Can I Put CBD Oil Directly On My Knee? | Yes, And Here’s How

Written By on June 14, 2022 — Medically Reviewed By Mitch Torres (PT)

Written by on June 14, 2022 — Medically Reviewed By: Mitch Torres (PT)

Most people take this supplement with food or place it under the tongue. But, for those with joint problems, it’s normal to wonder: “can I put CBD oil directly on my knee?”

In short, absolutely! In fact, topical CBD products can provide targeted pain relief. This is particularly beneficial for those looking to treat arthritis pain.

We’ll discuss all about it below. Here are the topics we cover, click on any of them to easily navigate the contents:

Why use topical CBD oil for knee pain?

Cannabidiol (or CBD) is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. Research shows it can be effective for managing chronic pain in various conditions. (1, 2

But of all the forms available, oil is the most versatile. It can be taken through the mouth, under the tongue, and yes – on the skin too.

The latter has the following added benefits:

Can provide local and targeted relief

Although the most common, oral forms of CBD are the slowest to act. (3, 4) This is because it has to go through the stomach, then to the bloodstream.

All this process inevitably destroys some amount of CBD, so the amount you’ll absorb will be less than what you took in the first place. (4, 5)

But you can bypass this by applying it directly to the skin.

CBD topicals act faster, with the onset of effects typically between 15 to 20 minutes after application. This is an advantage for joint problems, but it’s not the best form if you want the benefits in all your body. (6, 7, 8, 9)

Very low risk of overdosing

Other forms like vaping, capsules, edibles and even the nasal spray ultimately reach the bloodstream. This provides more global effects, but there’s a high risk of overdose if you’re not careful. (6)

Knee Force Knee Sleeve

You can avoid this by using topical CBD, like oils. It will act locally, with virtually none of it going into the bloodstream.

This also makes topical CBD oil the safest choice for people with knee problems that also take other medications.

Learn more: Benefits of CBD oil for knee pain.

How to apply CBD oil to the knee?

This CBD product is applied like any other lotion for joint and muscle pain:

  • Wash the area first to maximize CBD potency.
  • Tap the area with a clean towel to dry it.
  • Rub CBD oil on the knee joint, using the recommended amount.
  • Use the tip of your fingers to massage the area for further relief.
  • Do this until the oil is absorbed.
  • Wash your hands afterward.

The carrier oil also plays a role here. It can help you hydrate your skin, as is the case with almond and coconut oil. Or, it can add other benefits, like certain essential oils.

How fast does a CBD topical work for knee pain?

It may take between 30 minutes to a few hours. (6, 10) Remember that in this form, CBD is absorbed through the skin, so it will take longer than, say, sublingual intake.

Now, the precise timeline mostly depends on (6, 8):

  • The condition – people with chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis may need to use it frequently to accumulate the effects.
  • Dosage – CBD oils come in different concentrations, lower ones may take longer to be absorbed than others.

Further reading: How long does it take for CBD oil to relieve knee pain?

What dose is best for topical CBD oil and knee pain?

As of now, there is no specific dosage available for the topical CBD. This is highly individual, as it will depend on:

  • Bodyweight.
  • Product concentration.
  • The condition for which it’s being used.

CBD oils tend to come in a wide variety of concentrations, from 5% to 30% and beyond. You should count the number of drops used, as this will determine the amount of cannabidiol you’ll use.

Now, other topicals are usually available at a concentration of 250 mg in a 90 ml package. So if a single application is around 5 ml, it means you’d apply around 6mg to 8mg of CBD topically.

Studies have shown that even 400mg of CBD in a 60ml package can be safe, with little to no side effects. (11)

Risk and side effects of topical CBD oil

For topical CBD products, the most common side effect is skin irritation. Also, don’t use it if the area has an open wound, as you risk introducing bacteria and causing an infection.

Now, if you have other medical conditions and you take prescribed medications, please consult with your doctor first.

Some drugs interact with CBD. And even though it’s true that topical application may not enter the bloodstream in low doses, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Learn more: Side effects of taking CBD for knee pain.


Can you put CBD oil on knee joints?

Yes, you can. This can help reduce knee pain and inflammation.

Which CBD products can relieve pain in the knees?

For joint problems, the oil form is the best one as it can be applied topically, sublingually, and orally. But if the product has CBD, it will provide benefits.

Conclusion: Can CBD oil be applied to knee joints?

Now you know that yes, you can apply CBD oil to the joints. It can aid with knee pain due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

However, you shouldn’t use it in isolation. Combine it with physical therapy and exercise to have a well-rounded treatment for your knee joint pain.

Knee Force Knee Sleeve


  1. Mlost, Jakub, Marta Bryk, and Katarzyna Starowicz. “Cannabidiol for pain treatment: focus on pharmacology and mechanism of action.” International journal of molecular sciences 21.22 (2020): 8870.
  2. Kilaru, Aruna, and Kent D. Chapman. “The endocannabinoid system.” Essays in Biochemistry 64.3 (2020): 485-499.
  3. “NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms.” National Cancer Institute,
  4. Millar, Sophie A et al. “A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 9 1365. 26 Nov. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01365
  5. Wall, M E et al. “Metabolism, disposition, and kinetics of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in men and women.” Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics vol. 34,3 (1983): 352-63. doi:10.1038/clpt.1983.179
  6. Bruni, Natascia et al. “Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 23,10 2478. 27 Sep. 2018, doi:10.3390/molecules23102478 
  7. Hammell, D C et al. “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis.”European journal of pain (London, England) vol. 20,6 (2016): 936-48.
  8. Lodzki, M et al. “Cannabidiol-transdermal delivery and anti-inflammatory effect in a murine model.” Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society vol. 93,3 (2003): 377-87. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2003.09.001
  9. Mahmoudinoodezh, Haleh et al. “The Transdermal Delivery of Therapeutic Cannabinoids.” Pharmaceutics vol. 14,2 438. 18 Feb. 2022, doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics14020438 
  10. Lodzki, M et al. “Cannabidiol-transdermal delivery and anti-inflammatory effect in a murine model.” Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society vol. 93,3 (2003): 377-87. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2003.09.001
  11. Eskander, Jonathan P et al. “Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review.”Journal of opioid management vol. 16,3 (2020): 215-218. doi:10.5055/jom.2020.0570
Sony Sherpa (MD)
Sony Sherpa is a board-certified clinical doctor and currently, she is working as a medical officer in the emergency department of a renowned hospital. With a medical degree completed at a young age, she writes medical articles with accuracy owing to her medical knowledge and thorough background research.