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Cannabidiol (CBD) may be beneficial in treating pain and inflammation. CBD is a compound from the cannabis plant and comes in both topical and edible forms.

Cannabis is a plant that people have used since at least 4000 B.C. There are a few different kinds of cannabis, including Cannabis sativa.

Although research on CBD is still in its early stages, people are increasingly using it as an alternative treatment for various health conditions, including inflammation.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Medical News Today chooses CBD for inflammation that meets the following criteria:

  • CBD type: MNT chooses CBD products that are full- and broad-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD contains up to 0.3% THC and all of the naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, whereas broad-spectrum CBD has the same benefits without the THC.
  • CBD form: MNT chooses oils, gummies, softgels, and balms to meet the needs of people who need targeted or overall inflammation relief.
  • Savings: CBD can be expensive, so MNT features companies that offer subscribe and save, memberships, interest-free installments, or other discounts.
  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe, high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. Manufacturers should also confirm that products are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available COA: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s COA after receiving its third-party lab results.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

The following table compares the products in this article on form, type, potency, and more.

FormPriceCBD typePotency (mg of CBD)Certificate of analysis
CBDfxgummies$54.99broad-spectrum1,500-3,000 mgavailable online
Lazarus Naturals
oral oil$39.99full-spectrum1,500 mgavailable online
Lazarus Naturals
Massage Oil
topical oil$12full-spectrum500-4,000 mgavailable online
oral oil$54.95full-spectrum1,200 mgavailable online
R+Rsoftgels$55broad-spectrum30 mgavailable online
3Chioral oil$49.99broad-spectrum500–5,000 mgavailable online
Medterraoral oil$64.99broad-spectrum1,000-2,000 mgavailable online
Level Selectroll-on$29.99broad-spectrum900-1,800 mg of CBDavailable online

People may wish to consider the following before purchasing:

  • Type of CBD: CBD products come in three types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains up to 0.3% THC, whereas broad-spectrum and CBD isolate contain up to trace amounts of this compound.
  • Type of product: Some people may prefer to use topical products rather than edibles. On the other hand, edible CBD products may be more convenient to take discreetly and quickly.
  • Company reputation: People may wish to ensure that the company they purchase from has not been subject to lawsuits or a warning letter from the FDA.
  • Product safety: People should always ensure that the product they purchase has undergone third-party testing and has a valid and current COA.
  • Medical advice: People should contact a medical professional to ensure that any CBD products will not interact with any medications they are taking.

Inflammation is part of the immune system’s response to an irritant. The response releases many hormones, which increase the size of small blood vessels in the affected tissue. As a result of this increase, the tissue becomes swollen, red, and irritated.

The cause may be external or internal and can be due to a range of factors, such as:

  • germs
  • medical conditions
  • chemicals
  • injuries

Cannabis sativa contains more than 400 different chemical compounds. Two of the best-known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.

THC is the cannabinoid that leads to the “high” feeling many people associate with cannabis. CBD does not provide these same effects. Research suggests that CBD can ease inflammation, among other potential benefits.

Learn more about CBD and THC here.

Research suggests that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may be beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, as it affects certain cell viability. It may also have a synergetic effect on rheumatoid arthritis medication.

A 2020 review suggests CBD’s properties can provide anti-oxidative effects because of CBD’s specific molecular structure. Therefore, it may have anti-inflammatory benefits for conditions that can result from oxidative stress.

Most studies have not reviewed the long-term effects of CBD, and researchers need to conduct more studies with human participants. However, experts believe the research results may have therapeutic implications.

One 2020 study found that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may help with the following conditions:

CBD comes in many forms. Some people may find that edible CBD products, such as gummies and oral oils, work better for them. Others may find topical CBD, such as creams and massage oils, easier to use.

People can try different forms and concentrations to understand what works best.

People may wish to consider the following before purchasing CBD products for inflammation.


  • Studies show that CBD can ease many inflammation symptoms.
  • CBD products are available in several forms, including topicals and edibles.
  • CBD products are available in a range of potencies that suit beginners and more experienced users.


  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD products.
  • CBD products are not legal in every state.
  • CBD can cause side effects, and researchers are unsure about the severity of long-term side effects.
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A 2020 review suggests that most people can tolerate CBD. However, this depends on the concentration of CBD in a product.

Possible risks and side effects of CBD use include:

  • an increase in the risk of liver damage if a person uses CBD alongside other medications, such as valproate
  • drowsiness and sleepiness
  • diarrhea and a decrease in appetite
  • mood changes and irritability
  • allergic reactions in some cases

If a person uses CBD alongside other medications, it may affect how those medications work. For instance, a 2019 study found that CBD reduced the effectiveness of steroids in treating inflammation.

People should discuss CBD with a medical professional, especially if they take medications.

Is CBD the best anti-inflammatory?

While CBD can help reduce inflammation, people should not use it instead of any anti-inflammatories a healthcare professional recommends.

Does CBD really help with inflammation and joint pain?

Yes, evidence suggests that CBD can help reduce inflammation and joint pain. However, not enough studies have investigated CBD’s long-term effects on this condition yet.

A 2018 review suggests that a full-spectrum CBD product may be more effective than other types in treating inflammation and joint pain.

However, if a person does not want to use a product that contains THC, they may prefer to purchase broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products.

It is important to note that researchers have not yet discovered the optimal dosing or length of time to take CBD to see its anti-inflammatory effects. More research is necessary.

Is CBD better than ibuprofen?

CBD has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and starts working within 45 minutes. Ibuprofen, which has the same effects, starts working within 20–30 minutes.

It is important to note that there have been more studies on the effectiveness, short- and long-term side effects, and toxicity of ibuprofen than CBD for inflammation.

What is the downside of CBD oil?

It may be more difficult to accurately dose using CBD oil, especially if the dropper does not have clear markings. Stronger CBD oils may taste bitter if they do not have any flavorings, and they are not as easy to consume on the go as gummies.

CBD is a compound from the cannabis plant that may have various health benefits, including fighting inflammation.

Researchers have not yet carried out many long-term studies on how CBD affects human inflammation. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the results may be promising.