Can CBD Help Manage Tattoo-Related Pain?

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Categories : Medical cannabis

Can CBD Help Manage Tattoo-Related Pain?

Regardless of your reason for getting a tattoo, the pain is something you can always expect. While getting high before getting a tattoo is something many have undertaken, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD is now showing promise at combating the pain-related symptoms of the tattoo process.

When the feeling of regret kicks in after having your girlfriend’s initials etched on your wrists, that wild, off-the-cuff decision can seem a bit short-sighted. Whether for sentimental reasons, to symbolise a change in your life, or as an act of rebellion, there is one thing tattoos all have in common: the pain.

Before, during, and after, there is some aspect of pain experienced, regardless of whether it is physical or mental. Describing the process of getting a tattoo to someone who doesn't have one often leaves them looking at you in wide-eyed bewilderment. Luckily, for those newly tattooed or even those looking to finish their sleeve, CBD could prove effective for managing pain at every stage.


Knowing that the tattoo process involves some pain can be stressful in itself. Those hardened to the process like to regale others with tales of downing a few shots of whisky before getting their art done. These stories are great at parties, but the reality is that booze, especially before a tattoo, could be adding to the problem rather than subduing the pain. That, and getting drunk is not the healthiest approach to getting a tattoo done.

With booze out of the picture, what solutions are there to ease the process?

Cannabis, or more specifically CBD, shows exceptional promise at tackling stress and anxiety, mitigating pain, and aiding in recovery.


There are over one hundred cannabinoids contained within cannabis. Each one provides differing effects. For example, THC is the key compound in marijuana that gets users high, a result of its psychoactive properties. Other significant cannabinoids include THCA (THC’s acidic precursor), CBN, and the one we are interested in, CBD.

CBD is unique because it does not get you high. It does, however, have some incredible health-boosting properties, while promoting a general feeling of well-being. It offers the best bits of cannabis, but you don’t need to surf the cosmos to experience its benefits.

The reason CBD is now frequently used to help with pain and inflammation, not just for tattoos, is because of the way it interacts with our endocannabinoid system. This regulatory system present in every mammal is responsible for managing chemical reactions and various processes throughout the body. CBD triggers these reactions by stimulating CB1 or CB2 receptors in different locations in the body.


A study conducted in 2012 showed CBD being used to suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting such receptors. Conveniently, both of these ailments are experienced when getting a tattoo. Furthermore, the authors also found that the test subjects did not build up a tolerance to the effects of CBD. Dosage could remain the same, with effects still as powerful as the first time CBD was administered.

For those looking for a long-term solution to managing pain and supporting the tattoo healing process, CBD is an all-around performer.

Can CBD Help Manage Tattoo-Related Pain?



Even if it is your hundredth tattoo, or if you are just getting your first, it’s ok to be nervous. Some first-timers can experience waves of panic or anxiety, which make the pain while being tattooed worse, a result of our heightened senses. CBD has previously been proven effective in reducing stress and anxiety. Many anecdotal accounts advise a shot of CBD-infused juice or CBD oil taken before getting tattooed. The outcome is twofold, settling the user's nerves and helping to reduce the inflammation experienced while being tattooed.


There is no point dressing it up; no matter what anyone says, getting a tattoo is going to be painful. We know from the study published in 2012 that CBD can suppress some of that pain, making the entire experience a touch more pleasurable. However, it won’t numb the pain entirely, so be prepared for a milder level of anguish.

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are essential. During the process of being tattooed, your skin will become inflamed, often making it difficult for the tattoo artist, and in a worst case scenario, causing them to stop. Using CBD will limit the ceiling of the inflammation, making the whole situation much smoother for you and your artist.


Successful healing will not only preserve the integrity of your new piece, but also prevent any harmful infections from forming. Just when you thought CBD could not get any more diverse, it’s also available in lotion form and can be directly applied to the tattooed area afterwards. CBD acts as a natural antiseptic, preventing harmful agents from entering and causing infections.

The next time the urge to get tattooed kicks in, we would always advise you to think twice about having your girlfriends initials adorned across your body. If, however, the moment runs away with you, know that CBD can help provide relief at every stage.