Does your heel pain bother you? If you want to try CBD topical products for plantar fasciitis or are simply curious about cannabidiol, then you are in the right place.

How CBD May Help With Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a ligamentous inflammation that causes heel pain(1). An inflamed plantar fascia, the ligament that stretches from the heel to the toes, is painful(2).

There is no scientific data suggesting that CBD may help with plantar fasciitis. However, the compound’s purported therapeutic benefits and activity in the ECS (endocannabinoid system) may indicate the potential effect of CBD on such a condition.

Cannabidiol, known as CBD, is a cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant. This non-psychoactive compound is believed to exert multiple pharmacological effects, including antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties(3).

CBD also has potential pain-relieving effects(4).

On the other hand, the endocannabinoid system maintains bodily homeostasis or balance. Additionally, it is believed to play a vital role in the body’s processes, including pain control and inflammatory and immune responses(5).

The ECS comprises cannabinoid receptors type 1 and type 2 (CB1 and CB2), endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and enzymes.

The endogenous cannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors to elicit a response.

It is believed that plant-based cannabinoids like CBD and THC may mimic the actions of these endocannabinoids(6). THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the principal psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.

Both CBD and THC may stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. However, it is difficult to determine the number of stimulated receptors and the amount of plant-based cannabinoids entering the bloodstream(7).

Although CBD has a low binding affinity for cannabinoid receptors, it may antagonize them in the presence of THC(8). CBD may also offset the psychiatric side effects of THC(9).

Research suggests CB1 receptors may have a role in the psychrotrophic effects of THC(10). These receptors, which are also present within the pain pathways of the central nervous system, may affect CBD-induced analgesia (loss of pain sensation)(11).

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are believed to affect immune cells, possibly influencing CBD-induced anti-inflammatory properties(12).

Although these findings seem promising for plantar fasciitis symptoms like inflammation and pain, a direct study is warranted to determine how CBD may help with plantar fasciitis.

Benefits of Using CBD for Plantar Fasciitis

In the U.S., the diagnosis and treatment of plantar fasciitis account for over one million visits to doctors each year(13). Pain is often manifested through chronic and acute inflammation that challenge individuals with such a condition.

Obesity and reduced ankle dorsiflexion, the backward bending of the foot, are known risk factors for plantar heel pain(14).

Like joints, the plantar fascia is also vital in bodily movement(15). However, researchers have not examined how CBD may affect inflammation and pain targeting the plantar fascia.

To date, most research on CBD’s therapeutic potential has demonstrated tests on joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis(16).

A 2020 study from the journal Cell Death and Disease suggested that CBD may be beneficial as an adjuvant treatment in rheumatoid arthritis and may support the action of disease-modifying, anti-rhematic drugs(17).

An adjuvant is a drug that enhances the body’s immune system response to an antigen.

Pain and inflammation are associated with rheumatoid arthritis(18). Both symptoms are also commonly experienced by people suffering from plantar fasciitis(19).

An animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggested that transdermal CBD may reduce inflammation and arthritis pain-related behaviors without detrimental side effects(20).

Transdermal delivery involves applying CBD through the skin, enabling the compound to be slowly absorbed into the body.

The researchers applied 0.6 to 6.2mg of CBD gels per day to a rat model of arthritis for four consecutive days. They observed that 6.2mg of CBD gels a day may be an effective dose(21).

Another study focusing on the potential benefits of CBD topicals reported that self-initiated use of topical CBD in patients with epidermolysis bullosa resulted in reduced pain, less blistering, and rapid wound healing(22).

Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare form of blistering skin disorder.

On the other hand, a 2018 research article published in Molecules mentioned that some experts had proposed a topical delivery of CBD with hyaluronic acid and silicone fluids(23). The researchers believed that this system may improve absorption into the skin for pain relief.

While these findings on CBD’s purported analgesic properties seem promising, some studies have shown mixed results.

For instance, a review from Current Pain and Headache Reports examined the role of CBD in chronic pain management(24).

The researchers hypothesized that it is difficult to attribute the therapeutic properties to CBD alone because the non-psychoactive compound is always administered with THC.

The results seem to imply that CBD may work better with THC.

A Frontiers in Plant Science study suggested that the entourage effect produced by full-spectrum hemp extracts may come with better health benefits than pure CBD(25).

The entourage effect is a theory where the biologically active compounds of cannabis, including CBD and THC, work better when taken together.

Still, more comprehensive studies are warranted to determine CBD’s health benefits, particularly on human joints and ligaments.

Taking CBD Oil for Plantar Fasciitis

There is no direct study suggesting the efficacy of CBD topicals in plantar heel pain. Still, it is believed that topical application of CBD may help with inflammation and arthritis pain-related behaviors(26).

The non-psychoactive compound, when applied topically, has also shown promise in helping with muscle tightness(27).

You may take topical CBD products like CBD creams or CBD lotions to help with foot pain by directly applying the content to the affected area. You may also use oil tinctures topically for rashes, sore muscles, or even on an open wound(28).

Topical CBD products are also available in ointments and CBD salves, which you may also try for plantar fasciitis pain.

Topical salves may help with conditions that are not within one inch of the skin’s surface and do not penetrate to deeper areas(29).

Other types of CBD products include vapes, suppositories, and edibles like gummies and capsules.

CBD Dosage for Plantar Fasciitis

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not approved CBD as a treatment for plantar fasciitis. Therefore, there is no standard CBD dosage for such a condition.

Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation and causes stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel(30).

It is believed that a mid-range dose of CBD, between 10mg and 100mg per day, may help with pain and inflammation(31).

Meanwhile, researchers observed that 6.2mg of CBD gels a day may be an effective dose for inflammation and arthritis pain-related behavior(32).

Still, it is best to talk with a healthcare professional experienced in cannabis use for a more accurate dose for plantar fasciitis.

How Long Does CBD Take to Help With Plantar Fasciitis?

How long CBD takes to help with plantar fasciitis depends on the route of administration used and other factors like CBD potency and individual body weight.

The onset time of CBD via the topical route is within 10 to 15 minutes, and the effect of CBD may last from 2 to 4 hours(33).

How Long Will CBD Help With Plantar Fasciitis?

How long CBD will help with plantar fasciitis after it takes effect depends on its pharmacokinetics.

Pharmacokinetics is the movement of a specific substance into, through, and out of the body. It encompasses the course of drug absorption, bioavailability, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.

Bioavailability, meanwhile, refers to the portion of a particular substance that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

When applied to the skin, cannabidiol does not enter the bloodstream. Thus, CBD’s bioavailability via the tropical route is zero(34).

The skin contains the highest amount and concentration of CB2 receptors in the body(35). These receptors interact with CBD and other cannabinoids, which are absorbed locally to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation in a particular area(36).

How to Choose a Quality CBD Topical for Plantar Fasciitis

There are various CBD brands in the market promising to offer the best CBD topical products for pain-related conditions like plantar fasciitis.

Below are a few guidelines in finding the best CBD topical to help improve your overall health and wellness:

Hemp Extracts

Hemp extracts can be categorized as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates.

A full-spectrum CBD product contains all compounds of the cannabis plant, including CBD and other cannabinoids, essential oils, flavonoids, and terpenes. This CBD variant also has 0.3% of THC.

Flavonoids are active compounds found in cannabis that are believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral actions(37).

On the other hand, terpenes are the components of essential oils responsible for the aroma of cannabis(38).

Broad-spectrum CBD also contains all of the natural compounds of cannabis except for THC. Lastly, CBD isolates refer to the type of CBD that only contains pure cannabidiol.


If possible, always opt for CBD topical products made from U.S.-grown hemp. Make sure to choose CBD formats made with natural, organic ingredients or non-GMO components because you will be applying the content to your skin.

Clinical studies have identified numerous benefits of natural ingredients, including anti-inflammatory properties for skincare(39).

Most CBD topicals like creams and lotions may also contain aloe vera, peppermint, menthol, and botanical extracts.

If you are using CBD topicals for the first time, make sure to consult your doctor to know whether you are allergic to some of the ingredients listed.

Extraction Method 

The extraction method is the process where CBD oil is derived from cannabis.

Carbon dioxide, ethanol, or solvent extraction is preferred to create a safe CBD product(40). The hemp extract may then be diluted with oil, such as olive oil.

Extraction methods using hexane or butane may leave harmful residues, like heavy metals and pesticides.

Third-Party Lab Testing

The best way to check whether a CBD product contains what the brand says it does is to look at the COAs (certificates of analysis).

The COAs must be up-to-date and come from a trusted third-party laboratory. Therefore, ensure that the information on the COA matches the claims on the product label.

CBD Brand Reputation

Many CBD brands are dedicated to offering only high-quality CBD products to their customers.

Still, make sure to research the CBD company to verify if it is a trusted brand. Read customer feedback to get more insight into the manufacturer and its products.

Carrier Oils 

After extracting CBD from the hemp plant, CBD manufacturers infuse cannabidiol into a carrier oil.

The most commonly utilized carrier oils are coconut oil and hempseed oil(41). Although most people interchangeably use hempseed oil and hemp oil, they have significant variations.

Hemp oil, popularly known as CBD oil, is an essential oil that comes from the flowers and leaves of hemp plants. Meanwhile, hempseed oil is made from the pressed seeds of hemp.

Hempseed oil is packed with nutrients and fatty acids, although it does not contain CBD(42).

Side Effects and Risks of Using CBD for Plantar Fasciitis

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), CBD is generally well tolerated. The compound also has a good safety profile(43).

When cannabinoids like CBD are applied topically, they neither enter the bloodstream nor become available to the entire body(44).

Therefore, CBD topical products may be safer to use, considering how little is known about the long-term safety of cannabidiol(45).

Still, using CBD topical products may carry some risks and produce minor side effects.

For instance, most CBD topical products contain extracts mixed into fat, such as coconut oil and beeswax. These ingredients make the content easier to spread and allow the compound to penetrate your skin(46).

However, ingredients like beeswax may trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals.

A 2019 study from Contact Dermatitis reported that a few patients with lip inflammation and facial eczema had allergic reactions to beeswax(47).

Thus, it would be better to consult a dermatologist before you use any CBD topical product for medical conditions like plantar fasciitis.

This way, you can avoid the risk of having an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients in a CBD topical product.

CBD for Other Medical Conditions 

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties(48) may be used to help with foot conditions, such as Achilles tendonitis or inflammation of the tendon(49).

The compound’s pain-relieving potential(50) may also help with peripheral neuropathy associated with burning pain caused by nerve damage(51).

Some individuals experiencing joint pain also reported noticeable pain relief after using CBD(52).

Legality of CBD

The United States Congress ratified the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing the commercial use of industrial hemp and products obtained from hemp plants(53).

The Bill indicates that Cannabis sativa L. and other derivatives of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis are considered legal under federal law(54).

Additionally, some states have passed laws regarding the use of cannabis-derived products. Since policies vary from state to state, consumers should familiarize themselves with various state regulations pertaining to CBD.

For instance, lawmakers in Texas passed laws in June of 2019 that made the creation of a state industrial hemp program possible(55).

Meanwhile, in Colorado, the local government decriminalized the use of marijuana by passing Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution in November 2012(56).

Still, even if a specific state law says that CBD is legal, the only FDA-approved CBD drug is Epidiolex, used to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy.


  1. How can CBD help with plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a degenerative condition that appears when a band of tissue that supports the arch of a foot becomes inflamed(57).

CBD’s purported pain-relieving properties(58) may help reduce pain triggered by an inflamed plantar fascia.

  1. What evidence or research exists to say that CBD helps with plantar fasciitis?

No evidence exists to say that CBD helps with plantar fasciitis. However, since pain is often manifested through inflammation that challenges individuals with plantar fasciitis, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties(59) may help with such a condition.

  1. Is there any evidence that CBD can make plantar fasciitis worse?

No evidence suggests that CBD can make plantar fasciitis worse. However, some ingredients in CBD products may trigger an allergic reaction in some people.

For instance, most CBD topical products contain extracts mixed into fat, such as coconut oil and beeswax(60). Beeswax may trigger an allergic reaction in some people(61).

Therefore, make sure to consult a dermatologist before you use CBD topicals for plantar fasciitis.

  1. Will CBD interact with any current medication I may be taking for plantar fasciitis?

Yes. CBD may interact with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), like ibuprofen(62). Ibuprofen is commonly used to alleviate pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis(63).

NSAIDs use the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which metabolizes approximately 60% of the pharmaceutical drugs people consume(64). At high doses, CBD may inhibit the activity of cytochrome P450, resulting in a drug-to-drug interaction(65).

Meanwhile, topicals do not enter the bloodstream(66). Still, an allergic reaction may occur when you are sensitive to a specific ingredient in CBD topical products.

  1. Are there other treatments I should consider alongside CBD to help with plantar fasciitis?

Some people suffering from plantar fasciitis may benefit from physical therapy to strengthen lower leg muscles(67). Pain relievers may also help.

CBD topicals could be a safer format, considering how little is known about the compound’s long-term safety(68).

Still, it is vital to consult a healthcare professional, especially if you are to use CBD for the first time alongside other treatments for plantar fasciitis. This way, these experts can advise you about potential allergic reactions and drug interactions.

  1. Can I fail a drug test if I use CBD for plantar fasciitis?

No. You will not get a positive drug test if you use CBD topicals for plantar fasciitis. CBD topicals do not enter the bloodstream(69).

CBD is non-psychoactive. However, some CBD products have small amounts of THC that may build up in your body when taken frequently via ingestion or inhalation(70).

An increased THC level in the bloodstream may result in a positive drug test.

  1. What is the dosage for plantar fasciitis?

The FDA does not recognize CBD as a medical treatment for plantar fasciitis. Hence, there is no standard CBD dosage for such a condition.

However, doses between 10mg and 100mg of CBD daily may be effective for pain and inflammation(71).

Pain and inflammation are associated with plantar fasciitis(72).

  1. Is CBD oil better than CBD cream for treating plantar fasciitis?

The best CBD oils for plantar fasciitis are available in various potencies and concentrations. It is best to talk to a doctor experienced in cannabis use, especially if you are considering taking CBD orally.

Meanwhile, CBD creams are forms of CBD topicals that people may use to target specific pain-afflicted body areas.

Topical products like CBD creams are not absorbed into the entire body(73).

Considering how little is known about the long-term effect of CBD, topicals like creams may be a more manageable option.

  1. Is CBD for plantar fasciitis legal?

The United States Congress ratified the 2018 Farm Bill, decriminalizing the commercial use of industrial hemp derivatives as long as the THC levels are less than 0.3%(74). Still, the FDA has not endorsed CBD as a medical treatment for plantar fasciitis.

  1. Are there any downsides to the legality of CBD?

The laws regarding the use of CBD vary from state to state. Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with different state laws to avoid possible legal repercussions.

  1. Plantar Fasciitis
  2. Plantar Fasciitis
  3. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  4. Research Shows Pain-Relieving Effects of CBD
  5. The Endocannabinoid System: Essential and Mysterious
  6. The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator
  7. Ibid.
  8. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
  9. Cannabis Study Reveals How CBD Offsets the Psychiatric Side-Effects of THC
  10. Healing With CBD, page 279.
  11. Cannabidiol
  12. Ibid.
  13. Plantar Fasciitis
  14. Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis: A Matched Case-Control Study
  15. Plantar Fasciitis
  16. Cannabidiol (CBD): A Killer for Inflammatory Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblasts
  17. Ibid.
  18. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  19. Plantar Fasciitis
  20. Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis
  21. Ibid.
  22. Self-Initiated Use of Topical Cannabidiol Oil for Epidermolysis Bullosa
  23. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
  24. The Role of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Chronic Pain Management: An Assessment of Current Evidence
  25. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain
  26. Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis
  27. Healing With CBD, page. 210.
  28. CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis, page 102.
  29. CBD: A Patient’s Guide To Medicinal Cannabis, page 123.
  30. Plantar Fasciitis
  31. CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis, page 129.
  32. Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis
  33. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  34. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  35. CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis, page 262.
  36. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  37. Flavonoids As Antioxidants
  38. The Cannabis Terpenes
  39. Innovations in Natural Ingredients and Their Use in Skin Care
  40. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
  41. Healing With CBD, page 205.
  42. Hemp Seed Oil Properties
  43. Cannabidiol (CBD)
  44. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  45. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  46. Ibid.
  47. Contact Allergy to Beeswax and Propolis Among Patients With Cheilitis or Facial Dermatitis
  48. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  49. Achilles Tendinitis–conditions/achilles-tendinitis/
  50. Research Shows Pain-Relieving Effects of CBD
  51. Peripheral Neuropathy
  52. CBD for Arthritis Pain: What You Should Know
  53. H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
  54. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
  55. Cannabis and the Law
  56. Legal Marijuana Use in Colorado
  57. Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs–conditions/plantar-fasciitis-and-bone-spurs
  58. Research Shows Pain-Relieving Effects of CBD
  59. Cannabidiol
  60. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  61. Contact Allergy to Beeswax and Propolis Among Patients With Cheilitis or Facial Dermatitis
  62. Healing With CBD, pages 115-116
  63. Plantar Fasciitis
  64. Healing With CBD, pages 115-116
  65. Healing With CBD, page 114.
  66. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  67. Plantar Fasciitis
  68. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  69. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  70. Can You Take CBD and Pass a Drug Test?
  71. CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis, page 129.
  72. Plantar Fasciitis
  73. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  74. H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
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