10 Best CBD Oils for Pain – Reviews
1. CBDfx – Editor’s Choice for the Best CBD Oil for Pain
- Use code “chill” for up to 25% off
- Cruelty free
- Verified potency
- 60-day guarantee
- Products are not certified organic
CBD Oil Product Highlights
CBDfx offers three different best CBD oil for pain options: one for sleep, one for wellbeing, and one for inducing a state of calm. The calming and wellness CBD oils have potencies that range from 500 milligrams of CBD to 6000 milligrams of CBD, while the sleep CBD oil tincture is available in potencies ranging between 1000 milligrams and 4000 milligrams. CBN is used in the sleep and calming CBD oils to make the soothing effects more potent. CBG is incorporated into the wellness CBD oil tincture to support total body health. Choose the morning and night CBD oil tincture set to have specialized support, or bundle them all to experience the advantages of each recipe.
Ali Esmaili and Jameson Rodgers developed CBDfx in 2014. They came together with the idea that everyone should be able to benefit from CBD’s many advantages. They’ve spent over a decade expanding from its San Fernando Valley, California roots to become the world’s second largest privately held CBD company.
What Customers Say
One buyer shares that she has 14 herniated discs in her spine and suffers from chronic pain. She chose the wellness CBD oil tincture and is happy to share that she’s experiencing significant pain relief when she takes it three times per day. She calls it “the holy grail” and confirms she doesn’t experience any sleepiness or “high”, and can keep up with her day to day duties, including caring for her kids and her dog.
2. CBDistillery – Runner Up
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- Natural farming practices
- 60-day guarantee
- Third-party lab tested
- Free shipping only after you spend $75.00
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Several CBD oil tinctures are available for purchase on the CBDistillery website. They include full-spectrum CBD oil tinctures for relief and relaxation, as well as sleep CBD oil tinctures with CBN to get you snoozin’ with ease. The strength ranges from 450 milligrams of CBD to 5000 milligrams of CBD in their highest strength choice. The majority of their products have a natural, earthy flavor but if you’re into flavored CBD oil tinctures, choose their mango-flavored CBD oil!
CBDistillery was founded in 2016 in Colorado and has since grown to become one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most cost-effective CBD brands on the market. They operate with a single goal in mind: to provide CBD to the globe. They have a clear objective, which is to provide you with an alternative road toward a healthy and stable life. Their company is guided by a set of values that include accountability, collaboration, and respect.
What Customers Say
Customers rave not just about the products, but also about the customer service. One customer shares that CBDistillery products have been the first to help her sleep without medication. She’s been enjoying restful nights without any feelings of grogginess in the morning. Another customer shares appreciation for the transparency CBDistillery operates with – it gives him comfort to know exactly what he’s buying.
3. Sunday Scaries – Honorable Mention
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- Made in the USA
- Free shipping on all subscriptions
- 100% money back guarantee
- Limited product variety
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Sunday Scaries offers a CBD oil tincture that combines vitamins D3 and B12 to keep your mind from racing at bedtime and help you chill out before sleep. It’s the perfect complement if you’re traveling, as it helps you to relax and just enjoy the ride. It’s designed for all those moments when you need a stronger dose of CBD. It absorbs rapidly and tastes like fruit punch. Place it under your tongue or add it to your water or smoothie!
Sunday Scaries’ Background
Mike and Beau are the founders of Sunday Scaries. They’re two previously stressed-out bar owners who turned into CBD enthusiasts. They believe community combined with comedy is the best remedy. They used to be filled with worry and anxiety and thought they were the only ones who felt that way. What they discovered is that they weren’t alone; they shared their true feelings with their community and realized many people feel the same way. As a result, they developed Sunday Scaries to turn a fearful country into a relaxed one. Their primary objective is to help everyone to relax, have a good time, and enjoy their respective lives.
What Customers Say
Customers love the fruit punch flavor and have requested Sunday Scaries manufacture a larger bottle – they love it that much. One customer says it makes the hard edges of life a lot smoother and creates a super mellow mood. Seeing how stress has affected her life, one customer notes that CBD helps her manage daily stressors and invites a sense of calm and relaxation into her everyday experience.
4. Charlotte’s Web – Informative
- USDA organic CBD oil tinctures
- Full-spectrum wellness
- US hemp authority certified
- Subscribe and save 20%
- Some customers are sensitive to the strong flavors
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Charlotte’s Web has a wide range of options for you to choose from, all of which have been thoroughly organized to make your decision easier. If you’re a rookie, check for the phrases “Start your CBD regimen here” and you’ll be sent to the product page for their 17 milligrams per milliliter option. If you’re a seasoned user, more potent CBD products may appeal to you, and if you’re solely looking for CBD oil without THC, the THC-free broad-spectrum CBD oil tincture is the way to go.
Charlotte’s Web Background
Charlotte’s Web harnesses the power of science and artfully blends it with compassion to bring the world the many benefits of CBD. Their aim is to unlock the healing powers of botanicals while improving the health of people throughout the world. They were started in 2014 and have formed philanthropic collaborations. They are now classified as a B corporation, which keeps them focused on the compassionate side of their overall mission.
What Customers Say
Customers say they’ve tried other brands but keep coming back to Charlotte’s Web CBD oils. One verified buyer has experienced noticeable chronic pain relief, and she has noticed better sleep and relief from anxiety as well. Another verified buyer reminds you that for CBD to work the way it’s intended to; you must remain consistent with your routine. He has noticed more calmness, better sleep quality, and improved focus.
5. Zatural – Popular Flavor
- Subscribe and save on CBD oils
- USA organically grown hemp
- CO2 extraction method
- Get 20% off when you sign up
- International shipping unavailable for products containing THC
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Zatural offers eight different CBD oil tincture formulas, including full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate options. Choose the formula that best suits your needs: try the CBN + CBD tincture or sample the apple cider vinegar + CBD isolate tincture. If you prefer a flavored option, they offer a broad-spectrum CBD oil tincture that’s coffee flavored – it’s the new way to start your day.
Maryann Stanger is a Naturopathic Doctor who has studied the Endocrine System and is a Certified Digestive Health Specialist, Acupuncturist, Live Blood Analyst, NAET practitioner, Certified Aromatherapist, and Author. She is a wife, mother of eight children, and grandma of 28 grandchildren. She understood that while CBD may not be a cure-all, it does work miraculously. After discovering it and witnessing its benefits on her life and the lives of others she serves, she became eager to share the knowledge she has gained in the hopes that she could share the relief CBD oil brings with customers like you.
What Customers Say
One verified buyer writes that she loves this product not only because they experience relief for their chronic pain as well as less anxiety, but also because it came with an unexpected perk of appetite control. Another customer shares that she recently switched to the full-spectrum CBD oil for pain after trying the broad-spectrum CBD and is happy she did – her symptoms related to MS have been significantly more manageable and she’s enjoying more restful sleep as well.
6. Green Roads – Selection Variety
- 20% off your first purchase
- Award winning company
- Vegan friendly
- American farmed hemp
- None worth noting
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Green Roads offers a wide range of CBD oil alternatives, including full-spectrum CBD oil and broad-spectrum CBD. The full-spectrum CBD oil is a best seller and when you visit their website, you can check out which tincture is on sale. Try the apple kiwi bliss flavored CBD oil or the mint breeze flavored CBD oil if you want flavored CBD. They have different formulas available along with different concentrations – simply select the one that meets your needs, and you’ll have relief delivered in no time.
Green Roads’ Background
Laura Fuentes created Green Roads with a singular goal in mind: to create CBD formulations that would propel the brand to the forefront of the industry. Laura spent more than two decades as a certified compounding pharmacist dedicated to improving the health of her community, and she decided to take this risk to press for stricter regulations and greater transparency so that consumers have a brand to rely on. She risked a new career path but remained steadfast to deliver the many benefits of CBD to a larger market.
What Customers Say
One customer is a first time CBD user and immediately noticed a more relaxed sensation throughout her body and her mood. Though she was concerned about feeling drowsy, she was pleasantly stunned at the end of her day after she had achieved all she set out to – all without the feelings of being overwhelmed she had grown accustomed to. Another customer reports she tried at least 10 other brands to no avail. She found her favorite broad-spectrum CBD with Green Roads.
7. CBD American Shaman – Water Soluble
- Terpene rich CBD oil tinctures
- Water soluble formulas
- Wide variety of flavors
- Third-party lab tested
- Potency maxes out at 900 milligrams of CBD
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Water soluble full-spectrum CBD oil and terpene rich hemp oil are among the CBD oils offered by CBD American Shaman. Choose their top-rated water soluble tincture, which includes 900 mg of CBD per 30 milliliter bottle. It comes in two flavors: natural and lemon. They’ve just expanded their product line to include VG cloud tinctures in a number of delicious flavors like apple, blueberry moon, watermelon, and grape, to name a few!
CBD American Shaman’s Background
CBD American Shaman was formed with the goal of bringing world-wide wellness through ultra-concentrated terpene-rich CBD oil. They place a premium on adhering to industry best practices and have created proprietary nanotechnology that makes their products 9X more bioavailable than competing products. Along with focusing on proprietary nanotechnology that increases absorption rates, they also have a charitable nature. They have created the Compassionate Care program, which provides discounts on their products for those who need the financial support as they work to improve the quality of their lives.
What Customers Say
Customers are satisfied with CBD American Shaman products. Their CBD oil tinctures help with sleeping through the night and even those who purchased with skepticism have fallen in love with the way these products help relieve discomfort and improve sleep quality.
8. Extract Labs – Vegan Options
- 60-day money back guarantee
- Certified vegan CBD oils
- CBD Examine Authenticity Award
- CO2 extracted CBD
- Free shipping applies only when you spend at least $60
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Extract Labs has a variety of CBD tincture formulas you can select. There are CBD isolate products, broad-spectrum CBD oil tinctures, and full-spectrum CBD oil products, all of which are made from high-quality hemp oil, as opposed to hemp seed oil. Some of their products include PM with CBD for sleep, relief formula with CBD to tackle those pesky aches and pains, daily support with full-spectrum hemp extract CBD, and even cognitive support with CBG. For those of you who love flavored products, you can try the lemon and raspberry CBD oil tinctures!
Extract Lab’s Background
Craig Henderson, a veteran, started Extract Labs after becoming interested in the medical potential of the cannabis plant. Yet, the euphoric effects of the cannabis plant were a challenge in the research; however, as he continued his investigation, he discovered the medical properties of CBD. He embarked on his mission after observing the benefits with his community of veterans. He began experimenting in a dusty corner of his house and has since grown Extract Labs into a profitable CBD company that’s well recognized today.
What Customers Say
Customers note the raspberry flavored option is delicious and can trust the strong potency options to offer the relief they need. They experience reduced chronic pain and reduced stress and anxiety. The relief tincture is their favorite for managing pain and discomfort.
9. Five CBD – Entourage Effect
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- Strong concentrations for ultimate relief
- Two CBD oil flavors to pick from
- Full-spectrum CBD oil for all benefits
- High THC concentrations may not appeal to some consumers
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Five CBD products have an 18+ warning because they contain full-spectrum hemp extract CBD along with other beneficial cannabinoids, including THC, CBN, and CBC. These CBD oil tinctures pack a punch. They’re available in two flavors: choose citrus if you prefer a lighter flavor and indulge in the mint chocolate if you prefer refreshing sweetness.
Five CBD’s Background
Five CBD develops CBD products with high quantities of terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids. The name Five originates from their commitment to using all parts of the hemp plant in a 5:1 ratio, which offers a wide range of benefits for you to enjoy. They were founded to set a new benchmark for the greatest CBD oils and CBD products to maximize the benefits of the complete hemp plant.
What Customers Say
One customer was inspired to write a review even though she doesn’t usually share her experiences with products she purchases online. She shares that she’s experienced several health issues over the last year and Five CBD has brought her massive relief, particularly with helping her fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Another customer loves the mint chocolate flavor and has made her commitment to be a “forever customer.”
10. Bloom Hemp – Certified Organic
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- USDA organic
- Subscribe and save 15%
- Free shipping on all US orders
- Not recommended to mix with food or drinks
CBD Oil Product Highlights
Bloom offers seven different CBD tincture formulas, including one for recovery and one for calming effects. They offer full-spectrum and zero THC options, so you always have an option, whether you prefer a CBD isolate or the infusion of other phytocannabinoids. The recovery tincture incorporates CBG into the formula and works as a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement to deliver fast relief.
Bloom Hemp’s Background
Bloom Hemp, based in Denver, Colorado, is an independently owned and operated hemp and CBD supplier dedicated to creating a community of people who want to make a difference in the world. They recognized that the only way they could ensure the quality and efficacy they envisioned was to manufacture it all themselves and remain actively engaged in every stage of the process. They started experimenting with new techniques to generate creative products and a precise best practices formula in 2019 and have only expanded since.
What Customers Say
Customers chose Bloom as their go-to CBD oil for pain relief and are happy they did. One verified buyer purchased the relief tincture after it was recommended by his naturopathic doctor (he had fallen and hurt his wrist and the relief formula helped relieve the pain). He was surprised to discover that the symptoms of his hay fever were also reduced. With CBD as part of his routine, he is experiencing improved quality of life.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Pain
CBD works by affecting several of the biological processes in your body. On the one hand, it works as a great anti-inflammatory, which means that the inflammation in your body is reduced naturally, resulting in the alleviation of pain. On the other hand, it also works as an analgesic, which means that it helps to numb pain sensations that you experience. CBD is also known to contain antioxidants, which helps to purify your body and combat the free radicals that multiply only to create destruction in your body.
Your body operates using a system for signaling cells which is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD interacts with your ECS receptors, and it’s this communication that creates the anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits associated with pain relief. Several studies have been conducted to-date that touch on the importance of CBD use when tackling certain conditions. CBD oil for pain management continues to be studied by researchers to understand how it works both in animal and human populations.
For example, a study conducted in 2016 reveals that CBD treatment demonstrated reduced inflammation and overall pain relief in rats affected with arthritis in their joints. Because of the study, it is believed that CBD could help relieve arthritic pain by providing anti-inflammatory and pain relieving benefits to humans as well.
People diagnosed with cancer also incorporate CBD into their list of remedies because it reduces the symptoms of chemotherapy by helping with pain management, helping with appetite stimulation, and easing nausea and vomiting. Additionally, CBD has been studied as a pain management alternative for conditions like migraines and cluster headaches.
How Much CBD Oil for Pain to Take?
CBD oil for pain comes in small 30 mL bottles on average. The droppers for these products are typically marked so that you can measure out your dose easily. If this is your first time trying CBD to help with pain management, our best suggestion is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use. This gives you a baseline to start from and to determine if you need to alter the dosage.
Expect a trial and error process when you first start taking CBD. You may need to up the dose depending on how you feel after your first time trying CBD. Remember, every product is different. Some bottles may contain a higher concentration of CBD, which means you won’t need to take as much. That’s why it’s best to read the product packaging, confirm the dosage you’re taking, measure it out carefully, and start there.
When you take CBD orally, the best CBD oils dosage to help with managing pain is between 2.5–20 milligrams of CBD. Some people, depending on their height and weight, may require stronger doses.
How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of CBD Oil?
How long it takes to feel the effects of CBD oil depends on the way that you administer it. For example, if you place it underneath your tongue, CBD oil tinctures will typically absorb in as little as 30 seconds, which means you can expect to feel relief in about 15 minutes. However, if you use the oil as a part of a meal or a smoothie, you can expect to feel relief somewhere between 45 minutes and two hours after ingestion.
If you’re still unfamiliar with the effects of CBD oil, give your body time to process it and wait to feel the changes. Some people may feel impatient when first taking a CBD dose and may actually ingest too much CBD. Don’t make this mistake, as you may experience unpleasant side effects. For example, if you are taking CBD oil during the day and looking to manage pain, taking a dose that is too high may result in feelings of drowsiness, which could affect your performance.
Instead, if you’re looking to experience relief sooner than later, use the tinctures sublingually (underneath your tongue), and allow 15 minutes to pass before you consider altering your dose. It’s also important you understand that the benefits of CBD are different from, say, a painkiller. This is because CBD oils work cumulatively over time, which helps to reduce inflammation throughout your body and keep pain at bay with consistent, long-term use. Remain committed to using the best CBD oil on a regular basis, so that you can reap the benefits over the long run.
Side Effects of CBD
Generally speaking, CBD oil is well tolerated. However, if you adjust to a higher dose, you may experience some unpleasant side effects. For example, you may experience a reduced appetite and a dry mouth. Some people have reported experiencing diarrhea, while others have reported experiencing fatigue and drowsiness. If the side effects bother you, simply reduce your dose so that your body can tolerate the CBD better.
As a side note, to prevent adverse side effects, always purchase your CBD products from reputable suppliers. Just as we discussed in the beginning of this article, you should be looking for suppliers that have a good reputation and that always run their batches through third-party lab testing. This step ensures that the quality of the CBD products you’re getting is high and that the purity and potency is confirmed. If you don’t have this information available upfront, you don’t know exactly what’s in the product. There could be additives or other artificial ingredients that cause unpleasant side effects, so it’s best to stick with pure forms of CBD from reputable manufacturers.
When you live with pain, your ability to function normally is impacted. Your thoughts are dominated, your body is impacted, and your relationships with others suffer. When you choose to incorporate CBD oil for pain, you gain a new lease on life – one that doesn’t incorporate uncomfortable side effects. Simply, you get natural support that helps you lead a life with more presence, relief, and purpose. Taking CBD oil should be an easy part of your day. Pick the product that speaks to you and look forward to better days!
Best CBD Oil for Pain Relief & Inflammation: Highest Quality Brands On The Market
Over the past three years, CBD oil has become increasingly popular as a health and wellness supplement.
One of the main reasons people are interested in trying CBD oil is because of its pain-killing benefits. We’ll get into the details of how CBD is suggested to help with pain later, along with some suggestions for the best CBD oils for pain and inflammation.
The ability for CBD to help with pain is a significant advantage over conventional pain management options — which often involve addictive and potentially harmful medications. Instead, this natural supplement has very few side effects and an exceptional safety profile — all without compromising on effectiveness.
But how do you choose the right CBD oil for the job?
This is an important question to ask because the truth of the matter is that not all CBD oils work. Many simply contain too little CBD to be of any help, while others contain harmful contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, or chemical solvents — all of which could add to the pain you’re already experiencing by damaging the sensitive nerve cells around the body.
We’re going to cover all of this in the article below. You’ll learn how to spot a high-quality CBD oil and how current evidence shows CBD to work inside the body.
This is a big topic, so let’s get started with our list of top-rated CBD oils for pain.
Top 10 Best CBD Oil Brands for Pain Management in 2022
Not sure which CBD oil to buy to help with chronic pain? Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how CBD is suggested to work for pain and inflammation, here’s our top 5 list of CBD oils I’ve used myself for back pain.
We’ll also offer some advice on a few ways you can spot a trustworthy CBD vendor even if they didn’t quite make it onto our list.
I’ve been using CBD for over 5 years now and I’ve stumbled upon some stellar companies with top-notch oils and fly-by-night businesses with oils that can’t simply don’t work.
I have a relatively short list of CBD brands that I fully trust and I want to share my choices with you so you can avoid some of the headaches and disappointment I’ve already endured.
Here are my top 10 CBD oil brands for pain:
1. Royal CBD (Best CBD Oil On The Market)
|Total CBD Content||250 – 2500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Mint, Vanilla, Berry|
|Potency||8.3 – 83.3 mg/mL|
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
Why Royal CBD is My Top Pick:
As skeptical as I am towards the majority of new CBD brands, I decided to give Royal CBD a try because I liked the company’s dedication to quality. I love seeing companies that take what they do seriously.
You can tell right away from the color, flavor, and consistency of the oil that you’re dealing with a product well above average.
This oil is cheaper than most of the other premium CBD oils I’ve tried, comes in a full range of potencies, and uses some of the best full-spectrum hemp extracts I’ve ever seen. I’ve heard friends using this brand for quite some time and decided to give it a try for myself — so I ordered a few bottles in different strengths.
After taking the Royal CBD’s 2500mg full-spectrum CBD oil for just over a week, I noticed an improvement in my back pain. There was a time when I had serious problems falling asleep because of the sharp pains in my back that seemed to intensify whenever I laid down to fall asleep. It was a nightmare. I’d lay awake for hours changing positions to try and find a spot that didn’t leave me writhing in discomfort.
With this oil, my experience went far beyond what I expected. Not only did it help ease the pain, but my overall quality of sleep improved. I mean, I didn’t sleep longer but I began to wake up rested and with a clear head.
My favorite combination for this particular oil is the vanilla in the 1000 mg bottle. This is the largest potency option currently offered by Royal CBD and has the best value overall. I took the oil twice per day, once in the morning when I woke up, and again in the evening before bed. One bottle of the 1000 mg CBD oil lasted me about a month.
- Sourced from US-grown organic hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes
- Available in 4 different strengths
- Up to 2500mg of CBD per bottle
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
- Great natural flavors (no aftertaste and comes in multiple flavor options)
- Free shipping within the USA
- Newer brand on the market that only sells online, no physical presence
2. Gold Bee (Best Organic CBD Oil)
- Premium Colorado-grown hemp
- CO2 extraction
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Delicious kiwi flavor
- Sweetened with organic honey
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
- Only one flavored option available
- No high-strength oils (yet)
What I Like About Gold Bee:
I honestly believe Gold Bee makes the best organic CBD products out there. The brand combines premium Colorado-grown hemp with organic honey sourced from the Brazillian Rainforest. While Gold Bee offers a modest selection of oils — with up to 1200 mg of CBD per bottle — the formula is spot-on when it comes to the quality of ingredients. I’m totally not going to complain about the potency, as my back pain and sleep quality got better than with some high-strength oils I’ve tried in the past. Considering the quality of these products, they actually come at a bargain price. If you want to try other formats from Gold Bee, you can choose between its high-strength capsules and CBD-infused honey.
3. CBDPure (Runner Up)
|Total CBD Content||100 – 600 mg|
|Potency||1.6 – 10 mg/mL|
What I Like About CBDPure CBD Oil:
I love how transparent this company is. If I were judging companies solely by their transparency level, CBDPure would have scored the second place, right after Royal CBD. The company provides all the details about each stage of production when making this CBD oil. You can find all the third-party lab test results for each batch on the product page — something we’ve come to expect from any high-quality CBD company.
What really makes this company stand out is its incredible satisfaction guarantee. If you order the product and decide it wasn’t working for you, simply send it back and get a full refund. This satisfaction guarantee extends over 3 whole months — which is about three times longer than the industry average.
I keep a bottle or two of CBDPure oil in my medicine cabinet for achy moments after a run or hike with the kids.
The only real downside to this oil is the potency — which comes in denominations of 1.5, 5, and 10 mg/mL. This is suitable for more minor symptoms, but may not be enough for people with heavy CBD demands.
- Sourced from Colorado-grown organic hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Tested for the cannabinoid content and purity in a third-party lab
- Rock-solid 90-day return policy
- Narrow product range
- Low potency
- They don’t ship to every state (i.e. Louisiana, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansas)
|Total CBD Content||300 – 4000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Unflavored, Acai Berry, Orange Creamsicle, Peppermint, Watermelon|
|Potency||10 – 133.3 mg/mL|
What I Like About HempBombs:
I used HempBombs CBD isolate-based hemp oil for quite some time before switching to full-spectrum CBD oil and in my opinion, this is the best brand when it comes to CBD isolates. Their products contain 99% pure CBD and ZERO THC.
Now don’t get me wrong, CBD isolates are great, they offer consistent doses of CBD, contain 0% THC, and are generally cheaper than their full-spectrum counterparts. In most cases, I like using a full-spectrum extract like Royal CBD oil because of something called the entourage effect — which is a concept highlighting the phenomenon where cannabinoids like CBD tend to work better when other hemp-derived compounds are also present.
In isolates, the only cannabinoid present is CBD.
HempBombs CBD oil is available in five different strengths — from 300mg to 4000mg per bottle. The CBD is added in the form of a 99% pure isolate — which means there’s going to be virtually no traceable amounts of any other cannabinoids, including THC, CBC, CBG, or CBN.
You can also buy these oils in different flavors. Hemp Bombs often adds new flavors to the list, but my all-time personal favorite is the Acai berry. It’s not too sweet but adds a really pleasant flavor to the otherwise bland CBD and MCT oil formula.
- Sourced from 100% certified organic hemp from European farms
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Completely THC-free
- Tested in third-party laboratories for purity and potency
- Available in 5 separate strengths
- Up to 4000mg of CBD per bottle
- Lacks the synergistic effects from other cannabinoids
- The highest potencies are overkill for most users
- Uses synthetic flavoring agents
|Total CBD Content||250 – 5000 mg|
|Potency||8.3 – 166 mg/mL|
What I Like About CBDistillery:
CBDistillery is now one of the largest CBD companies in North America. The company began in 2016 as a legacy brand for Balanced Health Botanicals.
Over the years, CBDistillery has had the chance to really dial-in its CBD oil formula. The company now sells its CBD oil in two formats — “full-spectrum” and “THC-free.” The THC-free option is great for people who want to benefit from the synergy of CBD and other cannabinoids but without bringing any THC whatsoever into their system.
Even the full-spectrum option contains less than 0.3% THC — which is well below the amount needed to cause any psychoactive effects. These oils are both completely non-psychoactive.
You can choose between five different strengths, starting at 250mg up to 5000mg of CBD per bottle. This covers just about every range of potencies you would ever need. We recommend opting for the higher potency options because they have the best value overall. The higher potency you purchase, the further your dollar gets you.
The more potent options also las the longest because you need smaller amounts of the oil each time to get the desired dose of CBD.
I tried the 1000mg bottle to keep myself calm during the first few months after giving birth to my first son and I must admit it helped me maintain my sanity during that time. I found it to have a remarkable calming effect on the body and mind.
- Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil (THC-free)
- 5 strengths to choose from
- Carries up to 33.3 mg of CBD per mL (in the 1000 mg bottle)
- Excellent value CBD oil
- The hemp isn’t certified organic
- No flavor options available
- The company website is clunky and hard to navigate
6. NuLeaf Naturals
|Total CBD Content||240 – 4850 mg|
What I Like About NuLeaf Naturals
Nuleaf Naturals is one of the most popular CBD companies in the United States — most likely related to how long the company has been in the business of selling CBD. Nuleaf naturals were one of the first CBD companies to enter the mainstream market.
Despite the companies longstanding reputation, Nuleaf Naturals only sells one CBD oil. When you go to the website you’ll find a few different options, including a pet oil — but it’s important to understand that these are all the exact same full-spectrum extract, the only difference is the bottle sizes.
We love the simplicity of Nuleaf Naturals product lineup. The oils come with a decent potency of around 48 mg/mL, and just about every bottle size you can imagine. This makes it easy for everybody to find a product that works for them regardless of the budget.
With that said, if you have the cash, we highly recommend getting the larger bottle sizes in order to get the best value for your money.
You can choose between five different sizes:
- Sourced from organic Colorado-grown hemp
- Extracted using supercritical CO2
- Made from a full-spectrum hemp extract
- More expensive than the other brands in this ranking
- Narrow product range
7. Charlotte’s Web
|Total CBD Content||200 – 1800 mg|
|Available Flavors||Mint Chocolate, Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, Olive Oil|
|Potency||7 – 60 mg/mL|
About Charlotte’s Web:
Charlotte’s Web is one of the pioneers in the American CBD industry. Established by the Stanley Brothers, the company has coined a reputation of a trustworthy manufacturer by helping now late Charlotte Figi with her treatment-resistant epilepsy. Although the company has recently received a warning letter from the FDA due to their health claims, they still have many faithful customers and a massive number of positive reviews on the web.
Charlotte’s Web CBD oil comes in several potencies: 200 mg, 500 mg, 1500 mg, and 1800 mg of CBD per bottle. The highest strength offers 60 mg of full-spectrum CBD per milliliter. There are two bottle sizes to choose from: 30 mL and 100 mL; Charlotte’s Web also has flavored variants of its CBD oil, including Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, Mint Chocolate, and Olive Oil.
What could the company do better?
First off, they could change their extraction method because they use ethanol, which is less efficient than CO2 extraction. Secondly, and most importantly, the suspension in olive oil makes them taste a bit bitter — even in the flavored versions.
- One of the most reputable brands on the market
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Delicious flavored versions
- Up to 1800 mg of CBD per bottle
- Available in two sizes: 30 mL and 100 mL
- Third-party tested for potency and purity
- Non-organic hemp
- Ethanol extraction
- Suspension in olive oil (bitter taste)
- The company received a warning letter from the FDA in the past due to inappropriate health claims
|Total CBD Content||300 – 7500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Berry, Orange, Mint|
|Potency||10 – 250 mg/mL|
cbdMD is another popular manufacturer that offers a wide range of CBD extracts, from tinctures to gummies to capsules, bath bombs, topicals, sleep aids, and pet products.
The brand offers a wide range of pure CBD oils, with up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle. The highest potency comes with a whopping dose of 200 mg of pure CBD suspended in MCT oil for higher bioavailability and a smoother flavor. cbdMD also has three flavored CBD oils: Berry, Orange, and Mint.
Despite an impressive potency range, cbdMD uses broad-spectrum CBD in their products, which doesn’t evoke the full entourage effect. The higher potency may not necessarily mean better results in this case.
The company has high transparency standards; not only does cbdMD broadly describe their activity from farming to testing, but they also provide batch-specific certificates of analysis for their products, including the results for potency and common contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents.
- US-grown, non-GMO hemp
- CO2 extraction
- Up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle
- Batch-specific certificates of analysis
- Limited entourage effect due to the lack of THC
- Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD in their routine
|Total CBD Content||500 – 3000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Citrus, Mint Chocolate|
|Potency||16 – 100 mg/mL|
Medterra is a small craft company from California. The brand offers premium CBD oils in different spectra: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and isolates. The potency of these products ranges between 500 mg and 3000 mg of CBD per bottle, which is a standard range. On top of the unflavored version, there are two flavored options: Citrus and Chocolate
Medterra prides itself on making the real full-spectrum CBD because each bottle of its full-spectrum CBD oil comes with 2 mg of THC. However, these products are only legal in the states that have legalized higher amounts of THC for recreational use. So, if you want to buy the company’s products in all 50 states, your options are limited to broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. These provide more CBD per bottle — upwards of 1000 mg.
The entire Medterra’s product range is tested in a third-party laboratory for their CBD content and safety.
- Premium-grade CBD oils
- Up to 3000 mg of CBD per bottle
- Available as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and isolates
- Lab tested for potency and purity
- The “real” full-spectrum CBD oil isn’t available in all states
- Some of the lab reports indicate higher CBD levels than stated on the bottle
- No discounts for returning customers
10. Joy Organics
|Total CBD Content||450 – 900 mg|
|Available Flavors||Tranquil Mint, Fresh Lime, Summer Lemon|
|Potency||15 – 30 mg/mL|
About Joy Organics:
Joy Organics holds the reputation of one of the most reputable CBD vendors in the industry. The company was established by a woman named Joy Smith, who has been using CBD oil to manage her problems with pain and sleep. After experiencing the benefits of CBD first-hand, she has decided to share her passion for cannabis with other health-conscious consumers.
The brand sells a range of broad-spectrum CBD products from certified organic hemp. They have many positive reviews all over the Internet; they also haven’t received any warning letter regarding health claims from the FDA — unlike many companies in this space (even the veterans like Charlotte’s Web).
The Joy Organics CBD oil features a broad-spectrum CBD formula in a modest potency range, from 450 to 900 mg of CBD per bottle. You can choose from three refreshing flavors: Summer Lemon, Fresh Lime, and Tranquil Mint. The strongest version of the Joy Organics CBD oil contains 30 mg of broad-spectrum CBD in every milliliter, which is a standard dose for most people who take CBD oil for daily supplementation.
In 2018, one of the company’s flavored CBD oils was found to contain a fungicide that is commonly sprayed on citrus fruit during independent lab testing. Fortunately, Joy Organics recalled the product shortly after this incident and implemented a new third-party testing system to make sure there are no flaws in the end product.
- Non-GMO, US-grown hemp
- Supercritical CO2 extraction
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- Delicious flavors
- A bit expensive
- No high-strength oils
CBD Oil for Pain Management: Complete Guide for Beginners
Now that we’ve covered a few CBD oil options that are going to provide the best value for your money, let’s discuss how CBD is suggested to support chronic pain in the first place. We’ll also cover some of the most common ways people are using CBD oil for pain.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD stands for cannabidiol _ it’s one of the primary active ingredients in the cannabis plant. It’s completely non-psychoactive and offers a wide range of benefits to the human body.
CBD oil is a combination of a CBD extract, with a carrier oil to help dissolve and store the CBD. Most CBD oils use carrier oils like MCT oil, or hemp seed oil — which is then combined with CBD isolate, or full-spectrum hemp extract rich in CBD and other similar cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids like CBD are fat-soluble — which means they dissolve when mixed with oil, but won’t dissolve in water. By dissolving these compounds in an oil solution, the CBD becomes much easier to store and use. Instead of measuring out micrograms of CBD crystals or hemp resin, all you need to do is measure oil to get your dose of CBD. This can be done using a simple dropper that comes standard with most CBD oils.
Because of their ease of use, and long shelf-life, CBD oils have become the go-to method of using CBD and other hemp extracts.
You can also opt-out to use CBD-infused gummies if you wanted something discreetly, read our in-depth review on CBD Gummies to understand better.
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabis has been used for managing pain and inflammation for thousands of years.
The earliest records of the medical use of the herb date back to ancient China when the emperor Shen-Nung placed it among other therapeutic substances in the Chinese pharmacopeia (1). The leaves were wrapped around an injury as a poultice to reduce pain and discomfort, and reverse swelling and bruising.
Despite being a known medicine for a long time, scientists have only recently begun to unlock the mechanisms cannabis uses to achieve its important pain-killing benefits.
Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in 1992, CBD and other phytocannabinoids have been in the spotlight of modern medicine.
The endocannabinoid system is one of the most important neurochemical networks in the human body (2). It works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system — a series of hormones and receptors that help regulate over a dozen core processes in the human body. The active compounds in the cannabis plant are very similar to the naturally-produced hormones involved with our endocannabinoid system.
By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD and other cannabinoids are able to modulate several key processes, such as:
- Immune function
- Sensory perception (including pain)
- Reproductive health
- Nerve function
How Can CBD Reduce Pain Transmission?
How does all of this relate to pain? The answer lies in the way pain is transmitted to the brain.
When we injure ourselves, cells in the immediate vicinity begin releasing compounds that trigger a cascade of inflammation and sensory activation — which is what triggers the pain transmission.
The pain signal is then sent to the spinal cord through a network of nerves distributed all around the body.
Once in the spine, the pain signal is sent through a gateway (opioid and vanilloid receptors) designed to limit the amount of signal that ends up in the brain for processing. This works like a border crossing. The border security decides whether or not you’re allowed to enter and what you can take with you.
In the context of pain, these gateways can limit the amount of pain signal that continues across the border to the brain. If more pain signal is allowed to pass, the brain perceives more pain. If the pain is stopped at the border, the brain perceives less pain.
Conventional pain medications work by activating the opioid receptors acting as a key gateway for pain transmission to the brain.
CBD has a similar effect, but through a different receptor is known as the vanilloid receptors. These vanilloid receptors are tasked with regulating a specific form of pain caused by either heat or inflammation. CBD has been reported to modulate this vanilloid receptor — leading to a reduction in the pain signals sent to the brain from inflammatory causes such as arthritis, muscle damage, or infection, to name a few.
CBD has other ways it can limit pain transmission as well:
- CBD may reduce inflammation, limiting the initial cause of pain in the body
- CBD acts as an antioxidant, helping the body resist and recover from damage
- CBD relaxes muscle fibers, reducing pain caused by muscle spasms and tightness
More research is needed to fully understand how CBD and other active cannabinoids can block pain. Every year dozens of new research papers are published in an attempt to paint a clear picture of how CBD works, how to get the most benefit from the supplement, and what its limitations are.
(Pain Transmission Pathway to the Brain)
Choosing CBD Oil Companies: How to Differentiate the Good From the Bad
CBD has become a lucrative business. Companies are selling a myriad of different CBD oils and other products in an attempt to cash in on the new health trend. This means there are a lot of excellent products coming to market, but it also means there’s a lot of trash as well. It’s important as a CBD user that you understand what makes a CBD oil good, and what makes it bad so you can avoid wasting your money, or worse — using CBD oils that contain harmful or damaging ingredients.
Let’s cover the most important points to remember when shopping for CBD oil online or in-store.
1. Check the Hemp Source
The source of the hemp used to make the oil is vitally important when it comes to determining which CBD oils are the best. The main reason comes down to the botany of the hemp plant itself.
Hemp is a bio-accumulator — which means it has the tendency to absorb compounds from the soil and accumulate them in its leaves, stems, and roots. The deep taproots of the hemp plant stretch far beneath the soil, pulling out and storing all the heavy metals and other elements it can find in the soil.
This aspect is in part why hemp is so nutritious, but it also means that plants grown in contaminated soils often contain contaminants that can be harmful to your health. Some of the worst offenders are heavy metals — which can build up in the body over time and lead to severe long-term health effects.
You want to avoid consuming heavy metals at all costs.
Poorly grown hemp could contain heavy metals, as well as other contaminants like mycotoxins, or pesticide residues that will end up in the CBD oil after all the processing is complete.
For this reason, it’s important to purchase CBD oil from companies that account for this effect. Only buy from company’s that make an effort to source hemp from organic farms, and take measures to assess every batch of hemp that enters the facility to determine heavy metal, microbial contaminant, and pesticide contamination.
The best hemp sources tend to come from states like Oregon, Colorado, or Alabama, as well as neighboring countries like Canada or Scandinavian countries. These places are all known for having high standards for hemp cultivation, and clean soils.
2. Look for CO2 Extracted Products
Once the company has the hemp, they need to extract the CBD from it. You can do this in many different ways using solvents like ethanol, methanol, hexane, ether, or butane. All of these solvents work to strip the active compounds from the hemp plant and can then be evaporated to leave behind a pure CBD-rich resin.
however, there’s a problem with these solvents.
Even in professional lab settings, it can be very difficult to remove all traces of these solvents from the final product. Most of these solvents are toxic to the human body, even in trace amounts.
Therefore, the best companies are using another method to strop the active ingredients from the starting hemp material. This method uses CO2 placed under high pressure. the high pressure and temperature control convert the CO2 into a phase that’s neither liquid nor gas. This special state is referred to as being supercritical.
Supercritical CO2 acts just like any other solvent, but with one key benefit — as soon as the pressure is relieved, the gas evaporates completely, leaving behind no harmful chemical residues.
when shopping for CBD oil, it’s ideal to look for a company that uses supercritical CO2 to extract the CBD rather than the toxic solvents mentioned above. Supercritical CO2 is very expensive and highly technical — but usually produces a far superior product in the end.
If a company is using harsh solvents like butane or propane (or they don’t tell you anything about their extraction methods), it’s a sign that you should look for another brand.
3. Ask for Third-Party Lab Reports
Every company has the option to send their products to an independent lab or third-party testing.
These laboratory tests check for the entire cannabinoid profile of the extract and are able to detect over 200 common contaminants.
Before a CBD product becomes available for sale, it should pass the laboratory test for potency and purity. If any inconsistencies are shown between different batches of the same product, the company should rework it and send it for analysis once again.
High-quality CBD companies will continually send each batch of product to a lab with no affiliation to the company (called a third-party or independent lab) for testing. These results are then published publicly on the website for customers to view.
The best companies will take this even one step further — adding a database and batch numbers on every bottle of CBD oil so you can view the results for your specific bottle of oil. Third-party testing is now an industry standard.
Always buy your CBD oil from companies that show third-party lab reports on their website. Only then will you know what’s inside the bottle before you even order a product. If the company is producing CBD oil that’s as high quality, as they say, there should be nothing to hide in these lab tests and they should be listed publicly on the company website. If you can’t find them on the site, you can ask customer service for these as well.
If these tests don’t exist, or you can’t track them down from the website or customer service — it’s best to avoid this company and move on to another that takes this important step seriously.
What the Research Says About Using CBD Oil for Pain:
Understanding how CBD works is no simple task. This compound is incredibly complex — working through a number of unrelated receptors around the body, interacting with enzymes, cell membranes, and various other cell structures. This makes studying CBD very difficult.
Nevertheless, there have been thousands of research papers published on medical marijuana — seeking to understand the interaction between cannabinoids like CBD and the human body. A lot of this research specifically focused on the effects of CBD on various forms and causes of pain. Let’s explore some of the results this research has yielded in the context of pain management.
1. CBD Oil for Chronic Back & Nerve Pain
The painkilling properties of cannabidiol have been most thoroughly studied in animal models, as well as a handful of human clinical trials.
One of the best studies we have available on the topic is a meta-analysis published in 2017. This analysis looked at 24 different clinical trials involving 1,334 patients over several years and demographics. These studies all used various forms of cannabis for treating chronic pain. The analysis reports that many of these studies showed a reduction in chronic pain scores by 50% or more (3) — suggesting the cannabis plant to be a potential treatment for chronic pain.
Another clinical trial looked at the effects of a combination of CBD to THC in the treatment of intractable cancer pain. This study found that twice as many people in the treatment group given CBD and THC had a 30% or more reduction in pain symptoms at the conclusion of the trial (6).
Even though more clinical trials on humans are needed to gauge how CBD affects specific forms of pain or other conditions, scientists believe the efficacy of CBD in treating chronic pain is related to its anti-inflammatory effects (3).
2. CBD Oil for Arthritis
CBD has had a lot of research as a potential alternative to prescription and non-prescription pain medications commonly used for alleviating arthritis pain.
Researchers have found a clear link between the endocannabinoid system and the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease associated with chronic pain and inflammation (4).
One of the key areas CBD is thought to support osteoarthritis specifically is through the effects on an enzyme known as 5-lipoxygenase — AKA 5-LOX. CBD has been shown to inhibit this enzyme (7), which converts fatty acids into pro-inflammatory compounds. These inflammatory messengers have been shown to be a key component in the underlying inflammation involved with osteoarthritis (8).
By reducing the underlying causes of arthritis pain, CBD is thought to reduce the overall burden of pain from the condition over the long term.
3. CBD and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Pain
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is a potent neuroprotective — which is how experts believe CBD is able to relieve debilitating MS pain, —which affects roughly 50–70% of patients diagnosed with the condition.
A study conducted on animals at Cajan Institute tested the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD on mice the researchers wanted to find out if CBD can provide a reversed inflammatory response on those cells. After ten days, the researchers found a reduction in inflammatory markers with a rodent encephalitis model designed to imitate the impact MS has on the body (5).
More research is needed to see exactly how these effects are translated to humans. Currently, there are 23 clinical trials currently underway, or planned within the next 12 months seeking to explore the effects of CBD on MS.
4. CBD Oil in Sports: Injuries & Muscle Endurance
Cannabidiol can be applied in two different ways when it comes to pain and physical activities. For example, when you administer CBD orally in the form of oil as a post-workout, it helps alleviate the muscle inflammation that troubles athletes once they go beyond the edge again.
If, however, you’re suffering from an injury, it’s best to apply CBD topically. Its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties allow the cannabinoid to relieve pain and improve regeneration capacities.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
The main reason why parents are so enthusiastic about CBD is that this cannabinoid is completely non-intoxicating, doesn’t cause addiction, and has only a few mild side effects when taken at excessive doses.
Research shows that even doses up to one and a half grams have no severe side effects on human health (9).
Despite being a notoriously safe supplement, there are some side effects of using CBD in high doses. Let’s cover the most common side effects people report from using CBD:
- Brain fog
- Reduced appetite
- Mood changes
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
The most common side effect by far, like other forms of cannabis, is dry mouth. This is best managed by taking your CBD oil along with some juice like pineapple or orange juice.
Another common side effect is lowered blood pressure, which may trigger another unwanted reaction — lightheadedness. This side effect is important to consider if you suffer from low blood pressure already or are taking blood pressure-lowering medications.
Always consult your doctor before using CBD or other cannabis extracts if you’re taking prescription medications or have underlying medical conditions.
In Summary: Buying CBD Oil For Pain
As CBD becomes more popular around the world, scientists are publishing new research on cannabinoids on a near-weekly basis. As time goes on, experts are mapping out the complicated mechanisms CBD and other hemp derivatives are using to support both acute and chronic pain of all different origins.
Here are the main takeaways from the current research:
- CBD inhibits inflammation at several different levels
- CBD offers antioxidant support
- CBD may relieve muscle tension and inflammation
- CBD interacts with the vanilloid receptors in the brain responsible for regulating inflammatory pain transmission
When it comes to pain, CBD appears to target the cause of the problem instead of just masking its symptoms.
Getting relief on so many levels and without any harmful side effects or risk of addiction is the reason why CBD oil has become so popular over the past half a decade.
I hope this guide has managed to clear up any confusion regarding CBD oil and pain, and given you the insight necessary to find the right CBD oil for the job.
Have you tried CBD oil for chronic pain? Did you feel any difference? Let me know in the comments below!
- Brand, E. J., & Zhao, Z. (2017). Cannabis in Chinese Medicine: Are Some Traditional Indications Referenced in Ancient Literature Related to Cannabinoids?. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 108.
- Alger B. E. (2013). Getting high on the endocannabinoid system. Cerebrum: the Dana forum on brain science, 2013, 14.
- Aviram, J., Samuelly-Leichtag, G. (2017) Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Medicines for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pain Physician, 20(6), E755-E796.
- Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(10), 2478.
- Elliott, D. M., Singh, N., Nagarkatti, M., & Nagarkatti, P. S. (2018). Cannabidiol Attenuates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Model of Multiple Sclerosis Through Induction of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 1782.
- Johnson, J. R., Burnell-Nugent, M., Lossignol, D., Ganae-Motan, E. D., Potts, R., & Fallon, M. T. (2010). Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC: CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. Journal of pain and symptom management, 39(2), 167-179.
- Takeda, S., Usami, N., Yamamoto, I., & Watanabe, K. (2009). Cannabidiol-2′, 6′-dimethyl ether, a cannabidiol derivative, is a highly potent and selective 15-lipoxygenase inhibitor. Drug Metabolism and Disposition.
- Lascelles, B. D. X., King, S., Roe, S., Marcellin‐Little, D. J., & Jones, S. (2009). Expression and activity of COX‐1 and 2 and 5‐LOX in joint tissues from dogs with naturally occurring coxofemoral joint osteoarthritis. Journal of orthopaedic research, 27(9), 1204-1208.Chicago
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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Understanding CBD (Cannabidiol) for Back Pain
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a new and relatively understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. Studies suggest it may help relieve inflammation, which is often a factor in chronic back pain. 1
CBD is available in many forms; topical creams and gels have shown promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, which may make them a good option for back and neck pain. 2
CBD requires more research in order to prove and explain its effectiveness as well as to better understand potential side effects (especially long-term) and potential drug interactions.
What Is CBD?
CBD oil is derived from a plant called cannabis sativa. The plant has over 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that have a range of effects, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities.
The cannabis sativa plant has two main varieties that are grown for specific purposes:
- THC content. THC is the compound associated with the “high” feeling of marijuana use.
- Industrial (non-drug) uses. This form of the plant contains trace amounts of THC (less than .03%) and can be used to make paper, clothing, and some building material. This variation of the cannabis plant is called hemp.
While CBD is present in both varieties, many of the CBD products available to consumers are from the hemp plant. CBD does not come with the high or psychogenic effects of marijuana.
Ways CBD Treats Back Pain
Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by:
- Reducing inflammation 3
- Combating anxiety, often associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain 4
- Helping with sleep and improving overall state of relaxation 5
Some studies suggest that CBD can have an effect on how an individual perceives pain, but more robust research is needed. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically—except in the case of topical products—but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.
Advocates of CBD believe it can be used to treat a range of conditions in addition to back pain, such as anxiety-related disorders. 5
Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD
Cannabidiol, even in high amounts, is generally safe. Side effects from CBD may include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
More severe side effects, while rare, include:
- Mental confusion
As with other natural products, there is potential for adverse reactions when taken with other medications, especially those that come with grapefruit warnings, such as certain blood thinners. These warnings indicate that certain medications should not be taken with products containing grapefruit.
CBD use prior to surgery
Before having surgery, all cannabis use, including CBD and marijuana, should be disclosed to the surgeon or anesthesiologist. A recent study suggests that cannabis use may have an effect on medications used to sedate patients. 6