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Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which would be totally fair these days) you’ve likely heard about the #wellness wunderkind that is CBD.

CBD is an active ingredient in the cannabis plant, but it’s not the one that makes you feel high — that’s your ol’ pal THC. But over the past 10 years, CBD has been touted as a therapy option for anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy — but can it help with nerve pain?

Long story short: More research is needed, but it looks promising. Here’s everything you need to know about using CBD to treat nerve pain — including our top seven product picks.

Symptoms of nerve pain include tingling, numbness, a burning sensation, or a feeling of “pins and needles.”

It happens because of disease or injury to the nervous system. It can be caused by things like:

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the hundreds of compounds (also known as a “phytocannabinoid” if you ever find yourself making small talk with a scientist) found in hemp and cannabis plants.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the one that gets you “high” — is another one of those compounds.

There are three different types of CBD out there:

  • Full-spectrum CBD. This contains all the phytochemicals naturally found in the plant, including CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, and trace cannabinoids. It tends to also contain THC, but a very, very small amount (never more than 0.3 percent).
  • Broad-spectrum CBD. Exactly like full-spectrum CBD, except all the THC has been removed.
  • CBD isolate. Just pure CBD, baby. It’s been… isolated… from all the other ingredients.

There are a few different ways you can take CBD, such as capsules, gummies, oils, tinctures, and topicals.

Benefits of taking CBD for nerve pain

Research on CBD is still in its early stages, but so far it’s looking like a pretty dang effective treatment for a bunch of stuff like sleep problems, anxiety, epilepsy, and certain types of pain — including neuropathy (aka nerve pain).

Here’s what we know so far about CBD and nerve pain:

  • CBD helps reduce neural inflammation. A 2018 review of studies found that CBD helps relieve nerve pain by stopping and/or slowing down certain nerve signals and reducing neural inflammation.
  • Oral CBD is a safe and effective treatment for nerve pain. A 2019 study on rats found that CBD helps reduce pain associated with nerve injuries. Another 2021 study on mice found that CBD is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain with a low risk of side effects.
  • Topical CBD can help reduce nerve pain. A small 2020 study found that transdermal application of CBD (aka CBD applied on your skin) was an effective treatment for intense and sharp neuropathic pain and the cold/itchy sensations associated with neuropathic pain.
  • More research is needed on what type of CBD is most effective for treating it. One 2017 study found that CBD co-administered with small doses of THC enhances CBD’s ability to relieve neuropathic pain and a 2021 study found that a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC is effective for treating neuropathic back pain. However, a 2021 animal study found that THC-containing CBD products increased the risk of side effects when taken for neuropathic pain. More research is needed to determine whether full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate is most effective at treating neuropathy.

There are a ton of bogus CBD products out there, so finding a high quality one is super important. High quality CBD products come from companies with good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency.

We made sure to only include products that:

  • are produced by a company that provides a COA and third-party testing results from an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, per the COA
  • are grown in the US-of-A
  • contain passing levels of pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, and molds, according to the COA

Other factors we considered in making these selections include:

  • whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
  • whether the company has been subject to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as customer reviews
  • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $30
  • $$ = $30–$50
  • $$$ = over $50

Without further ado, here are the five best CBD considerations for nerve pain, all vetted by our medical experts.

Best rated CBD for nerve pain

NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil

  • Price: $$
  • Form: oil
  • CBD per serving: 30 mg
  • Total CBD: 300 mg
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • COA: available online

Taking CBD oil is a great way to get the full-body effects of CBD — so if you have more generalized nerve pain, this top-rated oil from NuLeaf Naturals is an A+ pick.

This unflavored CBD oil only contains two ingredients: full-spectrum hemp extract and organic virgin hemp seed oil. The simple formula has an almost perfect rating (4.9 out of 5 stars) from over 23K reviews. So yeah, people like it.

NuLeaf sells 5 sizes of this product, so you can try it out with the 300-milligram bottle and, if you love it, order as much as a 6000-milligram bottle.

Reviewers say this oil really works and have found all kinds of relief from it. Some say they aren’t fans of the flavor — which is prob because it’s unflavored and tastes a lot like ~CBD~.

Best CBD cream for foot nerve pain

Pure Kana Pain Relief Topical Ointment

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: topical ointment
  • CBD per serving: n/a
  • Total CBD: 600 milligrams (mg)
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • COA: available online

Many peeps with nerve pain in their feet experience numbness and tingling, so you might want to avoid using numbing pain relievers like lidocaine. Lidocaine is actually a pretty good treatment for nerve pain, but numb feet are a little hard to navigate.

We like this broad-spectrum cream from Pure Kana because it has two extra pain-relieving ingredients that don’t have numbing effects:

This THC-free ointment is a hit with reviewers — tons of people say the formula gives them quick relief. They love the pump bottle and say it’s super easy to apply because you dispense the same amount every time. They also say the added ingredients are effective without being too overwhelming.

Pure Kana also has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so you can send it back if you’re not lovin’ it.

Best CBD cream for back nerve pain

cbdMD CBD Topical

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • Form: topical spray
  • CBD per serving: n/a
  • Total CBD: 500, 1500, 3000 mg
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • COA: available online

You can technically use this topical anywhere you’re experiencing nerve pain, but we think it’s a good pick for back pain because it’s a spray — so it’s super easy to apply in hard-to-reach places.

This one contains broad-spectrum CBD (either 500, 1,500 or 3,000 mg) and lidocaine, which is that numbing pain-reliever we mentioned earlier.

A study from 2016 found that capsaicin and lidocaine topical treatments can effectively treat neuropathic back pain. This one doesn’t have any capsaicin, but it has 4 percent lidocaine to deliver quick pain relief with every little spritz.

Reviewers say it’s super easy to use and a legit pain reliever. Some say it’s hard to reach certain places on your back, but people are overall very satisfied.

Best CBD topical for nerve pain

Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Balm

  • Price: $
  • Form: topical balm
  • CBD per serving: n/a
  • Total CBD: 1000, 3000 mg
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • COA: available online

Lazarus Naturals is a v affordable, but a high quality brand with a giant selection of products. Like our Pure Kana pick, this newer balm formula contains capsaicin and menthol — but it also has camphor, which is another topical pain reliever. It also comes at a much lower price point than most topicals, which is *always* appreciated.

Keep in mind that CBD balms have a thicker consistency than ointments, lotions, creams, and sprays. But the good news is that there aren’t any complaints of this one feeling greasy or not rubbing in well so far.

This product is new, so it doesn’t have a ton of reviews, but the reviews it does have are raving. People love this balm and its scent and praise it for relieving pain tout de suite.

Best CBD pill for nerve pain

CBDistillery Broad Spectrum CBD Softgels

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: softgel
  • CBD per serving: 30 mg
  • Total CBD: 900 mg
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • COA: available online

CBDistillery is another popular brand known for its high quality products. The brand’s got tons of products to choose from — including these broad-spectrum softgels.

Softgels, capsules, pills (or whatever you wanna call them) are another sweet pre-dosed option that is easy to take quickly or on the go. They’re also a good pick for people who don’t like the taste of CBD and would rather throw it back with a glass of water.

The brand offers the same softgels with full-spectrum CBD if you want to experiment with the entourage effect. Both have 30 mg of CBD and are v loved by customers.

People who try these softgels say the quality is obvious, 30 mg is the perfect pre-bedtime dose, and they’re super easy to use.

Best CBD gummies for nerve pain

Charlotte’s Web CBD Gummies

Want a (yummy) way to get the full-body effects of CBD? These Raspberry Lime gummies from Charlotte’s Web each contain 15 mg of full-spectrum CBD. Pop one in your mouth, chew, and wait for the CBD do its thang.

Gummies are pre-dosed, which means you don’t have to mess around with droppers to figure out the dose you want to take. That makes them perf for taking CBD on the go.

People are big fans of the Charlotte’s Web brand and these newer gummies are pretty popular so far. Reviewers say they taste pretty dang good — which isn’t a guarantee with CBD gummies — so these are def worth a try.

Keep in mind that 15 mg is on the lower side. If you’re looking for something more potent, you can always take a second gummy to get a 30 mg dose.

Best CBD oil for nerve pain

CBDistillery Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture

  • Price: $$
  • Form: oil
  • CBD per serving: 17 mg
  • Total CBD: 1500 mg
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • COA: available online

Oils are ideal for peeps that want a little more control over their dosage. You can use the dropper to measure out how much oil (and how much CBD) you’re getting with every use. You can also use oils in multiple ways. Depending on what you’re feelin’, you can take it under your tongue, add it to your fave beverage, or even mix it into your daily moisturizer.

We like this one from CBDistillery because it’s flavorless and has a super smooth taste (we tried this one ourselves). It’s also broad-spectrum CBD, so it’s a good choice if you want to skip the THC that’s in our NuLeaf Natural’s pick.

Reviewers appreciate the quality they get with CBDistillery products and love that this oil brings quick relief. The brand also offers a 60-day guarantee. If you don’t love the product, you can get your moolah back.

Still not sure if CBD is right for *your* specific pain? We get it.

Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of taking CBD for nerve pain:

Pros

  • Early research on how CBD can help neuropathic pain is promising.
  • CBD is generally considered safe for most people with little risk of side effects.
  • CBD is easy to take or use.

Cons

  • Research on effectiveness is still in its early stages.
  • It’s unclear what type of CBD (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate) is best for neuropathic pain.
  • CBD is not covered by insurance.
  • CBD might not be legal where you live.

ProductPriceFormCBD typeTotal CBDCBD per serving
NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil$$oilfull-spectrum300 milligrams (mg)30 mg
Pure Kana Pain Relief Topical Ointment$$$topical ointmentbroad-spectrum600 mgn/a
cbdMD CBD Topical$$–$$$topical spraybroad-spectrum500, 1500, 3000 mgn/a
Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Balm$topical balmfull-spectrum1000, 3000 mgn/a
CBDistillery Broad Spectrum CBD Softgels$$$softgelbroad-spectrum900 mg30 mg
Charlotte’s Web CBD Gummies$$gummiesfull-spectrum900 mg15 mg
CBDistillery Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture$$oilbroad-spectrum1500 mg17 mg

OK, so you’re ready to shop. Here’s what you’ll want to keep in mind as you search for a product:

CBD type

Remember, there are three diff types of CBD:

  • full-spectrum CBD. Contains all the compounds found naturally in the cannabis plant — including THC (but never more than 0.3 percent if it’s federally legal). There’s a theory called the “entourage effect” that says keeping all of these compounds together boosts the therapeutic effects of each compound, but research hasn’t looked specifically at nerve pain.
  • broad-spectrum CBD. The same as full-spectrum, but zero THC. There’s a chance you still reap the benefits of the entourage effect with broad-spectrum CBD, since it contains other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
  • CBD isolate. 100 percent CBD. All other compounds have been removed.

It’s not clear what type of CBD is best for nerve pain (yet), so the type you choose is 100 percent up to you.

If you want to avoid THC for any reason, go for broad-spectrum or isolate. If you’re down to see what the entourage effect could be all about, give full-spectrum a shot.

Type of product

If you’re taking CBD to target a specific area on your body, a topical might be a good option. Topicals often contain other ingredients that can help fight pain and peeps often report feeling relief pretty quickly after applying.

If you want full body effects, go for an ingestible — like a capsule, softgel, gummy, oil, or tincture. Capsules, softgels, and gummies are pre-dosed, so they’re easy to take on the go. You’ll have to use a dropper to dose an oil or tincture.

If you want a multitasker, go for an oil. You can either ingest an oil or add a few drops to your fave moisturizer or lotion to use it as a topical.

Potency

Research on dosage and potency for nerve pain is limited, so treat potency the same as you would for any other reason you’re taking CBD.

Firstly, start low and work your way up — especially if you’re new to CBD. That means choose a product’s lowest potency option (usually around ~10 to 15 mg per serving) and see how you feel. If you don’t have any bad side effects, you can work your way up over time.

Potency for topicals is typically higher and might not specify how much CBD there is “per serving,” so look for products with at least 200 mg of total CBD in them.

Third-party testing

Do not — we repeat, DO NOT — buy a CBD product from a company that doesn’t third-party test its products. Always look for a product’s certification of analysis (COA) and take a peek to make sure it’s been tested for pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, and molds.

Also, double-check that the COA reflects what the company advertises about the product (like if the company says it contains no THC, make sure the COA says that’s the case!).

It’s generally considered safe, so if you’re interested trying it, the risks are low. CBD can interact with other medicines, though, so it’s best to reach out to your clinician to be safe before getting started.

Otherwise, here are some tips for taking CBD:

  • Topicals. Just follow the directions on your product’s packaging and apply to the area that’s bugging you most. Easy enough!
  • Oils and tinctures. Also important to follow the directions on your product’s packaging. But usually, you can either stick these under your tongue or add them to your fave foods or beverages. You can also add them to your moisturizer to use as a topical.
  • Gummies. Just pop one in, chew, swallow, and you’re good to go. It can take a little while to feel the effects though, so don’t keep eating them in hopes to make it happen sooner.
  • Capsules or softgels. Swallow like any other pill. It can take a little while to feel these too, so be patient.

CBD dosing

Choosing the right dose depends on a few factors like what type of CBD you’re taking and what form it’s in. CBD can affect people differently, so there’s no universally-recommended dosage to follow. Start by trying a low dose and slowly increase it if it’s going well but you want a stronger effect.

CBD is generally considered safe, but the FDA isn’t entirely sold on it yet. One of its biggest issues is the limited data that’s available about it. And within the data that exists, some of it suggests there could be risks that should be taken into account.

Another big factor is not the CBD itself, but the brands selling it. Keep in mind that the FDA doesn’t guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or quality of over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products.

Many companies may make unproven medical claims and use questionable quality ingredients, so it’s important to really understand what you’re getting before buying and/or consuming CBD products.

Side effects

Although largely considered safe, the FDA lists a bunch of potential side effects CBD could cause.

  • It can affect how other medications you’re taking work, or interact with them in a dangerous way.
  • It could cause liver issues down the road.
  • Taken with booze or recreational “downer” drugs, you could potentially get overly sedated and end up injured or incoherent.
  • In studies of animals exposed to CBD, it caused fertility damage in some males, as well as the male offspring of women who were exposed to it.

Other side effects include:

  • gastrointestinal issues including decreased appetite (so the opposite of THC-induced munchies) and diarrhea
  • change in mood such as agitation and irritability
  • feeling drowsy and experiencing decreased alertness

If you’ve been having nerve pain without relief, it might be a good idea to see your doctor to talk about treatment options.

Though there’s no cure for nerve pain, there are common treatments that doctors have been using for a while now. They include:

  • Botox injections
  • NMDA antagonists like ketamine and dextromethorphan
  • capsaicin cream
  • topical medications like anesthetics, or topical anti-inflammatory ointments and creams
  • antiepileptics and antidepressants (these get in the way of chemical interactions in your brain and spine that cause you to feel pain)

Does CBD cure nerve pain?

Research has shown that both oral and topical CBD can be effective for treating nerve pain, but more research is needed to know exactly what type of CBD and dosage is best for treating it.

What CBD is best for nerve pain?

Research on the type of CBD that’s best for nerve pain is pretty limited, so it’s up to you what kind of CBD product you should try.

If you’re looking to target pain in a specific area of your body, try a topical like the Pure Kana Pain Relief Ointment.

If you’re looking for full-body effects, a gummy, softgel, or oil might work better for you.

Gummies are great because they’re pre-dosed and tend to taste better than other ingestibles. We like Charlotte’s Web CBD gummies.

Softgels are also a good pick if you want something pre-dosed. We’re fans of CBDistillery Broad-Spectrum Softgels.

If you’re looking for something you can either ingest or add to your fave moisturizer as a topical, an oil is a good way to go. We love NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil for that.

What type of CBD is best for nerve pain?

At this point, we need more research before we can say for sure what type of CBD is best for treating nerve pain.

Some research says that taking CBD and THC together enhances CBD’s pain-relieving powers, but other research says it increases the risk of side effects.

If you’re not sure which type of CBD to try, go for whatever you feel comfortable with. If you’re interested in experimenting with the entourage effect, try full-spectrum. But if you’re steering clear of THC, try broad-spectrum or isolate products instead.

What strength CBD should I take for nerve pain?

Research on CBD strength or dosage for nerve pain is limited, so we recommend starting low and slow — especially if you’re new to CBD. Look for a product’s lowest potency to start (usually around 10 to 15 mg) and see how you feel. If you don’t get any side effects, you can start to increase to higher doses like 25 to 30 mg.

We still have a lot to learn, but CBD looks like it could be a pretty sweet way to manage any nagging nerve pain. Just make sure you’re doing your homework and verifying that the brand you choose is making high quality products and being transparent about its processes.

And remember — there are other treatments out there, so don’t hesitate to call up a healthcare pro to figure out the best treatment plan for you.

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