What’s The Best CBD Cream for Pain and Inflammation? (2020 Reviews)

Best CBD Cream

Today you’re getting a list of the best CBD creams that you can currently buy.

We reviewed over 20 samples by testing their effects on exercise-induced inflammation…

We only considered products that actually had an effect for this list.

We then rated all effective products on:

  • Ingredients;
  • Transparency;
  • Price, and;
  • The latest scientific discoveries regarding the effectiveness of topical CBD products.

Keep reading!

What Science Can Tell Us About the Effectiveness of CBD Creams

  • There’s some evidence supporting the idea that topically applied CBD can help reduce pain and has anti-inflammatory effects4.
  • Studies show that CBD is more potent taken together with other hemp-derived compounds13;
  • Studies show that besides CBD, a few other hemp-derived cannabinoids have beneficial properties when topically applied as well (THC, CBN)4;
  • Studies show that hemp-derived terpenes can have beneficial effects when topically applied5;
  • Studies show that there are many natural non-hemp-derived compounds that can be applied topically for beneficial effects68, which theoretically, can be combined with CBD for even more beneficial effects.

Let’ start with our best CBD creams:

1. Charlotte’s Web (Best Full-Spectrum CBD Cream)

Charlotte's Web CBD CreamCharlotte’s Web is one of the only CBD brands that has full control over the complete manufacturing process of its products.

From the moment they plant the hemp seed to the final formulation of their products…

Charlotte’s Web tests their products up to 20 times before they reach you.

Their CBD cream is no different in that regard. It’s made from the same hemp that their well-respected CBD oil is made from.

This mean that you’re getting a true full-spectrum CBD cream with Charlotte’s Web.

Although there are no specific studies that show CBD is more potent with other hemp-derived compounds when applied topically

There are enough general CBD studies that show CBD is more potent as part of a full-spectrum hemp-extract.

There are also studies that show other hemp-derived cannabinoids like THC can have anti-inflammatory effects when applied topically.

Therefore, we believe that when it comes to CBD creams, our number one rule for CBD products still holds true:

Full-spectrum CBD products are the most potent CBD products you can use.

Hemp is an amazingly complex plant that contains MANY beneficial compounds besides CBD. We want all of them!

And with Charlotte’s Web, you indeed get a very large part of them.

Add to this the fact that you get additional natural compounds that have anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing effects when topically applied, like:

  • Menthol, and;
  • Arnica…

And you’ll quickly realize why we rate this CBD cream so high.

You would think that such a high-quality CBD Cream is expensive…

But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

With 750mg of hemp extract for $40, this is one of the most affordable CBD creams you can get.

Click the link below to go Charlotte’s Web website:

Buy Charlotte’s Web Cream

2. CBDfx (Best for Pain)

CBDfx CBD CreamWhen it comes to CBD products…

We consistently rank CBDfx products in our top 10 lists.

Here’s why:

  • They sell some of the highest customer-rated CBD products that you can find. Their CBD creams and balms have thousands of reviews with an average rating of 4.6/5 stars.
  • They let each and every product they sell get extensively third-party lab-tested on toxins, contaminants, and cannabinoid-content by third-party laboratories.
  • Their products contain organic ingredients for the most part.

Like their CBD oil, their CBD creams and balms are full-spectrum products that contain a wide variety of beneficial hemp-derived compounds.

Although CBDfx cream doesn’t contain other beneficial cannabinoids like THC or CBC at such high concentrations as Charlotte’s Web for example…

It does contain at least trace amounts of other cannabinoids.

Besides hemp-derived compounds, CBDfx cream contains two other proven natural pain-reducing compounds:

  • Menthol, and
  • White willow bark.

It’s also the only CBD cream that contains a small amount of caffeine to stimulate your blood flow.

The bottom line:

CBDfx cream is great combination of natural pain-reducing compounds and probably is one of the better options if you only want to use a CBD cream for pain.

Click the link below to go the CBDfx website:

Buy CBDfx Cream

3. cbdMD (Best THC-Free)

cbdMD Pain Relieving CreamAs you know already:

When it comes to CBD products, we highly value ‘full-spectrum’ CBD products. But full-spectrum CBD products always contain a certain level of THC (always less than 0.3%).

If you don’t want ANY THC in your CBD cream, full-spectrum CBD creams are off the table.

What are some reasons as to why you would want to avoid THC in your CBD cream?

Well, for example:

  • You could be subjected to regular drug-tests, and these always test for THC;
  • You could be on certain medication that interferes with the metabolization of THC, making a small amount of THC much more potent than it usually is.

If you want to avoid THC, I highly recommend getting a CBD cream from cbdMD.

Although this cream doesn’t contain THC, it does contain trace elements of other beneficial hemp-derived cannabinoids and terpenes.

This means that, although not as potent as a true full-spectrum CBD cream, it’s more potent than a CBD-only CBD cream.

In addition to CBD, this cream contains additional natural pain-relieving compounds like menthol.

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a THC-free CBD cream, this is the best one you can get.

Click the link below to go cbdMD’s website:

Buy cbdMD Cream

4. CBDistillery (Best Guarantee)

CBDistillery CreamCBDistillery is an old-timer in the CBD industry.

They have been around for many years, even before hemp was legalized on a federal level.

Their products are some of the best value for money CBD products you can find.

And their CBD cream isn’t any different.

CBDistillery CBD cream is a full-spectrum CBD product…but for a very affordable price.

With this cream, you get trace elements of various hemp-derived cannabinoids and terpenes…plus you get a WIDE variety of other natural compounds that have various benefits when topically applied.

For example:

  • Essential oils (including lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus);
  • Botanical extracts (rosemary, chamomile, and white willow);

This CBD cream probably has the widest variety of topically active, beneficial compounds.

But what makes CBDistellry’s offer truly unique is the following:

  • A 60-day satisfaction-guarantee.

Yes, you’ve read that right. You can try this CBD cream for 60 days before you even decide it’s worth the money.

You couldn’t find a more risk-free purchase when it comes to CBD products.

Click the link below to go CBDistillery’s website:

Buy CBDistillery Cream

5. Populum (Best Terpene-Rich CBD Cream)

Populum Cold RubPopulum CBD cream is the best terpene-rich CBD cream that you can find.

While most CBD creams only contain trace amounts of terpenes equaling a few milligrams here and there…

One bottle of Populum CBD cream contains 60 milligrams of terpenes, with caryophyllene being the main one.

This is much higher than other CBD creams. And when we’re talking about full-spectrum CBD products, terpenes are an often-overlooked aspect of it. Terpenes, just like cannabinoids, have many uniquely beneficial properties and are thought to act synergistically to CBD as well.

There are many studies indicating it’s highly beneficial to have hemp-derived terpenes inside your CBD product…

Plus, there are even a few studies that found topically applied terpenes can have various benefits.

There are also trace amounts of other hemp-derived cannabinoids inside this cream.

Plus, you get other (mom-hemp-derived) compounds that can have anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing effects when topically applied:

  • Arnica;
  • Chamomile, and;
  • Aloe vera.

This CBD cream is another great combination of natural, skin-beneficial compounds with CBD being the most important one.

This one is significantly more expensive than the other creams on the list though.

Click the link below to go Populum’s website:

Buy Populum Cream

CBD Cream and Other Topicals vs CBD Oil and Other Edible Forms of CBD

The main benefits of using a CBD cream vs a CBD oil are:

  • You can really target localized ‘inflamed’ or ‘pain-heavy’ areas.
  • It can produce same effects in these localized areas, with less CBD, lower peak plasma concentrations, and with fewer side effects.

The downsides of CBD cream vs CBD oil are:

  • CBD creams have a less wide range of potential uses. They can only be used for inflammation- and pain-related conditions, while edible forms of CBD like CBD oil can be used for its anti-anxiety and sleep-improving effects as well, for example.
  • There’s more scientific proof supporting the benefits of edible forms of CBD.

If you want to try a CBD oil, read our reviews before you decide to buy one.

How to Use CBD Cream

Never eat CBD cream.

All CBD creams, lotions, balms, and gels are only suited to be used topically.

In general, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Potential Benefits of CBD Cream

There’s some evidence supporting the idea that topically applied CBD can help reduce pain and has anti-inflammatory effects.

In one animal study, topically applied CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis9.

In another study, researchers found that topical application of CBD has improved inflammatory skin disorders like encephalomyelitis (EAE) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)4.

This same study found that topical application of CBD can have anti-inflammatory effects in patients with acne scars4.

In general, CBD is associated with a variety of potential benefits, but the ones that seem most relevant to CBD creams, gels, and lotions are its anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects.

Is CBD Cream Legal?

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal on a federal level in the U.S. That means the product contains less than 0.3% THC.

Whether CBD products are legal on your state differs per state, but in most states CBD products are legal on a federal-level.

Learn More More About CBD

The Best CBD Oils: A list of our most recommended CBD oil brands, includes full-spectrum CBD oils, broad-spectrum CBD oils, and CBD isolates. All are 3th-party lab-tested to confirm they’re contaminant-free and contain high levels of CBD.

The Best CBD Gummies: A list of our recommended CBD gummies. All are 3th-party lab-tested to confirm they’re contaminant-free and contain high levels of CBD.

The Best CBD Vape Oils: A list of our recommended CBD vape oils. All are 3th-party lab-tested to confirm they’re contaminant-free and contain high levels of CBD.

The Benefits of CBD Oil: A review of over 100 studies that found potential health benefits associated with CBD.

CBD Oil and Anxiety: A review of studies that looked at CBD‘s mechanism of action in relation to its anxiety-reducing effects and experimental studies that looked at the effects of CBD on anxiety in humans.

CBD Oil and Pain: A review of studies that looked at CBD‘s mechanism of action in relation to its pain-reducing effects and experimental/case studies that looked at the effects of CBD on pain in humans.

CBD and Terpenes: An exploration of the relationship between CBD and terpenes and why there’s a strong theoretical foundation of combining both.

CBD Isolate vs Full-Spectrum: A deep-dive into the different types of CBD products: CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum, and their pros and cons for you as a CBD products consumer.


  1. Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis. Fabricio A. Pamplona, Lorenzo Rolim da Silva, and Ana Carolina Coan (2018).
  2. Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts: Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts? John M. McPartland DO, MS and Ethan B. Russo MD (2008).
  3. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Ethan B. Russo MD (2011).
  4. Palmieri, B., Laurino, C., & Vadalà, M. (2019). A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. La Clinica Terapeurica170(2), 93–99. https://doi.org/10.7417/CT.2019.2116.
  5. Petrović, J., Stojković, D., & Soković, M. (2019). Terpene core in selected aromatic and edible plants: Natural health improving agents. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, 423–451. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.afnr.2019.02.009.
  6. Higashi, Y., Kiuchi, T., & Furuta, K. (2010). Efficacy and safety profile of a topical methyl salicylate and menthol patch in adult patients with mild to moderate muscle strain: A randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Clinical Therapeutics32(1), 34–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2010.01.016.
  7. Eshghi, F., Hosseinimehr, S. J., Rahmani, N., Khademloo, M., Norozi, M. S., & Hojati, O. (2010). Effects of Aloe vera Cream on Posthemorrhoidectomy Pain and Wound Healing: Results of a Randomized, Blind, Placebo-Control Study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine16(6), 647–650. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2009.0428.
  8. Bost, J., Maroon, A., & Maroon, J. (2010). Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. Surgical Neurology International1(1), 80. https://doi.org/10.4103/2152-7806.73804.
  9. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2015). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain20(6), 936–948. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.818.

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