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People use cannabidiol (CBD) for a lot of reasons, including pain relief. This compound found in cannabis plants is a cannabinoid similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but it doesn’t get you “high.”

While research into the benefits of CBD is ongoing, what we know so far is promising. Evidence suggests that CBD may help with chronic pain and neuropathy. This may be good news if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition caused by compression of the median nerve in your hand.

In this article, we look at the research on CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome and list some expertly vetted CBD picks you might want to try.

No specific research has been done on CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome, but research has taken place relating to CBD for pain and neuropathy. And since carpal tunnel syndrome involves nerve pain, CBD may help.

One 2020 study, for example, suggests that CBD oil applied topically can help with neuropathy.

The participant pool was relatively small, with just 29 people in total. Still, a significant portion of the participants using CBD reported a reduction in severe pain. Compared with the control group, they also reported a reduction in neuropathy-related sensations, like cold and itching.

A review from 2018 shows that medical cannabis may help with the symptoms of neuropathy. However, it’s important to point out that cannabis also contains THC, which may contribute to pain relief.

According to the review authors, evidence suggests cannabis may help with neuropathic pain. But they also explained that the existing studies had short durations and were limited by small participant pools.

They concluded that more research is needed, especially into the potential long-term effects of medical cannabis use.

CBD may also help with chemotherapy-related neuropathy. A 2017 animal study suggests that CBD lowers pain levels in mice with neuropathy but doesn’t prevent it from happening in the first place. However, the research also suggests that CBD may work best when combined with THC rather than used on its own.

Some people also claim that CBD helps with chronic pain. And research suggests that there’s merit to these claims.

One 2019 study found that CBD reduced pain levels in people with fibromyalgia by more than 30 percent. This was another relatively small study, with just 20 participants.

A 2020 review of this and other studies points out that the potential pain-relieving qualities of CBD are condition-specific. And while CBD may help with some types of pain, it may not provide universal pain relief.

When shopping for CBD, you’ll find it comes in many forms. You can choose from:

If you’re looking for a product to help with carpal tunnel syndrome, you may want to try a topical you can apply directly to the affected area.

Ingested products are another option. These are taken orally and typically provide full-body effects, so they should work for general pain relief, too.

We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made with U.S.-grown 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

As a part of our selection process, we also considered:

  • the company’s certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best full-spectrum CBD oil for carpal tunnel

CBDistillery Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 5,000 mg per 30-milliliter (mL) bottle
  • COA: available on product page

This oil from CBDistillery is ideal for people who need a stronger product that doesn’t contain any genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

And despite the steep price tag, customers think the potent oil is worth it. Some even say they’ve used it for several years with success.

Still, if you aren’t happy with your purchase, CBDistillery offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on their CBD products.

Best CBD isolate oil for carpal tunnel

Lazarus Naturals CBD Oil Tincture

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: isolate
  • CBD potency: 750 mg per bottle
  • COA: available on product page

This oil is a good choice if you want to avoid THC. It’s also flavorless, making it a good pick for people who want the freedom to mix their CBD oil into food or drinks. Each dropper contains about 50 mg of CBD isolate.

Lazarus Naturals also has a rewards program for frequent shoppers and an assistance program for veterans, people with disabilities, and those from low-income households.

Best CBD salve for carpal tunnel

Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 1,000 milligrams (mg) per 2-ounce (oz.) container
  • COA: available on product page

Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve is a potent topical that contains CBD and ingredients like beeswax and eucalyptus oil to help moisturize skin. The broad-spectrum product is a good choice for people who prefer to stay away from THC but still want the benefits of other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Reviewers say the product helps with joint pain and stiffness. However, one customer notes that the consistency is a bit thick and tough to work into the skin.

The brand offers free carbon-neutral shipping and is part of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. Their products are also cruelty-free.

Best CBD balm for carpal tunnel

TheraOne by Theragun Revive CBD Body Balm

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 500 mg per 1-oz. container
  • COA: available on product page

Theragun, the company behind the massage gun for athletes, has now entered the CBD market with a line called TheraOne. This balm contains a blend of cooling menthol, essential oils, and turmeric.

Ingredients are also certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture and are cruelty-free. The brand recommends using a pea-size amount and reapplying as needed.

TheraOne uses hemp sourced from organic farms in Colorado.

The way you use CBD for your carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the type of product you choose:

  • You can take gummies or capsules by mouth.
  • You can place oils under your tongue or add to food or drinks.
  • You can add CBD oil to body lotions and creams.

Using a topical product involves rubbing it directly on the area that’s causing you trouble. In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, that’s probably your hand or wrist.

When it comes to dosage, the ideal one varies from person to person. Generally, it’s a good idea to start with a low dose and work your way up. That way, you can see how CBD affects you before you take more.

When picking a CBD product, look at the following:

Potency

People with chronic pain may find a higher-potency product works best. Because your skin doesn’t absorb CBD very easily, topical products should contain at least 3 mg of CBD per mL of product.

CBD type

CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum. Which is the best choice?

Isolates are a great pick if you want to avoid THC in your CBD product. But without all the terpenes and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, isolates may not be as effective. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that *any* CBD product may contain trace amounts of THC, no matter the type.

You’ll likely get the best results with a full-spectrum product, thanks to the entourage effect. That’s because CBD and THC probably work better together than alone.

Third-party testing

There’s no guarantee that over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products are safe and effective. Currently, the FDA doesn’t vet these products like they do prescription medications.

And without a watchful eye, some companies may take the opportunity to make misleading claims about their CBD products.

So it’s essential to check that a product has been tested by a third-party lab and has a valid COA. The COA will tell you exactly how much CBD and THC is in your product. A COA will also verify that your product has passed tests for contaminants.

Ingredients

When possible, opt for CBD made with organic, U.S.-grown hemp. And if you’re buying a topical, carefully read the list of ingredients to check for potential skin irritants.

Most quality CBD products are considered safe, according to a report from the World Health Organization. Still, some people experience side effects, including:

  • fatigue
  • weight loss or gain
  • appetite changes
  • diarrhea

In most cases, these effects are mild.

CBD may also interact with certain medications, especially those with a grapefruit warning.

In general, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before using CBD.

If you don’t want to take CBD or find it’s not working for you, other treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • splinting
  • avoiding activities that worsen your symptoms
  • OTC medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • prescription medications
  • surgery

Even if CBD is helping your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, you may want to consider other options for finding relief and support.

Always talk with a doctor before trying at-home treatments. Carpal tunnel syndrome can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying condition like rheumatoid arthritis.

If you’ve tried CBD and aren’t finding relief or your symptoms are getting worse, contact a doctor for an evaluation.

While there’s no direct research on the benefits of CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome, evidence suggests that it may help with neuropathy-related pain.

And although CBD won’t be a magical solution for your symptoms, it may help give you some relief. Just be sure to talk with a doctor about your carpal tunnel syndrome pain and discomfort before trying CBD.

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.


Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.