We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant that may have beneficial effects if people take it alongside physical therapy.
In this article, we discuss the research on CBD and pain, inflammation, and wound management. We also look at some CBD products available for purchase online, including the potential risks and side effects of CBD.
Physical therapy aims to reduce pain and manage symptoms of certain conditions, such as a sports injury or physical rehabilitation following surgery.
While there is not yet much evidence on whether CBD improves physical therapy’s effectiveness, there is evidence that it can reduce pain and inflammation and, perhaps, promote wound healing.
The main benefit of using CBD over tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which may have similar benefits in treating pain, is that CBD does not lead to the ‘high’ feeling that many people associate with cannabis.
A 2016 study found that using CBD on rats with joint pain and inflammation improved the rats’ condition. While researchers need to conduct more studies on humans using CBD, the evidence so far looks promising.
A 2019 review suggests that CBD may help promote faster wound healing. Researchers have found that when they applied CBD to mice’s skin, their wounds healed faster than those who did not have any CBD.
Evidence also shows that CBD may promote healing with minimal scarring, although researchers need to investigate this effect on humans further.
Choosing CBD products can be overwhelming. Read our buyer’s guide to CBD here.
Is CBD legal? Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws. Check local legislation, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be inaccurately labeled.
All CBD products featured in this article have passed our strict vetting process for potency and contaminants. However, please note that the writer of this article has not tested the following products. All information is research-based.
These orally ingested CBD products may aid in physical therapy:
Sunsoil CBD Oil Unflavored Drops
This product contains full-spectrum CBD oil. This means that it contains all the cannabinoids that naturally occur in the cannabis plant. The company source their ingredients from organic hemp in Vermont. The carrier oil is organic coconut oil.
These drops are unflavored, and people can add this product to their meals. Every bottle is lab-tested to make sure that it is safe for consumption, and each 1 milliliter (ml) serving contains 20 milligrams (mg) of CBD.
Zatural Full Spectrum CBD Oil Drops
This full-spectrum CBD oil is unflavored, and the company extract the CBD from hemp using CO2, which they claim leads to more potent CBD. The company source their CBD from organic hemp farms in the United States.
Zatural’s CBD oil drops are third-party lab tested to make sure they are safe for consumption. Each bottle contains terpenes, flavonoids, phytocannabinoids, and CBD. The oil comes in various potencies and bottle sizes.
The company recommend that people start with a low dose and gradually increase it until they reach their desired effect.
Social CBD Red Raspberry Broad Spectrum CBD Gummies
These gummies contain 25 mg of broad-spectrum CBD per serving and fruit juice and natural fruit flavors. The company state that CBD affects the body’s endocannabinoid system, which controls stress responses and other functions.
The company source their hemp from U.S. farms, and a third-party lab tests the CBD. This product is also dairy- and gluten-free. The gummies come in boxes of 10 or 60.
The following body oils and creams may provide relief from pain and inflammation alongside physical therapy. Topicals may provide faster acting relief as the CBD bypasses the digestive system and enters the bloodstream directly through the skin.
Papa and Barkley Releaf Body Oil
This body oil contains full-spectrum CBD, along with jojoba, Vitamin E, and other essential oils. The company claim they do not use any chemicals or solvents in the manufacturing process and source all ingredients from farms in Colorado.
The company recommend that people start with 2–3 pumps and apply and massage the product into the skin. People can use this oil in one particular area or all over their bodies.
Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream
This cream contains 1000 mg of CBD in a 3.4 oz bottle. Other ingredients include menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, and arnica. The company claim that these ingredients are fast-acting and provide relief from pain and aches. This product is smooth and non-greasy.
The company recommend rubbing the cream into the area of skin that needs relief. People should store this product at room temperature and throw the product away if it has been open for more than 1 year.
GoGreen Hemp CBD Relief Stick
This product contains only three ingredients: beeswax, MCT oil, and CBD. Each stick contains 1000 mg of broad-spectrum CBD oil.
The company tests each product to ensure that it is free from heavy metals, pesticides, and microbials.
They recommend applying the stick to the skin and massage in. A person should not eat or consume this product in any other way.
CBD is also available in patch or capsule forms.
According to an article in Molecules, people with pain in a specific part of their body, such as on the leg or arm, may find patches useful.
They are also advantageous because they release CBD over time, which means a person does not have to take a large dose all at once. Some people may tolerate this method of CBD better than a single, higher dose.
However, patches do carry a higher risk of irritation on the skin around it. Other concerns include how effectively the CBD penetrates the skin. Anyone trying CBD patches must stop using them if an allergic reaction occurs.
Capsules and pills
Taking a capsule means a person knows precisely how much CBD they are putting into their system. However, sometimes the body can take between 1–6 hours to break the capsule down.
While CBD does not have as many side effects as THC, there are still some risks that people should be aware of. According to a 2020 article, these include:
- a risk of liver damage due to drug interactions
- drowsiness and sleepiness
- allergic reactions
Because of these potential risks, people should speak to a doctor before taking CBD to ensure it will not interact with other medications.
CBD has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and may help speed up wound healing.
While there is no evidence to suggest a direct correlation between CBD aiding in physical therapy, evidence exists that CBD can reduce pain and inflammation.
Many of the CBD products on the market may help reduce pain and inflammation and make physical therapy easier, and each form has its advantages and disadvantages.