UNITED STATES—Pain can have many causes. Chronic illness or injury can cause pain. Too much exercise can cause muscle soreness (normal) or pain from overwork in the joints and muscles. Even being too sedentary can cause pain. The truth is, most people deal with pain on some level and this becomes even more true as our bodies age. 

So what to do about it? Much of the time, pain isn’t “bad” enough to warrant a prescription painkiller. Not that many people would want to do that, anyway–we’ve seen too much about opioid addiction in recent years. Tylenol and other over the counter analgesics work, but they aren’t meant to be taken over a long period as they cause ulcers and liver damage. 

More and more over recent years, the public has demanded natural solutions for their pain. Which is why CBD topicals have become so wildly popular and widely available. The National Arthritis Foundation conducted a poll for its members and found that 80% were either currently using CBD, had used it, or were planning to use it in the future. What’s more, they found that most of these respondents found that use had improved physical function and well-being. 

Why Topicals Are So…Topical?

The popularity of topical CBD stems from the fact that there has been so much anecdotal evidence of its efficacy, and now science is scrambling to research why this is. Until the last ten years or so, CBD wasn’t widely studied…but now researchers are studying the effects of CBD and THC on a wide variety of diseases, such as:

  • Different kinds of cancer
  • Epilepsy (a medication with CBD has been approved by the FDA)
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammatory illnesses
  • Parkinsons

While larger studies are still being conducted, preliminary studies on both animals and humans show that CBD has shown promise for anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. 

When using CBD for pain, a topical form is most effective since it is absorbed at the very area it’s needed. 

What to Look for in a CBD Topical for Pain

The one problem with the popularity of CBD is that the marketplace is flooded with products. 

While choice is great, it can be overwhelming to find the right one. More importantly, the FDA doesn’t regulate cannabis products, so many of the products on the marketplace can be ineffective at best, or full of garbage ingredients at worst. 

Since you don’t want to waste your money on an expensive placebo, you’ll need to do your research. 

  • Find a company with a good reputation, with years in the business
  • Make sure that the company uses third party lab tests on all their products
  • Look for excellent reviews on the website, and from third party sites
  • Check the price. If the company is using quality ingredients and paying for third party tests, it won’t be cheap. Fortunately, many companies offer loyalty discounts or even assistance programs. 

A Look at the 5 Best CBD Topicals for Pain

To make life easier, we’ve done some of the work for you. Using a rigorous set of standards, we’ve created a list of the top 5 CBD topicals for pain on the market today. 

Joy Organics CBD Organic CBD Salve

Joy Organics is a trusted name in the CBD business. They are a family-owned company that offers complete transparency; every product is third party lab batch tested for potency and purity. Their CBD salve is no exception. It offers 500 mg of high-quality broad spectrum CBD to target painful areas. 

But what’s NOT in it is also important. This salve contains only triglycerides, beeswax, hemp, and essential oils. Nothing artificial, and no toxins or contaminants. You can go right to the report on their website to see that. The salve also has a lavender and eucalyptus scent that makes applying it a spa-like experience. 

Spruce Deep Chill CBD Lotion

Another company that used third party lab testing for quality, Spruce makes a powerful lotion with 2000 mg of full spectrum CBD. It also adds arnica, a well-known supplement that supports joint health. Menthol and camphor give the lotion an “Icy Hot” effect on the skin, cooling and then warming. 

While a clean and powerful choice, there are two things to keep in mind with this product. One, because of the high levels of CBD it’s the most expensive topical on the list. The other is that it uses a full spectrum CBD, which means that trace amounts of THC are in this formula. This can show up on a drug test. 

CBDistillery Warming CBD Cream

CBDistillery offers an easy-pump lotion with 300 mg of broad spectrum CBD with a subtle warming sensation on the skin. They use only non-GMO hemp grown in the United States, from farms that follow natural farming practices. Their third party lab test results are right on the product page. This is a less-expensive option, but it does have a longer ingredient list than most. 

FabCBD Topical CBD Cream

This outing has a delightfully citrus-y blood orange scent, as well as 600 mg of full spectrum CBD. FabCBD undergoes third party lab testing and sources only organically-grown Colorado Hemp for its products. FabCBD Topical CBD Cream is another powerful product, but take note that it also uses full spectrum CBD, which can trigger a THC drug test. 

Social CBD Muscle Rub 

Social CBD combines 250 mg of broad spectrum CBD and other natural ingredients like aloe, tea tree oil, and menthol to create a formula that feels wonderful on the skin. Menthol creates a cooling sensation, while the skin is softened and soothed by the quickly absorbed cream. It comes in a TSA compliant tube, so it’s ready to travel with you. As with all the other brands on our list, Social CBD undergoes third party testing for their products. 

Final Thoughts

When choosing the perfect CBD topical, many things will depend on personal preference. Scented or unscented, which dose of CBD is effective, or even the feel on your skin. We hope this list has at least given you a good starting place into finding the best CBD topical for you.