CBD is becoming big business – this much is obvious. Products like cannabidiol-infused creams, lotions, gummies, and capsules have made companies tens of millions of dollars. Some companies are even saying the best CBD cream for pain is “nature’s best pain reliever.”
From a healthcare perspective, these claims lack the clinical data — and the requisite FDA approval — needed to be considered reliable from a healthcare perspective. However, there has been no shortage of scientific studies suggesting that CBD may provide excellent natural pain relief.
Substantial evidence exists that cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.
National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Recent examples include a report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The report suggests that there is “conclusive evidence” that cannabinoids are “effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.”
CBD is just one of hundreds of known cannabinoids in cannabis. There can also be great disparities between products like high-THC cannabis oil, and hemp-based CBD oils. So with this in mind, let’s take a closer look at our team’s picks for the best CBD pain cream on the market.
PROS AND CONS OF USING CBD CREAM FOR PAIN
- Creams (and other topicals) allow users to apply directly to a desired area
- Topicals are not subject to breakdown in the digestive gut
- Creams and other topicals are often less expensive than oils and tinctures
- Additional ingredients, such as cooling menthol and capsaicin, are often included for enhanced pain relief
- Cannabidiol topicals are a fantastic option for workout recovery and exercise-induced pain and soreness
- It can often be difficult to gauge milligram dosing when using CBD creams
- Some consumers find it difficult to distinguish between pain-specific products and products intended for hygiene and skincare
EDITOR’S CHOICE – PUREKANA
Don’t feel like reading the entire article? We don’t blame you. If you want to cut right to the chase, the WOL team has chosen PureKana’s 2000mg Pain Relief Roll-On as our top overall pick for pain and soreness relief.
Does CBD Cream Work for Pain?
The most obvious and simple difference between using CBD cream for pain relief, and using something like an oil tincture, is the way that each product is administered. CBD oil is of course taken sublingually (below the tongue), while CBD cream is applied topically to the skin.
As a result, creams and lotions have different physiological influences, and will work a bit differently than using something like a standard CBD oil tincture. There are also different schools of thought in regard to how long it takes for CBD to take effect, particularly when discussing methods of consumption.
Cannabidiol creams have slightly different physiological applications than ‘standard’ products like oil tinctures.
Most people believe that sublingual consumption results in faster effects. Applying a topical CBD lotion to the skin might take longer, but in some instances, its effects are also known to last longer.
However, you will find users who swear that creams applied to the skin absorb faster – and offer more targeted pain relief – than their oral CBD counterparts.
It is important to note, however, that most CBD creams don’t act transdermally – meaning they don’t pass through the skin and into the bloodstream. Rather, they are absorbed into the top layer of the skin and used for localized relief. (This is why they are classified as ‘topicals’).
When you use a product like a cream or lotion, you’re essentially taking advantage of the compound’s anti-inflammatory properties. One study compared the levels of inflammation in cannabis users to those who had never consumed any type of cannabis product. The study, which involved 9,000 people, analyzed the influence of cannabis on C-reactive protein (CRP) – a significant marker of inflammation. (CRP is also often linked with an increased risk of heart disease).
Researchers found that cannabis smokers who had smoked in the previous 30 days had lower levels of CRP than people who didn’t smoke. In other words, it appeared that the presence of cannabinoids decreased the influence of CRP, and thereby decreased inflammation and pain levels. Other research studies over the past several years have suggested similar results.
What is the Best CBD Cream for Pain?
It may shock you to learn that the best CBD pain relief cream is simply a moisturizer product that has been infused with cannabidiol extract. The end product can be blended with a variety of natural ingredients, some of which are purported to boost the “pain-relieving effects” of the topical.
When considering the best CBD cream for pain, ingredients from the market’s most prominent suppliers – like PureKana – often contain additional natural compounds along with cannabidiol.
For example, you’ll see ingredients like cocoa butter, olive oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, distilled water, citric acid, vitamin E, and more.
Most of these ingredients are necessary for the production of the lotion. In terms of “active” ingredients that allow the product to actually lower pain levels, the cannabidiol component (due to its anti-inflammatory properties) will be the primary culprit.
Best CBD Cream for Pain: Review from the WOL Team of Experts
Those who prefer using a CBD oil cream for pain appreciate the fact that they can be applied directly to the source of a specific problem area (i.e. joint areas, lower back, sore muscles, etc). Products like oil tinctures, on the other hand, are more general in terms of their application.
That being said, even though oral cannabidiol products in general are commonly taken for things like stress, anxiety, and daily chronic pain, they don’t have the same localized effect as topical-based products like creams and lotions. is a perfect example, and many have found adequate day-to-day relief through quality cannabidiol topicals.
Many have found adequate day-to-day pain relief through topical use of cannabidiol creams, lotions, and ointments.
In terms of physiology, the CBD component in topical creams, gels, and lotions interact with cannabinoid receptors in our skin. These receptors (namely CB1 and CB2 receptors) are believed to influence a wide range of pain response mechanisms – including the inflammation response that is responsible for nearly all sensations of pain.
Furthermore, many quality hemp-extracted cannabidiol products incorporate additional ingredients – like menthol and capsaicin – that work to provide a soothing sensation on things like swollen joints, sore muscles, etc.
This could lead to improved mobility and improved general health, as well as an improvement in an individual’s overall quality of life. Also, it’s worth pointing out that infused creams and lotions have been known to provide beneficial results on several skin irritation conditions as well, including symptoms relating to eczema and psoriasis.
Regarding the assortment of CBD cream for pain reviews that users can currently find online, few articles take into consideration a variety of modalities relating to a product’s effectiveness for offering pain and inflammation support.
Here, our team of experts has identified ten different products based on five key modalities (potency, organic formula, aromatic terpene blend, skin type, and price/value). A specific product was chosen for each separate category.
Best CBD Cream for Pain (Most Potent)
The majority of CBD creams for pain relief – especially from popular companies like CWhemp and PureKana – contain essential oils that soothe the skin. As discussed earlier, however, it is largely the cannabidiol component and its anti-inflammatory effects that actually provide the pain-relieving qualities of a product. With that in mind, be sure to check lab reports for verified CBD content before buying any one particular brand.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that CBD is not currently an FDA-approved pain medication. In fact, none of the products below have been evaluated by the FDA for use in alleviating any kind of pain or soreness. Additionally, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition.
Medterra CBD Cream for Pain
In general, Medterra boasts an incredible range of topical products. The specific Medterra CBD cream for pain that our team reviewed, however, was their 500mg Pain Cream (+CBD) that is infused with arnica and menthol blends. This is a wonderful product that works especially well for muscle soreness.
PureKana CBD Cream for Pain
Our favorite PureKana CBD cream for pain is the brand’s high-strength 2,000mg Pain Relief Topical. This product contains a higher dose of CBD than nearly any other product that we tried, but the major downfall is that at $129, it’s not cheap.
We believe the price is well-justified, however, as it contains a CBD-rich hemp oil extract from domestic plants grown right here in the USA. This is easily one of our favorite products currently on the market. Another good thing about the PureKana label is that they offer a variety of other products to choose from as well, including options that are much more budget-friendly.
BEST PICK FOR POTENCY – PUREKANA
Best CBD Lotion for Pain (Organic Formula)
When considering the best CBD lotions for pain, few people take into account the organic formula that a brand uses. (In fact, few brands on the market today manufacture products made from entirely organic ingredients).
In addition of course to the cannabidiol content, the complete ingredients that are included in any topical are incredibly important in terms of the overall effects that are offered. While CBD boasts analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties on its own, it’s often the presence of other organic compounds that help to “bring out” the beneficial properties of the CBD component.
Charlotte’s Web CBD Lotion for Pain
Like other brands, Charlotte’s Web CBD lotion for pain comes in a variety of formulations and potencies. Our team’s top pick for this specific category, however, is their THC-free Muscle and Joint Pain Relief lotion that contains camphor (10%) and menthol (15%). If you’re looking for one of the most pure and well-engineered topical formula on the market, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than this product.
Fab CBD Lotion for Pain
Perhaps our favorite thing about Fab CBD lotion for pain is that the extract is made from an organically-grown, laboratory-tested Colorado hemp supply. In a market where more and more companies are outsourcing their manufacturing and using cheap, imported hemp of questionable quality, the decision to stick with organic US-grown plants is becoming more and more important. This extra-strength 600mg formula isn’t quite as potent as some of the other products we reviewed, but it’s another fantastic option made from a quality, rich, organically-based formula.
BEST ORGANIC FORMULA – CHARLOTTE’S WEB
Best CBD Topicals for Pain (Aromatic Terpenes)
The aromatic terpene blends that are present in a topical formulation is another thing that’s rarely taken into account when team’s consider the best topical cbd for pain relief. While it’s the cannabidiol that’s the “driving force” behind these product’s analgesic potential, aromatic terpenes are believed to provide a powerful synergistic effect that works to boost the influence of CBD within the body’s endocannabinoid system. The following products contain a wonderful blend of aromatic compounds that not only offer aromatherapeutic potential, but also may help to amplify the effects of the cannabidiol component.
Premium Jane CBD Topical for Pain
Premium Jane CBD topical for pain comes in a few different formulations, but the best one in our opinion (in terms of aromatic blend) is their 1,500mg Cocoa Butter formula. This unique product is non-GMO, made from natural ingredients, and most importantly, contains a 30-day satisfaction guarantee – a major benefit for those looking to get into CBD for the first time but are hesitant to spend upwards of $100+ on a quality product.
Charlotte’s Web CBD Topical for Pain
Featured on our list yet again, another one of our favorite Charlotte’s Web CBD topical for pain products is the brand’s Lavender Hemp-Infused Roll-On. This exquisitely-crafted formulation boasts a rich aromatic blend of terpenes and other hemp-based phyto-components. Since the Premium Jane formula is far stronger at 1,500mg, however, it takes our expert’s top selection for this category.
BEST AROMATIC TERPENE BLEND – PREMIUM JANE
Best CBD Ointment for Pain (Sensitive Skin)
For this section, our team has narrowed it down to two products that we feel are the best rated cbd ointment for pain for those that have sensitive skin. These products are made with natural ingredients, and are milder in terms of their supplementary ingredients compared to some of the other products on the list. If you have sensitive skin and tend to have negative reactions to other types of skincare products, the following are definitely worth checking out.
Joy Organics CBD Ointment for Pain
If you’re looking for a quality, effective product, Joy Organics offers a variety of unique formulations and varying milligram potencies. They also boast a THC-free broad-spectrum formula, which may be important for those looking to avoid THC altogether due to drug testing. Joy Organics CBD ointment for pain comes in several different formulations, but according to our team, the brand’s 500mg Lavender Eucalyptus organic CBD formula is the best option currently on the market for sensitive skin.
Like Joy Organics, Just CBD ointment for pain comes in several different formulas and potencies. However, their specific Unscented Plant-Powered Relief Cream is an excellent pick for those that have sensitive skin but are still looking to achieve the benefits of topical CBD. Due to the higher potency of the Joy Organics product, however, (which contains four times the amount of CBD as the JustCBD product), our team went with it as the winner for this category.
BEST PICK FOR SENSITIVE SKIN – JOY ORGANICS
Best CBD Salve for Pain (Price)
Lastly, if you’re one of the many folks out there looking for the best CBD salves for pain but price is a major factor, our team has identified two products which we feel offer the best overall value for the money. These products aren’t going to be as potent as the other selections on the list, but again, if price-point is a key consideration, the following products are hard to ignore.
PureKana CBD Salve for Pain
There are multiple different options when it comes to PureKana CBD Salve for pain, with some of the brand’s products being far more potent (and expensive) than others. For sheer value, however, the PureKana 150mg Lavender Body Balm – which starts at just $17.99 – was an easy selection for the absolute best pick on a price-per-milligram basis.
JustCBD Salve for Pain
Another fantastic option (or better, a fantastically cheap option) is JustCBD salve for pain that comes in a 2 oz/100mg formula. At just $11.99, this product is even less expensive than the PureKana option. However, due to potency (the PureKana Body Balm is six times more potent on a milligram-per-ounce basis), it was easy to choose the latter rather than the formula for this particular category.
BEST CBD SALVE BY PRICE – PUREKANA
Summary on the Best CBD Cream for Pain
There’s no denying that those looking for the best CBD topical cream for pain have hundreds, if not thousands, of different options to choose from. After reviewing dozens of different products, these were the specific selections that our WOL review team came up with for each different category.
All in all, we feel that cannabidiol can offer tremendous potential in terms of helping with day-to-day pain and soreness. Too many Americans are taking prescription painkillers; a fact that is inherently clear just by looking at data gathered on the ongoing opioid epidemic. Many times, prescription drugs cause more problems than they solve. We are not making the claim that painkillers are ineffective – or that CBD cream for pain can (or should) act as a replacement – but there is simply no denying that CBD is the safer of the two in terms of potential adverse side effects and risk of addiction.
There are likely millions of people out there that could benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of a quality cannabidiol infused topical. They might even be able to reduce their dependence on prescription-strength medication. Quality hemp-extracted creams and lotions are safe for use, and unlike harsh painkillers, they are largely free of adverse side effects. If we had to choose one single brand/product from the cumulative list above, our team has decided that PureKana offers the best overall value in terms of a combination between potency, reliability/effects, and affordability.