How To Use CBD To Help Manage Pain
Dr. Bindiya Gandhi is an integrative medicine physician with expertise in functional and holistic medicine based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.
Table of Contents
- CBD for Pain Relief
- CBD for Chronic Pain
- CBD for Arthritis and Joint Pain
- CBD for Neuropathic Pain
Without the intoxicating properties of its cousin delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) can provide the human body with a handful of health benefits. Cannabinoids like CBD interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in signaling bodily functions, from emotional responses to motor control to energy balance  Mouslech Z, Valla V. Endocannabinoid system: An overview of its potential in current medical practice. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(2):153-179. .
Over the last two decades, scientists have tested CBD’s efficacy as an analgesic, or painkiller, specifically—and with promising results. While research is ongoing, here’s what we know so far about how we can use CBD oil for pain relief.
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CBD for Pain Relief
For now, no CBD-based medications are approved as painkillers in the U.S. Epidiolex, which is used for rare forms of epilepsy, is the only CBD treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Meanwhile, several countries have approved CBD to treat certain conditions. For instance, the U.K. approved it for multiple sclerosis, and Canada approved it for cancer pain. Ongoing research suggests CBD oil for pain can aid medical conditions, including arthritis and fibromyalgia, at varying doses. Some pain may not be treatable by CBD alone, but it can help when paired with THC or Western medication applications.
Interestingly, 60% of U.S. adults who use CBD products do so for its potential pain-relieving effects, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll.
What’s more, 60% of U.S. adults have tried CBD and believe it has medicinal benefits.
CBD for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is defined as any pain lasting longer than several months. Studies have found CBD, often alongside THC, to be an effective pain reliever for various chronic conditions.
In clinical trials, Sativex, a spray with equal parts CBD and THC, proved significantly successful as an analgesic for cancer-related pain  Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259. . The spray, also used for multiple sclerosis-related pain, is approved in Canada to treat cancer pain and is currently undergoing trials for approval and use in the U.S.
A 2019 study found Sativex to be an “effective and well-tolerated add-on treatment” for patients with severe chronic pain stemming from various ailments. The study identified three types of pain: nociceptive (affecting body tissue), neuropathic (affecting nerves) and mixed pain. Sativex helped treat all three kinds but proved especially effective against neuropathic pain.
An earlier study also found CBD to be effective in chronic pain relief for conditions like multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, although across a much smaller sample size  Wade DT, Robson P, House H, Makela P, Aram J. A preliminary controlled study to determine whether whole-plant cannabis extracts can improve intractable neurogenic symptoms. Clin Rehabil. 2003;17(1):21-29. .
CBD for Arthritis and Joint Pain
Arthritis is a broad term that encompasses hundreds of joint-related conditions and pains. Common symptoms include swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints and may progress over time.
Already a proven analgesic for other conditions, CBD shows promise as an anti-inflammatory substance in both animal and preclinical trials, which bodes well for arthritis treatment  Nichols JM, Kaplan BLF. Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020;5(1):12-31.  Mlost J, Bryk M, Starowicz K. Cannabidiol for Pain Treatment: Focus on Pharmacology and Mechanism of Action. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(22):8870.  Kosgodage US, Mould R, Henley AB, et al. Cannabidiol (CBD) Is a Novel Inhibitor for Exosome and Microvesicle (EMV) Release in Cancer. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:889.  Lowin T, Tingting R, Zurmahr J, Classen T, Schneider M, Pongratz G. Cannabidiol (CBD): a killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. Cell Death Dis. 2020;11(8):714. . However, clinical research dedicated to CBD administration for arthritis is less robust and ongoing.
The first controlled trial conducted in 2006 focused on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints and other affected areas  Blake DR, Robson P, Ho M, Jubb RW, McCabe CS. Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2006;45(1):50-52. . Researchers found that, compared to a placebo, Sativex significantly improved participants’ pain during movement, pain at rest and quality of sleep. Any adverse reactions to the treatment were mild or moderate, and there were no complications with withdrawal.
In 2018 researchers tested the efficacy of topical CBD gel on participants with osteoarthritis-related knee pain over the course of 12 weeks  Hunter D, Oldfield G, Tich N, Messenheimer J, Sebree T. Synthetic transdermal cannabidiol for the treatment of knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2018;26:S26. . Participants used either 250 milligrams or 500 milligrams, split into two applications, daily. Overall, participants’ weekly pain levels didn’t improve much with CBD compared to placebo. However, when researchers evaluated the average weekly worst pain scores and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function scores, participants who applied 250 milligrams of CBD daily experienced significant improvement over placebo participants.
Meanwhile, a small 2019 trial suggests a mix of CBD and THC may prove beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, a type of arthritis that results in whole-body pain and fatigue  van de Donk T, Niesters M, Kowal MA, Olofsen E, Dahan A, van Velzen M. An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia. Pain. 2019;160(4):860-869. . The study found that, via a single inhalation, a CBD-THC solution performed better than a placebo and either substance on its own.
CBD for Neuropathic Pain
Various conditions and injuries that damage nerves or the nervous system can result in neuropathic pain. This kind of pain manifests as tingling, numbness, muscle weakness and a sharp, shooting, burning or stabbing pain.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common cause of neuropathic pain. The disease wears down myelin, a mixture of proteins and phospholipids that coats nerve cells. Sativex is already approved as an MS treatment around the world due to its success in clinical trials. As a spray, Sativex is absorbed in the mouth. Studies support a median dose of eight sprays a day for patients with MS, which provides about 20 milligrams of CBD and 21.6 milligrams of THC  Sativex Oromucosal Spray – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC). Datapharm. Accessed 7/9/2021. . However, doses vary between patients, and each person needs to find their optimal dose.
A 2020 study also tested topically administered CBD oil as a treatment for patients with peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the peripheral nervous system, which sends information throughout your body from the central nervous system  Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(5):390-402. . When compared to placebo, the topical CBD significantly reduced patients’ intense pain and sharp pain, as well as cold and itchy sensations.
7 Best CBD Oils for Nerve Pain
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Did you know that CBD oil is a natural and safe method of treating nerve pain? This article will provide you with information on what CBD oil is and how it can be used to treat various forms of nerve pain. By the time you finish reading this article, you may discover that CBD oil could be an effective treatment for your nerve pain.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol or cannabinol, is a safe and natural herbal supplement that comes from the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which causes the typical “high,” CBD oil does not produce any psychoactive effect.
In the past few years, there has been a growing interest in this herbal supplement. This is due to the many health benefits of CBD oil, such as its ability to treat various forms of pain and anxiety. In addition, there are other potential medical uses for CBD oil that remain to be studied.
The reason why CBD oil has become so popular over the years is largely due to the fact that it does not produce any dangerous side effects. The reason behind this is that, unlike other drugs and supplements, CBD oil comes from natural cannabis plants instead of chemical laboratories. As a result, there has been no evidence to suggest that CBD oil can lead to any harmful or uncomfortable side effects.
What is nerve pain?
Nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain, is an umbrella term for various types of chronic pains. These can include burning, stabbing, and tingling types of pain that are felt due to nerve damage. Neuropathic pain can be caused by conditions such as shingles or diabetic neuropathy.
It should be noted that not all nerve pains are the same, and each type of pain is unique in its own way. For instance, some types of neuropathic pain may be caused by injuries to the nerve. One such example would include when a patient’s sciatic nerve is injured due to a herniated disc.
Other types of nerve pain, such as that from diabetic neuropathy, are caused by increased sugar levels that start to damage the nerves. As a result, many people who suffer from diabetes develop this condition because of long-term nerve damage.
In some cases, neuropathic pain may be due to the development of small masses on or around the spine called tumors. In addition, it can also be caused by various drugs, such as anti-convulsants.
What are the symptoms of nerve pain?
As mentioned above, there are several different types of neuropathic pain. Therefore, each type will have its own set of symptoms that can vary from patient to patient.
For instance, most people who suffer from sciatic nerve pain will complain about a sharp and intense pain that starts from the lower back and goes down to their feet. In severe cases, this form of nerve pain can even extend to the legs.
Other symptoms include numbness or tingling in any area where the sciatic nerve is located as well as an overall sense of weakness in both legs.
In some cases, patients with diabetic neuropathy will report a tingling sensation in their legs and feet. In most cases, this condition will also include unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and slow-healing sores on the legs or feet.
How can CBD Oil Help Treat Nerve Pain?
CBD oil has shown to have several benefits that can help treat patients who are suffering from nerve pain. For instance, CBD oil has been proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, which is why it is often recommended for people who suffer from arthritis.
Additionally, many studies have found that the use of CBD oil may also offer neuroprotective effects. The reason for this is that CBD oil has been shown to promote the growth of new nerve cells, therefore promoting healthy and functional nerves in patients who suffer from neuropathic pain.
In addition, CBD oil has also been proven to help control neurotransmitter release, which can help regulate pain levels when they become too high.
Another benefit associated with CBD oil is that it can reduce chronic pain and inflammation. This means that CBD oil may be an effective treatment option for those who suffer from conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.
CBD oil has also been proven to help improve sleep quality, which is why many patients with nerve pain often experience insomnia. In some cases, such as when a patient is struggling with insomnia, CBD oil can help improve their quality of sleep.
Although there are various types of medications that can be prescribed to patients who suffer from nerve pain, many people prefer natural remedies like CBD oil.
CBD Oil Uses for Nerve Pain
It seems that CBD oil is a very promising and effective treatment of nerve pain. There are various different types of nerve pain, including:
Phantom limb pain.
This occurs when an individual has lost a limb and continues to feel the presence of that limb even though it’s gone.
This is a condition that causes extreme facial pain.
This is the most common type of nerve pain that occurs after an outbreak of shingles. It typically occurs in older people who are more vulnerable to this type of infection.
Although there are several different types of nerve pain, CBD oil seems to be a very promising and effective treatment of nerve pain.
In addition, CBD oil has been proven to have several benefits that can help treat patients who are suffering from nerve pain. For instance, CBD oil has been proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, which is why it is often recommended for people who suffer from arthritis.
Although there are various different types of medication that can be prescribed to patients who suffer from nerve pain, many people prefer natural remedies like CBD oil. In addition, CBD oil has been proven to have several benefits that can help with nerve pain.
More about the 7 best CBD oils for nerve pain:
1. Penguin CBD
Image courtesy Penguin CBD
Looking to add some pep in your step? Introducing Penguin CBD, a natural hemp extract made with refreshing mint, citrus, strawberry, and cookies & cream flavors. Packed with Omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals, Penguin CBD oil is perfect for rejuvenating your body and mind.
Image courtesy Everest
You deserve the best, and that’s why Everest CBD offers the highest-quality Delta-8 THC Oil on the market. Their oil is vegan-friendly, GMO-free, and dairy-free. It’s also pesticide-free, ensuring that you’re getting a product free of harmful chemicals. With every 30 ml bottle packing 1000 mg of Delta 8 THC, this oil is perfect for anyone looking for help with their nerve pain.
3. Verma Farms
Image courtesy Verma Farms
CBD oil is all the rage these days, and for good reason—it can provide relief from a variety of issues. Verma Farms takes things one step further, though, by ensuring their CBD oil is organic, GMO-free, and pesticide-free. Plus, it’s distilled to preserve cannabinoids, meaning you get a pure dose of CBD with no unexpected THC.
4. R+R Medicinals
R+R Medicinals is quickly becoming one of the most trusted and popular CBD brands by proving one thing – they make the CBD that works. Using supercritical CO2 extraction on their proprietary Cherry strain of USDA Certified Organic hemp, they yield an unparalleled profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients in their products that translate into guaranteed performance.
Image courtesy Koi CBD
Looking for a reliable, cannabis-based source of CBD? Koi Natural has you covered. With years of experience in the industry, Koi is a member of various reputable CBD organizations and uses only U.S. grown hemp to make its products. From tinctures to topicals, Koi has something for everyone.
Image courtesy Joy Organics
This is a company started by a woman who knows what it’s like to suffer from pain and sleep issues. After trying CBD and finding relief, Joy decided to create her own line of products, and today, those products are some of the best-selling on the market.
Our organic, broad-spectrum CBD is third-party tested and loved by reviewers. Try it today and feel your joy return.
Image courtesy Royal CBD
Royal CBD hemp is cultivated using eco-friendly methods, and all of their products are made without harsh chemical additives. Plus, they use CO2 extraction to get the CBD oil, so you know you’re getting the purest product possible.
What criteria did we evaluate to determine the above 7 best CBD oils for nerve pain?
There are many important factors to consider when purchasing CBD oils for nerve pain. That’s why we took the liberty to consider the following criteria before adding a CBD oil brand to our list of CBD oils for nerve pain.
The hemp and extraction methods used
The most preferred method of extraction for CBD oil is CO2 extraction. This is where they put carbon dioxide under maximum pressure and low temperatures to help isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the medicinal CBD oil. This method is safe and non-toxic, causes minimal ecological impact, and is readily available.
Quality control testing
We only chose CBD oils with “third-party” test results, as these are the most trustworthy. We also didn’t include oils that had harsh chemicals like propylene glycol or denatured ethanol in their ingredients.
Price & Quality
While price shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor when it comes to choosing a CBD oil, it’s an important consideration. We ranked these CBD oils based on quality, purity, potency, and customer feedback. We also added in our ranking that “the price should be low enough to make it affordable for most customers”.
We added this as an afterthought to our criteria, but we realized that there’s nothing more telling than the feedback given by real customers who buy and use these products. So, we included this as part of the determining factor for which CBD oils for nerve pain should be featured in our top 7 list.
At the end of the day, our goal is to make it easier for you to find high-quality CBD oils that work effectively in relieving nerve pain. We don’t want it to be more difficult than necessary, which is why we did the research and compiled this list of CBD oils for nerve pain.
How to use CBD Oil for Nerve Pain Relief
When it comes to finding relief for nerve pain, there are a number of options. CBD oils, however, work with the body’s endocannabinoid system to relieve symptoms fast and easy.
Here is an outline of how you can use CBD oil for nerve pain:
Pick your preferred method.
There are several ways that you can take CBD oil for nerve pain. The five main ways are sublingual, oral, topical, vaping, and ingestion. Sublingual allows the CBD to be absorbed through your mouth where it enters directly into your bloodstream.
Choose your preferred CBD oil.
The benefits of using CBD oils for nerve pain are numerous, but it’s important to choose an oil that works well for you. You can try one or all seven of these best CBD oils for nerve pain relief if necessary.
Regardless of the CBD product you use, it’s always smart to start small. This method of using CBD oil for nerve pain allows you to gauge how it works, and whether or not it will be effective in reducing your symptoms.
Don’t give up on relief if the oil doesn’t work right away.
Some people don’t see immediate results after trying CBD oils for nerve pain. However, if they keep using the oil, they eventually experience long-term relief.
Tips for Taking CBD Oils for Neuropathy
Being that there are many methods in which to get your CBD oils for nerve pain, we wanted to share tips on each method. Below you’ll find tips to help you enjoy your CBD oils for maximum nerve pain relief.
Use CBD Oil Tincture
It’s easy to take CBD oil tincture for nerve pain. Start by placing a drop under your tongue using the dropper that comes with the bottle. Hold for 30 seconds, then swallow up to three times daily.
Apply CBD Oil Topically
You can apply pure or full-spectrum CBD oil topically on areas of your body where you feel pain. Just a word of caution; CBD oil is a powerful product and should only be applied topically in small amounts to avoid irritation.
Take CBD Oil Edibles
You can eat CBD oil edibles for pain relief for many different reasons. If you don’t like vaping or oils, this is another option that you can try. Start by adding a few drops of the oil onto your favorite dessert or candy and ingest as normal.
Will CBD oil make me high?
No, CBD oils won’t make you high since the THC level is 0.3% or below in most states. The “high” that you feel when using CBD oils for nerve pain comes from the oil’s ability to reduce inflammation and relax your body and mind.
Can CBD oil help shingles nerve pain?
Yes, CBD oils can relieve shingles nerve pain fast. Many studies have shown that using CBD oil for shingles nerve pain can help reduce inflammation and the risk of flare-ups.
Can CBD oil help with shoulder pain?
Yes, CBD oils can help relieve shoulder pain by reducing inflammation and stimulating your body to release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce your perception of pain and promote a general sense of well-being.
Are CBD oils good for arthritis?
CBD oils for nerve pain can also treat inflammation from arthritis. Just like with shingles and shoulder pain, CBD oils reduce inflammation in the affected area which helps to relieve discomfort.
Is CBD oil safe?
Yes, CBD oils for nerve pain are safe because they don’t activate the CB1 or CB2 receptors in your brain which makes them non-psychoactive. They contain no THC which means you won’t feel high from using them.
How to stop taking pain medications with CBD oil
If you’ve been taking opioids, antidepressants, certain medications for anxiety or insomnia, you may want to talk to your doctor about whether you should reduce or stop the use of these drugs when using CBD oil for nerve pain.
Taking CBD oil for nerve pain doesn’t mean you have to stop using other treatments. However, it’s important that you don’t increase your dosages of any medications when starting on CBD oils.
Again, make sure to talk to your doctor and work closely with them as you start using CBD oils for nerve pain.
CBD Oil Side Effects
There are minimal side effects from taking pure CBD oil. You may feel drowsy since it’s an anti-inflammatory, which means you won’t feel high from using it.
You could develop a dry mouth due to dehydration, but this is easily fixed by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. CBD oils for nerve pain are a natural way to treat shingles, arthritis, shoulder and back pain.
What strength CBD oil for nerve pain is best?
It depends on the strength of your pain. The higher the THC level, the more intense the CBD oils will be. For chronic pain and nerve conditions like shingles, we recommend using something that will provide long-term relief with a lower THC level.
Of course, all of this is dependent upon finding a pure CBD oil that doesn’t have any synthetic additives or extra ingredients. You can find what you’re looking for at Penguin CBD or Everest.
The Best CBD Oils for Nerve Pain
What’s the best way to take CBD oil for nerve pain in the face?
You can take CBD oil for nerve pain in the face using a CBD lotion or spray that you apply topically. You can reapply as needed throughout the day, but make sure to keep it away from your eyes.
How long does CBD oil take to work on shingles?
CBD oils for nerve pain should start working within 1-2 hours. The more you use them, the better they’ll work and the longer it will take before your acute symptoms start to subside.
How long does CBD oil last?
It depends on how much CBD oil you consume and what strength it is. It’s important to always follow the instructions on the bottle and to not consume more than directed.
How to store CBD oils for nerve pain?
CBD oils should be stored in a cool, dark place and away from children to protect them from possible harmful effects. Always check the expiration date before you buy CBD oils for nerve pain so you know how long you have before they expire.
With all of this information in mind, it’s easy to see why CBD oils for nerve pain are so popular among those experiencing chronic pain. The safety profile of these products is unmatched by other types of medications that are often prescribed to people with nerve injuries or other serious conditions.
Since they contain no THC, you won’t feel high or groggy when using CBD oils for nerve pain. Some brands even offer lotions and balms that are meant to be applied directly to the area of your body where you’re feeling discomfort. Just make sure that it’s legal in your state before purchasing CBD oils online since some states require a prescription to use them.
In conclusion, CBD oils are a great way to relieve pain, inflammation, and other symptoms associated with nerve injuries or conditions. If you’re looking for a natural way to treat your pain, CBD oils may be the right choice for you.