The Best CBD Creams
For Pain Relief in 2024

Paul James Updated on June 4, 2024 Affiliate Disclosure Some links are specifically formatted for which we may receive a commission on resulting sales or clicks from affiliate partners (“Affiliate Links”).

CBD topicals tend to be most popular for people struggling with pain as they allow you to target specific areas of the body. For this reason, I’ve devised a list of the 10 best CBD creams for pain relief, namely in relieving sore muscles and joint pain.

All of these products were bought and tested on a shoulder recovering from a torn rotator cuff that was very painful. Each of the creams has its pros and cons which I’ll highlight below. The CBD creams that have made it on this list are sold online by some of the biggest and best brands.

The National Institutes of Health reports that cannabidiol (CBD) has excellent pain relief qualities and notes that topical CBD solutions are an effective and safe way to control neuropathic pain. CBD is also an effective painkiller for those who have not found relief from traditional painkillers or treatments. But what are the best CBD creams on the market?

How Does CBD Cream Work?

The best CBD creams for pain are topical CBD products made with a number of all-natural ingredients, each of which is carefully chosen to help fight against inflammation and body aches. CBD creams are meant to be applied to targeted areas of the skin that are most affected by pain. While it takes CBD some time to penetrate the skin, once absorbed, it can begin to naturally relieve the targeted area.

CBD topical creams are safe and can be applied repeatedly as needed.

CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has many potential health benefits without any psychoactive effects. In other words, it will not get you high but it will help you feel good because of its anti-inflammatory qualities. Furthermore, it can provide ample pain relief without the dangers associated with other painkillers.

CBD is one of over 100 chemical substances in the cannabis plant known as cannabinoids and CBD pain relief creams are an excellent way to relieve pain while simultaneously nourishing your skin. The benefits of CBD range from anti-inflammatory to helping find optimal homeostasis.

Those with chronic pain can benefit from CBD for pain creams because they can be applied directly to the source of the pain and the cream is quickly absorbed by the skin, providing instant relief without any psychoactive effects. Unlike other pain relief methods, CBD creams are safe and can be applied repeatedly as needed. In fact, these are some of the best ways to take CBD.

CBD pain relief creams are especially beneficial for the elderly, frail, or adults with sore muscles or painful joints. Because these topicals can reduce inflammation, they can also ease aches and pains.

CBD lotions tend to come in three different extract types:

  • Full Spectrum – Contains all of hemp’s cannabinoids.
  • Broad Spectrum – Contains all of hemp’s cannabinoids except for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
  • Isolate – Purely CBD and no other cannabinoid.


Each extract type provides slightly different effects. Before purchasing the best CBD cream for pain, it’s important to familiarize yourself with these.


When it comes to the types of CBD products, a CBD cream is ideal for pain relief as it allows you to target specific areas of the body. The best CBD creams are made using other all-natural ingredients, such as menthol.

How to Use CBD Cream and Pain Relief Rubs

All of the products above will have instructions based on whether they’re a topical cream or a salve. To begin, you’ll want to store these away from heat, light, and humidity. For usage, apply to the affected area not more than three to four times daily.

Rub the cream in thoroughly until it is absorbed. If you’re newer to CBD, try smaller doses to start with and gradually work your way up.


When deciding on the best CBD lotion for pain, it was important for us to have strict criteria. Unfortunately, the CBD industry is currently unregulated and, with that, there are a number of companies out there simply trying to make a profit from this booming marketplace. When shopping for CBD online, it’s important to know what to look out for and how to ensure the products you’re receiving are safe and of the highest quality.

In order to develop our list of the best CBD cream for pain, we made sure every company met the following requirements:

  • Certificate of Analysis (CoA) – One way brands help to ensure the safety and quality of their products is by running them through third-party lab tests. These tests provide unbiased results looking into a number of aspects of the CBD, including its cannabinoid and terpene count and whether or not it contains any contaminants, such as heavy metals.
  • Extract Type – CBD products can be purchased in three different extract types; full-spectrum and broad-spectrum and isolate. Each of these will have slightly different effects and, for that reason, you should familiarize yourself with them before purchasing a CBD product.
  • Hemp Source – Since hemp is highly absorbent, it can take in contamination from the soil it’s planted in. Because of this, it’s important to understand where the company is sourcing its hemp. We prefer companies that receive their hemp locally from an organic farm in the United States.
  • Ingredients – CBD creams are made from a number of ingredients. It’s important to look into these to ensure you don’t have any allergies to the product you’re purchasing. Not to mention, we prefer companies that use all-natural ingredients with no artificial additives.
  • Potency – The strength of a CBD product is always measured out in milligrams (mg). All reputable CBD brands will advertise the strength of the CBD somewhere on the label and you can confirm this potency by taking a look at the product’s CoA. It’s important to understand how much hemp extract you’re receiving from a product as it will play a large role in how the product affects you.

What are the Medical Benefits of CBD Creams?

While research is still limited, studies have shown that CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce sensations for pain. These studies also suggest that CBD may be able to help with specific pain-related ailments, such as:

  • Arthritis – In a 2016 study, it was discovered that topical CBD relieved pain and swelling caused by arthritis in rats. However, we need more research to determine what ingredients would make the best CBD cream for arthritis pain.
  • Jaw Pain – In a 2019 study, a group of individuals struggling with facial pains were requested to apply a CBD topical twice a day for two weeks. They reported feeling much less pain, specifically in the jaw region.
  • Nerve Pain – In a 2020 study, a group of people struggling with nerve damage used CBD topicals and found their pain levels reduced significantly.


Many people are turning to CBD for pain as it provides less risk of addiction in comparison to traditional painkillers. CBD cream for back pain is one of the most popular as it allows you to target specific areas of your back.

Safety and Side Effects of CBD Topical Cream

While CBD is often hailed as an all-natural remedy with no negative reactions, some people will experience mild cases of the following side effects:

  • Appetite changes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue


It’s important to mention that if you are currently on prescription medication, you should consult your doctor before taking CBD creams for pain. While it’s fairly uncommon, CBD has occasionally been found to have negative interactions with certain medications.

If you are currently pregnant or lactating, you should avoid CBD altogether. At the moment, there just isn’t enough research to confirm that it’s safe for women of this category to consume CBD products.

Paul James

Paul James is a seasoned cannabis and CBD writer and expert. He is a mental health blogger who advocates CBD as a natural alternative to prescription medications. You can read more about this and other natural alternatives on his blog:"


CBD cream takes longer to work in comparison to other consumption methods as cannabidiol needs more time to penetrate through the skin. While effects vary from person to person, most will feel something 15-30 minutes after application.