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What cbd oil content is best for severe pain

Top 10 Best CBD Oil for Pain in 2022—Reduce Chronic Pain & Inflammation

Managing any type of pain is a challenge. The complexities of choosing a medication that won’t interfere with performing routine tasks while still being strong enough to manage pain symptoms makes it easy to understand why so many seek an alternative to traditional pharmaceutical and OTC medications. One option whose popularity is growing exponentially is CBD oil. CBD oil is made from extracts of the cannabis or hemp plant and has shown a variety of benefits, including relief from acute and chronic pain.

CBD oil may be an effective pain reliever because of its influence on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD works with this system to regulate the central nervous, immune, and endocrine systems. Although CBD does not work directly on brain receptors, it influences them to help relieve pain. CBD may be the answer for those seeking pain management treatment using a naturally sourced cannabinoid that is free from adverse side effects and can be dosed to meet specific pain management needs.

Top Ten CBD Oils for Pain Relief

    : Top Pick : Runner Up : Worthy Mention : Broad Product Variety : Many Offers : Various Options : High Bioavailability : Full Spectrum : Good Service : Full-Spectrum CBD Specialists

How Did We Select These 10 CBD Oils?

Finding the best CBD oil for pain options started with a wide variety of CBD oil products. Our team of testers used a scoring system that took into account the CBD potency, price, taste, and customer service. The ten best CBD oils for pain on this list have high-quality ingredients, third-party lab testing, and competitive prices. They also offer a wide range of potencies so that you can find the perfect CBD oil for your individual needs.

Whether you are a first-time user of CBD or an experienced CBD enthusiast, this list has the perfect choice for meeting your specific acute or chronic pain management needs.

Top 10 CBD Oils for Pain

CBDfx: Top Pick

  • Multi-cannabinoid formula
  • cGMP certified manufacturing facilities
  • On-staff medical advisory board
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Up to 25% discount on orders
  • Only available to USA customers

CBDfx Company Info

Established in 2014, CBDfx is a key player in the CBD industry. They have been praised for their high-quality products and commitment to customer service. The company is based in California and offers a mix of capsules, gummies, vape oils, topicals, and tinctures for humans and pets.

Using a solvent-free supercritical CO2 extraction process to extract essential cannabinoids such as CBD, CBN, CBG, and Delta-9 from organically grown hemp plants, CBDfx utilizes GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified facilities to ensure quality, consistency, and safety. Their third-party lab-tested products offer a safe and accurate way to manage your chronic or occasional pain without prescription drugs. They also provide a 60-day money-back guarantee so that you can try their products risk-free.

CBDfx CBD Oils

CBDfx has an extensive product line of CBD oil for pain management and to treat various conditions. Their 2:1 Wellness tincture combines the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and CBG in formulas containing 500mg, 1000mg, 2000mg, 4000mg, and 6000mg of CBD, and 250mg of CBG.

These types of cannabinoid compounds provide an entourage effect that is effective for pain management. CBDfx also offers their potent full-spectrum CBD oil for pain formulas with added natural ingredients to promote calm, better sleep, and appetite.

Who Should Use CBDfx Products?

CBDfx products are ideal for those experiencing chronic pain and inflammation, as well as those seeking relief from acute injuries. For those looking for an all-in-one health and wellness supplement to manage chronic pain in addition to other chronic conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, or depression, CBDfx provides the best CBD oils with multiple cannabinoids and added botanical extracts.

CBDistillery: Runner Up

  • Formulas available in broad and full spectrum
  • Excellent online user interface
  • Ability to shop by ailment/condition/benefit
  • US Hemp Authority Certified
  • The safety mechanism on the dropper can be difficult to use at first

CBDistillery Company Info

Focused on transparency, quality, and the pursuit of wellness for all individuals, CBDistillery is a leader in the CBD industry. Based out of Colorado, CBDistillery was one of the first companies to receive US Hemp Authority Certification. Their products are made from organically grown hemp and undergo third-party lab testing to ensure purity and potency. Their formulas are available in both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil varieties so that you can find the perfect oil for your specific needs.

CBDistillery CBD Oils

CBDistillery oils for pain relief come in 4 different potencies:

  • Regular Strength – 500mg of CBD
  • Extra Strength – 1000mg of CBD
  • Maximum Strength – 2500mg of CBD
  • Maximum Plus Strength – 5000mg of CBD

Full-spectrum CBD oil formulas use a CO2 extraction process to ensure that all beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes are included in the oil. In addition, the formula is blended with coconut carrier oil (MCT oil) to provide the synergistic benefits of fatty acids and better absorption into the body.

For those that don’t want to ingest the trace THC amounts found in CBDistillery’s full-spectrum CBD oil, the CBD company offers broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate formulas that are just as potent without any trace of THC.

Who Should Use CBDistillery Products?

Anyone looking for a high-quality, budget-friendly broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD oil online should consider CBDistillery. Additionally, those who do not like CBD oil’s earthy taste will enjoy the natural fruity flavors incorporated into various CBD products offered online at CBDistillery.

Sunday Scaries: Worthy Mention

  • Flavored CBD oil tincture
  • Low dose perfect for beginners
  • Enriched with anti-anxiety vitamins
  • THC-free broad-spectrum formula
  • Limited supply in comparison to other products available

Sunday Scaries Company Info

Created by those who understand the effects of stress on the body, Sunday Scaries is a CBD company focused on providing everyday CBD wellness tinctures. Certified with just about every popular CBD certification you can think of, Sunday Scaries is committed to providing safe products that incorporate broad-spectrum natural CBD oils.

Offering subscription-based and one-time purchases, the team at Sunday Scaries is committed to providing anxiety-free living as an effective solution to chronic and acute pain.

Sunday Scaries CBD Oils

The Sunday Scaries CBD tincture is a THC-free, broad-spectrum CBD oil enriched with essential vitamins B12 & D3 and a coconut carrier oil for the best in absorption and bioavailability. Low in dose (500mg of CBD per bottle), this is a great introductory oil for those who have never used CBD before to start their journey to a stress and pain-free life. Enhanced with a light fruit punch flavor, Sunday Scaries oil tastes great on its own or mixed with water or tea.

For those looking for a best CBD oil for pain relief in addition to a powerful sleep aid, Sunday Scaries also offers a sleep formula that includes a variety of additional cannabinoid compounds to ensure a restful night’s sleep as well as providing powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

Who Should Use Sunday Scaries Products?

Sunday Scaries CBD products are perfect for those just starting their CBD journey, especially those looking for a THC-free option enhanced with essential vitamins.

Green Roads: Broad Product Variety

  • Formulated by pharmacists
  • Wide range of CBD products
  • Rewards program
  • Military, first responder, and teacher discounts
  • Daily dose packets available
  • A bit more expensive than other CBD brands on this list

Green Roads Company Info

Started by a pharmacist with 25 years of experience helping others, Green Roads is a popular provider of CBD oil online that strives to provide easy-to-take CBD products. With a variety of oils, edibles, spa products, soft gel capsules, and more available through their online store, Green Roads offers a way to manage pain and anxiety symptoms for everyone.

Green Roads CBD Oils

Unlike companies that stick to a few ingredients in their CBD oil tinctures, Green Roads goes above and beyond, formulating their proprietary blend of full and broad-spectrum CBD with no less than six active ingredients to manage pain and treat various ailments. The full and broad-spectrum CBD formulas are available in 30ml bottles containing 250-1500mg of CBD, depending on your potency preference. Additionally, these formulas are available in convenient daily dose packages for those who do not like to fuss with droppers or measuring. As an added benefit, Green Roads offers all of their CBD oil tinctures in a Kiwi Apple Bliss or Mint Breeze flavor in addition to the standard natural CBD flavor.

To further enhance a user’s CBD experience, Green Roads infuses their oils with various carrier oils, including hemp seed oil and sunflower oil, to provide essential fatty acids that are beneficial to the body.

Who Should Use Green Roads Products?

Green Roads CBD products are perfect for those who want high-quality, vegan, and gluten-free CBD oil available in various flavors and dosages.

Charlotte’s Web: Many Offers

  • Available in large 100ml bottles
  • Significant savings for subscription purchases
  • Informative educational resources
  • Ships to Canada
  • Broad-spectrum formula only available in mint chocolate flavor

Charlotte’s Web Company Info

Boosted to international acclaim after being featured in some of the most reputable media outlets such as USA Today, The New York Times, and CNN, Charlotte’s Web is a world-renowned CBD company that was one of the first to market CBD products. B Corp Certified and family-owned, Charlotte’s Web offers many CBD products, including oils, capsules, topicals, and pet products designed to improve health and well-being.

Charlotte’s Web CBD Oils

Charlotte’s Web offers full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil formulas to help manage joint pain and other aches and pains that often accompany serious workouts. The full-spectrum CBD oil formulas have the most variety in potency, with 30ml bottles containing 7, 17, 50, and 60mg of CBD per mL. This means that there is a CBD oil for every need, whether you are a beginner or an experienced CBD user, or dealing with chronic pain or looking to relieve sore muscles or joint pain after working out. The broad-spectrum formula is THC-free and comes in a 25mg of CBD per mL bottle with a delicious mint chocolate flavor.

Using an alcohol extraction process to preserve the essential phytocannabinoid and terpene profiles, Charlotte’s Web oils are some of the purest and most effective on the market, especially for those suffering from acute inflammation and pain related to daily physical activity such as exercise.

Who Should Use Charlotte’s Web Products?

Charlotte’s Web CBD options are beneficial for those looking for a highly-effective, full-spectrum CBD formula that comes in large bottles to reduce cost per dose.

Zatural: Various Options

  • Free shipping available
  • Founded by a Naturopathic physician
  • Voted Best Broad-Spectrum CBD 2021 by Miami Herald
  • Potent CBD isolate formulas
  • Full-spectrum formulas don’t ship to all 50 US states

Zatural Company Info

Founded by a woman who has dedicated her life to natural remedies and the science of alternative health, Zatural is a CBD company dedicated to helping people heal from chronic conditions related to pain, anxiety, and stress. Their products are made in the USA in an FDA-registered laboratory that adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Using the best in extraction methods, Zatural’s best CBD oil for pain options are potent and effective.

Zatural CBD Oils

Zatural offers CBD in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate formulas. The full-spectrum CBD oil formula is available in 30ml, 60ml, and 120ml bottles with CBD dosages as low as 300 mg and as high as 12,000mg of CBD per bottle. In addition, customers can choose between a natural CBD flavor or a peppermint flavor sweetened with stevia. The award-winning broad-spectrum formula is available in similar bottle sizes and CBD strengths with an additional array of flavors, including coffee, spearmint, lemon-lime, natural sweet, cinnamon, and peppermint.

For those looking for pure CBD that is THC-free, Zatural has you covered with a potent formula containing up to 2500mg of pure CBD. Their oils are formulated with hemp seed carrier oil for maximum CBD absorption and effectiveness.

Who Should Use Zatural Products?

Anyone experiencing chronic pain from arthritis, injuries, or other conditions, should try a Zatural CBD product. Their CBD oil has been shown to provide relief from chronic pain and inflammation using potent formulas containing high concentrations of CBD – particularly their isolate products.

CBD American Shaman: High Bioavailability

  • Water-soluble CBD oils
  • Nanotechnology enhances bioavailability
  • Batch tested using Ultra Performance Convergence Chromatography
  • Gluten-free
  • Eco-friendly processing practices
  • Other products offered on the website may not be gluten-free

CBD American Shaman Company Info

CBD American Shaman is a leader in the hemp-derived CBD industry, offering competitive pricing, proprietary CBD formulas, and the latest technology to make their best CBD oil products. CBD American Shaman uses non-GMO ingredients and eco-friendly processing practices to create pure, safe, and effective hemp oil extracts in full-spectrum and THC-free formulas.

CBD American Shaman CBD Oil

With various potencies, flavors, and bottle sizes, CBD American Shaman leaves nothing to be desired in their products. Their water-soluble CBD oils are some of the most bioavailable and effective oils on the market due to the nanotechnology-based enhancement of absorption.

Available in strengths ranging from 300 to 900 mg of CBD, these full-spectrum CBD oil options have everything a person needs to manage pain and other chronic conditions. Their terpene-rich formulas include considerable concentrations of Myrcene, Limonene, Linalool, A-pinene, and many others to benefit the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Who Should Use CBD American Shaman Products?

Anyone looking for high-quality CBD in a water-soluble oil to mix into their favorite drinks and meals as an alternative to sublingual drops should consider the high-quality oils formulated by CBD American Shaman.

Extract Labs: Full Spectrum

  • ISO Certified labs
  • International shipping available
  • 100% secure checkout
  • Excellent customer service
  • Free shipping only on orders over $60

Extract Labs Company Info

One of the few American brands to offer international shipping, Extract Labs is committed to providing the highest quality CBD products to as many people as possible. Voted Top Ten CBD Oil in 2020, Extract Labs offers a full range of CBD products, from tinctures to capsules and topical ointments.

Founded by a military veteran who understands the need to provide the best CBD oil products, Extract Labs is one of the most reliable and customer-focused brands in the CBD industry.

Extract Labs CBD Oil

A customer favorite at Extract Labs is their 100% organic, vegan, and gluten-free CBD oil tincture. The high-quality CBD oil comes in a variety of strengths ranging from 300 mg to 3,000 mg so that customers can find the ideal dose for their pain management needs. The full-spectrum hemp extract oil contains quick-acting cannabinoids (CBG) that are ready to boost the body’s endocannabinoid system to provide relief from pain and other chronic conditions

For those seeking a THC-free alternative, Extract Labs offers a potent isolate formula that’s pure CBD – perfect for those who want to mix their daily dose of CBD into drinks and food.

Who Should Use Extract Labs Products?

CBD newbies and old-hands alike will appreciate Extract Labs’ high-quality tinctures that are potent and specifically designed to enhance the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Bloom Hemp: Good Service

  • Independently owned and operated
  • Certified organic
  • Up to 20% discount available for new customers
  • Manufactured in GMP and ISO certified facility
  • No international shipping
  • Domestic shipping more expensive than others on this list

Bloom Hemp Company Info

Started in 2018, Bloom Hemp has made it their mission to produce CBD products specifically designed to combat chronic and acute conditions such as pain, depression, digestive issues, and more using Ayurvedic practices combined with potent CBD formulas. Always going above and beyond the standards set within the CBD industry, Bloom Hemp products are certified organic with no pesticides, heavy metals, or solvents.

Bloom Hemp CBD Oil

For those seeking effective pain relief with CBD products that contain herbs and natural ingredients proven in Ayurvedic medicine to be powerful anti-inflammatories, Bloom Hemp’s oil might be a perfect choice. The Ayurvedic infusion in Bloom Hemp’s CBD oil helps to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and promote a sense of calm and well-being with its proprietary Recovery Tincture that contains:

  • 1200mg of CBD
  • 100mg of CBG
  • Terpene-rich profile: A-Pinene, Terpinolene, Linalool, Myrcene, B-Caryophyllene
  • Turmeric extract
  • Blackseed extract
  • Ginger extract
  • Bioperine

Bloom Hemp also offers other full-spectrum CBD and THC-free formulas made with the same dedication to quality and purity as their oil.

Who Should Use Bloom Hemp Products?

Anyone looking for a high-quality, organic CBD oil that is Ayurvedically infused should consider Bloom Hemp. With discounts available for new customers, military personnel, and first responders, this brand is committed to making its premium CBD products affordable for all.

Five CBD: Full-Spectrum CBD Specialists

  • Easy to navigate website
  • Special deals and discounts
  • Three flavors to choose from
  • Multi-cannabinoid formula
  • Online quiz to help select the best CBD product for customers
  • No THC-free CBD oil is currently available

Five CBD Company Info

Focused on creating effective full-spectrum CBD oil tinctures that enhance the body’s endocannabinoid system, Five CBD is dedicated to providing relief to those suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, and other conditions. Offering an extensive online CBD knowledge base and a handy quiz to help customers select the perfect Five CBD products for their needs, this company uses its eco-friendly practices and organically grown hemp to create products that everyone can enjoy.

Five CBD Oil

Five CBD full-spectrum CBD oil tincture comes in natural, citrus, and lavender flavors. Customers can order potencies of 1500, 3000, and 6000mg of CBD per 30ml bottle. Containing a rich terpene profile and additional minor cannabinoids such as CBC and CBG, this oil is designed to maximize the body’s endocannabinoid system.

In addition to their potent tincture, Five CBD uses their full-spectrum CBD formula in a variety of other powerful products such as vape oils, gummies, chocolates, and soft gel capsules, all containing a 5:1 ratio of CBD to minor hemp compounds. Customers can choose to purchase one bottle at a time or save up to 20% on subscription purchases.

Who Should Use Five CBD Products?

Those looking for a high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil for pain that has been enriched with minor cannabinoids should try Five CBD. With discounts available for subscription purchases, Five CBD is the perfect company for those seeking affordable and reliable pain relief with all-natural products.

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How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Pain

When it comes to using powerful CBD supplements for their superior anti-inflammatory properties, there are many options to choose from. Considering that CBD oil tinctures and supplements come in various potencies and formulations, choosing the best CBD oils for pain relief comes down to understanding your needs and preferences. To make the CBD oil for pain choice that works best for you, it’s essential to consider a few key points.

  • The severity of your pain

The more intense your pain, the more powerful the CBD you’ll need to find for an effective result. The CBD concentration per bottle doesn’t always determine power, however. Sometimes, the best way to manage acute or chronic pain is by choosing a CBD formula that contains essential terpenes, flavonoids, and phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant to provide what is known as the entourage effect.

The entourage effect causes the synergy between CBD and these other beneficial plant compounds extracted from the hemp plant to boost the body’s endocannabinoid system and relieve acute or chronic pain.

  • Your general health and wellness

Depending on your overall health or current health and wellness goals, you might consider purchasing a CBD oil infused with additional vitamins and minerals to help supplement your diet. For example, a CBD oil tincture rich in omega-3 fatty acids and terpenes might be a better choice for those who are looking to improve their cardiovascular health in addition to providing pain relief.

  • The frequency of dosing

If you experience chronic pain that requires daily doses of CBD oil for pain, you might want to consider an oil formulated with an effective carrier oil like hemp seed oil that improves absorption but has a low to medium CBD concentration. This allows you to take a single dose or up to a few doses per day.

On the other hand, if you only experience mild pain on an intermittent basis, you might be better served with an oil that comes in a smaller bottle with a more powerful CBD potency for pain relief as it happens.

  • The type of CBD oil you’re considering

CBD oil tinctures come in three basic formulas: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oil formulas are made using the whole hemp plant and contain all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids naturally present in the hemp plant. This includes THC, but in very small trace amounts (

A broad-spectrum CBD product is similar to a full-spectrum CBD oil in that both contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant, but the broad-spectrum option has had the THC removed. This makes broad-spectrum oils an excellent way to get the benefits of CBD without the risk of putting THC in the body that you get from full-spectrum options.

CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD that has been isolated and concentrated into a potent therapeutic supplement for faster results. Isolate products contain no THC, other cannabinoids or terpenes and are the perfect choice for those who want to strictly take CBD without any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids. Isolates are often preferred by those that want to mix their CBD with their favorite foods and beverages.

Each type of CBD has its own unique benefits for the user, and choosing the right one will depend on your needs, your body’s reaction to specific cannabinoid compounds and your preferred method of ingestion.

The Benefits of CBD Oil for Pain Relief

Studies are still ongoing regarding the benefits of CBD oil , and it’s an area that is growing all the time. The following conditions have been linked to positive results when users take CBD oil for pain relief.

  • Cancer
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Arthritis

The list is expanding as researchers are still finding new ways CBD can help with pain relief. But, so far, it seems that CBD is a safe and effective means of managing a wide variety of chronic and acute pain conditions with few to no side effects.

Currently, the FDA has only approved one CBD drug for use in the United States , but more drugs are in development at medical facilities across the country. As the CBD movement progresses and more research is done on the benefits of CBD, it seems likely that more ailments will be added to the list of illnesses managed with CBD oil in the future.

How to Use CBD Oil for Pain

Each CBD company has different dosing and usage directions for their products. Depending on the CBD oil you take, the method in which it is used, and your specific condition, there are a number of methods to choose from for using CBD oil.

CBD tinctures are the most popular form of CBD oil products and are administered by dropping a few drops under your tongue using the pipette applicator included in the bottle. Holding the oil under the tongue for a minute or two will help it absorb into the bloodstream faster than if you swallow it. You can also add CBD oil to food or drinks, but keep in mind that the bioavailability – the amount of CBD that actually gets absorbed into your system for pain relief – may be reduced when you add it to other substances. If you do choose to mix CBD oil into other substances, be sure to choose a water-soluble CBD oil or a CBD isolate with high bioavailability.

When you first begin using CBD oil for pain relief, it is important to start low and go slow. This means starting with a small dose and increasing gradually until you find the dosage that works best for you. Doing so will allow users to understand how their body reacts to CBD oil and will help to avoid any unpleasant side effects.

What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?

While CBD oil is a natural substance typically extracted from organically grown hemp plants that are free from harmful pesticides, heavy metals, and herbicides, there are still a few potential CBD oil side effects to be aware of. These side effects usually occur in new users who are not yet accustomed to the effects of CBD. Side effects may also occur in those that take too high of a dose, which is why starting low and slow is the best way to avoid them.

Side effects reported by new users or those that have taken too high of a dose include:

  • changes in appetite
  • changes in mood
  • dry mouth
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea & vomiting
  • upset stomach
  • fatigue or drowsiness

These CBD oil side effects are very common and often subside after a few days of continued use, but if you do notice any unusual changes in mood or behavior, stop taking CBD oil and consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is CBD extracted from hemp?

There are a variety of extraction methods for creating CBD oil. They include ethanol extraction, olive oil extraction, and steam distillation. Currently, the best method is considered to be the CO2 extraction method as it preserves the full profile of the hemp plant’s natural compounds without leaving any harsh resins or solvents behind.

2. Is CBD oil psychoactive?

No, CBD oil is not psychoactive. CBD oil will not get you high and will not change your mental state in any way. If you are worried about trace amounts of THC in CBD oil products, consider purchasing broad-spectrum formulas or CBD isolates as they are THC-free.

3. How long does it take for CBD oil to work?

Effects vary between individuals. Many users report feeling CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory or calming effects within 30-90 minutes of dropping CBD oil under their tongue.

Get Effective Pain Relief With CBD Oil

CBD oil provides users with a natural alternative for pain relief without the potential side effects of OTC or pharmaceutical medications. All our options for the best CBD oils are focused on creating safe, effective, and affordable CBD oil products. Try one of the CBD oil for pain choices we’ve highlighted and take advantage of this helpful plant extract without worrying about the potential for adverse side effects.

This article is sponsored content. The editorial staff of 5280 had no role in the preparation of this content.

How To Use CBD To Help Manage Pain

Dr. Bindiya Gandhi is an integrative medicine physician with expertise in functional and holistic medicine based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

Table of Contents

  • CBD for Pain Relief
  • CBD for Chronic Pain
  • CBD for Arthritis and Joint Pain
  • CBD for Neuropathic Pain

Without the intoxicating properties of its cousin delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) can provide the human body with a handful of health benefits. Cannabinoids like CBD interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in signaling bodily functions, from emotional responses to motor control to energy balance [1] Mouslech Z, Valla V. Endocannabinoid system: An overview of its potential in current medical practice. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(2):153-179. .

Over the last two decades, scientists have tested CBD’s efficacy as an analgesic, or painkiller, specifically—and with promising results. While research is ongoing, here’s what we know so far about how we can use CBD oil for pain relief.

Pure, Premium, Powerful CBD

FAB CBD’s products are made from organically grown, lab tested, Colorado hemp. Their range of products include CBD oils, gummies, topical CBD cream, dog treats and more.

CBD for Pain Relief

For now, no CBD-based medications are approved as painkillers in the U.S. Epidiolex, which is used for rare forms of epilepsy, is the only CBD treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Meanwhile, several countries have approved CBD to treat certain conditions. For instance, the U.K. approved it for multiple sclerosis, and Canada approved it for cancer pain. Ongoing research suggests CBD oil for pain can aid medical conditions, including arthritis and fibromyalgia, at varying doses. Some pain may not be treatable by CBD alone, but it can help when paired with THC or Western medication applications.

Interestingly, 60% of U.S. adults who use CBD products do so for its potential pain-relieving effects, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll.

What’s more, 60% of U.S. adults have tried CBD and believe it has medicinal benefits.

CBD for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is defined as any pain lasting longer than several months. Studies have found CBD, often alongside THC, to be an effective pain reliever for various chronic conditions.

In clinical trials, Sativex, a spray with equal parts CBD and THC, proved significantly successful as an analgesic for cancer-related pain [2] Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259. . The spray, also used for multiple sclerosis-related pain, is approved in Canada to treat cancer pain and is currently undergoing trials for approval and use in the U.S.

A 2019 study found Sativex to be an “effective and well-tolerated add-on treatment” for patients with severe chronic pain stemming from various ailments. The study identified three types of pain: nociceptive (affecting body tissue), neuropathic (affecting nerves) and mixed pain. Sativex helped treat all three kinds but proved especially effective against neuropathic pain.

An earlier study also found CBD to be effective in chronic pain relief for conditions like multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, although across a much smaller sample size [4] Wade DT, Robson P, House H, Makela P, Aram J. A preliminary controlled study to determine whether whole-plant cannabis extracts can improve intractable neurogenic symptoms. Clin Rehabil. 2003;17(1):21-29. .

CBD for Arthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis is a broad term that encompasses hundreds of joint-related conditions and pains. Common symptoms include swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints and may progress over time.

Already a proven analgesic for other conditions, CBD shows promise as an anti-inflammatory substance in both animal and preclinical trials, which bodes well for arthritis treatment [5] Nichols JM, Kaplan BLF. Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020;5(1):12-31. [6] Mlost J, Bryk M, Starowicz K. Cannabidiol for Pain Treatment: Focus on Pharmacology and Mechanism of Action. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(22):8870. [7] Kosgodage US, Mould R, Henley AB, et al. Cannabidiol (CBD) Is a Novel Inhibitor for Exosome and Microvesicle (EMV) Release in Cancer. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:889. [8] Lowin T, Tingting R, Zurmahr J, Classen T, Schneider M, Pongratz G. Cannabidiol (CBD): a killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. Cell Death Dis. 2020;11(8):714. . However, clinical research dedicated to CBD administration for arthritis is less robust and ongoing.

The first controlled trial conducted in 2006 focused on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints and other affected areas [9] Blake DR, Robson P, Ho M, Jubb RW, McCabe CS. Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2006;45(1):50-52. . Researchers found that, compared to a placebo, Sativex significantly improved participants’ pain during movement, pain at rest and quality of sleep. Any adverse reactions to the treatment were mild or moderate, and there were no complications with withdrawal.

In 2018 researchers tested the efficacy of topical CBD gel on participants with osteoarthritis-related knee pain over the course of 12 weeks [10] Hunter D, Oldfield G, Tich N, Messenheimer J, Sebree T. Synthetic transdermal cannabidiol for the treatment of knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2018;26:S26. . Participants used either 250 milligrams or 500 milligrams, split into two applications, daily. Overall, participants’ weekly pain levels didn’t improve much with CBD compared to placebo. However, when researchers evaluated the average weekly worst pain scores and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function scores, participants who applied 250 milligrams of CBD daily experienced significant improvement over placebo participants.

Meanwhile, a small 2019 trial suggests a mix of CBD and THC may prove beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, a type of arthritis that results in whole-body pain and fatigue [11] van de Donk T, Niesters M, Kowal MA, Olofsen E, Dahan A, van Velzen M. An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia. Pain. 2019;160(4):860-869. . The study found that, via a single inhalation, a CBD-THC solution performed better than a placebo and either substance on its own.

CBD for Neuropathic Pain

Various conditions and injuries that damage nerves or the nervous system can result in neuropathic pain. This kind of pain manifests as tingling, numbness, muscle weakness and a sharp, shooting, burning or stabbing pain.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common cause of neuropathic pain. The disease wears down myelin, a mixture of proteins and phospholipids that coats nerve cells. Sativex is already approved as an MS treatment around the world due to its success in clinical trials. As a spray, Sativex is absorbed in the mouth. Studies support a median dose of eight sprays a day for patients with MS, which provides about 20 milligrams of CBD and 21.6 milligrams of THC [12] Sativex Oromucosal Spray – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC). Datapharm. Accessed 7/9/2021. . However, doses vary between patients, and each person needs to find their optimal dose.

A 2020 study also tested topically administered CBD oil as a treatment for patients with peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the peripheral nervous system, which sends information throughout your body from the central nervous system [13] Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(5):390-402. . When compared to placebo, the topical CBD significantly reduced patients’ intense pain and sharp pain, as well as cold and itchy sensations.

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.

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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)

Technical Details
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)

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 100 – 600 mg
Available Flavors None
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)

4. HempBombs

Technical Details
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

5. CBDistillery

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 250 – 5000 mg
Available Flavors None
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

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 240 – 4850 mg
Available Flavors None
Potency 48.5 mg/mL
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

Technical Details
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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

8. cbdMD

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 300 – 7500 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Berry, Orange, Mint
Potency 10 – 250 mg/mL

About cbdMD:

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.

Pros:

  • US-grown, non-GMO hemp
  • CO2 extraction
  • THC-free
  • Up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Batch-specific certificates of analysis

Cons:

  • Limited entourage effect due to the lack of THC
  • Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD in their routine

9. Medterra

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 500 – 3000 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Citrus, Mint Chocolate
Potency 16 – 100 mg/mL

About Medterra:

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Technical Details
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.

Pros:

  • Non-GMO, US-grown hemp
  • Supercritical CO2 extraction
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • THC-free
  • Delicious flavors

Cons:

  • 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.

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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:

  • Appetite
  • Immune function
  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Stress
  • Sensory perception (including pain)
  • Inflammation
  • Reproductive health
  • Nerve function
  • Sleep

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:

  • Anxiety
  • 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!

References:

  1. 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.
  2. Alger B. E. (2013). Getting high on the endocannabinoid system. Cerebrum: the Dana forum on brain science, 2013, 14.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 Julia

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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