When you search the internet for natural pain relievers, one of the first results that pop up in search results is CBD oil.
Scientists have been researching the health benefits of CBD for quite some time now, but there are several areas where this natural compound really shines — such as pain.
CBD has been shown to exhibit strong analgesic properties without producing any dangerous side effects. This cousin of THC is also non-intoxicating, meaning it doesn’t get the user high. That’s why CBD is the go-to supplement for people who want to ease physical discomfort without any psychoactive side-effects.
The mechanism for the painkilling properties of CBD remains unclear, but an emerging body of research suggests this compound can engage with pain transmission on several different levels.
We’ve compiled a collection of current scientific research papers in this article, along with our buyer’s guide and our list of the 5 best CBD oil brands for pain management.
CBD Oil for Pain: Definitive Guide for New Consumers
A lot of people struggle with pain on a daily basis. Cannabis appears to succeed where conventional treatment methods fail, but what if you want to benefit from the plant’s analgesic effects without getting high?
Using THC is out of the question. This is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis that accounts for the characteristic “high” cannabis produces.
You can also get hemp-derived CBD oil — which contains high concentrations of CBD and only trace amounts of THC. These supplements are completely non-psychoactive as a result.
Below, we’ll explain the science behind the painkilling effects of CBD and how it can be used in a targeted pain management supplement regimen.
How Does CBD Oil Alleviate Pain?
The earliest historical records of the medicinal use of cannabis date back to ancient China when the emperor Shen-Nung listed the herb among other therapeutic substances in the Chinese pharmacopeia.
With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in 1992, CBD and other cannabinoids received a lot of attention from the medical community.
The endocannabinoid system is arguably the most important neurochemical network in the human body. It controls nearly every vital function in the body, including:
- Immune function
- Stress management
- Pain signaling
The endocannabinoid system produces its own chemicals known as endocannabinoids. These molecules are released whenever the body starts to lose its neurochemical balance — which includes chronic pain.
Due to its interaction with cannabinoid receptors, CBD may relieve pain through four main mechanisms:
- Reducing inflammation at the source of the pain
- Acting as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant
- Providing immunomodulatory effects
- Modulating vanilloid and opioid pain receptors
5 Best CBD Oil Brands for Pain Management
If you don’t want to end up complaining that CBD oil doesn’t work for you, you need to buy CBD from a trusted brand.
With so many companies on the market, choosing the best CBD oil for pain can be a hard nut to crack. Every brand out there promises great results with their CBD line, but many of them fail to meet every claim they make.
After taking CBD for over 5 years, I’ve managed to try a handful of low-quality CBD oils that brought nothing but disappointment. Fortunately, I’ve also stumbled upon some really great brands. Let’s quickly go over some of my favorites.
1. Royal CBD
- Sourced from American-grown organic hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Contains the full-spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes
- Available in 3 different potency options
- Up to 1000 mg of CBD per bottle
- Each batch has been tested for potency and purity in a 3rd-party lab
- Nice neutral flavor without the unpleasant aftertaste
- Free shipping in the USA
- No other flavors available
- Slightly more expensive than the competition
About Royal CBD:
Royal CBD is a relatively new brand that’s slowly becoming a leader in manufacturing premium CBD products. They like to keep things simple, selling three basic forms of CBD — oil drops, capsules, and gummies.
Royal CBD sources its CBD from organic hemp plants grown in the United States. The company uses supercritical CO2 to obtain their extracts — testing each batch of products by a certified 3rd-party laboratory.
The oil from Royal CBD is full-spectrum, which is the preferred option for pain and inflammation. I use the 1000 mg potency and it works great for the back pain I got from the accident 4 years ago — I sleep much better and don’t wake up during the night.
The price of Royal CBD products is at the higher end, but that’s understandable because of the quality of ingredients. This is by far the purest and most effective CBD oil I’ve taken.
- Sourced from organic hemp grown in Colorado
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee — you can return the product within 90 days for a full refund
- Narrow product selection
- Low potency
CBDPure is one of the most transparent companies on the market. This brand describes in detail every production stage of CBD oil. Not only that, but the claims made by CBDPure are reflected in 3rd-party lab reports that the company publishes on its website.
CBDPure makes the best CBD oil for low and moderate pain, as they mostly sell low to medium potency CBD oil. If you’re not happy with the effects, the company has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee program, which allows you to return the product within 90 days after the purchase.
I’ve been using the CBDPure oil when I felt achy and sore after workouts, and it did a good job for me, even though the potency may be too low for more severe pain.
- Sourced from organic European hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Made with 99% pure CBD isolate
- Contains zero THC
- Tested in 3rd-party laboratories for potency and safety
- Available in 5 potency options
- Less expensive than full-spectrum CBD
- Lacks the synergistic effects from other cannabinoids
- Most people don’t need such high potency in their routine
HempBombs is a company specializing in CBD isolate products. If you don’t want any THC in your system or you have a drug test incoming in your workplace, this is the best brand to buy CBD oil from.
The products made by HempBombs are made with 99% pure CBD isolate — available as tinctures, capsules, edibles, vapes, and oral sprays. The company’s CBD oil comes in five different potency options from 300 mg to 4000 mg CBD per bottle. With 99% purity, the strongest option gives you a total of 3960 CBD per unit.
- Sourced from US-grown, non-GMO hemp
- Available as full-spectrum CBD or isolate
- 5 strengths to choose from
- Very affordable
- The hemp isn’t organic
- No flavored options
CBDistillery is one of the industry’s trailblazers, but unlike many pioneers, this company has managed to uphold the quality of its products without elevating the prices. In fact, CBDistillery continues to set high standards for their competitors when it comes to making CBD oil.
CBDistillery offers both full-spectrum and THC-free CBD oil. The latter option is reserved for those who want to benefit from CBD without any traces of the psychoactive compound.
The oil is available in five different strengths, starting at 250 mg up to 5000 mg of CBD per bottle.
The only downside to using this product is that it doesn’t come from organic hemp plants. However, this is understandable due to the fact that the company’s products are very affordable. CBDistillery sells one of the least expensive CBD oils available, so if you want a high-quality product without breaking the bank, the company is a good option to consider.
5. NuLeaf Naturals
- Sourced from organic hemp grown in Colorado
- Extracted with a combination of subcritical and supercritical CO2
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
- Up to 4850 mg of CBD per bottle
- More expensive than the other brands in this ranking
- Narrow product selection
About NuLeaf Naturals:
Another pioneer company in our ranking, NuLeaf Naturals focuses on making high-quality CBD oils — and nothing beyond that.
If you’re looking for a more diverse product selection, you might want to look somewhere else, but if your goal is full-spectrum CBD oil manufactured to perfection, then NuLeaf Naturals is one of the most trusted brands on the market.
You can choose between five bottle sizes:
- 5 mL — 240 mg of CBD
- 15 mL — 725 mg of CBD
- 30 mL — 1450 mg of CBD
- 50 mL — 2425 mg of CBD
- 100 mL — 4850 mg of CBD
As you can see, the potency of this CBD oil stays the same regardless of the size. This makes NuLeaf Naturals a good option for people who’d like to supply themselves with CBD for months to come.
However, NuLeaf Naturals products are priced higher than the other brands in this article. There are better price deals out there, which is why this company scores the last place here.
CBD Oil for Pain Relief: Buyer’s Guide
CBD is quickly becoming a prospering market, and as such, it’s also a tempting niche for many aspiring entrepreneurs. The industry is overcrowded with different brands selling lots of CBD products in different formats, advertising them as ”the best” — in their own way.
However, no two CBD oils are made the same, and there’s no shortage of mediocre companies selling untested CBD oil from an unknown source.
That’s why you need to do thorough research before making the choice. There are a few factors that can make or break your experience of CBD products. In this section, we’ll get into detail on how to distinguish between good and bad quality CBD oil.
Check the Hemp Source
Hemp is a bioaccumulator — meaning it will absorb and concentrate compounds found in its environment — both the good compounds and the bad.
This means that when planted in clean, nutrient-rich soil, hemp will grow into strong, nutritionally-dense plants with plenty of phytonutrients including CBD.
In comparison, plants grown in contaminated soil can absorb and accumulate toxic compounds like heavy metals.
Many of these contaminants, such as heavy metals, can actually make the pain worse by damaging nervous tissue. This is the main reason why you should avoid buying low-quality products.
Look for Products Extracted With CO2
CO2 extraction is an innovative technique for producing CBD extracts. Most reputable manufacturers use pressurized CO2 because it doesn’t require toxic solvents such as butane or propane to strip the beneficial compounds from the plant material.
If a company is using the above solvents, this should raise red flags. Propane and butane often leave toxic residue in the extract, which can be dangerous for your health.
Read 3rd Party Lab Reports
Companies have the option to submit samples of their products to a third-party laboratory for content analysis. Third-party refers to a company that has no ties with the CBD manufacturer (and therefore no bias).
These laboratory tests look for the entire cannabinoid profile of the product and are designed to detect common pollutants including heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial contaminants like bacteria or mycotoxins.
Always buy your CBD oil from brands that show third-party lab reports on their website. This is the only way to ensure that the content of your bottle is exactly the same as advertised online.
Check the Company’s Reputation
As mentioned, companies tend to stretch facts, make bold claims, and rely solely on anecdotal evidence from their customers. Instead of trusting the company at face value, make sure you leave no stone unturned verifying their reputation.
Check established review services as well because it often happens that a brand has lots of 5-star reviews on its website while pages like Amazon show something different. This is because a lot of reviews are paid for by the company in question. The more opinions you find, the more reliable the information becomes.
The more time you spend on the research, the more money you’ll save on CBD oil.
What Research Says About the Effects of CBD on Pain
CBD has demonstrated great potential for relieving different types and intensity of pain in animal and some human studies.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. CBD & Arthritis
Preclinical human studies have indicated that CBD oil can be an effective alternative to prescription painkillers for arthritis and other forms of localized pain caused by inflammation.
Researchers have discovered a clear link between the endocannabinoid system dysfunction and the development of osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease of the joints caused by inflammation.
CBD appears to stimulate CB1 receptors, bringing back the chemical balance in the immune system, reducing inflammation, and relieving pain.
2. CBD & Chronic Pain
The analgesic effects of cannabidiol have been most thoroughly studied in animal models — most of which showed dramatic improvement after using the supplement for several weeks.
Even though we need more clinical trials to understand how CBD affects specific conditions in humans, scientists believe the reason why CBD is so effective in treating chronic pain in animals is linked to its anti-inflammatory effects.
3. CBD & Multiple Sclerosis Pain
CBD is a potent antioxidant and neuroprotectant. That’s one of the main reasons for its ability to relieve debilitating pain, which affects up to 70% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
An animal study conducted at Cajan Institute investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD on mice in order to find out if it can trigger a reversed anti-inflammatory response on their subjects. After 10 days, the researchers noticed a reduction in inflammatory markers with a rodent encephalitis model.
If these findings are repeated in human studies, this can herald groundbreaking news for MS patients across the world.
4. CBD & Muscle Recovery & Pain
CBD oil may be a great addition to your workout regime if you live an active lifestyle.
For one, it can enhance your focus and boost physical endurance if taken before exercising.
Second, it helps relieve muscle tension and soreness when applied as a post-workout supplement.
Finally, you can use CBD in its topical form to fight localized pain and improve the regeneration capacities of the affected area.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of CBD?
The main reason why CBD has become popular among patients is that this cannabinoid is non-intoxicating, doesn’t lead to addiction, and comes with only a few mild side effects when taken in extremely high doses.
In fact, even doses up to 1500 mg CBD daily can’t cause toxicity in humans.
As with any cannabis product, too much CBD oil may result in a dry mouth sensation. Another common side effect is lowered blood pressure, which may lead to lightheadedness.
Before introducing CBD oil to your routine, make sure to talk to a qualified physician, especially if you take any medications. CBD can interact with certain drugs, increasing or decreasing their concentration in the bloodstream.
Because of that, you may experience side effects that aren’t directly caused by CBD.
Final Thoughts on Using CBD Oil for Pain
Current research shows a lot of promise in using CBD oil as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals.
Unlike common prescription medications, CBD oil doesn’t only mask the symptoms, it appears to address the cause of the issue. It has remarkable neuroprotective and antioxidant properties, improves immune function, and helps in relieving localized pain by modulating the inflammation.
While more human research is needed on this subject, you may like to try CBD oil and see if it works for your pain. However, once you decide to give CBD products a try, make sure to buy from a brand you can trust — and don’t fall into the trap of buying cheap CBD oil!
Do you take CBD oil for pain?