As we learn more about the powerful health benefits of CBD, more products are hitting the market that claim to target all sorts of problems including pain, inflammation, and even skin problems like eczema. Topical CBD creams are a popular option for people dealing with pain as a result of injury or illness, but do cannabinoids really work on the skin, and are these products worth all the hype? That depends on who you ask, the product you’re using, and the problem you’re hoping to solve with CBD.
The good news is that there are several studies suggesting that topical CBD creams and other products have a positive effect on your body’s endocannabinoid system as it works to achieve and maintain a state of homeostasis. The receptors that work with CBD are located all throughout the body, even in the skin, so a quality cream might be the trick to helping you reduce pain and find relief quickly. Even better? CBD products are legal in all 50 states, so you can order online and experiment with different products at your convenience.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite products from trusted CBD cream brands to help you find one that’s right for your needs.
Best CBD Creams For Pain
CBDmd has also CBD Oil Topicals for you. The American brand has three creams available with different strengths: 300, 750 and 1000mg of CBD.
Freeze, Inflammation Formula, and Moisturizing Lotion are the names and formulas for these creams. Freeze topical is perfect as a pain relief gel after exercise, the Inflammation Formula (as its name suggests) was made to recover from inflammation problems caused by nerves, tendons, muscles, and ligaments; and the Moisturizing Lotion is the perfect way to take care of your skin, revitalize it and make it softer.
Besides, you can choose between different formats: roller (very easy to apply), tub our squeeze. Read more about them in our cbdMD review.
CBDFx has recently launched a new line of CBD topicals. This potent lotion comes in two sizes: 50mL with 150mg of CBD and 30mL with 100mg of CBD. It’s made with hemp, pharmacist formulated, tested by third-party labs and made in America with a CO2 extraction process to preserve its purity and potency.
Besides, these creams are made with non-toxic components only containing white willow bark extract, menthol, camomille, and caffeine to have a daily relief with a natural boost.
Koi’s CBD lotion combines 200mg of all-natural CBD with soothing skin ingredients like organic aloe, organic coconut, and lavender extract. The product is completely free of THC and the company makes sure to use plants that are grown, harvested, produced, and lab tested right in the United States. It’s recommended to store your CBD lotion at room temperature away from heat and sunlight, so it’s perfect for keeping in your nightstand and moisturizing before bedtime. The soothing lavender aroma will help your brain wind down and fall asleep with ease.
Diamond CBD’s Biotech Pain Relief CBD Cream comes highly recommended for pain relief on achy muscles and joints after a long workout or to relieve chronic pain from illness. The rub combines 250mg of all-natural CBD hemp oil with menthol for a recipe that’s made to loosen you up and help you recover quickly with safe ingredients. It’s most effective in high concentrations to increase the number of cannabinoids penetrating your skin. If you rely on menthol or eucalyptus-based products for their soothing cooling effect, this is an excellent option with an added boost of CBD power. According to reviews, people love Diamond CBD Cream for neck and joint pain.
This pain cream by Green Roads was formulated by a licensed pharmacist with more than 20 years of experience, so you can feel confident knowing you’re receiving a quality product made by someone who’s incredibly knowledgeable about the modern medicine and cannabis industries. It’s perfect for overall stiffness, joint pain, and muscle fatigue that’s holding you back from enjoying life, whether it’s from sports, illness, or a past injury. Each bottle contains 150mg of high-quality hemp oil (learn more about their method of extraction in our Green Roads CBD review).
MedTerra’s CBD pain cream is a powerful combination of CBD hemp oil, menthol, and arnica for a rapid cooling effect on sore muscles and achy joints. Each 3.4oz bottle contains 100ml of CBD, designed to provide long-lasting relief with all-natural ingredients. If you crave the cooling relief of menthol, this is a superior product that comes highly recommended.
Benefits of Using CBD Cream For Pain?
With more CBD creams and topicals hitting the market due to the rise in popularity of cannabis products, researchers have begun doing their due diligence to help us better understand whether these products actually work or they’re just another snake oil gimmick. Fortunately for anyone interested in topical CBD creams or oils, the results so far are quite positive, as the skin is filled with CB2 receptors that interact with CBD. This is great news if you’re hoping for instant relief that does not have to go through your mouth or gastrointestinal tract in order to do anything beneficial.
According to one study in the 2016 European Journal of Pain, lab rats were used to test the effectiveness of CBD as a natural alternative to arthritis medications. Over the course of 4 days with 4 different doses of a CBD gel, the rats showed that the transdermal CBD gel “significantly reduced joint swelling, limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain, immune cell infiltration and thickening of the synovial membrane in a dose-dependent manner.” This suggests that CBD gel or cream is a viable alternative to traditional arthritis medications, which some patients dislike due to unpleasant side effects.
In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conducted a study which found that patients who underwent a cannabis or cannabinoid treatment experienced a “clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.” They also found that patient-reported spasticity was reduced in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
These two studies highlight the benefit of CBD creams on more serious ailments, but they do go to show that with patients dealing with more serious chronic illnesses, it’s possible to find relief with topical cannabis products. Even better, there are several studies that have reported CBD creams to help with skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
Cannabis products are not going anywhere, so as legalization hits more states and countries it is likely we will begin seeing more studies and clinical trials testing the effectiveness of cannabis, whether topical or another kind of product, on different health issues and concerns throughout the body.
What is CBD Lotion?
CBD creams and lotions are made by taking the extracted oils from the cannabis or hemp plant, which contains the powerful phytocannabinoids, and adding it to a healing lotion or cream based product. CBD oil can be added to nearly any topical product, so you can even make your own by adding a few drops of oil to your favorite lotion if you make your own or you’re not ready to purchase something new.
When CBD is infused with your favorite lotion or cream, the healing happens when the CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which is filled with CB2 receptors located throughout the peripheral nervous system. There is virtually no place on the body where CB2 receptors do not exist, so the potential for relief is not limited to a small portion of your body. Even the skin contains CB2 receptors, which is why topicals can have a positive effect.
When CBD modulates CB2 receptors, it is helping these receptors achieve homeostasis at the source of their intended target. CB2 receptors handle processes like pain, inflammation, memory, mood, appetite, and sleep, so the benefits are far and wide, but with topicals the relief is less systemic and more focused on one specific spot. Aside from modulating CB2 receptors, CBD also works by stalling the breakdown of fatty acid amide hydrolase, which negatively affects and breaks down valuable CB2 receptors that help relieve pain. This stalling process allows your endocannabinoid system to replenish its cannabinoid levels with the help of natural cannabis products.
CBD creams typically will not contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that gets you high. Even if your product does contain THC or trace amounts of it, you will not find yourself feeling buzzy from a lotion. Topical application does not produce those effects, so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting cannabinoid relief without getting stoned. Most CBD-based products will contain less than 0.3% THC to comply with standards for legal, non-psychoactive products.
CBD creams can be made in the form of a lotion, but there are also topicals available in oils, salves, and waxes. The products are typically made with natural ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, menthol, eucalyptus, and other common healing ingredients.
Treatments and Uses
CBD is effective both orally and topically for pain, so you can play around with different products to find something that works best for you. When used together, chances are your relief will be more significant as you’re increasing the number of cannabinoids in your system.
Topical CBD is best used by taking a small amount, typically an amount recommended on the bottle, and massaging it into the spot where you are experiencing pain. This is the most common method of use for patients dealing with arthritis, carpal tunnel, menstrual cramps, or headaches and migraines. Depending on the product you’re using, you may also find that CBD creams help with the symptoms of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and itching. This list of studies is filled with information on how CBD can affect your skin.
If your pain is less restricted to one area and more of a systemic problem, this is when oils and tinctures come in. Check out our post on the 15 best CBD oil for pain relief and find something to pair with your favorite lotion or cream.
We hope this guide makes it easier for you to browse through the many options of CBD creams and find something that gives you the relief you seek.