Products like cannabidiol-infused creams, lotions, gummies, and capsules make companies tens of millions of dollars. Some companies even say 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 is no shortage of scientific studies suggesting that CBD may provide excellent natural pain relief.
Recent examples include a report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The report suggests there is “conclusive evidence” that cannabinoids are “effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.”
CBD is just one of the hundreds of known cannabinoids in cannabis. However, there are potentially 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 the 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 hard to distinguish between pain-specific products and products intended for hygiene and skincare
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.
What Is CBD Cream for Pain?
CBD cream for pain refers to any cosmetic product that contains cannabidiol. Most often, this is hemp-derived CBD. To use cannabidiol-infused cream, rub it onto the skin until the topical is fully absorbed.
Topical application allows users to target localized areas more accurately. For this reason, CBD creams are often the ideal choice for a particular set of symptoms – namely, things like localized joint discomfort and muscle soreness.
Many of the effects offered by infused topicals will depend on the specific inclusion of supplementary ingredients. For example, many of the best products today contain cooling menthol infusions or essential oils. They might also contain ingredients such as turmeric, which could help reduce pain and inflammation.
When choosing the right product for you, it’s vital to check the ingredients and know the specific use and application for each ingredient that is included.
Does CBD Cream Work for Pain?
The most obvious difference between using CBD cream for pain relief, and using something like an oil tincture, is how each product is administered. CBD oil is consumed 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 differently than a standard CBD oil tincture.
Does CBD Cream ‘Work’ More Slowly Than Other Products?
There are also different schools of thought regarding how long it takes for CBD to take effect, particularly when discussing consumption methods.
Most people believe that sublingual consumption results in faster effects. Applying a topical CBD lotion to the skin might take longer. However, in some instances, its effects are also known to last longer.
Yet, 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.
Cannabidiol creams have slightly different physiological applications than other products like oil tinctures.
It is important to note that most CBD creams don’t act transdermally. This means 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 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 CRP levels than people who didn’t smoke. In other words, it appeared that the presence of cannabinoids decreased the influence of CRP. Therefore, they decreased inflammation and pain levels. Other research studies over the past few 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 infused with cannabidiol extract. The end product can be blended with various 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 lower pain levels, CBD is seemingly the most effective.
Best CBD Cream for Pain: Review from the WOL Team of Experts
Those who prefer using a CBD oil cream for pain like to apply the product directly to a specific area. This makes it useful if the aim is to reduce pain in the muscles, joints, or lower back. Products like oil tinctures, on the other hand, are more general in terms of their application.
Oral cannabidiol products, in general, are commonly used for things like stress, anxiety, and daily chronic pain. However, they don’t have the same localized effect as topical-based products like creams and lotions.
The CBD component in topical creams, gels, and lotions interacts with cannabinoid receptors in our skin. These receptors (namely CB1 and CB2 receptors) influence a wide range of pain response mechanisms. These include 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. These ingredients work to provide a soothing sensation on things like swollen joints, sore muscles, etc.
This could lead to better mobility and general health, and improve an individual’s overall quality of life. CBD-infused creams and lotions could provide beneficial results on several skin irritation conditions as well, including symptoms relating to eczema and psoriasis.
Many have found adequate day-to-day pain relief through cannabidiol creams, lotions, and ointments.
Few CBD for cream reviews account for various 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. However, it is largely the cannabidiol component and its anti-inflammatory effects that provide pain-relieving qualities. With that in mind, 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. None of the products below have been evaluated by the FDA for use in alleviating any 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. Our team reviewed the brand’s 500mg Pain Cream (+CBD) 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.
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. Also, PureKana offers various other products, including even more budget-friendly options.
Best CBD Lotion for Pain (Organic Formula)
When choosing the best CBD lotions for pain, few people consider the organic formula that a brand uses. Few brands on the market today manufacture products made from entirely organic ingredients.
In addition to the cannabidiol content, the complete ingredients included in any topical are incredibly important in terms of the overall effects offered. CBD boasts analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties on its own. However, it’s often the presence of other organic compounds that helps “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 different formulations and potencies. However, our team’s top pick for this specific category 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 purest and best engineered topical formulas on the market, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option.
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. The decision to stick with organic US-grown plants is becoming more important. Especially as too many brands opt for cheap imported hemp of questionable quality.
This extra-strength 600mg formula isn’t quite as potent as some of the other products we reviewed. Nonetheless, it’s another fantastic option made from a quality, rich, organically-based formula.
Best CBD Topicals for Pain (Aromatic Terpenes)
The aromatic terpene blends present in a topical formulation are rarely considered when teams rate the best topical CBD for pain relief. We know cannabidiol is the “driving force” behind these products’ analgesic potential. However, aromatic terpenes could 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. They offer aromatherapeutic potential and might 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. Yet the best one, in our opinion (in terms of the aromatic blend), is their 1,500mg Cocoa Butter formula. This unique product is non-GMO and made from natural ingredients. Most importantly, it contains a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. This is 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
Yet again, featured on our list is another of our favorite Charlotte’s Web CBD topical for pain products. It is the brand’s Lavender Hemp-Infused Roll-On in this instance. 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 CBD Ointment for Pain (Sensitive Skin)
We narrowed it down to two products we feel are the best-rated CBD ointments for pain for people with sensitive skin. These products contain natural ingredients. They are also milder than some of the other products on the list regarding their supplementary ingredients. If you have sensitive skin and tend to have negative reactions to other types of skincare products, the following are worth checking out.
Joy Organics CBD Ointment for Pain
If you’re looking for a quality, effective product, Joy Organics offers unique formulations and varying milligram potencies. They also boast a THC-free broad-spectrum formula. This is potentially important for those looking to avoid THC altogether due to drug testing.
Joy Organics’ CBD ointment for pain comes in several different formulations. 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 with sensitive skin.
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 CBD Salve for Pain (Price)
Our team has identified two CBD salve products that we feel offer the best overall value for the money. These products aren’t as potent as the other selections on the list. Yet, if price-point is a key consideration, the following products are hard to ignore.
PureKana CBD Salve for Pain
There are multiple options for PureKana CBD Salve for pain. Some of the brand’s products are far more potent (and expensive) than others. However, the PureKana 150mg Lavender Body Balm was an easy selection for the absolute best pick on a price-per-milligram basis for sheer value.
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. 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.
How to Shop for CBD Cream for Pain?
In what is a saturated market, finding the best hemp lotion for pain is challenging. There are thousands of products from hundreds of brands. However, you can quickly narrow down the field and find the best CBD cream by considering the following factors:
- Hemp Source: Ideally, the brand will source its hemp from the United States, preferably Colorado or Kentucky. However, hemp from licensed EU farms is also a solid option given their strict quality standards.
- Third-Party Lab Testing Results: As the CBD market is poorly regulated, products of dubious quality are sadly everywhere. You need lab reports from a reputable third-party lab to see what’s inside each product. High-quality brands offer such reports with every batch of products. They let you see the cannabinoid content and whether there are other unwanted chemicals.
- Extraction Method: In the CBD industry, solventless CO2 extraction is what you should look for. This is an expensive process for companies, but it ensures there are no residual solvents in products.
- Brand Reputation: It is best to make your purchase from a well-known online brand rather than a gas station. Check out brand reviews, and learn more about the company’s longevity, product quality, and customer service.
- Strength/Potency: At present, there is no research outlining a recommended daily dose of CBD. Nonetheless, it is always best to get bang for your buck. That said, beware of brands that provide ‘too good to be true pricing.’ Also, pay attention to the amount of CBD per product and per ml if buying a tincture. The more CBD per ml, the better, as it means you consume less oil.
- Type of Hemp Extract: Full-spectrum contains dozens of cannabinoids and terpenes but a maximum of 0.3% THC. Broad-spectrum is similar but with zero THC. CBD isolate contains nothing but cannabidiol.
Summary of the Best CBD Cream for Pain
After reviewing dozens of different products, the above were the specific selections that our WOL review team came up with for each different category.
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. This fact 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 claiming that painkillers are ineffective – or that CBD cream for pain can (or should) act as a replacement. However, there is simply no denying that CBD is the safer of the two in terms of potential adverse side effects and risk of addiction.
What if we had to choose one brand/product from the cumulative list above? In that case, our team has decided that PureKana offers the best overall value in terms of potency, reliability/effects, and affordability.
How Long Does It Take for CBD Pain Cream to Work?
It is impossible to provide anything other than a ballpark figure. Factors such as your body type, metabolism, type of cream, and CBD concentration all play a role. In many cases, users find that CBD pain cream has a noticeable effect within 20 minutes. However, its effects vary.
What Does Hemp Cream Do?
According to its growing legion of users, it can help reduce inflammation and pain in the body. When applied to the skin, the cannabinoids in the cream are absorbed through the top layer of the skin. This is why CBD cream provides relief in the area you apply it.
Can You Use CBD Oil Like CBD Cream for Pain?
No. Rubbing CBD oil into the skin will not provide the same effects as CBD cream for pain. The base of CBD topicals contains carrier agents that work with essential oils and other natural ingredients. In contrast, CBD oils don’t have the right carriers to hold them on the skin well enough to interact with the endocannabinoid system.
Can You Use Too Much CBD Cream for Pain?
First of all, it is important to note that you can’t overdose on CBD. Some studies show humans can tolerate up to 1500mg of cannabidiol a day safely. It is rare for an entire container of CBD cream to contain that much of the compound. There are potentially minor side effects such as diarrhea and fatigue associated with using excessive amounts of CBD, but they are rare.
How Many Mg of CBD Cream for Pain Should I Use?
It is always best to use a small amount of CBD first to see how it affects you. Most CBD brands recommend beginning with 5-10mg first before increasing gradually if necessary. More experienced users may find that 30-50mg products provide the best effects. CBD affects everyone differently, so you will need to be patient when outlining the best dose for your needs.