Joint pain relief is one of the most common uses for CBD products on the planet, but with literally hundreds of brands, selecting the best CBD oil for joint pain can feel overwhelming. Through personal experience, I can easily relate. From vastly disparate CBD concentrations to pricing, the product variety is incredible.
There’s a good chance you’ve tried it already: according to a Gallup poll in August of 2019, about 14% of Americans report using CBD products, and the number one reason is pain. I suffer from chronic joint pain due to sports injuries, and nothing has worked half as well as CBD for pain management. Topical salves like SOOTHE by New Phase Blends is what I use before lifting weights. Why you ask? Let’s take a look.
The most common joint pain associates with arthritis. Keep in mind that there are over 100 different types of arthritis, and while pain is the universal component, these conditions do not all act alike. In addition, people experience pain and respond to treatment in different ways. As a result, it is highly unlikely that there is a single best CBD oil for joint pain that works for all people with all types of arthritis.
Animal studies have suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but quality studies in humans have not been conducted yet. Anecdotally, I use a 1000mg salve on my wrist before working out. I have a screw connecting two pieces of my scaphoid bone that a bone graph is deteriorating around. The salve brings my chronic pain from a seven (intense/distracting pain) down to a two (barely noticeable) when I’m having flare ups, like before a storm (barometric pressure drops, common cause of arthritic pain).
The outcomes of this animal study indicate that topical application of CBD salve is an effective treatment. Researchers observed a reduction in inflammation and hypersensitivity. Transdermal administration of CBD provided good blood absorption due to avoidance of first pass metabolism encountered by orally administered drugs.
Research evaluating the safety of CBD is underway. We know very little at this point. So far, no serious safety concerns have arisen with moderate doses. CBD has the potential to interact with some drugs commonly taken by people with arthritis. Talk to your doctor before trying CBD if you take any of the following: corticosteroids (such as prednisone), tofacitinib (Xeljanz), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), tramadol (Ultram), certain antidepressants, including amitriptyline (Elavil), citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and certain medications for fibromyalgia, including gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica).
Modes of Delivery
The most common forms of application are sub lingual, transdermal, edibles, or inhalation. The best CBD oil for joint pain deploys in one of these ways. Lets break them down:
- Sublingual – the sublingual vein is located under the tongue. Sublingual or buccal forms of drugs have their advantages. Because the medication absorbs quickly, these types of administration can be important when you need the drug to work right away. The medication penetrates the mucus membrane over the vein, depositing the active ingredient directly into the bloodstream.
- Transdermal – transdermal administration avoids the first-pass effect of metabolism associated with the edible route. Therefore, transdermal administration allows for improved bioavailability (since its not broken down in the digestive track). This method provides a painless method of drug delivery, with the added benefit of providing a constant and consistent therapeutic dosage over a predetermined time period.
- Edibles – edibles are a safe and convenient way to administer a full body application. They are easy to transport and can be a tasty snack. The downside is that the drug is absorbed from the GI tract into the liver where CBD is metabolized. The result of this first pass metabolism means that only a proportion of the drug reaches the circulation.
- Inhalation – due to potential irritation of the respiratory system, inhalation would not be my first choice. Even so, inhalation offers increased bioavailability compared to edibles.
What I Look for When Shopping
There is good reason to be a cautious shopper. CBD products are largely unregulated in the U.S. market. Independent testing has shown mislabeling and lack of quality control. The biggest issues are strength of CBD (significantly more or less than the label says), the presence of undeclared THC, and contamination with pesticides, metals and solvents. To find the best CBD oil for joint pain, I look for the following:
- Conforms to Good Manufacturing Practices established by the FDA
- A certificate of analysis from an independent lab that uses validated standardized testing methods approved by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), or the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC)
- Products manufactured in the U.S.
- Is the company subject to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter
Good Manufacturing Practices
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product. The best CBD oil for pain will absolutely conform to these standards.
This designation overs all aspects of production from the starting materials, premises, and equipment to the training and personal hygiene of staff. Detailed written procedures are essential for each process that could affect the quality of the finished product. There must be systems to provide documented proof that correct procedures are consistently followed at each step in the manufacturing process. This occurs every time a product is made.
The GMP labeling will be on the product packaging, as such:
Third Party Testing
Anyone can claim his or her product contains what is advertised, but how would you know? Confirmation of product claims, such as active ingredients and chemical content, is essential when buying something that will go into your body. Third party labs will be employed by any producer attempting to make the best CBD oil for joint pain. They will test each batch of product for:
- CBD content
- Cannabinoid profile
These values will be easily confirmed by scanning the QR code on the product with a smartphone. They should look like this:
Buying an US made product is important for several reasons. An American product will conform to all federal legal standards regarding THC concentration. American products will be more likely to maintain GMP standards outlined by the Food and Drug Administration (look for GMP on the packaging). American companies will based in the US, thus if you have product questions, finding a company rep should be easy. Finally, American products will have COA’s from licensed American companies; this makes 3rd party testing much easier to confirm.
America makes best CBD oil for joint pain. And aircraft carriers.
FDA Warning Letter
When the FDA finds that a manufacturer has significantly violated FDA regulations, FDA notifies the manufacturer. This notification is often in the form of a Warning Letter. The Warning Letter identifies the violation, such as poor manufacturing practices, problems with claims for what a product can do, or incorrect directions for use.
The letter also makes clear that the company must correct the problem and provides directions and a time frame for the company to inform FDA of its plans for correction. FDA then checks to ensure that the company’s corrections are adequate. Companies making the best CBD oil for pain will not be found on this list.
In addition to considering if it actually works, there is also the matter of dosage. It is likely that useful amounts vary from both person to person and from ailment to ailment. Like our genes, receptors in the brain and other areas that CBD binds to could be unique to an individual leading to variable results. The best CBD oil for joint pain will be strong enough to work without breaking your bank account.
My personal experience has shown that I need a fairly concentrated amount of CBD to manage my pain. a 1000mg dosage allows me to function at essentially 100%. I’ve tried both more and less. A 500mg product was nearly unnoticeable. A 1500mg formulation worked great, but was price prohibitive and no more effective than 1000mg. So as Goldilocks would say, “1000mg of CBD is just right.”
Bottom Line on CBD Use for Joint Pain
If you are suffering from joint pain, there is strong evidence that a CBD product could help you manage the pain more effectively. That said, ALWAYS consult your healthcare professional before you either start a new, or discard an old, medication. There might be reasons, like potential side affects through mixing medications, your practitioner has not already recommended it.
CBD products are meant to improve overall health. I am confident that by following the recommendations in this article, you will find the best CBD oil for pain.