Top 10 CBD Creams for Arthritis & Joint Pain
More and more arthritis sufferers are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) as a natural way to support pain relief. CBD arthritis creams and lotions can be applied topically to specific areas to help reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. What are the best CBD arthritis creams? In this article, we explain the science behind CBD and arthritis and recommend the top CBD creams to try.
CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the hemp plant. Like THC, it is a cannabinoid that interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Unlike THC, however, it does not contain psychoactive or intoxicating properties. Instead, CBD is used primarily for its health and wellness benefits, including its apparent ability to promote a sense of calm, regulate mood, improve sleep, and reduce inflammation and pain.
Early research makes CBD cream for arthritis a promising option to help those suffering from arthritis and joint pain. Since CBD and industrial hemp were only made available for study after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, long term and large group studies are still in the works. While more definitive research is needed before it can be prescribed as a treatment, CBD for joint pain may certainly play a role in supplementing current treatment options with a low risk of side effects. As with any CBD product, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking CBD to make sure that it won’t interact with any of your existing medications or treatments.
Why Would You Try CBD Cream?
CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants that has gained much attention for its apparent ability to aid in inflammation, stress, and many other issues. This compound can be infused into creams, lotions, and salves as a way to apply CBD topically for a variety of benefits, including skin nourishment and pain alleviation.
CBD creams differ from other products, like oil tinctures or CBD capsules, in that they allow you to apply CBD directly to painful areas on the body, like knees, shoulders, hands, or wrists. The CBD is then absorbed through the skin to help treat the affected area more quickly than CBD that is taken orally and must be absorbed into the bloodstream. CBD lotions for arthritis also provide an alternative to ingesting or inhaling CBD, which can benefit those with sensitive digestive systems or pallets.
With a CBD cream, you can typically find much higher concentrations of CBD in each product, allowing you the potential to enjoy stronger relief. The best CBD arthritis creams also contain natural ingredients like menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint, California poppy, shea butter, and beeswax to help sooth aching joints and nourish skin.
Does CBD Help with Arthritis?
While research into the effectiveness of CBD to treat arthritis is still in its early stages, there are a number of promising studies. Take this study that concluded that topical CBD has potential as an effective treatment of arthritic pain. Researchers believe the administration of CBD could also have long-lasting therapeutic effects.
Animal studies have shown that transdermal, or topical, application of CBD does have therapeutic potential for relieving arthritis pain and inflammation. Another study using rats found that atypical receptors beyond just CB2 might be beneficial in treating inflammatory pain with cannabinoids. Recent research published in the Journal of Opioid Management concluded that CBD transdermal cream provided “significant symptom and pain relief” for patients suffering from severe back pain.
CBD is an immunosuppressive, and most often binds with the body’s CB2 receptor, which directly influences our immune system. This allows it to help inhibit the production of certain inflammatory processes in the body, which could help to reduce arthritis and joint pain.
As a reminder, CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. These plant compounds, along with terpenes and flavonoids, work through a process known as the entourage effect to promote homeostasis within the body.
Top-Rated CBD Creams, Lotions, and Salves for Joint Pain Relief
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Organic – Cornbread Hemp CBD Lotion + Menthol
- Best for Neck Pain – Spruce CBD Salve
- Best Menthol-Free – R+R Medicinals CBD Cream
- Best Roll On – CBDistillery CBD Relief Stick
- Simplest Ingredients – NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Balm
How We Chose These Topicals
To choose the best CBD creams for arthritis, we compared a number of different factors. Some of the things we looked for in each product included:
- Source — Where is the company’s hemp grown and how do they extract the CBD?
- Strength — How much CBD does the cream contain? Is it full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate?
- Organic — Does the company use organic hemp and natural ingredients?
- Ingredients — Does the CBD salve contain additional botanicals or ingredients, like menthol or lidocaine?
- Testing — Is the product tested by an independent third-party lab, and can you access the results?
- Price — Is the CBD lotion offer a good value for the amount of CBD included?
- Customer experience — What do customer reviews say about the product and how it helped them?
Using these categories, we identified the best CBD for joint pain creams, balms, and slaves. Check out our choices below to find the right one for your needs.
Our Full Reviews
Best Organic: Cornbread Hemp CBD Lotion + Menthol
Cornbread Hemp Full Spectrum CBD Lotion is a great organic option for arthritis pain or sore muscles. It’s made with 500 mg of pure hemp flower CBD extract, which means their CBD doesn’t come from seeds or stems for a cleaner product. This cream is also packed with tons of organic botanicals like menthol, lemongrass, jojoba, peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, and eucalyptus, but it’s paraben and preservative-free.
- CBD – Full Spectrum
- Strength – 500 mg per container
- Added Ingredients – Organic menthol, lemongrass, jojoba, peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, eucalyptus, beeswax, +
Why buy: We love that this CBD for joint pain cream is USDA organic and contains so many beneficial botanicals and natural ingredients. It’s great for sore knees, shoulders, elbows, hands, and muscles.
Understanding CBD (Cannabidiol) for Back Pain
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a new and relatively understudied treatment for pain, including back pain. Studies suggest it may help relieve inflammation, which is often a factor in chronic back pain. 1
CBD is available in many forms; topical creams and gels have shown promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, which may make them a good option for back and neck pain. 2
CBD requires more research in order to prove and explain its effectiveness as well as to better understand potential side effects (especially long-term) and potential drug interactions.
What Is CBD?
CBD oil is derived from a plant called cannabis sativa. The plant has over 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that have a range of effects, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities.
The cannabis sativa plant has two main varieties that are grown for specific purposes:
- THC content. THC is the compound associated with the “high” feeling of marijuana use.
- Industrial (non-drug) uses. This form of the plant contains trace amounts of THC (less than .03%) and can be used to make paper, clothing, and some building material. This variation of the cannabis plant is called hemp.
While CBD is present in both varieties, many of the CBD products available to consumers are from the hemp plant. CBD does not come with the high or psychogenic effects of marijuana.
Ways CBD Treats Back Pain
Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by:
- Reducing inflammation 3
- Combating anxiety, often associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain 4
- Helping with sleep and improving overall state of relaxation 5
Some studies suggest that CBD can have an effect on how an individual perceives pain, but more robust research is needed. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically—except in the case of topical products—but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.
Advocates of CBD believe it can be used to treat a range of conditions in addition to back pain, such as anxiety-related disorders. 5
Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD
Cannabidiol, even in high amounts, is generally safe. Side effects from CBD may include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
More severe side effects, while rare, include:
- Mental confusion
As with other natural products, there is potential for adverse reactions when taken with other medications, especially those that come with grapefruit warnings, such as certain blood thinners. These warnings indicate that certain medications should not be taken with products containing grapefruit.
CBD use prior to surgery
Before having surgery, all cannabis use, including CBD and marijuana, should be disclosed to the surgeon or anesthesiologist. A recent study suggests that cannabis use may have an effect on medications used to sedate patients. 6