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Best CBD Cream in 2023: Top 7 Products For Pain Relief, Dry Skin, and More

Which CBD creams are the best CBD creams?

Presented by Originated Media March 14, 2023

Which CBD creams are the best CBD creams? That really depends whether you’re using CBD cream for pain relief, sore muscles, dry skin, or workout recovery. 

CBD cream is a very versatile product, and a lot of the top CBD oil brands are releasing their own versions of these powerful topicals. You can find cream in pump bottles or tub — and some have cooling qualities, while others are warming (or both!). 

If all of these CBD cream options have you feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and keep reading. 

We reviewed the most popular CBD cream brands, and we’re ready to recommend top-notch winners in seven different categories.

Top 7 CBD Creams – Quick Summary

  1. Best Overall: CBDfx Muscle and Joint Cream

  2. Best for Dry Skin: CBDistillery CBDefine CBD Balm

  3. Best CBD Cream for Pain Relief: Green Roads Muscle & Joint Cream

  4. Best for Skin Irritation: Koi Healing Balm

  5. Best for Achy Muscles: Zatural CBD Hot Cream

  6. Best for Relaxation: Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve

  7. Best for Athletes: Extract Labs Muscle Cream

What Is CBD Cream?

CBD creams are essentially a lotion or moisturizer that has been infused with CBD oil. Different CBD creams have different formulas, just like different lotions have different formulas. Some are made with natural lipids, like shea butter and jojoba oil. Others are water-based. 

CBD creams also have a range of textures — some are thick and emollient, and others are light and silky-smooth.

CBD, the active ingredient in CBD cream, is derived from hemp. It will not make you feel high, although it can have some relaxing effects. While people often take CBD orally, it can also be absorbed through the skin. Studies in rats have shown that when applied topically, CBD can ease pain and inflammation. People also use CBD creams for skin-related ailments, like dry skin and sunburn.

What Is CBD Cream Used For?

CBD cream can be used to manage a number of skin conditions and complaints, including the following:

  • Dry skin
  • Pain relief
  • Chapped and wind-burned skin
  • Sunburn
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne breakouts
  • Flaky skin

Since CBD topicals are absorbed through the skin and into the underlying tissues, it is also helpful for managing joint pain due to arthritis and old injuries. Athletes and other active adults also use it to ease muscle pain and tension. Some people apply it to bruised areas, too.

CBD topicals can also help you feel relaxed and at-ease. Some people apply one before bedtime for stress relief and better sleep.

Best CBD Cream Brands: Our Top 7 Picks

These are our top 7 picks for the best CBD creams in 2023.

1. Best Overall: CBDfx Muscle and Joint Cream

CBDfx Muscle and Joint Cream is our choice for Best Overall because of its unique cooling qualities, convenient pump dispenser, and potent, 1000 mg or 3000 mg formulas. 

This CBD pain cream is made with broad spectrum CBD, so you get the benefits of hemp terpenes without any THC. It contains menthol, which imparts a gentle cooling sensation on contact. White willow back and caffeine enhance its pain-relieving, soothing qualities.

Since CBDfx Muscle and Joint Cream is water-based, it absorbs quickly into the skin and does not make a mess. This makes it a good choice for athletes who want to apply CBD cream before putting on their workout attire. It also works well for arthritis patients who plan on applying CBD pain cream throughout the day.

We appreciate the steps CBDfx takes to ensure this cream is potent and effective. They extract their CBD from US-grown hemp. They also submit the product for lab testing and medical review. This CBD cream for pain relief is vegan and Cruelty-free, so you can feel good about your purchase from an ethical standpoint.

About CBDfx:

With headquarters in California, CBDfx is a creative CBD company that makes everything from CBD oil to CBD dog treats. They aim to create products that are not only effective and safe, but also easy for customers to use. They have a team of medical advisors that review their products, and everything is sent to third-party labs for testing.

CBDfx has a loyalty program that allows customers to earn discounts on future purchases. They usually offer free shipping on orders that meet a minimum cost. All of their CBD products come with a 60-day guarantee.

Customer Reviews:

CBDfx Muscle and Joint Cream gets great reviews from athletes. They say it helps relieve pain and muscle soreness after tough workouts, and also loosens up their muscles before big games or competitions. Some feel that the caffeine in the formula gives them an extra energy boost.

This cream is also a favorite among those with arthritis and joint pain. They say the cooling sensation gives them instant relief while the CBD kicks in. Customers like that this CBD cream for pain relief comes in a pump dispenser. This dispenser makes the cream easy to relieve pain while on-the-go or at a desk.

Pros:

  • THC-free; made with broad spectrum CBD
  • Contains caffeine and white willow bark for enhanced relief
  • Comes in a pump bottle
  • Vegan and Cruelty-free
  • Available in two strengths: 1000 mg and 3000 mg

Cons:

  • May be difficult to pump last traces of product out of the bottle

Specs:

  • Size: 50 mL bottle
  • Strengths: 1000 mg, 3000 mg CBD/bottle

Learn more at CBDfx.com

2. Best for Dry Skin: CBDistillery CBDefine CBD Balm

Is your skin often dry and sometimes flaky? You may want to try CBDistillery CBDefine Skin Balm. This was our top pick in the Best for Dry Skin category because of its silky, moisturizing texture, and also because the formula includes several essential oils that are beneficial for dry skin.

CBDefine Skin Balm is made with full spectrum hemp extract, so you not only get the benefits of CBD, but also minor cannabinoids and terpenes. Each jar contains 500 mg full spectrum CBD. Other moisturizing, soothing ingredients include lavender and rosemary essential oils, beeswax, and almond oil. The formula also contains tea tree oil, which has antimicrobial properties and is a common ingredient in natural acne treatment creams.

CBDistillery recommends applying a liberal amount of this product to any area where relief is needed. Not only will it moisturize your skin, but it can also help soothe irritation and underlying muscle soreness. You can use this product multiple times per day, as needed, for lasting relief.

About CBDistillery:

As a company, CBDistillery believes in honest labeling and quality ingredients. They only use US-grown hemp, and their CO2 extraction methods allow them to produce some of the purest CBD on the market. All of their packages are clearly marked with CBD content and a detailed ingredients list.

CBDistillery puts their customers first, offering discounts for military members and veterans. They back their products with a 60-day guarantee and offer free shipping on orders that meet a minimum cost requirement.

Customer Reviews:

Customers say this CBD cream feels soft, silky, and luxurious when applied. The CBD goes to work quickly, relieving any itchiness and discomfort they were feeling. Several reviewers mentioned that if they use this CBD cream daily, their skin becomes more plush and moisturized over time. Customers also enjoy the scent of this CBD cream. Because it is made with lavender and rosemary essential oils, it has a floral, herbal aroma that reviewers say is relaxing.

Pros:

  • Made from non-GMO, naturally grown hemp
  • Formulated with soothing essential oils
  • Silky, luxurious texture
  • Contains full spectrum CBD oil

Cons:

  • Comes in a tub; dispensing can be messy

Specs:

  • Size: 1 oz tub
  • Strengths: 500 mg CBD/tub

Visit TheCBDistillery.com to learn more

3. Best CBD Cream for Pain Relief: Green Roads Muscle & Joint Cream

If you struggle with arthritis pain, Green Roads Muscle & Joint Cream is a great product to try. This CBD cream is specifically formulated for pain relief and comes in three strengths. It is also enhanced with methyl salicylate and menthol, which have powerful, pain-relieving properties. Green Roads recommends using it for sprains, strains, backaches, and arthritis, but it receives especially great reviews from arthritis patients.

Green Roads Muscle & Joint Cream is pharmacist formulated and tested in an independent lab. It is not tested on animals and is made with broad spectrum CBD from 100% US-grown hemp. Green Roads recommends applying it to the affected area up to 3 or 4 times per day. It absorbs readily into skin and delivers prompt, lasting relief.

This CBD cream for pain relief contains lavender oil and cucumber extract, which give it a light but enjoyable scent. It comes in a pump bottle, which makes it easy to dispense. For smaller joints, like elbows, you probably only need one pump. Larger joints, like knees and hips, may benefit from a two-pump dose.

About Green Roads:

Green Roads has a community-oriented approach and wants to make CBD accessible to everyone. They offer discounts for first responders, teachers, and military members. Anyone can save by signing up for regular deliveries through their Subscribe & Save program.

Green Roads takes a lot of steps to ensure that their products are pure and effective. They rely on a third-party lab for testing, and their formulas are designed by licensed pharmacists.

Customer Reviews:

Reviewers love this CBD cream for pain relief and swelling in their joints. Several reviewers mention that if they apply it before going to bed, their joints are not as stiff when they wake up. Others mention using it in the morning for pain relief that allows them to power through their workday. Customers use it on elbows, hips, knees, and even hands.

We also saw lots of praise for the scent of this CBD cream. Customers appreciate that the scent is light and appealing, and they like that it dissipates a few minutes after application.

Pros:

  • Comes in a convenient pump bottle
  • Available in three strengths
  • Formulated with pain-relieving methyl salicylate and menthol
  • Pharmacist formulated
  • Not tested on animals

Cons:

  • May leave a greasy residue if used frequently

Specs:

  • Size: 1 oz bottle
  • Strengths: 150 mg, 350 mg, and 750 mg CBD/bottle

Visit GreenRoads.com to learn more

4. Best for Skin Irritation: Koi Naturals Healing Balm

Koi Naturals Healing Balm is a great CBD cream to try if you struggle with irritated skin, eczema, or sensitive skin. Not only does it contain plenty of soothing CBD, but it is also formulated with other healing ingredients such as aloe vera leaf juice, sweet basil oil, and ginger root oil. We like that Koi Naturals Healing Balm comes not only in an ordinary size jar, but also in a 0.5-ounce travel size jar. This little jar is perfect for tossing in your work bag for on-the-go relief.

Koi recommends applying a small amount of this balm to irritated skin, and gently massaging the area until the product is fully absorbed. The soothing relief begins instantly once you apply the cream and only intensifies as your skin absorbs the CBD topical.

Koi sends this and their other products out for third-party lab testing, and the results are readily available on their website. They only use US-grown hemp in this and their other CBD products.

About Koi:

Founded in 2013, Koi’s motto is “Create Balance Daily.” They seek to create CBD and hemp products that help customers find balance, both physically and mentally. The company is based in California and is always seeking to create more innovative, functional products.

Koi Cares is a program through which Koi offers discounts to military members, first responders, medical professionals, and those facing financial hardship. The company also has a Rewards program that is open to all.

Customer Reviews:

Customers love this product for sunburned and wind damaged skin. They say it instantly soothes their skin and keeps them comfortable for hours. Some customers switch to this product after years of using aloe vera gel and say this product is more effective.

This CBD cream is also well-liked by customers with eczema and itchy skin. They appreciate the natural formula and find that the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD impart lasting relief.

Pros:

  • Available in a travel-size jar
  • Comes in two strengths
  • Formulated with soothing aloe vera and ginger root oil
  • Lab-tested for purity and potency

Cons:

  • Very thick; hard to remove from jar when cold

Specs:

  • Size: 1.7 oz, and .5 oz containers
  • Strengths: The travel-size, 0.5-ounce container contains 150 mg CBD. The 1.7-ounce container comes in two strengths: 500 mg and 1000 mg.

Visit KoiCBD.com to learn more

5. Best for Achy Muscles: Zatural CBD Hot Cream

If you’re struggling with muscle aches after a hard workout, a bout of illness, or a long day of shoveling snow, Zatural CBD Hot Cream can give you relief. This natural CBD cream for pain contains black pepper oil and capsaicin, which instantly start warming and soothing sore muscles. Then, the CBD starts to kick in, helping to ease inflammation and deeper pain. We appreciate that this cream is made with a long list of therapeutic botanicals, including but not limited to juniper berry oil, lemongrass oil, pine needle oil, and wild oregano oil.

Zatural comes in two strengths, including a very potent, 2000 mg formula for serious relief. All formulas are made with pure CBD. The lab test results, which are available on the company website, show the product to be free from THC. This product is also tested and verified to be free from all heavy metal and pesticide contaminants.

Zatural recommends applying CBD topical Hot Cream to your sore spots up to twice per day. You can wrap the area while the cream is being absorbed, if desired.

About Zatural:

Zatural is a US-based CBD company that sells doctor-formulated products. All of their CBD is made from natural-grown hemp and is lab tested for purity and potency.

Zatural believes in giving back to the community. They’ve partnered with K9 Warriors and the Africa Heartwood Project, and they offer a military discount. They accept returns within 30 days of purchase.

Customer Reviews:

This product is a favorite among those who work on their feet all day and come home feeling sore. They say that applying Zatural CBD Hot Cream to their feet and legs eases muscle aches so they can enjoy their evenings comfortably. Some reviewers also mention using this cream to soothe muscle aches when sick with the flu and other illnesses. It’s also well-liked by those with arthritis or gout pain.

Pros:

  • Contains warming capsaicin and black pepper oil
  • Comes in two strengths
  • Made with pure CBD; THC-free
  • Lab tested; results available on company website

Cons:

  • Leaves fingers feeling “warm” it not rinsed off promptly

Specs:

  • Size: 2 oz, and 8 oz jar
  • Strength: The 2-ounce jar comes in a 250 mg formula and a 500 mg formula. The 8-ounce jar comes in a 1000 mg formula and 2000 mg formula.

Visit Zatural.com to learn more

6. Best for Relaxation: Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve

CBD cream can be a part of an at-home spa routine. It can help you destress and relax at the end of a long day, before you crawl into bed. If this is how you plan on using your CBD cream, we suggest trying Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve. It is specifically designed to deliver a spa-like experience and has a lovely, relaxing scent thanks to the inclusion of lavender and eucalyptus oil.

Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve does not just relax your mind. It also nourishes dry skin and relieves tired muscles. The is a broad spectrum product, so you get the benefits of hemp terpenes in minor cannabinoids in addition to CBD.

Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve is medically reviewed and third-party lab tested. It is verified free from arsenic, lead, residual solvents, and heavy metals. This is Joy Organics #1 selling CBD topical and muscle and joint support.

About Joy Organics:

Joy Organics aims to create CBD products that are good for customers and for the planet. They are Certified USDA Organic and use carbon-neutral shipping methods. They work with medical doctors to review their products, and they source their hemp carefully.

Joy Organics has a great rewards program. Customers who sign up receive points for making purchases and leaving reviews. They even get bonus points on their birthdays.

Customer Reviews:

Reviewers say this CBD topical offers instant relaxation. Some apply it every night before going to bed and find that it helps them get better sleep. Others use it on occasion when they are feeling especially stressed out. It is reported to absorb easily into the skin without leaving a significant residue.

Several reviewers mention using this CBD salve as a foot cream. It not only softens calluses and moistens dry skin, but also eases muscle aches in the feet.

Pros:

  • Made with broad spectrum CBD oil
  • Formulated for a spa-like experience
  • USDA Organic
  • Medically reviewed
  • Shipped with carbon neutral shipping

Cons:

  • Not appropriate for those with an allergy to coconut

Specs:

  • Size: 1 oz, and 2 oz jar
  • Strength: 1 oz jar contains 500 mg CBD, 2 oz jar contains 1,000 mg CBD

Visit JoyOrganics.com to learn more

7. Best for Athletes: Extract Labs Muscle Cream

Athletes sometimes use CBD to help them recover from hard workouts or to ease muscle soreness before a workout. If you’re an athlete looking for the best CBD cream, we suggest trying Extract Labs Muscle Cream. This potent cream contains a robust 2000 mg of full spectrum CBD per jar. It also contains menthol and arnica, which offer additional muscle-soothing benefits. Extract Labs promises that this cream for pain promotes recovery, alleviates soreness, and relieves stiffness.

Extract Labs Muscle Cream is Certified Vegan and Certified Halal. It’s made in a cGMP-compliant facility from American-grown hemp and Certified Organic ingredients. You can review lab test results on the company’s website prior to purchase.

We appreciate how easy it is to use this full spectrum CBD cream. Extract Labs recommends using a dime-sized amount of the product on any problem areas. The shea butter and jojoba oil-based formula absorbs easily into skin.

About Extract Labs:

Extract Labs is based in Boulder, Colorado. They are a Certified USDA Organic company and have earned the Leaping Bunny seal of approval. The company makes a wide variety of CBD products including tinctures, capsules, gummies, and creams.

Extract Labs offers substantial discounts through their Subscribe & Save program. They also have a VIP program through which members can access exclusive offers, merchandise giveaways, and sales.

Customer Reviews:

This cream is a favorite among basketball players, runners, and cyclists. Runners like to apply it after a hard workout and report that it prevents them from feeling so sore the next day. Basketball players say it helps them feel looser and more limber when they step onto the court.

Customers appreciate how easily this cream absorbs into the skin. This makes it easy for them to use a little extra cream on days when their muscles are more sore than usual.

Pros:

  • Potent, 2000 mg formula
  • Made with full spectrum CBD oil
  • Certified Vegan and Halal
  • Formulated with arnica and menthol
  • Absorbs easily into skin

Cons:

  • Has a strong hemp scent

Specs:

  • Size: 2.95 oz tub
  • Strength: 2,000 mg CBD

Visit ExtractLabs.com to learn more

How Did We Find The Best CBD Cream Options

As we began our search for the best CBD cream, we were surprised just how many products there were to choose from. To prevent our testers from being overwhelmed, we decided to first eliminate any products that were not labeled with CBD content and a complete ingredients list. Then, for the products that remained, we began scrutinizing reviews and product descriptions.

We rewarded CBD creams for having the following features and qualities:

  • Made from US-grown hemp
  • Made from vegan ingredients
  • Formulated for fast absorption
  • Versatile; can be used for a variety of concerns and issues
  • Backed by a good guarantee

After lots of reading, we were able to pick out a few dozen CBD creams that we were really impressed by. Our testers then tried these products over the course of several weeks. They assessed how well they worked for the key concerns including dry skin, irritated skin, arthritis pain, and sore muscles.

Our testers gave us a lot of feedback, and we compiled it as quantitatively as possible. Based on this data, it was not difficult to choose the seven best CBD creams, which you see featured in this article.

How to Choose the Best CBD Cream for You

The best CBD cream for you will depend on your goals, your skin type, and how you plan to apply and use the product. Here are some key features and qualities to consider as you compare various CBD creams.

Lab Testing

CBD topicals should be tested in a third-party lab to ensure they contain the amount of CBD listed on the label. Reputable CBD companies share the Certificates of Analysis issued by the lab on their websites. If you cannot find evidence that a CBD cream has been lab-tested, it probably has not been. Steer clear of products that have not been lab tested as they may contain less CBD than claimed. They may also contain heavy metals and other contaminants.

Type of CBD

There are three main types of CBD that you’ll find within CBD products: full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate.

Full spectrum CBD

Some CBD creams contain full spectrum CBD, which contains additional terpenes and minor cannabinoids from hemp. Some of these terpenes have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes full spectrum hemp derived CBD products a good choice if you’re managing pain relief, or inflamed joints or skin.

Broad spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD also contains terpenes. However, broad spectrum CBD is THC-free, whereas full spectrum CBD can contain traces of THC. If you’re seeking the anti-inflammatory benefits of terpenes but want to avoid THC, look for a CBD topical made with broad spectrum cream.

CBD Isolate

The third type of CBD that CBD companies use in CBD topicals is called CBD isolate. CBD isolate is just pure CBD and offers all of the pain-relieving, soothing, and anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, but without any terpenes. If terpenes make you feel a bit sleepy, or if you don’t like their strong hemp scent, then look for a CBD cream made with pure CBD isolate.

Other Active Ingredients

Look for a CBD cream with other, active ingredients that deliver the benefits you seek. For instance, if you’re looking for a CBD pain cream, one with menthol or capsaicin might be a good choice. 

If you’re looking for CBD cream to relieve itchy skin, one formulated with soothing jojoba oil may be perfect.

Container Type

Some CBD creams come in jars. Others come in pump bottles. This is largely a matter of preference. Getting CBD cream out of a jar can be a little messy, but some people find pump bottles hard to use. 

If you plan to use your CBD cream on-the-go, look for a product in a container that seals tightly.

How Quickly Does CBD Cream Take Effect?

Some people begin to feel the effects of CBD cream for pain relief within 15 minutes or so. However, it may take about an hour for you to feel the full effects of the CBD. Many CBD creams are formulated with menthol or capsaicin. You feel the effects of these ingredients almost instantly. They give you quick relief while the CBD is still “setting in.”

Potential Side Effects of CBD

CBD is quite safe as long as it is purchased from a reliable company that lab-tests their products. Most people tolerate it well with no side effects. However, people do occasionally experience mild side effects such as sleepiness, nausea, diarrhea, and dry mouth with CBD. You’re less likely to experience dry mouth and nausea with CBD cream for pain relief than when taking CBD oil orally. 

Often, side effects diminish when people reduce their dose of CBD or use it less often.

FAQs

Why do some CBD creams contain THC?

If a CBD cream is made with full spectrum CBD, it will generally contain small traces of THC. This is because the hemp the full spectrum CBD is extracted from produces small amounts of THC. (In the United States, hemp is permitted to contain up to 0.3% THC by weight.) These traces of THC are not enough to make you feel high. However, they may interact positively with the CBD and enhance some of its benefits.

If you would rather avoid THC entirely, look for a CBD cream made with broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolate rather than full spectrum CBD. These products have had all traces of THC removed from them.

Can CBD cream help with nerve pain relief?

Yes, some people do use CBD cream for pain related to nerve conditions like multiple sclerosis or carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Some of the CBD pain cream will be absorbed through your skin, so it can help relieve this sort of internal pain and inflammation. You may, however, also want to consider taking CBD oil orally to control nerve pain.

Can CBD cream treat acne?

Acne has an inflammatory component, and CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. As such, some people do find that CBD creams can help reduce the severity of their acne breakouts. Even if CBD does not stop you from breaking out, it may make your pimples less inflamed and painful.

If you plan on using CBD cream for acne, make sure you choose a product that is formulated for facial use. Steer clear of CBD creams that contain heavy oils that could clog your pores and perpetuate breakouts.

Does CBD cream expire?

Most CBD topicals are oil-based, and as such, they will eventually go rancid. When this happens, the product is unlikely to cause serious harm, but it may be less effective and it will probably develop an unpleasant odor. 

The best CBD companies usually put an expiration or “best by” date on their products. Check for this date on the label or package.

Conclusion

If you want to use approved nonprescription CBD products topically, shop for a CBD cream that suits your needs. 

Many of the top CBD brands are adding CBD creams to their product lines. You can find CBD cream for pain relief, inflammation, muscle soreness, and irritated skin. We believe that the CBD creams listed above are some of the very best ones available. 

Read a little more about CBD topicals, choose the cream that best fits your needs, and give it a try. We’re confident you’ll love the relaxation and relief that the best CBD creams deliver.

Summary of the Top Recommended CBD Creams

  1. Best Overall: CBDfx Muscle and Joint Cream

  2. Best for Dry Skin: CBDistillery CBDefine CBD Balm

  3. Best CBD Cream for Pain Relief: Green Roads Muscle & Joint Cream

  4. Best for Skin Irritation: Koi Healing Balm

  5. Best for Achy Muscles: Zatural CBD Hot Cream

  6. Best for Relaxation: Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve

  7. Best for Athletes: Extract Labs Muscle Cream

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