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In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) has become a popular remedy for a variety of issues. CBD is non-euphoric and has shown promise with other cannabinoids to help with conditions like pain, anxiety, and even sleep. It’s popular with people who are looking for relief from these conditions and don’t want the mind-altering effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD products, including oils, gummies, and creams, are made by extracting all the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Then, those chemicals may be diluted or mixed into products for consumption or topical use. Sometimes, the chemicals are purified to remove other cannabinoids like THC.

CBD is a relatively new ingredient in alternative treatments. In December 2018, the United States removed hemp from its list of controlled substances. That’s why there are limited studies on how CBD can benefit arthritis pain. However, there are some promising early studies and results.

Keep reading to learn more about how CBD products may help people with arthritis pain. If a knowledgeable cannabis clinician is available to you, talk with them about products you’re interested in to see what might help.

What is CBD?

CBD is a type of chemical known as a cannabinoid. These chemicals are found naturally in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana.

CBD is one of dozens of cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. THC is more widely known, particularly for its euphoric effects.

Healthline

We used these standards for safety, quality, and transparency to make our selections. Each product we selected:

  • is made by a company that provides third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • plainly provides evidence of this testing
  • is made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • is free of heavy metals, pesticides, and molds, according to the COA

Additionally, we considered these factors when selecting the best CBD products for arthritis pain:

  • product potency or concentration
  • type of CBD
  • overall ingredient list, including ingredients that may support arthritis pain relief
  • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • brand reputation, including
    • customer reviews
    • any unsubstantiated health claims for the product or CBD in general

Most CBD products fall within a price range of $25 to $75. Some may be more expensive because of the ingredients they’re mixed with, such as carrier oils, scents, or additional ingredients.

These products may be worth the higher price tag, but do your due diligence to make sure the cost comes with benefits you can’t get from other products. Reputable, high-quality CBD products don’t have to be expensive.

  • $ = under $30
  • $$ = $30–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

If you’re a first-time shopper, CBD labels can be a jumble of unknown terms and claims. Knowing how to read a CBD label can help you find the right product. Here are some of the most common terms you’ll find on CBD products:

  • Cannabis: This is the type of plant from which CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are extracted.
  • Cannabinoids: These plant compounds are found naturally in cannabis, and they produce a number of benefits. CBD and THC are just two cannabinoids. Cannabis has dozens, possibly hundreds, of these chemicals.
  • Full-spectrum CBD: A full-spectrum CBD product contains all of the cannabinoids found in a particular cannabis plant.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: This CBD contains all cannabinoids but THC.
  • CBD isolate: This highly purified extract contains only CBD.
  • THC: This cannabinoid is responsible for the euphoric effects of cannabis.
  • Terpenes: These organic compounds are responsible for the aroma and flavor of cannabis.

Topical treatments, like creams, balms, and salves, may have some benefit for arthritis pain. It’s unclear how well the compounds pass through the skin barrier. However, early results hold promise.

Vertly Relief Lotion

  • Price: $$
  • Concentration: 150 milligrams (mg) per container
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Test analysis: on product page

This low-dose CBD lotion may be ideal for beginners. It combines full-spectrum CBD with arnica oil, an ingredient that has been shown to ease muscle soreness, aches, joint pain, swelling, and inflammation.

The shea butter-infused lotion can be used all over the body or you can use it for spot treatment on problematic joints.

Lazarus Naturals Soothing Mint Full-Spectrum CBD Balm

  • Price: $–$$
  • Concentration: 400–1,200 mg per container
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Test analysis: on product page

This full-spectrum CBD balm combines mango butter, beeswax, and coconut oil with menthol and wintergreen oil. The last two ingredients have been shown to relieve pain.

Made with hemp extract, half a teaspoon of this balm contains 50 mg CBD. The small tub is a great size for trying out the product before investing in the larger, more expensive version.

Equilibria Balance Bath Bombs

  • Price: $$
  • Count: four bath bombs
  • Concentration: 50 mg CBD each
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Test analysis: on product page

Warm baths can be a natural pain reliever for people with arthritis pain. Adding a CBD bath bomb to a warm bath may provide additional relief. The blend of essential oils can also help hydrate skin.

CBD oil may be the product most people are familiar with. It’s easy to use, taken by mouth, comes in a variety of flavors, and produces effects quickly. Its fast-acting nature may make it ideal for people seeking short-term relief for arthritis pain.

LiftMode Pure CBD Isolate Oil

  • Price: $$
  • Concentration: 1,500 mg per bottle, 25 mg per serving
  • CBD type: isolate
  • Test analysis: available online

The CBD isolate in this tincture has been purified to remove all other cannabinoids but the CBD. Mint essential oil gives the tincture a minty flavor, and MCT oil makes it easy to consume. With just 25 mg of CBD isolate per dropper, you can manage doses more easily and take exactly what you need for pain relief.

Papa & Barkley Releaf Drops

  • Price: $$
  • Concentration: 450 mg per bottle, 30 mg per serving
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Test analysis: on product page

This full-spectrum CBD oil is an example of plain CBD oil. It comes in a natural flavor, without additive extracts, and it’s mixed with one carrier oil, MCT oil. The whole-plant extraction process avoids the use of chemicals or solvents, which results in a product that’s almost as natural as it comes.

Don’t want to spend the money on a large bottle until you’re certain you like the effects? The small 15 milliliter (mL) bottle is a great introductory size, and Papa & Barkley offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sunday Scaries CBD Oil Tincture with Vitamins

  • Price: $$
  • Concentration: 500 mg per bottle, 30 mg per serving
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • Test analysis: available online

Infused with vitamins D3 and B12, this CBD oil is THC-free. That makes it a good option for someone seeking arthritis relief from CBD without any effects of THC. The oil is fruit punch flavored and sweetened with Stevia.

The company tests their CBD extract for contaminants before the final product is made. The oil is only tested for potency.

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Gummies are a good introductory CBD product. They are premeasured, so you don’t have to worry about droppers or measurements. Many of the products start at low doses so you can start small and build on.

However, gummies take a few hours to reach their full effect. You won’t receive immediate relief from them, but the benefits last 4 to 6 hours.

Charlotte’s Web CBD Recovery Gummies

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 60 gummies per package
  • Concentration: 10 mg CBD per gummy
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Test analysis: available online

These CBD Recovery Gummies were selected because they contain ginger and turmeric in addition to full-spectrum CBD. Ginger and turmeric have been shown to help reduce inflammation. Inflammation can increase arthritis pain and reduce joint movement.

The gummies are flavored and colored with juices of fruits and vegetables instead of artificial colors or extracts. Charlotte’s Web clearly presents their testing reports. They have good reviews from customers, too.

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Joy Organics CBD Gummies

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 30 gummies per package
  • Concentration: 10 mg per gummy
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • Test analysis: on product page

These THC-free, broad-spectrum gummies come in two flavors: strawberry lemonade and green apple. These flavored options may make the products more palatable to first-time users. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, and tapioca syrup and organic cane sugar are used to sweeten these chewable CBD products.

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Besides Epidiolex, a prescription medication for epilepsy, no CBD products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, no government agency regulates CBD products for safety, potency, or effectiveness.

But many companies are open and transparent about their processes. That makes finding a high-quality product easier. But it’s important to know how to read a label properly so you can find a reputable product.

Ingredients

When looking for a high-quality CBD product, be sure to read the ingredient label. CBD isn’t found in hemp seeds, so instead, look for a product that contains hemp extract.

The product does not contain CBD if it lists only:

CBD source

Look for U.S.-grown hemp that is, ideally, organic. In the United States, hemp is regulated by agricultural standards, so you can trust that it meets the requirements for the limit on THC.

CBD type

This is a personal choice. If you want to avoid THC altogether, look for a product that says it’s THC-free. A broad-spectrum or CBD isolate product is also THC-free. If you don’t mind taking THC, a full-spectrum product may have the added benefit of the entourage effect.

Test results

Reputable CBD companies seek out and prominently share their third-party testing results. The company should post a COA, or certificate of analysis, on the product’s page or on the company’s website in a prominent place. If they don’t, request the COA by email before you purchase.

Read the COA to verify that the product is free of heavy metals and other contaminants like mold and pesticides.

Double-check the cannabinoid profile on the COA. This will show you if the product meets the brand’s stated potency.

Extra ingredients

Flavored oil and gummies often have added extracts and sweeteners. These increase the palatability of the product, but they don’t improve performance. For arthritis pain, you can look for products that have ingredients that have been shown to help reduce pain and inflammation, such as turmeric, camphor, or arnica.

Carrier oils, like coconut oil and MCT oil, make the CBD extracts easier to consume. They rarely add any flavor or benefits to the extract.

Product type

Like the type of CBD you use, the type of product you use is a personal choice. If you want long-term, all-over relief, products like oils or gummies may be best.

If you want to target relief to a specific joint or area that’s painful, a topical treatment or lotion may be your best choice.

Read more about the methods of taking CBD to understand how each works and what type of relief they provide. This will help you select the right product for you.

Dosage

CBD dosage depends on a number of variables, including your weight, body composition, the condition you want to treat, and more. Start with a small dosage. Gradually increase until you find a dosage that produces the desired effect.

Prepared products like gummies are often premeasured in 5 or 10 mg doses. But oils and tinctures are administered with droppers. You’ll need to read the package to understand if a serving is a whole dropper, half, or just a drop. Read carefully so you can select the best dose for you.

The proper way to use CBD products for arthritis pain is unclear. Precise doses, like what you get from gummies, have long-term effects but affect your whole body. CBD oils also provide all-over relief and last for several hours.

But your arthritis pain may be isolated to one or two joints. In that case, a topical option, such as a balm or lotion, may seem like a better solution. You can rub it on your joints, and the CBD and other ingredients will cross through the skin barrier to your nearby muscles.

Unfortunately, however, it’s not clear how much of the CBD makes it through your skin, and unlike gummies or oils, a dose of a topical product isn’t clear cut. You may have to use the product several times, increasing your dose until you find the right amount for your pain.

Don’t take additional doses at once. Wait several hours between each dose so you get an understanding of how the product affects you.

CBD is still a new research topic, but it’s considered to be safe. Study results show few side effects or complications.

People that do experience issues most commonly report fatigue and dizziness. Diarrhea and changes in appetite and weight also occur in some people.

CBD can interfere with some prescription and over-the-counter medications and vitamins. It’s important to talk to your pharmacist or a CBD-friendly clinician to understand if you can safely take CBD.

Also, new research suggests you should avoid using CBD products by mouth if you eat or plan to eat high fat meals. High fat foods may dramatically increase concentrations of CBD in your blood. That may increase your risk of side effects.

If you’re considering CBD for the first time, you should understand the many types of CBD products that are available to you. Each type has an array of benefits, but you need to understand those so you can find the product that’s best suited to what you’re trying to treat.

While CBD has few side effects, it isn’t risk-free. It’s a good idea to talk with a clinician or pharmacist about your interest in CBD. They can help you find a product that works for you.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.