How to Use CBD Oil for Pain: Benefits, Dosage and Side Effects


In recent years, the medical world has seen a surge in interest towards CBD oil, a non-intoxicating compound derived from the cannabis plant. 

With its potential health benefits, numerous people are turning to CBD oil as an alternative pain management strategy. 

In this article, we explore how to use CBD oil for pain, its benefits, common consumption methods, dosage, side effects, and frequently asked questions.

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 compounds found in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. Unlike its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a euphoric “high,” making it an appealing option for those seeking potential relief from pain, anxiety, depression, and other ailments.

CBD oil is derived from industrial hemp, a variety of cannabis plant that typically contains higher CBD content and less than 0.3% THC. This oil is created by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut oil or hemp seed oil.

Potential Benefits of CBD Oils

Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain caused by damage to the nerves. It can manifest as a tingling sensation, numbness, muscle weakness, or a sharp, shooting, or burning pain. 

Several studies have found that CBD oil, often used in conjunction with THC, can be effective in managing neuropathic pain.

A 2017 study [1] found that CBD helped alleviate chronic neuropathy pain in humans. However, more research is needed to fully understand the role of CBD in managing chronic neuropathic pain, including the benefits, risks, and ideal dosages.

Arthritis Pain

Arthritis, a term encompassing hundreds of conditions that cause pain and inflammation in the joints, affects millions of people worldwide. CBD oil has shown promise in treating arthritis-related pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2016 study in the European Journal of Pain [2] found that topical CBD application significantly reduced inflammation and signs of pain in rats with arthritis without additional side effects. However, more human studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the entire body through the nerves and brain. Muscle spasms, one of the most common symptoms of MS, can cause constant pain in some people.

A report [3] found that short-term use of CBD oil could reduce the levels of muscle spasms a person feels, indicating a reduction in symptoms. However, more studies are needed to verify these results.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, defined as any pain lasting more than a few months, can be debilitating. CBD, due to its potential analgesic properties, has been the subject of many studies investigating its efficacy in treating chronic pain.

A report [4] concluded that there is substantial evidence that cannabis, including CBD, is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults. Another separate study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine [5] supports these results, suggesting that using CBD can reduce pain and inflammation.

Other CBD Oil Uses

Beyond pain management, CBD has a range of applications and promising possibilities. These include helping people quit smoking, managing drug withdrawal, treating seizures and epilepsy, reducing some effects of Alzheimer’s disease, reducing antipsychotic effects for people with schizophrenia, and potentially combating type 1 diabetes and certain types of cancer in the future. Another popular use for CBD is by using it to make CBD oil for cats with anxiety.

Common Ways to Consume CBD Oil For Pain

In a Capsule

CBD oil capsules offer a convenient and simple way to ingest CBD. They provide a consistent concentration, making it easy to monitor dosage. However, because capsules pass through the digestive tract, their effects may take longer to manifest.

In a Cocktail, Smoothie or Coffee

CBD oil from the best CBD brands can be added to a variety of beverages, including cocktails, smoothies, and coffee. Some CBD coffee brands claim that infusing coffee beans with CBD can counteract the anxiety-causing effects of caffeine.

In a Vape Pen

Vape pens offer a discreet and easy-to-use method for consuming CBD. Inhaled CBD enters the lungs and rapidly passes into the bloodstream, offering quick relief. However, the long-term safety of vaping remains unknown.

In a Topical Rub or Balm

CBD-infused topical rubs or CBD balms can be applied directly to the skin, making them a good option for localized pain relief. They work quickly and target specific areas, making them popular among athletes and those with muscle aches or joint pain.

In a Salad Dressing

Incorporating CBD oil into your daily cooking routine is another way to consume the compound. For instance, adding a few drops of CBD oil to your salad dressing can provide potential health benefits without much effort.

In a Tincture

CBD tinctures are taken by dropping the liquid under the tongue, where it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This method allows for quick and efficient absorption of CBD, making it a popular choice for many users.

CBD Oil Dosage

Determining the correct dosage of CBD oil depends on various factors, including the individual’s body weight, the concentration of the CBD oil, the condition being treated, and the individual’s tolerance to CBD. 

It’s recommended to start with a low dosage and gradually increase until you find a dosage that provides the desired effects. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

CBD Oil Side Effects

While CBD oil is generally well-tolerated, some people may experience side effects, such as fatigue, diarrhea, changes in appetite, and weight changes. 

In addition, CBD oil may interact with certain over-the-counter dietary supplements and prescription medications and could potentially increase the risk of liver toxicity.


Can You Rub CBD Oil on an Area of Pain?

Yes, topical CBD oil products like creams and balms can be applied directly to the skin over a painful area to provide targeted pain relief.

How Much CBD Oil Should I Start With for Pain?

The amount of CBD oil you should start with depends on various factors, including your body weight, the concentration of the CBD oil, and the severity of your pain. 

It’s often recommended to start with a low dose (5-10 mg) and gradually increase until you find a dose that provides the desired relief.

How Do You Use CBD Oil Topically for Pain?

To use CBD oil topically for pain, simply apply the CBD oil directly to the skin over the painful area and rub it in gently. You can repeat this process as needed.

Which Form of CBD Is Best for Pain?

The best form of CBD for pain depends on the type of pain you’re experiencing. For localized pain, a topical CBD product may be most effective. For systemic pain, or pain affecting the whole body, a CBD oil tincture or capsule may be more beneficial.

How to Use CBD Oil for Pain: Final Thoughts

CBD oil has shown promise as a potential treatment for various types of pain, including neuropathic pain, arthritis pain, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. 

However, more research is needed to fully understand the benefits and potential side effects of CBD oil. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Please note that the FDA has not approved CBD for treating pain, and you should always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen.


  1. Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. P. (2017, Jun 1). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
  2. Russo, M., Calabrò, R. S., Naro, A., Sessa, E., Rifici, C., D’Aleo, G., Leo, A., De Luca, R., Quartarone, A., & Bramantı, P. (2015, January 1). Sativex in the Management of Multiple Sclerosis-Related Spasticity: Role of the Corticospinal Modulation. Neural Plasticity. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/656582
  3. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2015, October 30). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain‐related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.818
  4. Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. P. (2017, Jun 1). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
  5. Xiong W, Cui T, Cheng K, Yang F, Chen S, Willenbring D, Guan Y, Pan H, Ren K, Xu Y, & Zhang L P. (2012, May 14). Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20120242

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