Best CBD for Shoulder Inflammation: Benefits and Uses

Man on beach with pain in the shoulder

One day you’re fine, the next you have a nagging pain in your shoulder from inflammation. The onset of the inflammation and pain being manual labor, playing your favorite sport or injury.  Maybe you have a chronic inflammation/chronic pain condition like arthritis, causing your joint inflammation and pain to be focused int your shoulders.

 Whatever the cause may be, acute or chronic shoulder pain can be maddening and make it nearly impossible to bathe, dress, reach items on shelves, or find a comfortable sleeping position.

The usual approach for treating shoulder pain is NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). For most, they are fine and mostly safe to take in moderation. 

If you have profuse shoulder pain, or  it goes on for a long time, constant NSAIDs can start to take a toll on your body. Excessive or long-term NSAID use can damage the stomach and kidneys, increase blood pressure, and elevate your stroke and heart attack risk.

 It is becoming more common these days to seek natural remedies for things like pain and sleep problems. CBD  has shown to be a worthy candidate as a remedy  for many. 

If you’re interested in CBD and why it may be a viable alternative for treating various kinds of shoulder pain, keep reading.

What Is CBD? 

By definition, hemp plants are a type of cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC. The dominant cannabinoid in hemp plants is CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive and analgesic, with anti-inflammatory characteristics, and that’s just the beginning of its therapeutic properties.

Hemp plants produce a plethora of other cannabinoids, and medical cannabis plant compounds, like CBN, CBG, and CBC. Many cannabinoids from medical hemp plants have therapeutic potential, but CBD is the most abundant and well-researched.

How CBD Works Against Shoulder Inflammation

When you take CBD, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) processes it. The ECS takes care of many systems in the body. It helps keep everything in healthy balance via cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system (CB1) and immune system (CB2).

Inflammation is a normal process that occurs when your body reacts to an injury or infection, triggering the immune system to heal and protect the body.

Inflammation in the shoulder or other body parts can contribute to increased pain and sensitivity. After a while, heightened immune cells in the body can lead to a buildup of free radicals, creating oxidative stress which can lead to increased pain and inflammation. 

CBD’s anti-inflammatory activity comes primarily from how it influences the immune system. It works through the immune system to help keep cells like cytokines, macrophages, neutrophils, and their functions in balance. CBD can calm the body’s inflammatory response, potentially relieving shoulder pain and inflammation.

Additionally, CBD can behave as an antioxidant, neutralizing oxidative stress, and counteracting the cyclical process of escalating shoulder inflammation. 

For more information read our article CBD for Inflammation.

What are the Causes of Shoulder Inflammation?

Let’s start with what makes up your shoulder joint before we get into the causes of inflammation in this region of the body. The joints attaching the humerus (upper-arm bones), scapula (shoulder blades), and clavicle (collarbone) are what make up the entire shoulder joint. The scapula has a socket the humerus fits into, and a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff holds everything in place, enabling the arm to lift and move around.

A lot of issues can arise when it comes to the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons, potentially causing shoulder inflammation and pain. Let’s go over each common cause of shoulder inflammation:

Muscle Fatigue

The most manageable potential cause of shoulder inflammation is muscle fatigue. Working out, playing sports, completing manual labor, or  overusing your shoulders produces a repetitive motion. You may notice muscle fatigue, inflammation and soreness as a result.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition causing joint inflammation and pain. The protective cartilage between the bones breaks down, causing rubbing, pain, inflammation, and stiffness of the joints. Arthritis can affect any joint, including the shoulders.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder occurs due to the  thickening and tightening of shoulder joint tissues, causing a limited range of motion. This causes the development of scar tissue and sometimes joint inflammation. Those who develop frozen shoulder on one side of their body, have a roughly 20% chance of developing it on the other side.

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

The most prevalent source of shoulder pain, rotator cuff tendinitis, is the inflammation of tendons in the rotator cuff. This happens a lot in people who engage in sports like swimming, tennis, baseball, and softball. 

The most common manifestations appear to be pain and swelling in the front of the shoulder and the side of the arm. Sufferers may also experience shoulder clicking, stiffness, loss of arm strength and mobility, and pain lifting and lowering the arm or reaching behind their back.


Shoulder impingement is when the rotator cuff rubs or catches on the top of the shoulder. This is another cause of shoulder pain and inflammation experienced by some athletes.

When lifting your arm, the bursa, or the space between the top of the shoulder and the rotator cuff narrows, increasing pressure and irritating the rotator cuff. Impingement can produce  shoulder and/or arm weakness as well as constant but minor pain from the front of the shoulder to the side of the arm, that worsens at night.


Bursitis is the swelling and irritation of the bursa, a sac of fluid that cushions the shoulder joint. It can cause shoulder stiffness and usually results from repetitive motions like yard work, cleaning, tennis, golf, skiing, and throwing, but it can also originate from an injury.


A dislocated shoulder is when the upper arm bone becomes dislodged from the shoulder socket. . It can be  identified from an out of place shoulder, joint inflammation, severe joint pain, and sometimes muscle spasms. This requires immediate medical attention to properly push the shoulder back into place and in some rare cases, surgical intervention.


Injuries from falls and impacts can sometimes cause fractures in the collarbone or upper arm bone, causing pain and inflammation. This can coincide with a sagging shoulder or the inability to lift your arm. This also requires immediate medical attention for treatment.

Potential Benefits of CBD for Shoulder Inflammation

If you have shoulder inflammation for any of the reasons above, CBD may be able to help in the following ways.

Pain Relief

By triggering a reduction in inflammation itself, CBD can decrease dull, throbbing, or pulsating shoulder pain from inflammation. One study explored 1% and 10% topical CBD gel on inflamed joints for arthritis inflammation and sensitivity. This study found that the applied l CBD concentrations could reduced inflammation and pain without apparent side effects.

Additionally, CBD may fight shoulder inflammatory pain in another way, by reducing pain perception, which is called antinociception. 

In the event that shoulder inflammation is pinching a nerve and causing nerve pain, CBD may be able to help. There is already a drug made of CBD that’s used for neuropathic pain in cancer and MS patients. Plus, CBD has neuroprotective properties that may help preserve the structure and/or function of neurons.

Sleep Support

Pain and discomfort due to shoulder inflammation can make it hard to get comfortable and sleep. For those struggling to sleep through the night due to shoulder pain and inflammation, CBD may offer the benefit of improved sleep. In one study, CBD alleviated some people’s anxiety and improved sleep scores for 66.7% of participants.

Mild Side Effect Profile

In order to fully establish CBD’s side effects and risks more research is needed. So far there doesn’t appear to be any serious health risks. CBD has relatively mild side effects, including dry mouth, low blood pressure, dizziness, and drowsiness.

How to Use CBD to Reduce Shoulder Inflammation

Before you buy CBD and try it to help with shoulder inflammation, talk to your doctor. CBD is not recommended for everyone, and it can cause adverse drug interactions if you’re already taking medication. 

Also, your doctor can help you decide on an appropriate dose. It’s important to take CBD in responsible doses to avoid adverse  side effects. The general rule is to start with a low dose, and slowly increase your dose if you needed.

For more information read the article CBD Dosage for Inflammation

Three Best CBD Products to Relieve Shoulder Inflammation

When deciding where to buy CBD for shoulder inflammation, your biggest considerations should be  the brand’s organic hemp, certifications, FDA adherence, third-party lab testing, and certificates of analysis.

Here are some high-quality and trusted CBD products for shoulder inflammation: 

CBD Cream

Nature’s Legend CBD Freeze Cream offers soothing topical pain relief from menthol. In addition to the cooling menthol relief, you may experience anti-inflammatory results  from ingredients like camphor, safflower seed oil, arnica extract, chamomile, shea butter, and aloe. Apply a small amount to the shoulder and rub it into the skin for CBD relief with a cooling sensation.


Use the dropper to adjust your dose of Full Spectrum CBD Oil with CBN & CBG 3:1 Ratio. You can administer CBD oil sublingually for fast, potent absorption, or mix it into food and drink. This formula includes relaxing CBN to support sleep.


The topical CBD & CBG gel roller combines the additional pain and inflammation relief from CBG. Specially formulated for enhanced absorption, use the applicator to cleanly roll the gel onto the area experiencing aches and inflammatory pain.

FAQs About CBD for Shoulder Inflammation

How do you use CBD for shoulder pain?

You can apply topical CBD, take CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue), or take CBD gummies or capsules to decrease shoulder inflammatory pain.

Does CBD bring down inflammation?

Yes, CBD has effective anti-inflammatory effects.

What is the best CBD product for shoulder pain?

Sublingual CBD oil can offer the best anti-inflammatory results, since it  is one of the best-absorbing routes. Other times, people may prefer topical CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects with ingredients like menthol for shoulder pain.

Can I use CBD oil for shoulder pain?

Yes, taking CBD oil may lessen shoulder pain and inflammation.

Are you thinking about trying CBD for shoulder inflammation?

Do you suffer from chronic pain and inflammation, arthritis, tendonitis, shoulder joint pain and stiffness, frozen shoulder, a sports injury, or day-to-day muscle fatigue? If so you’ll be surprised to discover how effectively CBD might be able to fight shoulder inflammation and pain.

With its relatively benign side effects and risks, you just might find you prefer CBD for your throbbing pain, sharp pain, pinched nerves, and sleep disturbance, opposed to standard NSAIDs.

Talk to your doctor, find a trusted source, and buy CBD for shoulder inflammation to get back to the active life you love.

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