Can You Take CBD for Tooth Pain?

cbd for toothache
By Rebecca Olmos Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

Toothache is an umbrella symptom for a wide range of pain radiating from the teeth or gums. The pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, jabbing sensation that typically lasts for short periods. These feelings can stem from several causes. 

According to the CDC, 40% of adults have felt tooth pain, and 80% have had a cavity, one of the leading causes of toothaches. Food buildup in the teeth and gums can also cause inflammation of the gums and lead to pain in the mouth.

Since CBD is well-documented as an anti-inflammatory compound, there are cases where it has been used as an alternative to traditional treatment for pain-related symptoms. But can CBD be used for tooth pain?

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What Causes Toothaches?

Most people will experience some form of toothache sometime in their life. The types of tooth pain experienced are usually closely related to their causes. These include dental pulpitis (general toothache), gum pain, and periapical periodontitis or post-root canal infection and recovery.1

The most common cause of general toothache is cavities resulting from food and bacteria build up in the teeth and gums. Cavities form when the acid from plaque developed from food builds up, and bacteria eat through a tooth, which is why dentists push the importance of brushing, flossing, and annual checkups.

Other reasons tooth pain may occur may be: post-surgery recovery or infection, sensitivity, dry socket, sinus infection, or other trauma to the teeth like a cracked tooth, damaged dental restoration, or teeth grinding.

Each toothache may feel different depending on its causes. Symptoms that may also occur with or because of tooth pain include: 

  • Bad breath
  • Chills
  • Dull aches that don’t go away
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Sharp, jabbing sensations 
  • Swelling in your gums
  • Throbbing 
  • Teeth sensitivity

Tooth pain is usually a short-lived symptom and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication, cold compresses, and other home remedies. In more extreme cases where the cause of tooth pain is due to an infection or trauma, prescription medication or surgery of some sort is typically the most effective remedy.2 

Can You Take CBD for Tooth Pain?

CBD for Tooth Pain

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of many cannabinoids found in the plant. It’s also one of the most prevalent and sought-after. CBD products’ popularity has skyrocketed over the last few years due to the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018 that legalized the production of hemp products but also because of its long list of potential health benefits. 

Studies have shown that CBD can be used to help with symptoms related to pain, inflammation, sleep, anxiety, and even infections.3 These benefits have been applied in a few studies to issues related to tooth pain.

All of these benefits can be applied to treating toothaches and dentistry. A review of dental case studies suggests that CBD has the potential to be used to treat inflammation, bacteria, and pain related to oral surgery and discomfort.4 The review mentions that patients may be able to apply CBD through products like toothpaste, mouthwash, or dental floss but still notes the need for further research to be conducted. 

Another study notes similar findings and that cannabinoids effectively reduced the amount of bacteria in the mouth.5 These researchers also note that cannabinoid treatment may be a safer alternative to traditional prescription antibiotics.

Toothaches can cause secondary symptoms, like difficulty sleeping, due to the pain or anxiety that may occur for those who may not like going to the dentist. CBD could potentially be an effective treatment for these ailments. 

Before treating tooth pain with CBD, it is best to consult with a medical or dental professional, especially if you’re already taking any other medications.

What CBD Products Can Help with Tooth Pain?

CBD has been isolated and infused in several products – edibles, tinctures, vapes, concentrates, topicals, and beverages. The cannabinoid is so versatile that it has also been infused into mouthwash, floss, and toothpaste. These products are made with hemp-derived CBD containing less than 0.3% THC, rather than the high-THC cannabis that remains federally illegal.

With guidance from your dentist and a quality CBD product, you may be able to safely attempt to use CBD to treat some symptoms related to toothaches. Infused oral products may be most effective in targeting specific parts of the mouth directly, but ingestible options like edibles or beverages could help with symptoms that need a more potent, full-body effect. 

Smoking is typically not recommended after oral surgery or if you have any ailments related to the teeth, gums, mouth, or lungs.6 This theory is best applied to the smoke inhalation of cannabis products as well. 

When searching for the ‘best’ options for infused products to treat your symptoms, look for reputable brands with clear testing, safety labels, and standards made with high-quality ingredients. 

Can Weed Help Tooth Pain?

weed and toothache

While CBD positively correlates with oral health, hygiene, and recovery, the cannabinoid's widely popular counterpart, THC, has mixed results.

THC has similar therapeutic benefits as CBD. It can provide pain relief, anti-inflammatory properties, and help with sleep. However, THC also comes with psychoactive and intoxicating effects that result in the ‘high’ people experience when consumed. 

This effect doesn’t seem to be linked to any common oral ailments. That doesn't mean there aren't potential risks. One study found that cannabis use was a vague risk factor for developing poor oral health. 7The researchers note that limitations did exist due to the results being found through self-reports. 

Since both THC and CBD have similar therapeutic effects, it might be possible that both can be effective in treating symptoms related to toothaches. It may just be a matter of a dentist’s recommendation and the patient’s comfort with cannabis consumption. 

One review acknowledged that cannabis products might be effective for oral health but, more importantly, mentioned that cannabis products, including hemp-derived, may not always be predictable and/or safe for consumers if not correctly manufactured and/or tested.8

Using Medical Marijuana for Tooth Pain

There appear to be several ways that cannabis can be incorporated into treating and managing dental pain. Cannabinoids may help with symptoms like pain, inflammation, infection, sleep, and anxiety. 

Cannabis products can be applied directly to the area to treat the pain or infection through oral or topical products like mouthwash or toothpaste. Cannabinoids can also be consumed to treat accompanying symptoms related to sleep, pain, or anxiety through methods like tinctures

It may be best to use edibles with caution since many contain high sugar levels, which can exacerbate tooth-related ailments. Inhalation methods like smoking joints, bowls, or dabs are not suggested treatment methods for oral health ailments.

Although no research has been done on which specific terpenes or flavinoids may be best suited for toothaches, researchers have noted that they are beneficial to oral pain.9 Full-spectrum options may be the best when searching for infused products, since they contain all the plant’s natural compounds. 

If your state has medical marijuana laws set in place, it’s unlikely that dental pain is listed explicitly as a qualifying condition to get a medical cannabis recommendation. If you and your dentist decide cannabis is a safe and potentially effective treatment for tooth pain, you may be able to find high-quality hemp products online or at health stores. 

If you are new to cannabis use, start with the smallest dose you’re comfortable taking, a microdose between 2mg and 5mg is usually suggested for beginners. Wait a few hours or more before adding dosages to your treatment. Cannabis use may result in adverse effects like dizziness, poor cognitive function, and addiction.10

If you are taking any other medication, whether related to tooth pain or not, it’s important to note that cannabis use may alter certain medicines' effectiveness and side effects. Consult your doctor before mixing prescription and even over-the-counter treatments with cannabis products.

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  1.  1.Renton T. Dental (Odontogenic) Pain. Reviews in Pain. 2011;5(1):2-7. doi:
  2.  Koh S, Li C, Loh J, Wong M, Loh V. Managing tooth pain in general practice. Singapore Medical Journal. 2019;60(5):224-228. doi:
  3.  Peng J, Fan M, An C, Ni F, Huang W, Luo J. A narrative review of molecular mechanism and therapeutic effect of cannabidiol (CBD). Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. 2022;130(4):439-456. doi:
  4.  David C, Elizalde-Hernández A, Barboza AS, Cardoso GC, Santos MBF, Moraes RR. Cannabidiol in Dentistry: A Scoping Review. Dentistry Journal. 2022; 10(10):193.
  5.  Stahl V, Vasudevan K. Comparison of Efficacy of Cannabinoids versus Commercial Oral Care Products in Reducing Bacterial Content from Dental Plaque: A Preliminary Observation. Cureus. 2020;12(1):e6809. Published 2020 Jan 29. doi:10.7759/cureus.6809
  6.  Kuśnierek W, Brzezińska K, Nijakowski K, Surdacka A. Smoking as a Risk Factor for Dry Socket: A Systematic Review. Dentistry Journal. 2022;10(7):121. doi:
  7.  Chaffee BW. Cannabis Use and Oral Health in a National Cohort of Adults. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2021;49(8):493-501.
  8.  Abidi AH, Alghamdi SS, Derefinko K. A critical review of cannabis in medicine and dentistry: A look back and the path forward. Clin Exp Dent Res. 2022;8(3):613-631. doi:10.1002/cre2.564
  9.  Crescente G, Minervini G, Spagnuolo C, Moccia S. Cannabis Bioactive Compound-Based Formulations: New Perspectives for the Management of Orofacial Pain. Molecules. 2023; 28(1):106.
  10.  Volkow, Nora D., Ruben D. Baler, Wilson M. Compton, and Susan R.B. Weiss. 2014. “Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use.” New England Journal of Medicine 370 (23): 2219–27.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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