• Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by tingling sensation, numbness, and pain in the hand and forearm(1). Carpal tunnel syndrome may develop when one of the hand’s major nerves, the median nerve, is pinched as it travels through the wrist.
  • One clinical study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology demonstrates CBD‘s considerable immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory capabilities(2). Cannabidiol may be a potential alternative in the therapy of chronic pain.
  • According to research, CBD may exhibit anti-inflammatory and analgesic (anti-pain) qualities(3). In clinical studies, cannabinoid analgesics were generally well tolerated with tolerable adverse event patterns. Their addition to the pharmacological armament for pain management shows significant potential.
  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology studied 29 peripheral neuropathy patients(4). Topical CBD reduced symptoms, such as pain, cold, and itching. Further clinical studies are essential to establish whether CBD may be an anti-inflammatory topical.

How CBD Oil Works to Help With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) has symptoms of tingling, numbness, and discomfort in the hand and forearm(5). The condition develops when one of the hand’s primary nerves, the median nerve, gets compressed or pinched as it passes through the wrist.

Typical CTS symptoms include excruciating pain, itching, burning, and tingling in the fingers(6). CTS’s standard therapies include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)(7). Also, suppose the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are severe or do not respond to previous treatments. In that case, surgery may be necessary(8)

Some people cannot endure the adverse effects of painkillers or pain relievers. In contrast, others do not prefer to undergo invasive procedures such as surgery. Moreover, current treatment options include drugs like opioids, which have adverse side effects and increase the likelihood of substance abuse.

Due to these considerations, cannabidiol (CBD) has become prominent as an alternative solution. 

According to research, CBD may exhibit anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities(9). In clinical studies, cannabinoid analgesics were generally well tolerated with tolerable adverse event patterns. 

Thus, CBD may possess therapeutic benefits for pain management.

The Role of the Endocannabinoid System

G-protein-coupled receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in humans.

Several researchers have identified the modulatory activity of the ECS, which may play a role in producing numerous therapeutic effects(10).

In addition, scientists recognize that CB1 and CB2 activation by cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) modulates illnesses and disorders(11).

CB1 and CB2 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system (CNS), peripheral nervous system (PNS), and immune system(12).

In addition, research conducted on animals and published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine revealed that modulating peripheral endocannabinoids may have therapeutic relevance in pain relief(13).

The scientists also noted that CBD might affect glycine receptors despite its poor affinity for cannabinoid receptors. Glycine receptors are responsible for pain perception neurotransmission.

CBD‘s regulation of glycine receptors led to analgesic effectiveness in both inflammatory and neuropathic pain (14).

In addition, clinical trials have identified the therapeutic value of several minor phytocannabinoids (plant-derived cannabinoids).

According to research published in Life Sciences, CBD is the third most prevalent cannabinoid in hemp(15). Studies have identified the anti-inflammatory effects and analgesic effects of CBD.

Existing research on how cannabinoids may trigger the ECS is restricted to in vitro and animal studies. 

Further clinical studies are necessary to determine if CBD may be an alternative anti-inflammatory topical medication for humans.

CBD for Nerve Inflammation

CTS is an example of entrapment neuropathy (suppression of the nerve)(16)

Entrapment neuropathy is the effect of pressure on a peripheral nerve as it traverses a narrow channel surrounded by rigid tissues. 

Despite the condition’s prevalence, entrapment neuropathy is often misdiagnosed, underreported, and improperly managed. There are numerous forms of entrapment neuropathies, but carpal tunnel syndrome is the most prevalent.

The European Journal of Pharmacology published research demonstrating CBD‘s significant immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties(17).

The effects of cannabidiol on various organs and tissues are known to be significant. The study aimed to investigate the therapeutic potential of this substance in treating neuropathic pain and inflammatory pain in rats. The findings suggest that cannabidiol may help manage chronic pain.

Another research published in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology examined 29 individuals with peripheral neuropathy(18). It is a disorder characterized by nerve damage outside of the brain.

The double-blind trial, which used topical CBD and placebo, used the neuropathic pain scale to determine the average change from the beginning to the conclusion of the treatment period.

The outcome showed that topical CBD delivery considerably decreased patients’ acute pain, cold, and itching symptoms.

Moreover, the results indicate that the transdermal administration of CBD oil may provide individuals with peripheral neuropathy with considerable relief from pain and other disturbing sensations. The therapy was well tolerated and may offer a practical alternative treatment option for peripheral neuropathy.

However, peripheral neuropathy differs from CTS. Hence the same findings may not be applicable. 

In addition, the effectiveness of transdermal CBD treatments has only been shown in animal trials. Further studies are required to determine if CBD may be an alternative anti-inflammatory topical medication for humans.

CBD for Joint Inflammation

Several studies have shown the prevalence of CTS in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The incidence of CTS in RA patients was comparable to the incidence of CTS in the general population(19).

Despite the absence of precise data supporting the use of CBD to manage joint inflammation, scientists have observed that CBD may be able to alleviate chronic pain(20).

Additional research indicates that CBD may lower the endogenous pain response in rats with acute arthritic illnesses(21). Moreover, the nonpsychoactive chemical may aid in promoting fracture healing.

In 2016, the European Journal of Pain published research assessing the effectiveness of topical CBD in rats with arthritic pain(22)

Following CBD application to rat models, the researchers observed that the mice showed dramatically reduced joint swelling and limb posture, indicating that topical CBD may have therapeutic promise for inflammation and pain-related arthritic behavior.

​​Despite the rising acceptance of CBD for managing various ailments, longitudinal research is required to determine CBD‘s success in preventing joint inflammation.

The Pros of CBD Oil for Carpal Tunnel

  • CBD may regulate ECS receptors. Hence, inhibiting inflammation produced by entrapment neuropathies, including carpal tunnel syndrome(23).
  • Studies have shown that oral therapy of animals reduces discomfort from neuropathy(24).
  • Transdermal delivery of CBD to human subjects with neuropathic pain has been observed to cause considerably less intense pain, cold, and itching(25).
  • CBD has been recognized as safe and well tolerated in humans(26).

The Cons of CBD Oil for Carpal Tunnel

  • There is no known clinical (human) research on the potential effects of CBD on CTS patients.
  • CBD may induce side effects, including diarrhea, dry mouth, drowsiness, and appetite loss(27).
  • According to the FDA or the Food and Drug Administration of the United States, extremely high doses of CBD may cause liver damage, among other adverse effects(28).
  • There is a scarcity of data information about the long-term consequences of CBD consumption.

How to Use CBD for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

According to the research, CBD breathed by vaporization and aerosols may provide plasma amounts that individuals may feel within 10 minutes or less (29).

Many CBD consumers support vaping because of its accessibility. Vape items, like vape pens and cartridges, are meant to be portable and efficient.

However, there are a number of reports that vaping may result in adverse health effects, including allergic responses, lung damage, chest pains, and shortness of breath(30).

CBD may also be taken orally or sublingually (under the tongue), such as in the form of tinctures, pills, or gummies. It may take longer for oral administration to get the compound into the body. However, this technique permits optimal absorption (31).

Before taking CBD, individuals with CTS or other medical disorders must explore their choices with healthcare experts who are experienced in cannabis use.

Meanwhile, CBD topicals come in gel, cream, and ointment forms. Individuals who do not like to orally consume CBD are advised to use transdermal delivery.

Topical formulations are another common route of CBD administration. These products let users administer CBD where it is most required on the body. 

Patients using topical CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome may rub the product straight into their wrists.

Consumers may also consider purchasing a full-spectrum CBD product that includes a variety of other cannabinoids as well as terpenes.

These compounds may have their own anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties(32). In addition, some scientists think that they collaborate synergistically in a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.”

The “entourage effect” is the proposed favorable contribution of terpenes to the cannabinoid effect(33)

Additionally, consumers may keep an eye out for third-party lab findings. These demonstrate that a CBD product includes nothing extra or unnecessary. These lab reports indicate a brand’s legitimacy and confidence in the quality of its CBD product.

CBD Dosage

Consumers may select a product that meets CBD strength requirements. However, the precise CBD dose for carpal tunnel syndrome varies from person to person and is influenced by several variables, such as weight, age, diet, and genetics. 

CBD Oil vs. Alternative Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There is no best pain reliever for carpal tunnel syndrome as the acceptance of one’s body to medication and therapy varies. 

Due to difficulty bearing the adverse effects of painkillers, individuals may seek alternative remedies.

Numerous alternative medications are accessible as herbs. For decades, these plants have been utilized as anti-inflammatory medications.

Traditional uses for Devil’s claw include treating kidney problems, pain, liver and fever, arthritis, and malaria(34).  Meanwhile, Indian Olibanum (Boswellia serrata) is also a potential inflammatory agent(35). For their extracts, the herbs are chopped, cooked, and filtered.

There are currently insufficient studies on the effectiveness of herbs as analgesics and anti-inflammatory medicines.

CBD is obtained from plants as well (Cannabis sativa or hemp). CBD is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities(36)

CBD oil extracts are commercially accessible as tinctures, pills, and vaporizers.

Cayenne pepper is a substitute treatment for CTS. Capsaicin, a common component of spicy peppers, is present in cayenne pepper.

Capsaicin is renowned for alleviating peripheral nerve pain(37). Additionally, it is a typical component in topical ointments and lotions.

Some CBD transdermal products include capsaicin in their formulation. Some producers claim to strive to provide the best possible products, which necessitates the addition of additional pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol is one of the two most well recognized active chemicals generated from the cannabis plant(38).  Meanwhile, tetrahydrocannabinol is the main compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana.

CBD does not provide a high or is nonpsychoactive. However, some CBD products include trace quantities of THC.

CBD may be extracted from cannabis, but cannabidiol can also be extracted from hemp. 

Hemp is a similar plant that has less than 0.3% THC

The hemp plant is often used to create textiles and ropes. Congress declared hemp lawful in all fifty states in 2018, so CBD produced from hemp is also legal(39)

However, the regulations around CBD extracted from marijuana are significantly less clear.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a compound from cannabis plants (hemp).

Manufacturers extract the chemical from hemp to produce a more potent form devoid of the euphoric effects of medicinal marijuana or medical cannabis.

In the United States, CBD products may not include more than 0.3% THC.

THC is often present in cannabis products. This substance is responsible for inducing a psychoactive effect.

Depending on the cannabis strains used by the dispensary, some medical marijuana strains, like girl scout cookies, may contain 17 to 28 % THC, depending on the cannabis strains employed by the clinic(40)

Other states permit recreational and medical cannabis usage under federal law.

Due to a lack of research about how cannabis could influence the person, cannabis-based therapies are not suggested for CTS.

CBD is legal in almost every U.S. state and territory, as 2018 saw the inclusion of the Hemp Farming Act into the United States Farm Bill(41).

The Farm Bill authorized the production and sale of hemp-derived products, including CBD oil, hemp oil, and hempseed oil.

Nevertheless, the CBD oil market is primarily uncontrolled. Due to mislabeling and a lack of responsibility on certain producers, consumers are encouraged to purchase such goods with care.

By examining a company’s openness, consumers may identify authentic products. A quality CBD brand provides consumers with a certificate of analysis (COA).

The COA is a test result from a third-party laboratory that assesses the cannabis concentration. The COA also notifies the purchaser of the absence of heavy metals and other dangerous contaminants.


CBD may be effective for specific medical conditions. However, not all of those for which it is now advocated(42). For example, there is no proof that CBD can heal cancer. Meanwhile, CBD has modest support for treating sleep disorders, fibromyalgia pain, multiple sclerosis-related muscular stiffness, and anxiety.

Individuals may say that oral CBD reduces anxiety and discomfort and promotes restful sleep. However, this may not be the case for various CBD products on the market today. It is difficult to determine if these are the best CBD products with any therapeutic value since they have not been well evaluated.

Testing reveals that many CBD products do not contain the ingredients listed on the label. For instance, they may contain less CBD than stated. 

Side Effects

US Food and Drug Administration reported some of the possible side effects of CBD products(43):

  • CBD may damage the liver.
  • CBD may alter the effectiveness of other medications, possibly causing severe negative effects.
  • Combining CBD with alcohol or other substances that reduce brain activity, such as those used to treat anxiety, panic, stress, or sleep difficulties, increases the risk of sedation and lethargy, which may result in injury.
  • Male reproductive toxicity, or harm to fertility in males or male progeny of exposed females, has been shown in animal experiments, including CBD.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

One of the main causes of carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve(44). On the palm side of the hand, the carpal tunnel is a narrow channel enclosed by bones and ligaments. When the median nerve is compressed, the hand and arm may experience numbness, tingling, and weakness.

In the majority of patients, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can worsen over time(45). It may cause irreversible hand dysfunction, including loss of feeling in the fingers and weakening if left untreated for too long. Therefore, it is essential to identify and treat carpal tunnel syndrome immediately. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may include(46):

  • Occasional shock-like feelings in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
  • Pain or tingling that may radiate from the forearm to the shoulder
  • Difficulty in accomplishing actions such as buttoning the garments
  • Dropping of objects due to weakness, numbness, or a lack of proprioception, 

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Pressure on the median nerve leads to carpal tunnel syndrome(47).

The median nerve travels from the forearm to the hand via the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This nerve delivers feeling to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, except for the little finger. 

The median nerve also transmits nerve impulses to the muscles at the base of the thumb, allowing them to move (motor function).

Anything that compresses or irritates the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel may cause carpal tunnel syndrome. As swelling and inflammation are induced by rheumatoid arthritis, a wrist fracture may constrict the carpal tunnel and irritate the nerve.

In most cases, there are a number of different reasons for carpal tunnel syndrome. It is likely that the development of the disease is caused by a combination of several different risk factors.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments

If detected and treated immediately, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may typically be improved without surgery. If the diagnosis is unknown or the symptoms are minor, the physician will first offer nonsurgical therapy. 

Here are the most common carpal tunnel syndrome treatments(48)

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, may aid in the relief of pain and inflammation.
  • Splinting or bracing: A nighttime wrist brace or splint will prevent patients from bending their wrists while sleeping. Maintaining a straight or neutral wrist posture relieves strain on the carpal tunnel nerve. It may also be helpful to wear a splint while engaging in activities that exacerbate the discomfort.
  • Injectable steroid: A steroid injection into the carpal tunnel may temporarily alleviate pain.
  • Activity changes: When the hand and wrist remain in the same position for too long, especially when the wrist is flexed or stretched, patients may experience symptoms.

If the occupation or leisure activities exacerbate the symptoms, altering or adjusting them may help delay or halt the condition’s advancement. In certain instances, this may need modifying the workplace or desk.

  • Surgical procedure: If nonsurgical therapy fails to alleviate the symptoms or gives short relief, the physician may consider surgery.

The majority of physicians may be divided into being in favor of heat or cold treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Cleveland Clinic suggested cold treatment. Individuals may, once or twice every hour, freeze the wrist or bathe it in an ice bath for 10 to 15 minutes(49). The ice should alleviate the pain in the wrist, at least temporarily. Additionally, ice baths reduce the swelling of the afflicted tendons.

In one study, as a result of applying pressure at 0, 5, 10, and 20 N, tissue changes were detected(50). The nerve and ligament sizes were not appreciably affected by hand pressure at room temperature or after exposure to cold. The nerve, ligaments, and tendons had much greater suppleness after exposure to heat.

Meanwhile, the majority of occurrences of CTS are linked to trigger points(51). These trigger points or pressure points may be causative or may become active as part of the body’s natural protection and defense system or when the body attempts to “shut down” particular muscles in order to facilitate healing.

CTS often involves the treatment of trigger points in the scalenes, trapezius, triceps, and flexor and extensor muscles of the wrist.

However, there is no fastest way to heal carpal tunnel syndrome as it depends on the recovery period and healing process of the patients. 

Surgical Procedures for Carpal Tunnel 

If the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are severe or do not respond to previous therapies, surgery may be necessary(52). The purpose of carpal tunnel surgery is to alleviate pressure on the median nerve by severing the ligament pushing on it.

The operation may be conducted using two distinct methods:

  • Endoscopic Surgery

The surgeon uses telescope-like equipment with a small camera (endoscope) to view the carpal tunnel(53)

Then, the surgeon makes one or two tiny incisions in the hand or wrist to sever the ligament. Some surgeons may utilize ultrasonography to guide the instrument that slices the ligament as an alternative to a telescope.

  • Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

Carpal tunnel release is often an outpatient treatment, meaning that if everything goes well, patients may return home the same day(54). There are two forms of surgery to relieve the carpal tunnel. The open release is the conventional procedure where the surgeon cuts open the wrist to operate.

  1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  2. The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an orally effective therapeutic agent in rat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain
  3. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
  4. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities
  5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  9. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
  10. An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system
  11. The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy
  12. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System
  13. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors
  14. Ibid.
  15. Cannabichromene is a cannabinoid CB2 receptor agonist
  16. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Entrapment Neuropathies
  17. The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an orally effective therapeutic agent in rat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain
  18. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities
  19. The incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  20. A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain
  21. Cannabidiol: A Brief Review of Its Therapeutic and Pharmacologic Efficacy in the Management of Joint Disease
  22. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
  23. Entrapment neuropathies: a contemporary approach to pathophysiology, clinical assessment, and management
  24. The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an orally effective therapeutic agent in rat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain
  25. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities
  26. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent
  27. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700
  28. FDA. 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
  29. Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders
  30. Can Vaping Damage Your Lungs? (2019)., Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-vaping-damage-your-lungs-what-we-do-and-dont-know-2019090417734
  31. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans
  32. The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Terpenoids from Cannabis
  33. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders
  34. Devil’s claw
  35. Boswellia Serrata, A Potential Antiinflammatory Agent: An Overview
  36. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
  37. Capsaicinoids in the treatment of neuropathic pain: a review
  38. CBD products are everywhere. But do they work?
  39. CBD products are everywhere. But do they work?
  40. The Problem with the Current High Potency THC Marijuana from the Perspective of an Addiction Psychiatrist
  41. The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer
  42. CBD products are everywhere. But do they work?
  43. What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD
  44. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  45. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  46. Ibid.
  47. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  48. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  49. How To Get Relief for Carpal Tunnel Pain at Home
  50. Effect of Heat, Cold, and Pressure on the Transverse Carpal Ligament and Median Nerve: A Pilot Study
  51. Trigger Point Therapy – Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Self Help)
  52. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  53. What is carpal tunnel release surgery?
  54. What is carpal tunnel release surgery?
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