CBD Gummies for Pain: Do They Actually Work?

CBD Gummies for Pain: Do They Actually Work?


| |
| |
Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to pain management.

Cannabidiol (CBD) gummies have become more and more popular, with brands claiming they can cure all sorts of ailments such as anxiety, low sex drive and even pain. Many consumers are curious if there is actual proof that CBD gummies can reduce pain.

Have any clinical trials proven CBD to reduce pain, and if so by how much? Is CBD oil a better choice for pain management? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of CBD for pain?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze clinical studies on CBD for pain to determine if they really might work or if they’re a waste of money.

We’ll share our thoughts on CBD gummies versus CBD oil, and feature real, unsponsored user reviews of CBD for pain.

Can CBD Gummies Relieve Pain? A Medical Review

CBD has been studied in clinical trials for its effects on pain relief.

A 2020 medical review analyzed data from recent clinical trials on CBD and its use in pain management. The researchers described CBD as “promising,” but stated that it was difficult to attribute pain relief to this compound alone because pharmaceutical medications for pain relief also contained THC.

A medical review published in the Cureus journal described CBD as “an excellent alternative to an opioid in chronic pain,” and found that CBD may provide 50% or more pain relief compared to placebo.

A 2022 clinical trial tested the analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of CBD in healthy adults. Those who received CBD achieved greater pain relief than those who received a control substance.

Based on the available research, we conclude that CBD gummies are potentially effective for pain relief. However, the evidence on this compound is relatively early-stage and not particularly convincing in our opinion, because there are few studies that analyze the effects of CBD in isolation (without THC included).

That being said, there is at least some potential benefit in this case, while our review on CBD gummies for sex concluded that there was no evidence of benefit.

But are gummies really the best formulation to take CBD to relieve pain? Or is taking CBD oil more likely to be effective and cheaper? We’ll analyze in the next section.

Does CBD Oil Make More Sense?

Whether a consumer is taking CBD in gummy form or in oil form, what’s important is the dosage. The dosing range from most of the clinical trials cited in the previous section was 10 - 20 milligrams (mg).

CBD is the active ingredient, so CBD oil providing 10 mg CBD and CBD gummies providing 10 mg CBD should be equally effective.

But CBD oil is drastically cheaper per dose than CBD gummies, as we documented in our article on the best CBD brands.

Let’s take a real-world example.

Bluebird Botanicals is one of the most popular CBD brands, and they sell both CBD gummies and CBD oil.

Their CBD gummies cost $44.95 and contain 450 mg total of CBD in the whole pouch.

Their CBD oil costs $54.95 and contains 1,200 mg total of CBD in the bottle.

This equates to a cost-per-mg of $0.10 for the gummies and $0.05 for the oil, making the CBD oil 50% cheaper.

But price isn’t the only reason we think CBD oil is a more logical choice than CBD gummies.

CBD oil is usually free of unhealthy additive ingredients, while CBD gummies often contain unhealthy additive ingredients because they’re formulated to taste like candy.

Consider the same Bluebird Botanicals products referenced above.

Their CBD oil contains hemp extract, CBD and MCT oil. Zero questionable additives.

Their CBD gummies contain added sugar, flavoring agents and citric acid (which is clinically shown to cause inflammation in some individuals).

Added sugar intake can directly cause inflammation, according to a medical review published in the Frontiers in Immunology journal, so consumers using CBD for pain may benefit from using CBD oil instead of CBD gummies.

Cornbread CBD Oil is our top overall CBD oil pick.

It has a clean formulation of organic hemp extract and organic coconut medium-chain triglycerides, and the brand publishes lab testing on every product page.

Real, Unsponsored CBD for Pain User Reviews

A YouTube creator named “Haley & a Spoon" tried CBD oil to treat her chronic pain and shared her thoughts:

A talk show called “This Morning” interviewed a woman who claims that CBD oil changed her life because of its substantial pain-relieving effects:

CBD for Pain Relief on Good Morning America

A segment on Good Morning America interviewed CBD users and doctors in an interesting 4-minute video on what consumers should know before using CBD to treat pain:

Our Clean Anti-Inflammatory Picks

There are natural compounds which have been shown in clinical studies to support optimal joint health and relieve pain.

Cinnamon was shown to reduce inflammatory markers in a 2020 clinical trialThe study authors concluded that “Cinnamon could be regarded as a safe supplement to relieve pain.”

Illuminate Labs Ceylon Cinnamon Extract is our standardized cinnamon supplement, which is third-party tested for purity and potency and costs only $15 at a subscription price.

Collagen is the core structural protein in joints, and has been clinically shown to reduce arthritic pain.

Bulletproof Collagen Powder is our top collagen supplement pick because it only contains one ingredient: collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed animals.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is clinically shown to be effectively absorbed through the skin, and CBD caused "significant improvements in pain" when applied topically in a 2020 clinical trial.

Cornbread CBD Lotion is our top CBD lotion pick, because it also contains menthol, which was shown in a 2022 clinical trial to reduce pain scores.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

CBD gummies may be effective for pain relief, as CBD has been shown in some medical trials to reduce pain scores. However, most of the trials we could find on CBD for pain also included THC, which makes it hard to determine the effectiveness of CBD in isolation.

We believe that there are natural supplements with more research backing for pain relief.

For consumers planning to use CBD for pain relief, we believe that CBD oil is a better choice than CBD gummies. CBD oil is typically much cheaper per serving, and usually free of unhealthy additives. CBD gummies often contain added sugar which individuals in pain should avoid, since added sugar consumption is associated with inflammation.

We hope that in the near future there are more clinical trials on the CBD isolate for pain relief. Since there are many consumers using CBD anyway for this purpose, the medical research needs to evaluate its efficacy in an unbiased way.