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Current research does not support using CBD for pain management. However, anecdotal evidence suggests CBD can effectively relieve pain, and there are some safe, high quality products available to try.

Healthline and Medical News Today editors have tried some of the products in this article. All opinions are their own.

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% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% 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.

Many people who are interested in trying cannabidiol (CBD) are choosing gummies instead of other forms, such as oils or capsules, because they may be more convenient and easier to take.

A person researching CBD gummy brands for pain management should consider looking for a third-party testing certificate, also called a certificate of analysis (COA), to verify the purity and quantity of ingredients. They can also consider CBD strength and choose their preferred flavors.

Scientists continue to research CBD for pain management. However, available evidence does not support using CBD to relieve pain.

Pain is a complex bodily process with neurological, inflammatory, and psychological components, and it is not uncommon for pain to improve with placebo treatments. A 2022 study found that while taking CBD orally was safe and caused minimal side effects, taking an oral liquid form of CBD increased pain ratings, compared with a placebo.

A 2023 review of 65 randomized clinical trials found that while cannabinoids may show small reductions in chronic pain and sleep quality improvements, the level of impact may not be very significant.

The researchers found no effect of cannabinoids on acute pain or cancer pain, and they seemingly increased the risks of minor adverse events. The researchers, therefore, concluded that the harmful effects outweighed the potential benefits.

Anecdotal evidence suggests CBD may help some people with arthritis, as the Arthritis Foundation notes. It states that some people report an increase in pain relief, sleep improvement, and a reduction in anxiety. However, people without arthritis may not experience the same benefits.

Below, we take a look at some of the best CBD products that a person may like to try for pain relief.

Medical News Today has tested some of the products below. Reviewers may have received some products from the manufacturers for free, which does not influence their review. All opinions are the reviewers’ own.

Several studies suggest that CBD is generally safe. However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends caution, particularly for pregnant people, adolescents, older adults, and people in charge of moving vehicles.

Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists possible CBD side effects, including:

  • liver injury
  • interaction with other drugs, which could result in injury or other serious side effects
  • mood changes, including irritability and agitation
  • drowsiness or sleepiness
  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • appetite changes
  • male reproductive difficulties

Medicinal cannabis

Recreational cannabis often has higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound in CBD that has psychoactive effects, such as a feeling of euphoria. Medicinal cannabis often has a higher concentration of CBD, but researchers state a need for more studies before they can confirm how effective it is for treating chronic pain.

Overall, CBD could be a relatively safe product for people looking for alternative pain relief methods to try, but there may be more effective options available.

If a person does want to try a particular brand of CBD gummies, they should look for an up-to-date, comprehensive COA, produced by a third-party lab. This will confirm the product’s cannabinoid potency and whether it has passed contaminant testing.

There are benefits and disadvantages to CBD gummies.

Some people may find them more convenient and tastier than other CBD forms. For instance, a person may have difficulty swallowing CBD capsules, while gummies may be easier because they are chewable.

Additionally, a person may not like the taste of CBD in its oil form, while gummies come in a range of flavors to disguise the taste.

Other possible benefits of CBD gummies include:

  • a more discreet administration method compared with other forms, such as taking capsules
  • easier way to manage doses
  • an alternative option to try instead of pain medications

The downsides of CBD gummies may include:

  • their snack-like quality, which might encourage a person to consume more than the company recommends
  • their potential to include artificial flavoring, sweeteners, and colors
  • the possibility of containing contaminants
  • possible CBD side effects

People can use different CBD forms for pain management, including oils, ointments, creams, patches, gels, and capsules.

The best CBD product is typically an individual choice based on personal preference, but anecdotal evidence points to creams and ointments that people can apply directly to the area causing pain.

However, to ensure maximum efficacy and safety, it is important to always choose a quality product from a reputable manufacturer that displays COAs from third-party labs to verify its contents.

It is possible that a person may find CBD works alongside other forms of pain management, but they should always speak with a doctor or healthcare professional beforehand.

This is because CBD can potentially interact with other substances in the body, including increasing or reducing the effects of other drugs.

The Arthritis Foundation notes that despite animal studies showing pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, no high quality human studies exist.

That said, a 2022 cross-sectional study on CBD use reported improvements in pain (83%), physical function (66%), and sleep quality (66%).

Most people who took part in the researchers’ anonymous questionnaire reported reducing or stopping their medication after using CBD.

This included reductions in use of:

  • anti-inflammatories (31%)
  • acetaminophen (18%)
  • opioids (9%)

Other stopped taking their medications completely, including:

  • anti-inflammatories (18%)
  • acetaminophen (18%)
  • opioids (19%)

Some people find CBD helpful for pain relief, but the current scientific evidence does not support its efficacy. However, if a person would like to try CBD gummies, they should ensure they are from a reputable company that demonstrates transparency with its ingredients and lab processes.

When purchasing CBD gummies, it’s important to look for a manufacturer that displays its COA. This will show all the ingredients the product contains, as confirmed by a third-party lab.

Other CBD products that people may find to relieve pain include lotions, creams, or ointments that they can apply directly to the affected area.