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Cbd oil for tattoo pain

Can CBD Oil Help With Tattoo Pain?

Whether you’re worried about the pain of being tattooed or want to reduce your chances of discomfort after the sitting, there are tons of options available. One remedy growing in popularity is CBD-based products such as oils, edibles and ointments.

CBD has many known healing properties with a wide range of applications. Do those healing properties spread to tattoo relief? If so, how do they work? Keep reading, and we’ll break down everything you need to know.

CBD products could have a variety of benefits to help relieve physical and mental discomfort during various stages of the tattoo process. They may help reduce pain, inflammation, redness, anxiety and much more.

However, you need to keep in mind that many experts agree that CBD oil can act as a potential blood thinner, and this can cause more bleeding during the tattooing process. While it doesn’t necessarily offset the benefits that CBD oil provides, it is something that you need to keep in mind and should discuss with your tattoo artist.

Medical Benefits of CBD Oil for Pain Relief

CBD is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, though its benefits go beyond that. It can also reduce swelling and aid in cell reparation, making it an indispensable tool for pain relief. It’s not just users that report these side effects; numerous medical studies have linked CBD with positive healing effects for a variety of major and minor wounds.

Furthermore, CBD is known to reduce skin redness on your body and anxiety in your mind. These benefits combined make it an excellent choice for managing your pain and anxiety before, during and after you get your tattoo.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Using CBD Oil for Tattoo Pain

While there are tons of benefits of using CBD oil for tattoo pain, it’s not the best option for every situation. Below, we’ll break down a few of the benefits and drawbacks before diving into the nitty-gritty details.

  • You can use CBD oil while getting tattooed
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces redness
  • Can reduce anxiety
  • No unwanted side effects
  • CBD Oil can’t be applied directly to affected areas

Benefits of Using CBD Oil Before and During the Tattoo Process

Whether you’re trying to prevent an issue or simply trying to make the entire process just a little more enjoyable, CBD products can help in many situations.

Reduces Anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious about getting your tattoo, CBD oil might be what you need to take the edge off before heading in. Many proponents claim CBD oil helps to reduce anxiety. If the idea of getting tattooed is upsetting, CBD oil is a fast-acting remedy.

Relieves Pain

There’s no avoiding the fact that getting a tattoo can be painful. The artist is puncturing your skin thousands of times. While some relish in the pain that comes with getting a tattoo, most would like to reduce the amount of pain as much as possible.

CBD oil provides a great way to do just that. Unlike cannabis products that contain THC, pure CBD oil won’t leave you feeling anxious and jittery. Even better, it won’t leave you hyper-focusing on the needle, which could make the pain even worse.


The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are the most well-documented of all the benefits. While these properties are beneficial during the recovery phase, regularly using CBD oil before getting a tattoo can make the healing process afterward easier.

CBD products reduce inflammation, redness and reduce the risk of infection, all key benefits when you’re getting a tattoo.

Legal and Non Intoxicating

You can’t walk into a tattoo shop and crack open a beer to calm your nerves – and any shop that allows you to do so is not somewhere you want to be! However, CBD is perfectly legal on the federal level. You can use CBD products without worrying about getting a ticket or receiving any legal punishment.

Plus, CBD oils and other products won’t impair your ability to think clearly or function properly. You’ll feel relaxed, but not intoxicated.

One Cause for Concern

Most experts agree that CBD oil offers some blood-thinning properties, which can be a benefit in some applications, yet it’s a major drawback if you’re looking at getting a tattoo. Thinner blood will cause excess bleeding and prevent the ink from absorbing as well as it should.

However, CBD oil doesn’t thin the blood nearly as much as alcohol or painkillers, therefore, if you feel like you need something to help you get through the procedure, CBD oil remains one of the best options available.

Of course, you should always talk to your tattoo artist about any products you might be using so they know exactly what they are working with.

This is where the benefits of CBD oil get a bit more controversial. However, the controversy comes from the “oil” part, not the “CBD” element. When it comes to reducing inflammation and pain after getting a tattoo, CBD creams and salves are often a better option than oil.

Nevertheless, while CBD creams might be better suited for post-tattoo care, that doesn’t mean you should write off CBD oil completely. Many of the same benefits that you get by using CBD oil during the tattooing process can benefit you for post-tattoo care. Those benefits include anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief.

CBD Oil vs. CBD Creams

CBD creams and ointments can be applied directly to the affected area to help with healing. Unlike other types of creams and salves, CBD ones won’t clog your pores.

Clogged pores increase your risk of infection, which can slow the rate of healing and lead to other skin issues. Additionally, CBD creams soothe the infected area to reduce redness, itchiness and inflammation.

Since these products are applied directly to the affected areas, you get maximum relief when compared to other products like CBD oil.

Other Products You Can Use for Tattoo Pain

What if you’re not quite sure about using CBD oil to help with your tattoo pain? Alternatives are available, each with their own benefits and potential issues.

Before and During the Tattoo Process

Traditional pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen, aren’t a good idea to take before getting a tattoo. They thin your blood, which increases your risk of bleeding and other issues during the tattoo process.

Instead, you might want to try CBD edibles to help manage pain during the tattooing process. Not only are they easy to administer, they’re also reported to take effect over a more extended period of time, allowing you to maximize the benefits if you’re sitting for a long tattooing session.

For people wanting a little extra assistance for dealing with the pain, a good tattoo numbing cream can really help to take the edge off.

One of the most effective tattoo numbing products currently on the market is Zensa Numbing Cream, which contains the highest level of Lidocaine allowed by the FDA for over-the-counter use. The feedback left by thousands of customers for this product is nothing short of exceptional.

Just follow the instructions supplied with the cream and apply shortly before your tattoo appointment is due to begin so that you can look forward to a less painful and more comfortable tattooing experience. The amount of cream you get in a tube also ensures you have more than enough for a large tattoo.

During the Recovery and Healing Process

You want to avoid applying most oils and creams to your newly tattooed skin, at least until it’s fully healed. Anything too thick that clogs pores (like petroleum jelly) will impair your skin’s ability to recover. While moisturizing your new tattoo isn’t completely necessary, it can definitely help aid healing.

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing.

Over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol, can typically help manage pain during the recovery process. Although, they don’t target your skin specifically. Instead, they provide total body pain relief. Nonetheless, their results will vary.


If you want a tattoo, yet want to avoid the pain and nervousness associated with the application, CBD oil and other CBD products might help to make you more comfortable. Still, it’s something you should discuss with your tattoo artist before your sitting.

CBD And Tattoos: Preparing For Your Session & Tattoo Aftercare

Tattoos have different meanings across different cultures, and it’s a practice that has been around since ancient times—the oldest skin markings have been found on a Peruvian mummy dating back to 6000 BCE.

While some people have no issues jumping into a tattoo artist’s chair for ink, others have a different experience altogether that’s wrought with nerves and the grueling healing process.

There are many ways to address tattoo pain these days, from taking oral painkillers before the appointment to numbing cream, but a highly popular compound for tattoo nerves and aftercare is CBD oil.

CBD comes from the cannabis plant, and it’s a compound that’s gaining a lot of attention in the health and wellness space for its gentle effects towards supporting inflammation, calming nerves, and easing minor discomfort.

In this article, we’ll look at ways you can use CBD oil to help make your tattoo session more comfortable and choose topical CBD balms for your tattoo aftercare.

How Do Tattoos Stay Permanent In The Skin?

Tattooing involves applying pigment into deeper layers of the skin than the outermost layer that we shed daily. These special pigments aren’t easily metabolized in the body, which is why it remains visible through the skin.

With time, tattoos will fade naturally as the body tries to eliminate the foreign ink particles by the immune system’s macrophages (the clean-up crew). Sun exposure can also contribute to tattoo fading as UV rays break down the integrity of the pigment, but the majority of the ink will remain in the deep layers of skin.

Why Are Tattoos So Painful?

If you love the look of body ink, but can’t stand the tattoo pain, there’s not too much you can do to get around it as the process itself involves inflicting wounds into the skin to leave permanent markings.

Modern tattoo guns use tiny needles loaded with special dye into the skin at a very high frequency. The needles punch through the epidermis to deliver the pigment into the dermis, consisting of nerve glands, collagen fibers, and blood vessels.

Every time the needle punctures the skin, it creates a wound, and the body responds to this by initiating the inflammatory process to begin repairing the damaged skin. One way people reduce the aftermath of your tattoo session is by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and numbing cream to calm the effects of redness and swelling.

What Is CBD And How Does It Work?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound harvested from cannabis plants found to have potential health benefits in animals and humans.

One of the most notable uses of CBD is its potential anti-inflammatory properties through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system—a cell-signaling system in all mammals that support homeostasis.

It consists of neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids), receptors (CB1 and CB2), and enzymes that relay messages throughout the body like read-receipts on a text message to keep vital systems like our immune response, pain signaling, metabolism. This all works together to support the body’s natural response to stress, bringing it back to a state of balance.

CBD and other cannabinoids closely resemble endocannabinoids, which is how they can interact in the body. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have intoxicating effects, as it doesn’t have an affinity to bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it seems to have broad-ranging effects because it enhances endocannabinoid receptor sensitivity and inhibits the release of enzymes that break down endocannabinoids. With higher levels of endocannabinoids, the system can run much more smoothly.

CBD may also have interesting effects at other receptor sites in the central nervous system (brain and spine) and the peripheral nervous system (the nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spine).

How Can CBD Oil Help You Prep For Getting A Tattoo?

Many people swear by using CBD oil or gummies to ease their pre-tattoo jitters before their tattoo session. To help make the tattoo experience go a lot smoother, you must choose a tattoo artist that you’re comfortable with, and while many people can jump into their session without a second thought, that feeling of unease and nervousness before your tattoo session is completely normal.

One of the ways CBD products may help with the feelings of anxiety before getting a tattoo has to do with its actions in the central nervous system. CBD has become extremely popular for its relaxation effects.

Research suggests that CBD increases GABA activity in the brain to help combat feelings of nervousness and stress [1].

GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a brake pedal to the effects of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which can help you relax tense muscles and give you a more uplifted and calm mood.

Some tattoo artists even recommend using CBD oil internally before your appointment for gentle pain relief. In pre-clinal studies, CBD has been found to inhibit vanilloid receptor activation in the peripheral nervous system [2]. The vanilloid receptors relay information about pain to the brain, which may help make the tattoo process much more comfortable for you.

Tattoo Aftercare With CBD

After your tattoo session, you must take careful precautions with your tattoo healing, as you now have an open wound on your skin that’s prone to infection.

Your tattoo artist may cover your tattoo with a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage and instruct you to keep it on for 24 hours before you clean it with gentle antimicrobial soap and pat it dry. You can apply a layer of anti-bacterial ointment or CBD-infused tattoo creams to protect it from infection and support healing.

CBD Has Anti-Bacterial Properties

One of the biggest concerns after getting a tattoo is the increased risk of infection. You should regularly clean your tattoo and keep it dry to avoid bacterial infection.

Researchers believe that cannabis plants produce cannabinoids to defend against bacteria and pests, making it a natural anti-bacterial compound [3]. Applying a strong CBD cream or ointment can help keep your wound clean and help with the tattoo healing process.

Topical CBD May Support Healthy Inflammatory Response

Tattooing essentially involves wounding the skin to deliver pigment. The inflammatory response kicks in to heal the damage, but it can leave you feeling sore and inflamed. CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory benefits may help to calm down some of the swelling and irritation.

The skin is our largest organ, containing endocannabinoid receptors to relay messages for our immune system and pain perception. CBD interacts with these endocannabinoid receptors to help fight off inflammation for a much more comfortable healing process post-tattoo.

Topical CBD May Support Discomfort

Tattoo pain will leave you feeling sensitive, tender, and itchy for the next several days, which can become distracting when you have your life to get back to.

Many people use topical CBD for mild pain relief for muscles and joint pain and skin irritation, and it may be effective because CBD has been shown in preclinical trials to inhibit the pain signals to the brain [2].

How Much CBD Should I Take Before My Tattoo Session?

We want to clarify that while CBD has been shown to have many promising benefits to support comfort from pain. However, CBD oil is not a painkiller—and one person’s experience with CBD can vary greatly from the next due to genetics and other lifestyle factors.

When it comes to easing minor discomfort, some experts believe that higher doses of 50MG+ can help. But if you’re new to CBD oil, it’s best to start with lower doses, as taking too much can lead to negative side effects like headache, drowsiness, and an upset stomach.

The best benefits from using CBD come with consistent use—which is why it’s best to take CBD daily at the same time each day to support your endocannabinoid system. Rather than treating it as a band-aid when something goes wrong, think of CBD as something that supports your body’s natural ability to be more resistant to stressors.

If you’re deciding to take CBD to relax your body and take the edge off the nervousness, some tattoo artists online have said that 15-25MG of CBD an hour before your tattoo session may be helpful for some. Make sure you also drink plenty of water and feel comfortable before you go to your tattoo appointment.

Best CBD For Tattoo Care

There are many different CBD products on the market, and not all of them will offer the same amount of support. CBD oil can contain other compounds besides cannabidiol, and CBD ointments and lotions have a long list of other ingredients that you should carefully consider.

Let’s go over some of the factors you should think about if you’re planning to use CBD oil for the tattoo process and topical CBD for post-tattoo care.

1. Use Full Spectrum Or THC-Free Broad Spectrum Products

Hemp flowers are sprinkled with tiny crystal resins that house cannabinoids and terpenes.

CBD is just one of over a hundred known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and when it’s combined with other minor cannabinoids and terpenes, it can provide more well-rounded benefits when used topically and internally and strengthen the effects of CBD. This is called the entourage effect.

Extracts that maintain as close to the hemp plant’s natural phytochemical makeup are called full spectrum extracts. These may contain up to 0.3% THC, but if you’re concerned about these trace amounts of THC, then a broad spectrum extract may be the better option for you.

Through sophisticated distillation processes, we can identify and remove certain cannabinoids from a full spectrum of extracts. Our broad spectrum extracts still contain a diverse range of cannabinoids but are completely THC-free.

CBD isolate products are stripped from all other minor cannabinoids and terpenes. They tend to be cheaper for brands to purchase in bulk because the extraction process doesn’t require strict temperature control and pressure to preserve heat-sensitive compounds. You can still get the benefits of CBD from isolate products, but they won’t be as potent.

2. Read The Certificate Of Analysis

Unfortunately, you can’t always trust the label on your CBD products. The only way to tell exactly what’s in your CBD oil is to reference a certificate of analysis.

We’ve come across CBD oils that claim to be full spectrum extracts only to find out from the certificate of analysis that it only contains CBD. And worse still, hemp oil—made from seeds of hemp plants that contain no cannabinoids—marketed the benefits of CBD. Though hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, you won’t get the same support for your ECS.

A certificate of analysis is a report conducted by a non-biased lab to identify the cannabinoid profile, potency, and presence of contamination. This is the only way to verify that you’re getting what you’re paying for. These should be accessible on the brand’s website. On all Neurogan products, you can scan the QR code to read the report on the batch of CBD extract in your product.

3. Use High Potency CBD

CBD oils and topicals come in a range of strengths indicated by how many MG of CBD it contains.

To get the most use out of your CBD product, choose a CBD oil with at least 2000MG of CBD—if you choose a higher potency, even better. Higher potency CBD oils often come at a better cost per mg of CBD, and you can still dial in your doses drop by drop to meet your needs.

If you choose something too weak, like 200MG, you may end up using half of the bottle before you feel any of its effects kick in.

When it comes to CBD balms and lotions for tattoo aftercare, a high CBD strength of at least 8MG/mL of product is best, or you might not offer any benefits towards inflammation support and mild discomfort.

Some CBD lotions for tattoos don’t indicate the CBD content. They’ll sprinkle just enough CBD to have it as a list of ingredients, but it may not provide any effects, so always be sure to shop with brands that offer this transparency with a certificate of analysis.

4. Check The Ingredient List

People use CBD for several reasons, from sleep support, stress, energy boost, and more.

Look to see that the ingredients in the formula make sense for the application you want to use it for. For example, a CBD oil with melatonin probably wouldn’t be ideal for your three-hour tattoo session.

Most CBD oils contain two simple ingredients—hemp extract and carrier oil. If you want CBD to help with your pre-tattoo jitters, a simple CBD oil like this should do the trick.

For CBD topical formulas, you can find sports rubs containing compounds like menthol and capsaicin that provide cooling and effects to promote muscle recovery, but that’s not ideal for CBD tattoo aftercare as it can irritate your wound.

Look for specially made CBD ointments designed for tattoo aftercare with gentle skin ingredients like jojoba oil and are unscented (to prevent irritation) to help protect your new tattoo and offer some relief in your healing process.

The Takeaway: CBD Tattoos

A high potency, quality CBD oil may help limit tattoo pain and nervousness by supporting the endocannabinoid system’s ability to regulate inflammation and mitigate pain signals, but it’s not a pain killer.

Topical CBD products designed for tattoo aftercare can also help make the recovery process more comfortable as CBD can interact with endocannabinoid receptors on the skin to provide localized comfort and fight off infection-causing bacteria.

Not all CBD products are the same, so make sure you do your research before ingesting CBD oil or applying the product to your fresh tattoo.

Does CBD Help With Tattoo Healing?

For thousands of years, we’ve used tattoos to express our beliefs and individuality. From ancient Egypt to contemporary times, tattoos have certainly changed, but some fundamentals have remained. And one of those constants is the skin inflammation and swelling you experience after getting a tattoo. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way when it comes to addressing those conditions effectively.

Now, one product that may help speed up tattoo healing is CBD oil. Of course, cannabidiol (CBD) oil products aren’t exactly new: CBD has been valued as a medicinal supplement for centuries. And modern research suggests that CBD may help reduce swelling and inflammation while promoting cell repair. So it’s not surprising to see CBD topicals such as lotions, balms, and ointments finding their way in the tattoo industry and gaining traction for their potential healing benefits.

It’s just a fact: getting a tattoo is painful, and not everybody can endure the physical process. Some may be fearful or anxious. And after the tattoo is done, you’ll still need time to heal. To help ease the pain, tattoo artists may now recommend CBD products, leading industrialized hemp companies to launch tattoo-targeted, natural CBD products.

So, we wanted to help you understand: how does CBD help with tattoo healing? When it comes to tattoos, CBD basically may help in one of three main ways: as an anti-inflammatory, as an antioxidant, and/or as an analgesic. Considering using CBD oil to speed up tattoo healing? Here’s what you need to know.

How Tattoos Work

Tattoos are markings that are permanently ingrained on your skin’s surface. First, sharp needles pierce your skin’s top layer, then artists insert ink pigmentation to the opening. To guide their needles, tattoo artists basically use a tattoo gun, which acts like a sewing machine – only it’s intended for your skin instead of fabrics. Each time the gun perforates your skin, ink droplets make markings, allowing the tattoo to take form. You may experience some bleeding and pain, depending on your individual threshold.

You can try preparing your mind and body by sleeping, drinking water, and eating a healthy meal before your tattoo, but you won’t know how you’ll react until you sit on that chair. But regardless of how you prepare, getting inked will definitely hurt. At least a little.

The size of your tattoo will also affect your experience. If you want a large tattoo, it’s normal to feel shaky during and after the process. This is your body’s natural response to mild shock.

Still, if you find the experience unpleasant, CBD may be able to mitigate some unpleasant parts of the tattoo process.

Given some of the suggested CBD effects, taking this supplement before getting tattooed may relieve some of your fear and anxiety about getting inked. Just consider the form of CBD you choose: depending on your delivery method, the CBD effects could take between 20 minutes to about an hour to kick in.

Benefits of CBD for Tattoo Healing

As far as tattoo healing goes, CBD oil may help you heal mentally, by reducing stress, as well as physically, by alleviating pain. These are some suggested CBD benefits which may improve your tattoo healing process:

Anti-inflammatory Properties

During the tattoo process, your skin experiences trauma as the skin tissues sustain injuries, ultimately leaving you sore and inflamed. Many people address these issues with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But, increasingly, research is looking to CBD as a drug-free alternative due to its tendency to fight inflammation. In fact, CBD may be a safer alternative for individuals who can’t tolerate NSAIDs.

After consulting with your tattoo artist, prior to beginning the process, you may apply CBD salve or lotion directly on your skin. If for any reason, applying CBD topically isn’t an option, you can consume cannabidiol in the form of a tincture, capsule, or drink concentrate.


For our bodies to remain strong and healthy, they require antioxidants. Foods such as sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and fish oils contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body cells against damage and keep the skin looking healthy and youthful. CBD also appears to have antioxidant properties, helping protect our cells from the damage caused during the tattooing. CBD may even help minimize tattoo flaking or scabbing during the final phases of your healing process.

Additionally, CBD’s antioxidants may assist in fighting against free radicals in the body. Studies suggest that black ink tattoos can trigger free radical production, and these agents have the potential to trigger severe health issues. So, in addition to helping you recover after a tattoo, taking CBD may offer additional protective health benefits.

Analgesic Effects

An analgesic is basically a pain reliever. When it comes to getting a tattoo, pain is all but guaranteed. But, once again, CBD may help you cope because it appears to affect your glycine receptors. These inhibitory receptors are situated in the central nervous system and play a significant role in how your body perceives pain. Studies suggest that the use of cannabinoids such as CBD increases the effects of your glycine receptors, which results in pain reduction. CBD may therefore also assist in managing the sensitivity, tenderness, itching, and soreness associated with getting a tattoo.

How Does CBD Help in Reducing Pain?

As we mentioned, CBD may limit tattoo-related pain by reducing inflammation, interfering with pain signals, and promoting healthy skin growth. You may choose any form of CBD to help you through the tattoo process, but applying topical CBD oil will deliver targeted results to your healing skin.

Why Should You Consider CBD as an Alternative to Painkillers?

Unlike over the counter painkillers, CBD is a plant-based, natural compound. Additionally, many painkillers come with minimally effective anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, they often carry a risk of triggering numerous adverse effects. As such, exploring an alternative option, that carries few potential side effects, may be a great choice to speed up the healing process for your tattooed skin.

Remember that tattoos are permanent. If you decide to forge ahead with a permanent marking, then you should do everything possible to get the results you want to see. Regardless of your CBD use, the healing process will be somewhat painful. And it will certainly take some time. But, the good news is that CBD may assist you through this period. Simply speak with your tattoo artist, as well as your healthcare provider, to make sure that it’s safe for you to consume or apply CBD before and after getting your tattoo.