Does CBD Help With Tattoo Pain?


A tattoo can be one of the most liberating things in life. The reasons for getting one can range from making memories to a style statement. But there is no denying the fact that getting inked is special. While tattooing is a relatively safe process, some risks still exist. One can develop allergic reactions to the dyes used, experience skin inflammation and rashes, and even suffer from swelling and skin infections.

This brings us to a natural question. Is tattooing a painful process and does one get hurt? While people will generally say yes, the answer is quite complex in reality. In light of all this, it is important to know the steps that can be taken to avoid pain and complications after getting that dream tattoo.


Causes of Tattoo Pain

Tattooing is a process that involves continuous piercing of the skin’s top layer with a needle, sharp enough to enter the skin smoothly. The needle is covered with a mixture of ink, pigments and dyes. It enters the skin as many times as required to complete a specified design, and people feel different intensities of pain depending on their tolerance levels and the body part they are getting tattooed on.

While the level of pain differs in each case, there is no scientific evidence to suggest which parts of the body feel the least and most pain when tattooed. Tattooists suggest that parts of the body with the most fat, less nerve endings, and meaty areas are the least painful places to get tattooed. Conversely, the most painful places to get tattooed on are those with multiple nerve endings, least fat, thinnest skin, and bony.

Different Kinds of Tattoo Pain

Broadly, there are five different kinds of pain experienced during the tattooing process.

  • Background (or dull) pain

This is considered to be the best kind of pain felt while getting inked. It is felt when the body reacts by producing adrenaline while being tattooed. The hormones numb the pain so that a dull ache can be felt by the person getting tattooed.

  • Burning pain

Burning pain can be best described as feeling something exceptionally hot pressed against one’s skin for a long time. This kind of pain is caused by the rawness of the skin and the repeated skin piercing, especially when the tattoo is big and requires prolonged work by the artist.

  • Sharp or stinging pain

Many tiny stings of bees aptly describe this kind of pain. Quite intense in nature, the pain is deep enough to feel long after the tattoo appointment is made. It is commonly caused either due to using fewer needles or being tattooed on body parts with thin skin.

  • Vibrating pain

Getting a tattoo in bony areas leads to experiencing vibrating pain. It is felt when nerves in the bones pick up on the sensation of the vibrating needle. This pain is neither intense nor tickles.

  • Scratching pain

This is a sensation most commonly experienced when being tattooed. Akin to the feeling of claws dragging against the skin, a severe itch all across the tattooed area is felt. Usually not too intense, this pain is felt, especially when shading is needed on the tattoo.

How to Alleviate Tattoo Pain

After looking at the various kinds of pain felt during and after the tattooing process, it’s time to dive into what helps with the pain. One of the most effective therapies for tattoo pain is CBD. Discovered in 1940, Cannabidiol (CBD) is known as a phytocannabinoid. It is identified as one of 113 cannabinoids in cannabis plants. Along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD accounts for almost 40% of the extract of the plant.

Some of the most common uses of CBD are to alleviate symptoms caused by disorders relating to cognition, pain, movement and anxiety. It is also commonly used for patients suffering the misery of insomnia, helping them fall and stay asleep. CBD also helps with tattoo pain because it has an instant calming effect on the body and mind. Within 15 to 45 minutes, CBD is able to show its effects. It induces feelings of relaxation and calmness without resulting in a high, making it safe to use.

Forms And Importance of CBD oil

How does one go about choosing CBD before a tattoo appointment? CBD products fall primarily into five main categories: oils, vapes, edibles, pills, and creams. CBD can also be consumed in products like lozenges, beverages, etc., but these are much less common. Realistically, oils have been and still are the most favored and consumed category of CBD for matters such as tattoo pain. Most often used for helping with anxiety and stress, CBD oil can also be helpful with inflammation, chronic pains, migraines, and even seizures.

Derived out of marijuana plants, CBD oil contains very little quantities of THC (not more than 0.3%, as allowed legally), thus ensuring no psychoactive effects. Currently, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate are the three types of CBD oils available in the market. Generally, CBD oil is swallowed after dropping it below the tongue, where saliva absorbs the CBD directly and releases it into the bloodstream. If extracted and consumed within permissible limits, CBD oil is completely legal and beneficial.

How CBD Helps With Tattoo Pain

Now that it’s established that tattooing is a painful process, what can one do to avoid the pain? It is natural to be nervous about tattoo pain in the days leading up to the appointment at the tattoo parlor. Even if one is to choose less painful areas to get a tattoo, the pain would still be a handful for a first-timer. Various tattoo artists suggest going for skin numbing products. Another option is keeping OTC pain relievers available, like CBD.

Lots of people have reported experiencing intense anxiety right before their tattoo appointment. And it is natural too – who wouldn’t be scared before doing something permanent to their body? Tattoos are fun but they are a lifetime commitment too. It is not so strange to feel nervous before getting inked. And there is one calming method that works the fastest to soothe nerves. It’s CBD oil. Many tattoo artists confirm that their clients love taking CBD oil before getting inked to manage the stress and pain that comes with it.

Considered to be quite useful, CBD helps enormously with the tattooing process. A quick shot of gummy bears or juice spiked with CBD eases the process without any side effects or intense pain. Any CBD infused product can be taken just before the tattoo appointment. CBD does not take a long time to start putting the body in relaxation mode. Before the session starts, the user will already be calm and ready to face the needles. Their body will already be acclimatized to the tattooing process.

When CBD kicks in after entering the body system, it has an instant soothing effect on the nerves. The reaction time of CBD taking effect would vary depending on the method used for consuming CBD and the strength of the CBD consumed. Therefore, it is always better to try the product a day prior to the tattoo appointment, just to be prepared. Trying the products at home before the appointment is strongly advised. It will not only ensure that no negative reactions happen during the appointment but also let the user know how much CBD to take.

Not many know this, but anti-inflammation is another important effect of consuming CBD. And what is pain, if not inflammation of nerves? Not only will CBD make getting inked incredibly easy and smooth, but it will also ensure that any skin infections, rashes, swelling, or other side effects do not affect the body. Besides interacting with the brain’s pain receptors to create a pain-relieving experience, CBD will also protect the user from mishaps.


Getting tattooed is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But worrying about pain from the needles, especially when getting a tattoo for the first time, is not unusual. However, there are easy alternatives to pain. CBD oil or any CBD-infused product is highly recommended to soothe nerves before a tattoo appointment. One is advised to take a good look at all available options and consult various people before choosing a CBD product to manage tattoo pain. Let tattooing become an exciting experience instead of an anxiety-inducing one.

If using CBD to manage tattoo pain, remember that all CBD infused products are truly safe, completely natural and entirely legal. CBD is not regarded as a drug in spite of the fact that cannabis plants are being used in the making of marijuana. Once extracted from a cannabis plant, CBD becomes an isolated element and does not possess any psychoactive elements. What more does one need when CBD has strong calming effects and high pain relief in addition to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties? Go and get inked without worries!