CBD topicals have come a long way, with a dazzling assortment of options to choose from online. But sometimes, having more options means a harder decision to make when it’s time to shop. How do you know which CBD cream or lotion will work best for your particular needs — whether it’s skin irritation or inflammation, or aches and pains in your muscles and joints?
Many different elements go into formulating an effective CBD cream. For example, you may have noticed a few CBD oil names in the various CBD creams: full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate — each containing a different level of cannabinoids and other healthful hemp compounds. It’s also important to pay attention to the other supporting ingredients in your product — particularly those with natural pain-reducing effects. And most important of all, you want to make sure that the CBD oil being used in your product is of the highest quality.
We’ll get into how to shop for the best CBD creams in a moment. But first, let’s have a look at the best of the best in topical CBD products for 2022!
Best CBD Creams & Balms of 2022
All of the topical products on our “best creams” list are from CBD brands with stellar reputations for safe and effective CBD products. Each of these topical CBD products meets with our strict criteria (listed later in the article) for purity and potency. You’ll notice that the top portion of our “best topical CBD” list is dominated by one brand: CBDfx. This California-based company has been a major producer of CBD products since 2014, which is a lifetime in the CBD business. The secret to CBDfx’s success is simple: pure, high-quality CBD products containing effective natural ingredients. This is abundantly clear in the first product on our cannabis creams list.
CBDfx’s CBD Balm Stick for Muscle & Joint tops our “Best CBD Topical Products” list for good reason. This mess-free CBD topical that gives you the freedom to relax achy joints and muscles, even if you’re on the go. CBD Balm Stick for Muscle & Joint helps loosen tension and deep discomfort with 750 mg or 3000 mg of organically sourced, broad spectrum CBD (that’s CBD oil with the THC filtered out).
And remember when we talked about those superstar supporting ingredients? Well, this CBD topical stick features the plant-based powers of camphor, peppermint, and wintergreen oils for a warming and cooling sensation that calms sore, overworked muscles.
You can toss the CBD Muscle & Joint Balm Stick in your gym bag for a relaxing, post-workout rub down or keep it on your desk for those times when a tension headache starts to creep in — a little pain relief on the temples can be just what the doctor ordered.
There’s a lot to love about this organic CBD balm, because it’s easy to use, is packed with natural ingredients, and works incredibly quickly.
Most of us want immediate relief when using a CBD cream, and that’s what CBDfx’s CBD Cream for Muscle & Joint: Cooling Formula brings to the table. This deeply penetrating formulation combines soothing broad spectrum CBD with menthol, which provides instant cooling relief for pain or discomfort.
The addition of white willow bark gives this CBD topical an edge other CBD creams don’t have. White willow bark is a natural anti-inflammatory that contains salicin, a natural compound similar to aspirin. This organic CBD cream also contains caffeine, another powerful supplement to fight inflammation.
CBD Muscle and Joint Cream comes in three different strengths: 500mg CBD, 1000mg CBD, or 3000mg CBD, for every level of pain relief. This CBD cream is a must for every medicine cabinet.
The next CBDfx product on our CBD creams and balms list is a variation on the CBD Muscle & Joint Balm. Their CBD Balm Stick: Calming & Moisturizing contains all-natural shea and a blend of hand-selected herbs and essential oils that provide nourishment for dry, stubborn patches of skin while delivering therapeutic benefits that penetrate to the tissues below. We love how this CBD Balm Stick provides the peaceful vibes of lavender, chamomile, and tea tree oil, as well.
CBD Calming & Moisturizing Balm provides the same ease of use as its menthol topical counterpart above. This broad spectrum CBD topical stick is perfect for when the skin dries out after being out in the sun, or when other skin irritations threaten to escalate to full-on inflammation. This CBD balm soothes and moisturizes, nourishing your skin every step of the way. For all of these reasons, many swear by CBD Calming & Moisturizing Balm for home spa days.
We all know the aches and pain that follow a long day of walking, particularly if you work on your feet every day. That’s what makes this CBD Foot Cream so special. This organic cream is truly one of those products you never know you need until you experience it.
CBDfx CBD Foot Cream contains 500mg of broad spectrum CBD, so you can give your soles a little bit of tranquility after a long day. And let’s not forget the skin-softening effects of shea butter alongside the anti-inflammatory benefits of lavender oil, tea tree oil, and oregano oil in this luxurious CBD cream. There are many appropriate uses for CBD Foot Cream, but we love a quick foot rub with a good Netflix binge (hooray for self-care!).
Charlotte’s Web has a long and distinguished history in the CBD industry. Their Nourishing CBD Cream exhibits the brand’s commitment to high-quality CBD products. This potent CBD cream contains 750mg of full spectrum CBD hemp extract, possessing all the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp. This cream also contains arnica, an herb that helps reduce pain and discomfort associated with the achy joints and muscle soreness caused by arthritis.
This is a gentle yet powerful CBD cream formulation. In particular, this full-spectrum CBD cream works well for sensitive skin since it’s formulated without parabens, PBGs, synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes — all the funky stuff you’d want to avoid that might cause your skin to break out.
The CBD Pain Cream from Medterra is a popular pain relief CBD cream in the cannabis hemp community. This potent CBD lotion comes in two different concentrations, 500mg CBD and 1000mg CBD, so you get the right amount of pain relief right when you need it.
Like the other CBD topicals on our list, this CBD cream combines the relaxing properties of high-quality CBD with natural, plant-based ingredients, like arnica and menthol. Pure and potent, Medterra CBD Pain Cream is worth checking out if you’re in the market for a new CBD topical.
It isn’t uncommon to see someone icing sore, achy muscles. So, you can understand the allure of a pain-relief product called Freeze Cold Therapy CBD Cream.
If you’re not familiar with cbdMD, it’s a company that upholds the same type of quality standards that the other CBD brands and products listed above do and is well regarded in the CBD industry. They only source the best quality hemp, organically grown in the US, using the supercritical CO2 extraction process and ISO-third party testing to ensure all of their efforts result in a premium cannabinoid oil that gives you the results you need.
As for the CBD cream itself, this topical product has a roll-on applicator for mess-free use, and you can take your pick from a 3 oz or 4 oz bottle with 300mg CBD, 750mg CBD, and 1500mg CBD concentrations. This CBD cream is excellent for any kind of pain or discomfort that tries to sneak in and ruin your day — or sleep!
Understanding Different Topical CBD Products
When shopping for CBD creams and other CBD topicals, you’ll run across a variety of product types. Here’s a breakdown for each type of topical CBD and what to expect from your product.
CBD Creams & CBD Lotion
The terms “cream” and “lotion” are often used interchangeably to describe water-based CBD products. Topical CBD cream and lotion feature formulations with a lighter feel on the skin without sacrificing therapeutic benefits. Plus, water-based lotions and creams absorb into the skin faster. This deeply penetrating absorption is the reason many prefer CBD cream for pain.
CBD balms are oil-based formulations that don’t absorb into the skin, like water-based lotions and creams. Instead, topical CBD balms form a protective barrier on the skin, and additions like shea and almond oil nourish and protect your skin while easing tension and pain.
CBD Self-Care Topicals
Over the last couple of years, we’ve all become more aware of the immense importance of setting time aside for rest and relaxation. As a result, there’s been a surge of CBD self-care products like bath bombs, CBD face cream and face masks, bath salt soaks, massage oils, CBD cream for feet, and much more. With the calming properties of CBD and natural botanical extracts, these products can turn any home into a wonderfully indulgent spa.
Picking the Best Topical CBD Cream for Your Needs
We’ve covered a lot of ground so far, but we can’t come this far without giving you the dos and don’ts of shopping for high-end CBD creams and other CBD products.
You definitely want to look for CBD brands that grow or source their hemp organically, preferably in the US, where quality and purity are better regulated than most other countries. As you can imagine, there are many ways to cut corners when farming hemp plants. Some companies use heavy pesticides, fertilizers, and other potentially harmful chemicals. This can have a negative effect on the actual hemp crops since hemp plants are bioaccumulators. This means they soak everything up in the surrounding soil: good and bad. That’s why proper organic farming techniques are a must!
Aside from the quality of the hemp plant itself, you want to make sure the company in question uses CO2 extraction. When the CBD oil is removed from the cannabis hemp, you want this process to take place without leaving behind chemical residues, as happens with many solvents that cheaper brands employ. Carbon dioxide leaves behind no residual chemicals and is extremely efficient in extracting the most hemp compounds from the plant and giving you a more potent CBD oil.
Third-party lab testing is equally important, because it gives you the peace of mind of knowing your product is free of harmful chemicals, additives, toxins, or heavy metals. Every reputable CBD company will provide such a report for each of their products so you can verify both their purity and their potency.
Lastly, make sure that the added ingredients in your CBD cream are natural and proven effective. And steer clear of artificial colors or preservatives.
Once you’ve ticked all the boxes above, you can consider the specific benefits you’re looking for in a CBD cream. Are you searching for a CBD pain cream or are you dealing with skin irritation or inflammation? Certainly, you should keep in mind your lifestyle. If you’re always busy and on the go, one of the CBDfx CBD Balm Sticks would work seamlessly into your routine. Or, you can decide between CBD products based on what kind of base you prefer — a fast-absorbing, water-based CBD cream or a nourishing, oil-based product that helps protect your skin. At the end of the day, it’s best to test different products so you can fine-tune your CBD experience to suit your individual needs.
How Do CBD Topicals Work?
CBD creams don’t work like CBD gummies, CBD vape oil, CBD capsules, CBD oil tinctures, CBD edibles, or other products that the body absorbs into the bloodstream and, ultimately, interact with your endocannabinoid system.
Instead, CBD creams and topicals provide localized relief to a particular area of the body. Furthermore, applying CBD cream is relatively simple. All you have to do is rub your creamy CBD product into the affected area of your skin and wait about 45 minutes to feel the effects.
The beauty of creams and other CBD topicals is that you can apply more if you don’t experience the results you were looking for the first time around. CBD is non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about overdoing it.
Shop for CBD Creams With Confidence
We hope you found this article on the best CBD creams, balms and lotions helpful. Remember, when you shop for CBD creams, to look for products made with organic hemp, with the CBD oil extracted by means of clean CO2, backed by a third-party lab report, and containing effective, all-natural ingredients.
Our “best of” list is a great starting point for CBD shoppers, but we encourage you to experiment with different products as well, so that you can find the right one to suit your needs.