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Updated on February 9, 2024


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Key takeaways

  • The pain-relieving properties of CBD for TMJ have been well documented in scientific research and clinical trials.
  • CBD also provides anti-inflammatory and anxiety-reducing properties which may be useful for people with TMJ.

CBD is highly recognized for its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and anxiety reducing effects. These effects can be beneficial to people suffering with TMJ. In this article we would discuss the possible roles of CBD in TMJ.

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder, also known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. The TMJ allows for the movements required for talking, chewing, and yawning. TMJ disorder can cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement.

Symptoms of TMJ disorder

  1. Jaw Pain
  2. Painful Clicking or Popping
  3. Locking of the Jaw
  4. Muscle Stiffness
  5. Earache
  6. Headaches

What are the causes of TMJ Disorder?

  1. Arthritis

TMJ often arises from various factors, with connective tissue diseases playing a significant role. Certain types of arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, can contribute to the development of TMJ. Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder, specifically targets the cartilage covering bone joints, including the temporomandibular joint. This cartilage degradation is a primary factor in the manifestation of TMJ symptoms.

Additionally, osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that occurs over an extended period, shares similarities with rheumatoid arthritis in its impact on cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the gradual wearing away of cartilage can lead to the development of disorders like TMJ.

  1. Jaw injuries

Jaw injuries resulting from traumatic incidents such as blows during sporting activities, assaults, or accidents are another potential cause of TMJ. The sudden impact or trauma to the jaw joint can disrupt its normal function and contribute to the onset of TMJ symptoms.

  1. Bruxism

This is a persistent and severe teeth grinding or clenching. it has been associated with the development of TMJ. The continuous stress placed on the temporomandibular joint due to grinding or clenching can lead to strain and dysfunction, contributing to the development or exacerbation of TMJ symptoms.

What does Research Say about CBD for TMJ?

Researchers have identified that certain components of cannabis, including CBD, contribute to pain relief. A 2022 scientific review involving 111 papers showed how CBD holds a promise in in managing various types of pain, such as cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia. The findings suggested that CBD could be beneficial for overall pain management without causing negative side effects. While more research is needed, these insights highlight the potential of CBD, and ongoing studies are shedding light on its role in addressing TMJ-related discomfort.

Although there is limited research on the role of CBD for TMJ, some promising studies have been published over the years. For instance, a 2019 study suggests that people with TMD might experience improvement with CBD products. A clinical trial is also investigating whether orally taken CBD can provide pain relief and enhance jaw function for those dealing with TMJ disorders.

Can CBD help with TMJ?

CBD is known for its potential anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain-relieving), and muscle-relaxant properties, which may have implications for TMJ symptoms.

The pain-relieving roles of CBD are attributed to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including pain perception, inflammation, and immune response. CBD's anti-inflammatory properties may alleviate discomfort by reducing inflammatory processes. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors, particularly CB2 receptors, influencing their activity and modulating pain signaling. By affecting neurotransmitter systems like serotonin and dopamine, CBD may have a calming effect on the nervous system, potentially reducing the sensation of pain. Additionally, CBD's modulation of nerve function and its potential synergistic interaction with other cannabinoids contribute to its pain-relieving effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD stop jaw clenching?

CBD shows promise in alleviating muscle tension associated with TMJ symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory, muscle spasm-relieving, and muscle relaxant properties. The capacity of CBD to reduce inflammation is particularly relevant to TMJ disorders, where inflammation in the jaw joint contributes to pain and tension.

How does CBD help with pain?

CBD provides pain-relieving effects by interacting with several receptors including the endocannabinoid and serotonin receptors. It plays modulatory roles on these receptors thus promoting pain relief.

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Nitecka-Buchta A, Nowak-Wachol A, Wachol K, Walczyńska-Dragon K, Olczyk P, Batoryna O, Kempa W, Baron S. Myorelaxant Effect of Transdermal Cannabidiol Application in Patients with TMD: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial. J Clin Med. 2019 Nov 6;8(11):1886. doi: 10.3390/jcm8111886. PMID: 31698733; PMCID: PMC6912397.

Clinical Trial on TMJ.

Pantoja-Ruiz, C., Restrepo-Jimenez, P., Castañeda-Cardona, C., Ferreirós, A., & Rosselli, D. (2021). Cannabis and pain: A scoping review. Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology (English Edition), 72(1), 142-151.

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