How to Use CBD for Carpal Tunnel: The Top Facts You Need to Know

Women sitting at a desk typing on the keyboard with pain radiating from her left wrist.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is the bane of every office worker’s existence, and for good reason. But did you know that CBD for carpal tunnel may be the answer?

CBD can successfully lower levels of inflammation throughout the body, thus reducing pain related to carpal tunnel syndrome. CBD products of all sorts can be effective, but those that target specific areas (such as topicals or oils) or produce more potent effects (edibles like capsules or gummies) may be more desirable options for this purpose.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common affliction; for many of us, carpal tunnel and other work-related discomfort is unavoidable simply because not using our hands isn’t an option. Fortunately, CBD is a great tool; it helps manage pain without causing impairment or other side effects that may make it a less-than-ideal option for daytime treatment. It also has a promising future as a potential medical treatment for inflammatory conditions of all sorts.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome, sometimes known as CTS or median nerve compression, is a condition characterized by pressure on the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a small tunnel of ligament, bone, and a median nerve that runs from the forearm through the hand. 

Pressure on or pinching of said median nerve can occur due to the inflammation associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling through the wrist, hand, and sometimes parts of the arm.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, hand movement patterns, pre-existing or alternative illnesses, and more. There usually isn’t one single cause; oftentimes, many factors work together to cause the condition.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Aside from the pain, tingling, numbness, and other physical discomfort associated with the compression of the carpal tunnel that we’ve already mentioned, here are a few common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Fingers feeling swollen, even if they don’t physically appear to be

  • Experiencing symptoms for the first time at night – oftentimes this is when most symptoms begin to occur for individual with CTS, and then they begin to worsen over time

  • Pain and tingling in the forearm or other parts of the arm/shoulder

  • Having a hard time gripping or holding objects, or making a fist (usually happens later on as CTS begins to impact your ability to grip)

Symptoms for more severe cases of CTS can be quite significant, but most individuals will experience the tell-tale numbness, tingling, and pain as a primary symptom. 

These symptoms tend to impact someone’s dominant hand more significantly, and many individuals with CTS report feeling more or more intense pain in their thumb or index fingers.

Women wearing a blue wrist brace.

Does CBD help carpal tunnel?

CBD can indeed be an amazing resource for those who experience carpal tunnel syndrome. Those who are familiar with CBD might not be shocked to find out such a truth, particularly because CBD is very well-known as a powerful tool for fighting inflammation, the source of most CTS-related pain.

CBD, along with other cannabinoids, is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be great for nerve or joint pain, which makes it a great option to help alleviate the pain that comes from CTS. 

Though CBD may not be an effective enough treatment completely on its own (you might need to wear a brace for adequate support while sleeping or working, for example), it can be a great alternative to other medications or methods of pain relief

CBD is safe, relatively side-effect free, and can be used in a variety of different forms. There are lots of options on the market when it comes to CBD products, and different ones may work for different people. 

Some may find more success with a topical CBD for carpal tunnel, but some may benefit from a CBD transdermal patch or other methods of consumption.

Current Research on CBD for Carpal Tunnel

Scientific insight into how CBD might treat carpal tunnel leaves a lot to be desired, unfortunately, at least at this point in time.

Much of the existing research on this topic that’s accessible reports on animal-based studies (on mice, for instance). The results of these studies, while interesting and informational, can’t easily be applied to humans.

We do know that CBD does indeed reduce inflammation, which theoretically makes it a good treatment option for chronic conditions in which it’s frequent, including carpal tunnel. 

Studies do show that CBD can successfully target nerve inflammation (which occurs in carpal tunnel syndrome). Information regarding carpal tunnel specifically is lacking, though tests surrounding similar conditions suggest that such a truth applies to CTS, too.

With scientific research lacking, many prospective users turn to anecdotal evidence to get a better idea of what to expect. CBD helps hundreds of thousands of users, each with their own unique challenges and experiences, successfully manage pain and live normal lives, including those who experience CTS.

As public interest in CBD and medical interest in CBD as a potential medication rise, so too will the amount of solid research studies surrounding these topics. 

For the time being, we don’t know much for sure about CBD’s impact on carpal tunnel, especially not long-term. But we do know that controlling inflammation can be great for individuals with carpal tunnel, and CBD’s tendency to produce little to no side effects means that trying it out is very low-risk.

Benefits of CBD

Aside from the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties we’ve just outlined, what are some of the other reasons to try out CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome?

It’s important to differentiate between CBD, which does not produce a psychoactive effect (or a “high”) and THC, which does.

CBD can promote feelings of relaxation, calmness, and of course, pain relief, but the fact that it produces no high makes it a great option for those who need to medicate frequently or during the work day.

CBD is also thought to be good for:

There are minimal negative side effects that come from CBD usage (diarrhea, nausea, fatigue), and it is a very flexible option.

Can CBD cream help carpal tunnel?

CBD topicals (“creams”) can indeed help treat the symptoms of carpal tunnel thanks to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. 

These topicals, which may take the form of a cream or an oil, can be rubbed into the skin of the affected area to help reduce inflammation in the area and, as a result, pain. CBD works to achieve these goals by interacting with the body’s immune system (similar to over-the-counter pain medications) and limiting inflammatory responses or pain signals.

CBD topicals, while useful, often aren’t enough to completely manage carpal tunnel on their own. Other tools, like arm or wrist braces, may also be necessary to help the area heal and avoid further irritation.

CBD products won’t “cure” someone of carpal tunnel either. Even if CBD topicals successfully reduce an individual’s pain levels, they don’t do anything to remedy the actual root of the problem. 

Much like a cast can’t unbreak one’s leg, CBD can’t magically rid anyone of carpal tunnel. Symptoms will return after CBD is processed by the body. 

Fortunately, the fact that CBD has very little risk for side effects means that it’s an easy supplement to incorporate into a daily routine. It also won’t cause impairment, so it can truly function as a form of medication.

CBD also isn’t habit-forming or addictive unlike some pain management options. 

Those who are interested in topicals might find it beneficial to consistently use them at the same times each day to determine their efficacy. More severe pain may not be fully diminished by CBD on its own, but for most people with carpal tunnel, CBD topicals are a great choice.

Takeaway: How to Use CBD For Carpal Tunnel

CBD’s nature makes it a great option to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Because nerve and joint pain along with inflammation are key characteristics of the condition, CBD is quite well-equipped to tackle it!

Of course, CBD on its own may not be enough to effectively treat your own case of CTS. Be sure to speak with your doctor about how to properly care for and monitor yourself and your own pain. 

CBD can be and is a great pain-relieving tool even for severe CTS, but it’s always a good idea to seek out professional help to ensure you receive the best, most effective care possible. We recommend trying out our CBD buyer’s guide before getting started.

Because the CBD market is so new, you may find that sometimes brands mislabel products, or don’t follow FDA guidelines. That’s why it’s vital to find CBD products that are healthy and pure. But how do you know who to trust? We’ve compiled a database of the greatest products on the market. How do we know? We’ve tried them all ourselves. You can access our database for free here.

Have you tried CBD yet? What effects did you feel? Let us know in the comments, and we’d be happy to respond.

Josh Murdoch

Josh Murdoch

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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