The Austin Chronicle

3 Best CBD Creams for Pain Relief [Lab Tested]

, October 18, 2019, 11:58am, Events Blog

CBD can be used in many ways. But, if you need relief from localized pains, CBD creams are just the thing for you. Learn about the best ones in the market.

CBD, a chemical component of cannabis plants, is often used for pain and inflammation, both superficial and internal.

When used as topical creams, salves or balms, it’s found to be quite effective for localized issues, like...

•Musculoskeletal issues, like cramps and joint pains, and
•Epidermal issues, like superficial trauma, allergies, inflammation, acne, eczema, and irritation

Since CBD is not approved by the FDA, it is not entirely easy to identify the best CBD creams or topicals for pain and inflammation.

Nonetheless, with the help of our testers, who have been using CBD products for some time now, we have been able to narrow down on the three best brands selling safe and effective CBD topicals in the market today.

Best CBD Cream for Pain

Here are our Top Finalists for Best CBD Creams for Pain:

1. FabCBD’s CBD Muscle & Joint Topical – 600 mg (60ml)
2. CBDistillery CBDol Topical – CBD Salve – 500mg (30ml)
3. CBDfx’s CBD Cream – 150mg (50 ml)

FabCBD’s CBD Muscle & Joint Topical – 600mg

An exceptionally potent topical product compared to other similar products and my personal favorite, Fab CBD’s topical comes in only one variant – 600mg (in a 60ml container).

Its fresh aroma efficiently masks the hempy smell and doesn’t produce any kind of allergic reaction to people with sensitive sinuses or skin. Its natural ingredients make for a safe and effective cream for people with pain and inflammation. Like all FabCBD products, their topical cream is tested by a third-party laboratory – ProVerde Laboratories.

All you need to do to get rid of pain with this CBD product is to use a fingertip-sized dollop of this product consistently until your pain and inflammation disappear and store it in a cool and dark place until it lasts.

Effectiveness: Highly effective
Used for: Inflammation, muscle pain, and other painful conditions
Type of Extract: Full-Spectrum CBD
Container Size: 60ml
Potency: 600mg concentration of CBD [CBD=1.08%, i.e. 10.81mg/g; THC=0.05%, i.e. 0.46mg/g)
Ingredients: 600mg of full-spectrum CBD hemp oil extract, distilled water, aloe vera, cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil, Cetearyl alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Optiphen plus, chamomile, vitamin E, citric acid, potassium sorbate, cinnamon, blood orange essential oil
Aroma: Subtle blood orange
Company location: Tampa, FL
Hemp source: Colorado
Transparency: Lab reports, done by ProVerde Laboratories, for all of the brand’s products can be viewed by clicking on “Lab Reports”, posted on their website footer.
Price: $64 for 600 mg, i.e. 0.11/mg (among the most cost-effective topicals)

CBDistillery CBDol CBD Topical Salve – 500mg

Made by one of the most established brands, this topical is an effective pain balm. It is made from all-natural ingredients and has high levels of CBD.

Not everyone likes its strong smell. If you’re using it on your feet, be prepared to see stains from the salve. Lab tests also show that it has high levels of THC, although well under the permitted 0.3%.

Effectiveness: Quite effective, but need to apply a liberal amount to have sufficient effect.
Effective for: Inflammation, muscle pain, and other painful conditions
Type of Extract: Full-Spectrum CBD
Container Size: 30ml
Potency: 500mg concentration of CBD [CBD=1.91%, i.e. 19.07mg/g; THC=0.1%, i.e. 0.99mg/g)
Ingredients: Full-spectrum hemp cannabinoid extract, extra virgin organic coconut oil, hemp seed oil, organic olive oil, apricot oil, organic sunflower oil, almond oil, beeswax, distilled water, essential oils (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, wintergreen, pine, camphor, basil, marjoram, arnica, tea tree, frankincense), botanical extracts (green tea, rosemary, chamomile, grapefruit, cinnamon, white willow, aspen bark, honeysuckle), self-emulsifying wax N (SLS-Free), aloe, organic glycerine, liquid germall plus, rosemary antioxidant CO2 extract.
Aroma: Strong smell of essential oils
Company location: Denver, CO
Hemp source: Colorado
Transparency: The product’s lab report, done by ProVerde Laboratories, is available on the product page on the brand website.
Price: $50 for 500 mg, i.e. 0.1/mg (also among the most cost-effective topicals in the market)

CBDfx’s CBD Cream – 150mg (50 ml)

The best thing about this CBD pain cream is its cooling effect (menthol and white willow bark) while improving blood flow (caffeine). Available in a light gel-like lotion in a dispenser-style pump bottle, this is a full-spectrum CBD cream.

It’s natural and made from organically produced extracts. They use the CO2 extraction method, but you still can’t use it on your face.

Besides, the lab reports show evidence of only CBD, and no other cannabinoid. Besides, it has much less CBD for the price you’re paying. Its potency is not as good as the first two finalists.

Effectiveness: Moderately effective, takes a lot more for better effect.
Effective for: Inflammation and skin issues.
Type of Extract: Full-Spectrum CBD
Container Size: 50ml
Potency: 150mg concentration of CBD [Latest lab report shows it has 3.10mg/g CBD of total product content, i.e. 155.00 mg/unit, which is higher than what they advertise]
Ingredients: Organic hemp-derived CBD oil, USP water, menthol, hydroxylated lecithin, acrylic polymer, caffeine anhydrous, sodium bicarbonate, white willow bark extract 98%, tocopheryl acetate, sodium benzoate.
Aroma: Mild minty smell
Company location: Chatsworth, CA
Hemp source: Southern California
Transparency: The product’s lab test reports (BioCann Laboratories) are available on the product page on their brand’s website alongside the product description.
Price: $39.99 for 150 mg, i.e. 0.3/mg (expensive than others)

What Are CBD Topicals & How Do They Work?

CBD topicals are like any other topical cream or lotion, but with the added benefit of natural cannabinoids and terpenes that make pain relief easier to attain.

Besides, CBD topicals contain some essential oils that are not only effective aromatherapy agents, but also quicken the healing process.

Like any other topicals, CBD creams need to be applied on the surface of the skin (not meant for internal use or consumption) on areas where you’re experiencing skin allergies, rashes or inflammations, or musculoskeletal pain or inflammation. Instead of entering your bloodstream, CBD, in this case, directly percolates the affected or infected tissues, providing them with instant relief.

An added advantage of using CBD creams is that you don’t have to worry about cannabinoids interacting with any other medication that you may be on.

Benefits of CBD Creams

CBD creams can be used for all sorts of localized purposes, like:

1. Helps with musculoskeletal pain & inflammation, like arthritis, back and sciatica pain, soreness in muscles and ligaments due to exercise or the lack thereof, pain on your feet, heels or toes due to long periods of standing or walking or due to wearing heels for too long.
2. Manages skin issues like acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis
3. Maintains a healthy level of moisture, prevent wrinkles, thus slowing down the skin aging process
4. Relief from skin infections, fungal and bacterial diseases
5. Heals skin allergies and inflammations
6. Improves the skin’s defense mechanism

How to Apply and Dosage of CBD Creams

CBD topicals usually contain essential oils that quickly seep through your skin to reach the affected areas, without entering your blood circulation. In fact, it doesn’t impact any other part of your body.

All you need to do is take a tiny dollop of the cream or a small squeeze of the lotion (for pump bottles), dab it on the affected area, and rub it gently into the skin. Leave no portion of the cream or balm without being in contact with the skin surface. This ensures the substance enters the subcutaneous surface and gets evenly distributed among the cells over and under the skin.

The oils in the cream transport the CBD to the cannabinoid receptors under your skin and muscles. These receptors interact with the CBD to give you almost instant relief.

CBD creams are widely used before or after any physical exertion or before bedtime, depending on why you’re using it. Each brand of CBD topical comes in different strengths. Their usage and dosage depend on the user’s requirement.

Like every other CBD product, it is best to start low and go slow. Nevertheless, most brands suggest an approximate dosage on their label. CBD creams with higher strengths will suggest the use of less quantity than those with a lower concentration, indicating that creams with high CBD-content are more effective.

Besides, adults need higher doses than children and the aged. This is due to the skin density and the condition of the body. Children and the elderly need much less as their body is more vulnerable, and hence more susceptible to changes by external influences, besides having thinner skin.

Depending on the severity of the condition, concentration of CBD content in the cream, and the general physical condition, CBD creams take from 5 minutes to 48 hours to provide relief. This also means that one may need to use the cream once every 5 – 6 hours before they can find the optimal effect.

Are the CBD Topicals Safe? Are there any Side Effects?

CBD topicals are the safest among all CBD products. Only the applied areas are affected. CBD topicals usually don’t have any impact on the rest of the body, as it doesn’t enter the bloodstream.

However, you need to observe caution before you buy any CBD product. Since there are still plenty of lapses in the regulation system, a lot of unscrupulous companies and vendors would have you believe that you can get relief from CBD creams at a much cheaper price than most other brands.


•Always look for the products’ certificate of analysis (CoA) or third-party lab-test reports. These reputable labs will testify for the genuineness, purity, and safety of the products.
•Make sure you buy from reputed brands.
•Some people may still experience some allergic reactions to the other components of the creams (like bee wax or essential oils). This is unavoidable. If you do, discontinue, and consult a doctor.
•It’s always safer to trust brands that advertise their components to be 100% natural. Those that do not mention anything are possibly adding artificial coloring or aromas.
•Make sure you do not consume, i.e. ingest, the cream by any chance. This may happen if you apply CBD cream on your face or hands. Make sure the cream doesn’t come in contact with your lips or tongue.

In case you do, you may experience:

•Dryness of mouth
•Loss of appetite or even
•Interaction with other medications, which may pose serious health hazards, depending on which medication you’re on. CBD, when ingested, interacts with the liver enzymes responsible for metabolizing pharmaceutical drugs.

CBD Oil vs. CBD Cream for Pain

Our Takeaway

For localized pain and inflammation, CBD topicals are better than CBD Oils. CBD salves and lotions are particularly good for people who are trying CBD for the first time. This is a much safer, more effective, and quicker option. So, if you’re considering using CBD for pain, try out FabCBD’s Topical CBD Cream.

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