Nowadays more and more people are looking for a natural substitution of traditional therapies and medication. Cannabinoids coming from either the cannabis plant or the hemp plant are gaining traction as they are studied more and more with each passing day. The countless of positive feedback and promising lab results have created an industry demand that is still making companies struggle with the delivery of their products. Hemp products have been applied to virtually every aspect of modern medicine and have been proven to at least alleviate the symptoms of the targeted condition, making them an almost universal treatment. In this guide, I will showcase some of the best CBD creams on today’s market and give you more in-depth information on CBD (cannabidiol) and its properties when it comes in the form of a cream.
A good CBD cream should be chosen by its strength, which is in a direct correlation between the CBD concentration and the CBD percentage in the cream. Other qualities you should keep an eye out for are the purity of the product and the form-factor. While capsules or oils are great for oral use, creams are the best for topically applying them to damaged areas of our bodies. They are also ideal for joint issues as you can apply the cream directly over the wounded joint.
Before we get deeper into the guide section of this article where I explain the various benefits of CBD and CBD creams in general, let’s check out some of the best products for this year. First, I have made a small comparison chart of all the creams I’ve reviewed which showcases their most important features next to one another.
Table of Contents
Top CBD Creams Comparison Chart
Our Top 5 Products
Below I’ve compiled a list of the 5 CBD creams on today’s market which are the most potent and are also the top picks of consumers. They are each good in their own field, and so I have divided them into these categories:
- The best cream overall
- The top pick for back issues
- The best cream to help you with pain management
- The one which works the best for acne
- The best anti-aging cream
So, without further ado, here is the first and best cream of this year:
The Best Overall – Lawrence Taylor Pain Master CBD Cream
The Lawrence Taylor “Pain Master” CBD cream is one of the, if not the, best creams on today’s cannabidiol market. It presents a very potent formula derived from raw organic hemp oil. Thanks to the new extraction methods there is virtually no THC in the cream, making it ideal for athletes and people who work at places with drug tests. The conditions which this cream can easily handle are all the sports-related traumas, such as sprains, bruises, sore muscles, backaches, joint issues, joint pain and inflammation, such as arthritis, and many more. Since it is a CBD cream it also inherits most of the beneficial properties of CBD that can be used on damaged skin, itches, skin inflammation or just dry skin, as the one of people dealing with psoriasis.
The CBD concentration here is a little too high for it to be an ideal first product to someone new to all this but it is exactly that which makes the effect that much more potent. Just a few minutes after you apply the cream you can feel the soothing and calming effect of the cannabidiol settling under your skin and in your damaged area to reduce the pain and inflammation there.
If you want to learn more about the cream, its features, as well as the most important pros and cons, check out the full review by clicking the button below.
Top CBD Cream For Back Issues – Diamond CBD Biotech Cream
The Biotech CBD cream by Diamond CBD is a worthy holder of the second place here. Still, even though it slightly falls behind the “Pain Master” I find it to be better for back issues and thus its being ranked as it is. It contains twice as little CBD, rounding up at 500mg but that pure CBD isolate concentration is enough for almost anyone, be it an athlete or a regular desk job worker. In fact, I consider this to be a more appropriate amount than the 1000mg versions as it is more beginner-friendly and has a smoother effect, instead of a sharper one.
What is unique about this product is that it is one of the few creams I’ve seen that offers a herbal blend besides its main CBD ingredient. In it, there are:
- Tea Tree Oil
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Tocopherol Acetate (Vit. E)
- Mineral Oil
This is why this is one of the most selling products of the company and as a whole on the market right now. People fall in love with it mainly due to the combined effects from all the oils and herbal compounds you get inside. If you can handle the price, I’d say this is the best deals you can get your hands on, in terms of price to value ratio.
The company, as usual, takes it a step further than the rest and offers you your money back in case you don’t like the product or simply do not feel any beneficial effects from it. The delivery is also free on the 1000mg version. To find out more on that and many more features of the Biotech cream, click the button bellow to go to the full review.
Best Pain Management Cream – HempWorx Relief Icy Pain Rub
Another great addition to the pain relief creams we’ve reviewed so far is the HempWorx Relief Icy rub. It is again a CBD cream which features a very unique blend of other ingredients such as the exotic Emu oil which is beginning to be used more and more in natural pain-relief skin products such as creams. The cannabidiol concentration here is pretty low. Actually, it is the lowest I’ve seen in any cream but that doesn’t mean that the Relief is any less potent than its competitors. After all, its not about the amount of CBD but also its purity and the supplementary ingredients present in the mixture.
HempWorx claim that their cream is THC-free but it actually isn’t. Thanks to a slightly outdated processing technique, this cream gets a minuscule amount of THC in it (less than 0.3%). That, of course, will never cause any “high” effect associated to THC but it might positivize some drug tests which should make you consider this cream twice before taking it if you are working in an environment with random drug tests.
As a whole, the icy soothing effect this cream creates on the place you rub it in is second to none and is enough to calm down any injury, be it a muscle tare, a joint pain as the ones from arthritis, or other sports-related injuries. Being a CBD cream it is also good for other skin conditions such as rashes, redness, itching, etc. To find out more about its features, as well as see its pros and cons, check out the full review I wrote about it by clicking the button below.
The Best Cream For Acne – Cannabidiol Life CBD Deep Soothing Balm
What Cannabidiol Life have done with their “Soothe Balm” cream is nothing short of amazing. This is the only product I’ve reviewed on today’s market that has such a high amount of substances in it at such of a bargain price. The essential oils, the St. John’s Wort and other organic extracts, as well as the butters and raw hemp extract is what make this cream so potent for short-term effects. It feels nice on the skin, smells even better, and leaves no marks on the clothes. Even if you decide to put something on top of it, the balm itself absorbs really fast and acts on the tissues below immediately. This makes it ideal for conditions such as pain relief, chronic muscle or joint ache, or skin rashes and itchiness.
What is great about this product is that, thanks to its unique and progressive extraction methods, it has no THC in it, not even trace amounts of it or the subforms of the substance. This makes it a very safe product to be used by professionals that are just looking for a CBD product to handle their daily issues. People suffering from psoriasis will see that the amoutn of CBD here (275mg) is great for that particular condition as it isn’t too much nor too little, and when applied twice a day it keeps things steady and soothed. Again, even though I would have loved the company to be third party tested or be a bit more transparent about its products and production, I still can’t fault the amazing price-to-value ratio here. You get so much for an average price, whether some way more expensive creams don’t have even half of the ingredients of the “Soothe Balm”. Click the button bellow if you want to learn more about its effects, applications, and benefits.
Top Anti-Aging CBD Cream – Alpha Natural Help Hemp Relief
This potent, powerful CBD-infused topical cream by Organic Hemp contains two hundred milligrams of CBD per container. This formula also includes both MSM and Arnica for lasting, more effective treatment that can help you to easily manage pain and inflammation. The cream features a non-greasy formula, allowing you to wear the cream when you’re out and about.
Additionally, the powerful formula can work for two to four hours and is designed to treat mild to moderate pain and inflammation. Designed to treat muscle spasms, back pain, inflammation, sore muscles, and a variety of conditions, this cream is a steal for the price. If you want to learn more about this products and all of its features, as well as pros and cons, click on the button bellow to go to the full review.
CBD Creams Buyer’s Guide
CBD creams, or more often called balms, salves, or ointments, are semisolid mixtures of medical substances such as cannabidiol and essential (ethereal) ingredients which give color, scent, and viscosity to the concoction. Unlike CBD Oils, they are administered through the skin and can have a more topical or direct effect on an affected area of our bodies. Their effect doesn’t end there, though. They can be used to treat countless conditions even deeper than the skin’s surface levels.
The main difference between CBD creams and other types of lotions such as salves, balms, and ointments is that creams and lotions use water and/or moisturizing agents in their formula making them a bit more easy to apply on the skin. Salves and balms use only fatty oils or wax as their base, without having any water. They are a bit harder to the touch but are longer lasting when applying to the skin and do not absorb fast. They are ideal for slow-acting substances.
The actual function heavily depends on only one thing, though. That is the amount of CBD inside the cream and what other supporting ingredients it has inside.
In this guide we will talk primarily about creams and lotions since they are our main focus here. If something refers to salves and balms we will specifically say so.
Curious how CBD affects cancer patients? Find out more on the topic here. Now, let’s answer one very important question:
How Are CBD Creams Made?
These types of creams are made by extracting the oils from either the cannabis or the hemp plant. Both these plants contain phytocannabinoids and exactly those compounds are taken and added to an already established cream base with other medical or cosmetic ingredients. CBD oil itself can be added and mixed with any product you can think of, and that pretty much is the process by which CBD creams get their cannabidiol part.
Taking that into account, it becomes fairly simple to create a CBD cream out of any of your favorite lotions. Just get a good CBD tincture and add it into a decent concentration according to the dosage you want to be applying to your body. Brands in this business carefully measure the amount of CBD in their products and tailor it according to the main use the cream will be targeted at. For example, pain relief CBD creams will have a slightly higher dosage of cannabidiol due to the needed stronger and faster effect at the area in pain.
The most common fillers which are mixed in CBD creams are:
- shea butter
- cocoa butter
Now that we’ve gone through the explanation of what those lotions are and how they are made, let’s dive into a far more interesting topic:
How Do Those Creams Work?
Whenever there is CBD involved you have to think about our own endocannabinoid system. Cannabidiol actually solely interacts with that system through the system’s CB2 receptors. Those receptors can be found virtually anywhere in our bodies placed upon our peripheral nervous system. This allows CBD to actually affect any part of our body and present its healing effect exactly where it’s needed.
CB2 receptors are known to regulate and maintain various processes such as:
- Sleep cycles
- Immune response
- Skin sensitivity
- Organ function
One other, more indirect effect of CBD is that it stalls the breakdown of amide hydrolase (a fatty acid). By doing so, it preserves the CB2 receptors which helps relieve pain and other symptoms.
Oral Use Of CBD Vs. Topical Use
It is easy to understand how an ingested or injected CBD dose will end up in our system. That will happen either through the blood supply or through our digestive system (via absorption). What is harder, though, is imagining how a cream will ultimately affect something way deeper than the skin and reach molecular level in other parts of the body.
Skin, in reality, is our biggest organ and it is quite functional. It simultaneously acts as a barrier for any potential harmful agents and as a membrane which lets important substances through it. It absorbs lipid-based liquids the fastest, meaning CBD salves will pass through it the fastest. CBD creams, on the other hand, won’t pass with the same speed. What initiates the healing process are the cannabinoid-carrying lipids in the cream which interact almost immediately with the surrounding area of the skin.
This is why CBD lotions are prefered over oils in some cases. They are better for place-specific traumas such as joint issues, eczema, psoriasis, and even for people with acne. You apply the cream at the desired location and it almost instantly starts doing its job on that specific place. Once it reaches greater depths of the skin, trace amounts of it will go everywhere in our ECS and bloodstream allowing for creams to have a strong topical but also a mild overall effect.
In those things lies the differences between creams and oils containing CBD. Oils just act slower since they need some time to be absorbed by our intestines and to get to the location of the issue. The effects of creams (at least the short-term ones) can be felt almost immediately as opposed to oils and tinctures.
The Endocannabinoid System
This system is newly discovered by American scientists. We know about it since the 1990s and for that brief period what we gathered isn’t much. The system itself is made of a network of cannabinoids that occur naturally in our bodies and receptors (CB2 for instance) which as a whole helps with things like pain, inflammation, memory, the immune system’s response, etc.
The CB2 receptors exist primarily in our peripheral nervous system but can also be found in every other human cell. They are crucial to the cell’s homeostasis. Knowing that all cells have cannabinoid receptors shows us one very important thing – CBD can be a universal treatment to almost anything only, of course, if we research it and use it right.
Since creams are applied to the skin, it is important to mention that the superficial ECS controls most of the skin’s functions. In fact, the skin itself is believed to have its own endocannabinoid system. This is why even small topical applications of CBD lotions can have vastly beneficial effects.
If you are curious how CBD can help people deal with conditions such as psoriasis, click here to read my full article on the topic.
CBD And THC
Those two substances are often linked and people tend to not fully know the difference. They are both extracted from either the cannabis or hemp plants but CBD, unlike THC, doesn’t have psychotropic effects. THC is a psychoactive ingredient and is associated with the “high” feeling people get when smoking or taking marijuana or cannabis. Even if a lotion contains trace amounts of THC you won’t feel dizzy or high as topical application won’t create those effects. Most CBD creams are either pure or have less than 0.3% of THC. When they do have THC in them, it is clearly written on the sticker.
One group of people that really needs to pay attention to that is those who work in companies with zero-tolerance policies and drug tests. Even trace amounts of THC in a product will make you positivize a drug test and can result in contract termination in some places.
Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits Of CBD Creams
For most people the short-term effects will be limited to pain relief and some anti-inflammatory properties. Those are conditions such as:
- Local trauma
- Pain in a certain area
- Joint inflammation
The long-term effects can be quite diverse but in general we will stick to what has been researched and proven for now. On the long run, CBD creams affect:
- Chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc.
- Chronic pain management
There are other conditions which still benefit from topically applying creams containing cannabidiol but in those cases professionals recommend using it orally in the form of an oil or tincture. Such conditions are depression, anxiety, lack of focus and concentration, short and long-term memory, lack of proper cognitive abilities.
There are trivial things that CBD creams help with as well. Even mosquito bites, common itches, dry skin or cuts can benefit from the effects cannabidiol has on our skin’s ECS system.
All these benefits lay out the case of why CBD creams are so widely used and easily accepted by the general population. At first glance they are no different than your everyday Nivea cream but what’s inside of them makes them truly special. Furthermore, they can easily be carried around and offer a quick relief for most superficial conditions. People use them as day creams, night creams, facial masks, skin smoothing creams, body lotions and a lot of other cases. In general, our bodies cannot overdose on CBD since the tolerance limit cannot be reached even in laboratory conditions. Sure, there might be a point when the CB2 receptors won’t be sufficient for the CBD molecules but even then CBD isn’t harmful to the body and can stay in depos all over it until it’s needed.
General Things To Consider When Buying CBD Products
As we already pointed out CBD products come in all size and forms. When choosing a CBD product for yourself you need to consider a few things, especially if you are a first-time buyer.
There is no risk of overdosing with any CBD product even if you decide to combine it with another kind (ex. Drops with a topically applied cream). Still, there are things you have to keep your eyes open for. Those are:
- The strength of the product
- The purity and what it contains
- What form do you want your CBD product to be in
Let’s take a look at those three factors individually now…
CBD Creams are often categorized based on their strength which is a reflection of two key factors:
- The CBD Concentration – When it comes to cannabidiol products in general, this is the most valued factor. Concentration is measured in milligrams and is directly proportional to the strength of the cream. For instance, a cream with 100mg of CBD in it is 4 times stronger than a cream with 25mg of CBD per 100g of cream.
- The CBD Percentage – This is another important feature which reflects on the strength of a product. For a cream to be potent enough to deal with various conditions it needs to have its CBD concentration between 0.1% and 0.27%. The strength you will eventually choose depends on what level you want to start from. My advice is to start with a cream with a lower concentration and see how it affects you and your symptoms. If you feel great, then this is your golden ratio. If you feel like more could be done for your body, then up the percentage gradually.
The next very important feature of a good cream is…
How pure a CBD cream is depends on what other ingredients has the manufacturer included in the mix. There are CBD creams which have things like sweeteners, coloring, solvents, and even preservatives in them. I wouldn’t recommend those as there are always more natural alternatives, as I’ve shown in my top 5 list.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there might be chemicals in the cream which are connected to the treatment of the hemp plant itself. The oil to create the creams isn’t always extracted from the same part of the hemp plant. It might come from the stalk, flowers, or the petals/leaves. Since some of those parts are exposed to the way the manufacturer treats the plant, there is a good chance of part of that treatment ending in your cream.
Keep your eyes open for labels regarding the treatment of the plants and the extraction process. That might hint you how different plants are treated before they are used for oil. In general, the safe bet would be to buy your CBD products from trusted industrial hemp producers only.
Lastly, there are an odd amount of creams out there for some reason. Some are more close to balms and are very dense and hard. They can be used only when slightly heated. Others are very oil-like and are ideal for spreading over larger areas of your body. This might seem weird to you but consider checking the consistency either by asking the manufacturer or by looking at individual reviews.
Additional Things To Consider
There are, of course, other things to consider such as the scent, which when you use the cream daily, plays a vital role believe me. I personally love the natural hemp smell but I’ve found out that I might be alone on this one. People usually go for mint-scented oils and creams, as well as some with other flower-like scents.
One often overlooked feature of CBD creams is whether they give you the sensation of being “high” or not. If they do, they might contain any amount of THC in them. As I pointed out earlier, THC isn’t ideal for these products as it causes a high effect and can positivize a random drug test at your workplace. Generally, when the products are processed well, there isn’t more than 0.03% of THC but make sure you carefully read the label as this amount of THC is still enough to pop up on a drug test.
Just to be on the safe side of things, I recommend sticking to non-THC products. The amount of THC also plays a major role in whether the product can be legal in a certain state. I’ve devoted a whole article on explaining where CBD is legal and what can you use it for state by state. Click here if you want to go there.
If your cream is made from industrial hemp, though, there is no risk of it containing THC as this is a CBD-heavy strain which doesn’t have even trace amounts of the psychoactive compound of THC.
Get Your Money Back
I like to recommend products from reputable companies for one major reason. Any big company that trusts its product will allow you to get your money back if you don’t feel any significant effects.
On top of that, companies which have proven reputation on the market also allow for third-party testings. Still, there are countless of manufacturers out there that test their products on their own. Very convenient, right? Try avoiding these companies until they put out an actual third-party testing of their product and its ingredients.
Last year the FDA issue a few warning letters to some companies which let them know that there were no active cannabinoids in their products.
Since you already have all this knowledge on CBD creams, it is time to move on to the final step, which is:
Ultimately Choosing The Right Cream
If you don’t want to pick some of the creams I’ve selected for my top 5 list, then you have to combine all the tools I just gave you and pick the product which you deem right for you.
To summarize, focus on:
- The company’s third-party testings
- The ingredients of the cream
- The CBD concentration and proportion (percentage)
- How pure it is
- Whether there are additives
- Does it have THC in it (even in trace amounts)?
When keeping all those things in mind you are bound to make the right choice. Another thing that I always like advising people is to just google the product. A simple google search can expose you to countless of reviews of it. Sure, some of them will be paid and biased but you will be able to easily distinguish them by the endless praise a product receives there. Among all the reviews you will find honest ones which are written by people who have tried and experienced the product for a period of time. Of course, there are no two people exactly alike so the effects can be expected to be different but you will at least get the overall notion of the cream’s effects when reading reviews on it.
Now, let’s move on to some of the most frequent and related questions people often ask when it comes down to this topic…
How Long Does It Take For CBD To Take Effect?
This greatly depends on the way you take CBD. When ingested (oral use), it generally takes up to an hour for the effects to be felt. If you are taking it on an empty stomach this time will be twice as little and you will be able to feel the effects as early as just 20-30 minutes after ingestion.
With topically applied CBD products, though, things are a little different. For skin conditions it might soothe the itching and pain almost instantly provided you apply it properly and smoothly. If you use it to treat arthritis, for instance, you won’t feel the effect for at least one or two hours as it will take some time for the rubbed in cream to get to the joint capsule.
Does CBD Help You Lose Weight?
Unlike THC, which only makes you hungrier, CBD suppresses your appetite and is considered one of the great natural ways to lose weight. It is also proven that CBD raises the mitochondrial levels of your body, ultimately resulting in your cells burning more calories. This, on its own, is enough of a weight management feature.
What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD?
Some of the major benefits of using CBD are:
- Helping people with pain management
- Helps you deal with stress and anxiety
- Powerful anti-inflammatory remedy
- Reduces risk of diabetes and allows for better glucose control
- Reduces blood pressure
If you want to find out more about the various uses of hemp oil in the medical world, check out this article on the topic.
It goes without saying that if you consider trying out a CBD/Hemp product you should consult your physician. Even though these products are generally harmless and aren’t known to cause any severe side effects, you and your doctor should be aware of any potential prescription interactions.
Knowing how to pick the best CBD cream for you is something you should learn before going out shopping for one. This is vital mainly because there are so many products out there which aren’t as good as advertised or are straight up lying on their labels. Whenever you are buying a new CBD product, always make sure you are betting safe on a big and well-known company and also make sure you read individual reviews on the product you have set your eyes on.