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Whether it’s sore muscles from your heavy lifts, a strain from overdoing it, or just tight AF muscles from sitting all day, CBD creams might be able to help you kiss that pain goodbye.

And while you def have a lot of options when it comes to using CBD for pain, creams are a great one because you can apply them right where it hurts. Some creams also have extra ingredients that can add to that sweet soothing goodness, too. 🤤

BUT there are a lot of creams to choose from, so picking the right product for your needs can feel like a tall ask. That’s why we’ve put together this list of our faves — so you can choose a quality CBD cream and get healing without any added stress.

When putting together this list of stellar CBD creams, we made sure to pick products:

  • made by companies that use third-party testing by ISO 17025-compliant labs
  • made with all-American hemp, grown in the U.S. of A.
  • that don’t contain more than a tiny amount of THC (0.3 percent) — we figure this out by verifying the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • that contain no yucky pesticides, heavy metals, or molds — again, for this, we check the COA

We also consider:

  • whether a company has any special manufacturing processes or impressive certifications
  • the potency of a product
  • added ingredients (especially ones known for helping pain, like arnica and menthol)
  • whether a brand is to be trusted and we figure that out by:
    • looking at customer reviews
    • checking for FDA warning letters
    • looking for any sus health claims, like “this product can cure you!” 🚩

Best CBD warming cream for pain

CBDistillery Broad-Spectrum CBD Warming Cream

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • Potency: 300 mg of CBD per bottle
  • COA: available online

Because it contains camphor, this CBD cream delivers a nice warming sensation (and helps increase circulation!) that helps relieve pain. Shea butter, hemp seed oil, argan oil, and aloe vera also make an appearance to help make your skin as soft as a baby’s bum.

It has no added perfumes or fragrances, which is awesome for people who are sensitive to smells. You can also try the cream out for 60 days — if you hate it, return it for your money back. $$$

Reviewers like the product and have good things to say about CBDistillery’s customer service. A few people complain that the effects don’t last long — but to be fair, no cream is a long-term solution for chronic pain. Don’t expect miracles with any topicals.

Use code “healthline” for 15% off sitewide.

Best cooling CBD cream for pain

Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Potency: 650–700 mg CBD per container
  • COA: available online

This ultra-potent CBD cream doesn’t wear sunglasses at night, but it sure is cool. 😎

In addition to containing a whopping 650 to 700 milligrams of CBD per container, the cooling cream also contains organic ingredients like soothing arnica flower, skin-friendly tea tree essential oil — famous for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties — and icy menthol, which can help soothe sore muscles.

Reviewers love the luxurious feel of the calming moisturizer and say that it’s highly effective at kicking pain to the curb. A few people note that the cooling effect could be more powerful, though.

Use code HEALTHLINE for 20% off.

Best CBD cream for pain with arnica

Vertly Relief Lotion

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Potency: 500 milligrams (mg) CBD per tube
  • COA: link available on product page

This full-spectrum CBD cream offers calming relief for tight, worn-out muscles. In addition to CBD, it’s made with arnica flower, which is known for reducing pain, inflammation markers, and muscle damage. The formula also contains organic essential oils like lavender and skin-soothing ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera.

Vertly’s cream is made in small batches, so you can rest easy knowing it’s a high quality product. It’s also packaged in an earth-friendly bioresin tube derived from sugar cane (that’s stylish AF).

Best CBD cream for pain of the face and neck

Papa & Barkley Releaf Repair Cream

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Potency: 450 mg of CBD per bottle
  • COA: available online

The skin on your face and neck is a helluva lot more delicate than it is everywhere else. That means that you don’t just want to glob on any old product. Papa & Barkley’s CBD cream is specially formulated for your sensitive face and neck area.

On top of containing CBD, the formula also contains skin-nourishing squalene and anti-inflammatory jojoba oil to help hydrate, reduce redness, and reduce signs of aging.

Reviews for the stuff are overwhelmingly positive. People say it’s a great moisturizer. One reviewer even mentions that the cream helps with pain and fades sunspots. The bottle is pretty tiny, though, so it’s unlikely to last very long.

Best CBD cream for pain for athletes

Level Select 2 CBD Sports Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • Potency: 600 mg of CBD per container
  • COA: available online

This CBD cream is specifically marketed for athletes, but we’re all athletes in some sense, no?

The cooling formula is cruelty-free and non-GMO. It’s also not greasy, so you can slather it on anytime. The cream has a cooling mint scent and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Reviewers say the cream helped a ton with arthritis, knee, and shoulder pain. A few people report that the scent is too powerful, but others describe it as “not overpowering.”

There’s a long way to go before researchers fully understand how CBD can help with pain, but what we know so far is pretty dope.

Evidence suggests that CBD can help relieve neuropathic pain and reduce inflammation. Topicals especially are good at relieving aches and pains from arthritis, nerve pain, and jaw pain. A recent study even found that topical CBD products helped people in palliative care cope with pain.

Like everything in the world, there are def some ups and downs to using CBD cream for pain:

You’re probably thinking, “how the heck do I choose a CBD cream?” Don’t freak out. It’s easier than you’d think. Here’s what to consider:

CBD type

What’s the difference between CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD? It’s all in the way they’re extracted from the cannabis plant.

  • CBD isolates are the most highly processed of the bunch and contain no traces of THC. That also means they’re void of other cannabinoids and terpenes, which can reduce the CBD’s therapeutic benefits.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD contains some cannabinoids but no THC — bye! 👋
  • Full-spectrum CBD has it all, THC included. But even full-spectrum CBD only contains a minuscule amount of the stuff — less than 0.3 percent. Evidence suggests leaving all these components of the cannabis plant together makes them work better together, which is called the entourage effect.

Potency

A higher potency usually translates to better results. The skin doesn’t readily absorb CBD, so you need a potent product to get noticeable results. Look for products that contain at least 200 milligrams of CBD per bottle or container.

Ingredients

You don’t technically need a CBD cream with added ingredients to reap pain relief benefits, but they sure can help ramp up your overall relief. You can also opt for creams with moisturizing oils — or even ones that help reduce signs of aging.

Ideally, when shopping for CBD topicals, look for products with natural, organic ingredients. That stuff is going on your skin — take care of it!

Third-party testing

The FDA doesn’t quite regulate CBD products the way they do prescription drugs or foodstuffs. That means that the CBD market is kinda like the wild west.

Companies that are worth a damn will make sure to get their products tested by independent third-party labs. Check the product page or website for a COA. If the company doesn’t have one available on the site or upon request, that’s a big red flag.

Also, because U.S. growers are subject to agricultural regs, it’s a good idea to opt for products made with U.S.-grown hemp — preferably certified organic.

Applying CBD cream is pretty easy. Just rub it into the area that’s giving you grief, and you’re set!

Relief won’t be instantaneous, though. It can take some time to feel the effects. If you don’t get any relief, reapply, and wait and see.

Also, remember to patch test before slathering a lotion or cream all over your body — especially if you have sensitive skin.

Always check the packaging for info on how to use the product. Some creams don’t play nice with broken skin. There’s also the possibility of an allergic reaction. If you have any allergies, make sure to read the ingredients list.

The CBD in topicals or creams don’t usually end up in the bloodstream, so you’re unlikely to experience side effects like weight or appetite changes, fatigue, or diarrhea.

But if you’re taking any prescription drugs, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor because CBD may still interact with meds.

These days, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a CBD product. Seriously, they’re everywhere.

And while it can be hard to wade through the many products on the market, there are a lot of great CBD creams out there. Some people have had success using them for pain relief from arthritis or even skin conditions.

Before buying and applying, make sure to do your homework. We know, what a drag! Our list is an amaze place to start since we did a lot of the legwork for you (you’re SO welcome). But carefully reading labels, reviewing company policies, and going over application instructions will save you money and stress in the long run.