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Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that’s tough to pronounce and even tougher to deal with.

Those who experience plantar fasciitis usually notice a dull or sharp pain on the bottom of their heel or bottom mid-foot area. This pain can show up on just one foot or both.

There are several potential causes of plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia ligaments can get torn or damaged through normal daily activities, or in some cases, through overuse, bringing on inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

With cannabidiol (CBD) rising in popularity as a natural treatment for a slew of conditions, some may wonder if it can help out with plantar fasciitis, too. Let’s take a look at what the research says.

You’ve probably heard of CBD by now. It’s popping up in grocery store aisles and probably on your newsfeed, too.

CBD is one of over 100 active compounds found in the Cannabis plant, popular for offering potential health benefits without getting users “high.” This is because CBD doesn’t produce the same effects as the other commonly known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD may offer relief from some common conditions, like:

There are three main types of CBD products:

  • Full-spectrum. This type of CBD includes all compounds naturally offered from the cannabis plant. This means it also includes THC. Federally legal hemp-derived full-spectrum CBD contains no more than 0.3 percent THC at the dry weight.
  • Broad-spectrum. This type offers all the naturally found compounds from the plant, except for THC. There may still be a trace amount left behind, however. This type of CBD normally still has terpenes and flavonoids.
  • Isolate. If you want the most pure form of CBD, this is it. It should have nothing but CBD in it, though it’s still possible for trace levels of other cannabinoids to remain.

It’s worth pointing out that, when CBD and THC work together, it creates what is known as the entourage effect.

According to research, taking CBD and THC together (along with terpenes or flavonoids) is more successful at offering relief for certain ailments compared with taking CBD or THC alone.

You can find CBD in many forms, including:

While there isn’t research on CBD for plantar fasciitis specifically, there’s research related to CBD for pain and inflammation, two main components of plantar fasciitis.

A 2018 review assessed how effective cannabis (which includes both CBD and THC) may be in alleviating chronic pain. Researchers looked at studies completed between 1975 and March 2018.

This research included a range of different pain types, like:

Researchers concluded that cannabis was not only effective in overall pain management, but it also came with only mild to moderate side effects.

In a 2015 study, researchers tested rats with arthritis to see if CBD could be used for pain.

The researchers applied a CBD gel to the rats for 4 days in a row, at dosages of 0.6, 3.1, 6.2, or 62.3 milligrams (mg) per day. They noticed that the 6.2 mg per day dose decreased swelling, inflammation, and pain.

In a 2017 study, researchers saw that CBD dropped inflammation levels in rats with osteoarthritis.

However, while some studies have shown that CBD may help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, a 2021 study on CBD for arthritis pain didn’t find a significant difference between participants given CBD and those given a placebo. This may be due to the dose of CBD that was used, or because the CBD was synthetic.

Another 2021 study looked at CBD and placebo on healthy, non-cannabis-using volunteers.

In the double-blind, placebo controlled study, researchers found that CBD did not consistently affect pain threshold and tolerance compared with placebo. In fact, they also found that all doses of CBD increased scores of painfulness compared with placebo.

Overall, more research is needed into the effects CBD may have on pain.

However, if you want to try it and see if it works for you, there are many products available. Keep reading for a few recommendations.

We chose the following 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 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

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 $30
  • $$ = $30–$60
  • $$$ = over $60

Best CBD oil for plantar fasciitis

Saha Self-Care Soothing Spearmint Broad Spectrum CBD Tincture

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 1,000 mg per 30-mL bottle
  • COA: available online

If you’re looking for an ingestible CBD product, this broad-spectrum oil may be a good choice. It’s made by Saha Self-Care, a Black-owned wellness brand specializing in CBD products.

This oil has what the company describes as a subtle spearmint flavor, and the simple formula includes coconut (MCT) oil, sunflower oil, spearmint oil, and hemp-derived broad-spectrum CBD.

The company’s hemp is grown and processed in Colorado. There’s a subscribe-and-save option as well as a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

Best CBD balm for plantar fasciitis

CBDfx Muscle and Joint Balm Stick, Cooling Formula

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 750 mg per 60-mL stick
  • COA: available online

If you prefer to apply CBD directly to your affected area (like your foot for plantar fasciitis pain), you may want to consider a topical product, like this CBD balm stick.

It’s formulated to treat pain with camphor oil, which CBDfx says can help loosen tight muscles. It also contains peppermint and wintergreen oils, oils that the brand says can offer cooling pain relief.

This balm stick is also cruelty-free and vegan.

Best CBD salve for plantar fasciitis

CBDistillery CBDol CBD Salve

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 500 mg per 52-mL container
  • COA: available on product page

Salves are typically thicker than balms, meaning they’re not as easily absorbed. This usually means they’re a good choice for those looking for long lasting results.

This salve includes a range of botanical oils and other ingredients, which CBDistillery says were selected to supplement the product’s therapeutic potential.

You can check out our review of the brand and its other most popular CBD items here.

Best CBD lotion for plantar fasciitis

TheraOne Activate Pre-Activity CBD Lotion

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 300 mg per 60-mL bottle
  • COA: available online

If you want a topical CBD product that’s a little less dense than a salve, this warming CBD lotion may be a good choice for you. You apply it like you would a regular lotion. Gently massage it into clean, dry skin for 10 to 15 seconds.

According to the company, this lotion can help ease stiffness, thanks to its United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Organic CBD and use of natural essential oils.

The formula also includes organic white camphor oil for warming, organic turmeric for soothing, and organic black pepper oil for warming.

This product is also cruelty-free.

Best CBD capsule for plantar fasciitis

Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Softgels

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 50 mg per softgel
  • Count: 10 softgels per package
  • COA: available online

Softgels are a quick, easy way to take CBD on the go — no measuring required.

These softgels by Lazarus Naturals are full-spectrum, and they also contain organic flaxseed oil, organic coconut (MCT) oil, and a slew of terpenes.

This brand offers an assistance program that gives 60 percent off to veterans, people on long-term disability, and people in low-income households.

Right now, over-the-counter CBD products are not FDA approved, and the quality can vary. This means it’s up to you to do careful research before selecting your CBD product.

Dig into the brand’s reputation

It’s important to steer clear of brands that claim a product is a cure-all for any disease. The FDA sends warning letters to brands that make these types of false health claims, making them easier for consumers to spot.

It’s also a good idea to start your research by doing a quick search of your brand online to see if they’re subject to any ongoing lawsuits.

Read customer reviews

Customer reviews on third-party review sites, like Trustpilot, tend to be the most reliable way to see how a product performs. Keep in mind that some companies only show positive reviews on their company websites.

Consider hemp source and manufacturing

It’s best to buy directly from brands that are transparent about where they source their hemp and how they make their products.

Avoid Amazon

Avoiding online marketplaces — especially Amazon — is a must.

Amazon doesn’t allow CBD sales on its site. So, any products you find on Amazon are probably hempseed oil rather than CBD. They’re not likely to be effective, and they might not be safe.

Review testing results

Be sure to choose a CBD product that’s been tested by a third-party lab for cannabinoid potency and contaminants. Your product will come with a certificate of analysis (COA) to show you the important test results you’re looking for.

Think about the type of product you want

If you’re looking for a product to help with pain (like plantar fasciitis pain), you may want to consider a topical product that you can apply directly to the affected area of your foot.

Most CBD oils and tinctures come with a dropper you can use to place the oil under your tongue for up to a minute before swallowing. You can also choose to drop the oil in your food or beverage.

Be sure to shake the bottle well before dispensing your dose to make sure you have the best consistency.

If you decide to use a topical CBD product instead, remember to perform a patch test first. You can do this by applying the product to your inner wrist and watching for any side effects, like itchy or irritated skin. This will help you avoid an allergic reaction on a larger area of your body.

Dosage

Before you take CBD, talk with a healthcare professional. They can help you figure out the right dose. Proper serving sizes for CBD differ considerably depending on some individual factors, such as:

  • intended use
  • body weight
  • metabolism
  • body chemistry

In general, it’s best to start off slowly, using the recommended dose by the CBD brand you’ve chosen.

After some trial and error, you can increase your dose and frequency until you’re satisfied with your results. Again, talking with your doctor before selecting your dose is the best practice.

Generally, CBD can be taken at least 4 to 6 hours apart, at any time of day.

The direct effects of CBD usually begin within 30 to 90 minutes, but it may take a number of weeks to see long-term results. This means consistency is key.

While a 2018 World Health Organization report says CBD is mostly safe, there are still some potential side effects.

These include:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

Side effects may be more likely if you take CBD orally along with a high-fat meal.

It’s also important to point out that mislabeled CBD products or products that aren’t adequately tested may have other potential to cause harm.

Additionally, CBD may interact with some medications, making it especially important to talk with your doctor before trying it.

Don’t take CBD if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you’re under 18.

If you decide against CBD, there are lots of home remedies, stretches, and even certain shoes you can test out to see if they help with your plantar fasciitis pain.

Some home remedies include:

  • icing
  • resting
  • using braces
  • taking anti-inflammatory medication

If these don’t seem to work for your pain, your doctor may decide to provide an injection of a corticosteroid directly into the damaged area of the affected ligament. This is typically done in your doctor’s office.

Physical therapy is another treatment option for plantar fasciitis. This is where you learn specific exercises and stretches to help strengthen your muscles and help ease the pain.

Occasionally, a doctor may suggest something called extracorporeal shock wave therapy, a therapy involving sound waves to encourage healing within the affected ligament.

There are side effects to consider with this treatment, including:

If none of the treatment options available to you seem to improve your plantar fasciitis, surgery is something you and your doctor may want to discuss. This is usually considered for people who experience severe plantar fasciitis pain lasting more than 6 to 12 months.

If your pain is persisting and not improving with home remedies, stretching, anti-inflammatory medication, or CBD, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor.

While there isn’t research related to CBD for plantar fasciitis pain specifically, some animal and human studies suggest it may help other types of pain and inflammation. However, a placebo effect may also be at play.

If you want to try CBD for your plantar fasciitis pain, talk with your doctor first. This is especially important if you’re currently taking any medications or supplements.

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.

Breanna Mona is a writer based in Cleveland, OH. She holds a master’s degree in media and journalism and writes about health, lifestyle, and entertainment.