Best CBD Oil: Pain Relief & Buyer’s Guide (2020)
CBD is one of the most popular natural health supplements for supporting pain from arthritis, muscle injuries, fibromyalgia, and much more.
Unfortunately, not all CBD oils are the same — there are many products on the market that simply don’t have enough CBD to provide any real benefit.
So how do you choose the best CBD oil for pain?
To help our readers find CBD oils that actually work, we’ve put together this shortlist of award-winning CBD brands well-suited for managing chronic pain.
Let’s dive straight in with our top three CBD oil recommendations for pain.
Best CBD Oils For Pain: 2020 Reviewed
|Total CBD||250 mg – 2500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Berry, Mint, Vanilla|
|Potency (mg/mL)||8.5 – 85 mg/mL|
Royal CBD is one of the most well-known CBD companies in America. This brand has been around for a few years now, offering top-shelf products in just about every category.
The most popular CBD products in the Royal CBD lineup are these full-spectrum hemp oils.
- 250 mg CBD Oil — low-potency, best for beginner’s or use with pets
- 500 mg CBD Oil — medium potency, best for people with mild pain symptoms
Many industry-experts recommend Royal CBD oils as the best option for pain — a few examples we found are Weed News, We Be High, and CFAH.
There are a few reasons why this oil is the preferred option for managing pain:
1. Made from organic hemp — this increases the potency of the active ingredients and eliminates the chances of heavy metal or pesticide contaminants from ending up in the oil
2. Third-party tested — independent testing is the best way to prove the oils are pure, potent, and safe
3. Made from full-spectrum hemp extract — CBD works best when combined with other cannabinoids produced by the plant
4. 30-day satisfaction guarantee — CBD isn’t for everyone, if you find CBD oil doesn’t kill your pain, you can return the bottle for your money back
- Available in a wide range of potencies (250 – 2500 mg)
- Excellent value for the money
- Made from organically-grown hemp
- Legal in all 50 states — less than 0.3% THC
- Third-party tested for quality and purity
- Not available in-store (online brand only)
|Total CBD||300 mg – 1200 mg|
|Available Flavors||Unflavored, Honey|
|Potency (mg/mL)||10 – 40 mg/mL|
Gold Bee isn’t as well-known as Royal CBD, but it’s been growing in popularity dramatically over the last year. This brand was included on several high-profile local news outlets as one of the best CBD oils on the market for pain management. Gold Bee has been mentioned by Observer, LA Weekly, & Venture Beat, and more.
What really makes Gold Bee CBD oils stand out is the company’s attention to detail. This brand limits the volume of its extraction runs to maximize the terpene and cannabinoid content in the final product.
The inclusion of important compounds like myrcene, humulene, bisabolol, and other naturally produced molecules boost the pain-killing effects of CBD.
Studies have shown that myrcene and bisabolol each offer dramatic anti-inflammatory and pain-killing effects. When you combine this with the known benefits of CBD, you’ve got something really powerful.
- 300 mg CBD Oil — low-potency, best for mild pain
- 600 mg CBD Oil — medium potency, useful for mild to moderate pain
- 1200 mg CBD Oil — high potency, most popular option for most pain-sufferers
- Terpene-rich CBD oils provide more substantial effects than comparable products
- Available in a variety of potency and flavor options
- Made from organically-grown hemp plants
- Independently-tested for potency and purity
- High-demand and low-processing volume means waiting lists aren’t uncommon — check back later
|Total CBD||500 mg – 1800 mg|
|Potency (mg/mL)||50 – 180 mg/mL|
Blessed CBD isn’t an American CBD company, but we’ve included them on our list for readers living outside the United States.
Blessed CBD was one of the first companies in the UK to start getting its products tested by an independent lab. This was a big step forward in the UK CBD market, which remains about three years behind the industry in the United States.
You can buy these oils in three different potencies — all of which come in small 10 mL bottles. The smaller bottle size means the strength of CBD in every drop of oil is much higher than comparable products. The highest potency option (1800 mg CBD) delivers an incredible 6 mg of CBD in every drop. You only need 2 or 3 drops of this stuff to get a potent pain-killing benefit.
- 500 mg CBD Oil — medium potency, this stuff is popular among people with mild or transient pain symptoms
- 1000 mg CBD Oil — high potency, this is the most popular option for most pain-sufferers
- 1800 mg CBD Oil — ultra-high potency, this is the most potent CBD oil on our list, suitable for almost any level of acute or chronic pain
- Very high-potency CBD oils
- Small bottle size improves portability of these oils
- Made from organically-grown hemp
- Phytochemical-rich full-spectrum extract
- Third-party tested
- Only available in the UK
What is CBD Oil?
There are hundreds of active ingredients in hemp (Cannabis sativa). The primary active ingredient is a single compound known as CBD — short for cannabidiol.
CBD is entirely non-psychoactive — which means it won’t get you high. However, another compound — THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — does have psychoactive effects.
THC is the ingredient in marijuana that makes users feel high.
Fortunately, hemp plants produce minimal THC, far from a psychoactive dose. Always make sure you buy CBD oils made from hemp if you don’t want the psychoactive side-effects.
What are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
CBD works by targeting a series of receptors that make up our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is involved with regulating the health of nearly all organs in the body, as well as essential functions like neurological health, sleep, stress, and immunity.
By supporting this system, CBD is able to offer widespread benefits to the body. The most common use of CBD oil is for supporting chronic pain.
Here’s how it works.
CBD for Pain: How it Works
Pain is important for our health. It warns us when something is wrong.
Unfortunately, the pain response can become dysfunctional — causing us to feel severe and persistent pain for several months or years at a time.
CBD may reduce pain in two ways — it blocks the transmission of pain to the brain (providing immediate support), and by reducing underlying inflammation (which is one of the leading causes of chronic pain).
A single dose of CBD oil can dramatically dull pain symptoms. However, for maximum benefit, you should use CBD oil regularly for a couple of days or weeks. The potency of the oil will increase over time.
If CBD doesn’t work for you, try using a larger dose the next time. Everybody reacts differently to CBD, so it’s important to take the time to find what dose works best for your pain individually.
You could also try adding concentrated cannabis terpenes to your oil to boost the pain killing benefit. The best terpenes to use for this are myrcene, bisabolol, pinene, and borneol.
You can find a selection of cannabis terpenes from companies such as Finest Labs.
CBD for Inflammation: How it Works
Inflammation is one of the leading causes of chronic pain involved with arthritis, colitis, endometriosis, and much more.
As the inflammation persists, it leads to damage and destruction of our cells. As the cells break down, it sends pain signals to the brain and releases chemical messengers that result in more inflammation. The cycle repeats itself indefinitely until something is done to break the cycle.
CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that blocks several different steps in the process, rather than just one.
For best results, CBD oil should be taken on a regular basis for several weeks at a time. It can take a few days for the benefits of CBD to appear. Severe or chronic inflammation takes the longest amount of time to reverse, so be patient and persistent with your CBD oil dosing.
Final Thoughts: What’s the Best CBD Oil for Pain?
CBD has shown a lot of promise over the years as an alternative to prescription pain medications. People with mild or transient pain may find enough of an effect from the low or medium potency CBD oils, while the high potency options are the best choice for those with, particularly unremitting pain.
Always look for CBD oils from a reputable brand to avoid wasting your hard-earned money on ineffective products or contaminated CBD oils.
Companies like Royal CBD and Gold Bee are two of the most popular options available in 2020, and both have been awarded among the best CBD oils for pain on various industry-experts and local media outlets around the country.
Both options deliver excellent value for the money and provide in-depth third-party testing to prove the potency and purity of the oils are as advertised.
For the lowest prices, click here.
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CBD Oil for Endometriosis Pain: Does It Help?
Endometriosis is an autoimmune disease involving the abnormal growth of cells similar to those found in the womb’s lining. According to statistics, the condition affects 1 in 10 of women of reproductive age — contributing to 176 million instances worldwide.
Researchers still don’t understand why endometrial tissue begins to grow in the uterus, spreading to the nearby pelvic organs, such as ovaries, bladder, and bowel.
The problem with endometriosis is that the errand cells start to bleed during the bleeding phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle. But unlike the normal cells, the ones triggered by endometriosis can’t pass their blood outside, causing inflammation, pain, and formation of scar tissues.
Today, we explore the benefits of using CBD oil and other types of cannabis extracts for endometriosis pain and related symptoms.
Can CBD Help with Endometriosis?
Women with endometriosis are typically prescribed pain medication, hormone therapy, or need to undergo laparoscopic surgery.
Hormonal treatments are known to cause undesirable side effects; for example, Gn-RH, a popular hormone, may trigger artificial menopause on top of causing headaches and bloating.
The efficacy of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, for EM-associated pain, is also questionable.
According to a review published in Deutsche Arzteblatt International, 70% of young women with endometriosis don’t respond to NSAID treatments .
That’s why alternative options, such as CBD oil, are becoming more popular for this disease.
The BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a cross-sectional online survey that evaluated the efficacy of self-management strategies .
Among the most popular choices, such as hot compress, diet changes, yoga, and exercising, CBD oil scored a high place.
The study found that women who took CBD oil reported the highest pain relief scores among women who participated in the study.
Another study posted in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management mentioned that CBD produces anti-inflammatory effects. The author added that CBD was able to stop the release of proinflammatory cytokines in animals .
A follow-up cross-study published by Proc Natl Acad Sci USA confirmed these results, showing CBD’s immunosuppressive action through decreasing cytokine production .
Clinical Research On CBD & Endometriosis
So far, there have been no clinical trials examining the efficacy of cannabis medicine in women with endometriosis.
Two clinical trials are about to investigate the effects of phytocannabinoids on endometriosis pain and related symptoms.
In a Spanish open-label phase II trial, women with endometriosis-induced hyperalgesia will receive an oral spray with a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD .
In another phase III double-blind placebo study, patients will be administered norethindrone acetate, a hormonal treatment, supplemented with either 10 mg or 20 mg of CBD for the management of endometriosis pain .
Gathering sufficient robust evidence to convince the medical world that cannabinoids are effective for endometriosis may take years. In the meantime, cannabis will undoubtedly play a significant role in the self-care routine of women around the world when it comes to easing their endometriosis pain.
How Does CBD Oil Work to Help with Endometriosis Pain?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a vast network of endogenous cannabinoids, enzymes, and G-coupled receptors that are spread throughout the body.
These receptors (type 1 and 2) are present in the central nervous system, immune system, and peripheral organs. The main role of the ECS is to promote and maintain homeostasis in the body.
ECS modulation has been associated with therapeutic effects in several health conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, neurodegeneration, epilepsy, and chronic pain.
The CB1 receptor can be found in pain circuits; it also participates in producing pain-killing and anti-inflammatory effects. Meanwhile, the effects of CB2 receptor activity are mostly expressed in the immune system.
A 2017 study explained how THC and CBD act on these receptors. Their activity might be beneficial for women with endometriosis pain or even when their menstruation stops and other chronic pain conditions .
Several studies have implicated that CBD and other cannabis compounds can inhibit proinflammatory cytokines.
One study published in Pain journal found CB1 receptors in the rodent uterus. The research team suggested that CB1 receptors are a potential target treatment to curb hyperalgesia (sensitivity to pain) in that area .
The study also provided evidence that endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids could be useful in alleviating endometriosis symptoms.
How to Use CBD for Endometriosis
There are several types of CBD to choose from; the three main types include full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD contains the original phytochemical profile of the source plant, including minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and traces of THC. Read our Full-Spectrum CBD guide to learn more.
These compounds work synergistically to enhance the beneficial effects of the major cannabinoids and mitigate their potential side effects. This concept is known as the entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD is much like its full-spectrum counterpart, save for the lack of THC. The intoxicating compound is removed from the extract after the initial extraction.
CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like — pure cannabidiol. It occurs as whitish crystals that are then turned into a powder and mixed into different products. Isolates have no odor or flavor, and they also don’t evoke the entourage effect.
Let’s take a look at which type of CBD is more helpful in managing endometriosis pain.
Full-spectrum vs. Isolate: Which is Better for Endometriosis?
Focusing on individual cannabinoids and their mechanisms makes it easy to think that the cannabis plant has little to do with endometriosis.
Dr. Ethan Russo, a neuroscientist and passionate proponent of the entourage effect, underlines the importance of whole-plant cannabis medicine as a treatment for endometriosis and other conditions.
Russo says that there are “multiple components of cannabis that can be put together in the right preparation to treat endometriosis, both in terms of symptoms, the pain, and affecting the disease process itself. It’s rare these days that an issue like endometriosis or cancer or diabetes is going to be successfully treated with one agent.”
Conventional pharmacology tends to isolate a compound, give it a target, and observe how it deals with it — which can be very specific.
However, this pharmacology ignores the bigger picture, so it’s unlikely that one molecular mechanism will take care of the whole symptoms associated with endometriosis.
It’s worth noting that throughout human history, plants have been used medicinally. Synthetic drugs were developed later, but many of them are based directly or indirectly on plant-based chemicals.
CBD Oil for Endometriosis
CBD oil is the most popular form of CBD for endometriosis. It’s a thick hemp extract that is further diluted with a carrier oil for improved bioavailability — and bottled up with a dropper to make dosing easier.
CBD oil can be ingested in different ways. It can be taken under the tongue, where it should sit for around 60 seconds. The sublingual mechanism ensures a faster onset of effects, higher bioavailability, and better absorption. That’s because CBD enters the bloodstream directly through the tiny blood vessels in your mouth.
Other popular formats include capsules and gummies, which are better for people who dislike the taste of natural CBD oil and are looking for a precise dose in each serving.
Vaping is the fastest and most effective way to deliver CBD to your system. When you inhale CBD through a vape pen, it enters the bloodstream through the lung tissue, providing almost instantaneous effects.
CBD Cream for Endometriosis
A lot of women with endometriosis combine two forms of CBD oil — oral and topical.
When you take CBD oil, gummies, or capsules, they target EM symptoms from within, which is great for symptom control and reaching the underlying cause.
But, when you experience endometriosis flare-ups, they may require a more localized approach, such as a topical formulation.
Topical products like CBD creams, lotions, gels, and salves, are applied directly to the skin. From there, they interact with the skin’s CB2 receptors, producing a relaxing and anti-inflammatory response.
This, in turn, may contribute to effective pain control. Topicals can take between 10 and 60 minutes to start working, depending on the formulation.
CBD Dosage for Endometriosis
Most of our modern pharmaceutical medications come with standardized dosages and guidelines regarding their use.
On the other hand, CBD is a very personalized substance and can have different dosages even for people of the same height, weight, and lifestyle.
Cannabis dosages always start from low amounts and take time to gauge the effective dosage for each individual. Doctors will start you on a medication they believe will work best for you and then titrate the dose to adjust it to the severity of your symptoms and your individual body chemistry.
The goal of successful CBD dosage for endometriosis is to find the amount that gets you maximum effects with few side effects.
Can You Use Medical Marijuana for Endometriosis?
Yes, medical marijuana can be helpful in endometriosis. While CBD can effectively reduce EM pain, THC uses another important mechanism to benefit women with endometriosis.
With fewer CB1 and CB2 receptors in endometrial tissue available for endocannabinoids to bind with, the natural process of cell death (apoptosis) may be compromised, allowing for the malignant cells to multiply and spread.
Preclinical research indicates that endogenous, Phyto, or synthetic cannabinoids that target these two receptors can control the development of endometriosis.
In a 2017 study, the authors showed that drugs stimulating CB1 and CB2 receptors contributed to decreased proliferation and growth of endometrial tissue and its breakdown or what we call apoptosis .
While this may sound bad, apoptosis is a normal programmed cell death that’s part of their life cycle, and it’s disrupted in abnormal growth such as cancer or endometriosis.
This would explain why THC and potentially other molecules in cannabis would be symptomatically helpful and also target the actual pathology of endometriosis.
A recent study evaluating the effect of THC on a mouse model of endometriosis concluded that THC not only reduced pain markers but also inhibited the growth of an endometrial cyst.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Endometriosis
Animal and preclinical human studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. These effects may be useful in targeting pain that is difficult to treat, such as the one triggered by endometriosis.
Since all cannabinoids and terpenes can interact with the endocannabinoid system, many of them have similar anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, whole-plant extracts appear to be the most effective form of cannabis treatment.
If you live in a place with a legal medical marijuana program, you can combine CBD oil with a high-THC product to optimize your treatment and use a holistic approach.
Currently, the only federally legal way to use CBD for endometriosis is by taking CBD oil and/or cream. This way, you can both support your endocannabinoid system and target localized pain.
A consultation with a doctor experienced in cannabis use should help you determine the right dosage and avoid negative interactions with any medication you might be taking.
- Armour, M., Sinclair, J., Chalmers, K.J. et al. Self-management strategies amongst Australian women with endometriosis: a national online survey. BMC Complement Altern Med 19, 17 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-019-2431-x (1)
- David Garcia Cinca, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. (2019). Effect of Cannabinoid (THC / CBD 50%) on Hyperalgesia of Patients with Deep Endometriosis (EndomTHC). Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03875261 (2)
- Deimling, A.T. (2020). Cannabidiol and Management of Endometriosis Pain. Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04527003 (3)
- Dmitrieva, N., Nagabukuro, H., Resuehr, D., Zhang, G., McAllister, S. L., McGinty, K. A., Mackie, K., & Berkley, K. J. (2010). Endocannabinoid involvement in endometriosis. Pain , 151 (3), 703–710. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2010.08.037 (4)
- Bilgic, E., Guzel, E., Kose, S., Aydin, M. C., Karaismailoglu, E., Akar, I., Usubutun, A., & Korkusuz, P. (2017). Endocannabinoids modulate apoptosis in endometriosis and adenomyosis. Acta histochemical , 119 (5), 523–532. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acthis.2017.05.005 (5)
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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CBD Oil for Endometriosis Pain? Experts Warn: Buyer Beware
Can CBD oil help relieve the misery of chronic endometriosis pain? That’s the question we asked our community via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
“Yes,” wrote @michelleaveryjewelry, “I have my medical license and use CBD only and a 50:50 [ratio of] CBD to the THC oil. It does help the pain. I am off narcotics.”
“It really does help,” @nycgyno answered. “I am doing research on it with some patients, and most of them are very happy with the results and the relief.”
But, not everyone agreed. Endometriosis pain is a highly individualized experience, and CBD oil is not one size fits all.
According to @therealkatedavey, “For me post-excision surgery, two years out, CBD oil really helps my bad pain days. But I had to find one that worked for me. And that’s my experience…not everything works for everyone.”
So, it’s neither silver bullet nor the old fashion “snake oil” conjured up by traveling quacks from the backs of wagons in 19 th century frontier days and foisted off on a naïve public as a cure-all—though real snake oil is used in China—plant-based preparations including marijuana do have a long and respectable history in the traditional medicines of some cultures.
Marijuana only became illegal in the U.S. with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, though regulation rumblings had been growing since the 1920s.
Pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil, is derived from the cannabis plant and can be packaged in a variety of forms: gel cap, cream, oil, salve, tincture, or maybe even a transdermal or skin patch. Its effect is not the same as smoking and doesn’t produce the same cloudy euphoria and munchie giggles as the roll-your-own stuff you might have enjoyed in your college days.
Though @kadine_christie said “supposedly CBD oil shouldn’t get you high, but I hated every minute of it. It was [a] terrible feeling.” And one commenter noted, “I’m a working woman, a freelancer in the corporate world. I cannot afford to feel high.”
In many states, obtaining CBD products requires a doctor’s prescription. In others, it’s just plain illegal, though that appears to be changing rapidly.
California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. This year, the state began to allow sales for recreational use, but the California Department of Public Health stated that, “Until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that industrial hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD products can be used as a food or California makes a determination that they are safe to use for human and animal consumption, CBD products are not an approved food, food ingredient, food additive or dietary supplement.”
The state agency explained, CBD and CBD oil are “allowable only in edible cannabis products that are produced according to the California Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act including a source, manufacturing, distribution, testing and retail supply chain that is completely separate from regular foods and beverages.”
Though there’s something about the phrase “industrial hemp” that doesn’t feel quite right, recent news reports indicate that Coca-Cola is seriously interested in adding the product to its popular line of the soft drink which traces its root recipe back to cocaine.
Could artisanal “Can”-Cola be far away?
In June, the FDA made history when it approved the use of a purified form of CBD oil to treat seizures in two “rare and severe” forms of epilepsy. Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of NYU Langone Epilepsy Center, noted at the time, “It’s very important to highlight that the drug used in this study, cannabidiol, was…purified to 99 percent purity.”
It’s promising news for CBD fans, but Devinsky also made it clear that buyers should beware. “This is not something you can get from a dispensary today. It is a very specific pharmaceutical-grade product.”
Despite the fact that @heavers_said, “It’s my saving grace” and Vitamin Weed author Dr. Michele Ross, Ph.D. swears by the stuff, there is not a lot of authoritative clinical evidence for its effectiveness.
Lately, inboxes have been filling up with a rising tide of emails recruiting volunteers, but only a few seem to have some degree of scientific authenticity—and those results aren’t in yet.
Director of the Brain Institute of the University of Utah, Deborah Yurgelun-Todd is “testing the analgesic effects of orally-dosed Cannabidiol on subjects with non-cancer pain.”
Canada seems to be a sweet spot for legitimate clinical trials.
That’s where Ramesh Zacharias, the Medical Director of Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation in collaboration with the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and Dr. Antonio Vigano and Dr. Maria Fernanda Arboleda of McGill University in Montreal are doing related studies.
These studies have passed the rigorous rules of the Institutional Review Boards of the respective university.
And if you’re thinking of buying a bottle from Amazon or any other online source, remember this warning.
“Among CBD products purchased online, a wide range of CBD concentrations was found, consistent with the lack of accepted dose. Of products tested, 26 percent contained less CBD than labeled which could negate any potential clinical response. The over labeling of CBD products in this study is similar in magnitude to levels that triggered warning letters to 14 businesses in 2015-2016 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (e.g., Actual CBD content was negligible or less than 1 percent of the labeled content).”
That’s according to a study published online last year by the Journal of American Medical Association entitled “Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online”.
And it’s nothing to fool with. “There is evidence,” according to Dr. Tomar Singer, director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, “that cannabis oil or cannabidiol can decrease fertility by affecting ovulation and implantation.”