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Best CBD Oil for Pain

If you are looking for a natural alternative treatment for pain, CBD Clinicals can help you find the best CBD product for you. Check out our objective CBD product reviews to find safe and high-quality CBD products for pain.

Editor's Pick

Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil

Best Organic

NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil

Editor's Pick

Spruce 2400mg Lab Grade CBD Oil

Best Seller

Avida Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture 500mg

Best Natural Alternative

cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg

Best THC-Free

CBDistillery THC Free CBD Oil Tinctures

Best Customer Rated

cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 750mg

Best Starter

NuLeaf Naturals 300mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil

Hemp Bombs 750mg CBD Oil

Best Allergy Friendly

Sunsoil CBD Oil Drops, Chocolate Mint Flavor

Rating
4.8 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.6 out of 5

4.7 out of 5

4.4 out of 5

4.4 out of 5

4.6 out of 5

3.9 out of 5

3.6 out of 5
Highlights
  1. Peppermint flavor masks any unpleasant taste
  2. Contains 25mg of CBD per dropper full
  3. Bottle includes a graduated dropper for correct serving measurement
  1. Natural remedy for various illnesses
  2. Product is full-spectrum whole-plant extract
  3. Contains naturally occurring synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes
  1. Maximum possible potency
  2. Each dropper full contains 80mg of CBD
  3. Conveniently fits in a 30mL bottle
  1. Proprietary full-spectrum
  2. Developed using advanced AVIDA CORE Spectrum Technology
  3. Highest naturally occurring Phyto-cannabinoids and Terpenes with THC (<0.3)
  1. Made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp
  2. Available in many flavours
  3. Safe for daily use
  1. Do not contain THC
  2. Available in different potencies and sizes
  3. Brand has special deals and offers
  1. THC-free
  2. Has plenty of flavours to choose from
  3. Totally vegan
  1. Lowest concentration for CBD beginners
  2. Fully organic and lab-tested
  3. Full-spectrum
  1. Has a wide range of flavours
  2. Safe to intake
  3. Get 20% off when you avail of their subscription
  1. Tastes great
  2. Uses hemp grown organically
  3. Laboratory tests done by a third party

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Compare the Best CBD Oil for Pain in 2021

Product Potency Purity Customer Service Type Extraction Transparency Absorption
Spruce 2400mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
4.8 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5
NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5
Spruce 2400mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5
Avida Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture 500mg
4.6 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

3.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5
cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg
4.7 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.0 out of 5
CBDistillery THC Free CBD Oil Tinctures
4.4 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.5 out of 5
cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 750mg
4.4 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.0 out of 5
NuLeaf Naturals 300mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
4.6 out of 5

2.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5
Hemp Bombs 750mg CBD Oil
3.9 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

2.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.0 out of 5
Sunsoil CBD Oil Drops, Chocolate Mint Flavor
3.6 out of 5

2.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

4.0 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

5.0 out of 5

Best CBD Oil for Pain

1. Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
4.8
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Mid-strength  No other flavors
 Natural peppermint flavor
 Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Pro's
 Mid-strength
 Natural peppermint flavor
 Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Con's
 No other flavors
Overview

Each bottle of the 750mg CBD oil tincture contains 25mg of CBD per dropper full. The oil is peppermint flavor to mask any unpleasant tastes related to CBD.

2. NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
5.0
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Pure CBD hemp  No other flavors
 All natural
 Approximately 300 drops total
Pro's
 Pure CBD hemp
 All natural
 Approximately 300 drops total
Con's
 No other flavors
Overview

Natural remedy for various illnesses. NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oil is a whole-plant extract containing a full spectrum of naturally occurring synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes.

3. Spruce 2400mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
5.0
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Extra Strength  Tastes bitter
 No artificial flavoring or colors  No THC-free option
 Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Pro's
 Extra Strength
 No artificial flavoring or colors
 Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Con's
 Tastes bitter
 No THC-free option
Overview

The largest bottle of CBD oil that Spruce offers contains 2,400mg of CBD. This is full-spectrum CBD oil, which is the maximum possible potency. Each high potency dropper full contains 80mg of CBD. There are no flavorings in it, which allows for the most CBD to fit in the 30ml bottle.

4. Avida Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture 500mg
cbdc overall score
4.6
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Light Spearmint flavor  No other flavor
 Non-THC, Non-detected in drug test
Pro's
 Light Spearmint flavor
 Non-THC, Non-detected in drug test
Con's
 No other flavor
Overview

Avida Extracts Full Spectrum CBD oil is the latest iteration of the brand’s advanced Avida CORE Spectrum technology. They use a proprietary full spectrum blend, resulting in the highest naturally occurring Phyto-cannabinoids and Terpenes with THC (<0.3) to support your health.

5. cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg
cbdc overall score
4.7
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Various delicious flavors to choose from  cbdMD uses MCT as its carrier oil so individuals who are allergic with coconuts should consider other brand options
 Has vegan, organic, and gluten-free ingredients
 Free shipping for this particular product within USA
 World-class customer service team
Pro's
 Various delicious flavors to choose from
 Has vegan, organic, and gluten-free ingredients
 Free shipping for this particular product within USA
 World-class customer service team
Con's
 cbdMD uses MCT as its carrier oil so individuals who are allergic with coconuts should consider other brand options
Overview

cbdMD’s CBD oil tinctures are made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp and MCT oil as a carrier oil. Tinctures are offered in orange, mint, natural, and berry flavors. Safe for daily use, the oil tinctures are packaged with a built-in rubber dropper to adjust CBD dosage easily. The packaging is made to be easy to transport and discreet to use.

6. CBDistillery THC Free CBD Oil Tinctures
cbdc overall score
4.4
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee  Dropper is a bit shaky
 Various strengths
 Oil extracted from aerial plant parts of US grown industrial hemp
 Sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the USA through natural farming practices
Pro's
 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
 Various strengths
 Oil extracted from aerial plant parts of US grown industrial hemp
 Sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the USA through natural farming practices
Con's
 Dropper is a bit shaky
Overview

CBDistillery’s Isolate CBD Oil Tinctures harness the power of pure CBD. CBD Isolate Oil Tinctures include 0.0% THC. When you use CBDistillery CBD Isolate Oil Tinctures, you can be assured you’re using the highest quality CBD on the market.

7. NuLeaf Naturals 300mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
4.6
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Pure CBD hemp  No other flavors
 All natural  A bit pricey compared to competitors
 Approximately 100 drops total
Pro's
 Pure CBD hemp
 All natural
 Approximately 100 drops total
Con's
 No other flavors
 A bit pricey compared to competitors
Overview

This is one of several concentrations from NuLeaf Naturals. As the lowest concentration, it is the company’s best option for those new to CBD oil. The product is lab-tested and fully organic. It is full-spectrum, so it contains THC in small quantities.

8. cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 750mg
cbdc overall score
4.4
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Vegan and Gluten free  Does not ship internationally
 Has a third-party lab test
 Wide variety of CBD strengths and sizes
Pro's
 Vegan and Gluten free
 Has a third-party lab test
 Wide variety of CBD strengths and sizes
Con's
 Does not ship internationally
Overview

A 750mg bottle of cbdMD’s Broad Spectrum Oil Tincture does not contain THC. It also has a fairly wide flavor range which is perfect for those who prefer other taste. Vegan consumers are considered since cbdMD offers Vegan products. Aside from all of that, another reason why people love cbdMD is because it’s free from harmful chemicals.

9. Hemp Bombs 750mg CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
3.9
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Wide variety of flavors  Incomplete information about the product
 Lab test results are complete  Does not ship to all international countries
 30-day money-back guarantee
Pro's
 Wide variety of flavors
 Lab test results are complete
 30-day money-back guarantee
Con's
 Incomplete information about the product
 Does not ship to all international countries
Overview

Hemp Bombs offer CBD Oil Tinctures that come in a 30ml bottle containing 750mg of CBD. They provide a wide range of flavors perfect for those that have a knack for sweets. Consumers can safely intake this because it’s free of chemicals and pesticides. Hemp Bombs also offer a 20% off on products upon subscription.

10. Sunsoil CBD Oil Drops, Chocolate Mint Flavor
cbdc overall score
3.6
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Potency
Purity
Customer Service
Type
Extraction
Absorption
Transparency
Pro's Con's
 Sunsoil CBD is committed to providing high-quality products at an affordable cost.  Product selection is limited.
 The company tests its products thrice before making them available to the public.  The company uses lipid extraction methods.
 From cultivation to packaging, everything is done in Sunsoil CBD grounds.
 Organic and sustainable farming is at the company’s core.
Pro's
 Sunsoil CBD is committed to providing high-quality products at an affordable cost.
 The company tests its products thrice before making them available to the public.
 From cultivation to packaging, everything is done in Sunsoil CBD grounds.
 Organic and sustainable farming is at the company’s core.
Con's
 Product selection is limited.
 The company uses lipid extraction methods.
Overview

The flavor profile is refreshingly sweet, and it balances well with the higher CBD concentration. Promotes the absorption of CBD into your blood circulation.

How CBD Helps With Pain

According to research investigator Dr. Kevin Boehnke, current preclinical animal studies suggest that CBD may reduce inflammation and pain. Boehnke is a research investigator for the Michigan Medicine Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center(1).

Another research, published in the Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management journal, studied the efficacy of cannabinoids, such as CBD, in managing pain(2)

The study indicated that cannabinoids may reduce individuals’ pain from challenging-to-treat pain conditions, including pain linked with cancer and multiple sclerosis. 

CBD vs. Arthritis Pain

In a 2016 animal study, researchers stated the topical application of CBD may reduce pain and inflammation from arthritis(3).

Researchers used topical CBD on rats for four days, with the rats receiving different CBD doses per day. After administering CBD, the researchers noticed a reduction in inflammation and pain in the rats’ affected joints without any side effects(4).

The study’s authors noted that 6.2mg CBD a day for four consecutive days may reduce pain and swelling symptoms. The rats who received the lowest doses of the cannabinoid did not experience any pain improvement(5).

Rats that received 62.3mg CBD daily had the same outcomes as those that received 6.2mg per day. Results indicated that taking a higher CBD dose does not guarantee better results(6).

According to the authors, the cannabinoid’s analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties may help treat arthritis patients. However, the researchers noted that more human studies are needed(7).

A 2012 study showed CBD’s potential in preventing the onset of joint neuropathy and joint pain linked with osteoarthritis(8)

Neuropathy pertains to nerve dysfunction, resulting in muscle weakness, numbness, and discomfort in the affected area(9)

Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that occurs when the joints’ protective cartilage wears down. Patients who are suffering from osteoarthritis experience painful and swollen joints(10).

The study, published in the journal Pain, suggested CBD’s ability to help with neuropathic and osteoarthritic functions. The researchers attributed CBD’s potential benefits to its neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties(11).

CBD vs. Migraine Pain

According to a 2018 review published by the Cochrane Library, there are limited studies on CBD’s potential as an alternative treatment for migraines. The review also noted that most of the existing studies examined CBD’s analgesic effects when used with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)(12).

In a 2017 study, researchers indicated that CBD and THC may reduce acute and intense pain for migraine patients. The study aimed to discover the most effective CBD and THC dosage for headaches(13).

The authors administered a starting dose of 10mg to 48 subjects with chronic migraine.

The subjects received the doses containing a combination of two compounds. The first dose had 19% THC and the second dose contained no THC and 9% CBD. 

After dosing, the researchers noted that amounts of less than 100mg were ineffective in reducing pain. However, they recorded a 55% drop in pain in patients who received 200mg doses(14).

The researchers also noted that patients who took the drug with a combination of THC and CBD had fewer stomach aches and less muscle pain than the patients who took pain medications. 

One recorded drawback was that the patients taking the THC-CBD drug also experienced side effects, including drowsiness and trouble with concentration(15).

CBD vs. Neuropathic Pain

In a 2012 study, medical researchers stated that CBD may help relieve neuropathic and inflammatory pain, categorized as types of challenging-to-treat chronic pain(16). However, more human studies are needed to solidify the claims about CBD’s potential in pain management.

Muscle spasms are known symptoms of neuropathic damage, leading to painful muscle cramps(17)

In a 2006 study, the authors indicated that Sativex, a medicine composed of CBD and THC, may help patients manage pain(18)

According to the study, the medication may help patients with nerve damage pain, chronic neuropathic pain, peripheral neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer pain, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

A 2018 review backed the Sativex study, saying that cannabinoids may reduce nerve pain(19). The review evaluated hundreds of studies that discussed the effect of marijuana-based pharmaceuticals on neuropathic pain.

CBD vs. Cancer Pain

According to a 2009 study published by Oxford University Press, 70% to 90% of advanced cancer patients experience significant pain(20). Cancer pain may be due to damage or pressure to internal organs.

In a 2019 study, the researchers stated that cannabinoids had been used as a part of palliative care to relieve pain, reduce nausea, and increase appetite(21).

Another study noted that THC and CBD may provide pain relief to patients with advanced cancer pain resistant to opioids(22)

The study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, indicated that CBD and THC, when used in addition to opioids, may be more effective in relieving pain than using opioids alone.

CBD vs. Chronic Pain

According to a 2018 article published in the Harvard Health Publishing, CBD may serve as an alternative treatment to certain chronic pain types(23)

Meanwhile, research conducted in the same year cited scientific evidence indicating that cannabinoids may possess inflammatory and neuropathic pain-relieving effects in rats(24).

In a 2018 review, medical researchers examined the effectiveness of CBD in relieving chronic pain. The review evaluated animal and human studies between 1975 and 2018(25).  

The review showed that CBD may help treat various types of pain, including cancer pain, chronic back pain, and neuropathic pain. The authors noted that CBD was effective in relieving pain overall(26).

Benefits of Using CBD for Pain

According to a 2017 review, CBD may be well-tolerated at doses of up to 1,500mg per day(27). The World Health Organization (WHO) also stated that CBD has a good safety profile(28).

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow also indicated that CBD is non-psychoactive and non-addictive. These characteristics make the cannabinoid a safe option for patients in pain who do not want to be drug dependent(29)

According to a recent article published by Creighton University’s School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, clinical trials suggest that CBD doses of up to 300mg every day for six weeks are well-tolerated by seniors or elderly patients(30).

Other Health Benefits of CBD

According to a study, CBD has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), neuroprotective (nerve cell function protection), hypoxia-ischemia (proper blood flow to organs), analgesic (pain- relieving), anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, antitumor, and antipsychotic effects(31).

However, existing research says CBD may not reduce chronic pain symptoms in kidney transplant patients, ulcerative colitis, and experimentally-induced anxiety(32).

Meanwhile, several studies looked at the potential benefits of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Some researchers also studied the effects of CBD in drug addiction treatments.

According to a recent review, preclinical studies note that CBD may help people suffering from cocaine, opioid, and psychostimulant addiction(33).

Based on preliminary data, CBD may help treat tobacco and cannabis addiction in humans(34). Still, researchers believe that more study is required to evaluate CBD’s potential as a cure for drug addiction.

Moreover, in a study published in 2019, researchers stated that 88.3% of the chronic migraine patients who participated in the study reported fewer headaches and improved anxiety symptoms, sleep, and mood, after taking medicinal cannabis(35).

The study’s authors also noted that the patients who received the 20:1 THC to CBD ratio experienced fewer headaches than the patients taking the 1:1 THC to CBD ratio(36).

A comprehensive literature review conducted in 2018 supported the results of the study above. According to the literature review, cannabis-derived products possess therapeutic benefits, especially in improving migraines(37).

A survey also noted that some oncologists consider the use of cannabis products to help cancer patients. In a 2018 survey, 67% of oncology doctors who responded to the survey stated that medical marijuana may be helpful in providing pain relief(38)

In the survey, eight in 10 oncologists reported having discussed marijuana with cancer patients. In the eight cases, patients brought up the subject of medical marijuana use.

Forty-six percent of the oncologists also recommended marijuana to their patients for pain management and other cancer-related symptoms(39).

In a 2014 study, medical researchers noted that cannabinoids may help block spinal, peripheral, and gastrointestinal mechanisms which may trigger muscle spasms, headache, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia(40).

According to a 2017 CBD report from the WHO, CBD may reduce restlessness, muscular tension, fatigue, social anxiety, and concentration problems in animal models. The report also noted that CBD may also reduce the symptoms of social anxiety in patients(41).

In a 2017 study, the authors noted that medical cannabis may have the potential to treat insomnia(42). Meanwhile, another 2017 study suggested that CBD may also help individuals suffering from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorders(43)

According to Colorado-based research, CBD oil administration to patients with PTSD may reduce the patients’ symptoms, including anxiety and insomnia. The five-month study suggested that CBD use may consistently lessen the patients’ scores on the sleep scale and the anxiety scale(44).

Medical researchers also studied the effects of Sativex, a cannabis-derived medicine with 15 mg of CBD and THC. According to the study, Satives may help improve sleep in patients suffering various pain conditions, including peripheral neuropathic pain, intractable cancer pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis(45).

Meanwhile, in a 2017 animal study, the authors observed that CBD may effectively treat traumatic brain injury (TBI) in animal models(46). Another research published in 2012 noted that using CBD may trigger long-term neuroprotection in newborn rats with hypoxia-ischemia (HI) brain injury(47).

The medical researchers observed that CBD helped reduce the volume of brain damage, the extent and rate of brain damage, and inflammation in the brain. The authors also noted that CBD may help improve neurological behavior impairment. 

According to WHO, human studies on CBD’s effects suggest that the cannabinoid may have neuroprotective properties that may help patients with inflammatory diseases and Alzheimer’s disease(48)

According to a recent study, CBD may also help prevent the onset of several movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. According to the study, CBD may help improve primary and secondary dystonic movements(49).

Medical researchers also stated that CBD possessed antidepressant effects. According to a recent study, cannabinoids may play a crucial role in the development of new therapeutic strategies in mental illnesses, including anxiety and schizophrenia(50).

Although CBD is a cannabinoid that humans have been using for centuries, medical researchers still lack information about its potential uses and indications in medicine. The limited study about the medical benefits of the cannabinoid highlights the need for further research.

Another reason to look for more clinical trials is that existing information about CBD is for older patients who have suffered chronic medical conditions for many years. The medical industry needs new details on CBD and how it may treat current health conditions.

Recent medical studies about CBD also suggest that CBD may be useful for a wide range of medical conditions. With more research, medical researchers may understand how CBD affects the human body’s perception of pain.

Additional research may also help physicians with the practical and safe dosing of CBD for their patients.

Risks of Using CBD for Pain

Although deemed safe by many, CBD still comes with possible side effects(51).

In a 2017 review, researchers noted that CBD use’s most common side effects include tiredness, diarrhea, dry mouth, changes in appetite, and changes in body weight(52).

CBD may also affect the effectiveness of other medications in the body. The cannabinoid interacts with the body’s cytochrome P450 (CYP450) liver enzymes, which break down toxic compounds, including over 60% of drugs(53).

Meanwhile, Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), also comes with side effects. According to its patient information leaflet, Epidiolex may cause liver damage, depression, lethargy, and suicidal thoughts(54)

In elderly patients, taking CBD may cause lightheadedness, sedation, slowing of psychomotor functions, and orthostatic hypotension (sudden blood pressure drop when standing up)(55)

Other particularly bothersome side effects of CBD in elderly patients include gastrointestinal discomfort, lack of appetite, dry mouth, and weight loss.

Moreover, studies have shown that CBD and other cannabinoids may be harmful to the lungs. According to a 2016 study, the cannabinoids may hinder proper lung function and affect respiratory pathogen clearance(56). 

According to the study, a significant reduction in inflammation may diminish the lungs’ defense system, increasing lung infection risk(57).

Patients considering CBD to treat pain should be well-informed of all the possible side effects and consult their doctors about the use of the cannabinoid.

The FDA has also warned buyers of CBD products marketed as dietary supplements(58). Buyers must only purchase CBD products from reliable brands and dispensaries to ensure their safety and quality. 

Precautions When Considering Pain Treatment

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) provided a list of precautions to take when considering treatment for pain(59)

  • Conduct thorough research about the product or practice before trying them.
  • Visit a medical professional knowledgeable about chronic pain. Ask your doctor about the alternative treatments you want to try.
  • Ask your doctor to recommend a practitioner before trying spinal manipulation, acupuncture, or massage.
  • Remember that some supplements may cause health issues if not used correctly. Some supplements may also interact with prescription medications or over-the-counter medications.

Pain Remedies

In a 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, medical researchers provided three recommendations that may help doctors and their patients in their search for treatments to reduce acute, subacute, and chronic low back pains(60):

  • Non-Pharmacologic Treatment

Clinicians and patients should opt for a non-pharmacologic treatment, such as massage, spinal manipulation, or acupuncture. According to the 2017 study, a non-pharmacologic approach is the smart first option since most patients with low back pain tend to improve over time regardless of treatment.

  • Non-Pharmacologic Treatment With Therapy

In addition to massages, spinal manipulation, or acupuncture, patients may also try to reduce their pain by adding to non-pharmacologic interventions any of the following:

  • Exercise
  • Multidisciplinary rehabilitation
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Progressive relaxation
  • Motor control exercise
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Operant therapy
  • Pharmacologic Treatment

If non-pharmacologic interventions fail to relieve pain, patients with chronic lower back pain should consider pharmacologic treatments.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be first-line treatment.

Second-line therapy may be tramadol or duloxetine, an antidepressant with analgesic effects(61).

According to the NCCIH, patients who experience no changes even after following the aforementioned recommendations should only consider opioids as an option.

CBD Dosage and Methods of Consumption

Dosage

Since the FDA still does not regulate the CBD market, guidelines for proper CBD dosage for pain conditions remain unclear.

CBD users must also note several factors to consider when determining the correct CBD dose for pain. These factors include the user’s weight, desired results, and the CBD amount the product contains. 

However, most CBD brands provide a recommended dosage to every CBD product they offer. It is recommended that users follow the recommended dosage, then adjust the dosage accordingly.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, a daily dose of 27mg THC and 25mg CBD per day may help alleviate cancer pain(62).

Still, it is recommended to consult a medical professional before taking CBD. Consulting a medical professional is crucial, especially when individuals taking CBD for the first time are also taking other medications.

Routes of Administration

CBD products vary in bioavailability,  depending on the method of consumption.

Patients may administer CBD oil tincture sublingually or drop the oil directly under the tongue for faster absorption. Using a measured dropper provides convenient and accurate dosing for CBD users.

Some users may opt for orally ingestible CBD products, such as edibles, gummies, and capsules. 

Some CBD companies offer CBD topical products, including CBD salves, CBD creams, or CBD lotions. These products are recommended for dealing with inflammation or pain in specific areas of the body. 

Topical and Transdermal Route

Transdermal or topical administration delivers drugs through the skin via patches, salves, creams, or lotions. 

Transdermal administration of cannabinoids avoids the first-pass metabolism, improving drug bioavailability. This route allows a consistent infusion of a drug to be delivered over a prolonged period of time while minimizing the adverse effects of higher drug peak concentrations(63).

Most CBD users opt for topical administration to deal with localized symptoms, such as dermatological medical conditions, arthritis, and peripheral neuropathic pain.

According to a 2019 study, when applying a cannabinoid-derived product directly onto the skin, the relief may be felt after 15 minutes(64).

Oral Route

The oral administration of CBD allows for standardized concentrations and doses. This route is also convenient and straightforward(65)

According to a 2018 study, CBD in oil and capsule formats provides more accurate and convenient dosing than CBD juices or teas(66).

However, the study also noted that absorption for oral cannabinoid ingestion is slow, erratic, and variable. With oral consumption, the highest plasma concentrations are recorded one hour to two hours after dosing and may even be delayed for up to six hours(67).

The authors noted that the effect duration from oral ingestion varies from eight hours to 20 hours(68).

Sublingual Administration

Topical, nasal, inhaled-pulmonary, and oral transmucosal (surface of the mouth) delivery allows for drug uptake directly into the bloodstream, eliminating the first-pass metabolism(69)

The first-pass metabolism is the early metabolization of a drug, reducing drug concentration before reaching its intended action site(70).

According to a study, the non-invasive method of sublingual administration is superior to oral dosage in terms of providing pain relief(71).

Pulmonary Administration

A 2018 study noted that the intrapulmonary administration of cannabinoids is effective, as it results in the fast-action and high-systemic bioavailability(72)

The effects of the pulmonary administration of cannabinoids may be experienced within a few minutes of the first inhalation, with the effects increasing over time. Peak plasma concentration is reached 10 minutes after consumption and is maintained for three to five hours(73).

However, one major drawback of inhaling cannabinoids is the variability of efficiency caused by differences in inhalation techniques and respiratory tract irritation during inhalation(74).

Although smoking cannabinoids delivers fast-acting effects directly to the lungs, it may also be harmful to the lungs. According to an article published in Johns Hopkins Medicine, vape use may cause lung injuries and diseases, such as collapsed lung and lipoid pneumonia(75)

Understanding CBD

Cannabidiol is one of the most prominent compounds present in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is not psychoactive unlike THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis. 

Hemp is typically harvested for its useful flowers, seeds, and stalks. Hemp flowers are rich in cannabinoids and are the source of CBD for most CBD brands.

Many people are confused when it comes to differentiating hemp and marijuana, mainly since there are similarities between the two. Both plants are cannabis species, and most cannabinoids from both marijuana and hemp plants are from cannabis flowers. 

However, marijuana is a cannabis plant harvested for its psychoactive properties. The plant may contain up to 30% THC per dry weight(76).

Unlike hemp, marijuana seeds and stalks are not usually harvested. Marijuana plants are typically harvested only for their highly resinous flowers, which contain various cannabinoids.

You may find THC throughout all of the aerial parts of the plant. However, the psychoactive cannabinoid is most abundant in the flowers of marijuana plants. 

Marijuana and hemp flowers and leaves possess different concentrations of CBD and THC. Hemp leaves, flowers, and stems contain CBD, while marijuana flowers possess high THC concentrations.

How CBD Works

Medical researchers have noted that CBD possesses analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects(77)

The benefits of CBD are realized by the cannabinoid’s interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its cannabinoid receptors.

ECS’s main role is to regulate various body functions to promote overall wellness and maintain a state of balance. The ECS has CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are present in specific parts of the human body

CB1 receptors are mostly present in the brain and central nervous system. They may also be found in the body’s reproductive organs, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, liver, retina, and lungs(78).

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are mostly located in the body’s immune system. They affect pain and inflammation. 

According to a study of the cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids may suppress the body’s perception of pain(79).

Types of CBD

Most CBD brands sell three CBD types: full-spectrum CBD or whole-plant CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates.

Full-spectrum CBD oil has all the naturally occurring phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and THC.

In a 2005 study, medical researchers observed that full-spectrum hemp extract had greater medicinal properties than pure CBD(80)

This advantage may be attributed to the “entourage effect” present in full-spectrum products, which pertains to the maximized health benefits of cannabinoids when used with other cannabis compounds.

Meanwhile, broad-spectrum CBD contains multiple cannabinoids and other chemical compounds in the hemp plants, except THC

Finally, a product with a CBD isolate only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or fatty acids. If you want to experience the benefits of CBD while keeping your body THC-free, a product containing only CBD isolates or a broad-spectrum CBD may be the choice for you.

Most CBD brands dilute CBD extracts with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, hempseed oil sourced from hemp seeds, or medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT oil) sourced from coconut oil

Although the usual CBD formulation is oil, the cannabinoid may also be taken through gummies, hemp extracts, vape products, topicals, and CBD tinctures. Some brands even offer unflavored and flavored options to attract more consumers. 

To ensure their products’ efficacy, some CBD companies also infuse their CBD topicals with beneficial compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, like peppermint(81).

Legality of CBD

In 2015, the FDA implemented more lenient laws that allowed researchers to perform CBD investigations and clinical trials(82)

Former President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into law in 2018. Under this law, Congress removed industrial hemp as a Schedule I drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act(83).

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized the marketing of hemp products across state borders. It also legalized the cultivation, production, and manufacturing of industrial hemp on the federal level(84).

The law allowed CBD brands to offer more accessible hemp-derived products, such as CBD oil, in the market. 

Nowadays, you may buy CBD products online without a medical cannabis license(85). However, you may still need to research state laws since they have varying degrees of restriction regarding medical marijuana and CBD(86).

Currently, CBD alone is not approved for the treatment of pain in the USA(87). The FDA has only approved the use of Epidiolex to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS), two severe forms of epilepsy(88).

In some US states like Alabama, a prescription is needed to possess or use CBD products(89).

Choose the Best CBD Oil for Pain

Regardless of the kind of CBD products you are looking for, remember the tips below to ensure the safety and quality of the product you want to buy.

  • Look for CBD brands with accreditation from certification authorities.

One of the most popular certification authorities in the CBD industry is the US Hemp Authority. The organization provides certification to companies with the best CBD products.

Meanwhile, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) collates consumer reports and accredits brands with the best business practices.

Certification authorities like the BBB and US Hemp Authority recognize certain products only after performing a series of thorough screening tests.

  • Compare the information on the product label to data from third-party testing.

You may also read the product’s third-party lab test results to know if a company’s claim about its products match the information indicated on the product label. 

A third-party lab result includes information about a product’s THC content, CBD potency and concentration, and the presence of harmful compounds.

  • Seek medical advice from health professionals.

Before you buy a CBD product for pain, visit a medical professional experienced in CBD. A doctor may help you with safe dosing and provide more precautionary measures to follow when taking CBD.

A visit to the doctor is important, especially if you are also taking prescription drugs for a serious medical condition.

  • Choose the best CBD oils from reliable and legitimate CBD companies.

Most brands ensure their products are safe by using non-genetically modified organism (non-GMO) ingredients. Some brands also offer vegan and gluten-free products.

Also, determine whether a store or a dispensary has been authorized by the government to sell CBD. 

Most reliable CBD companies that produce high-quality products cultivate industrial hemp from their farms. Some brands opt to buy hemp grown by licensed and reputable hemp producers. 

In the US, most brands cultivate their hemp from farms in Colorado, which is at the forefront of hemp oil production. 

The medical and recreational use of CBD and other cannabis-derived products have been legal in the state since 2012(90). Some of the popular CBD brands, including NuLeaf Naturals, CBDPure, and CBDistillery, have farms in the state. 

Many CBD brands offer a money-back guarantee option for customer satisfaction.

  • Read product reviews.

Research product reviews from past customers when buying CBD online. Also, find out whether a store or a dispensary has been authorized by the government to sell CBD.

  • Determine the extraction method used.

According to the FDA, the supercritical-CO2 extraction procedure is safe to use in pharmaceutical manufacturing(91)

Also dubbed as the supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) procedure, the supercritical-CO2 extraction method relies on carbon dioxide (CO2) to extract CBD from the raw hemp material.

During the CO2 extraction process, CBD manufacturers use an extraction machine to squeeze and freeze carbon dioxide until it achieves a supercritical cold liquid state. Hemp oil then passes through the plant compound, taking CBD and other phytocannabinoids with it.

Other CBD brands use solvent-based extraction methods. During a solvent-based extraction process, CBD manufacturers use solvents, such as propane, butane, and ethanol, to remove cannabinoids from hemp plants.

Check the product labels and read the information provided. Most reliable CBD companies include the following information on the product labels:

  • Supplement fact panel
  • Complete list of ingredients
  • Amount of CBD or CBD concentration and potency
  • Net weight
  • Name of the product manufacturer and distributor 
  • Recommended dosage
  • Batch or date code
  • Type of CBD the product contains: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or BD isolate

Product Frequently
Asked Questions

  • How can CBD help with pain?

    CBD works by interacting with the ECS, which plays a role in promoting wellness and maintaining the body’s balance. According to research, CBD has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects(92).

  • What existing research suggests CBD’s pain-relieving effects?

    In a 2017 study published in the Pain journal, medical researchers noted that CBD may help relieve chronic pain, such as neuropathic and inflammatory pain(93). In a 2018 review in Frontiers in Pharmacology, the authors stated that CBD may reduce various types of pain, including cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia(94).

  • Can CBD make pain worse?

    Although cannabinoids may reduce pain linked to various medical conditions, such as cancer, cannabinoids may also worsen other symptoms. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer patients suffering from emotional illnesses, paranoia, or hallucinations may experience worse symptoms after taking cannabinoids(95).

  • Will CBD interact with other pain medications?

    According to a 2011 study, CBD is a potent inhibitor of the CYP2D6, a liver enzyme that metabolizes pain medications, like tramadol(96). The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) stated that the CYP2D6 metabolizes 25% of commonly prescribed medications(97).

  • Are there other treatments to consider alongside CBD to help with pain?

    In a 2017 Annals of Internal Medicine study, researchers stated that patients suffering from chronic lower back pain may try massages, spinal manipulation, or acupuncture. They may also consider exercise, mindfulness-based stress reduction, operant therapy, tai chi, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, progressive relaxation, and low-level laser therapy(98).

  • Do drug tests detect CBD use?

    According to a 2017 Mayo Clinic Proceedings review, drug testing cut-off values are designed in a way that the detection of THC in trace amounts should not result in a positive test. Still, the frequent use of CBD products may increase the THC level in the body above the cut-off values set, resulting in a positive drug test(99).

  • What is the CBD dosage for pain?

    According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 27mg THC and 25mg CBD a day may help with cancer pain(100).

  • Is CBD oil available online?

    Most companies in the CBD industry have online stores where customers may buy their products directly. Customers only need to pay at the checkout page and provide their delivery information.

  • What information should be included in a CBD product label?

    A CBD product label must include specific information about the product, including the list of ingredients, CBD potency, CBD concentration, net weight, and manufacturer information. Label information must also include the product’s net weight, recommended dosage, and the type of CBD it contains.

  • What are the qualities of a good CBD product?

    High-quality CBD oil products from organic hemp are manufactured by reliable CBD oil brands. These companies employ third-party lab testing to ensure the products are free from contaminants and harmful substances, such as additives, heavy metals, pesticides, artificial flavorings, and preservatives.


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  2. Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245–259. DOI:10.2147/tcrm.s1928
  3. Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936–948. DOI:10.1002/ejp.818
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid
  8. Philpott HT, OʼBrien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442–2451. DOI:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001052
  9. Cleveland Clinic. (2019, Dec 16). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14737-neuropathy
  10. Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis. Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/osteoarthritis
  11. HT, Philpott, et al. Op cit.
  12. Baron EP. Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Headache. 2018;58(7):1139–1186. DOI:10.1111/head.13345
  13. EMJ. (2017, Aug). Review of the 3rd European Academy of Neurology Congress 2017. EMJ Neurol. 2017;5[1]:12-29. Congress Review. Retrieved from https://www.emjreviews.com/neurology/congress-review/review-of-the-3rd-european-academy-of-neurology-congress-2017/
  14. Ibid
  15. Ibid
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  17. NINDS. (2018, Aug). Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Peripheral-Neuropathy-Fact-Sheet
  18. Perez J. Combined cannabinoid therapy via an oromucosal spray. Drugs Today (Barc) 2006;42:495–503
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  20. Glare, P. Choice of opioids and the WHO ladder. in: M. Davis, P. Glare, J. Hardy (Eds.) Opioids in cancer pain. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK; 2005: 221–234.
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  24. Donvito, G., Nass, S.R., Wilkerson, J.L. et al. The endogenous cannabinoid system: a budding source of targets for treating inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018; 43: 52–79
  25. Vučković S, Srebro D, Vujović KS, Vučetić Č, Prostran M. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:1259. Published 2018 Nov 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
  26. Ibid
  27. NIDA. Researching Marijuana for Therapeutic Purposes: The Potential Promise of Cannabidiol (CBD). National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2015/07/researching-marijuana-therapeutic-purposes-potential-promise-cannabidiol-cbd. July 20, 2015. Accessed January 31, 2020.
  28. Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139–154. Published 2017 Jun 1. DOI:10.1089/can.2016.0034
  29. Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Fortieth Meeting. Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. June 2018. https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/WHOCBDReportMay2018-2.pdf
  30. Hein, D. (2019). Should Elderly Patients Join the CBD Bandwagon. Creighton University. Retrieved from https://spahp.creighton.edu/sites/spahp.creighton.edu/files/march_2019_newsletter.pdf
  31. World Health Organization. Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report, (2018). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf
  32. Ibid
  33. Ibid
  34. Ibid
  35. Concussion Alliance. CBD and Cannabis Research. Retrieved from https://www.concussionalliance.org/cbd-research
  36. Ibid
  37. Ibid
  38. Ibid
  39. Ibid
  40. Ibid
  41. WHO. Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-Review Report, (2017). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf
  42. Concussion Alliance. Op cit.
  43. Ibid
  44. Ibid
  45. Ibid
  46. Ibid
  47. Ibid
  48. WHO. Cannabidiol Pre-Review Report. Op cit.
  49. Peres, F., Lima, A., Hallak, J., Crippa, J., Silva, R., & Abilio, V. (2018)  Cannabidiol as a Promising Strategy to Treat and Prevent Movement Disorders? Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9:482. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958190/
  50. Calapai, G., Mannucci, C., Chinou, I., Cardia, L., Calapai, F., Sorbara, E., Firenzuoli, B., Ricca, V., Gensini, G., & Firenzuoli, F. (2019). Preclinical and Clinical Evidence Supporting Use of Cannabidiol in Psychiatry. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2509129. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6735178/
  51. WHO. Critical Review Report. Op cit.
  52. K. Iffland, et al. Op cit.
  53. Ibid
  54. Epidiolex Full Prescribing Information. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/210365lbl.pdf
  55. D. Hein, Op cit.
  56. Turcotte C, Blanchet MR, Laviolette M, Flamand N. Impact of Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Endocannabinoids in the Lungs. Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:317. Published 2016 Sep 15. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2016.00317
  57. Ibid
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  66. Ibid
  67. Ibid
  68. Ibid
  69. Ibid
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  71. N. Bruni, et al. Op cit.
  72. Ibid
  73. Ibid
  74. Ibid
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  82. US Drug Enforcement Administration. (December 2015). DEA Eases Requirements For FDA-Approved Clinical Trials On Cannabidiol. Retrieved from: https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2015/12/23/dea-eases-requirements-fda-approved-clinical-trials-cannabidiol
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  84. National Conference of State Legislatures. (October 2020). State Medical Marijuana Laws. Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx
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