Best CBD Oil for Arthritis & Joint Pain: Product Reviews (2020)
CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic — making it the perfect solution to chronic joint pain and arthritis.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, 54 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis. It’s the leading cause of disability among adults in the developed world.
Despite how common arthritis is, there aren’t many effective treatment options for the condition outside of pharmaceutical painkillers and anti-inflammatories — which often come with undesirable side-effects and fail to address the underlying cause of the condition.
Due to its broad spectrum of pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD has gained a lot of attention lately as a promising treatment for arthritis.
Here, we’ll discuss how CBD can benefit both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. We’ll go over what the research says and how people are using CBD currently, and offer a guideline on dosing.
Top CBD Products For Joint Pain & Arthritis
- Royal CBD Cooling Salve — Best CBD Cream For Arthritis
- Gold Bee CBD Oil — Best CBD Oil For Arthritis
- Kiara Naturals Muscle & Joint Salve — Runner-Up Best CBD Salve
- Kat’s Naturals CBD Cream with Cayenne — Best CBD Warming Salve
- Phoria Turmeric Curcumin Oil — Best CBD & Turmeric Oil for Joint Pain
1. Royal CBD Salve (Cooling Salve) — Best CBD Cream For Joint Pain
Royal CBD makes two topicals — this cooling salve and a roll-on gel.
Both products are excellent options for joint pain, but we found this cooling pain salve to be the most effective for hot, achy joints associated with arthritis.
This salve is made with 5.5 mg of CBD per milliliter of salve, which makes it more potent than the average CBD topical. You only really need about 1 or 2 milliliters of this stuff to cover the entire knee or elbow joint.
After applying this salve, you’ll immediately start to notice the gentle cooling sensation. After about 15 minutes you should feel a dramatic reduction in pain symptoms as the CBD seeps deeper into the joint tissue.
For maximum effect, you’ll need to wait about 10 or 15 minutes for the salve to absorb into the deeper layers of skin, muscle, and connective tissue.
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2. Gold Bee CBD Oil — Best CBD Oil For Arthritis
Gold Bee specializes in making premium full-spectrum CBD oils from organic hemp. Recent third-party lab tests for these oils point out a particularly high concentration of terpenes such as myrcene and linalool — both of which have been shown to have a direct benefit to pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
On top of these terpenes (ant others), Gold Bee CBD oils are rich in the cannabinoids CBG, CBN, and CBC.
All of these active phytochemicals work together alongside CBD to fight pain and alleviate inflammation.
If you’re looking for a pure, potent, and cost-effective CBD oil for managing arthritis, this is a safe bet.
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3. Kiara Naturals Muscle & Joint Salve — Runner-Up, Best CBD Pain Salve
Kiara Naturals specializes in making high-quality, full-spectrum hemp products. What makes them different from most other CBD brands is that they also include other herbs and nutrients to support a specific action.
This muscle and joint salve, for example, contains several other painkilling and anti-inflammatory elements that work together to boost the overall painkilling activity of the salve. This formula contains herbs such as arnica, common rue, camphor, menthol, andiroba, rosemary, and hypericum in addition to full-spectrum hemp extract.
This stuff works great for stubborn joint pain and comes with a waxy consistency to provide long-lasting support.
4. Kat’s Naturals CBD Cream w/ Capsaicin — Best Warming Salve
Kat’s Naturals makes three pain creams — this one formulated with capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in hot peppers that gives them their spice.
We like all of these topicals for joint pain, but find the warming action of the capsaicin version the best overall. Warming salves are generally better for rheumatoid arthritis, but can also offer a lot of help for other forms of joint pain or stiffness.
5. Phoria Turmeric Curcumin Oil — Best CBD Pain Formula
Turmeric is one of the oldest anti-inflammatory and joint-supportive supplements on earth. It’s been used for thousands of years in Southeast Asia where the herb first originated.
We’re starting to see a few companies combining turmeric and CBD for even stronger anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits. However, the problem with turmeric is that you need a fairly high dose to receive all the reported benefits. Most CBD companies only add a small amount of this herb to the formula for marketing purposes.
This turmeric and CBD-infused CBD oil is an exception. Phoria adds both turmeric and CBD in high doses — giving it much more versatility than competing turmeric/CBD oils.
Phoria also chose to use a nano-CBD for this product — which is suggested to be absorbed through the digestive tract more efficiently than standard CBD extract.
Overall this is a top-notch CBD oil for anything related to inflammation or pain. We recommend going for the higher potency options to get the best value for your money.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is very common, affecting approximately 55 million people in the United States alone. It’s the leading cause of joint mobility issues in the developed world.
There are three main forms of arthritis:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis — this form of arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking our own joint tissues, causing joints around the body to begin breaking down.
- Osteoarthritis — osteoarthritis also involves a gradual loss of the joint tissue, but the cause is more specific to low-grade inflammation and destruction of the cartilage in the joint tissue.
- Gout — this form of arthritis is caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints causing pain, inflammation, and destruction of the joint tissue.
All three forms of arthritis have a lot to benefit from CBD supplementation in terms of the underlying causes of the condition, as well as the resulting pain and inflammation.
Comparing The Three Forms of Arthritis
|Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)||Osteoarthritis (OA)||Gout|
|Key Symptoms||1. Joint pain (usually on both sides of the body)
2. Loss of mobility
3. Severe joint pain
6. Symptoms worse in the morning and don’t improve during the day
|1. Joint pain (on one or both sides of the body)
2. Loss of mobility
3. Symptoms worse in the morning but get better throughout the day
|1. Joint pain (on one or both sides of the body)
2. Pain begins suddenly, usually at night
3. Accompanied by severe pain in the toe or tip of the nose
|Causes/Driving Factors||1. Autoimmune disease
2. Smoking 3. Alcohol consumption
4. Viral infections
2. Old age
3. Past injuries
4. Temperature changes (more common in cold weather)
|1. Kidney disease
2. Alcohol consumption
3. High protein intake
4. Asian descent
|Key Treatment Goals||1. Support immune function
2. Alleviate joint pain
3. Reduce inflammation
|1. Alleviate joint pain
2. Promote regeneration of cartilage and synovial fluid
3. Reduce low-grade inflammation
|1. Increase urination
2. Support kidney function
3. Alleviate joint pain
Does CBD Help with Arthritis?
With all forms of arthritis, the end result is a loss of the protective cartilage covering within the joints. The difference between them is simply the underlying cause for the loss of cartilage.
The benefits of CBD for arthritic pain rely on its powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and muscle relaxant activities.
Most people use a topical CBD for arthritis pain — such as a CBD lotion, gel, or cream. CBD oils can also be effective but tend to have a slower onset of effects.
When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis CBD has the added benefit of suppressing hyperactive immune activity leading to wrongful targeting of our own tissues.
For gout, CBD adds a second layer of benefit by supporting the kidneys. Untreated gout often leads to damage to the sensitive capillaries in the kidneys, leading to damage and worsening the symptoms of gout itself.
How To Optimize CBD Oil For Arthritis Pain
- Make sure you’re using the right dose — check out the CBD dosage calculator below
- Ensure the CBD you’re using is free from contaminants — look for third-party testing
- Combine CBD with other supplements and exercises — CBD works best when used with other arthritis treatments
- Take CBD regularly and give it enough time to start producing results — this can take several weeks so be patient
- Use CBD both topically and internally for best results — a topical cream works quickly, but CBD oils last longer
CBD For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Each one of our cells has a special protein “tag” attached to the outside of the cell. This tells the immune cells (T-cells and B-cells) that it’s meant to be there — just like someone having a hall pass.
Without this “hall pass,” it will be assumed dangerous and destroyed on sight.
An autoimmune disease is a disruption in this system.
There are a few things that can go wrong:
- The tags on the outside of the cell are labeled incorrectly
- The cells don’t have the tag on the outside of the cell
- The immune cells ignore the tag and attack the cell
In all of these events, the results are virtually the same: the immune system begins attacking the body’s own cells. When this occurs in the joint tissue, we end up with rheumatoid arthritis.
The characteristics of this condition are redness and swelling of the joints. Usually, the affected joints appear equally inflamed on both sides of the body and are often described as feeling “hot.
There’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis — but there are medications that can help to keep symptoms at bay. Most of these medications are anti-inflammatory — since inflammation is the primary driver of the disease.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Pain around the joints
- Inflammation in the joints
- Loss of range of motion
- Loss of appetite
How to Use CBD For Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Aim for a full-spectrum extract — full-spectrum extracts have a greater level of pain relief than isolates
- Find topical products with warming effects — the heating effect increases pain tolerance of the joint and improves blood flow in and out of the joint
- Only buy products that have been tested for heavy metals and pesticides — contamination with these elements can have an opposite effect, making the main and inflammation worse over time.
- Combine your CBD supplementation with other anti-inflammatory compounds — like curcumin or frankincense
- Use high-potency CBD products — lower potencies aren’t likely to provide much support for this condition.
Best CBD Products For Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Gold Bee CBD Oil — Best CBD Oil For Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Kat’s Naturals CBD Salve With Capsaicin — Best Warming Salve For Arthritis
- Kiara Naturals Pain Tincture — CBD Oil With Corydalis
CBD For Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is also characterized by achy, sore joints — but it is not an autoimmune disease.
Osteoarthritis begins with low-grade inflammation of the joints, causing damage to the cartilage and cells that produce the slippery synovial fluid that reduces friction and aids in smooth movement within the joints. As a joint begins to deteriorate from the breakdown of cartilage, the inflammation increases.
This condition is self-perpetuating — the worse it gets, the faster it progresses.
The primary treatments for osteoarthritis involve anti-inflammatories, reducing movement of the joint, and taking nutritional supplements to support synovial fluid and cartilage production.
Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis can be cured depending on the severity of the condition and willingness of the patient to change diet and lifestyle habits.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- Pain around the joints
- Inflammation in the joints
- Loss of range of motion
How to Use CBD For Osteoarthritis
- Use full-spectrum CBD oils — these have a greater level of effects thanks to the entourage effect.
- Combine CBD with other supplements aimed at restoring the cartilage in the joint tissue — such as glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate.
- Use both topical and internal CBD — this provides a much greater level of relief.
- Find topicals that have either a heating or a cooling action.
- Use medium or high-potency CBD products only — low-potencies are unlikely to offer much support for osteoarthritis.
Best CBD Products For Osteoarthritis:
- Royal CBD Oil — Best CBD Oil For Arthritis
- Kiara Naturals Muscle & Joint Salve — Best CBD Cream For Arthritis
- Phoria Turmeric Curcumin Oil — CBD Oil With Turmeric
What Does the Research Say?
In one study involving collagen-induced arthritis in mice, researchers found that CBD administration slowed the progression of both acute arthritis and chronic arthritis
In this particular study, both CBD injections and oral CBD had the same effect. The dose used in this study was quite high — around 25 mg/kg per day.
Another group of researchers wanted to know how CBD and other cannabinoids are so beneficial to arthritis. They tested the effects of various synthetic cannabinoids and a cannabidiol analog (O-1918) and found that another receptor — known as GPR55 — is also involved in the processes behind the pain-relieving benefits of cannabinoids for arthritis
How to Use CBD Oil For Arthritis
There are two ways you should consider using CBD when treating arthritis — topically and internally. Both have their own positives and negatives, but the best treatment will involve a combination of both.
Let’s explore each form of application in detail.
1. CBD Oil For Arthritis
CBD oil enters the joints from inside the body. It’s absorbed through the gut, passes into the bloodstream, and then travels to the joints via the blood. This allows the active ingredients to reach deeper tissues within the joints.
This is effective for arthritis because the inflammatory processes occur deep within the joint itself — well below structures such as bones and ligaments that slow the absorption of topical cannabis.
CBD oils also have the added effect of targeting receptors in the spine that block the transmission of pain.
Aside from CBD oils, you can also use other forms of CBD such as CBD capsules, CBD edibles, CBD gummies, CBD vape pens, or CBD flower.
How Much CBD Should I Take?
The dose of CBD for arthritis can vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the type of arthritis.
For low-grade osteoarthritis — characterized by mild joint pain — a low potency may be sufficient.
For rheumatoid arthritis or more severe osteoarthritis, a medium- or high-strength dose of CBD may be necessary.
When trying CBD for the first time, it’s recommended that you start with a low dose and build up gradually over time. You can find your starting dose by using our CBD oil calculator. Once you find relief from your symptoms, you’ve found the right dose.
2. CBD Cream For Arthritis
Topical CBD is very useful for arthritis because it delivers the anti-inflammatory cannabinoids directly to the source.
This form of CBD offers pain-reducing benefits at the site of injury quickly and effectively. Creams also provide other benefits, like cooling or heating agents that provide extra relief to sore joints.
CBD creams last between 4 and 6 hours, so you’ll need to reapply several times throughout the day.
The best CBD creams for arthritis contain a full-spectrum extract, come formulated with anti-arthritis herbs and ingredients, and offer a high concentration of CBD (at least 4 mg/mL). The stronger the salve the better when it comes to managing arthritis.
Factors That Can Make CBD Products Less Effective:
- The potency is too low — avoid using topicals that have less than 10 mg/mL and oils lower than 16.6 mg/mL
- Lacks other beneficial ingredients — CBD works best for joint support when combined with other beneficial ingredients
- Heavy metal or other contaminants — heavy metals directly injure the joint tissues and can trigger flare-ups in rheumatoid arthritis. If there are no third-party tests confirming there are no heavy metals, don’t buy it.
What Are The Side Effects of CBD?
Although CBD has been proven to be safe many times over, it’s important to know about the potential side-effects it may produce. Everybody is different, and what works for one person doesn’t always work the same way for another.
Here are some of the most common side-effects of CBD:
- Appetite suppression
- Dry mouth
- Lower heart rate
Diet & Lifestyle Changes For Arthritis Pain
CBD works best when taken with other therapies for managing joint pain. The active ingredients in CBD help to reduce inflammation and ease symptoms of pain, but may not be enough to alleviate symptoms completely.
Here are some other steps you can combine with CBD to get stronger and more long-lasting benefits:
1. Maintain Ideal Weight & BMI
Obesity is one of the most common underlying factors for arthritis. Losing weight is one of the most effective ways of alleviating chronic joint pain and arthritis.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise helps to produce endorphins which are natural painkillers. They also deliver more blood flow to the joints and speed recovery. It’s best to aim for low impact exercises like swimming or the elliptical machine to avoid further irritation to the joints.
3. Eat Plenty of Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Fruits and vegetables provide high concentrations of antioxidants that help protect the joints from further damage. You can also find antioxidant supplements like resveratrol, pterostilbene, lycopene, green tea extract, or vitamin C.
4. Eat Foods High in Fiber
Fiber speeds transit time in the gut and reduces inflammatory load
5. Avoid Known Allergens
Eating foods that cause allergic reactions can increase your overall inflammatory load and make arthritis symptoms worse
6. Learn to Manage Your Stress
Cortisol, the main stress hormone, promotes inflammation and can make symptoms progressively worse over time. It’s helpful to take measures to keep stress levels as low as possible.
7. Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the main triggers for flare-ups with rheumatoid arthritis and can slow the healing process for physical injuries or osteoarthritis.
Other Supplements For Arthritis To Take With CBD
Aside from CBD products, there are a lot of other supplements you can use to support the health of your joints. A targeted nutritional, lifestyle, and supplementation regimen is always going to have the biggest impact for reducing your joint pain.
Consider one or more of these supplements to use alongside CBD creams or CBD oils to help manage arthritis.
1. Frankincense (Boswellia serrata)
The extract of this herb is a popular joint-support supplement. It inhibits one of the key inflammatory enzymes involved with inflammatory processes of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (5-LOX).
2. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Similar to frankincense, turmeric inhibits a separate enzyme involved with arthritis (COX).
3. Glucosamine Sulfate
This compound serves as a precursor for the formation of cartilage in the joints, thus supporting the faster recovery of damaged joint tissues.
4. Chondroitin Sulfate
This is another key component of cartilage in the joints usually taken at the same time as glucosamine.
5. Vitamin D
A common cause of joint pain is vitamin D deficiency. This is especially beneficial to take if you live in northern climates where sun exposure is low for several months in the year.
6. Couch Grass (Elytrigia repens)
Couch grass is specific for gout pain. It’s a diuretic, promoting the excretion of excess uric acid through the urine.
Example Supplement Stack To Combine With CBD:
|Supplement||Dose||Doses Per Day|
|High Potency CBD Oil (1000 mg)||2 – 3 mL||Twice per day|
|Glucosamine sulfate||500 mg||Three times per day|
|Chondroitin Sulfate||400 mg||Three times per day|
|Boswellia extract||800 mg||Three times per day|