Best CBD Oil for Pain: Top 10 Brands & Buyer’s Guide
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For many people, daily aches and pains are just accepted as part of everyday life, but what if this doesn’t have to be your reality? While there are over-the-counter and prescription painkillers to help with sore joints or tired muscles, there are also all-natural options that are worth considering.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has become one of the most popular plant-based alternative treatment options for pain. But, starting a new supplement without knowing how it may impact you can be scary. For some, knowing that CBD is related to the cannabis plant can be pretty disconcerting.
While you may be apprehensive about using CBD for pain management, the fact is that there are hundreds of safe, effective CBD products on the market. Because there are so many products to do from, we’ve done all of the research for you so that you can focus on figuring out which high quality CBD product you want to try.
When selecting the best CBD oils for pain, here are some of the factors we considered
1. Look at what the experts and consumers have to say about a product. More often than not, you’ll get the best information about a product by looking at what CBD experts, researchers, and long-time consumers are saying. These are trusted, unbiased voices that can steer you in the right direction when choosing a CBD oil.
2. We analyzed more than 5,000 user reviews on brand websites along with social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and open forums like blogs and Reddit.
3. Reviewed our readers’ opinions, reading more than 8,000 email subscribers through a survey, which polled readers’ views on specific products.
4. Studied brand websites to confirm the veracity of important information. We looked at how transparent a brand is, along with farming practices, extraction methods, and other details.
5. Tested more than 15 products from some of the most recommended CBD oil brands. This allowed us to personally experience the efficacy, potency, safety, and value of these products.
Top 10 CBD Oils For Pain
When rating the top ten products, there are several factors that we considered to ensure that each product is effective, safe, and offered a worthwhile value.
Factors that Helped Choose the Best CBD Oil Brands
Hemp can be grown in almost any climate, which means that companies can technically source hemp from anywhere around the globe. But, a quality CBD oil will only be made with CBD sourced from plants that are grown in the U.S. or EU. These places have regulated farming practices, which means the plants are grown with high levels of quality control. These hemp plants are typically grown without pesticides and herbicides, and are GMO-free.
There are three different types of CBD extracts that can be used in an oil-based product. The first is CBD isolate, which contains pure CBD. The second type of broad spectrum CBD, which contains other compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and other plant-based material. What broad spectrum CBD doesn’t contain is THC.
But, in the third type of extract, which is full spectrum CBD, there is a trace amount of THC. All legal CBD oil products must contain less than 0.3% by weight. So while THC is present, it won’t make you feel high or overly euphoric. It’s just enough to encourage the entourage effect, which enhances the effects that CBD has on the body.
The more potent the CBD is, the more efficient and effective it will be. Most CBD oils denote in milligrams how much CBD a dosage contains. What’s nice about CBD oil is that users can adjust the dosage as needed, just by simply taking more or less drops.
While a higher potency CBD will give you a bigger boost, low to mid potency oils offer more flexibility in adjusting dosage as needed. Low to mid potency oils are best for new users, as taking too much CBD can cause unintended side effects.
A product that’s available in many different sizes also offers another effective way to adjust the dosage as needed. You’ll find that many brands offer a variety of sizes, including 15mL, 30mL, and even 60mL options.
Flavor and aroma all play a part in the overall experience of taking CBD oil. The more enjoyable tasting a product is, the better experience you’re likely to have. It’s also much easier to take something consistently if you like the taste.
In the CBD oil world, you may have to dabble in some trial and error to figure out what you prefer. Strong flavors can cause headaches, but mildly flavored oils will still have a bitter, hempy flavor that many people simply don’t like.
The good news is that there are all sorts of flavors that brands use when making CBD oil more palatable. Whether you like fruity flavors, dessert flavors, or something in between, you’re sure to find one that you and your taste buds enjoy.
When looking at flavored CBD oils, pay close attention to how the product is flavored. Natural and organic flavorings are safer.
Ingredients are important, no matter if you’re buying a food supplement or a wellness product. The combination of ingredients used in a product influences many factors, including the quality of experience as well as the effects on the body. Ideally, you’ll want to only use CBD oils that are made with natural and organic ingredients, as they have better, safer effects on overall health. Avoid artificial chemicals as much as possible.
A brand can say and market anything they want about their product. The only way to confirm what CBD oil contains is through lab testing. Transparent brands will send their products off for testing by an independent, third party lab. These labs test for quality, safety, potency, and contents.
Being able to know exactly what a CBD oil contains invokes trust and peace of mind for consumers, especially those who are new to using CBD products.
A brand’s value is based on its customer satisfaction. The more happier customers a company has, the more reputable they are in the industry. While not everyone will be 100% satisfied with a product 100% of the time, you can often get a good idea of a company’s reputation by browning its customer reviews.
Look for products that have mostly 5-star reviews, as this means that customers were pleased with the performance, quality, and safety of the CBD oil.
There are still a lot of unknowns in regards to CBD. This is why it’s so important for companies to be open, honest, and transparent about their business practices. A brand that values transparency will welcome discussions and customer reviews.
Transparent CBD manufacturers will also provide information about farming practices, manufacturing, extraction and test results.
Customer service is the backbone of any successful, trustworthy company. Brands not only have to offer high quality products, they must also have a solid team of customer service experts who are available to answer questions and assist in any ways needed.
Shipping, Return & Refund Policies
The CBD industry is competitive, so it’s important to find a company that offers customer-focused shipping, return, and refund policies. Many brands offer rewards programs as well as discounts. This is great PR for the company and it also improves the customers’ overall experience and satisfaction.
Most people shopping for CBD oil are doing so online. This is why website experience is so important. Brands should have a website that is easy to navigate, informational, and usable on all devices and platforms.
Customers shouldn’t have to click through dozens of pages to find the information they need. A quality website should be well mapped out and offer a balance between text and imagery. The idea is to create an experience that is good enough to entice a customer to make a purchase now and again in the future.
1. Penguin CBD
Rated the #1 CBD brand by Rolling Stone, Penguin CBD sells CBD oil along with other CBD-infused products that are made with high-quality broad-spectrum CBD extract. The brand has been mentioned in other notable sources, including Merry Jane, Healthline, and Maxim.
Penguin CBD claims to be obsessed over creating high quality CBD that uses nothing but the highest quality ingredients. Their impressive lab results prove this to be absolutely true. Their dedication to providing trusted, safe, and effective products is also evident when reading customer reviews and other information on the company’s website.
All hemp plants are grown in Oregon using rich soil and safe, sensible regulations. They are also cultivated using organic practices and contain no pesticides.
So why the name Penguin CBD? Penguins waddle on and keep calm. They dive into life and live pretty simply. They find warmth among friends, work together to face challenges, and keep their cool, even under immense pressure. The owners of Penguin CBD believe that their products help people to embrace a simple, calm penguin lifestyle by restoring balance back to the mind and body.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Refined broad spectrum CBD
● Green Scientific Labs
● Infinite Chemicals Analysis
● Free 2-5 business day shipping
Return & Refund Policies
● Full refunds are available within 30 days of purchase if you are unsatisfied with the product for any reason.
● Bright and uplifting. Easy to use and navigate. Offers a ton of information, including a blog run by Penguin CBD.
2. FOCL’s CBD Drops
FOCL is a premium CBD brand based out of Los Angeles and Denver. The team at FOCL (short for Focus) is passionate about wellness and obsessed with producing plant-based products that actually work. Alongside their top-rated CBD Drops, FOCL also has premium CBD gummies and unique wellness formulas designed specifically for Focus, Sleep, Pain Relief and Immunity.
FOCL’s CBD Drops are ranked by Healthline as one of the best in the industry and get rave reviews from loyal customers for taste and quality. Beyond great taste, we were very impressed with the organic ingredients, cannabinoid profile, and extensive third party testing of FOCL’s CBD Drops. It’s obvious that FOCL doesn’t cut corners and goes above and beyond to produce the best CBD oil possible.
If pain relief is what you’re looking for, FOCL CBD Drops deliver. We recommend the 2000mg drops for best results and value. We also love their powerful Relief Cream . Check out their Relief Bundle for best value.
Product and Brand Highlights
Hemp Source: Grown in the USA using organic and sustainable practices
Extract Type: Broad spectrum CBD in 2000mg and 1000mg strengths
· True Broad Spectrum CBD (test results show a robust profile of minor cannabinoids)
· Organic MCT Oil
· Organic natural flavors
· Published on website
Shipping Policy: Free shipping for orders $65+ and for all subscriptions
Return & Refund Policy: Full refund available within 60 days of receiving order
Website Experience: Easy to navigate by intended usage with tabs for Focus, Relief, Sleep, Gummies, and Drops.
Everest is a rising star in the CBD arena and a brand we’d recommend keeping an eye on in the future. If their first forays into CBD are any indication, they’re going to be a big name in the market soon.
Everest’s full spectrum CBD oil is an easy recommendation for those looking for relief from their aches and pain. Their formula delivers a 5:1 ratio of CBD to other cannabinoids. That includes a considerable 2mg of THC with every 1mL dose.
Their extracts are derived from hemp grown within the United States. They also undergo a rigorous amount of lab testing to ensure purity and that customers receive the promised amounts of cannabinoids. The results for each new batch can be viewed on their product pages.So far Everest’s products include their signature CBD oil and CBD gummies, as well as Delta 8 oil, gummies, and vape cartridges. It’s a well-rounded lineup for any cannabis enthusiasts out there.
Product & Brand Highlights
American grown hemp
Full spectrum CBD
Organic MCT Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides)
Full Spectrum Hemp Extract
Green Scientific Labs
Free 3-5 business day shipping
Return & Refund Policies
Full refunds are available within 30 days of purchase if you are unsatisfied with the product for any reason.
Clear, pleasingly designed, and simple to navigate. Easy to find the product pages, as well as the policy pages.
4. R+R Medicinals
R+R Medicinals is quickly becoming one of the most trusted and popular CBD brands by proving one thing – they make the CBD that works. Using supercritical CO2 extraction on their proprietary Cherry strain of USDA Certified Organic hemp, they yield an unparalleled profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients in their products that translate into guaranteed performance. Their 1000mg Fresh Mint Tincture is their best seller and of incredible value for a Full-Spectrum product at $46.99 – that’s under 5-cents per mg!
R+R boasts impressive levels of CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN, CBL, and more in their products so you can truly feel the entourage effect. They also publish third party certificates of analysis on their site for every batch they make. In addition to being USDA Organic Certified, they are also US Hemp Authority Certified, and they have hundreds of 5-star ratings on Google, so you can take comfort in knowing they do things with the highest standards of safety and quality in mind.
They offer an array of products ranging from cream and gummies to dog chews and soft gels – all made with their Organic hemp as the input, so you can pick exactly the product you prefer. If you’re new to CBD, R+R Medicinals is a great place to start to get high performance CBD at a price that won’t break the bank.
Product & Brand Highlights
● USDA Organic, Colorado Outdoor-Grown Hemp
● Gummies: Peach, Strawberry, Apple
● USDA Organic Hemp Extract
● Organic MCT Oil from Coconut oil (product dependent)
● Organic Natural Mint Flavoring
● Free shipping on all U.S. orders
Return & Refund Policies
● 30-Day Guarantee on all Products
● Easy to navigate, clean and professional feel. Veteran discounts, subscription discounts, and an in-house customer service team that uses a texting contact mode.
5. Leaf Remedys
Leaf Remedys CBD oils are sub zero extracted from the highest quality organically grown Colorado hemp. The advantage of this extraction method is that a high-quality hemp plant can become a full spectrum extract without any further extractions resulting in a more preserved and purer Full Spectrum oil retaining all the natural cannabinoids and terpenes. High quality full spectrum extract is a much more promising therapeutic choice than an oil extracted using other extraction methods and chemical processing which results in a full spectrum oil more known as a distillate Full Spectrum that is not as effective as a true Full Spectrum like leaf remedys full spectrum. They also offer an Broad Spectrum oil for those with THC sensitivity or are worried about the small THC content in Full Spectrum oil due to employment reasons. The THC is removed from their Broad Spectrum oils with an organic process which preserves a lot of the cannabinoids and terpenes. Leaf Remedys is a brand dedicated to the cause and proud to offer an all-American product at a very fair price. Their oils are offered at 500mg, 1000mg, and 2000mg strengths. They also offer a 1000mg CBD gel, and 50mg Full Spectrum CBD Gummies which is one of the highest on the market.
· High quality Full and broad-spectrum oils
· Free shipping Anywhere in the united states
6. BATCH CBD
BATCH is more than worthy of a top spot on our Best CBD oil for Pain list. They are one of the few vertically integrated brands in the industry, and therefore can offer highly effective products for a great price. They even boost their oils with natural anti-inflammatory terpenes for enhanced results.
All products are made in house using their signature full-spectrum CBD extract and mixed with the finest organic ingredients. Customers often review BATCH’s tinctures as some of the best CBD oils available as they are known for their attention to detail with a focus on functional products. The only goal at BATCH is to make a product that works.
Based out of Milwaukee, WI, BATCH was started by three young founders while roommates at the University of Wisconsin. With background in Chemical Engineering and Business, the trio quickly elevated BATCH to one of the most reputable CBD oil brands in the industry. They believe the secret to their success is taking pride in being “Midwest nice” and giving every customer the personal attention they deserve.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Full-Spectrum hemp extracts
Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract
Organic MCT Coconut Oil
Organic Natural Flavor Oils
Natural Terpene Blend
● Desert Valley Testing
● Free shipping on all domestic orders (3-4 business days)
Return & Refund Policies
● 30-day satisfaction guarantee. BATCH will fully refund your order if not satisfied.
● Simple and easy navigation with a beautiful aesthetic. Offers supplemental education and outlines every detail of their extraction process.
7. Colorado Botanicals
Colorado Botanicals is a CBD company with an unrivaled dedication to quality and high standards. As a result, Observer crowned the brand as the #1 CBD company to buy from in 2021. The company’s founder established the brand in 2017 after searching for CBD for a loved one with cancer and realizing how difficult it was to find a reputable product. He created Colorado Botanicals to improve scientific transparency in the industry.
The brand’s broad spectrum CBD products stand out from competitors in two distinct ways – preservation of terpenes and its proprietary extraction and purification process. When it comes to purification, most brands use high heat. This removes unwanted compounds from CBD, like waxes, chlorophyll, and fats, but it also burns off essential compounds like terpenes.
Terpenes are critical to CBD’s effectiveness. They have several health benefits, and when they’re combined with cannabinoids, those benefits (like the entourage effect) are much stronger. Colorado Botanicals uses a pharmaceutical chemical separation process, naturally retaining hemp-derived terpenes versus adding them in from other plants and diluting the CBD.
A lot of brands tout the effects of terpenes in their products, but Colorado Botanicals shows the proof. It conducts in-house lab testing with the same liquid chromatography equipment used by third-party labs and then sends every batch of its products to third-party labs for unbiased, independent testing. The brand posts that reporting on its website, showing the types of terpenes in its CBD and their quantities – an unprecedented level of transparency in the CBD industry.
Additionally, Colorado Botanicals uses organically grown hemp in its products and produces its full catalog in an ISO 9001:2015 facility that upholds the highest standards. And, the brand offers a variety of CBD oils for all needs, ranging in potency from 750mg to 3,000mg . In short, this is incredibly high-quality, responsibly made CBD for a great value.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Organically-grown Colorado Hemp
● Broad Spectrum CBD Extract
● MCT Oil (contains coconut)
● Broad-spectrum CBD extract
● Flavoring (if applicable)
● Free 3-5 day shipping over $50, $4-6 for orders under $50
● Priority and overnight options available
Returns & Refund Policy
● 60-day risk-free trial
● Prepaid shipping label provided to send products back (opened and unopened) for a full refund
Modern and user-friendly with access to a great deal of product information and third-party lab results. Intuitive, engaging, fast, and incredibly helpful in leading customers to the right product.
8. Verma Farms
Verma Farms is the gold standard of CBD. While this brand is also known for its overly delicious gummies, which are inspired by the Hawaiian islands, Verma Farms also sells award winning CBD oils. In fact, their CBD oil kit was ranked #1 by Forbes and Entrepreneur Media. With this, you can buy with confidence knowing that Verma Farms is a trusted and highlighted brand.
All Verma Farms CBD products are pure, powerful, and pesticide-free. Whether you’re looking for pain relief, better sleep, or overall rejuvenation, this company is sure to have just the product for you. The well-rounded CBD oils will boost your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can feel and be your best every day.
Verma Farms as a company is inspired by the island of Maui. According to the owners, this island felt pure and untapped, and because of that, Maui is now home to Verma Farms. The company strives to provide products that show just how pure and powerful nature really is.
The brand proudly uses organic, pesticide-free, and GMO-free cannabis plants. Verma Farms has an expansive line of CBD products, including tinctures, gummies, dried fruit, topicals, capsules, and even treats and oils for dogs.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Lemon Lime (Focus)
● CBD isolate (product dependent)
● Coconut oil (product dependent)
● Hemp oil (product dependent)
● Kosher-grade Vegetable Glycerin (product dependent)
● Free shipping on all U.S. orders
Return & Refund Policies
● Returns of unopened products are accepted within 30 days of purchase.
● Shipping costs are covered if return is due to company mistake.
● Uplifting yet soothing website. Easy to use. Use of graphics and animation creates an engaging experience.
5:1 ratio of CBD to other beneficial cannabinoids
Contains CBD + THC, CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDV, and natural terpenes
Contains 2mg THC in each
U.S. Hemp Authority™ Certified & 3rd party lab tested
Available in 750mg, 1500mg & 3000mg strengths
Citrus and Chocolate Mint
30-day Money Back Guarantee
Each and every Medterra product begins with a simple seed grown in fertile American soil. Home grown, home harvested, and made to exceed the rigorous standards of the U.S. Hemp Authority™ and the Kentucky Department of Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, Medterra’s True Full Spectrum CBD is made using a proprietary whole plant extraction process.
Their 5:1 ratio of CBD to other beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes means that you’ll be receiving the full spectrum of benefits that the hemp plant provides.
Product & Brand Highlights
Hemp Source : American Grown
Extract Types: Full Spectrum Hemp Extract
Flavors: Citrus and Chocolate Mint
Organic Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil
Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Natural Flavors
Naturally occurring Cannabinoids: CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDV, Natural Terpenes
Lab Results: Green Scientific Labs
U.S. shipping takes 2-3 business days
International shipping available
Free Shipping on subscription orders
Return & Refund Policies: 30-day money-back guarantee
10. Kiara Naturals
For those seeking a stronger solution designed specifically for Pain we highly recommend Kiara Naturals. A premium Swiss manufacturer known for its high potency and problem specific CBD remedies.
Kiara is a family-owned business that makes everything by hand, in small batches in Appenzellerland, Switzerland under strict GMP standards. Their products have been heavily adopted by Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists and Herbalists all over Europe due to their high-quality ingredients and certifications.
Their Full spectrum CBD oils ranges from 1000mg-3000mg and their Pain Tincture is formulated with full spectrum CBD and other strong plants from alternative medicine that work really well at addressing pain through multiple mechanisms.
Get 15% off using our exclusive code at checkout: discover15
Product & Brand Highlights
● Ultrasonic Full-Spectrum and pure hemp extracts
· Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract
· Organic MCT Coconut Oil
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● Free shipping on all US orders
Return & Refund Policies
● 60 day money back guarantee if it doesn’t work for you.
● Modern and really easy to use. Great educational articles and ingredients pictures and breakdowns.
Bonus: Sunday Scaries
Sunday Scaries CBD oil tincture is one of our top picks for pain management for numerous reasons. In addition to using a special broad spectrum blend of CBD oil, Sunday Scaries tincture also incorporates Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12 and coconut oil into its formulation.
Vitamin D3: According to the National Institute of Health , “recent interventional studies have shown promising effects of vitamin D supplementation on muscular pain”.
Vitamin B12: According to the National Library of Medicine , “B12 may be an additional tool to consider for pain treatment”
Coconut Oil: According to Healthline , “Human studies suggest that eating coconut oil may reduce markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.”
What’s more: Sunday Scaries has a 97% customer service rating, which is always handled in-house, by a member of their team. Plus Sunday Scaries offers an industry-best refund policy: 100% lifetime money back guarantee, so there’s no buying risk.
Still not convinced? Try Sunday Scaries cbd oil tincture , which Spy.com called the “Best Tasting CBD Oil” with Discover Magazine’s exclusive 20% off code: DSC20 .
Product & Brand Highlights
● USA grown hemp (outside Denver, CO)
Custom Formulated Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Organic Coconut Oil
ACS Laboratory: Cannabis & Hemp Specialists
Free Shipping on Orders Over $59 & Subscriptions
Return & Refund Policies
100% Lifetime Money Back Guarantee
WillowCBD is a brand you should be aware of due to their attention to detail and high quality CBD products, including oils, gummies and creams. All of WillowCBD’s products are made using Colorado grown hemp and are totally pure and pesticide free.
By only using full-spectrum CBD their products can be used effectively for sleep, pain management, anxiety and rejuvenation. With a variety of CBD oil strengths and flavors available, WillowCBD is sure to have a variant that is right for you. Choose from 500mg, 1000mg or 2000mg strengths and natural, mint or citrus flavors. If you’re new to CBD we recommend trying out a few strengths and flavors to determine what works best for you.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Colorado grown hemp
● Full spectrum hemp oil
● 2-3 Business Day via USPS
Return & Refund Policies
● Returns of unopened products are accepted within 30 days of purchase.
Very easy to use and product pages contain a lot of information about the products, including ingredients, usage recommendations and customer reviews. WillowCBD also has an educational blog for those that are looking to learn more about hemp.
How Does CBD Help in Combating Different Kinds of Pain?
Chronic pain is a condition that impacts millions of people each year. In fact, according to a 2019 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 20.4% of adults experienced chronic pain and 7.4 adults had chronic pain that limited life and/or work activities.
The report also found that chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain not only increased with age, but was highest among adults aged 65 and older.
With so many adults facing chronic pain, it’s no surprise that the use of over-the-counter pain medications, along with prescription pain medications, such as opioids, have increased over the last few years. In 2019, the CDC warned against the excessive prescribing of opioids in its Misapplication of the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain report.
Chronic pain can be caused by all sorts of underlying factors, including internal and external injury, infection, inflammation, and the degeneration of bones and muscles caused by daily wear and tear.
Because there are so many things that can cause pain, making it hard to pinpoint the true source, it’s only natural that people would turn to opioids for pain management. The problem is that these drugs are highly addictive and often lead to abuse and dependency.
Over the last few years, the U.S. has been plagued by an opioid epidemic. The fact is that opioids are misused, causing many to become addicted and dependent on the drugs.
Opioids are strong pain relievers. They work by making pain sensations, but they don’t solve the underlying cause of pain. This means that in order to keep pain at bay, patients must take these medications daily. Seizing use enables the pain to return.
This vicious cycle has created a major opioid crisis in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , opioid overdoses kill millions of Americans each year. Here’s what the data from 1999 to 2017 shows:
● 1999-2017: More than 700,000 overdose deaths
● 2017: 68% of drug overdose deaths were linked to opioid abuse
● Opioid-related fatalities in 2017 were six time higher than those in 1999
● Each day around 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose
Back in the 90s, opioids were nothing more than a minor addiction problem that only seemed to pop up in certain regions. However, more than 20 years later, it has turned into a serious health crisis in America.
The good news is that CBD brings some hope to such a dark situation. CBD is not only safer and more effective than opioids, it carries no dependencies and actually treats the underlying cause of pain versus masking the symptoms. This ray of hope is sure to save countless lives.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized all hemp-derivatives, making CBD and similar compounds legal at the federal level.
While many are still skeptical about the safety and efficacy of CBD oil, the use of this compound has only continued to grow. From critically ill patients to athletes, more and more people have turned to this natural alternative to safely manage their pain.
When talking about chronic pain, we aren’t just talking about sore feet from walking all day or a sore back from sleeping in a bad position. Chronic pain is debilitating and life-destroying. It can strip away one’s happiness, relationships, and hobbies.
In fact, chronic pain may be caused by or could be the symptom of a wide range of serious health conditions, including:
● Irritable bowel syndrome
● Headaches and migraines
● Neuropathic pain/nerve pain
● Lower back pain
● Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
But whatever the cause or symptom, CBD may be able to effectively manage it. The best part is that CBD has no adverse or undesirable side effects. It contains no addictive properties, and it actually helps the body to minimize stress, inflammation, and other conditions that can influence pain.
CBD doesn’t work like opioids, which makes it a safer and more dependable option for those who live with chronic pain. Here’s how these two substances are vastly different.
● CBD is NOT addictive. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a full report that analyzed CBD and found that the compound doesn’t have any addictive properties. This means that it won’t lead to dependence. People can use it for months at a time without having to worry about getting hooked.
● CBD is NOT intoxicating . Unlike THC, the cannabinoid that causes a sense of being high and even hallucinations, CBD doesn’t have any psychotropic effects. This means you won’t feel overly euphoric or out of control after taking CBD oil.
● The body does NOT develop tolerance to CBD . This means that you can take the same dosage over and over again and still get the same results. In fact, some report that they need less CBD over time in order to maintain the same effects.
● Unlike THC, CBD does NOT directly act on the nerve receptors . When ingested, CBD works by indirectly hindering certain physiological functions. This is why the compound has little to no impact on the body’s chemical balance.
Even though some CBD oils use full spectrum CBD, which does contain trace amounts of THC, the amount is small and has very little effect on the body. Remember, all legal CBD oils must contain no more than 0.3% THC by weight. This small amount of THC is just enough for users to experience the entourage effect, which just heightens the effects and experience.
There are also products that are completely THC-free. If this is something you’re interested in, choose a CBD oil that uses CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD. This way you don’t have to worry about any potential bad side effects.
The endocannabinoid system (EDC) plays a role in pain sensation. The system, which is spread throughout most of the body, receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. These signals can either tell the body to promote or hinder certain physiological functions, including hunger, sleep, immune response, and pain.
The ECS naturally produces endocannabinoids, which helps to manage all of these sensations and many others. When ingested, CBD plays an indirect role in the system and influences these sensations.
An endocannabinoid deficiency can result in physical issues, such as sleeplessness and pain. Because certain conditions can be caused by internal or external factors, endocannabinoids work within the body to overcome these symptoms to help us adapt. But when we lack certain endocannabinoids, pain and other issues can become intolerable. In this case, CBD can provide a much needed boost of cannabinoids, but without any psychoactive effects!
How CBD Interacts With The Body
No matter if you consume or inhale CBD, it works by traveling to the side of administration, and then makes its way into the bloodstream. Once absorbed, CBD is transported to the endocannabinoid system and interacts with many cannabinoid receptors, namely CB1 and CB2. CBD also interacts with non-cannabinoid receptors, including 5-HT1A, which is a serotonin receptor.
By attaching to these receptors, CBD influences the body’s reaction in inflammation, sleeplessness, pain, and other functions.
For topical application of CBD, it’s worth noting that CBD moves through the epidermal layer to reach the inner skin, muscle, and bone cells. Topical products don’t enter the bloodstream, which can benefit those who are taking certain medications that CBD may negatively interact with.
What the Science Says: Studies on CBD & Pain
While there’s still a lot to learn about CBD, there are several clinical trials and research studies that have found that the ECS and cannabinoids may play a crucial role in difficult to treat, chronic, and acute pain management.
Here are some of the studies that are worth highlighting that show the amazing role that CBD plays in curbing pain while also minimizing its intensity.
● A 2018 animal model clinical trial , which was published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology , was able to prove that CBD is a great inhibitor of neuropathic, inflammatory, and cancer pain. In this study, pain was artificially or chemically induced in mice to stimulate the required conditions.
● A 2016 review of several randomized controlled trials, published in the Schmerz , determined that cannabinoids are a safe and well-tolerated substance for treating chronic pain. The review found that cannabinoids are effective in treating pain caused by rheumatic diseases, including back pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and others.
● A 2018 generalized study , published in Molecules , found that there is ample proof that shows that CBD will become part of future developments in pharmacological, pharmaceutical and technological sciences. The hope is that this will lead to new and better therapeutic options and administration methods for using natural and synthetically-derived cannabinoids for treating pain.
● A 2019 randomized controlled trial , titled Analgesic Effects of Pharmaceutical-Grade Cannabis in Chronic Pain Patients With Fibromyalgia, found that pharmaceutical-grade CBD, also known as medical marijuana, may be highly effective in reducing pain in the human body.
There is still a lot to learn about CBD, but thus far, dozens of studies and trials have shown that CBD oils and other CBD products may be effective in treating pain and inflammation for short and long-term relief.
In fact, CBD has become so widely used that the Mayo Clinic Proceedings has released the Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils .
How to Use CBD Oil for Pain
When extracted from the hemp plant, the end result is oil-based CBD. But, CBD oil can be infused and made available in many different forms, including tinctures, vape liquids, edible oils, capsules, powders, isolate crystals, and more. CBD oil can even be transformed and added to topical products and even delicious edibles, such as gummy candies and chocolate.
For this guide, we’ve mostly focused on CBD oils and tinctures, which are used sublingually. This administration method allows CBD to be absorbed by the glands under the tongue. So how can you best use CBD oil for pain management?
Here are some options to consider:
This method of taking CBD oil can involve using a tincture or spray that is applied under the tongue. The sublingual glands are able to absorb CBD directly into the bloodstream. After putting the oil under your tongue, you’ll need to hold it there for 6-90 seconds, and then you swallow it. Most people gulp the oil down while drinking some water. Any CBD content that remains in the swallowed liquid is absorbed by the digestive system.
Capsules and edibles are a convenient way to consume CBD oil. What’s nice about this option is that you don’t have to taste the CBD at all. Gummies and other sweet products can be infused with CBD oil for a flavorful way to manage your pain. Some people even add CBD to their daily smoothies and consume it that way.
All of these methods work by the body absorbing CBD into the bloodstream after it’s been metabolized by the digestive system. With oral administration, the bioavailability is extremely reduced, which decreases the effectiveness.
Some CBD oils that can be taken sublingually can also be vaped. While this form of CBD offers one of the highest bioavailabilities, it isn’t a safe option for everyone. Those with lung or other pulmonary issues should avoid using vaporizers.
There are all sorts of topical products, such as lotions, balms, salves, and patches that have been infused with CBD oils. These products are directly applied to the surface of the skin where there is pain or inflammation.
CBD Dosage for Pain
Now that you know the many ways you take CBD, you may be wondering what the best dosage is so that you can experience the relief you need. However, there is no one-size-fits-all dose. The effects of CBD are relative, so not everyone will have the same experience. The efficacy and efficiency of CBD used for managing pain is dependent on many factors.
Some of the variables that impact the efficiency of CBD include:
● Severity of pain
● Where the pain is felt
● Body’s ability to absorb cannabinoids
● Specific chemical balances within the EDC
When using CBD to treat severe conditions like chronic pain, it can be difficult to pinpoint the right dosage. But, with some trial and error, you will eventually find your sweet spot.
To make things even more complicated, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use or sale of CBD as a foodor drug. This makes it much harder to make dosage suggestions. So at this point, dosages are open for interpretation.
However, it is worth noting that the FDA has approved a prescription drug called Epidiolex, which contains a naturally sourced, purified form of CBD. This medication is used to treat seizures caused by rare forms of epilepsy, including Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. These conditions are typically found in young patients.
Even then, people of all age ranges, including elderly people, have experienced tons of success using CBD oil for pain management and pain relief. And while there is no set in stone therapeutic dose for CBD, most people have found relief by using doses that range from 2.85 to 50 mg/kg/day .
If you’re new to taking CBD, it’s best to practice restraint and patience. Start with a low dose and then slowly increase it until you find your sweet spot. For those who take medications or have underlying health conditions, it’s best to consult with a doctor who has experience using cannabis-derived substances as treatment.
Lastly, if you are looking to improve your health and energy you need to look at sleep as well. There are lots of way to improve your sleep . According to studies better sleep can lead to better concentration, more energy, faster metabolism and lower inflammation. All in all, good sleep will help you get the most out of the products above and set you up for long-term success on your health journey.
Looking for the best CBD you can find? Check out our awards for the best CBD Gummies , best CBD Oi l, Best CBD Oil For Dogs , and Best CBD Oil for cats .
Best CBD Oil for Pain Relief & Inflammation: Highest Quality Brands On The Market
Over the past three years, CBD oil has become increasingly popular as a health and wellness supplement.
One of the main reasons people are interested in trying CBD oil is because of its pain-killing benefits. We’ll get into the details of how CBD is suggested to help with pain later, along with some suggestions for the best CBD oils for pain and inflammation.
The ability for CBD to help with pain is a significant advantage over conventional pain management options — which often involve addictive and potentially harmful medications. Instead, this natural supplement has very few side effects and an exceptional safety profile — all without compromising on effectiveness.
But how do you choose the right CBD oil for the job?
This is an important question to ask because the truth of the matter is that not all CBD oils work. Many simply contain too little CBD to be of any help, while others contain harmful contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, or chemical solvents — all of which could add to the pain you’re already experiencing by damaging the sensitive nerve cells around the body.
We’re going to cover all of this in the article below. You’ll learn how to spot a high-quality CBD oil and how current evidence shows CBD to work inside the body.
This is a big topic, so let’s get started with our list of top-rated CBD oils for pain.
Top 10 Best CBD Oil Brands for Pain Management in 2022
Not sure which CBD oil to buy to help with chronic pain? Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how CBD is suggested to work for pain and inflammation, here’s our top 5 list of CBD oils I’ve used myself for back pain.
We’ll also offer some advice on a few ways you can spot a trustworthy CBD vendor even if they didn’t quite make it onto our list.
I’ve been using CBD for over 5 years now and I’ve stumbled upon some stellar companies with top-notch oils and fly-by-night businesses with oils that can’t simply don’t work.
I have a relatively short list of CBD brands that I fully trust and I want to share my choices with you so you can avoid some of the headaches and disappointment I’ve already endured.
Here are my top 10 CBD oil brands for pain:
1. Royal CBD (Best CBD Oil On The Market)
|Total CBD Content||250 – 2500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Mint, Vanilla, Berry|
|Potency||8.3 – 83.3 mg/mL|
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
Why Royal CBD is My Top Pick:
As skeptical as I am towards the majority of new CBD brands, I decided to give Royal CBD a try because I liked the company’s dedication to quality. I love seeing companies that take what they do seriously.
You can tell right away from the color, flavor, and consistency of the oil that you’re dealing with a product well above average.
This oil is cheaper than most of the other premium CBD oils I’ve tried, comes in a full range of potencies, and uses some of the best full-spectrum hemp extracts I’ve ever seen. I’ve heard friends using this brand for quite some time and decided to give it a try for myself — so I ordered a few bottles in different strengths.
After taking the Royal CBD’s 2500mg full-spectrum CBD oil for just over a week, I noticed an improvement in my back pain. There was a time when I had serious problems falling asleep because of the sharp pains in my back that seemed to intensify whenever I laid down to fall asleep. It was a nightmare. I’d lay awake for hours changing positions to try and find a spot that didn’t leave me writhing in discomfort.
With this oil, my experience went far beyond what I expected. Not only did it help ease the pain, but my overall quality of sleep improved. I mean, I didn’t sleep longer but I began to wake up rested and with a clear head.
My favorite combination for this particular oil is the vanilla in the 1000 mg bottle. This is the largest potency option currently offered by Royal CBD and has the best value overall. I took the oil twice per day, once in the morning when I woke up, and again in the evening before bed. One bottle of the 1000 mg CBD oil lasted me about a month.
- Sourced from US-grown organic hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes
- Available in 4 different strengths
- Up to 2500mg of CBD per bottle
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
- Great natural flavors (no aftertaste and comes in multiple flavor options)
- Free shipping within the USA
- Newer brand on the market that only sells online, no physical presence
2. Gold Bee (Best Organic CBD Oil)
- Premium Colorado-grown hemp
- CO2 extraction
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Delicious kiwi flavor
- Sweetened with organic honey
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
- Only one flavored option available
- No high-strength oils (yet)
What I Like About Gold Bee:
I honestly believe Gold Bee makes the best organic CBD products out there. The brand combines premium Colorado-grown hemp with organic honey sourced from the Brazillian Rainforest. While Gold Bee offers a modest selection of oils — with up to 1200 mg of CBD per bottle — the formula is spot-on when it comes to the quality of ingredients. I’m totally not going to complain about the potency, as my back pain and sleep quality got better than with some high-strength oils I’ve tried in the past. Considering the quality of these products, they actually come at a bargain price. If you want to try other formats from Gold Bee, you can choose between its high-strength capsules and CBD-infused honey.
3. CBDPure (Runner Up)
|Total CBD Content||100 – 600 mg|
|Potency||1.6 – 10 mg/mL|
What I Like About CBDPure CBD Oil:
I love how transparent this company is. If I were judging companies solely by their transparency level, CBDPure would have scored the second place, right after Royal CBD. The company provides all the details about each stage of production when making this CBD oil. You can find all the third-party lab test results for each batch on the product page — something we’ve come to expect from any high-quality CBD company.
What really makes this company stand out is its incredible satisfaction guarantee. If you order the product and decide it wasn’t working for you, simply send it back and get a full refund. This satisfaction guarantee extends over 3 whole months — which is about three times longer than the industry average.
I keep a bottle or two of CBDPure oil in my medicine cabinet for achy moments after a run or hike with the kids.
The only real downside to this oil is the potency — which comes in denominations of 1.5, 5, and 10 mg/mL. This is suitable for more minor symptoms, but may not be enough for people with heavy CBD demands.
- Sourced from Colorado-grown organic hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Tested for the cannabinoid content and purity in a third-party lab
- Rock-solid 90-day return policy
- Narrow product range
- Low potency
- They don’t ship to every state (i.e. Louisiana, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansas)
|Total CBD Content||300 – 4000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Unflavored, Acai Berry, Orange Creamsicle, Peppermint, Watermelon|
|Potency||10 – 133.3 mg/mL|
What I Like About HempBombs:
I used HempBombs CBD isolate-based hemp oil for quite some time before switching to full-spectrum CBD oil and in my opinion, this is the best brand when it comes to CBD isolates. Their products contain 99% pure CBD and ZERO THC.
Now don’t get me wrong, CBD isolates are great, they offer consistent doses of CBD, contain 0% THC, and are generally cheaper than their full-spectrum counterparts. In most cases, I like using a full-spectrum extract like Royal CBD oil because of something called the entourage effect — which is a concept highlighting the phenomenon where cannabinoids like CBD tend to work better when other hemp-derived compounds are also present.
In isolates, the only cannabinoid present is CBD.
HempBombs CBD oil is available in five different strengths — from 300mg to 4000mg per bottle. The CBD is added in the form of a 99% pure isolate — which means there’s going to be virtually no traceable amounts of any other cannabinoids, including THC, CBC, CBG, or CBN.
You can also buy these oils in different flavors. Hemp Bombs often adds new flavors to the list, but my all-time personal favorite is the Acai berry. It’s not too sweet but adds a really pleasant flavor to the otherwise bland CBD and MCT oil formula.
- Sourced from 100% certified organic hemp from European farms
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Completely THC-free
- Tested in third-party laboratories for purity and potency
- Available in 5 separate strengths
- Up to 4000mg of CBD per bottle
- Lacks the synergistic effects from other cannabinoids
- The highest potencies are overkill for most users
- Uses synthetic flavoring agents
|Total CBD Content||250 – 5000 mg|
|Potency||8.3 – 166 mg/mL|
What I Like About CBDistillery:
CBDistillery is now one of the largest CBD companies in North America. The company began in 2016 as a legacy brand for Balanced Health Botanicals.
Over the years, CBDistillery has had the chance to really dial-in its CBD oil formula. The company now sells its CBD oil in two formats — “full-spectrum” and “THC-free.” The THC-free option is great for people who want to benefit from the synergy of CBD and other cannabinoids but without bringing any THC whatsoever into their system.
Even the full-spectrum option contains less than 0.3% THC — which is well below the amount needed to cause any psychoactive effects. These oils are both completely non-psychoactive.
You can choose between five different strengths, starting at 250mg up to 5000mg of CBD per bottle. This covers just about every range of potencies you would ever need. We recommend opting for the higher potency options because they have the best value overall. The higher potency you purchase, the further your dollar gets you.
The more potent options also las the longest because you need smaller amounts of the oil each time to get the desired dose of CBD.
I tried the 1000mg bottle to keep myself calm during the first few months after giving birth to my first son and I must admit it helped me maintain my sanity during that time. I found it to have a remarkable calming effect on the body and mind.
- Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil (THC-free)
- 5 strengths to choose from
- Carries up to 33.3 mg of CBD per mL (in the 1000 mg bottle)
- Excellent value CBD oil
- The hemp isn’t certified organic
- No flavor options available
- The company website is clunky and hard to navigate
6. NuLeaf Naturals
|Total CBD Content||240 – 4850 mg|
What I Like About NuLeaf Naturals
Nuleaf Naturals is one of the most popular CBD companies in the United States — most likely related to how long the company has been in the business of selling CBD. Nuleaf naturals were one of the first CBD companies to enter the mainstream market.
Despite the companies longstanding reputation, Nuleaf Naturals only sells one CBD oil. When you go to the website you’ll find a few different options, including a pet oil — but it’s important to understand that these are all the exact same full-spectrum extract, the only difference is the bottle sizes.
We love the simplicity of Nuleaf Naturals product lineup. The oils come with a decent potency of around 48 mg/mL, and just about every bottle size you can imagine. This makes it easy for everybody to find a product that works for them regardless of the budget.
With that said, if you have the cash, we highly recommend getting the larger bottle sizes in order to get the best value for your money.
You can choose between five different sizes:
- Sourced from organic Colorado-grown hemp
- Extracted using supercritical CO2
- Made from a full-spectrum hemp extract
- More expensive than the other brands in this ranking
- Narrow product range
7. Charlotte’s Web
|Total CBD Content||200 – 1800 mg|
|Available Flavors||Mint Chocolate, Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, Olive Oil|
|Potency||7 – 60 mg/mL|
About Charlotte’s Web:
Charlotte’s Web is one of the pioneers in the American CBD industry. Established by the Stanley Brothers, the company has coined a reputation of a trustworthy manufacturer by helping now late Charlotte Figi with her treatment-resistant epilepsy. Although the company has recently received a warning letter from the FDA due to their health claims, they still have many faithful customers and a massive number of positive reviews on the web.
Charlotte’s Web CBD oil comes in several potencies: 200 mg, 500 mg, 1500 mg, and 1800 mg of CBD per bottle. The highest strength offers 60 mg of full-spectrum CBD per milliliter. There are two bottle sizes to choose from: 30 mL and 100 mL; Charlotte’s Web also has flavored variants of its CBD oil, including Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, Mint Chocolate, and Olive Oil.
What could the company do better?
First off, they could change their extraction method because they use ethanol, which is less efficient than CO2 extraction. Secondly, and most importantly, the suspension in olive oil makes them taste a bit bitter — even in the flavored versions.
- One of the most reputable brands on the market
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Delicious flavored versions
- Up to 1800 mg of CBD per bottle
- Available in two sizes: 30 mL and 100 mL
- Third-party tested for potency and purity
- Non-organic hemp
- Ethanol extraction
- Suspension in olive oil (bitter taste)
- The company received a warning letter from the FDA in the past due to inappropriate health claims
|Total CBD Content||300 – 7500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Berry, Orange, Mint|
|Potency||10 – 250 mg/mL|
cbdMD is another popular manufacturer that offers a wide range of CBD extracts, from tinctures to gummies to capsules, bath bombs, topicals, sleep aids, and pet products.
The brand offers a wide range of pure CBD oils, with up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle. The highest potency comes with a whopping dose of 200 mg of pure CBD suspended in MCT oil for higher bioavailability and a smoother flavor. cbdMD also has three flavored CBD oils: Berry, Orange, and Mint.
Despite an impressive potency range, cbdMD uses broad-spectrum CBD in their products, which doesn’t evoke the full entourage effect. The higher potency may not necessarily mean better results in this case.
The company has high transparency standards; not only does cbdMD broadly describe their activity from farming to testing, but they also provide batch-specific certificates of analysis for their products, including the results for potency and common contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents.
- US-grown, non-GMO hemp
- CO2 extraction
- Up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle
- Batch-specific certificates of analysis
- Limited entourage effect due to the lack of THC
- Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD in their routine
|Total CBD Content||500 – 3000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Citrus, Mint Chocolate|
|Potency||16 – 100 mg/mL|
Medterra is a small craft company from California. The brand offers premium CBD oils in different spectra: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and isolates. The potency of these products ranges between 500 mg and 3000 mg of CBD per bottle, which is a standard range. On top of the unflavored version, there are two flavored options: Citrus and Chocolate
Medterra prides itself on making the real full-spectrum CBD because each bottle of its full-spectrum CBD oil comes with 2 mg of THC. However, these products are only legal in the states that have legalized higher amounts of THC for recreational use. So, if you want to buy the company’s products in all 50 states, your options are limited to broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. These provide more CBD per bottle — upwards of 1000 mg.
The entire Medterra’s product range is tested in a third-party laboratory for their CBD content and safety.
- Premium-grade CBD oils
- Up to 3000 mg of CBD per bottle
- Available as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and isolates
- Lab tested for potency and purity
- The “real” full-spectrum CBD oil isn’t available in all states
- Some of the lab reports indicate higher CBD levels than stated on the bottle
- No discounts for returning customers
10. Joy Organics
|Total CBD Content||450 – 900 mg|
|Available Flavors||Tranquil Mint, Fresh Lime, Summer Lemon|
|Potency||15 – 30 mg/mL|
About Joy Organics:
Joy Organics holds the reputation of one of the most reputable CBD vendors in the industry. The company was established by a woman named Joy Smith, who has been using CBD oil to manage her problems with pain and sleep. After experiencing the benefits of CBD first-hand, she has decided to share her passion for cannabis with other health-conscious consumers.
The brand sells a range of broad-spectrum CBD products from certified organic hemp. They have many positive reviews all over the Internet; they also haven’t received any warning letter regarding health claims from the FDA — unlike many companies in this space (even the veterans like Charlotte’s Web).
The Joy Organics CBD oil features a broad-spectrum CBD formula in a modest potency range, from 450 to 900 mg of CBD per bottle. You can choose from three refreshing flavors: Summer Lemon, Fresh Lime, and Tranquil Mint. The strongest version of the Joy Organics CBD oil contains 30 mg of broad-spectrum CBD in every milliliter, which is a standard dose for most people who take CBD oil for daily supplementation.
In 2018, one of the company’s flavored CBD oils was found to contain a fungicide that is commonly sprayed on citrus fruit during independent lab testing. Fortunately, Joy Organics recalled the product shortly after this incident and implemented a new third-party testing system to make sure there are no flaws in the end product.
- Non-GMO, US-grown hemp
- Supercritical CO2 extraction
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- Delicious flavors
- A bit expensive
- No high-strength oils
CBD Oil for Pain Management: Complete Guide for Beginners
Now that we’ve covered a few CBD oil options that are going to provide the best value for your money, let’s discuss how CBD is suggested to support chronic pain in the first place. We’ll also cover some of the most common ways people are using CBD oil for pain.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD stands for cannabidiol _ it’s one of the primary active ingredients in the cannabis plant. It’s completely non-psychoactive and offers a wide range of benefits to the human body.
CBD oil is a combination of a CBD extract, with a carrier oil to help dissolve and store the CBD. Most CBD oils use carrier oils like MCT oil, or hemp seed oil — which is then combined with CBD isolate, or full-spectrum hemp extract rich in CBD and other similar cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids like CBD are fat-soluble — which means they dissolve when mixed with oil, but won’t dissolve in water. By dissolving these compounds in an oil solution, the CBD becomes much easier to store and use. Instead of measuring out micrograms of CBD crystals or hemp resin, all you need to do is measure oil to get your dose of CBD. This can be done using a simple dropper that comes standard with most CBD oils.
Because of their ease of use, and long shelf-life, CBD oils have become the go-to method of using CBD and other hemp extracts.
You can also opt-out to use CBD-infused gummies if you wanted something discreetly, read our in-depth review on CBD Gummies to understand better.
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabis has been used for managing pain and inflammation for thousands of years.
The earliest records of the medical use of the herb date back to ancient China when the emperor Shen-Nung placed it among other therapeutic substances in the Chinese pharmacopeia (1). The leaves were wrapped around an injury as a poultice to reduce pain and discomfort, and reverse swelling and bruising.
Despite being a known medicine for a long time, scientists have only recently begun to unlock the mechanisms cannabis uses to achieve its important pain-killing benefits.
Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in 1992, CBD and other phytocannabinoids have been in the spotlight of modern medicine.
The endocannabinoid system is one of the most important neurochemical networks in the human body (2). It works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system — a series of hormones and receptors that help regulate over a dozen core processes in the human body. The active compounds in the cannabis plant are very similar to the naturally-produced hormones involved with our endocannabinoid system.
By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD and other cannabinoids are able to modulate several key processes, such as:
- Immune function
- Sensory perception (including pain)
- Reproductive health
- Nerve function
How Can CBD Reduce Pain Transmission?
How does all of this relate to pain? The answer lies in the way pain is transmitted to the brain.
When we injure ourselves, cells in the immediate vicinity begin releasing compounds that trigger a cascade of inflammation and sensory activation — which is what triggers the pain transmission.
The pain signal is then sent to the spinal cord through a network of nerves distributed all around the body.
Once in the spine, the pain signal is sent through a gateway (opioid and vanilloid receptors) designed to limit the amount of signal that ends up in the brain for processing. This works like a border crossing. The border security decides whether or not you’re allowed to enter and what you can take with you.
In the context of pain, these gateways can limit the amount of pain signal that continues across the border to the brain. If more pain signal is allowed to pass, the brain perceives more pain. If the pain is stopped at the border, the brain perceives less pain.
Conventional pain medications work by activating the opioid receptors acting as a key gateway for pain transmission to the brain.
CBD has a similar effect, but through a different receptor is known as the vanilloid receptors. These vanilloid receptors are tasked with regulating a specific form of pain caused by either heat or inflammation. CBD has been reported to modulate this vanilloid receptor — leading to a reduction in the pain signals sent to the brain from inflammatory causes such as arthritis, muscle damage, or infection, to name a few.
CBD has other ways it can limit pain transmission as well:
- CBD may reduce inflammation, limiting the initial cause of pain in the body
- CBD acts as an antioxidant, helping the body resist and recover from damage
- CBD relaxes muscle fibers, reducing pain caused by muscle spasms and tightness
More research is needed to fully understand how CBD and other active cannabinoids can block pain. Every year dozens of new research papers are published in an attempt to paint a clear picture of how CBD works, how to get the most benefit from the supplement, and what its limitations are.
(Pain Transmission Pathway to the Brain)
Choosing CBD Oil Companies: How to Differentiate the Good From the Bad
CBD has become a lucrative business. Companies are selling a myriad of different CBD oils and other products in an attempt to cash in on the new health trend. This means there are a lot of excellent products coming to market, but it also means there’s a lot of trash as well. It’s important as a CBD user that you understand what makes a CBD oil good, and what makes it bad so you can avoid wasting your money, or worse — using CBD oils that contain harmful or damaging ingredients.
Let’s cover the most important points to remember when shopping for CBD oil online or in-store.
1. Check the Hemp Source
The source of the hemp used to make the oil is vitally important when it comes to determining which CBD oils are the best. The main reason comes down to the botany of the hemp plant itself.
Hemp is a bio-accumulator — which means it has the tendency to absorb compounds from the soil and accumulate them in its leaves, stems, and roots. The deep taproots of the hemp plant stretch far beneath the soil, pulling out and storing all the heavy metals and other elements it can find in the soil.
This aspect is in part why hemp is so nutritious, but it also means that plants grown in contaminated soils often contain contaminants that can be harmful to your health. Some of the worst offenders are heavy metals — which can build up in the body over time and lead to severe long-term health effects.
You want to avoid consuming heavy metals at all costs.
Poorly grown hemp could contain heavy metals, as well as other contaminants like mycotoxins, or pesticide residues that will end up in the CBD oil after all the processing is complete.
For this reason, it’s important to purchase CBD oil from companies that account for this effect. Only buy from company’s that make an effort to source hemp from organic farms, and take measures to assess every batch of hemp that enters the facility to determine heavy metal, microbial contaminant, and pesticide contamination.
The best hemp sources tend to come from states like Oregon, Colorado, or Alabama, as well as neighboring countries like Canada or Scandinavian countries. These places are all known for having high standards for hemp cultivation, and clean soils.
2. Look for CO2 Extracted Products
Once the company has the hemp, they need to extract the CBD from it. You can do this in many different ways using solvents like ethanol, methanol, hexane, ether, or butane. All of these solvents work to strip the active compounds from the hemp plant and can then be evaporated to leave behind a pure CBD-rich resin.
however, there’s a problem with these solvents.
Even in professional lab settings, it can be very difficult to remove all traces of these solvents from the final product. Most of these solvents are toxic to the human body, even in trace amounts.
Therefore, the best companies are using another method to strop the active ingredients from the starting hemp material. This method uses CO2 placed under high pressure. the high pressure and temperature control convert the CO2 into a phase that’s neither liquid nor gas. This special state is referred to as being supercritical.
Supercritical CO2 acts just like any other solvent, but with one key benefit — as soon as the pressure is relieved, the gas evaporates completely, leaving behind no harmful chemical residues.
when shopping for CBD oil, it’s ideal to look for a company that uses supercritical CO2 to extract the CBD rather than the toxic solvents mentioned above. Supercritical CO2 is very expensive and highly technical — but usually produces a far superior product in the end.
If a company is using harsh solvents like butane or propane (or they don’t tell you anything about their extraction methods), it’s a sign that you should look for another brand.
3. Ask for Third-Party Lab Reports
Every company has the option to send their products to an independent lab or third-party testing.
These laboratory tests check for the entire cannabinoid profile of the extract and are able to detect over 200 common contaminants.
Before a CBD product becomes available for sale, it should pass the laboratory test for potency and purity. If any inconsistencies are shown between different batches of the same product, the company should rework it and send it for analysis once again.
High-quality CBD companies will continually send each batch of product to a lab with no affiliation to the company (called a third-party or independent lab) for testing. These results are then published publicly on the website for customers to view.
The best companies will take this even one step further — adding a database and batch numbers on every bottle of CBD oil so you can view the results for your specific bottle of oil. Third-party testing is now an industry standard.
Always buy your CBD oil from companies that show third-party lab reports on their website. Only then will you know what’s inside the bottle before you even order a product. If the company is producing CBD oil that’s as high quality, as they say, there should be nothing to hide in these lab tests and they should be listed publicly on the company website. If you can’t find them on the site, you can ask customer service for these as well.
If these tests don’t exist, or you can’t track them down from the website or customer service — it’s best to avoid this company and move on to another that takes this important step seriously.
What the Research Says About Using CBD Oil for Pain:
Understanding how CBD works is no simple task. This compound is incredibly complex — working through a number of unrelated receptors around the body, interacting with enzymes, cell membranes, and various other cell structures. This makes studying CBD very difficult.
Nevertheless, there have been thousands of research papers published on medical marijuana — seeking to understand the interaction between cannabinoids like CBD and the human body. A lot of this research specifically focused on the effects of CBD on various forms and causes of pain. Let’s explore some of the results this research has yielded in the context of pain management.
1. CBD Oil for Chronic Back & Nerve Pain
The painkilling properties of cannabidiol have been most thoroughly studied in animal models, as well as a handful of human clinical trials.
One of the best studies we have available on the topic is a meta-analysis published in 2017. This analysis looked at 24 different clinical trials involving 1,334 patients over several years and demographics. These studies all used various forms of cannabis for treating chronic pain. The analysis reports that many of these studies showed a reduction in chronic pain scores by 50% or more (3) — suggesting the cannabis plant to be a potential treatment for chronic pain.
Another clinical trial looked at the effects of a combination of CBD to THC in the treatment of intractable cancer pain. This study found that twice as many people in the treatment group given CBD and THC had a 30% or more reduction in pain symptoms at the conclusion of the trial (6).
Even though more clinical trials on humans are needed to gauge how CBD affects specific forms of pain or other conditions, scientists believe the efficacy of CBD in treating chronic pain is related to its anti-inflammatory effects (3).
2. CBD Oil for Arthritis
CBD has had a lot of research as a potential alternative to prescription and non-prescription pain medications commonly used for alleviating arthritis pain.
Researchers have found a clear link between the endocannabinoid system and the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease associated with chronic pain and inflammation (4).
One of the key areas CBD is thought to support osteoarthritis specifically is through the effects on an enzyme known as 5-lipoxygenase — AKA 5-LOX. CBD has been shown to inhibit this enzyme (7), which converts fatty acids into pro-inflammatory compounds. These inflammatory messengers have been shown to be a key component in the underlying inflammation involved with osteoarthritis (8).
By reducing the underlying causes of arthritis pain, CBD is thought to reduce the overall burden of pain from the condition over the long term.
3. CBD and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Pain
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is a potent neuroprotective — which is how experts believe CBD is able to relieve debilitating MS pain, —which affects roughly 50–70% of patients diagnosed with the condition.
A study conducted on animals at Cajan Institute tested the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD on mice the researchers wanted to find out if CBD can provide a reversed inflammatory response on those cells. After ten days, the researchers found a reduction in inflammatory markers with a rodent encephalitis model designed to imitate the impact MS has on the body (5).
More research is needed to see exactly how these effects are translated to humans. Currently, there are 23 clinical trials currently underway, or planned within the next 12 months seeking to explore the effects of CBD on MS.
4. CBD Oil in Sports: Injuries & Muscle Endurance
Cannabidiol can be applied in two different ways when it comes to pain and physical activities. For example, when you administer CBD orally in the form of oil as a post-workout, it helps alleviate the muscle inflammation that troubles athletes once they go beyond the edge again.
If, however, you’re suffering from an injury, it’s best to apply CBD topically. Its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties allow the cannabinoid to relieve pain and improve regeneration capacities.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
The main reason why parents are so enthusiastic about CBD is that this cannabinoid is completely non-intoxicating, doesn’t cause addiction, and has only a few mild side effects when taken at excessive doses.
Research shows that even doses up to one and a half grams have no severe side effects on human health (9).
Despite being a notoriously safe supplement, there are some side effects of using CBD in high doses. Let’s cover the most common side effects people report from using CBD:
- Brain fog
- Reduced appetite
- Mood changes
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
The most common side effect by far, like other forms of cannabis, is dry mouth. This is best managed by taking your CBD oil along with some juice like pineapple or orange juice.
Another common side effect is lowered blood pressure, which may trigger another unwanted reaction — lightheadedness. This side effect is important to consider if you suffer from low blood pressure already or are taking blood pressure-lowering medications.
Always consult your doctor before using CBD or other cannabis extracts if you’re taking prescription medications or have underlying medical conditions.
In Summary: Buying CBD Oil For Pain
As CBD becomes more popular around the world, scientists are publishing new research on cannabinoids on a near-weekly basis. As time goes on, experts are mapping out the complicated mechanisms CBD and other hemp derivatives are using to support both acute and chronic pain of all different origins.
Here are the main takeaways from the current research:
- CBD inhibits inflammation at several different levels
- CBD offers antioxidant support
- CBD may relieve muscle tension and inflammation
- CBD interacts with the vanilloid receptors in the brain responsible for regulating inflammatory pain transmission
When it comes to pain, CBD appears to target the cause of the problem instead of just masking its symptoms.
Getting relief on so many levels and without any harmful side effects or risk of addiction is the reason why CBD oil has become so popular over the past half a decade.
I hope this guide has managed to clear up any confusion regarding CBD oil and pain, and given you the insight necessary to find the right CBD oil for the job.
Have you tried CBD oil for chronic pain? Did you feel any difference? Let me know in the comments below!
- Brand, E. J., & Zhao, Z. (2017). Cannabis in Chinese Medicine: Are Some Traditional Indications Referenced in Ancient Literature Related to Cannabinoids?. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 108.
- Alger B. E. (2013). Getting high on the endocannabinoid system. Cerebrum: the Dana forum on brain science, 2013, 14.
- Aviram, J., Samuelly-Leichtag, G. (2017) Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Medicines for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pain Physician, 20(6), E755-E796.
- Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(10), 2478.
- Elliott, D. M., Singh, N., Nagarkatti, M., & Nagarkatti, P. S. (2018). Cannabidiol Attenuates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Model of Multiple Sclerosis Through Induction of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 1782.
- Johnson, J. R., Burnell-Nugent, M., Lossignol, D., Ganae-Motan, E. D., Potts, R., & Fallon, M. T. (2010). Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC: CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. Journal of pain and symptom management, 39(2), 167-179.
- Takeda, S., Usami, N., Yamamoto, I., & Watanabe, K. (2009). Cannabidiol-2′, 6′-dimethyl ether, a cannabidiol derivative, is a highly potent and selective 15-lipoxygenase inhibitor. Drug Metabolism and Disposition.
- Lascelles, B. D. X., King, S., Roe, S., Marcellin‐Little, D. J., & Jones, S. (2009). Expression and activity of COX‐1 and 2 and 5‐LOX in joint tissues from dogs with naturally occurring coxofemoral joint osteoarthritis. Journal of orthopaedic research, 27(9), 1204-1208.Chicago
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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