Cbd oil pills for inflammation

Best CBD Pills for Pain Relief: Choosing The Right Hemp Capsules for Inflammation

CBD is taking the world of medicine and health supplements by the storm. Some users swear by it, claiming CBD helped them shake the traditional treatments off.

CBD’s pain-killing and anti-inflammatory properties are backed by scientific studies; the cannabinoid comes in many forms, including oils, gummies, vapes, topicals, and capsules.

Speaking of CBD capsules, this is probably the most common form of all supplements. They are convenient, easy to take, and come with a premeasured dose of CBD in each serving.

CBD capsules can help you ease pain and inflammation, but there are too many poorly manufactured pills offered on the market. Since the hemp industry remains unregulated, customers need to take responsibility in their own hands — researching the brands they’re looking to purchase CBD from, such as CBD pills for pain.

If you’re in a rush and don’t have the time to do the legwork, we’ve already done the hard work for you, evaluating 10 reputable brands that offer premium CBD pills for pain and other health conditions.

We’ll also explain the mechanism of action behind CBD’s analgesic effects.

Best CBD Pills for Pain and Inflammation: Top 10 Brands in 2022

  1. Royal CBD – Best CBD Pills for Pain Overall
  2. Gold Bee – Best Organic CBD Pills for Pain Relief
  3. Green Roads – Runner Up
  4. Hemp Bombs – Best Pure CBD
  5. CBDfx – Best Variety
  6. cbdMD – Good Value
  7. Charlotte’s Web – Most Popular Brand
  8. PlusCBD Capsules – Largest Size
  9. Medterra – Best for Daytime Use
  10. Joy Organics – Best Customer Service

1. Royal CBD

Royal CBD capsules are made with organic ingredients, including hemp extract, MCT oil, and a vegan softgel shell. They contain full-spectrum CBD, so you’re getting the whole range of supportive cannabinoids and terpenes aside from the CBD. They’re available in one potency — 25 mg — making it an ideal choice for experienced consumers or those who weigh more than an average user.

The 25 mg potency is also a decent option for pain management, as it can address more serious symptoms and are more cost-effective in the long run. On the other hand, we’d love to see a 10 mg version from the company; it would be a nice nod towards beginner users.

In our recent review for Royal CBD, all of their products are tested for potency and purity in a third-party laboratory to ensure the top quality and transparency standards.

Pros:

  • Organic hemp
  • CO2 extraction
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • 25 mg of CBD per capsule
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Third-party tested for quality and safety

Cons:

  • Only one potency option is available

2. Gold Bee

Gold Bee is a Nevada-based company founded by cannabis aficionados and superfood specialists. Similar to Royal CBD, the Gold Bee brand specializes in organic products that are crafted to high-quality standards.

The Gold Bee CBD capsules are made with the same full-spectrum extracts as the company’s oils. They also contain the same dose per serving — 40 mg — so that users can reap the same benefits in an easy-to-carry product. You can take them even if you’re vegan because they’re made without gelatin. Aside from relieving pain, these CBD-infused capsules also serve as a sleep aid for many people who suffer from insomnia and sleep deprivation.

These capsules are a great pick for those who are looking for a strong daily dose of CBD due to the high severity of pain or higher body weight.

Pros:

  • Organic hemp
  • CO2 extraction
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Very strong: 40 mg of CBD per capsule
  • Vegan
  • Created by superfood specialists
  • Third-party tested for quality and safety

Cons:

  • No low-strength capsules

3. Green Roads

Green Roads is one of the largest private-owned CBD brands in North America according to the Brightfield Research Group Report. They stock a wide range of pharmaceutical-grade CBD supplements, such as oils, gummies, topicals, capsules, and even pet products.

The Green Roads CBD capsules are available in three options:

  • Regular: 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD
  • Relax : 25 mg of CBD + GABA + 5-HTP
  • Sleep: 25 mg of CBD + Melatonin

Although there are no low-potency or extra-strength capsules, it’s good to see a company that tries to address different health needs with its unique formulations. Full-spectrum CBD leverages the entourage effect, and with the help of those extra ingredients, this mechanism is even more pronounced.

Pros:

  • US-grown hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • 25 mg per capsule
  • Suited for different health needs

Cons:

  • Limited potency options
  • The “Sleep” version contains too much melatonin per capsule in our opinion
  • More expensive (per mg of CBD) than competitors

4. Hemp Bombs

Hemp Bombs is a true maverick in the CBD space. The company combines high-quality ingredients with smart marketing, which made them one of the most popular CBD brands in the USA.

The company sells a wide range of CBD capsules. They are available in different sizes, from 8-count to 100-count bottles. You can choose from two strength options — 15 mg and 30 mg — and there’s also a “sleep” option with melatonin.

These are pure CBD capsules, meaning they only contain CBD isolate. Unlike most companies that we’ve reviewed for the best CBD pills for pain, these products don’t evoke the entourage effect, so their dose may not be as effective as the one from full-spectrum capsules.

Pros:

  • Organic hemp
  • Two strengths are available: 15 and 30 mg
  • THC-free
  • Vegan
  • You can buy them in several size options (including sample packs)

Cons:

  • The hemp is imported from Europe
  • No high-strength capsules are available
  • No entourage effect due to the lack of the other hemp compounds

5. CBDfx

CBDfx has several options for its CBD pills for pain. They are sold in 30-count or 60-count bottles, offering 25 mg or 50 mg of CBD per capsule depending on the selected strength. A great thing about this product is that it has been created by pharmacists and reviewed by doctors to ensure that the formulation is safe and effective.

The capsules contain full-spectrum CBD, so similar to other companies in our ranking for the best CBD pills for pain, you’re getting more bang out of your buck, especially with the high-strength version if you’re looking to address severe discomfort. To increase the bioavailability of its pills, CBDfx has suspended them in MCT oil, which is the most effective carrier for cannabinoids.

That being said, there’s little information about the brand on the website. This can make it difficult for hesitant customers to build a relationship with CBDfx, as trust is of paramount importance in this unregulated industry.

Pros:

  • Full-spectrum
  • 25 mg or 50 mg of CBD per capsule
  • Vegan
  • Third-party tested for quality and safety

Cons:

  • No low-strength capsules
  • Little information about the company
  • No formulas that would address specific health needs

6. cbdMD

cbdMD offers softgel CBD capsules made from non-GMO, organic, US-grown hemp. These capsules are made with a full-spectrum CBD extract, which is the most desired format among people who use CBD pills for pain. The company is highly transparent, providing batch-specific certificates of analysis on its website.

The cbdMD capsules contain 15, 30, or 50 mg of CBD depending on the selected strength. You can also buy them in larger containers, with up to 100 capsules per bottle. The company claims that it has enriched its capsules with CBG, CBN, and beneficial terpenes, although they don’t specify which terpenes have been used in the formula.

Another problem with this company is that the strengths they use are less obvious than most of the CBD pills for pain we’ve mentioned here. People usually go with doses like 10, 25, or 40 mg per capsule. But, on the other hand, it’s a good alternative if you don’t take standard doses yet still don’t want to switch to CBD oil.

Pros:

  • Organic, US-grown hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Enriched with CBG and CBN
  • 3 strength options
  • Third-party tested for quality and safety

Cons:

  • Priced at the higher end
  • FedEx is the only shipping option

7. Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web was founded by Stanley Brothers who have popularized CBD in the mainstream media by helping now late Charlotte Figi with her rare form of epilepsy that was resistant to conventional treatments. Since then, the company has become a true powerhouse, offering a broad range of CBD supplements.

The Charlotte’s Web capsules are made with a full-spectrum CBD extract, carrying 15 mg or 25 mg per capsule, depending on the selected potency. You can also choose between 3 bottle sizes: 30ct, 60ct, and 90ct, which is a nice nod towards people who like to buy CBD pills for pain in larger quantities.

However, there are no high-strength options in the company’s collection. Charlotte’s Web also doesn’t have any formulations designed to address unique health goals.

Pros:

  • One of the most popular brands in the world
  • Organic hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • 15 or 25 mg of CBD per capsule
  • 3 bottle sizes
  • Vegan

Cons:

  • No high-strength capsules
  • No formulas that would address specific health needs
  • The company has received a few warning letters from the FDA regarding health claims

8. PlusCBD Capsules

PlusCBD capsules are all about simplicity. This product is formulated with a whole-plant CBD extract that contains all beneficial compounds found in hemp. This includes adjunctive cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC. Each capsule contains a low dose of 10 mg CBD, making it a great choice for those who have never tried CBD in their life.

Unfortunately, the product uses olive oil instead of MCT oil as a carrier, meaning that you may not get the most out of its bioavailability. On top of that, the formula includes carrageenan, which is a known carcinogen despite being approved by the FDA.

Pros:

  • Whole-plant CBD
  • Good brand for beginners (10 mg of CBD per capsule)
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Simple formula

Cons:

  • No high-strength pills
  • Contains carrageenan
  • Suspended in olive oil

9. Medterra

Medterra is an artisan company based in California that makes premium CBD products from locally grown hemp. The brand offers a modest selection of CBD pills — infused with 25 mg or 50 mg of CBD. Each potency comes in a 30-count bottle.

This is another company that makes CBD products from pure cannabidiol. Despite carrying a potent dose of CBD per serving, these pills for pain don’t leverage the entourage effect, so their efficacy may not be as pronounced as with whole-plant capsules. On a positive note, the CBD is suspended in MCT oil, which improves its absorption.

Pros:

  • Organic hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 50 mg of CBD per capsule
  • Vegan
  • THC-free
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity

Cons:

  • No entourage effect from other cannabinoids and terpenes
  • A little bit expensive for isolate-based CBD pills

10. Joy Organics

Joy Organics is a family-owned brand with a mission to provide premium-quality products to health-conscious CBD users. Joy Smith, the founder of Joy Organics, launched the company because her products were the only ones that were able to relieve her pain.

Similar to Medterra, Joy Organics sells isolate-based CBD pills, so you won’t find any additional cannabinoids and terpenes there. As a result, their potency may not be as high as expected. At 10 or 25 mg of CBD, these capsules are a good choice for relieving minor aches and pains. However, if you’re looking for a product suited for more serious health needs, we recommend checking out the brands that offer full-spectrum capsules (e.g. Royal CBD or Gold Bee).

Pros:

  • US-grown hemp
  • Available in 2 strengths
  • THC-free
  • Vegan
  • Lab-tested for quality and safety

Cons:

  • Not a full-spectrum extract
  • Only one size is available
  • No high-strength capsules

How Did We Choose the Best CBD Pills for this Ranking?

When the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law, CBD became a booming industry, experiencing a true renaissance after almost 100 years of prohibition.

Every company that could use a patch of land, an extraction lab, and a web designer, started making CBD extracts from hemp.

Unfortunately, not every company knows how to make high-quality products. And since the market is unregulated, doing research is the consumer’s responsibility these days.

To do the legwork for you, we’ve:

  • Run interviews with more than 10 000 readers using email surveys with a response rate of 64%
  • Looked at the customer reviews section of 30 popular brands to see what customers are saying about their products
  • Tested each product ourselves, closing our ranking with the top 10 CBD pills for pain

Below we give you a detailed overview of the quality criteria that we’ve followed when testing these capsules during our trials.

What’s in the Pills?

CBD pills for pain should be simple, containing a CBD extract, carrier oil, and (usually) a soft gel shell made from gelatin or cellulose. Additionally, the formula may feature supportive ingredients such as complementary herbs and plant extracts that work in synergy with cannabinoids and terpenes.

So, if you want to ensure your CBD pills are safe, you need to check the list of ingredients. Look for terms like “natural” and “pesticide-free” when reading descriptions. US-grown hemp is better than plants imported from overseas because it’s subject to strict quality control measures set out by the USDA.

If you see any suspicious ingredients that you wouldn’t have used at home, you probably don’t need them in your capsules.

Do They Work?

When you take CBD pills for pain, they need to be metabolized by the liver before they can enter your system and start producing their effects. On their way to the bloodstream, they lose some of their potency due to being broken down in the digestive tract, so you need to ensure proper concentration in your capsules.

For example, if your dose of CBD oil is 10 mg twice a day, we suggest that you go for capsules with 25 mg in each piece.

That doesn’t mean you should rush with large doses from the beginning. The best practice is to start low and slowly increase the dose until you notice the difference in how you feel.

Taking more CBD than you need may result in some mild side effects, such as indigestion, dizziness, dry mouth, and appetite fluctuation.

What’s the Source of Hemp?

The source of hemp is the driving factor behind the quality of your CBD capsules. The USA- and Europe-grown hemp is safe because there are special regulatory bodies that supervise the cultivation standards among farmers.

You should steer clear of CBD products that use hemp imported from China because such plants are often grown in contaminated soil, using pesticides and fertilizers to ensure large yields and reduce the growth time.

Hemp is a dynamic bioaccumulator — it will draw every substance from its environment — so the best CBD pills for pain are made from organic hemp that has been grown in clean soil.

Otherwise, the product might be contaminated with heavy metals and the aforementioned toxins.

What Type of Extract do the Capsules Contain?

You can choose from three types of CBD: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.

Choosing the best CBD pills for pain boils down to mapping out your priorities and preferences. The full-spectrum type of CBD comes with the best value in terms of its therapeutic efficacy.

Broad-spectrum extracts are pretty much the same; they only lack trace amounts of THC, which are removed after initial extraction.

CBD isolate is just pure CBD that has been separated from the other hemp compounds. It’s odorless, flavorless, and carries the highest dose of CBD per serving. However, due to the lack of other cannabinoids and terpenes, isolates are devoid of the entourage effect — making them less desired among people who take CBD for pain.

The Lab Reports

This is the most essential point on our list of the factors determining the quality of CBD products. Lab test results are important because it proves the product’s chemical profile and purity — confirming that it’s safe for use.

Since the CBD space isn’t regulated by the FDA, companies should turn to third-party laboratories for content analysis and publish the results in the form of certificates of analysis (COA).

Brands that don’t publish these reports might have something to hide about their purity, which isn’t a good indicator of transparency.

Shipping and Return Policies

Customer-friendly policies in terms of shipping and returns can tell you a lot about the company’s attitude toward its clients. If a company offers limited shipping or has strict return policies, they probably don’t see much beyond their pockets.

Price

Customers are spoiled for choice these days, with the abundance of CBD pills on the market. However, you should always make sure that you get exactly what you paid for. Spend some time comparing different brands and their prices to find the best deals for yourself. The price of CBD is assessed by checking the cost per milligram of CBD.

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Coupons and Rewards

CBD products are generally more expensive than other OTC supplements. That’s because making CBD extracts requires a lot of time, effort, and money to manufacture a high-quality product.

Hopefully, most companies offer different ways to save money on their goods. You can take advantage of various gift cards, coupon codes, and reward programs, where you collect special points with every purchase; you can later spend them to lower the price of your next bottle of CBD pills.

Reputation

Reputable companies have been around for some time, gathering a community of returning customers — you can easily verify the credibility of your manufacturer by looking at the review sections of their website.

There was a time where hemp brands could write thousands of fake reviews over the weekend. However, customer awareness has matured, and now, most reputable CBD companies use verified third-party reviews systems with real user opinions.

Can I Use CBD Pills for Pain?

CBD pills for pain contain the same active ingredient as other product types — cannabidiol — which has a long list of science-backed benefits for reducing pain and inflammation.

So, the short answer is yes, you can use CBD pills for pain relief, but their effectiveness will be driven by the following variables:

  • Potency
  • Cannabinoid spectrum
  • Carrier oil
  • Supportive ingredients

Pain and inflammation can dramatically change our daily lives. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) filed a report, in which they found that a little over 20% of the U.S. population experienced chronic pain in 2016 — adding up to 50 million people.

The side effects of conventional painkillers, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have made many people switch to natural remedies, such as CBD pills.

Here’s how CBD capsules can work for pain.

How CBD Works

CBD’s therapeutic versatility derives from its interaction with a complex system of receptors and chemical messengers known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

This neurochemical network is responsible for maintaining internal balance throughout the body (homeostasis).

The ECS produces its own CBD-like compounds called endocannabinoids. These molecules modulate the activity of the ECS, including the processes controlled by the other systems and organs in your body.

Cannabinoid receptors are found in almost everybody’s tissue, making the ECS a vital tool for controlling a wide range of important biological processes, such as anxiety, stress response, pain and inflammation, sleep cycles, reproduction, mood, memory, appetite, sleep cycles, and more.

CBD interacts with the CB2 receptors in the immune system; this interaction leads to improved communication between the cells of this system. It can also reduce inflammation and reduce the pain associated with it.

Another way CBD works for pain is through the modulation of pain signaling. CBD influences certain receptors in the body that control pain signals, making them less intense and thus reducing physical discomfort.

Last but not least, CBD works to level endocannabinoid deficiencies, which are associated with a lower tolerance for pain aside from being the potential cause of many pain types, such as migraines and headaches, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome among many others.

Research on CBD & Pain

  • In a 2016 study from the European Journal of Pain, the authors concluded that CBD can reduce pain and inflammation in subjects without side effects.
  • A 2020 study on humans that evaluated the effects of CBD on patients with chronic pain found that the analgesic effects of CBD were promising but inconclusive. In some cases, patients didn’t report a significant change in their pain and inflammation markers, while others experienced high levels of pain relief.
  • A 2018 study published in the Frontiers in Veterinary Science found that 2 mg of CBD for every kg of body weight produced beneficial effects for dogs with osteoarthritis. The dogs were treated with CBD for 4 weeks; then, the research team evaluated the results, making it clear that the dogs felt more comfortable after taking CBD, showing increased mobility, activity, and elevated mood. Although the study used an animal model, humans and other animals share the same endocannabinoid system, not to mention common conditions linked to pain.
  • A 2009 research paper found that CBD reduced inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. The authors concluded that CBD helped with certain conditions caused by gut inflammation, such as IBS.
  • As reported by a 2015 study published in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, CBD demonstrated remarkable anti-inflammatory actions through its interaction with the ECS.

Why CBD Pills Are Great for Pain

Simply put, CBD pills are a decent option for pain relief because they carry the same active ingredient as CBD oils — but are easier to use, more convenient, discreet, and better for traveling.

Here’s why people take CBD pills for pain instead of other formats.

Convenient Form

Using CBD pills for pain is all about functionality. They don’t have any odor or flavor, and they’re also super easy to carry around in a bag or purse. You don’t need to make any measurements and play with the dropper — you just take your daily dose, swallow the capsules with water, and that’s it.

Ease of Use

Some methods make dosing easier than others — and so is the case for CBD capsules. A right dose of CBD can make a noticeable difference in your experience; it can actually be the driving factor behind the product’s efficacy. Although dosing should be gradual, capsules make it easier because they contain a fixed amount of CBD per serving. CBD companies also include their own serving and dosage instructions that you can read on the bottle’s label.

Discreteness

Using CBD oils or vapes can be inconvenient when you’re around others. This isn’t a problem with CBD oil. Since they look like any other softgel cap, nobody will care that you take your supplements; after all, most people take vitamins and minerals in this form.

Long-Lasting Effects

As mentioned, CBD pills need more time to produce their effects, but since the liver gradually releases CBD into the bloodstream, the effects are also extended in time compared to other forms of consumption — lasting up to 12 hours.

How Many CBD Pills Should I Take for Pain?

Your optimal dosage will depend on several individual factors, such as your age, gender, weight, metabolism, tolerance, and severity of pain. There’s no one-size-fits-all dosage of CBD pills for pain because everyone is different.

CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, so they won’t provide their dosage guidelines — shedding the responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.

Finding the right dose requires some experimentation, so the best way is to take the classic low-and-slow approach.

Start with a small dose — up to 5 mg — and gradually increase the amount every few days to check how your body reacts to different doses. Just don’t rush with a large dose right from the start. High doses of CBD may not be necessary to help you manage pain, so you might be overdoing your pills.

According to one study, a dose of 6.2 mg of CBD per day produced similar pain relief in arthritis patients as 62.3 mg per day. However, it’s worth noting that the results varied between patients, underscoring the importance of the individual approach to treating pain with CBD.

What’s the Bioavailability of CBD Pills?

Bioavailability describes the leftover amount of CBD that your body can use after ingestion.

Oral products — including CBD pills — come with the lowest bioavailability of all available formats, reaching 20% at max. This means that if you take 50 mg of CBD, you’ll end up using up to 10 mg. This is the side effect of CBD passing through the gastrointestinal tract.

When Should I Take CBD Pills for Pain?

Similar to dosage, there is no such thing as the best time to take CBD pills for pain. You just take them as needed. When it hurts, take CBD capsules immediately. If you live with chronic pain, start with a morning dose and take CBD throughout the day to prevent flare-ups or ease your discomfort. Some CBD pills are specifically formulated to address pain, so if you have a chronic condition, you may want to look for products with supportive ingredients, such as turmeric or hemp oil as the carrier.

Will CBD Pills Get Me High?

Unless you take marijuana-derived CBD pills, chances of getting high are close to zero. That’s because hemp-derived CBD pills contain no more than 0.3% of THC. At such a low concentration, it’s impossible to achieve an intoxicating effect. Broad-spectrum and isolate-based CBD capsules are completely free of THC, so the high shouldn’t bother you at all.

Key Takeaways on CBD Pills and Pain

People living with chronic inflammation, which prevents them from partaking in their favorite activities or causes health problems like insomnia, often choose CBD pills as their daily driver.

If pain is your regular companion, the health benefits provided by CBD should, at least, help you reduce physical discomfort due to its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

Aside from easing pain and reducing inflammation, CBD works to help your endocannabinoid system maintain homeostasis throughout the body, including a normal pain threshold and proper signaling to the brain.

If the taste of CBD oil is off-putting to you, capsules are a decent alternative. Not only are they easier to take, but they also don’t carry any odor and flavor.

Everywhere you listen, people take CBD for a wide wide range of health concerns. Unfortunately, the CBD niche is still young, and consumers need to verify the credibility of different hemp brands on their own.

If you’re in a rush, feel free to use the recommendations from our ranking. You can also take some time to run your own research, using the same criteria we’ve applied when making this list.

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics. (2020). Chronic Pain and High-impact Chronic Pain Among U.S. Adults, 2019. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db390.htm
  2. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc.09.93
  3. Muller, C., Morales, P., & Reggio, P. H. (2019). Cannabinoid Ligands Targeting TRP Channels. Frontiers in molecular neuroscience, 11, 487. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00487 (3)
  4. Leweke, F. M., Piomelli, D., Pahlisch, F., Muhl, D., Gerth, C. W., Hoyer, C., Klosterkötter, J., Hellmich, M., & Koethe, D. (2012). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational psychiatry, 2(3), e94. https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2012.15
  5. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England), 20(6), 936–948. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.818
  6. Argueta, D. A., Ventura, C. M., Kiven, S., Sagi, V., & Gupta, K. (2020). A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 561. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00561 (6)
  7. Gamble, L. J., Boesch, J. M., Frye, C. W., Schwark, W. S., Mann, S., Wolfe, L., Brown, H., Berthelsen, E. S., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2018). Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Frontiers in veterinary science, 5, 165. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165 (7)
  8. Al-Ghezi, Z. Z., Busbee, P. B., Alghetaa, H., Nagarkatti, P. S., & Nagarkatti, M. (2019). Combination of cannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), mitigates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by altering the gut microbiome. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 82, 25–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2019.07.028 (8)
  9. Lehmann, C., Fisher, N. B., Tugwell, B., Szczesniak, A., Kelly, M., & Zhou, J. (2016). Experimental cannabidiol treatment reduces early pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes. Clinical hemorheology and microcirculation, 64(4), 655–662. https://doi.org/10.3233/CH-168021
  10. Burstein S. (2015). Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 23(7), 1377–1385. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2015.01.059
Nina Julia

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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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)

Technical Details
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
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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)

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 100 – 600 mg
Available Flavors None
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)

4. HempBombs

Technical Details
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

5. CBDistillery

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 250 – 5000 mg
Available Flavors None
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

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 240 – 4850 mg
Available Flavors None
Potency 48.5 mg/mL
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

Technical Details
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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

8. cbdMD

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 300 – 7500 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Berry, Orange, Mint
Potency 10 – 250 mg/mL

About cbdMD:

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.

Pros:

  • US-grown, non-GMO hemp
  • CO2 extraction
  • THC-free
  • Up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Batch-specific certificates of analysis

Cons:

  • Limited entourage effect due to the lack of THC
  • Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD in their routine

9. Medterra

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 500 – 3000 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Citrus, Mint Chocolate
Potency 16 – 100 mg/mL

About Medterra:

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Technical Details
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.

Pros:

  • Non-GMO, US-grown hemp
  • Supercritical CO2 extraction
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • THC-free
  • Delicious flavors

Cons:

  • 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.

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By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD and other cannabinoids are able to modulate several key processes, such as:

  • Appetite
  • Immune function
  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Stress
  • Sensory perception (including pain)
  • Inflammation
  • Reproductive health
  • Nerve function
  • Sleep

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:

  • Anxiety
  • 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!

References:

  1. 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.
  2. Alger B. E. (2013). Getting high on the endocannabinoid system. Cerebrum: the Dana forum on brain science, 2013, 14.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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Nina Julia

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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