Can CBD Help Treat Planter Fasciitis

Are you experiencing shooting pains through your heel? It could be that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. The condition, one of the most common causes of heel pain, involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue – the plantar fascia - that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. [1] It is most commonly caused by strain injury, for example from excessive running or walking, causing micro tears to the ligament.

Traditional Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

  • Bed rest
  • Shoe inserts
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroidal injections
  • Plantar fascia release, which involves stretching out the muscles in your lower leg to help release tension in the fascia of your foot or massaging the ligament
  • Surgery may be recommended to fix the issues that developed with the plantar fasciitis, if all else fails.

CBD for Pain

When it comes to treating pain, many consumers are turning to CBD in an effort to transition from over-the-counter or prescription drug use to natural remedies. A Gallup poll found that 14 percent or one out of every seven Americans personally use CBD products.

CBD is one of the over 60 cannabinoids or naturally occurring chemicals found in industrial hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids work with the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of neurotransmitters that send chemical messages between the neurons or cells that transmit nerve impulses.

A properly functioning endocannabinoid system ensures that cells maintain optimum performance for your health and well-being. When something in your external environment causes a cell to become out of balance, the ECS comes into play to make immediate adjustments to bring things back into balance. That balance is called homeostasis.[3]  CBD interacts with ECS receptors to help regulate sleep, appetite, mood and immune function as well as inflammatory disorders and pain.

A study reported in the European Journal of Pain looked into the effectiveness of a topical CBD gel on animal subjects to reduce inflammation and pain from arthritis. The CBD was applied to the subjects for four consecutive days. Results indicated a significant drop in joint swelling and signs of pain. The data indicated that topical CBD has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side effects.[4]

Other research has shown the effectiveness of CBD oils in managing difficult-to-treat pain, such as chronic discomfort from arthritis and peripheral neuropathic pain (hands and feet).[5]

CBD Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Since plantar fasciitis is a result of tears and inflammation the fascia of the foot, CBD may help alleviate foot pain caused by the condition. However, it’s important to note that while CBD may help reduce the discomfort of plantar fasciitis, it will not treat the cause.

Your options for CBD include topical products, which have the benefit of targeted relief, as well as CBD oils, which are taken sublingually and reach the bloodstream quickly. If CBD oil is held under the tongue for 60 to 90 seconds before being swallowed, the mucus membranes in the mouth can absorb the compounds. In this way, CBD can bypass the digestive system and liver metabolism, so the compounds can avoid being broken down by enzymes and reach the bloodstream more quickly.[6] The effects may be felt within 15 to 45 minutes.

Edibles, like gummies or cookies, are another option but have less bioavailability, which is the degree or rate a substance is absorbed, because the body has to process both the CBD and the ingredients used to make the treat.[7]

Whatever you decide, you should work closely with your doctor to discuss options and ensure that the CBD will be effective and will not interfere with other recommended treatments.

[1] “Plantar Fasciitis,” May Clinic, Accessed May 15, 2021.
[2] “CBD Oil for Plantar Fasciitis: Can CBD help with Foot and Ankle Pain,”, June 10, 2020.
[3] Nunley, Kim, “Here’s How CBD Can Help Whether You’re Healthy or Not,” Medical Marijuana, Inc., September 17, 2019.
[4] Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936‐948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818
[5] Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928
[6] “How Does the Body Absorb CBD?”, ECHO, October 2017.
[7] Leasca, Stacey, “Answers to All of Your Biggest Questions About CBD Tinctures, the Latest Health Trend,” Prevention, April 9, 2019.