Can CBD Oil Help With Tattoo Pain?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 11, 2020
    Last Updated: January 3, 2021

Whether you’re worried about the pain of being tattooed or want to reduce your chances of discomfort after the sitting, there are tons of options available. One remedy growing in popularity is CBD-based products such as oils, edibles and ointments.

CBD has many known healing properties with a wide range of applications. Do those healing properties spread to tattoo relief? If so, how do they work?  Keep reading, and we’ll break down everything you need to know.

CBD products could have a variety of benefits to help relieve physical and mental discomfort during various stages of the tattoo process.  They may help reduce pain, inflammation, redness, anxiety and much more. 

However, you need to keep in mind that many experts agree that CBD oil can act as a potential blood thinner, and this can cause more bleeding during the tattooing process. While it doesn’t necessarily offset the benefits that CBD oil provides, it is something that you need to keep in mind and should discuss with your tattoo artist. 

Medical Benefits of CBD Oil for Pain Relief

CBD is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, though its benefits go beyond that. It can also reduce swelling and aid in cell reparation, making it an indispensable tool for pain relief. It’s not just users that report these side effects; numerous medical studies have linked CBD with positive healing effects for a variety of major and minor wounds.  

Furthermore, CBD is known to reduce skin redness on your body and anxiety in your mind. These benefits combined make it an excellent choice for managing your pain and anxiety before, during and after you get your tattoo.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Using CBD Oil for Tattoo Pain

While there are tons of benefits of using CBD oil for tattoo pain, it’s not the best option for every situation. Below, we’ll break down a few of the benefits and drawbacks before diving into the nitty-gritty details.


  • You can use CBD oil while getting tattooed
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces redness
  • Can reduce anxiety
  • No unwanted side effects


  • CBD Oil can’t be applied directly to affected areas

Benefits of Using CBD Oil Before and During the Tattoo Process

Whether you’re trying to prevent an issue or simply trying to make the entire process just a little more enjoyable, CBD products can help in many situations.

Reduces Anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious about getting your tattoo, CBD oil might be what you need to take the edge off before heading in. Many proponents claim CBD oil helps to reduce anxiety. If the idea of getting tattooed is upsetting, CBD oil is a fast-acting remedy. 

Relieves Pain

There’s no avoiding the fact that getting a tattoo can be painful. The artist is puncturing your skin thousands of times. While some relish in the pain that comes with getting a tattoo, most would like to reduce the amount of pain as much as possible.

CBD oil provides a great way to do just that. Unlike cannabis products that contain THC, pure CBD oil won’t leave you feeling anxious and jittery. Even better, it won’t leave you hyper-focusing on the needle, which could make the pain even worse.


The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are the most well-documented of all the benefits. While these properties are beneficial during the recovery phase, regularly using CBD oil before getting a tattoo can make the healing process afterward easier.

CBD products reduce inflammation, redness and reduce the risk of infection, all key benefits when you’re getting a tattoo. 

Legal and Non Intoxicating

You can’t walk into a tattoo shop and crack open a beer to calm your nerves – and any shop that allows you to do so is not somewhere you want to be! However, CBD is perfectly legal on the federal level. You can use CBD products without worrying about getting a ticket or receiving any legal punishment. 

Plus, CBD oils and other products won’t impair your ability to think clearly or function properly. You’ll feel relaxed, but not intoxicated.  

One Cause for Concern

Most experts agree that CBD oil offers some blood-thinning properties, which can be a benefit in some applications, yet it’s a major drawback if you’re looking at getting a tattoo. Thinner blood will cause excess bleeding and prevent the ink from absorbing as well as it should.

However, CBD oil doesn’t thin the blood nearly as much as alcohol or painkillers, therefore, if you feel like you need something to help you get through the procedure, CBD oil remains one of the best options available. 

Of course, you should always talk to your tattoo artist about any products you might be using so they know exactly what they are working with.

Tattoo of a back in disposable gloves

Benefits of CBD Oil for Post Tattoo Care

This is where the benefits of CBD oil get a bit more controversial. However, the controversy comes from the “oil” part, not the “CBD” element. When it comes to reducing inflammation and pain after getting a tattoo, CBD creams and salves are often a better option than oil.

Nevertheless, while CBD creams might be better suited for post-tattoo care, that doesn’t mean you should write off CBD oil completely. Many of the same benefits that you get by using CBD oil during the tattooing process can benefit you for post-tattoo care. Those benefits include anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief. 

CBD Oil vs. CBD Creams

CBD creams and ointments can be applied directly to the affected area to help with healing. Unlike other types of creams and salves, CBD ones won’t clog your pores.

Clogged pores increase your risk of infection, which can slow the rate of healing and lead to other skin issues. Additionally, CBD creams soothe the infected area to reduce redness, itchiness and inflammation.

Since these products are applied directly to the affected areas, you get maximum relief when compared to other products like CBD oil.

Other Products You Can Use for Tattoo Pain

What if you’re not quite sure about using CBD oil to help with your tattoo pain? Alternatives are available, each with their own benefits and potential issues.

Before and During the Tattoo Process

Traditional pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen, aren’t a good idea to take before getting a tattoo. They thin your blood, which increases your risk of bleeding and other issues during the tattoo process. 

Instead, you might want to try CBD edibles to help manage pain during the tattooing process. Not only are they easy to administer, they’re also reported to take effect over a more extended period of time, allowing you to maximize the benefits if you’re sitting for a long tattooing session.

For people wanting a little extra assistance for dealing with the pain, a good tattoo numbing cream can really help to take the edge off.

One of the most effective tattoo numbing products currently on the market is Zensa Numbing Cream, which contains the highest level of Lidocaine allowed by the FDA for over-the-counter use. The feedback left by thousands of customers for this product is nothing short of exceptional.

Just follow the instructions supplied with the cream and apply shortly before your tattoo appointment is due to begin so that you can look forward to a less painful and more comfortable tattooing experience. The amount of cream you get in a tube also ensures you have more than enough for a large tattoo. Click here to buy from Amazon

During the Recovery and Healing Process

You want to avoid applying most oils and creams to your newly tattooed skin, at least until it’s fully healed. Anything too thick that clogs pores (like petroleum jelly) will impair your skin’s ability to recover. While moisturizing your new tattoo isn’t completely necessary, it can definitely help aid healing.

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing.​ Click here to buy from Amazon.

Over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol, can typically help manage pain during the recovery process. Although, they don’t target your skin specifically. Instead, they provide total body pain relief. Nonetheless, their results will vary.


If you want a tattoo, yet want to avoid the pain and nervousness associated with the application, CBD oil and other CBD products might help to make you more comfortable. Still, it’s something you should discuss with your tattoo artist before your sitting.

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