• Plantar Fasciitis is ligamentous inflammation that causes pain on the bottom of the heel(1). 
  • The European Journal of Pain published a 2016 study on transdermal CBD using a rat model. Results showed that the daily application of topical CBD helped improve limb posture and reduced pain(2)
  • A 2008 study from Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management demonstrated how CBD’s analgesic components may help manage complex pain(3).
  • About two million people are treated for plantar fasciitis yearly(4).

Does CBD Work for Plantar Fasciitis?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that exerts multiple pharmacological effects, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties(5)

It interacts with the human body’s ECS (endocannabinoid system), responsible for regulating pain and inflammation(6)

The ECS consists of two cannabinoid receptors that are found in different parts of the body. For instance, CB1 receptors are located in the brain and the central nervous system(7)

CB1 interacts with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes a person to experience a euphoric feeling(8)

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are located in the immune system(9). When CB2 is activated, it stimulates a response against inflammation, reducing pain and minimizing damage to tissues(10)

Cannabinoids help regulate how a person thinks and feels by interacting with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors(11)

Meanwhile, phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD obtained from hemp plants also stimulate these receptors(12).  

A study from the journal Current Neuropharmacology hypothesized that cannabinoid receptor agonists stimulate CB1 receptors. This stimulation may provide therapeutic effects on chronic pain(13)

In 2009, the British Journal of Pharmacology published a study that showed how CBD may act as a CB1 agonist and antagonist despite its low affinity for the receptors(14).  

These findings may contribute to CBD’s documented anti-inflammatory properties(15)

How CBD Works to Help With Plantar Fasciitis

There are no known studies on how CBD oil works to help with plantar fasciitis. However, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties may benefit people diagnosed with the condition. 

The Benefits of CBD for Plantar Fasciitis

Pain is manifested through chronic and acute inflammation that often challenges people with plantar fasciitis(16)

A 2020 study stated that THC may also offer anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits(17). 

Therefore, plantar fasciitis sufferers who use full-spectrum CBD oil with traces of THC and other cannabinoids may benefit from it.   

According to a 2004 study, about 7% of people over 65 reported tenderness in the heel. In the U.S., diagnosis and treatment for such a condition accounted for over one million visits to healthcare providers per year(18).

Reduced ankle dorsiflexion, the backward bending of the foot, and obesity are recognized risk factors for plantar fasciitis(19)

 Most studies on cannabidiol’s therapeutic potential demonstrated tests on joint conditions such as osteoarthritis and other rheumatic diseases(20)

Like joints, the plantar fascia is vital in bodily movement. It is a thin ligament or a band of connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot(21)

However, researchers have yet to examine how CBD may affect inflammation and pain targeting the plantar fascia

Plantar fasciitis is a disabling condition that impacts millions of people in the world. While most people with such a condition respond to conservative management most of the time, about 1% of patients still undergo surgery(22)

A 2015 animal study posted in the European Journal of Pain showed how transdermal CBD administration reduced inflammation. The researchers observed improved limb posture and pain rating scores among rat models(23)

Transdermal administration involves applying CBD through the skin, enabling it to be gradually absorbed into the body.

Based on the study, topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for alleviating arthritis pain and inflammation without detrimental side effects(24).

Still, more comprehensive studies on how CBD may help alleviate pain and inflammation in human ligaments are necessary. 

Types of CBD for Plantar Fasciitis 

The cannabis plant’s composition is complex. It has major compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which have opposing effects(25). 

THC is the main psychoactive constituent in marijuana, while CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant(26)

CBD or hemp oil is produced from the hemp plant(27). Extraction methods, such as carbon dioxide extraction, create high-quality CBD products(28)

The hemp extracts may be categorized as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates(29)

CBD oil is classified as full-spectrum if all extracts of the cannabis plant, such as CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and other cannabinoids, are used. In addition, the THC concentration should be less than 0.3%(30).  

The best CBD products that have been formulated to treat pain are available on the market. These products range from CBD oil, tinctures, and gummies

Topical CBD products, such as salve, lotions, and creams, may be used for pain relief.  

Taking CBD Oil for Plantar Fasciitis 

A person diagnosed with plantar fasciitis may opt to use CBD oil topically for pain management. Other CBD topical products like CBD creams may also be a good choice. 

However, note that different ingestion types have varying rates of bioavailability.  It is the extent to which a substance is absorbed and used by the body(31)

A person may feel the effects of topical CBD products for two to four hours(32). For those who use vape pens to inhale CBD, the substance may enter their bloodstream as quickly as 30 seconds or less(33)

Although using vape pens is the fastest way to benefit from cannabidiol, this method may irritate a person’s lungs(34). Thus, consumers should practice it with caution. 

People diagnosed with plantar fasciitis may also use CBD oil by taking it sublingually. Taking CBD under the tongue ensures prompt delivery of the substance into the body(35)

CBD Dosage 

Cannabidiol is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medication. Therefore, there are no official dosage guidelines for CBD. 

However, a standard dose of CBD ranges from 10mg to 100mg of CBD per dose each day(36)

Safety and Side Effects

Controlled CBD use may be safe based on recent developments in CBD administration in humans. However, further studies are needed to learn more about its possible side effects(37)

Comparing CBD Oil to Alternative Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis 

Most plantar fasciitis patients usually recover in a few months after conservative treatment(38).  

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or pain relievers may ease the inflammation and pain caused by plantar fasciitis(39-40)

However, most people may not tolerate the possible side effects of these medications. Meanwhile, others may find physical therapy expensive and time-consuming. 

Therefore, some people are turning to alternative treatments to manage foot and heel pain

A natural remedy for plantar fasciitis is massaging the affected area using lavender essential oil. 

Lavender is a known alternative treatment for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains antioxidant and antimicrobial elements(41)

Individuals with plantar fasciitis may also use CBD oil as a massaging agent. Like lavender, CBD also has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties(42)

People may also use ointments, menthol creams, aloe vera gel, and peppermint massage oil for plantar fasciitis pain.              

Some individuals may also benefit from strengthening programs. Engaging in such activities may correct functional risk factors, such as weakness of the intrinsic foot muscles(43)

Wearing orthopedic shoes with sufficient arch support may also be beneficial for people with foot conditions

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Plantar Fasciitis 

Pros 

  • A 2017 study acknowledged that CBD is generally safe for human consumption(44)
  • A 2015 research from the European Journal of Pain demonstrated how the transdermal application of CBD helped in reducing pain in target areas(45)
  • CBD may help improve sleep quality, which may benefit people dealing with sleep issues due to chronic pain and discomfort(46).  
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged CBD as a substance that is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile(47).” 

Cons 

  • CBD products are poorly regulated. People are encouraged to research before choosing a CBD brand. 
  • Most existing studies about CBD’s efficacy are done on animal subjects.
  • The FDA warned the public that extremely high doses of CBD may cause liver injury(48)
  • CBD may cause adverse interactions with other drugs such as ibuprofen, commonly used for plantar fasciitis(49)

CBD Usage for Plantar Fasciitis and Other Medical Conditions 

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may be used to help with medical conditions involving the feet, such as Achilles tendonitis or inflammation of the tendon(50). It is also promising in managing inflammatory arthritis or other joint pains, skin irritations, neuropathic pain, plantar fasciitis, and other ailments related to foot pain.  

Research also suggested that CBD is a therapeutic compound helpful in treating painful diabetic neuropathy due to its ability to activate serotonin (5-HT1A) receptors(51).  

Activation of serotonin receptors has been involved in the mechanism of action of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications(52)

Cannabidiol (CBD) has also been shown to ease anxiety behaviors relevant to numerous disorders(53). A person with anxiety may experience a temporary spike in blood pressure during an episode(54) 

FAQs 

1. What is plantar fasciitis?

This degenerative condition is the most common cause of heel pain. It appears when a band of tissue that supports the arch of a person’s foot becomes inflamed and irritated(55)

The plantar fascia is a narrow ligament that lies beneath the skin on the bottom of a person’s foot(56)

2. What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis

Symptoms include pain on the base of the foot near the heel, discomfort after a long rest, and severe pain after physical activities

3. Are there specific studies about CBD’s benefits on plantar fasciitis

No research has been done on the benefits of CBD specifically for this condition. However, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties may help with pain caused by plantar fasciitis

4. Is CBD oil better than CBD cream for treating plantar fasciitis

The best CBD oils for plantar fasciitis are available in different concentrations and potencies. It is best to speak with a doctor versed in cannabis use, especially if one considers taking CBD orally. 

On the other hand, CBD creams are topical CBDs that people may use to target specific pain-affected body areas. However, CBD creams are not absorbed into the whole body(57).  

Considering how little is known about CBD’s long-term effects, CBD topicals like creams may be a more manageable option. 

In 2018, the United States Farm Bill permitted the commercial use of industrial hemp derivatives as long as the THC levels are 0.3% or lower(58)

Conclusion 

CBD may be a promising substance that appears to be safe. However, further studies are still recommended to understand its full potential and long-term effects on wellness and medical conditions like plantar fasciitis.


  1. Plantar fasciitis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3954277/
  2. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
  3. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/
  4. Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs
    https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/plantar-fasciitis-and-bone-spurs
  5. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/
  6. The role of the endocannabinoid system in female reproductive tissues
    https://ovarianresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13048-018-0478-9
  7. A Look at the Endocannabinoid System’s CB1 and CB2 Receptors
    https://echoconnection.org/look-endocannabinoid-systems-cb1-cb2-receptors/
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/
  14. Cannabidiol displays unexpectedly high potency as an antagonist of CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists in vitro
    https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/sj.bjp.0707133
  15. Ibid.
  16. Plantar fasciitis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3954277/
  17. A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.00561/full
  18. Prevalence of foot and ankle conditions in a multiethnic community sample of older adults
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14977645/
  19. Risk factors for Plantar fasciitis: a matched case-control study
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12728038/
  20. The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease
    https://eurjrheumatol.org/en/the-endocannabinoid-system-in-pain-and-inflammation-its-relevance-to-rheumatic-disease-1617925
  21. Plantar fasciitis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3954277/
  22. Ibid.
  23. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
  24. Ibid.
  25. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
  26. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
  27. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
  28. Cannabidiol primer for healthcare professionals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340472/
  29. Ibid.
  30. Ibid.
  31. Drug Bioavailability
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557852/
  32. Healing with CBD
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  33. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/how-to-use-cbd-inhale-spray-apply-eat/
  34. Is It Safe to Vape CBD?
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/is-it-safe-to-vape-cbd/
  35. Fast Dissolving Sublingual Films of Ondansetron Hydrochloride: Effect of Additives on in vitro Drug Release and Mucosal Permeation
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964757/
  36. CBD Dosage – How much CBD should I take?
    https://hemppedia.org/cbd-dosage/
  37. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22129319/
  38. Plantar fasciitis
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354851
  39. What Are NSAIDs?
    https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/what-are-nsaids/
  40. Plantar fasciitis
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354851
  41. Effect of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Acute Inflammatory Response
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2018/1413940/
  42. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/
  43. Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
    https://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0201/p467.html#afp20010201p467-b3
  44. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies
    https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0034
  45. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
  46. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
    https://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/43-the-permanente-journal/original-research-and-contributions/6960-cannabidiol-in-anxiety-and-sleep-a-large-case-series.html
  47. CANNABIDIOL (CBD)
    https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/WHOCBDReportMay2018-2.pdf
  48. What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD
    https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis
  49. Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1439.html
  50. Achilles Tendinitis
    https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/achilles-tendinitis/
  51. Cannabidiol attenuates mechanical allodynia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats via serotonergic system activation through 5-HT1A receptors
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30898678/
  52. 5-HT1A Receptors in Psychopharmacology
    https://psychopharmacologyinstitute.com/publication/5-ht1a-receptors-in-psychopharmacology-2123#:~:text=The%205%2DHT1A%20receptor%20is,anxiolytic%2C%20antidepressant%20and%20antipsychotic%20medications.
  53. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
  54. Anxiety: A cause of high blood pressure?
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/anxiety/faq-20058549
  55. Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs
    https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/plantar-fasciitis-and-bone-spurs
  56. Ibid.
  57. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inh
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/how-to-use-cbd-inhale-spray-apply-eat/ale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  58. H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2/text
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