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CBD has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making it useful for joint and arthritis pain. We review our favorite brands here.

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 products for joint pain that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe, high-quality, clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage and how to take it.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) after receiving its third-party lab results.
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CBD will not treat the underlying cause of a person’s pain. However, it may help numb or alleviate pain.

A person should not rely on CBD to treat their pain. They should consider seeing a medical professional who can assess the cause of their joint pain.

Medical News Today has tested some of the products below. Reviewers may have received some products from the manufacturers for free, which does not influence their review. All opinions are the reviewers’ own.

The following table compares the CBD products in this article for type, strength, and price.

ProductCBD typeTopical or oralCBD strengthPrice
+Plus CBDisolatetopical2,000 mg per bottle$54.99
Joy Organicsbroad-spectrumtopical1,000 mg per bottle$49.95
CBDfxbroad-spectrumtopical500–3,000 mg per bottle$79.99
CBDistilleryfull-spectrumoral17 mg per serving$70
Soul CBD CreamCBD isolatetopical1,500 mg per bottle$75
Soul CBD GummiesCBD isolateoral10 or 25 mg per serving$65
Nuleaf Naturalsfull-spectrumoral30 mg per serving$19
Charlotte’s Webfull-spectrumoral25 mg per serving$74.99
Extract Labsfull-spectrumtopical2,000 mg per bottle$89.99

People should consider the following factors when shopping for a CBD product:

  • Form: People should consider what form they want to take CBD in. Some CBD products are available in topical forms for external use, oil to drop under their tongue, or as gummies to eat.
  • Types: The three types of CBD are isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum. Some people may prefer CBD isolate, as it contains no THC. However, full-spectrum may have more potent effects.
  • Third-party testing: A person should purchase CBD products from a company that uses third-party testing. The company should also publicly display the COA.
  • Dosage: Companies should always state the CBD dose within the product. They should also clearly list all other ingredients.

Learn more about how to shop for CBD.

Below are some potential advantages and disadvantages of using CBD.

Pros

  • CBD can potentially treat a variety of conditions, including joint and arthritis pain.
  • Most people can tolerate CBD well.
  • Research has shown CBD can be effective for pain reduction.
  • CBD may have numerous additional health benefits.
  • Both oral and topical CBD products are available.

Cons

  • There is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of CBD products, except Epidiolex for certain seizures.
  • People may experience side effects.
  • CBD may interact with certain medications.
  • Some people may find that CBD tastes unpleasant.
  • CBD products may be costly.
  • Research into the safety and effectiveness of CBD is still ongoing.
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Both oral and topical CBD may be useful for pain management, and the delivery method may come down to personal preference. Topical CBD, such as CBD cream, passes directly into the skin, whereas oral CBD, such as a spray or gummies, mainly passes through the digestive system and into the body.

A person should always follow the usage instructions on the product label, as each product will vary. They should also stop using the product if they experience side effects.

A person should talk with a doctor before using CBD to reduce the risk of possible drug interactions.

Learn more about CBD oils for pain management.

Early research supports the idea that CBD may help with joint pain in some cases, such as joint pain due to inflammatory arthritis. However, CBD alone is unlikely to be able to treat a person’s pain in full.

Below, we look at some recent research in detail.

A 2020 study found that CBD has anti-arthritic activity and may help symptoms by targeting the cells that drive inflammation. The authors tested CBD on rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (RASFs), a type of cell within certain connective tissue forms such as the synovium. The synovium lines a person’s joints.

They found that RASFs promoted joint inflammation because they release inflammatory proteins. CBD reduced the amount of RASF cells and how much they divided, thereby reducing inflammation. The research also suggests CBD can specifically target RASF cells when inflammation occurs.

A cross-sectional study of self-selected people with arthritis who responded to a questionnaire in 2020 found that 83% reported a decrease in pain, and 66% saw improvement in physical function and better sleep.

Most people tolerate CBD well at the correct dosage. However, side effects are possible, such as:

People sensitive to CBD or taking a higher dose than necessary may experience more significant side effects.

Some people may also have an allergic reaction to the compound or product. Anyone noticing undesirable effects after taking CBD should stop using it and talk with a doctor.

Additionally, it is possible to test positive for THC after using full- and broad-spectrum CBD. People who regularly take urine or drug tests should opt for CBD without THC.

People should also be aware of potential drug interactions with CBD. A 2019 study notes that CBD may interact with several drugs, including:

Always speak with a doctor before taking CBD to check for any interactions.

The federal government does not regulate natural products such as CBD. This means no standards regarding dosing, label accuracy, or potential contamination exist.

Therefore, people must ensure that their product has undergone third-party lab testing. These lab results will state the amount of CBD in the products and levels of any potential contaminants.

People should also be aware of any potentially misleading information on the labels of CBD products.

Learn more about the side effects of CBD.

If a person is on prescription medication or has a medical condition, they should speak with a doctor before purchasing CBD products.

A person’s location within the United States may also determine whether they can use CBD products. Some states have restrictions on CBD products.

People should try a lower dosage of CBD when they begin using a CBD product. They can gradually increase the dosage if they find the product works.

Additionally, a person should speak with a doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms:

A doctor can run tests to determine the cause of the symptoms and can provide an appropriate treatment plan.

The standard approach for treating joint pain involves drug therapy, including opioids and over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Several natural products on the market may help with markers of inflammation and pain in some people, such as:

However, scientific research is limited regarding the benefits of many natural remedies. A person should always speak with a doctor before trying alternative treatments for joint pain.

The best CBD for joint pain depends on a person’s needs and preferences. Some people may prefer full-spectrum gummies due to the added effects of the entourage effect. Others may want to avoid THC altogether, and still others might prefer something in between. A product’s other ingredients can also affect a person’s choice.

A person should always speak with a doctor before trying CBD for a health condition.

Yes, CBD can help joints. There is evidence that CBD can work for nerve and joint pain. However, many studies on neuropathy involve animals. Results may not be the same in humans.

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication and can help manage pain. Similarly, CBD has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.

However, researchers know more about ibuprofen’s safety and effectiveness than CBD, especially for chronic conditions such as joint and arthritis pain. Ibuprofen is also legal in every U.S. state.

People who wish to use CBD instead of ibuprofen should always talk with a qualified healthcare professional to determine which best suits their needs.

Some disadvantages of using CBD for pain include the lack of FDA approval for any nonprescription CBD product. CBD can also interact with other medications people use for managing pain or other conditions. Lastly, CBD can be far more costly than other over-the-counter pain relief methods.

Some medications can interact with CBD. A 2019 review of studies notes that CBD may interact with several drugs, including immunosuppressants, antidepressants, opioids, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, statins, and more.

People should speak with a doctor before trying CBD if they take any medication.

There is far less research supporting CBD’s safety and effectiveness compared with ibuprofen. While some people may prefer CBD because it is a natural substance, more research is needed to determine whether CBD is as safe as, or safer than, ibuprofen.

Topical CBD products may be best for joint or arthritis pain because a person can apply them directly to the painful area. If a person has more widespread pain, oral products, such as oils or gummies, may be better.

CBD may help with joint pain, but more research is needed to understand its effects and benefits fully. Anecdotal reports suggest that many people use CBD products for joint pain, and some find relief.

It is essential to choose products that have undergone third-party testing, check the labels carefully, and take CBD as the manufacturer directs.

People should always consult a doctor before trying CBD to treat joint pain.