CBD creams and other CBD products are still relatively new on the market. But there are already a myriad of companies developing unique ways to harness the benefits of CBD and other cannabidiols for the benefit of people and even pets.
CBD oils are still by far the most popular way of consuming cannabidiol. You place a few drops under your tongue and hold them there for half a minute or so. Effects begin to be experienced in as little as a half-hour.
But for anyone suffering from sore muscles or chronic inflammation and joint pains, CBD in topical form may offer a better solution. If you’re interested in CBD for other benefits like relief from anxiety and insomnia, check out the top 5 CBD oils here.
Many companies providing topical CBD solutions also use other natural ingredients known to be effective in treating pain and inflammation. There are dozens of these products on the market, though, and looking through them all can be overwhelming.
Our goal was to identify the best topical CBD solution to alleviate pains from sore muscles, stressed joints, and arthritis. After many hours of research and careful selection criteria, we selected the top 5 topical CBD products.
We also share with you tips on picking the best possible topical CBD product to help you deal with arthritis and muscle pains, and general tips on how CBD works and what to look out for.
If you’re pressed for time, here are the top 5 contenders,
Top 5 CBD Creams for Pain
- Highly Rated for Pain- Fab CBD Cream
- Best Salve for Pain- Cheef Botanicals CBD Relief Salve
- Best Ointment for Muscle Soreness – CBDpure Muscle & Joint Formula
- Best Lotion for Skin – FOCL Relief Cream
- Best Balm for Joint Pain- Joy Organics Salve
How Did We Come Up With This List of CBD Topicals?
The market is overflowing with CBD creams, salves, sprays, and gels. It’s a jungle out there, and every company wants you to believe that their CBD cream is the best around. So how did we come up with our top 5 list?
Not every CBD cream is created equal. Many companies are jumping on the CBD bandwagon just because it’s a popular product, and they see it as an opportunity to make a quick buck. They will promise you all sorts of miraculous, immediate results.
The truth is that while CBD is believed to have many benefits, there is still a lot of research going on in the field. So any company that makes outlandish promises should be immediately written off.
We really wouldn’t advise purchasing the first CBD cream that comes up on a Google search. Many use inferior quality hemp when extracting the CBD, resulting in a cream that lacks potency and is not effective.
Others generally have poor manufacturing practices and lousy customer care that can spoil your shopping and consumer experience.
As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy weeding out all the poor-quality products to separate the wheat from the chaff. We began by listing the most popular CBD brands and products that we could find from a general search and people’s recommendations online.
But that gave us a couple of dozen products, which was still way too long and with no quality guarantee. So then we drew up a set of criteria to put the products up against so we could select for the best overall quality and value.
Selection Criteria for the CBD Topical Cream for Pain
There are many factors to consider when looking at the best CBD cream for pain, and they allowed us to strike off many of the products on our list in favor of better quality options.
Here are the main selection criteria we used when narrowing down the huge set of topical CBD products to find the best ones:
- Hemp source: where the hemp used to make the CBD was grown, and how it was grown. Is it organic? What about the strain of hemp?
- The extraction process used to obtain the CBD. There are many extraction processes available, but some use harsh chemical agents that leave a trace in the final CBD extract.
- The production facilities and general manufacturing standards. Is quality closely monitored from beginning to end? Does the brand do its own manufacturing, or is it outsourced?
- Brand reputation: some brands are better known and more respected than others.
- The type of topical CBD product used: cream, salve, gel, spray.
- The other ingredients added to the CBD product: are they natural or artificial and potentially harmful? If natural, do they add any value to the formula?
- The potency and quantity of CBD put into the products: more potent CBD can result in faster, better effects.
- Usage instructions: how comprehensive and complete they are
- Transparency: does the company provide full details on the manufacturing process and all ingredients used?
- Reviews and comments provided by people that have used the products in the past: we don’t just look at the brands’ official websites. We scour the web for independent opinions on health and wellness forums as well.
Using this extensive list of criteria, we finally pared the list down to the five best CBD products for pain and arthritis on the market today.
Best CBD Cream for Pain of 2021: In-Depth Reviews
With the massive selection of CBD creams, salves, and other topical products, finding and selecting the most effective one to deal with chronic pain due to arthritis can get very confusing and frustrating.
To make the process easier, we’ve removed all but the top 5 products. We’ve ensured the selection process is straightforward and unbiased.
Instead of relying on hype and marketing noise, we’ve used solid criteria like hemp source, CBD extraction process and potency, and many more when making our list.
Our goal is to help you make an informed buying decision so that you can buy the best product to suit your personal needs. So without wasting any more time, let’s get into the list of the 5 best CBD creams for pain management.
#1 Fab CBD Cream: High Rated for Pain & Customer’s Favorite
Fab CBD is a long-standing company in the CBD industry and is respected by consumers and fellow CBD manufacturers alike.
Fully transparent and ethical, this Colorado-based brand works to ensure it delivers top-quality CBD to its clients, monitoring the CBD from seed to shelf.
Although they label their product as a cream, people think of it more like a salve due to its texture and consistency. This cream uses a few other natural plant extracts in addition to the CBD to improve efficacy and quality.
With 600mg of CBD per container, Fab CBD’s cream may not be the strongest one on the market. But this dosage seems to be sufficient for most people with mild to moderate pain, and it’s always a good idea to start with a lower dosage if you’re new to CBD. (Read the full review here)
- Organic, Colorado-grown hemp is used in Fab’s CBD cream. The growing process is closely monitored, and there are no pesticides or other harmful chemicals used at any point. The brand also uses a strain of cannabis bred for better potency, meaning the end CBD product will be stronger, possibly delivering better results.
- Broad-spectrum CBD is used. Instead of using a pure CBD isolate, the company chose to use a whole-plant extract. It gives you the benefits and synergy of all the other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, not just CBD.
- Addition of other natural ingredients: this CBD cream from Fab CBD includes added ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and vitamin E that can help create a more soothing, moisturizing effect.
- Blood orange scent adds a delicate aroma. You don’t have to worry about strong CBD smells with this cream. It has a very light and unobtrusive scent that won’t spread several feet all around you.
An independent third-party lab tests every batch of CBD at Fab for contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides, as well as for its potency. The company publishes these results on its website, ensuring full transparency.
Shipping & Returns
Fab CBD offers free shipping within the US on all orders over $89. The brand also offers a 30-day return policy, so you can confidently buy and try the product to see if it will work for you.
- Organic, locally grown hemp is used
- Uses broad-spectrum CBD
- Adds other natural ingredients for better efficiency
- Light, pleasant scent
- Only available in one scent
- Returns incur a restocking fee.
#2 Cheef Botanicals: Best Value CBD Salve for Pain
This brand’s focus is already obvious from its name. Cheef Botanicals is all about using plant extracts to provide the maximum possible benefits to its customers, safely and naturally, and their CBD relief salve is no exception.
Designed for athletes recovering from muscle and joint stresses and pains, this cream can also be used by people who have arthritis and other chronic pain. It comes in two potencies, and the stronger one may work well for those that need higher doses of CBD to get results.
This cream feels very gentle and soothing when applied to the skin, and it also absorbs really well. These properties, coupled with its pleasant scent, make it a great skin-care product to add to your beauty regimen when you want to pamper yourself.
- Comes in two different potencies, 500mg and 1000mg. It is an excellent option as it gives you the chance to start with a lower dose and upgrade later on if you need a stronger alternative.
- Quick-acting formula is designed to provide very fast relief. Moisturizing and super-absorbent, it will permeate the skin and deep tissue as soon as you start massaging it in, providing for faster results.
- Full-spectrum CBD ensures that you get not only CBD but also all the other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant. Using a full-spectrum oil allows for a fuller, synergistic effect.
- The natural formula adds several other plant extracts like calendula flowers and fennel essential oil to maximize the cream’s pain-relieving and moisturizing effects.
- One-off purchase and subscription options: if you’re trying CBD cream for the first time and are not sure how it will work for you, Cheef Botanicals provides for the option to buy a single container. But if you’re interested in long-term use, the subscription option offers the same quality product at a discounted price.
Cheef Botanicals runs all its CBD through comprehensive in-house testing to ensure quality and consistency in every batch. But they don’t stop at that, and every batch of CBD is then sent on to an independent third-party lab for further testing.
Tests are rigorous and check for CBD potency as well as purity. All the results are published on the company’s website, which is the best way of assuring customers of quality and transparency.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping within the US is free of charge, making this already reasonably priced product even more affordable.
The returns policy is also very good, allowing you a full refund on an empty container returned within 30 days if you decide the product isn’t working for you.
- Two potencies to choose from
- Full-spectrum CBD used
- Very affordable
- Free shipping within the US
- Good returns and refunds policy
- Uses natural ingredients
- Subscription required to get a discount
- The regular-strength option may not be potent enough for some.
#3 CBDpure Muscle & Joint Formula: Best CBD Ointment for Muscle Soreness
Designed specifically for athletes and people with an active lifestyle, this muscle & joint formula was built to provide natural, rapid relief from aches in muscle, joints, and connective tissues.
CBDPure is a brand that focuses on providing pure, potent CBD in all of its products, and this cream is no different. The formula is very useful, so you only need a small, pea-sized amount to massage onto the affected area to get the results you need.
It is an excellent formula to use on any muscle, joint or connective tissue when you’re looking to soothe away soreness, stiffness, and general discomfort.
At 250mg, the CBD dosage is relatively low by industry standards, but may still provide relief for mild arthritis-related pains. (You can also read the full review here)
- Economical: because the formula is well-formulated, you only need a small amount to massage onto the affected part of your body. It ensures good value for money, as one tube of cream will go a long way.
- Rapid-action formula: as the brand itself puts it, this cream was designed for laser-focused action. The formula provides targeted comfort that comes just 2-3 minutes after you’re done applying it on your joints or muscles.
- Full-spectrum CBD is used: instead of using a pure CBD extract, the brand chose to use a whole-plant extract that contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant. It may result in a stronger, synergistic effect.
- The all-natural formula adds plant extracts to provide extra comfort and relief. Menthol and white willow bark are popular natural ingredients in providing deep tissue penetration and pain alleviation.
CBDPure is a reputable brand that follows top-notch standards throughout its manufacturing process. An independent third-party lab thoroughly tests every batch of CBD used in their products for contaminants, potency, and consistency. All the results are published on the company’s website, ensuring full transparency.
Shipping & Returns
The company ships within the USA, Canada, and the UK. It backs its cream up with a solid 90-day guarantee. In short, if you’re less than satisfied, all you have to do is return the tube to get a refund.
- Full-spectrum CBD used
- Menthol and white willow bark increase efficiency
- Rapid-action formula
- Non-greasy, absorbs easily
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- Available from many health stores and retailers, not only online
- On the pricier side
- Only 250mg CBD may not be enough to provide results for some people.
#4 FOCL Relief Cream: Best CBD Lotion for Skin
FOCL is a CBD brand that focuses on providing quality, 100% vegan, and non-GMO products to its customers. Made from premium quality, US-grown hemp, the brand’s CBD is pure and potent, manufactured with the highest standards.
Each bottle contains 500mg of CBD, which should be enough for anyone looking for safe, non-prescription relief after a hard training session at the gym, a good long run, or just a crazy day at work.
The cream uses other natural plant extracts in addition to CBD to maximize the results. The brand says this relief cream is excellent for relaxing the muscles, easing muscle pain, and assisting with muscle recovery.
- Quality, home-grown hemp is used. It ensures that only the best hemp is used in extracting FOCL’s CBD, resulting in a pure and potent product that delivers the results
- Natural ingredients added to increase efficiency. In addition to CBD, this cream uses several plant-based extracts to maximize your benefits. Active ingredients like menthol, camphor bark oil, and eucalyptus oil ensure deep tissue penetration and quick relief from pain.
- One-time purchase and subscription options to choose from. A one-off buy is a great way to try the product and see if it’s what you’re looking for. And if you decide you like it, you can go for the monthly subscription to get a discounted rate that makes it more affordable.
- More than just pain relief: the formula is formulated to be very absorbent and moisturizing. It can also help with dry, irritated skin, providing a soothing, calming action.
FOCL takes quality and customer satisfaction seriously. A third-party laboratory tests all CBD used by the brand for the presence of contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals.
Tests also check for the potency of the CBD, and all results are openly published on the brand’s website. When you buy CBD cream from FOCL, you know exactly what goes into the formula.
Shipping & Returns
This brand offers free shipping within the US on all one-off orders and subscriptions over $50. There is a comprehensive 60-day return policy too that covers both one-time purchases and subscription orders, so you can buy the product risk-free.
- All-natural formula
- The cream is absorbent and moisturizing
- Excellent quality CBD used
- Good returns and refund policy
- Subscription is required to get discounted rates
- The cream may not be strong enough to provide results for some.
#5 Joy Organics: Best Balm for Joint Pain
Joy Organics is a family-run CBD company that focuses on providing 100% organic, premium quality CBD products to its clients. Free of psychoactive THC, this premium salve aims to provide pain relief without any mind-altering effects.
Formulated to support healthy joints and muscles, this CBD cream is a combination of broad-spectrum CBD, beeswax, and aromatic essential oils. It has a light, pleasant scent and feels very smooth and soft on the skin.
The only reason this product is no higher than number 5 on our list is the price tag. It is much more expensive than many other CBD products, but the CBD quality and the overall product are exceptional. (You can read the full review here)
- 100% pure, organic CBD is used. It’s all in the brand’s name. Joy Organics focuses on using pure, organic products to deliver the best possible results. Their hemp is grown organically, and no harsh chemicals or solvents are used in the extraction process either.
- 100% natural ingredients. This CBD cream adds several aromatic essential oils to their CBD cream for better efficiency. Organic essential oils of lavender and eucalyptus are used to provide a more pleasant scent and skin experience.
- Broad-spectrum CBD ensures that you get the full benefits of hemp, not just CBD itself. All the cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant are used, ensuring a full and rich result.
- Two different size options: You can choose to buy a 1-ounce jar containing 500mg of CBD, or 2 ounces containing 1000mg. The larger jar is an excellent option for people that use CBD cream frequently or need it in larger doses.
- Premium quality. Joy Organics is a top-notch manufacturer with a stellar reputation for quality products and excellent customer care from the growing and processing of hemp to the sourcing and usage of the other ingredients.
Joy Organics closely monitors its entire manufacturing process, so they control their hemp from seed to shelf. Even so, they are not content with using their own in-house lab test results.
All Joy Organics CBD is sent to an independent third-party lab and rigorously tested for contaminants’ presence. It is also checked for purity and potency, and the batch’s consistency is tracked and maintained.
Shipping & Returns
All Joy Organics products, including this CBD cream, ship free within the US. The brand also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its products, so you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that you’re buying risk-free.
- 100% organic hemp is used to extract the CBD
- Premium quality products
- 100% organic, natural essential oils added to the formula
- Free shipping
- 30-day money-back policy
- Premium price tag
- No options for different scents available
CBD Cream Buying Guide: What to Look For
To be able to decide which CBD cream for pain is the best one for you, it’s important to know what qualities to look for. Some creams may be more effective than others, and some may not work at all.
Before making a buying decision, it’s always a good idea to research CBD itself, and everything to do with how it is extracted and used in the products. Additional ingredients used can also make a big difference: no matter how great a natural plant extract is, it is useless to you if you are allergic to it, or if it is generally toxic.
Here is a quick checklist you can use when searching for the right CBD cream for the pain to buy and use:
- Hemp quality and source: where the hemp used to make the CBD was grown and how it was grown really matters. There are many countries around the world legally growing hemp, but quality standards widely differ. Not all hemp is grown organically, and if the hemp is grown elsewhere than in the US, which is where CBD brands are based, there is less control over quality.
- The potency of CBD: not all brands use CBD of the same strength. The stronger the CBD and the larger the amount used, the stronger any pain-relieving and other beneficial effects will be.
- Other ingredients used: several topical CBD products include other ingredients as well. Many times these are natural plant extracts with beneficial properties, but it’s important to check that you’re not allergic and that the ingredients are safe.
- Lab testing: Reputable CBD brands not only do their own in-house testing to ensure consistency and quality in their products, but they also have every batch of CBD tested by an independent third-party laboratory. The third-party lab tests for potency and purity, eliminating the risk of contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides.
- Brand Reputation: the official site for any CBD brand will obviously tell you only the good stuff. But it’s worthwhile taking a look at alternative medicine and wellness sites and forums to get a feel for what people are really saying about a given CBD brand and whether its reputation is clean.
- Product Shipping: different CBD brands organize product shipping differently. Some may offer a free shipping option while others expect you to foot that bill. Others may offer free shipping, but only if your order is greater than a given sum of money. It’s also important to check whether the brand ships to your destination or not, as not all brands ship everywhere.
- Returns and Refunds: Sometimes, you may purchase a CBD product expecting results, but fail to get them. These products won’t cost you a month’s rent, but they are expensive enough to feel the loss if you aren’t satisfied with the results. The best CBD companies offer good return and refund policies, giving you a chance to get most of your money back if you feel the product isn’t working the way it should.
- Value for Money: Just how much does the CBD cream cost? But before automatically going for the cheapest one on the list, it’s a good idea to check the potency of the CBD used in the cream. A more expensive cream is likely to have more CBD per gram than a cheaper option, giving you a better value in the end.
How Does CBD Cream Work for Pain?
Cannabis has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant in many parts of the world. CBD has recently seen a surge in popularity as more and more people look for non-pharmaceutical, health-friendly alternatives to managing pain, anxiety, and other problems.
- CBD is just one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. But unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, so using it will not give you a ‘high’ or otherwise affect your reasoning and decision-making capacity.
This quality makes CBD an attractive alternative for many people looking for relief from inflammation, pain, and other symptoms naturally.
- CBD works by impacting the body’s ECS system.
Cannabinoids, including CBD, work by interacting with our ECS (endocannabinoid) systems. The ECS plays a role in regulating several bodily functions, including appetite, pain, sleep, and immune system response.
Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. CBD works by impacting this endocannabinoid activity.
Studies on CBD are still underway, but the potential effects are many.
The effects of CBD on the human system are still under rigorous research, but results are starting to come through.
Some studies are focusing on assessing the efficacy of CBD in relieving symptoms of pain. One study has shown that CBD may reduce symptoms of chronic pain by impacting our endocannabinoid activity, interacting with neural receptors, and reducing inflammation.
Studies carried out on animals have shown that CBD can reduce pain response to surgical incision. One study carried out on rats showed that CBD has excellent pain-relief potential by proving that oral CBD treatment resulted in a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain and inflammation.
Research has also found that CBD, especially in combination with THC, can be effective in reducing pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. It was found to reduce pain at rest and during movement, and users also experienced better sleep.
Other studies have found that using CBD can help alleviate stress and anxiety and improve the quality of sleep for people who have insomnia.
How to Use CBD for Pain and Arthritis
Topical CBD products are designed to be safe and simple to use. They do not contain any restricted substances, so you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to use one.
Unlike CBD oil that needs to be carefully measured out, CBD creams simply need to be applied to the skin, just like any normal skincare product. And because the product is applied topically, you don’t have to worry about dealing with an after-taste in your mouth if you don’t like the natural smell and flavor of CBD and hemp.
Because they are creams, it is a simple matter of taking a little bit onto your fingers and massaging the affected area, be it a joint, your lower back, or some other area, like the neck.
Some creams absorb into the skin faster than others, and some may require you to use a larger amount to achieve the results you’re looking for. Some brands will recommend using their cream only once daily, while others will recommend twice or even three-four times per day to get results.
If you really don’t like the smell of hemp and CBD, we would recommend going for a CBD cream or salve that has a bit of added aroma or contains essential plant oils. These will mask the CBD’s smell and provide a different scent, making the cream more pleasant to use.
To get the most out of your CBD cream, carefully read the usage instructions, and follow them. If you find the cream is not working for you, consider using a larger amount.
The best quality CBD creams are designed to be safe to use. If you find your skin reacting badly to the cream or have any other side effects, discontinue use immediately and consult your healthcare provider for advice.
Conclusion: Which CBD Cream Should You Go For?
CBD is being found to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate chronic pain due to arthritis and other conditions. Using a cream can provide faster, more localized effects than a CBD oil.
Many CBD creams contain effective natural plant ingredients for added efficiency and may provide extra moisturizing and soothing effects. They can work well as part of a daily skin-care regimen, even if you’re not suffering from any pain or inflammation.
If you’re looking for a cream that contains pure, potent CBD and absorbs easily into the skin, our number one pick is Fab CBD Cream. In addition, it contains other naturally soothing ingredients like chamomile and has a pleasant, delicate scent.