuropathic pain, is a major clinical problem difficult to treat. [3]

Lavender essential oil plus CBD is the combination to use when dealing with neuropathic and sciatic nerve pain.

There is an increasing body of evidence for the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic, noncancer pain such as MS-related/neuropathic pain which occurs in 50-70% of multiple sclerosis patients. [4]

Much of the research on neuropathic pain conducted has used a combination cannabis product containing CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids and found the results promising. [5] [6]

These are considered full-spectrum CBD products by the industry. Here is an <strong>example</strong>. This downloads as a pdf file.

Rouhollahi, et al., 2020, examined two cultivars of cannabis, (CT-921, CT-928) for the treatment of neuropathic pain of the sciatic nerve in mice. The cultivars varied in content of CBD and THC yet both extracts were found to relieve neuropathic pain. [7] In this experiment, the extracts were injected directly into the blood stream of the mice insuring maximum bioavailability (effectiveness) of the cannabinoids.

Note:; Smoking CBD and THC are next on the bioavailability scale with sublingual (under the tongue) slightly less effective. Check this out at https://curtisswift.com/cbd-dose-response-curve/

Several of our customers with neuropathy and sciatic nerve pain use Mesa Lavender Farms full-spectrum Lavender Lemon CBD oil for neuropathy and find it very effective in providing relief. They hold the oil under the tongue for 30 to 90 seconds for maximum bioavailability after which the remainder is swallowed.

Izzo states cannabinoids with weak or no psychoactivity such as CBD, might be more promising than Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol for therapeutic use with pain and other conditions. [8]  Costa also suggests non-psychoactive cannabinoids alone, such as CBD taken orally, can alleviate chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. [9]

Keep in mind swallowing CBD is the least effective method of taking this cannabinoid as only 6% is bioavailable due to the First Pass Effect.  The sublingual method improves bioavailability of CBD over swallowing.

Ziong, et al. 2012, reported “systemic and intrathecal (injected into the spinal column) administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-psychoactive component of marijuana, significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain … in rodents.” [10]  Yes, I know this research was done on rats but humans aren’t much different.

In the Zu et al. 2020 study, The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities, researchers found “a statistically significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, cold and itchy sensations in the CBD group when compared to the non CBD group.” The CBD oil used in this study was topically applied and rubbed into the afflicted areas. The CBD oil used contained 250 mg of CBD per 3 ounces. This was a double-blind study, meaning half of the participants used an oil without CBD. The authors concluded the CBD oil “was well tolerated and may provide a more effective alternative compared to other current therapies in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy.” [11]

Neuropathic and sciatic nerve pain and lavender essential oil

Metin, et al., 2016, found aromatherapy massage (containing lavender essential oil) is an effective option to help manage pain and fatigue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In this study, a comparison was made using aromatherapy massage on knees and reflexology on feet compared with massage and reflexology without essential oils. [12]

Metin, et al., 2017, examined the effects of aromatherapy massage on neuropathic pain severity and quality of life in those suffering from diabetic neuropathy and reported pain significantly decreased in the group receiving massage therapy with essential oils as compared with those where essential oils were not included in the massage treatment. They also reported quality of live improved significantly in the essential oil group in the fourth week of the study.  [13]

Sanna, et al., in 2019 tested oral applications of lavender essential oils with mice suffering from neuropathic pain and found this an effective method to relieve neuropathic pain. They suggest oral applications of lavender essential oil should be considered a therapeutic approach to use in the management of neuropathic pain.  [14]