Is CBD an effective option for those suffering from foot conditions like plantar fasciitis? We dug into some research to get the scoop for you! Plantar Fasciitis is ligamentous inflammation that causes pain on the bottom of the heel. About 2 million people are treated for plantar fasciitis yearly.
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Should You Use CBD Oil to Treat Foot Pain? Let’s Find Out!
These days, CBD dispensaries can be found in most cities, with topical products, tinctures, and even edibles available in various strains and strengths claiming to treat everything from anxiety to chronic pain—including foot pain.
But is CBD an effective option for those suffering from foot conditions like plantar fasciitis? We dug into some research to get the scoop for you!
What is CBD?
Cannabis is notorious for its psychoactive properties, but many don’t realize that marijuana is composed of 120 cannabinoid compounds—and not all of them induce the “high” this plant is most known for.
The two most prevalent compounds are also the most recognizable: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these compounds are known for a range of both proven and anecdotal health benefits, though there is a key difference: THC is what creates an intoxication effect, while CBD does not impact you psychoactively.
Although the popularity of CBD as an alternative health product seemed to explode overnight over the last few years, marijuana has actually been used for medical purposes for many years—with the first documented use dating back to 2737 B.C.!
It wasn’t until later in the mid-20th century that the various structures present in marijuana were isolated and researched, with Dr. Raphel Mechoulam leading one of the first breakthroughs in understanding the effects of individual cannabinoids—and earning himself the nickname “The Godfather of Cannabis Research.”
Dr. Mechoulam’s work paved the way for a much greater understanding of how our body interacts with different cannabinoids, particularly in terms of medical use.
What is CBD used for?
Over the last few years, CBD has seemed to explode on the market. CBD dispensaries can be found in most cities, with topical products, tinctures, and even edibles available in various strains and strengths. Everyone from famous brands to your distant cousin on Facebook swears by its many varied uses. Oils and tinctures are used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve anxiety, while topical applications are being sold to improve healing, treat skin concerns, and provide relief for aching muscles.
Anecdotally, there is nothing CBD can’t do—but what does research say? While in-depth study of cannabis and CBD is still a bit behind, there are a number of studies that explore the health benefits of cannabinoids.
- Studies have shown that topical application of CBD (transdermal absorption) helped reduce joint swelling and relieve arthritic pain.
- Cannabinoid receptors in pain-processing parts of the brain and spinal cord indicate that certain cannabinoids may help control pain transmission.
- Researchers suggest that CBD oils are effective in managing difficult-to-treat pain, such as chronic discomfort from arthritis and foot conditions.
Can you use CBD for foot pain?
In reviewing both clinical and anecdotal evidence, it does seem that CBD products may help alleviate foot pain for some people—but it’s important to go in with an open mind and temper expectations. We know firsthand how frustrating it can be to find pain management that works, and that what works for one person may yield little-to-no results for another.
If you do want to try CBD oil to treat your foot pain, we encourage you to purchase from trusted and verified sellers and peruse product reviews before hitting the buy button. Consider the type of product you want, such as full-spectrum CBD or THC-free CBD, and determine the dosages that match best with your concerns—or talk to your doctor about what they recommend. Look for products from popular and proven CBD suppliers, such as Balance CBD, Green Roads, or Lazarus Naturals.
It’s important to note that while CBD may help reduce your discomfort, it will not treat the cause of your pain. If you only treat the symptoms and not the condition, you may end up continuing to exacerbate the good or tear the fascia tendon. We recommend using CBD for pain management in addition to treating the root cause with a product like QUICK TAPE.
Are there any downsides to CBD?
True topical CBD oil is considered to be generally safe for use and with a very low risk of side-effect. If you are considering CBD tinctures or other oral products, however, it’s important to speak with your doctor to ensure you are not taking any medications that may interact poorly with the CBD.
Because of the growing demand for CBD products and often fuzzy state-level restrictions and oversight on its production and sale, one of the primary risks of CBD is potentially purchasing synthetic or contaminated CBD products. In fact, the FDA released a warning to consumers about the dangers of using synthetic CBD products, including increased heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, high blood pressure, and reduced blood supply to vital organs.
Our thoughts on CBD for foot pain
We understand the desire to try everything you can to alleviate pain, especially if you’re trying to avoid surgery. That’s why we developed the QUICK TAPE foot support strap. Based on our research, it does seem that CBD could be a good option for potentially reducing foot pain—but just like with any other over-the-counter options, we recommend working closely with your doctor to ensure the products you try won’t exacerbate your pain.
Best CBD Oil for Plantar Fasciitis – August 2022
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that exerts multiple pharmacological effects, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (5) .
It interacts with the human body ’s ECS ( endocannabinoid system ), responsible for regulating pain and inflammation (6) .
The ECS consists of two cannabinoid receptors that are found in different parts of the body. For instance, CB1 receptors are located in the brain and the central nervous system (7) .
CB1 interacts with tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) , which causes a person to experience a euphoric feeling (8) .
Meanwhile , CB2 receptors are located in the immune system (9) . When CB2 is activated, it stimulates a response against inflammation, reducing pain and minimizing damage to tissues (10) .
Cannabinoids help regulate how a person thinks and feels by interacting with the endocannabinoid system ’s CB1 and CB2 receptors (11) .
Meanwhile, phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD obtained from hemp plant s also stimulate these receptors (12) .
A study from the journal Current Neuropharmacology hypothesized that cannabinoid receptor agonists stimulate CB1 receptors . Th is stimulation may provide therapeutic effects on chronic pain (13 ) .
In 2009, the British Journal of Pharmacology published a study that showed how CBD may act as a CB1 agonist and antagonist despite its low affinity for the receptors (14) .
These findings may contribute to CBD’s documented anti-inflammatory properties (15) .
How CBD Works to Help With Plantar Fasciitis
There are no known studies on how CBD oil works to help with plantar fasciitis . However, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties may benefit people diagnosed with the condition.
The Benefits of CBD for Plantar Fasciitis
Pain is manifested through chronic and acute inflammation that often challenges people with plantar fasciitis (16) .
A 2020 study stated that THC may also offer anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits (17) .
Therefore, plantar fasciitis sufferers who use full-spectrum CBD oil with traces of THC and other cannabinoids may benefit from it.
According to a 2004 study, about 7% of people over 65 reported tenderness in the heel. In the U.S., diagnosi s and treatment for such a condition accounted for over one million visits to healthcare providers per year (18) .
Reduced ankle dorsiflexion , the backward bending of the foot , and obesity are recognized risk factors for plantar fasciitis (19) .
Most studies on cannabidiol ’s therapeutic potential demonstrated tests on joint condition s such as osteoarthritis and other rheumatic diseases (20) .
Like joints, the plantar fascia is vital in bodily movement. It is a thin ligament or a band of connective tissue that supports the arch of the foo t (21) .
However, researchers have yet to examine how CBD may affect inflammation and pain targeting the plantar fascia .
Plantar fasciitis is a disabling condition that impact s millions of people in the world. While most people with such a condition respond to conservative management most of the time, about 1% of patients still undergo surgery (22) .
A 2015 animal study posted in the European Journal of Pain showed how transdermal CBD administration reduced inflammation. The researchers observed improved limb posture and pain rating scores among rat models (23) .
Transdermal administration involves applying CBD through the skin, enabling it to be gradually absorbed into the body.
Based on the study, topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for alleviating arthritis pain and inflammation without detrimental side effects (24) .
Still, more comprehensive studies on how CBD may help alleviate pain and inflammation in human ligaments are necessary.
Types of CBD for Plantar Fasciitis
The cannabis plant ’s composition is complex. It has major compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), which have opposing effects (25) .
THC is the main psychoactive constituent in marijuana, while CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant (26) .
CBD or hemp oil is produced from the hemp plant (27) . Extraction methods, such as carbon dioxide extraction, create high-quality CBD products (28) .
The hemp extracts may be categorized as full-spectrum CBD , broad-spectrum CBD , and CBD isolates (29 ) .
CBD oil is classified as full-spectrum if all extracts of the cannabis plant, such as CBD, terpenes , flavonoids, essential oils, and other cannabinoids , are used. In addition, the THC concentration should be less than 0.3% (30 ) .
The best CBD products that have been formulated to treat pain are available on the market. These products range from CBD oil , tinctures , and gummies .
Topical CBD products , such as salve , lotions , and creams, may be used for pain relief .
Taking CBD Oil for Plantar Fasciitis
A person diagnosed with plantar fasciitis may opt to use CBD oil topically for pain management . Other CBD topical products like CBD creams may also be a good choice.
However, note that different ingestion types have varying rates of bioavailability. It is the extent to which a substance is absorbed and used by the body (31) .
A person may feel the effect s of topical CBD products for two to four hours (32) . For those who use vape pens to inhale CBD, the substance may enter their bloodstream as quickly as 30 seconds or less (33 ) .
Although using vape pens is the fastest way to benefit from cannabidiol , this method may irritate a person’s lungs (34) . Thus, consumers should practice it with caution.
People diagnosed with plantar fasciitis may also use CBD oil by taking it sublingually. Taking CBD under the tongue ensures prompt delivery of the substance into the body (35 ) .
Cannabidiol is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) as a medication. Therefore, there are no official dosage guidelines for CBD.
However, a standard dose of CBD ranges from 10mg to 100mg of CBD per dose each day (36) .
Safety and Side Effects
Controlled CBD use may be safe based on recent developments in CBD administration in humans. However, further studies are needed to learn more about its possible side effects (37) .
Comparing CBD Oil to Alternative Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
Most plantar fasciitis patients usually recover in a few months after conservative treatment (38 ) .
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ) or pain relievers may ease the inflammation and pain caused by plantar fasciitis (39-40) .
However, most people may not tolerate the possible side effects of these medications. Meanwhile, others may find physical therapy expensive and time-consuming.
Therefore, some people are turning to alternative treatments to manage foot and heel pain .
A natural remedy for plantar fasciitis is massaging the affected area using lavender essential oil.
Lavender is a known alternative treatment for its anti-inflammatory properties . It also contains antioxidant and antimicrobial elements (41) .
Individuals with p lantar fasciitis may also use CBD oil as a massaging agent. Like lavender, CBD also has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties (42) .
People may also use ointments , menthol creams, aloe vera gel, and peppermint massage oil for plantar fasciitis pain .
Some individuals may also benefit from strengthening programs. Engaging in such activities may correct functional risk factors, such as weakness of the intrinsic foot muscles (43) .
Wearing orthopedic shoes with sufficient arch support may also be beneficial for people with foot conditions .
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Plantar Fasciitis
- A 2017 study acknowledged that CBD is generally safe for human consumption (44) .
- A 2015 research from the European Journal of Pain demonstrated how the transdermal application of CBD helped in reducing pain in target areas (45) .
- CBD may help improve sleep quality, which may benefit people dealing with sleep issues due to chronic pain and discomfort (46) .
- The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged CBD as a substance that is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile (47) .”
- CBD products are poorly regulated. People are encouraged to research before choosing a CBD brand.
- Most existing studies about CBD’s efficacy are done on animal subjects.
- The FDA warned the public that extremely high doses of CBD may cause liver injury (48) .
- CBD may cause adverse interactions with other drug s such as ibuprofen, commonly used for plantar fasciitis (49) .
CBD Usage for Plantar Fasciitis and Other Medical Condition s
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may be used to help with medical conditions involving the feet , such as Achilles tendonitis or inflammation of the tendon (50) . It is also promising in managing inflammatory arthritis or other joint pains , skin irritations, neuropathic pain , plantar fasciitis , and other ailments related to foot pain .
Research also suggested that CBD is a therapeutic compound helpful in treating painful diabetic neuropathy due to its ability to activate serotonin (5-HT1A) receptors (51) .
Activation of serotonin receptors has been involved in the mechanism of action of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications (52) .
Cannabidiol (CBD) has also been shown to ease anxiety behaviors relevant to numerous disorders (53) . A person with anxiety may experience a temporary spike in blood pressure during an episode (54 ) .
1. What is plantar fasciitis?
Th is degenerative condition is the most common cause of heel pain . It appears when a band of tissue that supports the arch of a person’s foot becomes inflamed and irritated (55) .
The plantar fascia is a narrow ligament that lies beneath the skin on the bottom of a person’s foot (56) .
2. What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Symptoms include pain on the base of the foot near the heel, discomfort after a long rest, and severe pain after physical activities .
3. Are there specific studies about CBD’s benefits on plantar fasciitis?
No research has been done on the benefits of CBD specifically for this condition. However, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties may help with pain caused by plantar fasciitis .
4. Is CBD oil better than CBD cream for treating plantar fasciitis?
The best CBD oils for plantar fasciitis are available in different concentrations and potenc ies . It is best to speak with a doctor versed in cannabis use, especially if one considers taking CBD orally.
On the other hand, CBD creams are topical CBDs that people may use to target specific pain-affected body areas. However, CBD creams are not absorbed into the whole body (57) .
Considering how little is known about CBD’s long-term effects, CBD topicals like creams may be a more manageable option.
5. Is CBD Legal?
In 2018, the United States Farm Bill permitted the commercial use of industrial hemp derivatives as long as the THC levels are 0.3% or lower (58) .
CBD may be a promising substance that appears to be safe. However, further studies are still recommended to understand its full potential and long-term effects on wellness and medical conditions like plantar fasciitis.