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Best CBD Cream for Pain in 2021 – Top 10 Topical Products Reviewed

According to CDC’s 2016 data, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from chronic pain. And of those people, close to 20 million suffered from pain that interfered with their daily lives. That was five years ago, and it seems that the numbers keep going up. There’s no denying that pain, be it chronic or acute, is a problem that we can’t seem to shake off, and one that will continue as the years go by.

Of course, we have plenty of methods to help us treat or manage pain. Those usually include over-the-counter medication and therapy, but those don’t seem to be enough. In fact, they seem to be masking the problem rather than getting to the root cause of it. So, with that many chronic pain sufferers out there, it’s no wonder that people are looking for alternatives.

One such alternative that has become quite popular lately is cannabidiol or CBD. This compound, derived from either cannabis or, more commonly, hemp, seems to have soothing and calming effects on the human body, according to LA Weekly. In the past few decades, thousands of different products containing CBD began to flood the market. Even now in 2021, we have a plethora of choices. We can try CBD oils and tinctures, CBD edibles such as brownies or gummies, CBD vapes, CBD softgel capsules, and even CBD cream, which this article will be focusing on.

Topical creams with CBD seem to be quite helpful with inflammation, but not all of them can really handle the problem. In this article, we will go over our choices for the best CBD cream for pain in 2021. But before we do, let’s first delve a bit deeper into the subject of CBD topicals.

What is CBD Cream?

The term ‘CBD cream’ relates to a topical solution that contains a percentage of cannabidiol. It looks and feels like any other cream at first glance, but its potency makes it stand out a cut above the rest. And like all other creams, we apply it to the skin. For instance, we can put some cream on our neck, wrists, forearms, ankles, calves, knees, elbows, and feet. Really, any spot with inflammation would do.

Of course, CBD cream is but one of several skincare CBD supplements. We can choose between a small variety of different products, including:

  • Salves
  • Roll-on sticks
  • Lotions
  • Balms
  • Sprays

The job of a CBD topical is to block pain signals from our endocannabinoid system (ECS) to the brain, as well as to reduce inflammation. Normally, our own body produces endocannabinoids that handle these signals and maintain our body’s equilibrium, i.e. its homeostasis. Once that balance is tipped, we tend to feel more pain because pain signals travel more frequently to the brain. By applying CBD cream directly to the painful area, we help reduce the number and frequency of these signals and calm the body down.

How to Apply CBD Cream?

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Like all other topical products, CBD cream goes directly on our skin. First, we take a prescribed amount, which is usually not a lot. Then we apply it onto the painful area of our skin and softly rub it in until it’s completely absorbed. Finally, we wait. It takes some time for the CBD to be absorbed through the skin, and it will vary depending on a wide variety of factors. Sometimes it will take no more than 10 minutes. Other times it might take as much as up to 2 hours.

Interestingly, though CBD is not psychoactive as THC (another compound found in cannabis and hemp) and thus not as potent, we still suggest not buying THC-infused topical creams. That’s because CBD has ten times the permeability that THC has. In layman’s terms, it will enter our skin faster and more effectively than THC would.

It’s unfortunate that we cannot measure the effectiveness of CBD cream, nor can we check its bioavailability (its presence in our bloodstream). That’s because we don’t ingest it directly nor do we do it in a way that it might reach our bloodstream like other products. CBD cream is applied to the skin, away from any blood that’s inside of us. That’s why we can, for example, measure the bioavailability of CBD oil, edibles, and vapes, but not cream and other topicals.

Now that we know a bit about the topic of topicals, let’s focus on the best CBD cream for pain that money can buy. The products are listed from top to bottom, but we assure you, dear readers, that none of these products is bad for any user.

Best CBD Cream for Pain: Our Top 10 Picks

1. Royal CBD (Best CBD Warming Cream)

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When we need the best CBD oil, who do we turn to? Well, the same brand that seems to make the best CBD capsules, the best CBD honey sticks, and the best CBD cream for pain. Or rather, the best CBD topicals in general. That brand can only be Royal CBD, and the fact that it keeps staying on top for years is a testament to the quality of its products and has been highly recommended by famous online website publications including CFAH, Weed News, Herald Net, Seattle Weekly, and more.

Regarding topicals, Royal CBD offers two items: a cooling roll-on gel and a warming cream. The gel contains menthol, which gives the product a whole new level of soothing, calming potency. We can also find some organic menthol crystals in the warming cream, alongside many other beneficial, natural ingredients.

Since we’re on the subject of natural ingredients, we should state that both topicals from Royal CBD come from organic, homegrown hemp. Furthermore, the CBD is extracted from hemp using the supercritical CO2 extraction method. Each batch of cream and gel is tested by independent labs for purity. In addition, they are both broad-spectrum THC-free products that pack quite the punch. A single pack of gel or cream contains 500 mg of CBD, which is extremely potent. And yes, applying it to the skin is incredibly easy, and the absorption is quick.

The only real flaw of these products is that we might feel a bit of a greasy sensation after applying them to our skin. Of course, that sensation is short-lived, and it doesn’t take away from Royal CBD’s potency and effectiveness. We suggest using the cooling roll-on gel for acute, mild pain and the warming cream for piercing, chronic pain, and strong inflammation.

Pros

  • Cooling roll-on gel and warming cream options
  • 500 mg of CBD per product
  • Broad-spectrum items with 0% THC
  • Organic hemp used as a source
  • CO2 extraction method
  • Pleasant aroma
  • All-organic ingredients with no synthetics or contaminants

Cons

  • Feels a bit greasy after application

Learn More:Best CBD Oil for Sleep

2. Gold Bee (Best CBD Cooling Cream)

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Having both warming and cooling topicals seems to be the MO of most top-of-the-line brands. So, we’re usually not talking about the best CBD cream for pain, but rather the best CBD creams. The same can apply to Gold Bee’s Roll-on pain gel, the runner-up on this list and one of the best products we can use (if we can find it) — as strongly suggested by We Be High, DailyCBD, Juneau Empire, Peninsula Daily News, and more.

Yes, as of 2021, this product seems to be gone from the product page on Gold Bee’s website. Granted, we can buy it from other venues, and it will probably be back on the website soon due to user demand. But until it does, we will count this as a pretty significant setback when it comes to Gold Bee’s entry for the best CBD cream for pain.

So, what does the Gold Bee roll-on pain gel have to offer, then? Well, just like Royal CBD, it’s a topical that contains no THC, as all proper broad-spectrum products do. But unlike Royal CBD, Gold Bee tends to up the ante with potency. Both the warming and the cooling gel contain a whopping 2000 mg of CBD. It’s a massive amount that can soothe just about any level of inflammation. And of course, the CBD the gel contains comes from organic, natural, California-grown hemp. The experts at Gold Bee refrain from using any harmful chemicals during cultivation, and they stay clear of any synthetic ingredients. Gold Bee’s roll-on gel is one of the purest, safest products on the market, which the 3rd-party test results show consistently every single year.

Pros

  • Warming and cooling options are available
  • 2000 mg of CBD per gel
  • Easy to apply
  • CBD sourced from organic Californian hemp
  • Independent lab testing for purity

Cons

  • Product temporarily unavailable on the company website

Learn More:Best CBD Oil for Arthritis

3. CBDistillery

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CBDistillery truly went far and beyond when it came to its topical products. Once again, we have a hard time determining the best CBD cream for pain from the company’s lineup, since they literally have more than 20 products to offer and they all have amazing features. For example, we can quite literally pick the type of cream we need — be it full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or a CBD isolate. In addition, there are also both warming and cooling options to choose from, as well as both sticks, gels, salves, and balms. Dosages also vary, ranging from 300 to 1000 mg of CBD per product. And to top it all off, we can buy products in pairs, sets, or individually.

Of course, the variety of products comes with its own issues. Namely, since CBDistillery’s all-natural, organic creams are so good, everyone wants them. Naturally, that results in more than half of their items going out of stock. In other words, we have plenty of options, but we have to be quick to purchase them or we risk having to wait for a month or so until the one we need is back in stock. But they are definitely worth the wait and more than worthy of their place on this list.

Pros

  • Plenty of different options are available
  • Wide range of dosages from 300, 500, and 1000 mg of CBD per product
  • Organic hemp used as a source
  • Available in all of the cannabis spectrum variants
  • Independent lab testing for purity

Cons

  • Products frequently go out of stock

4. Medterra

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Some folks will pick the Pain + Relief cream and apply it to their aching joints. Others will opt for either the Relief + Recovery cream or the equally potent Relief + Recovery roll-on with rapid cooling to soothe the pain. And yet others will go with CBD and Manuka Honey combo cream, for that extra bit of calming goodness. No matter what product we opt for, we know that Medterra will give us high quality, and we know that the best CBD cream for pain could very well be one of the options above.

All of Medterra’s products come with different potencies. The roll-on, for example, gives us options of 250, 500, or 1000 mg of CBD per product. Furthermore, every single item in Medterra’s topical range is broad-spectrum. We will not absorb any THC using them, but we will also not feel an entourage effect that’s particularly potent. Nevertheless, Medterra’s topicals are still quite potent and powerful, and the 3rd party lab test results prove as much. The results also prove that Medterra’s CBD extracts come from organic hemp, grown and cultivated using ethical farming practices. On top of that, no harmful chemicals were used during cultivation to avoid contaminating the final product.

Medterra might not be a prominent name like CBDistillery, Gold Bee, or Royal CBD. However, it’s definitely making a name for itself with these incredible topical creams and roll-ons that help combat inflammation and pain.

Pros

  • Wide range of products including creams and roll-ons
  • Decent selection of dosages
  • Broad-spectrum products with 0% THC
  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • Organic hemp used as a source of the CBD

Cons

  • The entourage effect is rather low due to the lack of THC traces

5. Hemp Bombs

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Here we have yet another brand that does not have just one, single best CBD cream for pain. But then again, it’s Hemp Bombs. If the brand is known for anything, it’s the incredible variety of the products it offers. And naturally, it’s no different when it comes to their topicals.

As of 2021, Hemp Bombs offers four separate topicals:

  • 100 mg CBD Pain Freeze pain relief rub (the standard option)
  • 400 mg CBD Pain Freeze pain relief rub
  • 1000 mg CBD Pain Freeze pain relief rub
  • 200 mg CBD Pain Freeze roll-on

Contrary to its earlier marketing, Hemp Bombs does not offer pure CBD products, but rather full-spectrum items with the legal amount of THC. In other words, no matter which option we choose, we will feel the entourage effect. Sadly, we will also feel the somewhat sharp smell that emanates from these topicals. The smell doesn’t linger and it evaporates quickly after we apply the cream to our skin, but it shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Of course, it’s not just about the smell. Hemp Bombs is on this list for some very good reasons, including the fact that the company sources all of its hemps organically. Furthermore, each batch comes with its own 3rd party lab results. That way, we know our product is not going to harm us, no matter what potency we opt for.

Pros

  • Wide selection of products
  • Dosages of 100, 200, 400, and 1000 mg are available
  • Organic hemp used as a source of CBD extracts
  • Full-spectrum products with a minor amount of THC
  • Independent lab testing results

Cons

  • Products have a strong smell that could be unpleasant to some users

6. Joy Organics

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Not one to lag behind other brands, Joy Organics offers its customers a decent selection of products, with any one of them being a candidate for the best CBD cream for pain. If we exclude its bath bombs (they might be topical, but they aren’t exactly a cream), we’re still left with four amazing products that work wonders when we apply them to the skin. These are the Premium CBD Cream, the Premium CBD Sports Cream with added menthol, the Organic CBD salve with lavender and eucalyptus, and the Premium CBD Salve Stick.

All of the products on this list are broad-spectrum. In other words, we will feel the entourage effect, but won’t absorb any THC into our body. Furthermore, the hemp used to extract the CBD is all-organic and grown in the US, plus the company uses CO2 extraction to get the best, purest results possible. Naturally, every single topical product goes through independent lab testing with the certificates to show for it. The salve, in particular, is USDA Organic certified, plus it offers potencies of 500 and 1000 mg of CBD.

Of course, not everything is perfect about the Joy Organics products. First and foremost, they are often out of stock on the company website, which can be a bit of an issue for people who want a specific item. Next, some of the topicals with small potencies can’t evoke the entourage effect. Finally, there’s the issue of pricing. Joy Organics topicals are quite expensive, especially when compared to some of the other options on this list.

Pros

  • Wide range of products including creams, salves, and bath bombs
  • Broad-spectrum products
  • Potencies range between 250 and 1000 mg of CBD per item (not counting bath bombs)
  • Organic hemp used for CBD sourcing
  • CO2 extraction method
  • Independent lab testing for purity

Cons

  • More expensive than most products on the market

7. CBDfx

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Foot creams, foot masks, bath bombs, balm sticks and face masks, and all of that on top of the muscle and joint cream — one would think that this was the lineup of Hemp Bombs, with all of this variety. But instead, it’s the rather rich product range of CBDfx, a name that people have known since 2012.

Since this article focuses on finding the best CBD cream for pain in 2021, let’s focus on CBDfx’s cream offering. This broad-spectrum product is available in three different dosages: 500, 1000, and a whopping 3000 mg of CBD per cream. And while that dosage is admittedly huge, the potency of CBDfx’s cream is still on the lower end when compared to other products. The cream works perfectly for mild joint pain and inflammation, and it’s the perfect starting point for new users.

Naturally, all of the hemp CBDfx uses to source its cannabidiol is organic and cultivated ethically. None of the products are tested on animals, and they are all fully vegan and non-GMO. Each batch goes through rigorous independent lab tests for purity. Indeed, a brand as old as CBDfx knows how to approach the market ethically, which results in spectacular products that are entirely safe to use.

Pros

  • Broad-spectrum product
  • Wide selection of dosages
  • Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free
  • Non-GMO and completely organic
  • Independent lab testing for purity

Cons

  • Not as potent as other products on the market

8. Spruce

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The best CBD cream for pain will balance quality and priced well, and that’s something that Spruce’s topical products excel at. Spruce offers its buyers three different topicals, including a single-dosage cream, a single-dosage lotion, and a salve available in two doses. Each of these can be bought for a reasonable price, considering their dosage and what they have to offer. In fact, Spruce’s topicals are even cheaper than some objectively underperforming brands that get all the hype in the CBD media world.

All of the products that Spruce offers come from organic, natural hemp cultivated with care. Furthermore, they are all full-spectrum topicals, which makes them some of the most potent on the market right now. That potency is further increased with the spectacular terpene profile that each topical contains. Sadly, there isn’t a lot of variety in terms of potency, so the options listed above are pretty much all we can get.

Nevertheless, Spruce’s topicals are still worth the buyers’ attention. After all, they are potent, natural, organic, safe, and reasonably priced. And indeed, they all have certificates of purity based on the research by independent 3rd party labs.

Pros

  • Three separate products and four dosages are available
  • Organic, US-grown hemp with no GMOs or additives
  • Full-spectrum products
  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • Excellent terpene profiles within each product

Cons

  • Few dosage options are available

9. Aspen Green

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Aspen Green is not exactly a veteran in the field of CBD, but it’s not exactly new either. A while ago, the company offered two simple options for their topical items, which was rather limiting. Naturally, people wanted more, and in time, Aspen Green delivered. Right now, we can buy one of five topical products they offer, including:

  • Muscle relief cooling cream
  • Pain relief body balm
  • Nourishing body oil (professional size)
  • Nourishing body oil (standard size)
  • Moisturizing body butter

Some might think that we’ve chosen the cooling cream as the top candidate for the best CBD cream for pain, and they would be correct. However, the reason we will focus on this cream is mainly that the two final products listed above are not available. Both the standard-size nourishing oil and the body butter are currently undergoing reformulation, which will put them out of circulation for a while. And when your products have to go through reformulation, your brand is not flawless.

But it’s not entirely flawed, either, because we still have an excellent, all-organic cream to cover. Not only is it toxin-, gluten-, and cruelty-free, but it also comes from all-organic hemp with no GMO ingredients or contaminants. In addition, it’s a full-spectrum product with 1000 mg of CBD available. In other words, this cream will help alleviate any pain or inflammation we might experience in a relatively short time. Naturally, independent researchers went over the cream, as well as all the other products Aspen Green has to offer. They all came out clean as a whistle and safe to use, and the confirmation is right there with each individual batch of the product. In a word, Aspen Green is splendid and deserves to be among the best of the best.

Pros

  • 1000 mg of CBD per cream
  • Full-spectrum product
  • Organic, homegrown hemp
  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • Vegan-friendly, gluten-free, toxin-free, and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some products are undergoing reformulation, making them unavailable and bringing the brand’s quality into question a bit.

10. Receptra Naturals

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The last, but definitely not the least important product on our list (or rather, products) comes from Receptra Naturals. For years, the brand has given us one candidate for the best CBD cream for pain after another, and we placed them on a list for a few very good reasons.

The first reason is simple enough — variety. When we look at the Serious Relief + Arnica hemp balm, the company’s ace product, we see just how far RN went to please their customers. Right now, we can purchase the following:

  • Full-spectrum Serious Relief for general use
  • Broad-spectrum Serious Relief, also for general use
  • Fitness-related full-spectrum Serious Relief
  • Yoga-related full-spectrum Serious Relief
  • Skiing/snowboarding-related full-spectrum Serious Relief

Granted, some of the topicals, like the general-use Serious Relief and the Serious Relief roll-on stick, tend to leave a bit of a greasy residue on the skin. However, the majority is still getting absorbed, and our body will definitely feel the effects of the CBD within. And the CBD within comes from organic hemp, grown locally and containing no contaminants or nasty chemicals. That’s 800 mg of CBD and other useful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory materials in a small pack of cream, and it works wonders. So yes, even with the greasy residue, we can’t help but recommend Receptra Naturals as the best CBD cream for pain, or at least one of the ten on this list.

Pros

  • 800 mg of CBD per product
  • Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum options are available
  • Organic, homegrown hemp
  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • Individual products targeted at specific activities, where indicated

Cons

  • Greasy residue remains after using some of the products

Benefits of Using CBD Cream for Pain

CBD is not exactly completely legal yet. The FDA has thus far only approved a single medication that contains cannabidiol, that being Epidiolex. This medication is used to treat seizures that occur during two particularly rare and dangerous forms of epilepsy. In other words, thousands of CBD products cannot be bought over the counter legally for treating any other health conditions. So, even the best CBD cream for pain is, at least according to the FDA, not a legitimate substitute for meds.

The reason behind the FDA’s disapproval of CBD is simple: there are not enough studies that show the benefits of CBD on the human body. And while those studies exist in the hundreds, they are mostly inconclusive. However, there’s a trend showing in each of them, one that hints at the benefits of CBD in pain treatment. So let’s go over some of those.

CBD and Back Pain

When it enters our body, CBD reacts to something called the endocannabinoid system or the ECS. This system regulates a wide range of processes, including sleep, pain sensation, appetite, mood, memory, motor coordination, emotion, motivation, and specific child-rearing processes such as fertility and pregnancy. The ECS has two types of receptors, and one type, called CB2 receptors, modulate the functions of our nervous system. Among other things, they modulate responses to inflammatory stimuli.

If we feel severe pain, our body will not produce enough cannabinoids, so the pain signals that go between the ECS and the brain are common and intense. When CBD enters our bloodstream, it interacts with CB2 receptors and helps produce new natural cannabinoids. The more cannabinoids our body produces, the lighter the pain signals from inflammatory stimuli. In short, we feel less pain as a result of taking CBD.

Naturally, we don’t have to take the compound directly. Applying a cream can be enough, as the CBD enters directly through the skin and reaches the inflamed area, activating the effect. Several studies in the past decade have shown that there’s a link between reducing pain and regular CBD intakes. In order to get the best result in relieving pain, you should determine high-quality CBD brands and products in the market today, according to Observer.

CBD and Arthritis

Unlike regular acute pain which tends to last a short while, arthritis can be quite crippling and has a long ‘shelf life’. That’s why researchers spent years studying CBD’s effects on the condition. In 2006, a single study into the oral solution called Sativex showed that it might help alleviate the condition. However, Sativex contains both CBD and THC. In order for our understanding of CBD’s effects on arthritis to be complete, we need more independent studies that focus solely on cannabidiol. Multiple studies were conducted between 2011 and 2021 and all came away with inconclusive results. But more importantly, all of them showed a positive trend when it came to the potential benefits of CBD. So, it may only be a matter of time before the best CBD cream for pain gets the FDA approval it deserves.

Best CBD Cream for Pain: Final Thoughts

Picking out the best CBD cream for pain is far from easy. Our readers can see how many details have to be considered before even buying a single product. However, it’s definitely good that we get so much variety of creams, salves, balms, and sticks out there. It clearly shows that people in the CBD industry want to help people with their pain-related issues. With that in mind, we should stress one particular detail, Even if you do pick the best CBD cream for pain and buy it, always consult your doctor before use. CBD use rarely comes with side effects, but it’s always a good idea to pick the safest option.

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