Everyone will experience pain at some point in their lives, and moderate to severe pain has an impact that’s more than just physical — it can hold you back from enjoying your everyday life which can negatively impact your mental health and overall wellbeing. You probably know by now that pain medications come with an intimidating list of side effects, and many over-the-counter pain creams simply don’t work.
Most people associate cannabinoids with helping ease discomfort from anxiety, glaucoma, MS, low appetite, and pain. While the plant is an effective aid in all these conditions, it has another incredible, soothing quality that many may overlook. Hemp and its anti-inflammatory properties are also a fantastic way to help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy!
CBD Creams take a different approach. Instead of numbing or masking the pain, CBD cream interacts with the body in a way that may interrupt pain at the source. CBD cream for pain is a superb choice for many, but not all CBD is made equal. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best CBD pain creams on the market, including formulas that target the most common types of pain and fit any budget. Here are our top picks:
Our Top Choices
- CBDfx – Best Overall
- CBDMedic – Best for Back & Neck
- R+R Medicinals – Best for Arthritis Pain
- Betoken – Best for Menstrual Pain
- Aspen Green – Best for Cooling
- Kanibi – Best for Warming
- cbdMD – Best Broad-Spectrum
- Medterra – Best CBD Isolate
- Just Live – Best High Potency
- Joy Organics – Most Affordable
- Cannabinoids: Cannabinoids are the active compounds found in cannabis that interact with the body’s Endocannabinoid System. Examples include CBD, CBG, CBN, and THC.
- Full-Spectrum CBD: Full-spectrum refers to a hemp extract formula that contains CBD, but also all of the other naturally occurring hemp cannabinoids and terpenes, including up to 0.3% THC.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD: Broad-spectrum extract is similar to full-spectrum extract in that it contains an array of major and minor cannabinoids and terpenes, but it contains no detectable THC.
- CBD Isolate: CBD isolate is a hemp extract where CBD is isolated from all other compounds. This type of product will not contain other cannabinoids but may sometimes have terpenes added.
- COA: COA stands for “Certificate of Analysis” and refers to the document provided by a lab after potency or quality testing.
How We Review CBD Brands:
Because the hemp industry currently has very little oversight, some CBD brands get away with cutting corners and producing cheap, ineffective products. To combat the issue, we thoroughly review brands and their products to ensure that we recommend only the best. Here’s what we look for:
It’s clear to see that some brands have made a name for themselves within the industry. Many of the brands we feature are leading the industry in quality and innovation. Of course, many smaller brands make the cut based on the quality factors below. If you’re unsure, looking at other user reviews is sometimes an excellent way to find safe, effective formulas.
Third-Party Lab Testing
Checking the third-party lab test results, or the Certificate of Analysis, for a product before you buy is the one most important step you can take towards ensuring quality and safety. These tests should come from a third-party (not in-house) laboratory, and they should detail cannabinoid potency and product purity, like the absence of heavy metals, pesticides, microbials, and other harsh chemicals.
We prefer brands that use pesticide-free (or organic) U.S. grown hemp that is tested for quality before manufacturing.
A safe extraction process is required to produce a safe product. The most popular is supercritical CO2 extraction because it requires no solvent. Food-grade ethanol extractions also produce high-quality formulas as long as the final product is tested to ensure that it is solvent-free.
A safe CBD product must also contain only safe ingredients. In the case of CBD creams, all ingredients must be skin-safe. You should also check the ingredient label for potential allergens that may affect you.
Product potency varies from product to product, but sometimes product labels can be misleading. Check to see if the total potency refers to the total amount of hemp extract or specifically to the CBD content of the product.
Reviews for the 10 Best CBD Creams For Pain
1. Best Overall CBD Cream
CBDfx CBD Cream Muscle & Joint: Cooling Formula 500-3000mg
CBDfx’s water-based, vegan, broad-spectrum CBD cream combines the power of hemp with white willow bark, an herbal remedy known as “nature’s aspirin,” to target inflammation. A burst of menthol takes the edge off quickly while you wait for the active ingredient to do its job.
Brand: CBDfx | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $39.99-129.99 | Potency: 500-3000mg CBD per Bottle | Size: 50 mL| COA: On-Site
2. Best Cream for Back & Neck Pain Relief
CBDMedic Back and Neck Pain Relief Ointment
This CBDMedic Relief Ointment pairs CBD with potent doses of camphor and menthol for instant and long-lasting relief. It also features a unique blend of nourishing essential oils, like honeysuckle and frankincense, which brightens the menthol scent.
Brand: CBDMedic / Charlotte’s Web | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $29.99 | Potency: 1000mg CBD per bottle | Size: 2.5 fl oz. | COA: On-site
3. Best Cream for Arthritis Pain
R+R Medicinals Full-Spectrum CBD Cream
The R+R Medicinals CBD Cream is the first topical CBD on the list that excludes menthol, eucalyptus, and artificial dyes, which means it’s suitable for anyone who wants to avoid that potent minty smell. Instead, the formula combines full-spectrum CBD and minor cannabinoids with arnica, MSM, calendula, and jojoba oil to target pain from all angles. Whether you’ve got muscle & joint aches and pains from arthritis or just daily activity, this product could be the perfect choice for you!
Brand: R+R Medicinals | CBD Type: Full-Spectrum | Price: $42.99 | Potency: 1000mg CBD per bottle | Size: 2.5 fl oz. | COA: On-site
4.Best Cream for Menstrual Pain
Betoken Not This Month Cream
There aren’t many CBD pain creams designed to target PMS-related pain, but Betoken is breaking that trend with their Not This Month Cream. This scientifically formulated topical CBD is designed to target menstrual pain with the help of some pretty unique ingredients, like cramp bark, ginger, rose, minor cannabinoid CBG, and, of course, THC-Free / Broad Spectrum CBD.
Brand: Betoken | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $42.95 | Potency: 500mg CBD + 52mg CBG per tube | Size: 2 oz. | COA: On-Site
5. Best Cooling Cream
Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream
This Aspen Green Cooling Cream is a perfect example of a topical CBD formula designed for swift relief from all aches and pains. The water-based formula absorbs quickly and leaves behind no greasy residue, and the potent dose of arnica and menthol quickly cools troubling “hot spots.”
Brand: Aspen Green | CBD Type: Full-Spectrum | Price: $85.00| Potency: 1000mg CBD per jar | Size: 2 oz. | COA: On-site
6. Best Warming Cream
Kanibi Sports Heat Cream
The Kanibi Sports Heat Cream takes a different approach and is a great option for any area where heat is the best relief. The herbal formula contains a mild dose of 250mg of CBD, but a powerful blend of other pain-fighting ingredients, including menthol and eucalyptus. We love that this product offers a metered dose of 6-8 mg of CBD per pump, so you can easily figure out exactly how much CBD you need for total relief. Whether you’ve got joint pain or are looking for post-workout recovery, Kanibi has got you covered.
Brand: Kanibi | CBD Type: Full-Spectrum | Price: $98.00 | Potency: 250mg CBD per bottle | Size: 1.7 fl oz. | COA: On-site
7. Best Broad-Spectrum CBD Cream
cbdMD CBD Revive Squeeze
cbdMD‘s Revive Squeeze is a topical CBD lotion that’s bursting with moisturizing oils and skin-soothing essential oils, plus a highly potent dose of broad-spectrum CBD extract with minor cannabinoids. The perfume and dye-free formula is designed for all-over skin care wherever hydration or relief is needed, even for sensitive skin.
Brand: cbdMD | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $89.99 | Potency: 1500mg CBD per Tube | Size: 4.0 fl oz. | COA: On-site
8. Best CBD Isolate Cream
Medterra Relief + Recovery Cream
The Medterra’s U.S. Hemp Authority Certification seals the envelope on their quality promise, and we’re definitely a fan of their pesticide-free promise and food-grade extraction techniques. This topical CBD pain cream offers a moderate dose of CBD layered with menthol, arnica, and a blend of nourishing botanicals, so you’ll get fast and lasting relief.
Brand: Medterra | CBD Type: Isolate | Price: $64.99 | Potency: 750mg CBD per bottle | Size: 3.4 oz. | COA: On-site
9. Best High Potency CBD Cream
Just Live CBD Pain Relief Cream
Just Live CBD is a company founded by athletes who know pain, so it’s no surprise that this highly potent blend includes age-old anti-inflammatory botanicals such as Arnica Montana and Menthol. Plus, the CBD isolate formula is a perfect solution for those who need to avoid THC absorption entirely.
Brand: Just Live | CBD Type: Isolate | Price: $99.99 | Potency: 1500mg CBD per bottle | Size: 50 mL. | COA: On-site
10. Most Affordable CBD Cream
Joy Organics Premium CBD Cream
There isn’t much we don’t love about Joy Organics, and their premium CBD cream is a perfect example of how they deliver potent, high-quality relief with rich, simple, gimmick-free formulas. This non-greasy formula absorbs completely into the skin and is totally unscented, so you can use it anywhere, anytime.
Brand: Joy Organics | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $39.95 | Potency: 250mg CBD per Bottle| Size: 1 oz. | COA: On-Site
Does CBD Cream Relieve Pain?
We still have a lot to learn, but pain management is one of the most thoroughly researched areas regarding CBD’s benefits. Research also delves into CBD’s efficacy against general and specific pain conditions, many of which are difficult to treat using traditional medications.
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are one of its most celebrated uses. With CBD cream, you can treat aches and cramps caused by inflammation in an all-natural way. Inflammation is also linked to aging, so adding anti-inflammatory supplements like CBD can slow this process down.
For instance, a 2007 study described cannabinoids, including a combination of CBD and THC, as an effective solution for Multiple Sclerosis related pain. A 2014 study acknowledged CBD as a viable option for managing chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain, which gives insight into its potential to provide natural topical nerve pain relief. A 2016 study found that CBD could reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis when applied topically in animal models. Experts don’t totally understand how CBD relieves different types of pain, but a 2011 study confirmed that CBD and CBC helped to manage pain by blocking the detection of a painful stimulus by nerve cells.
In addition to muscle and joint pain, CBD topicals may also help to nourish and protect skin and calm various skin irritations like dry skin, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Most CBD pain creams combine an array of natural ingredients that have their own pain-relieving or skin nourishing effects, which gives the product a broader therapeutic scope. Using a CBD-based cream may be the key to nourishing your skin with exactly what it needs! Most CBD creams combine other natural, healing ingredients such as plants that all work together to aid in inflammation and dryness. This casts a wide net of potential remedies.
CBD is the star of the show in these pain relief formulas, but other minor cannabinoids may play a role in relieving pain. For instance, both CBG and CBN may have some pain-relieving potential. Most significantly, however, is the synergistic benefit between cannabinoids, which is why many people opt for either broad-spectrum or full-spectrum formulas.
While CBD is the primary ingredient in these topical CBD pain relief creams, many of them contain other traditional and non-traditional ingredients to boost their efficacy. For instance, menthol, arnica, and camphor are commonly used in CBD pain relief creams because they can quickly take the edge off with either heating or cooling effects, which gives CBD time to penetrate deeply to the source of the pain.
How to use CBD Topicals for Pain
Using CBD Cream is a straightforward process. Just apply the cream to the affected area and massage until absorbed. Check the directions on each specific product for more information, but most CBD topicals can be applied as often as needed. Just watch out for ingredients like menthol or camphor, which may not be suitable for sensitive areas, like near the eyes or over irritated skin.
CBD Cream Safety & Side Effects
There’s still a lot to learn about CBD, but most research describes CBD topicals as “well-tolerated” and CBD generally has a sound safety profile. If you experience any irritation after using a CBD topical, discontinue use and check with your doctor to determine if it was CBD or a different ingredient that caused the reaction. However, to mitigate any risks – we only recommend products from reputable companies that always go through the process of third-party lab testing.
A Roundup of the Best CBD Cream For Pain
If managing pain is at the top of your priority list, CBD Creams should be at the top of your solution list. Many CBD creams feature targeted ingredients that cool or warm the area just like traditional pain creams, but the star ingredient can offer sustained relief you can’t get from other topicals. The CBD industry can be confusing to navigate, but we’re certain this list of the industry’s best CBD pain creams can lead you to the relief you seek!