Last edited: 6/17/2021
CBD for Pain Relief Survey Results
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the popularity and demand for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products continues to grow as more people hear about the therapeutic benefits being reported by the media and experienced by friends and family members. One of the top reasons people turn to hemp-derived CBD products is pain relief. People self-report using CBD oil for muscle and joint pain, CBD oil for chronic pain, CBD oil for fibromyalgia pain, and CBD for arthritis pain (among others).
Also, individuals with a fitness lifestyle and athletes also report using CBD to relieve or manage muscle soreness and tension and general body aches and pains to help speed up their recovery time.
Consumer Data on CBD Use for Pain
Various CBD consumer surveys have been done since the boom of CBD, all showing millions of Americans have tried CBD for various types of pain.1 Below, we highlight some of those surveys and what they show.
In a survey by ProjectCBD with 3,506 participants, 62.8% reported using CBD for pain. Of those, nearly 70% reported their pain was “much better”, and 23% reported it was “a little better.”
In a survey by Consumer Reports with 4,000 participants, 24% reported taking CBD for joint pain. Among those, 38% found CBD “extremely effective or very effective”, and 27% found CBD “slightly or not at all effective”.
In a joint survey by Harris Poll & Quartz with 2,000+ participants, 44% reported using CBD for muscle pain, 39% reported using CBD for chronic pain, and 38% reported using CBD for joint pain.
In a survey by Remedy Review with 855 women on the use of CBD, 65.1% of the Baby Boomers reported using CBD for pain relief, 51.2% of Generation X reported using CBD for pain relief, and 46.8% of Millennials reported using CBD for pain relief.
In a 2019 study of 1.3 million U.S. social media posts and conversations, 280,000 conversations focused on using CBD oil for pain management, with 91% of those conversations indicating CBD oil was effective for pain.
In a Gallup poll, 40% of Americans reported using CBD for pain.
In a survey of 2,600 arthritis patients conducted by the Arthritis Foundation, 87% reported using CBD to manage their arthritis symptoms, with 94% of those indicating that symptom to be pain relief. Of those, 67% reported improvement in their physical function. In addition, over 30% found that CBD relieved their morning stiffness and helped “get them moving.”
In a 2019 survey by ValidCare with 2,000+ participants, 43% reported using CBD for chronic pain. Among all participants, 76.2% reported that they felt “better” to “much better” after they used CBD. Notably, zero adverse events from using CBD was reported.
In a survey by Coresight Research with 920 CBD-using participants, 50.9% between the ages of 18-24 years reported using CBD for pain relief/management, 58.5% between the ages of 25-34 reported using CBD for pain relief, 56.7% between the ages of 35-44 reported using CBD for pain relief/management, 70.7% between the ages of 45-54 reported using CBD for pain relief/management, 71.3% between the ages of 55-64 reported using CBD for pain relief/management, and 85.4% of adults 65 and older reported using CBD for pain relief/management. As this study shows, individuals across all generations have turned to hemp-derived CBD to help relieve or manage their pain.
In a survey by ConsumerLab.com with 1,273 vitamin and supplement users, 67.3% reported using CBD to reduce their pain.
In a survey by The CBD Insider with 1,055 participants, 58.1% reported using CBD for aches/discomfort. Of these, 67.4% found CBD “extremely or very effective”. In addition, 41% reported using CBD for muscle soreness/recovery, and, of these, 70.5% found CBD “extremely or very effective”.
In a survey by Happi with roughly 3,000 participants, 43% reported using CBD for chronic pain management.
In a survey by SingleCare with 2,000 participants, 64% reported using CBD for pain relief and inflammation.
In a survey of 1,453 CBD users by AmericanMarijuana 60% reported using CBD to treat chronic pain, 34% reported using CBD for migraine pain, and 3% reported using CBD for cancer treatment pain.
In a 2020 survey New Frontier Data, 41% reported using CBD for pain management.
Hemp-derived CBD has helped many people with their type of pain. As reported above, some who used CBD for pain relief found it effective, others found it slightly or somewhat effective, and others didn’t find it effective at all.
The reason CBD works for some and not for others likely depends on a variety of factors such as, for example, age, gender, body weight, type of CBD product used, potency of CBD in the product, the quality of the CBD product, how often it was used, the amount used, the length of use, the type or cause of pain, and an individual’s overall health status.
CBD Product Types for Pain
Pain is tricky. With variables playing a role, there is no one-size-fits-all suggestion when it comes to choosing the type of CBD product that may be ideal for you.
Based on consumer self-reporting, some use a CBD ingestible product such as oil drop tinctures, capsules, soft gels, gummies and vapes. Others use a CBD topical relief product such as a cream, salve, rub, or balm to apply to those areas of their body where they feel the pain (i.e., neck, shoulders, arms, back, hips, legs, ankles, etc.). And, some use both a CBD ingestible product and a CBD topical relief product for pain relief or pain management.
Type of Formulation
CBD ingestible products and CBD topical relief products are most commonly formulated as the following:
- Full Spectrum CBD referred to as a Hemp Extract Full Spectrum that contains a dominant amount of CBD along with other cannabinoids including up to 0.3% delta-9 THC and varying detectable and non-detectable amounts of terpenes and flavonoids that naturally occur in the hemp plant. (CBD + other cannabinoids naturally occurring in the hemp plant).
- Broad Spectrum CBD which is the same as a Full Spectrum CBD product minus the THC (zero delta-9 THC, zero delta-8 THC and zero delta-10 THC) and typically marketed and labeled as “THC-Free”, “Zero THC”, “0.00% THC” or “0.00mg THC”.
- CBD Isolate which means the CBD product contains only CBD and no other cannabinoids or any terpenes or flavonoids that naturally occur in the hemp plant.
The ideal product for you to try depends on whether you prefer a CBD product you can drop under tongue and swallow, drink, eat or inhale, or whether you prefer a CBD topical cream you can apply to trouble area for on the spot relief.
CBD Ingestible Product Option
Ingestible CBD products are available in oil drop tinctures, soft gels, capsules, vapes, beverages, and gummies. If you’re new to CBD and are interested in a CBD ingestible product, start with the suggested serving size indicated on the product’s label to see if that amount of CBD works for you. If your initial CBD dosage is ineffective, you may increase the amount of CBD by a serving size or two and keep gradually doing so until you feel your desired effect. On average, human CBD studies have reported a CBD dose of up to 1,500 mg per day to be well tolerated.1 As a new user, 1,500 mg per day is too high and should not be your starting dose unless a doctor opines otherwise. Also, depending on the duration of the pain and cause of pain, it may take a while before you notice any difference. Be patient and remember that a natural plant aid does not work like a prescription medication so expecting immediate relief from a CBD ingestible product is not realistic.
No matter the amount taken, CBD will not make you feel “high” like marijuana does. Also, CBD is to not have any potential for abuse or cause any withdrawal side effects when CBD use is stopped.3
Keep in mind that your chances of having to increase or decrease the amount should be expected as part of your CBD experience. No two people are the same and the amount of CBD that’s right for you is just as unique as you. Monitor how it makes you feel and adjust accordingly.
Remember to be patient and not give up too quickly as a natural hemp plant extract does take time to work, especially if you’re new to CBD. Some people believe that as soon as they take an ingestible hemp extract CBD product, they should immediately feel a difference in their pain levels. That’s not the case. CBD, regardless if a Hemp Extract Full Spectrum, Hemp Extract Broad Spectrum or Hemp Extract CBD Isolate, simply does not work like a prescription medication.
Let’s use an Omega-3 supplement as an example to help put this into context. A hemp-derived CBD ingestible product, in theory, works somewhat like an Omega-3 supplement in that you may have to take it for a few weeks to several weeks to notice a difference, and it may take longer if not used regularly. With Omega-3, for example, it can take 6 weeks to 6 months to see a significant change.4 Unlike endocannabinoids, which our bodies naturally produce, we do not naturally produce Omega-3 fatty acids. As such, the length of use before noticing a difference between an Omega-3 and hemp-derived CBD may slightly or significantly differ.
CBD Topical Relief Product Option
A CBD topical relief product is ideal for those who seek on the spot relief from aches and pains arising from workouts, training, sports, competitions, neck stiffness arising from looking at a computer screen for long hours, back pain from sitting too long, and from general daily wear and tear of the body associated with living.
**The list of surveys highlighted in this article are not exhaustive and do not represent a full list of all available data on consumer self-reporting on CBD use for pain relief and pain management.
WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-Review Report: Agenda Item 5.2. World Health Organization. Thirty-ninth meeting, Geneva, 6-10 November 2017;
UW Integrative Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Some Frequently Asked Questions.