What's the Best CBD Cream for Arthritis Pain?
But the truth is, there are a lot—thousands—of CBD products on the market, which can make it tough to find the right option. To help you out, this article will look at the science behind the CBD-arthritis connection, plus identify where to find the best CBD products online. Consider this your smart, simple guide to buying CBD creams for arthritis pain relief.
First, a heads up: CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, so you need to be skeptical. There's always a chance products can contain extra additives, or less or more CBD than the label says. However, all the CBD topical products included in this article have been vetted for safety and come from trusted brands in the CBD market. Each option is derived from industrial hemp grown in the U.S, includes less than 0.3 percent THC (as required by law), and has been tested by a third-party lab to ensure quality.
Our Picks for the Best CBD Creams for Arthritis Pain
These are the top hemp topicals—including creams, rubs, and roll-ons—to help arthritis pain, so you can feel a little better and focus on living your best life.
- Best Cooling Relief- Medterra CBD Rapid Cooling Cream
- Strongest Option- Spruce Full-Spectrum Topical CBD Cream
- Best for Joints- CBDMedic Arthritis Aches & Pains Relief Ointment
- Best Value- R+R Medicinals CBD Cream
- Best for Knee Pain- Cornbread Hemp CBD Lotion + Menthol
- Best Roll-On- FAB CBD Salve Roll-on
- Best for Recovery- Seabedee Muscle and Joint Relief Cream
- Best Everyday Use- Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream
Continue reading to learn more about how to select the CBD cream that is right for your needs and learn how to use CBD creams.
The Best CBD Creams for Arthritis Pain Relief
Best Cooling Relief: Medterra CBD Rapid Cooling Cream
Strongest Option: Spruce Full-Spectrum Topical CBD Cream
Best for Joints: CBDMedic Arthritis Aches & Pain Relief Ointment
Best Value: R+R Medicinals CBD Cream
Best for Knee Pain: Cornbread Hemp CBD Lotion + Menthol
Best Roll-On: Fab CBD Body Salve
Best for Recovery: Seabedee Muscle and Joint Relief Cream
Best Everyday Use: Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream
CBD and Arthritis Pain
As a refresher, arthritis is inflammation of joints or tissue around the joints, which often causes pain and stiffness, according to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). Each of the more than 100 types of arthritis affects the body in a different way. Arthritis symptoms include aching joints, stiffness, swelling, difficulty moving, and reduced flexibility—but the most common symptom is chronic pain.
Plus, it's more common than you may think. A whopping one in four Americans—that's roughly 54 million people—suffer from arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Considering the high prevalence of this disease, it's not surprising that arthritis is the top cause of long term disability in the US.
How Can CBD Help Manage Arthritis Pain?
Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD, is one of hundreds of constituents found in the cannabis plant. These chemicals are collectively known as cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. THC (found abundantly in marijuana) is also among those. THC and CBD differ in that CBD cannot get you high, but they're similar in that CBD has potential therapeutic and pain relief benefits—which is why it's being incorporated into a variety of products, particularly for people with arthritis.
While clinical evidence specific to CBD topicals and arthritic pain are lacking, a number of studies do support the role of CBD in pain modulation.
First, CBD has been shown to absorb into skin, making it ideal for topical therapy. Next, in a 2020 survey, 21 percent of patients who used CBD said they felt it helped with their illness, including pain reduction. In another self-reported study, the overwhelming majority of users of CBD found that it shared similar efficacy, but with fewer side effects, compared to opioid-based pain medications for chronic pain.
What to Look for In a CBD Cream
It can be overwhelming to wade through the options, especially when all you want is relief. So to make it easier, consider the following criteria in your search for the best CBD creams for arthritis pain.
- Quality: No surprise here—quality is first and foremost. To ensure you're getting a high-quality CBD product, check out the certificate of analysis (CoA). This is a record of independent, third-party lab test results for each batch of product made. If a brand doesn't readily publish CoAs, shop elsewhere.
- Source of hemp: Industrial hemp grown in the U.S. is regulated by domestic laws and is your best bet.
- Extraction method: There is ongoing debate regarding the best extraction method for CBD, but the main thing here is transparency. Make sure the brand you're buying is clear about how they make their product.
- Brand reputation: A brand with plenty of reviews, a helpful customer support team, and an informative website are good boxes to check.
- Potency: For topicals, potency will be determined by the total cannabinoids or CBD milligrams listed on the label, typically listed for the total ounces of the hemp topical. Make sure the potency matches the CoA.
- Product type: When choosing a product, you'll need to decide which type of CBD is right for you.
- CBD isolate is pure CBD, meaning the CBD has been extracted from the plant, while all other plant constituents (like THC) have been removed.
- Full spectrum means it contains whole plant extract, cannabinoids (including up to 0.3 percent THC), terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids.
- Broad spectrum is full-spectrum, minus THC.
- Bonus features: Organic hemp and a clean label (more natural ingredients) are other features you may want to consider.
- Price and budget: Hemp topicals can be pricey, so you'll want to find products that fit into your budget. Just be sure that a cheaper price doesn't mean you're losing quality or efficacy.
How to Use CBD Creams
CBD lotions, creams, salves, rubs, and roll-ons are common among hemp topicals and are designed to be absorbed into the skin. All you have to do is massage a small amount into the affected areas, and keep in mind, a little goes a long way.
A quick note about safety: If you're using moderate doses of a quality CBD cream, like the products listed here, there are no serious safety concerns. Because it's topical rather than oral CBD, and there are only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3 percent), adverse reactions are extremely uncommon. However, you should always consult with your doctor before incorporating CBD (or any non-regulated supplement) into your routine, or before increasing the dose or frequency of application.
About the Author
Maggie Rossell is a certified herbalist, world traveler, and devoted writer. She loves to explore plants and the human experience--and how the two interweave both physiologically and culturally. Her mission is to spark curiosity and inspiration in readers.
Ashley Jordan Ferira, PhD, RDN is a medical advisor at Remedy Review. Dr. Ferira is a nutrition expert, writer, editor, and educator in the health and wellness sector. Her experiences span nutrition product development, medical affairs, communications, and corporate wellness. Ashley completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Pennsylvania and PhD in Foods & Nutrition at The University of Georgia, where she researched the role of vitamin D in pediatric cardiometabolic disease. Dr. Ferira is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and has served in leadership roles across local and statewide dietetics, academic, industry, and nonprofit sectors.