Research done on 60 participants revealed that CBD had muscle-relaxing properties that might be useful in treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. CBD is a muscle relaxant, so it’s no wonder why many people are turning to it for relief from TMJ disorders. Here we explore the benefits of a CBD treatment for TMJ problems. CBD Oil For Tmj Sorry. This IP address [126.96.36.199] has been blocked. It looks like you were trying to reach this URL:
Best CBD Oil for TMJ Disorders – August 2022
People with temporomandibular joint disorders ( TMJ disorders ) are prescribed with over-the-counter painkillers , antidepressants, and muscle relaxants for TMJ pain and other symptoms of TMJ disorders (5 ) .
However, these medications may have side effects on some individuals. Antidepressants may cause constipation, difficulty breathing, decreased blood pressure, anorexia, dizziness, and insomnia (6 ) .
Meanwhile, muscle relaxants may cause drowsiness, drug dependence, dry mouth, constipation, urine discoloration.
Some of these drugs should be used with caution, particularly individuals with liver problems (7 ) .
CBD may be a safer treatment option . It has a favorable safety profile with manageable side effects, including changes in weight or appetite, diarrhea, and tiredness (8 ) .
A 2019 randomized, double-blind trial published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that CBD had myorelaxant (muscle-relaxing) effects on temporomandibular disorders (TMD) (9 ) .
TMJ is the joint itself, while TMD pertains to any disorder affecting the TMJ.
Sixty patients with TMD participated in the study. The authors measured the activity of the masseter muscle on days 0 and 14 using electromyography.
Electromyography is a procedure that measures electrical activity in response to muscle stimulation (10 ) .
The researchers found that CBD’s transdermal application diminished the activity of masseter muscles and improved the condition of patients with myofascial pain.
Masseter muscles are involved in chewing and jaw clenching . TMD is triggered by pain in this muscle type (11 ) .
Meanwhile, myofascial pain is a debilitating disease that affects muscles and associated soft tissues (12 ) .
CBD has properties that may offer pain relief for people with TMJ disorders and related symptoms.
CBD for Pain
A 2020 study published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology examined topical CBD ’s effects on neuropathic pain . Twenty-nine patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy were given CBD or a placebo (13 ) .
The participants who received CBD oil transdermally reported that their intense pain and cold, itchy sensations were significantly reduced. No test subject experienced adverse effects during the study.
Another study archived in the European Journal of Pharmacology stated that CBD had properties that might effectively treat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. The study was conducted on mice models (14 ) .
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. It commonly affects the hands, feet, and other areas of the body (15 ) .
A preliminary controlled study in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation investigated the effects of CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), a combination of CBD and THC in a spray formulation, and placebo on patients with intractable neurogenic symptoms (16 ) .
Intractable neurogenic conditions are ailments related to the nervous system that are hard to control.
In the study, the patients had multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, limb amputation, and brachial plexus damage (injury to the nerves at the base of the neck and armpits).
The researchers discovered that the CBD and THC treatment was superior to placebo. Some patients reported improvements in their bladder control, muscle spasms, and spasticity (muscle-tightening).
However, the authors noted that some patients experienced low blood pressure and intoxication with THC’s rapid initial dosing.
THC is the cannabis plant ’s active ingredient that has mind-altering effects on users.
CBD is also extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. However, unlike THC, CBD does not have high-inducing properties.
CBD for Arthritis
Currently, the causes of TMD are unknown. However, some factors may increase an individual’s risk of developing the disorder, such as arthritis (17 ) .
Research found in the European Journal of Pain showed that the use of CBD topicals might be an effective treatment for the inflammation and pain of arthritic mice.
After four consecutive days of administering CBD as an arthritis treatment, the authors observed reduced joint swelling and improvement of spontaneous pain (18 ) .
The researchers also noted that 6.2mg and 62mg of CBD per day were the most effective doses. CBD did not affect the test subjects’ higher brain function.
A study archived in the journal Pain revealed that CBD had anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that blocked osteoarthritis pain in rodents (19 ) .
The researchers also suggested that CBD might help prevent the development of pain and nerve damage in the mice’s osteoarthritic joints.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage cushioning the end of the bones wears down over time (20 ) .
These animal studies have yet to prove if CBD has the same purported benefits on humans. However, these findings are useful for future research involving human test subjects.
How CBD Works to Alleviate Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
Humans and animals, except insects, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that maintains natural harmony in the body despite changes in the external environment (21 ) .
Cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors and help the ECS with this vital function. These cannabinoids may come from the body, from the Cannabis sativa plant, such as CBD and THC, or laboratories.
According to the study conducted on TMD patients, CBD’s analgesic effects on muscle pain disorders might be caused by the substance’s interaction with cannabinoid (CB) receptors 1 and 2 (22 ) .
However, the authors believe that CBD might be difficult to administer to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Thus, they chose a transdermal administration.
The researchers believe that transdermal application had advantages over oral forms of CBD. According to them, transdermally applied CBD avoids the first-pass metabolism effect, resulting in an improved bioavailability of CBD.
They reported that the transdermal route allows the consistent application of CBD at the targeted site for a longer time.
A transdermal application also minimizes the severe side effects that could come from higher CBD concentrations.
The first pass effect refers to a phenomenon in which a drug gets metabolized at a particular location in the body, resulting in a reduced concentration of the active drug when it reaches the site of action (23 ) .
Meanwhile, bioavailability is the rate at which drugs are absorbed into the living system and made available at the site of action (24 ) .
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for TMJ Disorders
- As previously mentioned, clinical trials and other studies on humans and animals suggest that CBD might help with neck pain, jaw pain , and other symptoms associated with TMD.
- Unlike antidepressants and muscle relaxants, CBD’s safety profile may be more favorable (25 ) .
- If CBD use is legal in a state, CBD products may be bought over-the-counter and without a prescription,
- More conclusive research is needed to determine CBD’s effects on jaw muscles and TMD.
- Some individuals may still experience CBD’s commonly reported side effects, including diarrhea, tiredness, and changes in weight or appetite (26 ) .
- The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA ) has not yet approved CBD as a potential treatment for TMJ disorders.
How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for TMJ Disorders
Aside from surgeries and therapies, an alternative remedy for TMD is acupuncture.
A 2017 review in the journal Medicine concluded that acupuncture might be useful in attenuating the chronic pain of TMD patients, particularly those with myofascial pain symptoms (27 ) .
A 2018 study in the Journal of Depression and Anxiety stated that a group with chronic TMD had higher levels of depression and anxiety than the general population. The researchers recommend that screening for other comorbidities in TMD patients should be done (28 ) .
Aside from its pain-relieving properties, acupuncture may also help with anxiety and depression (29 ) .
Similarly, CBD has been found to have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) and antidepressant effects (30 ) .
How to Choose the Right CBD for TMJ Disorders
CBD combined with THC may have significant analgesic effects (31 ) . However, medical marijuana use is not legal in all US states (32 ) .
Federal laws allow the use of less than 0.30% of THC amounts in some CBD product types. The CBD type that utilizes all the ingredients of the cannabis plant is known as full-spectrum CBD.
It is suggested that active ingredients work together to generate the full therapeutic benefits from the Cannabis sativa plant. This mechanism is called the entourage effect.
Note that some drug tests may still detect the trace amounts of THC in full-spectrum products.
Individuals who want to avoid these risky situations may opt for broad-spectrum CBD. This CBD type has the same components as a full-spectrum type, except THC.
Individuals who prefer pure cannabidiol may purchase CBD isolates.
Among the CBD types, full-spectrum CBD may be the most beneficial for those with TMJ disorders.
However, consulting with a doctor is essential before using any CBD product.
CBD Dosage for TMJ Disorders
There is no standard dosage chart for the use of CBD in TMJ-related conditions. However, the primary rule is to begin with low amounts of CBD, following dosing instructions on the product label.
If no adverse effects are observed, individuals may increase their CBD dosage until desired effects are achieved.
How to Take CBD for TMJ Disorders
CBD may be taken in several formats and formulations. However, based on the 2019 research, a transdermal CBD application may be more optimal in treating TMD (33 ) .
CBD patches and topicals, such as lotions, balms, salves, and ointments, may be applied to the body’s painful areas.
Some of these formulations may contain menthol, which may be more soothing for individuals experiencing TMJ-induced pain.
CBD oil and tinctures are other go-to CBD formats. Tinctures (drops) may be applied under the tongue for added efficacy.
Some CBD oils are combined with essential oils. These formulations combine CBD’s purported health benefits and the added aromatherapy of essential oils.
These combinations may be more useful to TMD patients instead of using essential oils alone.
Some CBD oils may also be unflavored. Those who dislike the grassy taste of CBD may mix these oils with food and beverages.
For instantaneous effects, CBD may be inhaled via vape pens. However, vaping may cause lung problems in some individuals (34 ) .
CBD may also be ingested via CBD gelcaps, soft gels, pills, edibles, and gummies. The advantage of these formats is that users may take consistent doses or monitor how much CBD they have taken.
Understanding TMJ Disorders
TMD is the pain in the jaw joint and muscles responsible for jaw movement. Its causes are unknown. However, it can be absolutely debilitating for patients, and several factors, including genetics, jaw injury, or arthritis, may contribute to its development (35) .
Individuals with jaw pain have also been observed to clench their teeth ( bruxism ). However, not all people who grind their teeth habitually develop TMD (36 ) .
Symptoms of TMJ may include the following (37 ) :
- Jaw pain
- Temporomandibular joint pain (in one or both jaws)
- Pain inside and around the ear
- Difficulty chewing
- Locking of the joint
- Facial pain
TMD refers to muscle tension and pain involving the temporomandibular joint.
The causes of TMJ disorders are unknown. However, it is believed that genetics, arthritis, and jaw injury may increase the risks of an individual developing TMD.
Conventional medications, like painkillers, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants, are prescribed for TMJ. However, these drugs may have side effects detrimental to an individual’s health.
CBD is generally safe to use. Studies found that CBD might help with TMD and associated symptoms.
Research also suggested that CBD might help in the treatment of arthritis, which is believed to be related to TMD.
CBD combined with THC may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation. However, the use of medical cannabis is not legal in all US states.
Hence, full-spectrum CBD may be used. This CBD type contains legally-approved THC amounts and all the ingredients of the cannabis plant.
Among CBD’s formats, transdermal or topical CBD is more recommended for TMJ pain. This format ensures the high bioavailability of CBD when it enters the body.
It is recommended that individuals with TMD, especially first-time CBD users, seek professional advice before using CBD.
CBD for TMJ: Is It Effective in Relaxing Jaw Muscles?
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. It connects the jawbone to the skull and looks like a sliding hinge. Every person has two joints, each located on either side of the jaw.
You may have a TMJ disorder when you experience pain in your jaw joints and in the muscles that control jaw movement. Besides conventional treatments like OTC painkillers or creams, you can now benefit from the use of CBD for TMJ as well.
Unlike the conventional options, CBD offers natural relief from pain, relaxes the muscles, and reduces inflammation — without any life-threatening side effects such as liver toxicity or lethal overdose.
But before we elaborate on the use of CBD for TMJ, let’s get a better understanding of this condition.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders?
A TMJ disorder can be diagnosed using simple symptom detection. You might have a TMJ disorder if you’re experiencing one of the following:
- Aching pain in and around the ear
- Grinding teeth
- Pain in one or both TMJs
- Difficulty or pain when chewing food
- Pain and tenderness in the jaw
- Aching facial pain
- Locking of the joint, limiting its ability to open or close the mouth
TMJ disorders cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you chew food or even open your mouth; the intensity of movement limitation or pain associated with a TMJ disorder varies, but in most cases, you don’t need treatment for that condition. You can use simple relaxation techniques and lifestyle modification to overcome it.
Speaking of natural solutions, let’s take a look at how CBD can help TMJ disorders.
Will CBD Help TMJ?
CBD may help with TMJ disorders by addressing its major symptoms, such as pain, tenderness, and inflammation.
Here’s how each mechanism works.
CBD for TMJ Pain
In a 2020 study posted by the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology , the research team analyzed the effects of topical CBD’s administration on neuropathic pain. 29 participants with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy received CBD or a placebo .
Those who were administered CBD oil transdermally reported that their symptoms, such as intense pain, itching, and cold, were significantly reduced. None of the subjects experienced adverse effects during the trial.
Another study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology noted that CBD exerted actions that may effectively treat chronic inflammatory pain.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs as a result of damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. It commonly affects hands, feet, and other parts of the body.
A preliminary clinical trial from Clinical Rehabilitation tested the effects of CBD, THC, a blend of CBD and THC in a spray formulation, and a placebo on patients with intractable neurogenic symptoms.
The researchers found that the CBD and THC blend was better at easing pain than placebo and isolated cannabinoids. However, the authors reported that some patients experienced intoxication and low blood pressure after receiving the initial dose of THC.
CBD for TMJ Arthritis
Scientists have yet to understand the causes of TMD. However, some researchers point to arthritis as a risk factor for this disorder.
A study in the European Journal of Pain showed that topical CBD administration may be an effective treatment for inflammatory pain in a mice model of arthritis. The authors of the study also noted that the lowest and the highest doses of CBD per day were the most effective.
Another study from the journal Pain found that CBD had anti-inflammatory properties that mitigated osteoarthritis pain in patients.
These animal studies need to be translated into human models to test if a similar effect applies — which is likely to happen considering the similarity of the endocannabinoid system between all mammals.
CBD for Muscle Relaxation
One study examined the efficacy of a CBD treatment in TMJ disorders. It came out in 2019 and was published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. The research team found that CBD had myorelaxant (muscle-relaxing) effects on temporomandibular joints.
60 patients with TMJ disorders participated in the study. The authors measured the activity of their jaw muscles on days 0 and 14 using electromyography.
Electromyography is a technique that helps measure electrical activity upon muscle stimulation.
The researchers concluded that CBD’s transdermal application decreased the jaw muscles’ activity and improved the condition of patients suffering from myofascial pain.
These muscles are known as masseter muscles and are involved in chewing and jaw clenching. Pain in this muscle type causes TMJ disorders.
How CBD Works to Alleviate the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
All mammals and vertebrae have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that maintains natural equilibrium in the body despite the impact of environmental factors.
Cannabinoids engage with cannabinoid receptors and help the ECS optimize its functioning. These cannabinoids may come from the body (endocannabinoids) or the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids). They can also be isolated in laboratories.
According to the study conducted on people with TMJ disorders, CBD’s painkilling effects might be related to its interaction with cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2).
However, the authors believe that CBD might be difficult to activate these receptors using regular routes of administration — hence the use of a transdermal product.
According to them, transdermal CBD avoids the first-pass metabolism in the liver, significantly improving the bioavailability of CBD. They noted that transdermal CBD application allows for consistent compound dosing at the targeted site for a longer period.
Transdermal use also reduces the intensity of side effects that could come from higher doses of CBD.
Can You Put CBD On Jaw?
CBD is available in several formats and formulations. However, according to the 2019 research, a transdermal patch may be the best way to treat TMJ disorders.
Alternatively, you can put CBD on the jaw using CBD patches and topicals like creams, balms, salves, ointments, and lotions. These products absorb through your skin to target CB2 receptors and produce anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
Some of the topical formulations may be infused with menthol, which may provide a more soothing sensation for people with TMJ-induced pain.
Can I Use CBD Oil Instead of Topicals for TMJ?
We wouldn’t consider this question as a matter of “this or that.”
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture.
While CBD topicals are great for localized relief, they might not reach the root cause of the problem through that application method. If you want to support your ECS from within, you may want to purchase CBD oil as this works best for the job.
CBD oil is a golden liquid containing a full-spectrum hemp extract and a carrier oil (MCT oil or hemp seed oil) for improved bioavailability. You can take it under the tongue using a special dropper, which helps you measure out the desired amount.
Once there, you can hold CBD in your mouth for up to 60 seconds. Doing so will cause CBD to absorb through tiny capillaries in your mouth — resulting in higher bioavailability and faster onset.
You may also try an oral product such as CBD softgel or capsules and gummies. These formats contain a premeasured dose of CBD per serving, which makes dosing easier than with oils. However, since they need to pass through the digestive system, their effects are delayed and might not be as pronounced as with other methods. That’s because the first-pass metabolism in the liver causes CBD to lose some of its bioavailability.
Last but not least, you can use CBD vapes. This form of administration is the fastest and the most effective way to deliver CBD to your system, as it absorbs through lung tissues. As a result, the effects are noticeable within minutes after inhalation — let alone the highest bioavailability of all formats. The only drawback of vaping is that the effects are shorter-lived than with capsules and oils.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take for TMJ?
There are no dosage charts with specific amounts of CBD for different types of TMJ disorders. That’s because the CBD market is unregulated, and the federal agencies see it as a health supplement.
But, politics aside, figuring out the best dosage for your case of TMJ will require some trial and error. Observation is paramount, so start with a low dose like 5-10 mg and gradually increase the amount of CBD until you hit the point of optimal relief — both in terms of pain and muscle tension.
If you observe any side effects, such as lethargy, drowsiness, or irritation, lower the dose and give CBD more time to level your endocannabinoid deficiencies.
It’s a good idea to consult a doctor specializing in holistic medicine or cannabis use. A qualified physician will help you determine the right starting dosage and routine.
Summarizing the Use of CBD for TMJ
TMJ disorders involve muscle tension and pain in the temporomandibular joint. The underlying causes of TMJ disorders are unknown, but researchers believe that arthritis, genetics, and jaw injury may contribute to the faster development of a TMJ disorder.
Conventional medications, such as muscle relaxants, NSAIDs, painkillers, and antidepressants, are sometimes prescribed for TMJ. However, these medications may have adverse effects on your health with long-term use.
CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated in humans. Studies found that humans can take 1,500 mg of CBD daily for a few weeks without any alarming side effects.
Research also suggests that CBD might help treat arthritis on top of easing the symptoms associated with TMJ disorders.
A full-spectrum CBD product with traces of THC might be more effective than isolate-based products for TMD treatment.
Among all CBD formats, transdermal and topical CBD is more recommended for TMJ pain. Still, if you’re looking for an all-around treatment, we recommend adding CBD oil to your daily supplementation plan.
Do you use CBD for TMJ pain? Which product type works best for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
- Xu, D. H., Cullen, B. D., Tang, M., & Fang, Y. (2020). The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology , 21 (5), 390–402. https://doi.org/10.2174/1389201020666191202111534 (1)
- Nitecka-Buchta, A., Nowak-Wachol, A., Wachol, K., Walczyńska-Dragon, K., Olczyk, P., Batoryna, O., Kempa, W., & Baron, S. (2019). Myorelaxant Effect of Transdermal Cannabidiol Application in Patients with TMD: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial. Journal of clinical medicine , 8 (11), 1886. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111886 (2)
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
CBD Oil For Tmj
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