- Ayush Thej, MSc
- Buyer's Guides, Knowledge Base, Reviews
The 5 Best CBD Creams, Lotions & Topicals Reviewed (2020)
CBD cream, as the name suggests, is a cream made from CBD oil extracted from hemp plants. In order to make the oil suitable for applying to the skin, it is blended with a mixture of organic ingredients such as olive oil, aloe vera, vitamin E and cocoa butter. Does it work as well as CBD oil tinctures for pain? Here’s our thoughts on the best CBD creams, lotions and topicals to buy in 2020.
CBD cream for pain relief
CBD topicals are one of the many cannabidiol-based products available that can be used to treat pain, and for many people entering the CBD market, it can be more comfortable starting here first. Creams are familiar to most people – they come in a bottle, you pump or squeeze the lotion out and apply it to your skin.
The best CBD creams and lotions (2020)
If you’re looking for a CBD cream for arthritis/joint pain, or simply want the best topicals for pain relief within your budget, Hypothesis Journal has you covered.
Our reviews below are based on extensive research into companies’ practices, policies, and products.
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5. Pure Kana
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With a mission to provide high-quality CBD oil, cbdMD demands the utmost levels of care for every product they introduce to the market.
An advanced and innovative extraction process is used to remove CBD oil from 100% organically grown hemp from Kentucky, resulting in a high-quality CBD oil used to make their cream.
It is one thing for a brand to have lab reports posted on their official site, it’s quite another when the brand actually tells you how to read the results. cbdMD doesn’t want their customers overwhelmed by the scientific jargon and graphs, they want customers to be informed so they can purchase with confidence.
cbdMD uses a special Inflammation Recovery Formula that is designed to target inflammation in the nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It’s great to use this product for arthritis pain, migraines or even after a hard workout at the gym.
cbdMD pain cream is available in 3 strengths:
- 2oz – 300mg for $29.99
- 4oz – 750mg for $ 69.99
- 4 oz – 1500mg for $99.99
What we like best:
- Ingredients like Arnica, Vitamin B6 and MSM promote white cell stimulation, arthritic damage repair and increased absorption within the cellular walls
- Calming smell
2. Green Roads CBD
One of the largest and most reputable brands in the industry today, Green Roads is led by a licensed pharmacist with over 20 years of experience.
Aiming to offer customers the best CBD products on the market, they use a unique supercritical CO2 extraction process (that allows them to remove more oil from each plant), use high-quality hemp, has competitive pricing and posts their 3rd party lab tests directly on the site for you to see.
Green Roads Pain Cream is available in 2 strengths and both are infused with menthol for a nice tingly sensation.
Prices begin at $39.99 for 150mg and $69.99 for 300mg.
What we like best:
- Non-greasy formula
- Pleasant smell
Though it’s referred to as a salve, its consistency is closer to that of a cream; there’s a whipped consistency to the salve and it is light and smooth to the touch. When applied, it glides on the affected area and quickly absorbs into the skin.
If you have skin issues, CBDistillery has a wonderful product for you to try. ‘CBDol’ salve calms skin inflammation, relieves dry skin and can handle the small stuff like sunburns, rashes, bug bites and even acne.
Though it works well for external skin conditions, this creamy salve works just as well as a CBD pain relief rub as it penetrates the skin, providing pain relief below the surface.
The salve comes in one size: 1 oz – 500mg for $50.
What we like best:
- Deep penetration into the skin
- Immediate, fast acting
- Relieve muscle aches
- Long lasting
- Full spectrum
- Great smell
- Doesn’t stain clothing or pillows!
4. Charlotte’s Web
This company’s origin story is well-known throughout the CBD industry. The company first came to fame after creating a strain of hemp that was able to reduce the number of seizures a young girl had from 200 a week to three per month. Named after the little girl whose life was forever changed, Charlotte’s Web is a highly respected brand in the CBD world.
It makes sense that they’d make a killer CBD oil cream for pain. They make one powerful cream full of terpenes and cannabinoids that amp up the revitalizing properties. You’ll also get a heaping dose of aloe, shea butter, mango seed extract, and B5.
Charlotte’s Web topical products are available in one size: 2.5 oz – 750mg for $49.99.
What we like best:
- Scented and unscented options
- Full spectrum
- All natural ingredients
In a landscape where it’s tricky to find the right brand to trust, PureKana comes through every time and time again.
The ingredients found in PureKana’s ointment – cocoa butter, aloe, essential oils – aid the healing and moisturizing properties of the cream. This cream is highly effective, it takes around 30 minutes for most people to start feeling its effects, and they last far longer than any over the counter medicine.
Though it works great on joints and muscles, it also has been effective for severe and chronic pain. It can be massaged into the skin or simply rubbed on the skin’s surface for relief.
PureKana’s Topical CBD ointment is available in one size: 3.4 oz – 600mg for $80.
What we like best:
- Long-lasting effects
- A little goes a long way
Using CBD topicals
As is the case with most new developments in the medical world, there are a lot of questions surrounding cannabis products, and cannabis cream in particular if you find yourself on this page.
Reading about CBD oil and the many products created using it can be overwhelming and a bit exhausting but the potential benefits are hard to ignore. To make it easier for you, Hypothesis Journal has the answers to the questions you might have.
What Is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of the most well-known chemical compounds (known as cannabinoids) that naturally occurs in cannabis plants.
CBD interacts with your body’s cannabinoid receptors to help your body fight pain and inflammation.
To learn more, read our ‘What Is CBD?‘ guide.
What Is CBD Cream?
Lotions and creams for pain are not uncommon, but those new to the exploding CBD market may be skeptical.
Do skincare CBD products work as well as the more popular CBD oil?
You’re not alone in wondering.
What exactly is a CBD topical/cream?
There’s no mystery here, CBD cream is a cream that contains CBD oil extracted from hemp plants.
Usually, creams contain a blend of oil and water (normally an even amount of both) and provide a barrier that keeps your skin ultra moisturized.
Besides those two ingredients, creams will typically have a number of other ingredients than CBD oil. Most of the time, suppliers that produce high-quality topicals will have other ingredients like cocoa butter, vitamin E and coconut oil to hydrate, soften and brighten skin.
Topicals takes advantage of the same anti-inflammatory properties that CBD oil does, making it very effective at managing pain and inflammation. Used to treat multiple medical conditions, more specifically, creams work really well for these particular issues:
- Chronic and acute pain
- Sore muscles and joints
Benefits of CBD cream for pain
It’s easy to think that there’s no reason to choose CBD topicals over oil, but Hypothesis Journal is here to tell you that’s simply not true.
Familiarity and placebo effect
It will always be comforting to see the area of pain on your body have something physically applied to it. Rubbing it into the area may feel even better and set your mind at ease. Creams are an almost luxurious way to find relief from pain and inflammation.
There is no worrying about taking the incorrect dosage or how long you have to wait before you’re able to take another. We all know how creams and lotions work and the addition of CBD doesn’t change that.
Specific, localized relief
If you know where your source of discomfort and pain is coming from, topicals specifically target the area and works wonderfully at reducing common pains like cramping, headaches, and migraines or skin-specific issues like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
Creams can potentially relieve an affected area completely.
Treat the area when necessary
Most people take CBD oil daily for its effects, but creams can be used when needed. Even though it is natural, many people like the idea of being able to treat pain in the affected area only when necessary and creams allow that kind of control.
Extra skin benefits
Your skin will benefit from the essential oils and antioxidants. They soothe your skin and provide medicinal qualities that are genuinely useful.
No taste required
If you don’t like the taste of CBD oil, this is the reason to try a topical product instead.
CBD cream vs CBD oil
Cream and oil both provide a natural alternative for pain management, but they differ in a few major ways.
There are several differences between the two CBD products.
Method of consumption
One of the most obvious differences is the way they are consumed. CBD pain cream is for external use only and is directly applied to the skin. CBD oil is consumed sublingually; drops of oil are placed under the tongue before swallowing.
The area that you apply a cream to is the only area that will experience the relief.
For example, if you are using a cream for back pain, your back is going to feel better, but that’s it.
This is true of any CBD topical pain relief product; they target a specific area, limiting the impact of the cream on the applied area.
This implies that you must know the area that is in pain. If your head is hurting from a headache, applying it to your neck may not be as effective as applying it to your forehead.
When you’re using CBD oil, every part of your entire body is impacted because it enters your bloodstream. You’ll feel pain relief in your back and other places you hadn’t noticed, a reduction of stress and possibly even better sleep. The positive benefits are not limited to one area, but they are more generally dispersed.
Which is better for pain, CBD oil or cream?
If you have a specific area that is causing you a lot of pain, a ream can provide more targeted relief. People also enjoy using it only when necessary, as opposed to CBD oil which must be taken every day.
CBD oil isn’t able to target areas of pain, but it will relieve pain throughout the body. If you have arthritis, CBD oil can provide relief but the discomfort and pain in your joints may not disappear completely. A CBD arthritis cream applied directly to the area would provide more relief.
Both effectively treat pain and discomfort, but the type of pain and your personal preferences will lead you to the best type of CBD.
Will CBD cream get you high?
Rest easy. The only way a CBD product can get you high is if it has a substantial amount of THC (the best-known cannabinoid), which has the mind-altering effects many people would like to avoid. CBD creams contain nowhere near enough THC to turn your world upside down.
It that’s not enough to put your mind at ease, hopefully, this does: when using cream, the CBD never even reaches your bloodstream. It’s a topical cream that only affects the skin.
Are there side effects to CBD topicals?
There are no naturally occurring side effects of using CBD topicals/creams. If you have very sensitive skin, you may find that you are allergic to an ingredient of the product like olive oil or beeswax.
If you ingest the cream – which you absolutely should not do – you are likely to get sick.
If you make sure the ingredients are high quality and good for your skin, you will be fine.
Are they expensive?
Prices for CBD topicals that reduces your pain are worth the price, but it shouldn’t break the bank.
That being said, buying it in local stores is not the most affordable option.
At Hypothesis Journal, we’ve found it’s much better to purchase online. If you don’t know where to start, try one of our recommendations listed above.
When do the results kick in?
Some people believe that creams work fast because they absorb into the skin faster, but the truth is it varies. Some people have reported feeling effects immediately, while other users reported feeling it the day after.
Either way, CBD creams are considered to be one of the slowest methods.
It can take over an hour before you experience relief in the targeted area. Whether you’re using a cream, salve, balm or CBD lotion for pain, topical CBD products follow the same rule.
In terms of health and wellness, it’s hard to ignore the benefits that CBD offers for pain management. Since the industry exploded, it’s become just as hard to ignore the many different products containing it.