CBD oil for pain leverages the power of the endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation, bolster immune response and influence the way the brain handles pain signals.
CBD oil is fast becoming an essential tool in the fight against all manner of pain. In addition, it boasts numerous secondary benefits, including the ability to address chronic skin conditions, fend off some symptoms of early-stage dementia, and treat migraine headaches.
We took a close look at both the science and business of CBD oil and determined that the following are the best CBD oils for pain of 2020.
1. Premium Jane CBD
Premium Jane takes the top spot on our list due to the efficacy of their CBD oil, the speed with which it gets to work, and the fact that none of their oils are outrageously priced.
What we like: When administered under the tongue Premium Jane CBD gets to work fast. We found the taste to be better than expected. We also appreciate that there are no artificial ingredients, and that it is sourced from organic hemp.
Flaws: Premium Jane does not provide any vaping products. The name might also scare some people away as it implies the presence of THC.
2. Pure Kana
PureKana gets a lot of press, and most of it is well-deserved. They are an Arizona company that offers a full line of CBD-related products and uses only non-GMO, American-grown hemp.
What we like: PureKana has a solid reputation for quality and reliability. Their CBD oil is a full-spectrum extract subjected to rigorous 3rd party testing. They use the CO2 extraction method that retains purity and potency.
Flaws: Pure Kana oils are going to set you back a pretty penny. Over the long run, though, we feel it is worth it.
3. Elixinol CBD Tincture
Elixinol did not just get into the CBD oil space early; they pretty much invented it. With more than 25 years’ experience, they have learned a thing or two about what works and what their customers need.
What we like: Elixinol uses the CO2 extraction method that results in a very pure finished product. Their tincture is potent and produces relief faster than most others. Elixinol CBD oil is sourced from organically grown hemp.
Flaws: Their product line is limited. Like most successful brands, you will pay extra for their reputation.
4. Charlotte’s Web
The company is to be lauded for helping young Charlotte Figi bring her devastating seizure condition under control. As a result, they were instrumental in drawing attention to the valid medicinal qualities of the hemp plant.
What we like: Charlotte’s Web is a whole plant extract that includes a variety of cannabinoids, amino acids, and terpenes. Their top of the line products produce above-average relief right across the pain spectrum.
Flaws: Their top of the line CBD oils are some of the most expensive you will find. At the same time, their product line is limited.
FabCBD invests a lot of money in their image. Fortunately, they put just as much into product development. They source all their CBD oil from Colorado hemp and offer it at a reasonable price.
What we like: We appreciate that they source all their CBD from organically grown hemp. Many of their products are both effective and affordable (relative to some other CBD oil manufacturers). And their customer service is friendly and knowledgeable.
Flaws: Their flavor choices leave something to be desired. They offer no products for vaping.
6. Hemp Bombs CBD
The ‘bombs’ in Hemp Bombs refers to the incredible potency of many of their products. This might scare off newcomers, but people with rheumatoid arthritis and other debilitating conditions will appreciate it.
What we like: This is a highly potent, full-spectrum CBD extract. It is ideal for those experiencing severe pain and inflammation who need long-term pain relief. All Hemp Bombs products are 3rd party tested.
Flaws: If you are looking for a good ‘entry-level’ CBD oil, you may want to look elsewhere. Their least potent formula contains 300mg.
7. Kanibi Enhanced Sports Cream
We opted to include Kanibi Enhanced Sports Cream rather than their pure CBD oil to draw attention to the fact that CBD is more than a one-trick pony.
What we like: All Kanibi products are subjected to two rounds of 3rd party testing. Their high potency tinctures provide significant relief in a short period of time. This particular Kanibi product is ideal for athletic types dealing with aches, pains, and injuries.
Flaws: Their overall product line is limited. And you will likely run through this cream pretty fast.
8. CBD Pure
In a field dominated by high priced entries, it is important to highlight some effective, affordable alternatives. CBD Pure oils are one of those alternatives. CBD Pure is organic, potent, and will fit nicely into most people’s budgets.
What we like: CBD Pure provides some affordable alternatives to expensive CBD oils. At the same time, they use the more expensive, more dependable CO2 extraction process. They also offer a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Flaws: Like a lot of CBD oil manufacturers, they offer nothing for the vaper.
cbdMD is a Kentucky-based company that has been attracting a lot of fans. They offer CBD oil for pain in a variety of concentrations that will satisfy just about everyone, and fit just about everyone’s healthcare budget.
What we like: The CO2 extraction process yields a pure and potent product that is well below the 0.3% THC threshold. All their hemp is organically grown in Colorado and Kentucky. They offer four flavors, so there is bound to be one you like.
Flaws: Their 3rd party lab tests sometimes seem to produce contradictory results.
10. Joy Organics CBD
Joy Organics has come from seemingly out of nowhere to capture a significant share of the medicinal CBD market. That did not happen by accident. Their products are potent, pure and organically sourced.
What we like: This is a full spectrum CBD oil that retains many other cannabinoids besides CBD. The company offers a refreshingly wide array of CBD-related products. And all their products are subjected to 3rd party testing.
Flaws: The 30-day guarantee will not be much good if you are trying to assess if it works on chronic pain over the long haul.
Who Needs CBD Oil for Pain?
Anyone dealing with chronic or acute pain who is not well-served by their current pain relief medication should consider using CBD oil for pain. Those happy with the level of pain relief but tired of odious side effects from their current medication, should also consider CBD oil for pain. In addition, people with hard to treat afflictions such as migraines should consider CBD oil. As should anyone with a stubborn case of eczema or psoriasis
CBD oil can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, the two most common internal sources of pain and disease. It also has the unique ability to bolster a person’s immune response and address the way they experience pain on the cognitive level. In addition, it has showm promise as a treatment for early-stage dementia.
How We Ranked
Since hemp was removed from the federal government’s list of controlled substances in 2018, research into and use of CBD oil has grown exponentially. Today, there are hundreds of CBD oils on the market. Making sense of such a fast-growing sector is both a daunting prospect and necessary to protect people from the frauds any fast-growing industry is bound to attract.
Job number one was weeding out those oils that contain more than the legally allowed 0.3% of THC. And there are a fair number of them. In fact, some oils produced from marijuana and containing 30% THC or more are being marketed as CBD oils. Presumably, to broaden their potential customer base. We made sure none of the oils that ranked for our list were THC oils masquerading as CBD.
Once we eliminated the high-THC oils, we examined the record of the different oils for producing results. We sifted through dozens of professional reviews and untold numbers of user reviews to arrive at a consensus for each product. If more than one CBD oil for pain received the same score for effectiveness, we then factored in non-medical considerations, including the reputation of the producer, price, and availability; since some smaller producers have been known to run out of product on occasion.
CBD oil for pain reduces inflammation. Inflammation (1) is the hidden source of much of the pain we feel. It is part of the body’s natural immune system response, yet it also has the unfortunate habit of exceeding its immune system mandate. When it does, the result can be a devastating condition like rheumatoid arthritis (2). CBD oil interacts with cannabinoid receptors (3) to reduce inflammation and the associated pain.
CBD oil for pain can reduce the number and severity of migraines. Headaches come in many different forms. There are tension headaches, cluster headache, headaches associated with light sensitivity (4), and more. Migraines are a particularly debilitating type of headache that often defies treatment. But while research is still in its infancy, CBD oil is showing great promise as a potential treatment for migraine headaches (5).
CBD oil for pain helps reduce anxiety. Chronic pain produces a rash of side effects that can be nearly as debilitating as the pain itself. One of them is a deep sense of anxiety. Serotonin (6) is a chemical released in the brain known for its ability to produce feelings of calm and even euphoria. CBD oil does not increase serotonin in the brain, but it can enhance its effectiveness (7), thereby helping to alleviate anxiety.
CBD oil for pain relieves arthritis symptoms. CBD oil is effective at reducing inflammation. This makes it especially appealing to those living with the pain of arthritis, the most widespread inflammatory disease. There have been no large-scale clinical trials involving CBD and arthritis as of this writing. However, the few small trials that have been conducted indicate CBD may have a bright future as a treatment for arthritis pain (8).
CBD oil for pain can help those suffering from chronic pain. Chronic pain (9) is one of the most vexing health conditions that can befall a person. In some cases, it may be linked to a specific disease such as cancer or inflammatory bowel disease (10). In other cases, however, its origins remain a mystery. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can often help relieve chronic pain.
CBD oil for pain is a good choice for athletes. If you are athletically inclined, you know that pushing the physical envelope comes at a cost: pain. Sometimes it is a matter of soreness the day after a weight session. Sometimes it is dealing with a pulled muscle, torn ligament, or other injuries. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil make it an ideal choice for tackling the pain and soreness that are a part of the athlete’s life/
CBD oil for pain is also good for treating psoriasis. Inflammation is a silent enemy behind a plethora of health conditions, including heart disease, arthritis, stroke, lupus (11), and even psoriasis. Yes, inflammation is a leading cause of chronic skin conditions like psoriasis too. There have not yet been any clinical trials testing CBD oil as a psoriasis treatment. But there is a ton of anecdotal evidence to support the notion that it works (12).
CBD oil for pain contains virtually no THC. People often worry that the CBD oil they use to alleviate their arthritis pain is going to be loaded with THC (13). But whether a CBD product contains THC depends entirely on whether it is derived from hemp, or marijuana. All of the CBD oil products on the above list are derived from hemp. Which means they contain less than 0.3% THC and will not get you high.
CBD oil for pain may relieve neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain (14) can be disabling. Its origins are complex and may include diabetes, accidents, or the lingering effects of chemotherapy. For decades medical professionals have been stymied when attempting to devise effective treatments for this type of pain. But while the jury is still out, early indications suggest (15) that CBD oil may have a role to play.
CBD oil for pain can relieve stress. It does that by addressing many causes of stress, including chronic pain, arthritis, migraine headaches, and more. In addition, because it is known to enhance the effects of serotonin on the brain, it also produces a more relaxed mood. So CBD is a double-barrel treatment for stress. One that addresses the cause of the stress, while at the same time enhancing your mood.
CBD oil for pain can reduce the number and severity of seizures. The only FDA sanctioned CBD drug on the market today is approved for the treatment of certain types of epileptic seizures (16). It was actually CBDs’ ability to provide effective treatment for a little girl named Charlotte Figi (17) who suffered from a form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome (18) that first brought widespread attention to the medicinal qualities of CBD oil.
CBD oil for pain can help alleviate the effects of chemo. Chemotherapy is known for generating several onerous side effects, including intense aches and pains, nausea, and vomiting. Recently, however, researchers discovered that chemo can also cause or aggravate inflammation in chemo patients (19). As a result, a need arose for a way to reduce chemo-related inflammation. CBD oil has answered the call (20).
CBD oil for pain can help you sleep better. Chronic or acute pain often takes a toll on people’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. It may be tempting to ask your doctor to prescribe a sleep aid. But such drugs carry with them a rash of potentially serious side effects (21). CBD oil can help those in pain get a good night’s sleep by reducing the amount of pain they feel, and by enhancing the calmative effects of serotonin.
CBD oil for pain may help alleviate symptoms of PTSD. In one of the clearest indications of the ability of CBD to produce beneficial effects, a recent study concluded that CBD is effective in treating many of the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (22). In addition, the same study determined CBD can help reduce the number and severity of nightmares in people dealing with PTSD.
CBD oil for pain can boost your immune system. CBD oil works by leveraging the endocannabinoid system by way of a pair of receptors (23) referred to as CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors regulate CBD interactions with the mind, such as enhancing the effects of serotonin. CB2 receptors regulate the activity of immune cells. By using CBD, you can strengthen your immune system and achieve a higher degree of overall health.
CBD oil for pain can reduce the risk of diabetes. A 2006 animal study (24) concluded that CBD oil is useful in lowering the risk factors for diabetes in mice. And while mice are not people, such results are typically a precursor of similar results found in human trials. The reduced risk of diabetes was believed to be the result of a complex combination of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to bolster certain immune system activities.
CBD oil for pain may reduce high blood pressure. A 2017 study (25) concluded that CBD can reduce resting blood pressure and increase heart rate. Therefore it may have an important role to play in preventing cardiovascular disease. The study results do not indicate that CBD oil is a cure for high blood pressure. But it does suggest that it might become a valuable tool in the fight against the condition going forward.
CBD oil for pain helps reduce oxidative stress. CBD oil is not just a potent anti-inflammatory. It is also a potent antioxidant. Oxidative stress (26) caused by free radicals is behind almost as many health problems as inflammation. These include cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, neurological diseases, chronic skin conditions, and much more. The only natural enemy of the free radical is the antioxidant. And CBD oil is rich in antioxidants.
CBD oil for pain may help schizophrenia patients. That is a controversial assertion, and one that will need much more rigorous study to back it up. But there is evidence to suggest that CBD oil may be able to reduce psychotic episodes in schizophrenic patients (27). Several studies have been conducted using CBD on patients who had previously resisted more mainstream treatments, and results were either inconclusive or encouraging.
CBD oil for pain may help with some Alzheimer’s symptoms. Effective treatments for Alzheimer’s have so far been elusive. But CBD has shown some promise in animal studies in relieving some Alzheimer’s symptoms such as social recognition (28). Large scale human trials would be required to verify that thesis, and some will no doubt be forthcoming in the not-too-distant future. For now, though, the results are encouraging.
Q: What is CBD oil for pain?
A: CBD oil is a product of the hemp plant that possesses both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. By binding with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, it helps bolster the immune system, enhance the effect of serotonin, reduce inflammation, and counter the effects of oxidative stress. It is widely used to reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis, counteract seizure and migraine triggers, reduce neuropathic pain, and treat chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, among other things.
Q: How does CBD oil for pain work?
A: CBD oil works by interacting with receptors that provide it access to the endocannabinoid system. There are two types of receptors designated CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and influence serotonin activity and nervous system response. While CB2 receptors regulate access to and stimulate the immune system. Between the two, they reduce the cause of pain and modulate our internal response to it.
Q: How fast does CBD oil for pain work?
A: Pain relief from CBD oil is not instantaneous. How long it takes to work depends on a number of factors. Your physical size will play a role, along with the type and intensity of the pain you are experiencing. Another factor is the method of administration. Placing the CBD oil under your tongue for 60 seconds or so is believed to produce the fastest results. Even so, it will likely take 30-60 minutes to feel relief.
Q: Does CBD oil for pain actually relieve pain?
A: Yes, CBD oil for pain does actually relieve pain. The research is clear on that fact (29). It can, and is, being used by countless individuals as you read this to provide relief from their arthritis pain, cancer-related pain, injury-related pain, as well as pain associated with workouts, surgery, and more.
Q: How much CBD oil should I take for pain?
A: Dosing of CBD oil for pain typically needs to be determined on a case by case basis. The person’s size, the type of pain, the intensity of that pain, and other factors will all play a role in determining the proper dosage. The general approach is to ‘start low and go slow’, rather than bombarding your pain with CBD. In some cases, you may need to build up levels of CBD in your system before you start to feel the desired result (30). So be patient.
Q: How long do the effects of CBD oil for pain last?
A: In most cases where CBD oil is being used sporadically to address specific incidents of pain, the effect will typically last four to six hours. If you are using CBD to address a type of chronic pain, you will need to wait for the cumulative effect to take hold. That may take a week or more. Once it does, the relief should be more or less constant, provided you continue to take the CBD oil on a regular basis.
Q: Are there any side effects associated with CBD oil for pain?
A: Everything we consume produces side effects. What we hope is that those side effects will be beneficial. With CBD oil for pain, that is the case most of the time. However, there is the possibility that some folks may experience a negative side effect or two. Those may include nausea, increased appetite, dizziness, and diarrhea. Dizziness is potentially problematic for older individuals because it increases their risk of falling.
Q: What is the endocannabinoid system?
A: It would take many pages of copy to describe exactly what the endocannabinoid system is and how it works. In the simplest possible terms, it is an internal biological network of neurotransmitters (31) that influence the activity of the central and peripheral nervous systems. It also plays an important role in immune system activity. CBD oil can access and influence the workings of this system in a way that alleviates pain and enhances the effectiveness of your body’s immune response.
Q: Is CBD oil for pain legal?
A: In 2018, hemp was removed from the federal government’s list of controlled substances. Marijuana was not. Both plants belong to the cannabis family but produce very different CBD products. CBD derived from marijuana may contain as much as 30% THC, the psychotropic compound that gets people high. CBD oil derived from hemp is virtually free of THC. Hemp CBD oil is legal. Marijuana CBD oil is not. The products on the above list are derived from hemp and perfectly legal.
Q: How is hemp different from marijuana?
A: Marijuana contains large amounts of THC. How much depends on the particular strain of marijuana plant. By contrast, hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, nowhere near enough to produce a high. This is why, in 2018, the federal government finally saw fit to remove hemp from its list of controlled substances (32). Scientific proof of the medicinal value of hemp CBD oil also played a role in its legalization.
Q: Can you overdose on CBD oil for pain?
A: While some people may experience mild side effects from using CBD oil for pain, there are, as of this writing, no confirmed cases of anyone actually overdosing on CBD oil. CBD oil from hemp, like the products on the above list, are safe and effective when used as directed. That said, elderly individuals may want to consult their doctor before using CBD oil because of the possibility of it producing dizziness.
Q: Can I take CBD oil for pain on an overseas vacation?
A: In 2019, the TSA revised its guidance on medical marijuana (which it tends to lump in the same boat as hemp CBD). It now says, “Products/medications that contain hemp-derived CBD or are approved by the FDA are legal as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018.” Remember, though, that hemp CBD may not be legal in your destination country.
Q: Is there a ‘best’ way to use CBD oil for pain?
A: The best way is whatever way is most effective for you. For some people, that means placing a few drops under the tongue. For others, it may involve applying the CBD oil directly to the area where the pain is. And for others, the most effective method might be vaping. Because the FDA does not regulate CBD oil for pain, there is no ironclad guidance regarding how it should or should not be administered.
Q: Do you need a prescription to get CBD oil for pain?
A: You do not need a prescription to purchase hemp-derived CBD oil for pain in most states. In addition, the few states where the issue is not clear rarely pursue legal action against people who use hemp-derived CBD oil. However, it is quite a different story when it comes to high-THC marijuana-derived oil, which is sometimes marketed as ‘CBD oil’. If you want to buy it legally, you very much need to have a prescription.
Q: Will CBD oil for pain cause me to eat a lot?
A: There have been a few isolated cases where people have reported an increased appetite after using CBD oil. But the vast majority of CBD oil users have nothing to worry about. CBD is not marijuana. It is not going to produce an insatiable urge for nachos every time you use it to alleviate your pain.
Q: Can you get high from CBD oil for pain?
A: No, you cannot get high from using CBD oil for pain. CBD oil is derived from hemp and contains virtually no THC (33), the psychotropic compound that produces the ‘high’. Be aware, however, that some THC oils derived from marijuana are being marketed as CBD oil. So it is important that you purchase your CBD oil for pain from a reputable source. Such as the companies that produce the oils on the above list.
Q: Will CBD oil for pain cause me to fail a drug test?
A: Drug tests screen for THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you high. CBD oil cannot contain more than 0.3% THC. And, in many cases, CBD oils for pain contain much less than that. So, CBD should not result in a failed drug test (34). Still, if you are nervous about possibly failing a drug test, you should shop around and find the CBD oil with the lowest THC content. Some oils have only trace amounts that do not even register.
Q: Will CBD oil for pain interact with other medications?
A: Incidents of CBD oil producing negative drug interactions are exceedingly rare, but they have been known to occur from time to time. Drugs suspected of possibly causing negative interactions include antihistamines, benzodiazepines, antibiotics, certain anti-seizure medications, some antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs. If you are currently taking any type of doctor-prescribed medication, discuss the matter with your doctor before using CBD oil.
CBD oil is quickly becoming the go-to method of pain relief for millions of people with arthritis, neuropathic pain, migraines, sports injuries, PTSD, psoriasis and much more. And why not? It is easily obtainable, safe, effective, and typically produces few, if any, side effects.
Unlike oils produced from marijuana, it is also virtually free of THC, so there is no danger of it getting you high or causing you to fail a drug test. It is also available without a prescription and can be brought safely onboard many domestic flights.
If you suffer from acute or chronic pain, you owe it to yourself to investigate the possibility that CBD oil may provide a safer, more effective level of pain relief. Use the information above to help you make an informed decision regarding which CBD oil for pain is right for you.
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