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In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) has become a popular remedy for a variety of issues. CBD is noneuphoric and has shown promise 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 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. But there are some promising early studies and results that suggest CBD may help relieve joint pain without the side effects and habit-forming risks of other medications.

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.

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

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made by a company that discloses the source of their hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

We also considered:

  • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients, including any added ingredients for pain relief
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
  • whether the company makes any unsupported health claims

Pricing guide

Many 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 other 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 CBD shopper, 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 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 the cannabinoids found in a particular cannabis plant.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD. Broad-spectrum 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. It’s also the substance that shows up on a drug test.
  • Terpenes. These organic compounds are responsible for the aroma and flavor of cannabis.

Gummies are a good introductory CBD product. They’re 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.

One potential drawback is that 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.

Best CBD gummies for arthritis pain

Joy Organics CBD Gummies

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 10 mg per gummy
  • Count: 30 gummies per package
  • COA: available 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.

Use code “healthcbd” for 15% off.

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

Best CBD lotion for arthritis pain

Vertly Relief Lotion

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 150 mg per container
  • COA: available on product page

This low-potency CBD lotion may be a good option for beginners. It combines full-spectrum CBD with arnica oil, an ingredient that’s 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.

Best CBD balm for arthritis pain

Lazarus Naturals Relief + Recovery Full-Spectrum CBD Balm

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 3,000 mg per 2-oz. container
  • COA: available on product page

This full-spectrum CBD balm combines mango butter, beeswax, and jojoba seed oil with wintergreen oil and capsicum extract.

Reviewers say it has both a warming and cooling sensation thanks to the two oils.

Best CBD bath salts for arthritis pain

Vena Revitalizing CBD Soaking Salts

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: isolate
  • CBD potency: 300 mg per 24-oz. bag, about 50 mg per soak
  • COA: available online

These soaking salts can help soothe various aches and pains. The salts are blended with CBD isolate and eucalyptus oil, which can also help ease inflammation.

Vena recommends adding a half cup to a hot bath for a fragrant, relaxing soak.

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 from arthritis pain.

Best broad-spectrum CBD oil for arthritis pain

Charlotte’s Web THC-Free CBD Oil

This THC-free formula offers all the benefits of Charlotte’s Web CBD without THC.

This product has a mint chocolate flavor, making it a good option for people who may not enjoy the earthiness of unflavored CBD oil.

Best CBD isolate oil for arthritis pain

LiftMode Hemp Extract Oil

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: isolate
  • CBD potency: 1,500 mg per 30-mL bottle
  • COA: 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.

With just 25 mg of CBD isolate per dropper, you can manage doses easily and take exactly what you need for pain relief.

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

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.

Test results

Reputable CBD companies seek out and prominently share their third-party testing results. The company should post a COA 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 passes tests for 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, look for products with ingredients that have been shown to help reduce pain and inflammation, such as turmeric, camphor, arnica, and eucalyptus.

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.

There are several ways to use CBD products, and each has its own pros and cons. CBD gummies and CBD oils provide all-over relief and last for several hours. They’re also easy to take and dose.

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.

But unfortunately, it’s not clear how much 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 relatively safe, according to recent research. 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 supplements. It’s important to talk with a pharmacist or CBD-friendly clinician to understand if you can safely take CBD.

Also, new research suggests to 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.

Finally, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t take CBD.

What type of CBD product should I use for arthritis?

If you want long-term, all-over relief, products like oils or gummies may be best. However, 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.

What dosage is safe for CBD products?

CBD dosage depends on a number of variables, including your weight, body composition, the condition you want to treat, and more.

However, in general, start with a small dosage, then 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. Read the package to learn if a serving is a whole dropper, half, or just a drop. Be sure to read carefully so you can select the best dose for you.

Should my CBD product contain THC?

This is a personal choice. If you want to avoid THC altogether, look for a product that says it’s THC-free, such as a broad-spectrum or CBD isolate product.

If you don’t mind taking THC, a full-spectrum product may have the added benefit of the entourage effect. However, it could also show up on a drug test.

Can CBD cream help with arthritis pain?

It might. A 2016 animal study found that topical CDB can help minimize joint pain and inflammation in rats with arthritis. But more research is needed to determine whether the same effect is true in humans.

If you’re considering CBD for the first time, know that many types of CBD products are available. Each type has an array of benefits. Research each type to find the product that’s best suited to what you’re trying to treat.

While CBD typically 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?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 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent 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.