Top Rated & Reviewed CBD Creams for Pain Relief This Year
Why did we review CBD pain creams?
Everyone is searching for pain relief and CBD pain creams, lotions, and topicals may be helpful. For 1 out of every 5 Americans, pain is just a fact of life. A 2019 study found that 20.7% of people in the United States live with chronic pain, and 7.4% of adults had chronic pain that limited life or work activities in the past 3 months. Whether due to obesity, past injuries, or simply natural wear and tear that comes with aging, pain as a daily companion is something that millions of people struggle with managing.
Pharmaceutical solutions can, in many instances, serve as a partial solution, but relief comes at a great cost, not only to the individual, but to society at large. Since the 1990s, the United States has been in the grips of an opioid epidemic. Opioid-related overdoses took 50,000 lives in 2019 the annual economic burden of the opiate crisis is estimated to be $78.5 billion for costs such as healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice expenses.
A growing number of Americans are turning to the non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis to naturally and effectively manage their pain. Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound found in both cannabis and hemp has exploded in popularity, with a growing body of evidence to suggest that it can be an effective form of pain management.
Unlike THC, which primarily binds to CB1 receptors located in the brain and central nervous system, CBD interacts with CB2 receptors located throughout the body and immune system. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to produce analgesic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, neuroprotective, and anti-tumoral effects.
How does a CBD cream actually help with pain relief?
Scientific answer….CBD interacts with a particular ion channel present on neurons which when excessively activated cause pain and tension. It’s called the NMDA (N-Methyl-D-Aspartate) ion channel. CBD changes its responsiveness to pain stimuli and elevates a relaxed state in our nervous system. Magnesium acts in concert on this channel and by literally corking the channel from the outside of the cell to prevent ion passage and signal activation. Without enough ionic magnesium in tissues, these nerves are hyperactive and will amplify signaling when stimulus exists, as is the case in pain transmission. When used together, Mg and CBD provide a synergistic effect and increase effectiveness of relaxing your nervous system and turning off pain signaling pathways.
Super simple answer… it relaxes your nervous system and blocks the pain signals you’re probably tired of having all the time!
With THC or not, what’s the difference in choosing the right CBD pain cream for you?
Some studies have indicated that THC/CBD blends have greater effectiveness for relieving pain. If you’re ok with THC and are not concerned about drug testing, that may be a fine approach, THC is a happy-maker drug, so obviously it will distract you from pain, but is clearly not appropriate for everyone. CBD alone has excellent properties that don’t require one to be high. CBD actually shuts down pain signaling, whereas THC makes you feel high.
How to use CBD topicals, lotions, and creams?
We recommend application of about a nickel sized bead to affected areas at least twice a day. If it’s a large area, apply enough so that you can rub it in. The half life of CBD in our bodies is about 9 hours, so if you use it more frequently than that you’ll have better benefits. Since CBD is so safe, there’s no concern for overdose or side effects – you really can’t use too much. More regular and consistent application yields the best results.
Are CBD Creams Safe?
CBD is extremely well tolerated and safe – it’s essentially impossible to ingest or absorb too much and unlike THC, it does not have a psychoactive effect even at very high doses. CBD relaxes muscle, can reduce stress via its neuromodulatory effects and is also associated with enhanced sleep due to its relaxation properties. There is no chance that one can test positive for THC by using Astral Organica CBD creams because we have superb quality control practices, however this is not the case for all products on the market which may use varying grades of CBD, which often can have THC contamination.
Are CBD creams legal in the United States?
Technically yes as hemp based products were specifically legalized in the 2018 farm bill, However some states have not adopted the federal regulations as yet and have more restrictive laws. Currently Idaho and Nebraska restrict the use of CBD products unless they adhere to the 0% THC limit, so technically, Astral Organica products are legal everywhere.
Can I bring my CBD cream on a plane with me?
Given the federal deregulation of hemp, yes. As long as it’s in a container less than 100ml in your carry-on it’s fine. Any size or amount is fine in checked baggage.
Why it’s better to use CBD topically over orally?
Yes, CBD in creams is more bioavailable and consistently deliverable as a cream. It’s fat soluble so penetrates skin very easily. Compared to oral CBD, the effective dose that reaches the tissue of interest is much more efficient and reliable because oral administration must overcome two huge hurdles, first, it must be absorbed into the gut, which is principally a water based environment (CBD is soluble in fat, not water), and second, if it happens to be absorbed through the gut wall and into the blood, it first goes to the liver via the portal vein. The liver is pir body’s waste processing facility and is specifically designed to either excrete or metabolize chemistries that aren’t supposed to be inside us. Additionally, taking CBD orally results in dosing your entire body instead of just the areas that need its effectiveness. Given these facts, the dosage you need to take orally is vastly higher than what you would need to absorb through your skin. Transdermal (through the skin) absorption is known as the holy grail of drug delivery precisely because it’s so reliable, consistent and vastly reduces the amount needed to be applied to be effective.
In this article, we’ll outline some of the top CBD products we’ve found that help treat pain and are actively being sold on the market today. Also, we’re going to explain some of the science behind the products and answer the most commonly asked questions you’ve got.
How did we choose the top products?
1. We checked the science behind their formulation.
2. We checked the reviews and testimonials to see if there were common trends/words.
3. We tried it ourselves! and got other folks in the office to try it as well.
The Top CBD Creams & Lotions For Pain Relief
Astral Organica’s come on the scene in a big way this year. We’re really excited about the feedback we’ve seen from their products so far. We’ll be including some video testimonials in the near future from actual customers using their pain cream. Below are the key points we saw and believe set them apart our top pick right now.
1. Quality of CBD: With 45 mg of broad spectrum THC-Free CBD, 116 mg of ionic magnesium, and you can see their certificate of analysis here, Astral’s MG + CBD creme is made and certified with the highest quality CBD oils. Additionally, all their products are USDA Certified Organic, and Non GMO.
2. Ingredients: Eldorado Springs Artesian Water, Grapeseed Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Magnesium Chloride, Virgin Shea Butter, Beeswax, Vegetable Vitamin E, Hemp CBD
Kiara Naturals’ CBD and Joint Salve comes in at number two on our list. Headquartered in Switzerland, this is a brand that forages natural ingredients to create topicals that are extremely effective and smell divine.
We like Kiara Naturals because they blend pharmaceutical rigor with naturally grown ingredients, and their stuff just works. The camphor helps the CBD penetrate deep into achy muscles, and the arnica oil helps stimulate white blood cell production.
Ingredients: Arnica, Common rue, Beeswax, Camphor, Menthol, Andiroba, Rosemary, Hypericum, Kiara Full Spectrum Oil with naturally occurring CBD, CBDa and CBC.
#3 - cbdMD's Recover Formula
Coming in at number three is cbdMD’s Recover Squeeze. With a whopping
1500 mg of CBD, we love that this formulation has a mix of essential oils, shea butter and coconut oil that help to nourish dry skin in addition to delivering targeted pain relief.
Ingredients: Water, Shea Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Aloe Vera, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Organic Coconu Oil, Hemp Extract (Cannabidiol, Cannabigerol, Cannabinol), Glycerin, Organic Calendula Extract, Cranberry Seed Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil, Orange Peel Oil, Geranium Oil, Fir Needle Oil, Rose Hips Oil, Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Caprylate, and Caprylhydroxamic Acid.
#4 - Hemp Bombs' CBD Pain Freeze
Hemp Bombs’ signature CBD Pain Freeze hits at number three on our list. 4% menthol immediately penetrates to soothe aching muscles, and consumers swear by it for arthritis and joint pain. Not only that, but this is a product with legions of fans. 428 reviews give it an overall review score of 4.8.
We love Hemp Bombs for their extensive product catalog. Topical, edibles, pet products, gummies – you name it, if it’s CBD related, chances are good they carry it.
Active Ingredients: Menthol 4%
Other Ingredients: Water, Isopropyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Pure CBD Extract
#5 - CBDistillery's Warming/Cooling Cream Mix Pack
CBDistillery’s Warming/Cooling Cream Mix Pack comes in at number five on our list. We know that joint pain can be very different from muscle soreness, and love the flexibility of being able to choose a product specified based on what the situation calls for. Individually or concurrently, this pair is able to consistently deliver relief.