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CBD 101, Muscle Recovery

How To Use CBD Oil For Pain

How To Use CBD Oil For Pain

This article was reviewed by Dr. Lillie Rosenthal, a board-certified integrative pain management physician and specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine. 

Pain is a part of life. Today, as people seek remedies to ease and soothe their discomfort, many are turning to the CBD product market. 

Using pure CBD to help soothe muscles, ease tension and improve well-being has become a part of many people’s wellness routine. But how does it work -- how exactly do you use CBD oil tinctures to ease your aches and soreness?

First, How Does CBD Soothe Pain? 

Every person has an ECS, or an Endocannabinoid System, composed of various receptors that help regulate physiological functions. Think of your ECS as a spider web of receptors that promote homeostasis, or balance, within the body. 

Your ECS is the oil that makes the wheels spin, ensuring all processes are working in harmony. 

The ECS helps regulate: 

  • Appetite 
  • Memory
  • Reproduction 
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Inflammation
  • Pain

When pure CBD enters your bloodstream, it binds to the receptors in your ECS system, further aiding the regulation of your body’s natural processes. While additional research is still needed—and on its way—there are reasons to believe that CBD may help reduce tension, discomfort, muscle and joint pain and post-exercise inflammation. 

How to Use CBD Oil for Pain 

When it comes to using CBD oil to soothe discomfort, you must first understand how CBD works with your body. 

The consumption method is critical: while a CBD oil may help alleviate muscle soreness after a long workout, a CBD gummy or capsule may be more appropriate and efficacious for a headache. 

While we’ll delve further into this below, current evidence suggests that CBD has incredible potential for pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory modalities. 

Since everyone is unique, and therefore everyone’s ECS is unique, what works wonderfully for someone else may not do the same for you. The reality is that applying oil topically verus ingesting it orally, along with the dosage you take, all factor into the way you use CBD oil to mitigate discomfort. 

There are various considerations when it comes to how to use CBD oil. 

How Much Should I Take? 

The best way to answer this question is by asking your physician. 

If you’re experiencing pain—especially chronic pain—your primary care provider may help you determine a dosage to help with pain management.

However, typically people begin with around 5-10mg and gradually increase their CBD dosage to 25-50 mg daily. 

While there is no “standard” metric, it’s typically thought that: 

  • 50 mg per day is on the higher end of CBD consumption
  • 25 mg per day is the “sweet, neutral spot” of CBD 
  • 10-40 mg per day can be used dependent on the user’s current state

After you’ve consulted with your physician—or if you’re going to experiment on your own—it’s wise to introduce your body to a small amount of the CBD oil product first. 

Once you become familiar with the effects of CBD that are unique to you, you can begin to up your daily dosage until you find your sweet spot for relief and balance you need.

How Do I Take It? 

You might find yourself thinking “how to use cannabis oil for pain,” especially when there are seemingly countless CBD pain relief formats on the market. The reality is that there are many ways to consume the non-psychoactive compound, none of which take objective precedence over the other. 

Typically, CBD oil comes in two variations: 

  • As a liquid
  • In a capsule 

Because it can either be a liquid or a capsule, people take CBD for pain:

  • Orally – This is a common way to use cannabis oil, primarily due to its simplicity. You can swallow a CBD capsule with a gulp of water on a full stomach, just like you would with a dietary supplement or vitamin. Additionally, you can add a CBD tincture directly to food, beverages and cooking oils. Keep in mind that factors like weight, metabolism, age and the type of accompanying food or beverage may affect how long it takes for you to “feel” the CBD relief.

  • Sublingually – Allowing something to dissolve under your tongue is one of the quickest ways for it to enter your bloodstream, which is why placing CBD oil tincture beneath your tongue is an effective way to absorb the compound. While you may need to acclimatize to the taste, typically the effects will take hold quickly. 

  • Topically – From CBD massages to CBD facials, using a topical CBD oil, cream or balm are popular ways of incorporating CBD into your self care and anti-inflammatory routines.  If you have a favorite body lotion, try adding CBD oil to them prior to application. Or, you can use a specific CBD topical. By using CBD as a therapeutic salve, you can target a specific region like sore calves directly, allowing the CBD topical to work its magic from the outside in. 

At this point in time, there is no conclusive evidence that states a certain intake method is better than the other. 

We do know, however, that the mucous membranes beneath your tongue give way to clusters of capillaries, which are basically the fast lane to your bloodstream. 

Should you want the CBD to work as quickly as possible, taking it sublingually as a tincture is your best bet.

Why Types of Pain Should I Use CBD Oil For? 

There are different types of discomfort that CBD can help soothe. A few of the most common types of pain that people use CBD for include, but are not limited to: 

  • Post-exercise inflammation – When you work out, you create microscopic tears in your muscles that take time to heal. DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, is often the cause of post-workout soreness. Should you experience this type of muscle pain, you can take CBD sublingually or apply it topically to the affected area to help with muscle recovery. For more information on how you can use CBD for sore muscles, check out our guide to CBD for muscle pain.

  • Aches and joint stiffness – Sometimes, aches just happen. For some, the trigger may be a lack of sleep or even sleeping position. For others, it’s an ache that comes after extended, excessive movement. Whatever the case, you can use CBD to help ease your discomfort. 


  • Tension and stress – Stress can directly affect our physical health. If you’ve been feeling stressed and achy, there’s likely a correlation and it’s even more likely that CBD can help. By ingesting CBD oil or rubbing a CBD cream on the area that you’re experiencing tension, the compound will help mitigate discomfort and ease your mind.  

Note: If you’re reading this due to severe pain or a sudden or alarming pain signal, you should consult your doctor immediately. 

Is It Legal for Me to Use CBD for Pain? 

At a federal level, hemp plant-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3 percent THC are legal. However, state laws vary. If you’re curious about your specific state, check out our comprehensive CBD legal states states list. 

Is CBD Prescribed for Pain?

At this point in time, the only FDA-approved CBD medication is Epidiolex, which is not a treatment for pain.

Lillie Rosenthal, DO, an integrative pain management physician and specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation says:

“I see a variety of patients with various pain syndromes in my Manhattan practice, from back pain to tension headaches, joint and muscle pain, arthritis and sports injuries- and I rarely, if ever prescribe pills or procedures!

My evaluation includes a root cause investigation of the pain issues and my treatment is focused on a low risk high efficacy solution.

In addition to osteopathic manipulation and a lifestyle medicine approach (food, exercise, sleep and stress management), I regularly recommend a high quality CBD product as it affords my patients an excellent and safe pain relief option . CBD should be considered a first line pain relief option as it avoids the potential side effects of over the counter and prescription medications.”


How to Find CBD Oil For Pain

Are you looking for CBD oil to use for discomfort? With our tinctures and capsules, you can find the CBD oil product that’s perfect for you. Here at Plant People, we offer 100% organic, hemp plant-derived CBD products that are doctor-formulated for wellness, vitality and well-being solutions.

Our high potency, tinctures,capsules and topicals are made with adaptogenic herbs to help soothe discomfort, reduce exercise-induced inflammation and support stress relief. Aches and tension are a part of life which is why we’ve formulated a product specifically for natural muscle pain relief. Our Relief+Cooling Cream is a powerful and soothing CBD cream for pain. Combined with adaptogenic herbs, this cream is meant to deliver cooling relief for soreness or aches.

Take matters into your hands and start managing your pain today. With Plant People, you can utilize the power of plants for muscle relief.


Reviewed by Minchul An

Minchul An is a Clinical Cannabis Pharmacist and MTM Specialist.


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