It’s not easy living with pain. Whether you suffer from muscle spasms, chronic pain, arthritis, or general day-to-day soreness, finding a solution to help deal with your pain can make all the difference in the world.
Over the last couple of years, CBD oil has become a popular form of treatment for pain management. While CBD is not yet FDA-approved for pain relief, more and more doctors are looking into it. The major advantage of CBD oil compared to traditional cannabis is that it doesn’t cause the “high” feeling. Under updated hemp legislature in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, CBD is sold in all 50 states.
But with so many CBD companies to choose from, how can you be expected to know which is the best CBD oil for pain?
In this article, we highlight the realistic medical potential of CBD oil in terms of improving pain symptoms. We also bring you our updated Best CBD Oil Guide, and highlight the Top-10 brands that made our list based on CBD oil quality, effectiveness, customer service, and price.
(This article is updated constantly, so check back from time to time to view the most updated information).
CBD Quick Snapshot
- Full-spectrum CBD formula
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $390.00)
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- 100% Natural and Organic
- Contain no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Prices range ($48-$125)
- High-grade CBD formula
- All products are lab tested
- Made from organically grown hemp
- Price Range ($39-$139)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Certified hemp grown in Colorado
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)
- Full-spectrum extract
- Derived from non-GMO hemp
- Up to 66.6mg CBD per serving
- Free shipping on orders over $75
- Popular, top-selling USA brand
- Developed by the world famous Stanley Brothers
- 15% off for military veterans
- Excellent range of CBD oils & treats for pets
- Wide selection of CBD dabs, isolates, & concentrates
- World famous CBD vape selection
- Low price options for first time CBD users
- 99% pure CBD isolate
- Premium broad-spectrum (0% THC) CBD products
- Refined extraction process for purity & consistency
- Lab-tested for hemp phytochemical content
- 30-day money-back guarantee on all products
- Medicinal grade hemp extract
- Fantastic range of CBD oils, edibles, vapes & more
- Fast shipping, industry-leading customer service
- Produced in small batches for consistency
CBD Oil for Pain Relief
We know through numerous studies that cannabis (i.e. medical marijuana) can be used as a substitute for prescription painkillers. Of course, the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana make it unappealing for many users.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabis extract, is also used for a variety of medical conditions – including pain relief. We are seeing that some of the best CBD oils may have a positive impact in terms of pain management.
However, it’s important to remind readers that CBD oil isn’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pain management. This means that the products and statements made in this article are also not evaluated by the FDA. Therefore, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition.
Even without the FDA’s review, however, CBD has received a significant amount of attention. You’ve likely seen featured stories on top news networks, or have seen/read about CBD being recommended by high profile social figures for various forms of pain relief.
Charlotte’s Web, a company branded by Yahoo Finance as “the world’s leading CBD brand by market share,” has been featured numerous times in the media on sites such as CNN and The Wall Street Journal, as well as in popular fitness magazines like Men’s Health.
Benefits of CBD Oil
So what are the benefits of cbd oil for pain?
Most of the best CBD oil drops you’ll find on the market today are effective — and very easy to take. You simply place a few drops under your tongue, and the CBD absorbs into your system via sublingual blood vessels (exact consumption methods should be written on the CBD oil package you buy; always consult these prior to taking CBD).
CBD oil has been known to help with other conditions aside from – or even related to – pain. For example, many folks suffering from depression, anxiety, and chronic stress have experienced health-related boosts after taking CBD. And of course, many people with chronic pain claim that CBD oil helps them sleep at night.
While CBD oil is not as of yet an FDA-recognized drug for pain management, it is improving the lives of tens of thousands across the country. Here are a few reader-submitted statements regarding the effects of CBD on day-to-day pain:
“I have been suffering from chronic pain in my legs for years. I often find it hard to sleep. CBD oil helps with the pain management, especially as it is impossible to obtain marijuana in my state.” – Kate Summers, Ohio
“I find the amount I’m taking has helped me a lot with my chronic low back pain and aching knees. I am taking far fewer opioids than before, and CBD oil has got me back on track.” – Jeff Freedman, New Jersey
“I had never even heard about CBD oil up until a couple of months ago. Since I’ve started treatment it has changed my life. Thank you for all the help and good vibes!!!” – Sophie Samson, Florida
How to Know if you Need CBD for Pain
To be clear, there is no specific test, scan, or anything else of the sort that determines whether or not you should be taking CBD oil for pain. Let alone which is the best cbd for pain that will be effective for you. And since cannabis products are not yet recognized by the FDA, you can’t really go to your doctor either and have them recommend it. Until marijuana is FDA-approved as an analgesic (pain reliever), it cannot be prescribed by physicians.
How Are You Supposed to Know?
So how are you supposed to know if you need CBD for pain? Well, ask yourself the following very simple questions:
- Are you in pain?
- Are your current medications working for you?
If the answer to these questions was ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ respectively, then some of the following best CBD oils for pain may be an option worth trying for you. Just remember – it is unlikely you’ll get a recommendation from your physician to use CBD oil. You’re likely going to have to take it upon yourself to make the switch. If you’re currently on medication, however, make sure you speak with a doctor first as CBD may interfere with the drugs you’re taking.
Follow Up on Current Studies…
Whatever you end up doing, it should not be assumed that switching to CBD oil from a conventional medication will work for everyone. A randomized study consisting of 75 patients with chronic pain is currently being carried out in order to determine the clinical effects of CBD on pain management. Once the details of this study have been published (estimated for early 2020), we will know much more in regard to the realistic uses of CBD oil for pain relief.
Medical Research and CBD Oil
Numerous studies have suggested that CBD may be able to help with pain management and other medical conditions. Fibromyalgia, for example, is a very painful condition that seems to respond positively to cannabis consumption. According to a 2011 study, cannabis-using fibromyalgia patients displayed a “statistically significant reduction of pain and stiffness, [as well as] enhancement of relaxation and an increase in somnolence and feelings of well-being.”
Similar positive results have been shown in regard to the use of cannabidiol for other painful conditions. According to a publication in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, for example, “CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory analgesic (pain-reliever) with CB1 receptor antagonist and endocannabinoid modulating effects.” Cannabinoids have been approved in Canada for well over a decade as neuropathic pain reducers in MS patients, as well as intractable pain reducers in cancer patients.
Dr. Ethan Russo, MD, has claimed that “cannabinoid analgesics have generally been well-tolerated in clinical trials … [and display] acceptable adverse event profiles.” In other words, there is no shortage of evidence suggesting that CBD and other phytocannabinoids can offer natural plant-based pain therapy.
Additional Studies on the Use of CBD for Pain
A famous patient survey conducted in November 2018 by Project CBD stated that cannabis “appears to be an effective pain management tool with few negative side effects.” The survey went on to say that “significant decreases” in opiate use have been observed among patients who consume cannabis.
In addition to this survey, Project CBD lists dozens of other published studies that have been carried out on the use of CBD for various therapeutic purposes. Over two dozen publications exist just on the use of cannabidiol for anxiety, for instance.
Can CBD Replace Traditional Medicine as a Pain Reliever?
You are likely familiar with the dangers that prescription painkillers (and other pharmaceuticals) present. All too often these drugs can cause an overwhelming array of irritability, sleep disruption, digestive complications, and even thoughts of suicide.
One of the reasons CBD use for chronic pain has increased among patients is because it has far fewer side-effects than most prescription medications. The World Health Organization (WHO), for instance, have come out and said that CBD is “not associated with any significant adverse public health effects,” and that it is “not associated with abuse potential, does not induce physical dependence, [and] is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
CBD Is Safer Than Prescription Painkillers. But Is It as Effective?
What is CBD oil effectiveness?
Few people realize that the U.S. Government holds a patent on cannabinoids as both antioxidants and neuroprotectants. With these pharmacological properties, it seems clear that natural cannabis compounds (like CBD) will be capable of helping with painful conditions like fibromyalgia, ALS, and multiple sclerosis – just to name a few.
Furthermore, the U.S. National Library of Medicine lists CBD in its PubChem database as a compound that boasts “analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic and chemopreventive activities.” While data is lacking in terms of the efficacy of CBD compared to prescription painkillers, it is clear that the cannabis-based compound is the safer option.
Best CBD Oil for Pain: Side Effects
As safe as CBD is, it is not without its potential side effects. Of course, these effects are largely minimal compared to the serious side effects associated with prescription opioids and other painkillers.
The best resource available in terms of highlighting CBD’s side effects come from the clinical trials of Epidiolex (an FDA-approved cannabidiol drug used in the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy). According to the trials, cannabidiol users may experience:
- Decreased appetite
- Transaminase elevations
- Fatigue, malaise, and asthenia
- Insomnia, sleep disorder, and poor quality sleep
Furthermore, it has been suggested that CBD use may have an effect on liver health, but this is still under investigation. CBD is also known to interact with enzyme processes and drug metabolism, so it is important to speak with your doctor first if you are considering using CBD for pain along with other drugs.
Frequently Asked Questions About CBD Oil
Do you really think there’s that much difference in quality between all these different CBD oil brands/products?
Absolutely. There are many steps in the process of making CBD products, and it’s imperative that each step be done with the utmost care. This requires spending a good bit of money, and some companies cut corners. That’s why some CBD products are no more effective than olive oil – because they may not even contain any CBD. Others may be inflammatory due to contamination by mold or other toxins. It’s best to use a CBD whose third-party testing results are on the company’s website to ensure you’re getting the amount of CBD they advertise and none of the things you don’t want.
What’s the number one most important thing I should look for when trying to find a good CBD oil for my pain?
The most important thing to look for is the quality of the CBD oil and that it actually contains the amount of CBD you desire per dose. This information can be found via the third-party lab reports that each CBD company should have available on their website. The reports should show how much CBD (and any other cannabinoids present) are in the oil and whether there are any solvents or toxins present.
I’ve never used CBD oil for pain. Is there a specific dosage or milligram amount I should start out with?
This is best figured out by working with a cannabis/CBD expert. Many physicians are available for these types of consultations. The phrase “start low and go slow” is generally used when discussing CBD dosing, but working with a professional is the safest way to enact this trial process.
I take prescription medication. Should I really be concerned about taking CBD oil along with my med(s)?
Yes. CBD can interact with medications just like any other medication can. If you’re thinking that it’s less likely to interact because it’s all-natural, you should be aware that there are a number of medications that can’t be taken with grapefruit because even some natural substances can affect the metabolism of medications. This is why it’s always important to see your healthcare provider when starting a new medication, even CBD.
Do I really have to hold the oil under my tongue for 60+ seconds? Can’t I just squirt it in and swallow?
You can, but the bioavailability may be increased and/or sped up if you allow it to sit under the tongue. This is because the oil enters the bloodstream directly once absorbed through the sublingual (under the tongue) tissue, which avoids it having to go through digestion before it can be metabolized and start affecting the body.
My doctor told me he/she didn’t know enough about CBD to recommend it for my pain.
It’s always best to have a medical professional guide your usage of any medication, including CBD. Since CBD isn’t yet taught in medical schools, there are many doctors who are hesitant to recommend it. However, there are a number of qualified doctors who act as CBD consultants that can work in concert with your provider on finding a CBD regimen that works for you.
How many times a day should I take a dose?
This varies based on the amount of your initial dose, the condition you’re treating, and how your body metabolizes the CBD. This is why it is best to work with a medical professional specializing in CBD treatment to optimize your dosing schedule.
Do I have to worry about any side effects when taking CBD oil? Should I take it with food?
The most common side effects of CBD are nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, and fatigue/dizziness. These are rare but possible and are more likely at higher doses. Taking CBD with food doesn’t actually minimize the side effects, it can enhance bioavailability and the concentration of the CBD.
What is CBD oil produced from?
CBD oil extract should be extracted from the leaves, stalks, and flowers of hemp. It should not be made from the stems or seeds.
Is CBD oil legal?
This is still a murky subject. In November 2018, President Trump approved updates to the U.S. Farm Bill. Among other things, these updates legalized the production of hemp as a commercial crop. It also removed CBD from the DEA’s list of Schedule 1 illicit substances.
Under these new laws, CBD products made from hemp are readily accessible in all 50 states. In the past, many assumed that CBD oil products from top brands were legal simply because they didn’t contain the psychoactive properties of THC. While the THC content of hemp does not exceed 0.3%, this is not the reason for legality.
In fact, legal cases regarding CBD have been taken all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals in recent years. Hemp Industries Assoc. v. DEA, decided in April 2018, determined that Section 7606 of the U.S. Farm Bill preempts the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This decision implied that in the event of a contradiction between the CSA and the Farm Bill, the Farm Bill wins out.
Of course, now that CBD is no longer listed as a Controlled Substance, the determination of this case is irrelevant. All in all, the Farm Bill allows for the legal cultivation of industrial hemp, which is a source of CBD.
What about CBD from marijuana?
As we’ve discussed, CBD can also come from the marijuana plant. Therefore, whether or not CBD oil for pain is legal can be a question of which “version” of the cannabis plant it was sourced from. If it was sourced from industrial hemp, (which contains less than 0.3% THC), and the hemp was cultivated legally under regulations of the Farm Bill, then it is available in all 50 states.
However, if it was sourced from actual marijuana (i.e. cannabis that contains a higher THC content), then it is illegal in some states. Most of the best CBD oils for pain that you find in dispensaries in states like Colorado, California, and Washington (as well as other states where weed is legal) will have been extracted from marijuana plants — not industrial hemp plants. Unfortunately, this means these products are not allowed to be sold online and shipped across state lines to “non-legal” states.
However, like we just mentioned CBD oil for pain management that has been sourced from industrial hemp grown under the farm bill is, in fact, available nationwide. The best CBD oil brands that we cover here on this site claim to extract their concentrates from U.S.-based industrial hemp supplies.
The important thing is that you have to be careful when selecting CBD oils. Since the cannabis industry is not FDA-regulated, there have been dozens of companies selling low-quality products with unreliable content labeling.
Do you need a doctor’s recommendation to purchase CBD oil?
If you are purchasing CBD that has been extracted from hemp, you do not need a doctor’s recommendation to purchase.
How does CBD work in the body?
CBD works by activating receptors and neurotransmitters through a network of cannabinoids called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Unlike THC, which binds directly to CB-1 receptors located in the brain, CBD works in the body by manipulating receptors throughout organ tissues, the immune system, the pain response system, the hormonal system, and other whole-body regulatory systems. CBD receptors have been found in virtually every cell and tissue type in the body. For this reason, CBD is believed to work on many aspects of human health and behavior – from the subcellular level to the whole-body level and beyond.
CBD is therapeutic in that it manipulates body systems at the cellular level and returns afflicted organ systems, tissue systems, and even chemical systems in the central nervous system back to a state of health and homeostasis. This is why it has been capable of treating conditions such as depression and anxiety, as well as chronic physical ailments such as pain, inflammation, arthritis, and more.
What does CBD help with?
Aside from two rare forms of epilepsy, the FDA does not recognize the medical use of CBD for any medical condition. That said, numerous reports have shown that the compound may have beneficial effects on a variety of conditions and ailments. Many have claimed that CBD oil helps them with the challenges of:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Epilepsy (seizures)
- Inflammation from various conditions
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nausea (emesis)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
How do I use CBD oil for pain?
Be advised that there is no single right or wrong way to go about it. Many people end up using higher-strength products for pain than they do for things like anxiety, stress, or depression. The majority of today’s best CBD oil manufacturers offer tinctures in three different “potencies.” These are usually in 100, 300, or 600 mg options. A lot of people start on a low dose with a 300 mg option, and work their way up from there. It is important to consult with the brand you are purchasing from before consumption.
The key is to effectively gauge exactly how much CBD oil it takes to start managing your pain. If you start off right away with a maximum dose of a 600 mg tincture, you will have no idea how much of the product it actually took to treat your condition. You’ll also not know how much you wasted, which is important because you don’t want to exceed dosage and end up developing a tolerance to the active cannabinoids.
If your intention is to help treat chronic pain, start out with a lower dose and proceed from there. If you notice effective results, you can downsize the dose or likewise up the dose until positive results are achieved. The key is to only increase your dosage in small increments so that you are able to pinpoint exactly how much CBD oil it takes to treat your condition. Be advised, though, that you should not exceed the recommended daily doses that are listed on the bottle. Also, consult with a physician if you plan on taking CBD with other medication.
Are there other options if you can’t use CBD oil for pain?
Some people either can’t use CBD oil for pain (i.e. they may not want to hold the oil under their tongue before swallowing) or they simply haven’t found it to be effective. Fortunately, there are other options like topical CBD creams.
CBD topicals are one of the most popular choices for arthritis and other forms of localized pain and inflammation. Since the skin acts as a semi-permeable membrane, rubbing CBD-infused creams onto an affected area can be effective in terms of both pain and inflammation reduction.
Likewise, CBD gummies and other CBD edibles are a great option that people prefer over CBD oils for a variety of reasons (one of which is simply because they taste a lot better!). Lastly, vaping CBD oil with a vape pen has been another effective method of using cannabidiol as a pain relief therapy for some users.
- Full range of CBD
- Nationwide fast and reliable delivery
- Highly concentrated extraction process
- Lab results for all products
- Full-spectrum extract, 99% pure
- Potent, fast-acting results
- 3rd party
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- Incredible taste, near-immediate effects
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
- 100% Natural and Organic
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- Certified U.S
- Excellent customer support
CBD oil and pain: A review by Daniel J Isaacman, M.D.
This article provides a wealth of practical information for the individual considering CBD as an adjunctive or alternative treatment for pain and or anxiety. CBD works in the body by manipulating receptors throughout organ tissues, the immune system, the pain response system, the hormonal system, and other systemic regulatory systems.
CBD oils have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA for the treatment of these conditions. However, there is a wealth of literature (both anecdotal and research-related) that exists describing CBD’s safety and effectiveness. As discussed in this article, the potential new adopter must be mindful of several important items.
First, only those products that are sourced from industrial hemp will be considered legal in all states. One must be careful if the product you choose is sourced from the marijuana plant, as those products may contain THC levels above the legal limit in your given state.
Secondly, all products are NOT created equal – they differ significantly in strength, absorption, and elimination by the body and in the manner in which they are formulated. One should be mindful of the differences in doses available for each of these products, starting at a low or moderate dose and increasing as needed in order to find the lowest dose that provides the desired relief. In this way, one can individualize usage to maximize effectiveness while minimizing risk – a proper goal for the use of all medicinals.
How long does it take for CBD oil to work for pain?
The time it takes for CBD oil to take effect depends on how you take it. Oils take longer to work than inhaled CBD and topicals. CBD oils take about the same time to have an effect as CBD edibles do because most of the oil ends up being metabolized through the same pathways as edibles. Both of them can be felt to start working at somewhere between 30 and 90 minutes after ingestion. Many advise that if when consuming a CBD oil, you should put it under your tongue for 30-90 seconds to help absorption; however, only a small fraction of the product in a traditional oil gets absorbed sublingually even when using this method, so while the amount that does get absorbed sublingually may be noticeable sooner, the majority of the effects will still be felt in that 30 to 90-minute range.
How much CBD oil should I take for pain?
Dosing of CBD oil is very individualized. Many factors affect how much CBD will be necessary to address a person’s pain, including their size, metabolism, history of CBD use, and the cause of the pain. For example, pain from autoimmune conditions may take higher doses to address than pain from a sore muscle. Most specialists recommend the old adage of ‘start low and go slow’ when trying to find a CBD oil dose that works. When titrating, know that sometimes it takes a couple of weeks for some of the cannabinoid levels to build up in the fat cells. Once that happens, there will be a slow but more continuous release of CBD that can help with pain on a more stable basis.
What’s the best way to take CBD oil for pain?
There are many ways to take CBD for pain. Research has shown that topical CBD can be effective in arthritis pain, and for those without respiratory concerns, vaping can provide the quickest relief. However, CBD oil has the advantage of lasting the longest in the system and therefore needing the least doses per day. Once you have decided what dose of CBD oil best controls your pain, notice when the effects start to wear off and that is when you should take another dose. Most people who use CBD for pain dose twice a day, as that generally covers most of the day, as its effects last for an average of 4 to 6 hours, though that can vary widely based on a number of factors, including dose taken and the user’s metabolism.
How do you buy CBD oil for pain?
If you’re in the US you can pick up CBD oil for pain online, as long as the CBD you’re interested in is from hemp, meaning it has a THC content of less than .3%. If you want a CBD oil with more THC, then you’d have to either live in a state where cannabis is legal or have a medical cannabis card and get it via that route. (NOTE: to MB staff – I have no idea what the laws are for purchasing in other countries…)
How long do CBD’s effects last?
The effects of CBD, if inhaled, can be felt for around two hours. CBD oil, thanks to the way it’s metabolized in the body, enacts its effects for a longer period, around four to six hours. You may also notice that CBD works better for the longer period of time in which you take it, and this can be due to stores of CBD that are kept in the fatty tissues of our bodies getting released even outside of the time that one is taking CBD, so effects can seem even longer-lasting after a period of use has built up CBD levels in the body.