Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
We should all buy less. But we can also optimize each purchase we make. Because many better choices over time equal real impact.

Best CBD Oil Products for Pain Management — Complete 2020 Review

CBD Oil Collage

Best CBD Oil for Pain

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is different from another well-known cannabinoid in cannabis, THC, in that it can help ease pain and relax the mind without any psychoactive effects. This makes oils that contain CBD a popular natural remedy.

Read below to learn more about the best CBD oil products for pain management, how CBD helps relieve aches and inflammation , and how to use CBD oil to treat pain. We'll also talk a bit about the differences between oils, topicals, and oral capsules, so you can shop smarter in a confusing online market.

Our Top CBD Oils for Pain Management are:

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

  1. Spruce
  2. NuLeaf Naturals
  3. CBDistillery
  4. Naternal
  5. FAB
  6. Medterra
  7. Green Roads
  8. Plant People
  9. Prima (capsule)
  10. Spruce (cream)

How We Picked the Best CBD Oil for Pain Relief

When looking for a CBD product, it's important to choose a high-quality product you can trust. This is because some CBD products, since they are not regulated by the FDA, may not contain the potency the label states and/or they may contain other ingredients that could cause harmful side effects.

You can determine whether a CBD oil product is high-quality or not based on the following criteria:

Type of hemp extract used: It's important to consider the type of hemp extract used in the CBD product you choose. First, there is full spectrum CBD, which contains all the natural compounds of the cannabis plant, including CBD, trace cannabinoids, aromatic oils known as terpenes, and other essential oils. Each of the compounds from this type of extract may enhance the benefits of the next. This is called the entourage effect. Full spectrum oils usually contain less than 0.3% THC.

On the other hand, broad spectrum CBD extracts contain everything full spectrum does minus the THC. And finally, CBD isolate is about 99-percent CBD with no other cannabis plant compounds.

Lab tested status: It's vital to choose a CBD product that has been lab-tested by a third-party to ensure that what you see on the label is what you get in your product. It can also help to choose products that have certification by ISO 9001: 2015 or by places that ensure trusted testing practices:

  • American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP)
  • U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP)
  • U.S. Hemp Authority
  • American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)
  • Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC)
Any third-party lab test should have a batch number on it and be readily displayed on the website. Tests should include a measure of heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, and bacteria and mold.

Hemp sourcing: Not only is the type of extract important when it comes to CBD, but it's also important to consider where the hemp plant used to extract the CBD oil was sourced. We prefer hemp from Colorado, Kentucky, and North Carolina, states with robust industrial hemp programs. We always try to support American-grown hemp.

Value: You can divide the price of the bottle by the milligrams of CBD in the bottle to get a measure of value. The cost per milligram is the only true way to separate products by price.

Experience: When buying a product to feel better, buy from a brand that supports it's customers with good service, easy checkout, and simple returns.

All these factors went into our list below. We also tried each of these oils and spoke with the leaders of the brand to better understand their quality control practices. We feel confident recommending these products.

Here are details on the brand that make each product on our "best of" list.

Spruce Max Potency CBD Oil

Potency: Contains 80 milligrams of CBD per dropper

Unique, differentiating features for product: Comes in a hemp seed oil or coconut MCT oil base; 100% natural; Free of pesticides and preservatives; Only 0.3% THC; Made in U.S.A; Vegan; Gluten-free

Why buy: We like this product because it's free of artificial flavors or sweeteners and contains a dropper to ensure accurate dosing. The high concentration may be best for people who have been using CBD for a while or require a higher daily dosage. Be sure to check out the in-depth customer reviews on the website to learn what real people have to say about Spruce. This brand supports its customers.


NuLeaf Naturals 1800mg CBD Oil

Potency: Comes in a 30 mL bottle containing either 300, 900, 1800, 3000, or 6000 milligrams CBD which equates to about 10, 30, 60, 100, or 200 milligrams of CBD per 1 mL dropper

Unique, differentiating features for product: Full spectrum hemp extract, made with organic hemp, processed with a method known as CO2 extraction that helps obtain a complete range of cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, and other beneficial phytonutrients.

Why buy: We like this product because it contains a variety of concentrations of CBD oil so anyone from beginner to long-term user of CBD oil can enjoy such products.

CBDistillery 2500mg Full Spectrum Tincture

Potency: Comes in a 30 milliliter (mL) that contains either 500, 1000, 2500, or 5000 milligrams CBD per bottle which equates to about 17, 33, 83, or 167 milligrams CBD per 1 mL dropper, respectively

Unique, differentiating features for product: Has a fractionated MCT coconut oil base; Uses U.S. Hemp Authority-certified non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the U.S.A.; Supports natural farming practices

Why buy: We like this product because it uses hemp that has been certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority and contains low levels of THC for pain relief without the high.


Naternal 1200mg Full Spectrum Extract

Potency: Comes in a 30 mL bottle containing either 600, 1200, or 2400 milligrams CBD which equates to about 20, 40, or 80 milligrams of CBD per 1 mL dropper

Unique, differentiating features for product: Naternal is made with ethanol extraction. They then do residual solvent testing to ensure a clean product after processing. These products are dramatically less expensive due to the relationships the brand has in place with local farmers in North Carolina.

Why buy: Value, value, value. To get a high-quality full-spectrum oil at a great price, Naternal is a perfect brand for anyone who is new to CBD and is looking to try the products without breaking the bank. Note that this indica blend is our top pick for anxiety and best for mindful relaxation and the calming needed for condition management.

FAB Full Spectrum CBD Oil

fab cbd oil in citrus flavorFAB CBD Oil

Potency: Contains 1000 milligrams CBD per 1-ounce stick or 3000 milligrams CBD per 2.5-ounce stick

Unique, differentiating features for product: Contains an Organic Golden Jojoba oil base along with essential oils like rosemary, ginger, lavender, eucalyptus, and tree oil; Also contains a cooling component in menthol crystals and a heating component in Cinnamomum camphora oil

Why buy: We like this product because it provides a convenient and portable form of CBD oil that can be applied just about anywhere on your body externally where you need pain relief.

Medterra THC-Free Oils

Potency: Comes in a 30 mL bottle containing either 500, 1000, or 3000 milligrams CBD which equates to about 17, 33, or 100 milligrams of CBD per 1 mL dropper

Unique, differentiating features for product: Made with organically-grown hemp from Kentucky, these products are all THC-free. The brand also offers immune boosting blends and products with other helpful cannabinoids, like CBG.

Why buy: This is the most trusted THC-free option on the market. Many people want to experience the benefits of CBD without the chance of failing a drug test. These are the products for those shoppers.


Green Roads 750mg Broad Spectrum Tincture

Potency: Comes in a 30 mL bottle containing either 300, 750, or 1500 milligrams CBD which equates to about 10, 25, or 50 milligrams of CBD per 1 mL dropper

Unique, differentiating features for product: Soy-free; Gluten-free; Vegan-friendly; Developed by a team of pharmacists and produced in a cGMP and FDA-registered facility

Why buy: These broad spectrum oils contain all the beneficial compounds in a full spectrum oil, minus the THC. They also come in a variety of flavors, like Original, Mint Breeze, and Apple Kiwi Bliss.


Plant People

Potency: Comes in a 30 mL bottle containing either 315, 630, or 1500 milligrams CBD which equates to about 11, 21, or 50 milligrams of CBD per 1 mL dropper

Unique, differentiating features for product: Vegan; Gluten-free; Non-GMO; USDA Organic; cGMP Standard; Keto approved

Why buy: These all natural-tasting products are full of a variety of therapeutic cannabinoids, including CBG and CBL. The full spectrum CBD is carried by coconut MCT and hempseed oil, making for a natural flavor.


What if I don't like the taste of oils?

For people who would like to avoid the sometimes earthy taste of cannabis:

Prima Daily Capsule

Potency: 15mg of broad spectrum hemp CBD per vegan softgel

Unique, differentiating features for product: Vegan; Made with organically-grown hemp; Includes other plant material, like terpenes and flavonoids

Why buy: These all natural-tasting products are full of a variety of therapeutic cannabinoids, including CBG and CBL. The full spectrum CBD is carried by coconut MCT and hempseed oil, making for a natural flavor.


Spruce Full Spectrum Topical Cream

Potency: 300mg of full spectrum CBD in a 2 fl oz. jar

Unique, differentiating features for product: 100% natural; No pesticides; Made in the USA; Low THC

Why buy: Spruce is a product we support because of the quality of their products and the thousands of customer reviews on their website. Real people believe this has helped them with joint and muscle pain, including arthritis pain.


Does CBD for pain really work?

There are many different types of pain that someone can experience. Common forms of pain include:

  • Nociceptive pain: Occurs after exposure to certain stimuli like heat, cold, chemical irritants, or force. Chronic back pain may be a form of this type of pain, depending on the cause of the back pain.
  • Inflammatory pain: Occurs because of activation of the immune system by an injury or infection.
  • Pathological pain: Includes neuropathic pain, or damage to the nervous system, as well as dysfunctional pain, which is pain occurring with no damage or inflammation. Examples of dysfunctional pain are the types of pain people experience with fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and tension type headaches, for example.

CBD works in reducing pain through the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which involves CBD binding to certain receptors. In particular, the receptor CB1, found in the central nervous system, helps mediate pain regulation and activation of it can result in inflammation and oxidative stress. On the other hand, the CB2 receptor, found mostly in the tissues and cells outside of the nervous system, can help slow down chronic inflammatory processes in the body.

Therefore, when CBD binds to such receptors, it acts as an anti-inflammatory compound and such reduced inflammation can reduce pain.

For example, a 2018 study shows that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) may benefit from CBD use since it may help reduce fatigue, spasticity, and pain that in turn can improve mobility.

A 2017 study also states that cannabis-based medicines like CBD can benefit those with chronic pain, especially those with neuropathic pain like people with MS.

CBD oil can also be helpful to those with arthritis pain too. A 2020 study review reports that in animal studies, cannabinoids show potential to lessen the pain associated with rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. More clinical trials are needed to confirm such positive findings in humans.

Ingesting CBD vs. CBD Topicals for Pain

The type of CBD oil product you take will depend upon not only your preferences, but also on the type of pain you have. For example, if you have isolated muscle or joint pain, it may help to use a topical CBD product like lotions. On the other hand, if you have systemic pain, then a capsule or oil that you would ingest orally may be more effective.

Other factors to consider include side effects of each type of CBD oil product. Overall, the most common side effects linked with the use of CBD oil include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

CBD can also interact with certain prescription medicines like blood thinners and sedatives like benzodiazepines and opioids. Therefore, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider and pharmacist before starting to take any CBD product.

How much CBD oil should you take for pain?

If you are considering using CBD oil for pain, then it's important to determine which dose is most effective for relieving your pain without causing side effects. This can differ from person to person depending on factors such as metabolism, age, weight, as well as the intensity of pain.

There is limited research on the most effective dosage of CBD for pain. However, a 2019 study shows that a dose of 2.4 milligrams of CBD per kilogram of body weight per day may be too low to provide significant benefit to pain relief.

If you're not sure where to start when it comes to dosing and you're new to using CBD, then it's best to start with low doses. This lower dose could range anywhere from >1 to 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight each day depending on the aforementioned dosage factors.

Then you can double the dose each week or so until you find a dose that works best for reducing pain and not producing side effects. It's best to talk to a pharmacist for more specific advice on what dosage to start with.

Should you try CBD oil for pain?

If you live with pain in any form, it can limit what you can do daily and impact your quality of life. And with concerns of the addictive properties of certain pain medications like benzodiazepines, a natural pain reliever may help treat chronic pain without serious adverse effects.

However, since most CBD oil products are not FDA-approved, you may still want to talk with your healthcare provider before starting CBD oil for pain. You also want to use guides like this one to vet brands and CBD products.

Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, copywriter, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. As a writer an independent reviewer of CBD products, Josh covers the relationship between cannabis-based products and the human body. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

A replica of a titanosaur. AIZAR RALDES / AFP via Getty Images

New fossils uncovered in Argentina may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Trump's Affordable Clean Energy rule eliminated a provision mandating that utilities move away from coal. VisionsofAmerica /Joe Sohm / Getty Images

A federal court on Tuesday struck down the Trump administration's rollback of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Read More Show Less


A wild mink in Utah was the first wild animal in the U.S. found with COVID-19. Peter Trimming via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA

By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.

Read More Show Less
A mass methane release could begin an irreversible path to full land-ice melt. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

By Peter Giger

The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.

Read More Show Less
Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.

Read More Show Less