• Tattoos require proper aftercare, such as pain management and moisturizing, to avoid complications like infections and dryness(1).
  • Individuals with tattoos may take CBD products, such as edible CBD, to alleviate pain and prevent scarring in tattoos(2).
  • Before taking any CBD products, individuals should be informed of the products’ advantages and risks with the help of a healthcare professional.

Benefits and Effectiveness of Using Edible CBD for Tattoo Pain

No study has directly suggested that edible CBD may heal tattoos effectively. However, some evidence showed that CBD may be suitable for tattoos by alleviating post-procedure effects.

Tattooing involves etching the skin with ink using needles. It is a permanent form of body art that may cause complications, such as minor blood clots, itching, and bruising(3)

Meanwhile, an animal study from a journal on phytotherapy and phytopharmacology stated that CBD may reduce blood clots(4).

CBD may also benefit acute and chronic wounds by reducing the chances of scarring and expediting the wounds’ healing process, thus potentially helping individuals with tattoos heal faster(5)

Moreover, CBD may contain anti-itch properties that may be beneficial for skin conditions like eczema(6).

To address pain, CBD enables cannabinoid receptors in the body(7).

Cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which aids in maintaining internal balance in the body(8)

When pain is present in the body, pain receptors send signals to the brain for recognition(9)

Afterward, the ECS restores balance in the body by regulating pain receptors with dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that deal with mood stabilization(10).

CBD may target inflammatory pain beyond the surface level with cannabinoid receptors present in the nervous and immune systems(11)

Despite such findings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not found conclusive data on the safety and risks of CBD(12).

As research on CBD’s effects is ongoing, individuals interested in CBD must consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that a CBD product is safe to use.

How to Use Edible CBD for Tattoos

Individuals may take edible CBD to relieve anxiety, pain, and inflammation.

How CBD Helps Before Getting a Tattoo

Given CBD’s anxiolytic properties, individuals getting tattoos for the first time may take low dosages of CBD to alleviate nervousness and anxiety symptoms(13-14).

Edible CBD may work within 30 minutes and last for up to eight hours(15). Individuals may take edible CBD according to these observed onset times.

How to Use CBD for Tattoo Aftercare

Some tattoos may have long-lasting pain, especially when the tattoos are shaded. Shaded tattoos are created with tattoo guns with needles that vary in width, depending on the desired shading coverage. 

During recovery, tattoos may develop blistering, where water retention occurs due to poor aftercare, leading to infections(16).

Individuals may avoid infections and blisters with edible CBD(17).

Moreover, a study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences mentioned that CBD may be an analgesic or painkiller(18).

Another potential benefit of CBD is managing an individual’s overall wellness(19) by improving sleep quality and reducing the chances of depressive symptoms occurring(20).

How to Use CBD for Healed Tattoos

Some individuals may experience anxiety caused by body insecurity after getting tattoos(21)

A study released by Bradley University reported that individuals who felt conscious about their body modification upon being perceived by the public(22).

As with anxiety that may arise for tattoo first-timers, CBD’s anxiolytic properties may also help individuals experiencing stress over public perception(23).

However, as no study regarding the benefits of CBD for tattooed individuals has been confirmed, individuals may consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD to treat their specific symptoms.

CBD Oil vs. Tattoo Creams

Depending on the products, CBD oils are CBD-infused oils that individuals may take orally and topically. Some CBD oils may also be combined with food for a more convenient administration.

CBD oils contain CBD extracted from hemp. The cannabinoid is recognized for its potential therapeutic properties, especially for pain due to inflammation.

CBD oils affect the body systemically through the ECS, activating cannabinoid receptors to address imbalances across multiple body systems(24).

Meanwhile, tattoo creams are used for moisture methods of tattoo aftercare. Tattoo creams may be unscented or petroleum-based ointments. 

A study from the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association mentioned that some individuals apply tattoo creams up to three times a day to avoid skin dryness(25).

Another study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology suggested that tattoo creams may reduce redness in the tattooed area(26).

What Is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid derived from Cannabis sativa L. 

Unlike another major phytocannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, CBD may present anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties without the “high” caused by THC(27)

Today, CBD is sold in oral, topical, and edible forms, among others. However, the U.S. FDA has not approved CBD as a dietary supplement due to the lack of evidence about the cannabinoid’s benefits and side effects(28).

What Is the Tattoo Process?

Tattoos are made with ink carved onto the skin with one or more needles. This process creates permanent illustrations on the skin, generally regarded as body modification(29).

Tattoos may be done freehand or stenciled and may differ in price depending on the design and size. 

Tattooing may also be done in two ways: by a machine or by hand, also known as hand poking.

What Causes Tattoo Pain?

Tattooing does not require anesthesia or numbing creams(30), so tattoo pain is inevitable, albeit varied in intensity depending on the individual’s pain threshold.

Pain from the tattoo process may also depend on its placement in the body. 

Generally, tattoo pain is more prominent in thin skin layers with little fat, such as skin close to the bones or skin with few nerve endings.

  1. Tattoos: Understand risks and precautions. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/tattoos-and-piercings/art-20045067
  2. Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736837/
  3. TATTOOS. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868782/
  4. Anticoagulant effects of a Cannabis extract in an obese rat model. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16644197/
  5. The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for integumentary wound management. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/exd.14241
  6. Get the Facts: CBD. https://nationaleczema.org/get-the-facts-cbd/
  7. The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569
  8. The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator
  9. How The Nervous System Detects and Interprets Pain. https://southernpainclinic.com/blog/how-the-nervous-system-detects-and-interprets-pain/
  10. Modulating the Neuromodulators: Dopamine, Serotonin, and the Endocannabinoid System. https://www.cell.com/trends/neurosciences/pdf/S0166-2236(21)00022-9.pdf
  11. The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569
  12. 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
  13. Tattoo Consumption: Risk and Regret in the Purchase of a Socially Marginal Service. https://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/6350/volumes/v12/NA-12
  14. What are CBD gummies? Are there any health benefits? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/
  15. Healing with CBD, page 191. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  16. Complications of Tattoos and Tattoo Removal: Stop and Think Before you ink. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4411590/
  17. Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736837/
  18. Cannabidiol for Pain Treatment: Focus on Pharmacology and Mechanism of Action. https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/22/8870
  19. Cannabidiol use and effectiveness: real-world evidence from a Canadian medical cannabis clinic. https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-021-00078-w
  20. Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-021-00061-5
  21. Tattoo Consumption: Risk and Regret in the Purchase of a Socially Marginal Service.. https://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/6350/volumes/v12/NA-12
  22. Body Modification & Body Image. https://www.bradley.edu/sites/bodyproject/disability/modification/
  23. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
  24. The Therapeutic Aspects of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) for Cancer and their Development: From Nature to Laboratory. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412000/
  25. Aftercare Should Not be an Afterthought. https://journals.lww.com/jdnaonline/Fulltext/2015/07000/Aftercare_Should_Not_be_an_Afterthought__Current.2.aspx
  26. Tattoo aftercare management with a dermo-cosmetic product: Improvement in discomfort sensation and skin repair quality. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.14157
  27. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(19)30007-2/fulltext
  28. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
  29. Tattoos and Body Modification. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275582870_Tattoos_and_Body_Modification
  30. Tattoos: Understand risks and precautions. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/tattoos-and-piercings/art-20045067
CBD Clinicals is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more