The 10 Best CBD Oils for Pain Relief, Based on Expert Testing

Spruce Extra Strength CBD oil is the best CBD oil for pain relief.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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CBD oil for pain relief is a common use among people with chronic pain and joint conditions like arthritis. CBD oil comes in either topical or ingestible forms and has been studied as an alternative to opioids in the area of pain management.

Research indicates that CBD oil offers relief for some people experiencing certain types of chronic pain, but not all. A review of existing research on cannabinoids and pain finds that CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and regulates how the brain registers the perception of pain.

This article will help you to learn more about using CBD oil for pain relief. It presents detail on the 10 best CBD oils for pain in 2023, including top performer Spruce Extra Strength Lab Grade CBD Oil.

If you're interested in exploring CBD oil use, talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your pain management regimen.

Best CBD oils for pain relief of 2023

Best Overall: Spruce Extra Strength Lab Grade CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 80 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving
  • Price: $269

This 100% natural CBD oil by Spruce is an extra-potent formula that may provide some comfort for individuals looking to manage chronic pain. It's organic, vegan, gluten-free, pesticide-free, and contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives, plus it's made in the U.S. The full-spectrum oil undergoes third-party testing to ensure proper levels of THC and potency for pain relief support.

Best Organic: Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower USDA Organic CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 25 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving (available in 375 and 750 milligrams of CBD per bottle) and 50 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving (1,500 milligrams of CBD per bottle)
  • Price: $34.99

This CBD oil is full-spectrum, vegan, and non-GMO. It's made solely from the flower of the hemp plant and undergoes an organic sugarcane ethanol extraction process that preserves the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other naturally occurring compounds. The formula contains a coconut-based carrier oil, but no artificial flavoring and preservatives, giving it an earthy taste.

Best for Joint Pain: Plant People Drops+ Relief CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 12, 24, and 48 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter servings
  • Price: $119.99

Plant People offers its USDA organic CBD oil in three potencies, making it easier to find the right dose. The brand recommends using this product to help reduce cramps deep within your muscles and ease joint tension for increased mobility. As a bonus, the formula includes turmeric, ginger, and black pepper, which provide anti-inflammatory benefits. It's also vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and keto-friendly as well as Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) certified for potency and purity.

Best for Inflammation: NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 30 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving in 300-, 900-, 1,800-, 3,000-, and 6,000-milligram bottles
  • Price: $49

NuLeaf Naturals's full-spectrum formula is made with organic hemp grown in Colorado and organic virgin hemp seed oil. The brand uses a unique CO2 extraction method that creates a potent blend of terpenes, cannabinoids, essential oils, and phytonutrients, which is meant to enhance a product's wellness benefits, including pain relief. This CBD oil is easy to use because it offers a consistent strength, 30 milligrams per serving, no matter the size of the bottle.

Best Flavors: Charlotte's Web Maximum Strength CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 60 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving in 30- and 100-milliliter bottles
  • Price: $119.99

This formula from Charlotte's Web is made using CO2 extraction and contains full-spectrum, Colorado-grown hemp. The environmentally friendly process creates a pure and potent CBD oil that's chock-full of beneficial compounds. The brand says the product is designed to reduce exercise-induced inflammation, and it comes in three delicious flavors—mint chocolate, orange blossom, and lemon twist.

Best for Back Pain: CBDistillery Relief + Relax Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 17, 33, 83, and 167 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter servings
  • Price: $130

CBDistillery Relief + Relax tinctures come in a variety of concentrations to provide pain relief support for both novice and experienced CBD users. This formula is certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, and all products are made with non-GMO industrial hemp that's grown using natural farming practices.

Best Pharmacist Formulated: Green Roads Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 10, 25, and 50 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter servings
  • Price: $109.99

This full-spectrum CBD oil from Green Roads is vegan and gluten-free, plus it comes in three different strengths—mild, moderate, and mighty. The formula has no artificial flavors or colors, and the hemp used is farmed in the U.S. The dropper features an easy-to-use measuring system and each box has a QR code that links directly to the independent lab results for that specific product.

Best THC-Free: Medterra CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 16, 33, and 100 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter servings
  • Price: $39.99

Medterra's broad-spectrum formula is 99% CBD oil and 1% organic MCT oil. The hemp is organically grown in Kentucky where it then goes through a CO2 extraction process to preserve the pure blend of phytonutrients, cannabinoids, and terpenes found in the hemp plant.

Strongest Tincture: cbdMD Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 10, 25, 50, 100, 166.5, and 250 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter servings
  • Price: $59.99

Available in a variety of strengths and flavors, cbdMD's broad-spectrum formula is a great choice for individuals who are new to CBD. The product is vegan and gluten-free, and the brand offers a 60-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with the oil. The fact that it uses U.S.-grown hemp ensures that strict safety standards are met during the production process.

Best Dosing Guide: Naternal Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

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Key Specs

  • Potency: 80 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving
  • Price: $60

This potent CBD oil has a full complement of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds that are included to enhance a product's wellness benefits. Made from all-natural and cruelty-free sources, Naternal's formula undergoes rigorous testing before it's available for purchase. In addition, the packaging includes a helpful dosing guide that makes it easy to measure your CBD intake.

Final verdict

CBD oil can offer some relief from certain kinds of pain. If you want to give it a try, we suggest Spruce Extra Strength Lab Grade CBD Oil as the best option overall due to its clean ingredients and extra potent formula. This oil is strong enough to help manage chronic pain, while remaining 100% natural.

Guide to choosing CBD oils for pain relief

Can CBD oil help with chronic pain?

Research suggests that CBD oil can help with chronic pain, but the results to date are still mixed.

For example, a study of 29 people living with peripheral neuropathy (weakness, numbness, and pain from nerve damage) in their lower extremities found that topical CBD provided a "statistically significant reduction" in pain over a placebo.

In contrast, a 2020 review of research on CBD's connection to pain found that in "studies of generalized chronic pain, CBD treatment did not significantly reduce measures of pain." The authors did note, however, that there was consistent improvement in quality of life and quality of sleep.

More research on CBD and pain management

According to primary care physician Carrie Lam, MD, who specializes in functional and integrative medicine at the Lam Clinic in Tustin, California, a variety of studies have been performed on the benefits of cannabis for pain.

"Some of the disorders cannabis can help with include arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, neuropathy—resulting from nerve damage—cancer, [and] emotional pain," says Lam. More research is needed, but the benefits of cannabis, and CBD, for pain are believed to result from its anti-inflammatory properties.

Terpenes, or terpenoids, may play a role. They are a category of chemical compounds commonly found in plants that are responsible for a plant's taste, scent, and pigment. The most common therapeutic terpenes are:

  • Myrcene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Terpineol
  • Linalool

Meg Byrne, DC, chiropractor and certified acupuncturist with Acacia Natural Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona—and the Spring Training chiropractor for the San Diego Padres—explains the central role that terpenes found in CBD oil may play in pain relief.

"Terpenes, specifically, affect the CB1 and CB2 receptors and neurotransmitters of the brain," she explains. "When these terpene-rich oils are blended with CBD isolate, research supports the use of topical and ingested CBD for chronic pain," adds Byrne. "Patients are seeing a decrease in pain associated with osteoarthritis, muscle injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and tendonitis."

Early evidence suggests that CBD could also be beneficial to patients with fibromyalgia. Data presented in 2020 from retrospective trials and patient surveys in the journal Best Practice & Research: Clinical Anaesthesiology showed alleviation of pain, improved sleep, and an abatement of symptoms in fibromyalgia patients who used cannabis and cannabidiol. However, the authors of the review note that there are only a few randomized trial studies on the topic and "current evidence is still limited."

More research needs to be conducted to confirm whether CBD alone can help reduce or manage pain. Most of the current research looks at treatments containing both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, so it's unclear which compound is providing the most wellness benefits.

CBD is not meant to be a cure for pain or chronic pain conditions. Talk to a health care professional before trying a CBD product for pain and do not stop taking prescription medication unless directed by your doctor.

How to shop for CBD

Choosing a CBD oil for pain relief involves more than just picking a flavor or potency. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a CBD product.

Types of CBD

CBD oil comes in three spectrums: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and pure CBD isolate.

  • Full-spectrum CBD contains the pure, natural form of the hemp plant, including other cannabinoid compounds like terpenes as well as small amounts of THC (less than 0.3%).
  • Broad-spectrum CBD also contains other cannabinoid compounds, but unlike full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD products are THC-free.
  • Pure CBD isolate is 99.9% pure CBD with no THC.

Source of hemp and potency

The best CBD oils use hemp sources from the U.S. that were grown through organic farming practices. Unlike CBD oil manufactured overseas, the U.S. requires federal testing to ensure the hemp is pure, potent, and safe to use and consume. A product's potency is typically measured by milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving. The oils featured in this article have higher potencies than the ones you might use for stress relief.

Third-party lab testing

The purity and potency of a CBD product can be checked through third-party lab testing. Look for the following labels on a brand's website:

Additional ingredients

Before purchasing a CBD oil, read the full ingredient list to check for compounds or carrier oils that could cause an allergic reaction. Choosing CBD products that use all-natural flavorings with zero additives may decrease the risk of side effects.

How to use CBD oil for pain

CBD oil can be taken as drops under the tongue or as a capsule, and it can also be applied directly to the skin in topical form. Sublingual drops typically take 30 minutes to start working while it may take up to two hours to feel the effects of capsules, gummies, and topicals.

The amount of CBD you should take depends on a number of different factors, including your height, weight, and whether or not you've used CBD oil before. Consult a doctor about proper doses if you're planning to use a product for pain management.

Common side effects from using CBD oil are dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and drowsiness, but these symptoms are often mild. However, it's important to note that certain seizure disorder medications, immunosuppressants, psychiatric medications, blood thinners, and sedatives may react poorly with CBD. This is why it's imperative that you speak to your doctor before trying CBD products.

Frequently asked questions

How long does CBD give pain relief?

How long CBD effects last will depend on factors that include your individual health, the type of product (gummies, tinctures) and how it's administered, and the potency. You may feel the effects in 15 to 45 minutes when using a sublingual (under the tongue) dose, or within three hours if taken orally and absorbed through the digestive tract. Most people experience pain relief effects for several hours.

Is CBD oil an effective painkiller?

There's some evidence that CBD acts on pain-related receptors in the human body that are part of the endocannabinoid system. However, though clinical data points toward support for CBD use in pain management, it is still limited.

Has the Food and Drug Administration approved CBD for pain relief?

No, not yet. The only CBD medication currently approved by the FDA is called Epidiolex (cannabidiol) and it's used to treat certain types of epilepsy.Certain FDA-approved synthetic products (dronabinol, nabilone) may offer chronic pain relief benefits but remain under study.

Methodology

This list of the best CBD oils for pain relief was compiled based on personal experiences with the products, customer reviews, and in-depth research into hemp sources, potency, price, and third-party lab testing. All of the oils we recommend are high-quality and meet strict purity and safety standards.

Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, health editor, and founder of LighttrackNutrition.com. She has been a registered dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2010 and has over a decade of experience in the nutrition and dietetics industry.

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Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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