Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction can cause pain, clicking, locking, and difficulty chewing. To make matters worse, TMJ dysfunction can cause headaches and aggravate migraine pain.
TMJ pain stems from a broad range of TMJ disorders, including inflammation, arthritis, dislocation, and growth disorders, among others. Grinding your teeth due to stress and anxiety can also cause TMJ dysfunction.
Considering that TMJ pain can arise due to inflammation, arthritis, stress, and anxiety — symptoms and conditions that CBD is known to alleviate — could CBD oil help with TMJ dysfunction? Is there any use for CBD and TMJ pain?
What is TMJ?
The TMJ is a modified hinge joint in your skull. The joint lies just in front of your ears and connects your mandible (lower jaw) to your temporal bone (located on both sides of your skull).
As a hinge joint, the TMJ allows for two types of movement: depression and elevation (opening and closing your mouth), and gliding (moving your lower jaw left, right, forward, and backward).
While this flexibility is important for chewing and speaking, it’s also a double-edged sword. The TMJ has a shallow joint socket, so it can easily become dislocated. When this occurs, a physician must pop the joint back into place.
Various disorders also affect TMJ mobility and cause stiffness, cracking, and popping, as well as ear, face, and headache pain. Jaw tension, anxiety, and TMJ can all go hand-in-hand, especially if you grind your teeth while stressed.
Can CBD Help with TMJ?
While there’s a lack of research on the efficacy of CBD oil among patients with TMJ, there are various studies on the efficacy of CBD for treating conditions that could cause TMJ dysfunction.
For example, TMJ pain can stem from an underlying inflammatory condition, and CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. Arthritis can also affect the TMJ, and there have been various studies on cannabis and CBD for alleviating arthritis.
In addition to being anti-inflammatory, CBD has antinociceptive properties, meaning it can reduce the sensation of painful stimuli by interacting with various receptors in your body. Such receptors include TRP channels and g-coupled protein receptors.
CBD also has anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving properties), which could alleviate jaw tension by reducing your stress and anxiety.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
As always, go slow and start low. While you don’t have to worry about getting “high” from CBD, starting with a lower dose is still better so you’re not “wasting” your product by using more than you really need.
Most experts recommend starting with 0.25mg of CBD per body weight (in lbs) daily and adjusting the dose as needed.
For example, someone who weighs 150lbs would take roughly 40mg of CBD. If they haven’t achieved their desired effect after a few days of taking CBD, they could try 50mg or 60mg instead.
In addition to trying CBD oil, you could apply a CBD topical on the skin over your joint. If you’re unsure of where the joint is, you can locate it by moving your fingers up the sides of your face toward your ears while moving your lower jaw.
Once you’ve located your TMJ, you can apply a topical CBD cream over the area for localized pain relief.
Key Takeaways: CBD Oil May Help with TMJ Pain
The temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint located in front of your ears. It connects your mandible (lower jaw) to your temporal bone. The joint has a shallow socket, which can easily become dislocated.
TMJ pain can arise from various underlying sources, including inflammation, arthritis, growth disorders, dislocation, and anxiety-related teeth grinding or tension in your jaw. In addition to being painful, TMJ disorders can be very disruptive, especially if the pain impacts your ability to chew or speak.
Although there aren’t any studies specifically focused on CBD oil for treating TMJ disorders or pain, there are a plethora of studies on CBD for reducing inflammation, pain, and anxiety. Thus, it’s possible that CBD oil or a CBD topical could alleviate TMJ pain.
More research is needed, but CBD is generally considered safe if you purchase it from a reputable source. You can still try alleviating TMJ pain with CBD by starting with a dose of 0.25mg/lbs of your body weight daily and adjusting the dose as needed.
- Maini, K., & Dua, A. (2022, April 28). Temporomandibular Syndrome. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551612/
- Moini, J. (2019). Anatomy and Physiology for Health Professionals (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Think About Cannabis. (2022, May 14). Cannabis & Arthritis. https://www.thinkaboutcannabis.com/health-wellness/cannabis-arthritis
- Mlost, J., Bryk, M., & Starowicz, K. (2020). Cannabidiol for Pain Treatment: Focus on Pharmacology and Mechanism of Action. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(22), 8870. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228870