CBD shown to be effective for dental pain

This was a randomized placebo-controlled trial to determine the effects of CBD on moderate to severe toothaches. It was published in the Journal of Dental Research in November 2023.

61 non-cannabis users with emergency acute dental pain were included and randomized into 3 groups based on the dose of CBD administered:

  1. 10 mg CBD per kg weight (700 mg CBD for 70 kg, or 154 lb person)
  2. 20 mg CBD per kg weight (1400 mg CBD for 70 kg person)
  3. Placebo

The patients took a single dose of CBD isolate (FDA approved Epidiolex) via oral solution and were monitored for 3 hours. They used the visual analog scale (VAS) to quantify the levels of pain. Data was collected at baseline and 7 more times between 15 minutes and 3 hours after treatment.

Other measurements taken:

  • ordinal pain intensity differences
  • onset of significant pain relief
  • maximum pain relief
  • changes in bite force within and among the groups
  • psychoactive effects
  • mood changes
  • other adverse events.  


The average age of participants was 44. 65% were female.

They found a median pain reduction of 73% occurred at the 3 hour point for both CBD groups. The 20 mg/kg dose provided pain relief with faster onset starting at 15 minutes, while the 10 mg/kg dose provided pain relief at 30 minutes. It took 2 hours for the 10 mg/kg group to achieve a 50% reduction in pain, while the 20 mg/kg group achieved 50% reduction in only 1 hour.

Both CBD groups demonstrated significantly greater bite force after treatment than the placebo group.

Adverse effects reported were: sedation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. There were no other significant psychoactive or mood change effects. 

Author's quotes: 

Both CBD groups resulted in significant VAS pain reduction compared to their baseline and the placebo group

Intragroup comparisons showed a significant increase in bite forces in both CBD groups but not in the placebo group

This randomized trial provides the first clinical evidence that oral CBD can be an effective and safe analgesic for dental pain.


The full text article is here at Sage Journals.



Chrepa V, Villasenor S, Mauney A, Kotsakis G, Macpherson L. Cannabidiol as an Alternative Analgesic for Acute Dental Pain. J Dent Res. 2023 Nov 1:220345231200814. doi: 10.1177/00220345231200814. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37910667.