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Best CBD Cream for Pain & Inflammation – Top 9 Topical Salves Reviewed [2021]

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain daily. This debilitating condition has many causes and is sometimes hard to manage with over-the-counter painkillers alone. For this reason, many have turned to CBD creams to find topical relief for localized pain. Since CBD is currently so popular, there’s a myriad of brands out there claiming that their product is the best. We’ve decided to examine these claims to help consumers find the best CBD cream for pain relief.

While many scoffs at CBD as just another unproven bit of naturopathic woo, this extract offers much more. Made from the hemp plant, cannabinoids have the power to influence the endocannabinoid system. This system is directly responsible for managing things like pain, sleep, appetite, hormones, and more. When experiencing stress or illness, the endocannabinoid system becomes unbalanced, which can result in chronic pain.

In this case, CBD acts as a booster, reactivating the endocannabinoid system. As a consequence users experience pain relief, improved sleep quality, and reduced anxiety. CBD seems to work just as well when applied topically, which accounts for the popularity of CBD creams. This demand is also CBD’s biggest flaw since the market is now flooded with shady manufacturers pushing faulty products onto unsuspecting customers.

To combat this, we’ve taken a look at dozens of CBD brands, and the products they offer. This, together with our dive into the scientific research on the efficacy of CBD, is guaranteed to help any new user choose the right CBD for pain relief.

List of the Best CBD Creams for Pain

CBD oils and gummies may be the most popular products on the CBD market, but CBD creams are giving them a run for their money. These topicals are excellent at reducing swelling, muscle soreness, and inflammation. However, much like with any other supplement, the quality of the ingredients determines how well it will work.

In light of this, we’ve compared the top CBD creams based on their quality, potency, hemp source, and third-party testing. According to these criteria, we’ve found a few creams that can contend for the title of ‘the best CBD cream for pain’

1. Royal CBD

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  • Made from organic, non-GMO hemp
  • Infused with a broad-spectrum CBD
  • Highly potent, with up to 500mg of total CBD
  • Offer both cooling and warming topicals
  • Third-party tested


  • Only available online

No list of the best CBD products would be complete without Royal CBD. Based in Colorado, Royal CBD’s mission is to give everyone access to safe and effective supplements to maintain optimal health. To achieve this, they only use organic, non-GMO hemp to manufacture their full-spectrum CBD oils, THC-free vegan gummies, and soft gel capsules.

The latest additions to their catalog — a menthol roll-on gel and warming creams — have become quite the best sellers. Infused with broad-spectrum CBD, both products contain a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds help generate a powerful entourage effect, which in turn relaxes the muscles and eases pain. And since the broad-spectrum extraction method strips the extract of THC, users can enjoy the best CBD cream for pain without any psychoactive effects.

Moreover, the topicals are quite easy to use. The roll-on gel, in particular, comes with a convenient applicator, so users can apply it quickly when they need instant pain relief. Since the gel formula is infused with a menthol extract, the roll-on provides a potent cooling effect. This comes in handy for users looking to soothe sore muscles post-workout or alleviate muscle spasms.

The warming cream is equally easy to apply. It’s thick and creamy, but at the same time light enough to be quickly absorbed into the skin. Furthermore, it’s quite a powerful pain relief, packing 500mg of CBD per container. This makes the cream particularly helpful at alleviating chronic pain, loosening stiff joints, and restoring blood flow to cold hands and feet. Therefore, it’s perfect for users with poor blood circulation or those struggling with arthritis.

Since Royal CBD uses third-party testing, the safety and efficacy of their topicals is a guarantee. Both topicals are very reasonably priced, with roll-ons selling for $50 per bottle, and creams at $74 per container. However, to show how much they value their customers, Royal CBD offers free shipping. For users looking to stock up, they offer two or four-pack bundles of the roll-on gel and warming cream at severely discounted prices.

Overall, Royal CBD topicals are the perfect combination of quality, efficacy, and potency. Thanks to their affordable prices and excellent customer service, they’re the ideal choice for those looking into CBD. For this reason, they take the top spot as the best CBD cream for pain relief in popular online media publications, such as CFAH, Weed News, Herald Net, Seattle Weekly, and more.

2. Gold Bee CBD

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  • Made from locally sourced organic hemp
  • Extremely potent 200mg of CBD per bottle
  • Infused with a broad-spectrum CBD
  • Third-party tested
  • Have both warming and cooling salves


  • The texture of the salve is less than ideal

Despite placing second on this list, Gold Bee CBD’s creams are still the best CBD cream for pain management as strongly suggested by media publication websites, including We Be High, Juneau Empire, Peninsula Daily News, and DailyCBD. Based in California, this brand uses only the finest, organic hemp flowers to make a wide range of CBD-infused products like oils, capsules, gummies, pet products, and honey sticks.

Their award-winning formula uses the expensive supercritical CO2 method to extract the CBD. They then combine the extract with raw, wildflower honey to create some of the most flavorful CBD-infused products out there. The honey aspect is what makes Gold Bee unique amongst CBD manufacturers.

The brand has recently introduced two types of CBD topicals to their line-up — a warming salve and a roll-on cooling gel. Both topicals pack an impressive 2000 mg of CBD, making Gold Bee’s extracts some of the most potent out there. The extracts are broad-spectrum, so users can enjoy the entourage effect of cannabinoids and terpenes without having to worry about the psychoactive effects of THC.

Much like Royal, Gold Bee’s roll-on gel is infused with menthol. The menthol’s cooling effect boosts the anti-inflammatory properties of the CBD extract. Therefore, any user looking to alleviate muscle soreness will benefit from Gold Bee’s products. The salve on the other hand has an infusion of cayenne pepper, which is responsible for its warming effect. The added heat helps restore blood flow to stiff joints, and can even reduce menstrual cramps.

Furthermore, Gold Bee works hard to keep its products safe and affordable for everyone. They third-party test their topicals for safety and potency, and offer them at reasonable prices. The only reason they’ve placed second on our ‘best CBD cream for pain relief is because of the cream’s texture.

The salve is a bit grainy and on the thicker side. On the one hand, this is great because handmade creams have a coarser texture than commercial brands. This in turn proves that Gold Bee’s products are natural. But for those sensitive to textures, the cream’s grainy feel may be off-putting.

3. Hemp Bombs

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  • Made from organic hemp
  • Extracted using supercritical CO2
  • Third-party tested
  • Offer up to 1000mg of CBD per container
  • Have a wide selection of products


  • CBD isolate

When it comes to their topicals, Hemp Bombs doesn’t play around. Their CBD-infused cream is called Pain Freeze — and the name isn’t just a marketing gimmick. Packing an impressive 1000mg of CBD, the topicals offer a potent cooling burn that gradually decreases after application. The fast-acting properties of their topicals are particularly useful right after a sprain or nasty insect bite. Hence why they rank third on our ‘best CBD cream for pain’ list.

They have two types of cooling topicals — a cream and a gel. Like all their other products, they manufacture the topicals using raw, organic hemp. They draw out the extract with the supercritical CO2 method and strip it of terpenes and THC. This is where Hemp Bombs differs from the previous two entries on our list.

They infuse their creams with a 99% pure CBD isolate, not a broad-spectrum extract. While stripping the extract of both compounds guarantees that users won’t experience any psychoactive effects, it has a major downside. Terpenes and THC work together with cannabinoids to boost their efficacy. If manufacturers remove these compounds, the extract loses some of its potency. That’s why Hemp Bombs ranks third on our list.

Nevertheless, their products are still the best CBD cream for pain, for users who don’t want any THC in their topicals. Moreover, they’re highly affordable. A small, 1oz container of Pain Freeze rub costs just $15, while the roll-on gel goes for just $25 per bottle. A big bonus is that Hemp Bombs has a wide selection of other topicals as well, from CBD patches, lip balms, body lotion, bath bombs, and more.

4. CBDistillery

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  • Full-spectrum extract
  • Extracted using supercritical CO2
  • Very affordable
  • Third-party tested
  • 500mg potency


  • Non-organic hemp

Much like Hemp Bombs, CBDistillery is the perfect choice for users with a smaller budget. Launched in 2016, this Colorado-based company works tirelessly to bring quality CBD products at affordable prices. Among their wide selection of oils, gummies, powders, and soft gels, their CBD-infused topicals stand out. Not only are they excellent painkillers, but they also help with localized skin problems. For this reason, they rank fourth on our ‘best CBD cream for pain’ list.

CBDistillery makes its warming and cooling creams using full-spectrum CBD. As opposed to broad-spectrum extracts and isolates, full-spectrum extracts keep all the terpenes, cannabinoids, and trace amounts of THC. The THC content is around 0.3% which is nowhere near enough to produce any kind of psychoactive effect. However, keeping the THC in the extract along with the terpenes maximizes the entourage effect of the CBD. Therefore, it’s safe to say that CBDistillery’s products are some of the most effective on this list.

Moreover, their creams are at about half the price of other CBD topicals. A 1 oz container, packing 500 mg of CBD costs a mere $0.12 per mg. CBDistillery also offers a 20% discount to new subscribers, including free shipping on all orders. But it doesn’t end there. Apart from the best CBD cream for pain relief, CBDistillery also carries a wide range of skincare products, such as anti-age kits, skin moisturizers, and body care sets. Most longtime users report that CBDistillery’s skincare program works wonders at reducing wrinkles, age spots, and managing acne flare-ups.

The only reason CBDistillery’s topicals don’t rank higher is their hemp. While they source only non-GMO plants from local growers, they don’t have an organic certification. Therefore, health-conscious users should consider looking at other options.

5. Medterra

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  • Organic hemp
  • Have creams and roll-ons
  • THC-free extract
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • A wide selection of potencies


  • Less effective than broad-spectrum or full-spectrum extracts
  • Roll-on comes in only one potency

Medterra may be a relatively new player in the CBD game, but they’ve already won many consumers over. This is thanks to their award-winning CBD formula. Sourced from organic Kentucky farms, Medterra extracts CBD from its hemp following the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s strict guidelines. They third-party test every product they launch, to ensure that their users can safely and effectively enjoy their CBD extracts.

Medterra’s best CBD cream for pain comes in two potencies — a 250 mg container or a 750 mg, 3.4 fl. oz. container. They also offer a cooling roll-on gel, but this product only comes in a 2 oz. size with 250 mg of CBD. Much like Hemp Bombs, Medterra uses a 99.6% pure CBD isolate to make their topicals. This means that the company strips both terpenes and THC from their extracts.

This is great news for users who think that the best CBD cream for pain shouldn’t have any THC. However, the topicals are still less effective than broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD. On a more positive note, Medterra’s products are quite budget-friendly. Their roll-on costs just $19.99 per bottle, while their cream goes for $34.99 per container. Therefore, when looking for the best CBD cream for pain, Medterra’s topical comes out as the most affordable option.

6. Spruce

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  • Organic, US-grown hemp
  • Terpene rich, full-spectrum CBD
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Certified formula


  • Limited potency variety
  • Only have one type of topical

Simple yet effective seems to be Spruce’s motto. This modest company doesn’t have a wide selection of CBD products, but they make up for that with potency. Their brand uses a unique strain of hemp that was imported into the US all the way back in 1812. During manufacturing they keep their hemp extracts intact, meaning that they contain a wide range of essential oils, terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. This contributes to the entourage effect, which in turn makes the CBD more potent.

As if that wasn’t enough, Spruce refuses to add any artificial sweeteners or flavors to their products. Their CBD cream contains only natural extracts such as citrus oil and menthol. They not only make the cream smell delightful, but they also offer a powerful cooling effect.

Moreover, Spruce adds adjunctive cannabinoids to their creams, such as CBDA, CBC, and CBG. They finish up the formula with a whole plethora of terpenes like caryophyllene, linalool, geraniol, and limonene. This blend makes Spruce’s cream the best CBD cream for pain relief, despite it packing only 300mg of CBD per container.

Spruce third-party tests all its products to make sure they’re free of any contaminants. Their creams cost a reasonable amount, going for $39 per container, with free shipping to all US states. Overall, it’s the best CBD cream for pain, especially for users who need a very potent topical. The only reason Spruce CBD doesn’t rank higher is that their selection of topicals is limited to just creams.

7. CBDfx

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  • Supercritical CO2 extraction method
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Wide variety of scents
  • 150mg – 500mg potency range


  • No high-potency variety
  • Pricey

An industry oldie, CBDfx launched back in 2012. The company scours Kentucky farms for the best hemp stalks to use in their CBD products. After using the supercritical CO2 extraction method to get their extract, they then third-party test it for quality, potency, and contaminants. As a result, their CBD oils, gummies, drinks, and vapes are some of the safest on the market.

Their creams, in particular, are very high quality. Every 1.5 fl. oz container comes in a 150-500mg potency range. Apart from CBD, the company infuses its creams with other natural painkillers like menthol, caffeine, and willow bark. The menthol offers a strong cooling effect, while the willow bark and caffeine soothe irritated skin.

Speaking of irritated skin, CBDfx sells skincare products as well. They have an impressive selection of CBD lip balms, face masks, foot creams, and sports bundles. The brand mixes CBD with other nourishing extracts like organic Shea butter and beeswax. This keeps the skin soft and moisturized while providing relief from acne flare-ups, burns, and blisters. Therefore, users who want skin care and pain relief can consider CBDfx’s topical as the best CBD cream for pain.

However, users who are on a tighter budget may want to reconsider CBDfx. Despite their impressive selection, CBDfx is on the pricer side. Their low potency creams start at $0.26 per mg of CBD. Their skincare products cost even more, with sports relief bundles and lip balms going for $99-$199.

8. Aspen Green

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  • Organic, non-GMO hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Terpene-rich
  • A potent 1000mg of CBD
  • Third-party tested


  • Only one potency
  • Pricey
  • Only one variety of topicals

Aspen Green is yet another brand that is proud of its hemp quality. They use organic, non-GMO hemp they source from USDA-approved farms. To ensure maximum potency, they use full-spectrum CBD extracts in their products. Moreover, their formula is gluten-free and cruelty-free. This makes Aspen Green’s topical the best CBD cream for pain amongst environmentally conscious users.

Much like Spruce, their pain relief cream contains a wide range of cannabinoids like CBDA, CBC, CBN, and CBG — as well as a small amount of THC. Moreover, the cream contains 11 different types of terpenes. These include caryophyllene, cymene, limonene, ocimene, pinene, terpinolene, myrcene, eucalyptol, humulene, guaiol, and bisabolol. Alongside the THC, they contribute to the entourage effect and enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.

The terpenes make the cream smell pleasant and earthy, which is ideal for users who don’t like strong fragrances. The balm also has a purified water base. This means that the skin will absorb it quickly, and the cream won’t leave a greasy film behind.

In terms of price, Aspen Green doesn’t come very cheap. Their 1000mg 2 oz container goes for $85 a piece. What’s more, they have a limited selection of topicals, when compared to other brands. Nevertheless, they’re still a strong contender for the ‘best CBD cream for pain’ title, especially for users who want potency.

9 .Receptra Natural

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  • Locally sourced hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Terpene-rich
  • High 800mg of CBD
  • Vegan formula
  • Contains natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients


  • Greasy cream texture
  • Body butter contains low amounts of CBD

Another Colorado-based company, Receptra Naturals is a relative newcomer to the CBD scene. Launched in 2016, the brand sells a wide range of CBD oils, gummies, capsules, and pet-specific products. However, topicals remain their best and most popular product. This is because Receptra originally created creams for athletes, to treat sports injuries.

The topicals come in two varieties — a moisturizing, all-purpose body butter, and a more potent cream for targeted pain relief. Both contain a full-spectrum CBD extract, but the body butter is a better option for everyday use. Receptra makes the butter using only the finest, locally sourced hemp. They then blend their full-spectrum CBD extract with various ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil, and beeswax. The combination does wonders to moisturize dry skin, as well as soothe any irritation or insect bite.

The butter’s only downside is that it contains barely any CBD, just 11 mg per 0.3 oz of cream. In contrast, the targeted pain relief cream packs 800mg of CBD and does wonders at relaxing stiff muscles and alleviating pain. The cream is also infused with different herbal extracts like arnica, camphor, and turmeric. The arnica and camphor give a lovely, earthy smell to the cream, while also providing instant pain relief. Meanwhile, turmeric helps reduce bruising and swelling after a minor injury.

Overall, the targeted pain relief cream is a good contender for the ‘best CBD cream for pain’ title. It might be a bit costly at $54 per container, but the potency justifies the price tag. It’s also vegan-friendly, so environmentally conscious users can enjoy Receptra’s topicals freely.

What is CBD Cream?

As we have covered the best CBD cream for pain, it’s time to talk about the basics — what is CBD cream? As the name implies, CBD cream is a topical product infused with cannabinoids. It’s applied to the skin and absorbed into the body, where it interacts with the nervous system to relieve pain.

The creams are just one of the many CBD-infused products on the market made by CBD companies such as oils, gummies, tinctures, and vapes. But while other CBD varieties reduce pain overall, CBD topicals are more targeted. The creams, as well as roll-ons, salves, butters, and lotions, are great for relieving localized chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, elbows, etc.

As mentioned, CBD creams interact with the endocannabinoid system to relieve pain. The endocannabinoid system is a complex neural network responsible for managing sleep, anxiety, appetite, and the amount of pain we experience. When external stress or an illness disrupts the system, all these basic functions fall out of balance.

This is where CBD comes in. The extract acts as a booster to the endocannabinoid system, signaling it to return to homeostasis. As a consequence, users experience pain relief, reduced inflammation, and even improved mood and mental stability. All these benefits come with minimal to no side effects. In light of this, it’s no wonder so many are looking for the best CBD products to buy for pain relief online.

How CBD Creams Help Alleviate Pain?

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As of right now, many still think of CBD as unproven alternative medicine. However, that’s slowly changing, as more and more scientists are researching its benefits. A 2018 study examined whether or not CBD has the pain-killing properties that users report. The researchers compiled and reviewed several past studies that looked at the effects of cannabinoids on pain. They zeroed in on CBD’s ability to stop CB receptors from transmitting pain signals to the brain.

They concluded the study by saying that CBD indeed blocks the neural tips from firing pain signals. Moreover, according to LA Weekly, it also noted that CBD helps alleviate pain without any major side effects. However, they underlined that these effects were moderate and that more research — specifically human trials — is necessary to conclusively prove CBD’s efficacy.

Sadly, since CBD isn’t legal everywhere, it’s difficult to conduct human trials. But, given the recent push for marijuana legalization, the stance on CBD will likely change. In the meantime, there’s plenty of animal studies that prove CBD’s efficacy.

For example, a 2017 study looked at how CBD reduced inflammation in rodents. They specifically selected male Wistar rats who suffered from osteoarthritis. Not only did they find that the CBD reduced the rats’ inflammation, but it also had no negative side effects. Other studies from 2011 and 2017 showed that CBD changed pain response to stimuli, and effectively treated joint pain.

Moreover, in a recent article made by The Observer, it is proved that CBD can target different kinds of pain including fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and cancer pain. Not only that, but the extract impacted the rats’ serotonin levels, reducing their anxiety and improving sleep quality.

Whether CBD produces the same effects in humans is unknown. However, the plethora of user testimonies and anecdotal evidence seems promising.

A Few Final Words on the Best CBD Cream for Pain

CBD creams may just be the future of pain management. While there isn’t enough research to conclusively prove it works, the results so far seem promising. Regular CBD users report that creams are excellent at reducing inflammation, chronic pain, and stiff joints. Moreover, cooling CBD roll-on gels target muscle soreness, which makes them ideal for post-workout relief.

Much like any other supplement, ingredients play a role in how well the CBD cream will work. Therefore, when choosing the best CBD cream for pain, it’s important to focus on reputable brands. The above-listed names have a good selection of CBD topicals in a wide range of potencies. Some even offer CBD-infused skincare products. So apart from finding the best CBD cream for pain, users can also have CBD-based skincare as well.

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