While CBD is used to relieve a wide-range of symptoms, it’s estimated that around 40% of people are taking it for pain relief, making pain management the number one reason for taking CBD, over anxiety and sleep.
However, over the last few years there has been a sharp increase in the amount of CBD products available, so knowing which is the best CBD cream for pain and inflammation can be difficult when there are so many to choose from.
In this article we’re going to help narrow down your search as we review three top-rated CBD topicals on the market and explain why they’re our favorites for 2021.
The three products featured are:
- Nanocraft – Cooling CBD Sports Cream
- Green Roads – CBD Muscle & Joint Roll-On Cold/Heat Relief
- Populum – Cold Therapy Hemp Rub
🤕 Best CBD creams for pain
CBD topicals (creams & salves) can provide fast and effective relief from pain and inflammation that you may be experiencing. Whether you’ve hurt yourself in a fall or suffer from occasional back pain and joint pain for doing sports, a CBD cream can be applied directly to the affected area and get to work straight away, exactly where you need it.
All of the products featured here are high-quality CBD creams that meet our exceptionally high standards. You can read more about our criteria for selection below.
👉 Also read our guide to the best CBD gummies for sleep
Cooling CBD Sports Cream
Nanocraft’s Cooling CBD Sports Cream is healing, soothing, and relaxing, and while it’s designed to offer faster recovery from post-workout aches and pains, it’s effective at relieving all sorts of pain.
Nanocraft is known for its premium quality extraction and processing methods that result in CBD that has four times the bioavailability of competitors. This cooling CBD pain cream comes in a pump-action 3.4ml (100g) bottle that contains 500mg of broad-spectrum CBD, making this an extremely potent formula.
However, as the extract isn’t full-spectrum (some of the plant matter and all of the THC has been removed), you don’t have the full synergistic effects of the hemp plant, but this is a great option for people that want to avoid using THC or indeed have to avoid THC due to local state-imposed regulations.
Alongside the high quality CBD extract, this shea butter base cream also contains a high concentration of vitamins to aid the healing process and arnica, a herb that is well known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bruising, and antimicrobial properties. It’s also infused with methanol which cools the skin immediately on contact and the cream penetrates your skin quickly for fast-acting relief.
Many athletes turn to NanoCraft when they have problems with muscle and joint pain after heavy exercise. Read more about the best CBD products for athletes here.
🔔 One of the best things about buying CBD products from Nanocraft is that they offer a 30-day money back guarantee, showing complete confidence in the effectiveness of all their products. So you can try this CBD pain cream completely risk-free.
CBD Muscle & Joint Cream
Green Roads is an award winning company that has received over 30,000 five star reviews for their products. They produce a really effective CBD cream for soothing and healing that offers customers a lot of choice, meaning you can buy one (or more) that is tailored more specifically to your exact needs.
Firstly, you can choose your preferred potency, depending on your personal needs and pain response, as the 3 fl oz bottle is available in three different strengths, 150mg, 350mg, and 750mg of broad-spectrum CBD.
Secondly, you can choose between a cool or heat relief formula. The cooling formula will provide more immediate, short-term pain relief, whereas their heat formula will be more ideal for soothing away aches and joint stiffness, while also helping to speed up the healing process.
🔔 The cream is cruelty-free and therefore suitable for vegans and alongside the CBD, it also contains a variety of other beneficial vitamins and herbs to soothe, relax, and speed up healing.
We chose this cream over the others because it also comes with a handy roll-on applicator, reminiscent of a roll-on deodorant. This means the cream can be applied directly to the affected area with zero mess or waste. Green Roads’ Roll-On Heat Relief Cream is actually one of our favorite CBD creams for back pain.
Green Roads also offer some fantastic pet CBD products for dogs and cats.
Cold Therapy Hemp Rub
Populum makes it their number one priority to create clean and natural products, with the belief that it’s essential to know each and every ingredient that you use on your skin.
That’s why their Cold Therapy Hemp Rub uses plant-based, natural ingredients that are non-GMO, paraben free, and cruelty-free, making it a fast-acting CBD treatment that is suitable for everyone, including vegetarians and vegans, as well as those with sensitive skin.
The rub comes in a 3 fl oz (90g) tube that contains 100mg of CBD from full-spectrum oil, meaning you have the full synergistic benefits of the hemp plant, as mother nature intended. It may appear to be less potent than the other two products on this list, but it works just as well, showing just how powerful the full-spectrum CBD “entourage effect” can be.
On top of the CBD, the rub is also infused with chamomile, arnica, and aloe vera, to aid the healing process further. Chamomile helps to boost immunity, soothe the skin, and reduce stress. Arnica is great to reduce bruising and inflammation and aloe vera offers cooling relief while speeding up healing, as well as moisturizing the skin in the process.
The rub sinks in quickly, penetrating muscles without any sticky residue and Populum are so confident that you’ll love their product, they also offer a 30 day money back guarantee. They say if you don’t love it, then send it back, no questions asked.
🔔 With fast, free shipping and excellent customer service to boot, you really can’t go wrong with giving this magical hemp rub a try.
Our selection criteria
All of the companies and products featured here live up to our incredibly high standards. Our selection criteria is based upon:
Hemp Sources – We only chose products that featured CBD that has been extracted from hemp that has been cultivated organically in clean, arable soil in the United States.
Extract Type – We tend to choose products that feature either broad spectrum or full-spectrum hemp extract due to more effective relief that can be achieved due to the entourage effect (many plant compounds working together synergistically to provide more enhanced benefits).
Third-Party Lab Testing – We only consider companies that provide proof of independent third-party testing to ensure quality and safety. These tests prove a product’s CBD potency and confirm that there are no heavy metals or pesticides present.
Tried and Tested – We only included products that have received fantastic customer reviews to ensure their effectiveness.
Benefits of CBD topicals
If you were to orally ingest CBD, whether via a CBD gummy or CBD oil, then you may have to wait up to an hour for the CBD to enter the bloodstream, at which point it will provide all-over body relief.
However, when you’re experiencing pain in a localized area, such as your hands, knees, or back, a topical cream for pain can be applied directly to the affected area for more immediate and targeted relief.
Further to this faster-acting and targeted pain relief, you can also enjoy much higher bioavailability with topical CBD products. Typically offering around a 45% bioavailability rate, more of the CBD is absorbed by your body, meaning less is wasted.
These are just some of the reasons why topical products containing CBD are often preferred for short-term, localized pain and injury, as well as joint pain and sore muscles.
Chronic and peripheral neuropathic pain can also be relieved by CBD topicals, but you may wish to combine a good CBD pain cream with CBD gummies or oil, for longer-lasting and more widespread effects.
👉 Also read our guide to the best CBD gummies for anxiety
What is the best CBD cream?
The best CBD cream for you will depend on what type of pain you’re experiencing, as well as how CBD affects you personally. Unfortunately, some people find that they need much higher doses than others in order to achieve the same effects.
Some even prefer smoking CBD flower to get the strongest pain relieving effects in the quickest way possible.
You may have noticed that all of the high-quality CBD creams for pain relief featured here also include heating or cooling ingredients, alongside other vitamins and herbal infusions that compliment and enhance the anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of CBD.
🔥 Heat will increase the flow of blood and nutrients to the area, which will help relax and relieve muscle pain and heal damaged tissue. You may have more success with a warming pain relief cream if you suffer from chronic pain and/or nerve pain.
❄️ Cold will slow the blood flow to the painful and/or injured area, which helps to reduce severe pain and inflammation on a short-term basis. A cooling CBD cream may also be preferred to rub into aching and sore muscles.