Does Research Support Using CBD Cream For Plantar Fasciitis?

Does Research Support Using CBD Cream For Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue running from the heel to the toes.

Also called policeman's heel syndrome, it causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. 

structure of the human foot and plantar fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis is a common condition, affecting up to 10% of the population.

It is more common in women than men and usually affects people between the ages of 40 and 60.

Can CBD help with plantar fasciitis?

Here's the TL:DR version— there's no direct research yet that connects CBD with treatment of  plantar fasciitis. 

But CBD is known to ease pain and inflammation, and as we will show in the rest of the article, it can help ease your symptoms (though you might want to abandon topical CBD products like creams).

Table of Contents

Living With Plantar Fasciitis

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain.

This pain is usually worse in the morning when you take your first steps out of bed.

The pain may also be worse after standing or sitting for long periods of time. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain in the bottom of the foot
  • Stiffness in the heel
  • Difficulty walking
  • Swelling in the foot

Here’s a comprehensive video covering everything you need to know about plantar fasciitis:

Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis 

The exact cause of plantar fasciitis is unknown.

However, there are several risk factors that may contribute to the development of the condition, including:

  • Age: Plantar fasciitis is more common in middle-aged adults.
  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than men.
  • Obesity: Being overweight puts extra strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Repetitive activities: Activities like running and dancing can lead to plantar fasciitis.
  • Shoes: Shoes that don't provide enough support can also lead to plantar fasciitis.

How Do You Treat Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis is usually treated with a combination of rest, ice, and stretching exercises and physical therapy along with picking the right footwear.

You may also be given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.

But sometimes, these measures fail. In that case, you may be prescribed steroid injections. 

However, drugs like NSAIDs have harmful side-effects like:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Increased risk of heart attacks
  • Kidney damage
  • Allergic reactions

If you’re looking to avoid these side-effects you may consider using CBD cream to manage plantar fasciitis.

Is CBD Oil/Cream/Lotion Good For Plantar Fasciitis?

Cannabinoids have proven pain-relief and anti inflammatory properties. (check out our Cannabinoids 101 article for more details)

As board certified neurologist and cannabis researcher and author Dr Ethan Russo notes in this paper in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal:

In the first century, Pliny the Elder described in Natural Histories that a decoction of the root in water could be used to relieve stiffness in the joints, gout, and related conditions. By the 17th century, various herbalists were recommending cannabis root to treat inflammation, joint pain, gout, and other conditions.

Unfortunately, there are no research studies on the effectiveness of CBD cream/lotions/oils for plantar fasciitis.

However, we do have evidence for CBD's pain-reducing properties (for example, after surgery).

We also know that research has shown that CBD can reduce inflammation in the body, which is seen in plantar fasciitis. 

For instance, check out a study conducted by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston

Over a duration of 4 weeks, researchers gave a daily of 20-50 mg to mice with arthritis. At the end of the study, they saw a significant reduction in IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels.

IL-6 and TNF-alpha are pro-inflammatory chemicals that cause pain in conditions like arthritis and plantar fasciitis.

The study also included dogs, and here is how their symptoms progressed after 30 days of CBD:

double blind, randomized study results of CBD on dogs with arthritis

30 days CBD regimen improves the quality of life of dogs with osteoarthritis

More importantly, the type of CBD formulation that was found to be the most effective in this study is called liposomal.

Liposomal formulations are made up of CBD enclosed within tiny fat particles which protects the CBD particles from degradation in the gut.

This makes them more bioavailable.

So while CBD might help with plantar fasciitis, CBD cream may not be the most effective product.

How To Choose A CBD Product For Plantar Fasciitis?

When choosing a CBD product for plantar fasciitis, it's important to pick one with high bioavailability.

So, check for products with liposomal formulation as suggested in the research paper in the previous section.

An alternative would be to use a nano-emulsified product like Imaginal's CBD Curcumin softgels or Elderberry Gummies.

These products contain CBD particles that have been broken down into sizes 4X smaller than CBD oil particles, guaranteeing a higher rate of absorption. 

Interestingly, curcumin is known to have its own pain-relieving properties. When combined with CBD, it may improve the product’s pain-relief effect. 

It's also important to choose a high quality CBD product which means:

  • It's sourced from high quality hemp, preferably organic
  • The final THC content is no more than 0.3%, to comply with FDA guidelines.

At Imaginal we use organically grown hemp sourced from US based growers guaranteed to be free from harmful pesticides and herbicides as a raw material for our product line.

We also provide proof of quality like a lab result for every batch on our website. 

A snippet of Certificate of Analysis for Imaginal CBD

 A snippet of a lab result that we highlight on our website

Final Words

Plantar fasciitis can make it difficult for you to even walk or run without experiencing severe pain

As these testimonies show, it is no joke and can incapacitate you if not treated in time.

life with plantar fasciitis

For most people, PF can be managed with a regimen that consists of:

  • physical therapy
  • painkillers
  • ice treatment

But if these steps don't work or cause adverse reactions, you can always consider CBD (talk to your podiatrist first) because it can reduce pain and inflammation.

When choosing a CBD product for plantar fasciitis, pick one that has a high bioavailability and is created by a reputable brand.

(This article has been written by Eilaf Meenai)

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