The Best CBD Creams to Give You a Break From Aches

After strict analysis and a lot of research, we’ve come up with a list of the top 11 best CBD creams on the market today.

Written by

Mell Green

Mell is a cannabis connoisseur who has been published in nearly 50 online publications surrounding cannabis, including Cannabis Industry Association, Analytical Cannabis, Terpenes and Testing Magazine, Plant People, Byrdie, and...

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Using CBD cream on hand for pain relief
Photo: Medterra
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When it comes to things like muscle and joint pain, or even skin redness and dryness, you need your results to be targeted, and more concentrated on the areas that hurt the most. Unfortunately, not all CBD products — or even non-CBD products — can target your pain points the way you need to because the cannabinoids are working all throughout the body. However, that’s simply not the case with topicals like CBD creams. 

CBD creams are easy to use, absorb quickly, and help provide effects in the places you need them most. Compared to other topicals like lotions, balms, or salves, CBD creams provide an added layer of hydration and protection, and they’re also super easy to apply.

Our team has come up with a list of the top 11 best CBD creams for you to try. Whether you’re looking for relief post-workout, help with arthritis pain, or even hydration for dry skin, these CBD creams have you covered. 

We analyzed 71 brands and carefully tested 15 popular CBD creams, ranging from $30 to $120, to find the safest and most effective creams for targeted and whole-body pain relief. (See how we test.)

11 Best CBD Creams

Here are our top picks for the best CBD creams for pain relief. This list includes both full-spectrum and THC-free options. While we recommend full-spectrum products for a stronger overall result, we understand that some consumers may seek THC-free options only.

Best Overall:Charlotte’s Web$19.99
Best THC-Free:Medterra$39.99
Strongest Effects:CBDfx$49.99
Best Absorption:R&R$50
Best for Muscle Relief:Aspen Green$84.99
Best for Arthritis Pain:PlusCBD$26.24
Fastest Effects:FOCL$39
Best Value:Martha Stewart CBD$19.99
Best for Sensitive Skin:Joy Organics$49.95
Biggest Topical Selection:ShiKai$24.99
Best for Athletes:Extract Labs$89.99

Best Overall: Charlotte’s Web

If you’ve never tried CBD cream before, starting with Charlotte’s Web hemp-infused cream is the best way to go.

CBD cream for pain relief
Photo: Charlotte’s Web

Available for $19.99 from Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is one of the world’s most well-known CBD companies. But, while they’re quite popular for their CBD oil, their CBD topicals like creams are also incredible from the inside out. Charlotte’s Web’s full-spectrum CBD cream is gentle, great for sensitive skin, and comes in an affordable, low-dose formula that’s wonderful for giving you a proper introduction to the world of CBD topicals.

You can buy their CBD cream in a small, 1 oz option ($19.99) with 300 mg, or a larger 2.5 oz option ($39.99) with 750 mg of full-spectrum CBD. 

Read our full Charlotte’s Web review

Pros & Cons


  • Great for those wanting to try out CBD topicals for the first time
  • High-quality, effective full-spectrum formula that’s good for pain relief
  • Crafted without any parabens, synthetic fragrances or colors, dyes, and more 
  • Free of 8 major allergens
  • Not tested on animals 
  • Works well for deep-seated, hard-to-manage aches and pains
  • Certified by the US Hemp Authority
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • Slight odor
  • May not be strong enough for those with chronic pains 
  • Large (2.5oz) option is still not very large 
  • Poor customer service response to shipping issues
  • Not certified organic

Best THC-Free Cream: Medterra

Medterra’s Pain Relief cream is potent, works quickly, and gives you the relief you’re looking for.

Women using CBD cream for pain relief
Photo: Medterra

Available for $39.99 from Medterra

Medterra’s Pain Relief cream is one of the most popular CBD pain relief creams on the market today. Consumers turn to this product every day to help with pain and relaxation, as many find the cream helpful for tackling deep-seated aches and discomforts.

Medterra sells this topical in a 500 mg option as well as a 1,000 mg option depending on the severity of your pain. The topical comes in a nice pump bottle that makes applying it effortless. Plus, this non-oily, non-greasy cream is completely mess-free. No matter what kind of relief you’re looking for, Medterra’s Pain Relief cream is one of our top choices for feeling better quickly.

Read our full Medterra review

Pros & Cons


  • Potent effects work quickly 
  • 500 mg and 1,000 mg options 
  • Ideal for reducing pain and discomfort 
  • Applies seamlessly and absorbs quickly into the skin 
  • Winner of the 2021 Product of the Year Award from the Nexty Awards
  • Gentle, subtle fragrance
  • Certified by the US Hemp Authority
  • Medterra offers comprehensive full-panel lab test results for their products (view COA)


  • No broad-spectrum or full-spectrum options; only CBD isolate cream 
  • Not totally fragrance-free
  • Re-application is needed for prolonged effects
  • Not good for those with sensitive skin; has given some customers rashes after application

Strongest Effects: CBDfx

If you’re in need of some strong pain relief for your discomforts, check out CBDfx’s CBD creams. 

CBD cream for muscle and joint pain
Photo: CBDfx

Available for $49.99 from CBDfx

CBDfx offers some of the most potent CBD creams on the market — and it isn’t just about the milligrams. While the brand does offer high-potency 3,000 mg cream, the formula itself is what makes the product so potent. No matter the strength, these CBD creams are wonderful for providing deep-seated, powerful effects that can be hard to find from topicals.

You can choose between heating CBG + CBD lotion, cooling CBD cream, or even healing CBD foot cream in case that’s where your problems lay. Just keep in mind that with the higher milligrams and stronger potency does come a bit of a higher price tag, too. 

Read our full CBDfx review

Pros & Cons


  • High-potency options (1,000 mg and 3,000 mg)
  • Affordable at $0.03 – $0.05 per mg
  • Both heating and cooling options depending on your preference 
  • CBD extracted from organically grown hemp
  • Highly rated and reviewed 
  • Ideal for helping with deep-seated, hard-to-manage arthritis, post-workout or period pains and aches
  • Nice consistency – not too thin or thick
  • Fully lab tested for potency and contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents (view COA)


  • Effects are not long-lasting; reapplication is necessary
  • Pump can be difficult to use, especially for those with pain in the hands
  • No full-spectrum options 
  • Heating cream has a bit of a strange smell 
  • Strong menthol smell
  • Contains caffeine

Best Absorption: R&R CBD

R&R’s CBD Pain Cream absorbs beautifully into the skin, allowing for easy, no-mess application. 

Organic and full-spectrum CBD cream product
Photo: R&R CBD

Available for $50 from R&R CBD

R&R offers their high-quality CBD Pain Cream in both full-spectrum and THC-free options depending on your THC preference. After listening to customers and improving on their products, R&R has re-released their Pain Cream with a better formula that perfectly absorbs into the skin upon application.

The cream doesn’t stain clothes or leave any sort of messy residue behind. Instead, it blends in well and provides a layer of hydration for your skin that’s great for those with dry, cracked, or sensitive skin. Although thick, I only wish this formulation wasn’t so pastey on the skin.

Read our full R&R CBD review

Pros & Cons


  • Full-spectrum and THC-free options
  • 1,000 mg and 2,000 mg choices 
  • Quick, no-mess absorption and application 
  • Great for those who need immediate relief 
  • Helps with deep pain and discomfort 
  • Good for all-night relief when applied before bed
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • Bottle may not be easy to use for those with arthritic hands
  • Customer reviews are for all R&R products, not just Pain Cream 
  • Consistency is a bit chalky

Best for Muscle Relaxation & Relief: Aspen Green

Aspen Green’s high-quality CBD cream is ideal for muscle relaxation and pain relief. 

USDA organic CBD cream with potent effects
Photo: Aspen Green

Available for $84.99 from Aspen Green

If you’re someone who struggles with chronic aches and pains in specific areas of the body, Aspen Green’s full-spectrum CBD cream may be able to help. This CBD cooling cream comes in a 1,000 mg option and is made specifically to help reduce muscle and joint pain throughout the body.

The cooling sensations add another layer of relaxation and relief, while the potent CBD formula works quickly to reduce pain levels. Aspen Green’s formula is water-based, allowing the cannabinoids to work quicker and more effectively, providing almost immediate results. 

Read our full Aspen Green review

Pros & Cons


  • Contains 1,000 mg full-spectrum CBD
  • Great for reducing aches and pains
  • Moisturizing consistency 
  • Effects work quickly and powerfully 
  • Comes in a high-quality container
  • Made with 100% natural food-grade ingredients 
  • USDA-certified organic hemp grown in Colorado
  • Free of plasticizers, synthetic ingredients, and artificial preservatives
  • 60-day returns policy
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • Only one strength option 
  • Only one extract option (full-spectrum)
  • Very expensive at $84.99 ($0.08/mg)
  • Few customer reviews on website

Best for Arthritis Pain: +PlusCBD

PlusCBD offers unique CBD creams that are not only great for general pain, but they’re effective for tougher arthritis pains, too.

CBD cream product for pain relief
Photo: +PlusCBD

Available for $26.24 from +PlusCBD

PlusCBD sells a large selection of CBD creams, all of which are designed to fight pain and discomfort. But, alongside their general CBD pain cream is the brand’s unique CBD arthritis pain cream.

This pain cream is formulated with specific ingredients for arthritis patients to bring ultimate relief and relaxation to the places on the body that need it most. It’s also wonderful for hydration and smoothing the skin, giving you several benefits at once. 

Pros & Cons


  • Great CBD cream options for pain relief
  • Arthritis pain cream is formulated specifically for arthritis patients 
  • Doesn’t use any fragrances, dyes, sulfates, or parabens 
  • Camphor and menthol work to warm then cool the muscles and joints 
  • Provides potent, immediate effects 
  • Creams are available in various strengths depending on pain levels
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • Effects are not long-lasting; re-application is necessary 
  • Formula is slightly messy
  • Doesn’t absorb as quickly as other CBD creams
  • Squeeze bottle may be tough for those with arthritic hands
  • Ingredients are not certified organic

Fastest Effects: FOCL

FOCL’s unique ingredients allow for fast, potent effects that are ideal for those who need immediate relief.

Potent CBD infused cream with fast effects
Photo: FOCL

Available for $39 from FOCL

FOCL’s CBD Relief Cream is designed to reduce aches and pains quickly and efficiently. The cooling effects of menthol, wintergreen oil, and eucalyptus make for immediate relaxation in the muscles, while the CBD, arnica, and camphor oil work to reduce inflammation and soothe aches and pains.

You can buy FOCL’s easy-to-apply CBD cream in either 1,000 mg or 2,000 mg options, and it’s one of the most affordable CBD creams on this list. 

Read our full FOCL review

Pros & Cons


  • Contains 1,000 mg of broad-spectrum CBD (THC-free)
  • Produces fast-acting results 
  • Has cooling ingredients that help relax muscles instantly 
  • Good for pain relief and muscle relaxation 
  • Affordably priced at around $0.04/mg; one of least expensive options on this list 
  • Easy-to-apply pump applicator 
  • Contains soothing botanicals and organic ingredients
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • Not as potent as other options 
  • Effects fade quickly 
  • Very strong smell 
  • Not certified organic
  • No full-spectrum option

Best Value: Martha Stewart CBD

The Martha Stewart CBD creams are high-quality, potent, and affordable, making them the best value on this list.

CBD cream designed by Martha Stewart
Photo: Martha Stewart CBD

Available for $19.99 from Martha Stewart CBD

When it comes to celebrity cannabis brands like Martha Stewart’s, you can often expect to pay a bit more than usual. But, that’s simply not the case with her line of CBD creams. These CBD creams come with unique formulas and high-potency extracts, but they are sold at low, affordable prices that allow people of various budgets to enjoy the benefits of these topicals.

You can buy CBD calming creams, pain relief creams, and even sleep creams that can help you enjoy a more restful, painless night of sleep. And, all of these creams go for well under $50. If this formulation came in a bigger size and didn’t take forever to rub into the skin, then we’d really be talking real relief — and a money save. 

Read our full Martha Stewart CBD review

Pros & Cons


  • Unique selection of high-end topicals 
  • Well-priced CBD creams
  • Available in high potencies, up to 7,500 mg (THC-free)
  • Made with top-shelf ingredients 
  • Helpful for stress, sleep, and pain 
  • Offers a sample set of all three types of CBD creams
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • May not be as strong for pain relief as other brands
  • No full-spectrum option
  • Ingredients are not certified organic
  • Not good for those with chronic pains or arthritis 
  • No customer reviews
  • Comes in a small tube, which means you’ll be using it up pretty fast.
  • Water consistency

Best for Sensitive Skin: Joy Organics

Both of Joy Organics’ CBD creams are wonderful options for those with sensitive skin and certain skin conditions.

Organic CBD cream for sensitive skins
Photo: Joy Organics

Available for $49.95 from Joy Organics

Inside Joy Organics’ CBD creams is a 100% vegan, no-fragrance formula that’s fantastic for those with sensitive skin issues looking to find relief. These THC-free CBD creams are super soothing and ideal for reducing pain and discomfort, with the Sports Cream working ideally pre and post-workout.

These CBD creams are not only good for sensitive skin, but they’re pretty affordable, too, making them accessible to consumers of all backgrounds. The CBD cream is travel-sized, making it good for on-the-go use whenever you’re feeling achy. 

Read our full Joy Organics review

Pros & Cons


  • Contains 1,000 mg broad-spectrum CBD (THC-free)
  • Good for those with sensitive skin 
  • Fragrance-free formula 
  • Promotes soothing, hydrating qualities on the skin 
  • Good for reducing pain levels 
  • Helps to relax muscles 
  • Works well for pre and post-workouts
  • Most ingredients are organic
  • 90-day refund policy
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • Size of the CBD cream is very small
  • Only one strength option per cream
  • Strengths may not be strong enough for most consumers
  • No full-spectrum option

Biggest Topical Selection: ShiKai

ShiKai offers a huge selection of high-quality CBD topicals like CBD creams that you’ll absolutely love to try.

Popular CBD cream product with strong effects for pain relief
Photo: ShiKai

Available for $24.99 from ShiKai

At ShiKai, you can find THC-free CBD cream in so many different forms, helping you find exactly what you need depending on your pain tolerance and type of pain. You can buy products like CBD cream with menthol, CBD cream with borage, extra-strength CBD cream, and more.

Most of ShiKai’s products are incredibly affordable, even those with pretty high CBD levels (like around 1,500). You can even bundle several products to save even more money, allowing you to try a few of ShiKai’s hemp creams at once. 

Pros & Cons


  • THC-free formula
  • Huge selection of products 
  • Products are quite affordable, even with higher potencies 
  • Good for reducing aches and pains 
  • Good for those new to the world of CBD
  • Clean ingredients; free of gluten, soy, corn, paraben, phthalate, and animal ingredients
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • Low-potency products; highest potency for creams is 500 mg
  • CBD isolate formula may not be strong enough for most consumer 
  • Not good for chronic aches and pains 
  • No full-spectrum option available

Best for Athletes: Extract Labs

While pain creams are common, Extract Labs also offers one of the best CBD muscle creams available.

CBD cream for muscle pain and recovery
Photo: Extract Labs

Available for $89.99 from Extract Labs

If you struggle with your muscle feeling sore or stiff, Extract Labs may have the perfect product for you. Their 2,000 mg full-spectrum muscle cream is great for alleviating soreness, relieving pain, and promoting recovery, while also making your skin feel more hydrated and comfortable. Extract Labs makes this topical with only eight organic ingredients, so it’s good for those with sensitive skin, too.

Read our full Extract Labs review

Pros & Cons


  • Great for alleviating soreness and promoting muscle recovery
  • High-potency full-spectrum formula with 2,000 mg CBD
  • Only need a dime-sized amount for application 
  • Formula rubs in smoothly to the skin 
  • Only contains eight organic ingredients: Shea, Jojoba, Menthol, Beeswax, Full Spectrum Hemp Oil, Arnica, Rosemary, Lavender
  • USDA-certified organic
  • Comprehensive lab reports; tested for potency and purity (view COA)


  • One of the more expensive products on the market (though it’s a good overall value)
  • Cream is a bit hard to get out of the tin
  • Leaves behind an oily residue if not rubbed in completely 
  • Slightly waxy

How We Tested the CBD Creams

Comparison of popular hemp CBD creams products
Our team analyzed 71 popular brands and tested 15 products in order to come up with our 11 favorite picks for targeted pain relief and general use. Photo: Mell Green / CBD Oracle

You’re probably curious about how we came up with this list of the best CBD creams in the first place. In order for us to curate our top 11 favorites, we took all of the industry leaders’ CBD creams and evaluated them based on strict criteria. These were criteria that we felt a high-quality CBD cream should execute. 

Here are the criteria we used:

  • Lab Results: Are the COAs present for the product? Are they full-panel or standard-panel? Are they up-to-date and come from an accredited lab? 
  • Effectiveness: Does the CBD cream relieve pain? How quick? How long do effects last? 
  • Formula: Do they use other beneficial ingredients used to relieve pain? Is it full-spectrum? Rich in terpenes?
  • Potency: What’s the max potency CBD cream offered by this company? Is it sufficiently potent to address the most common pain issues?
  • Value: Is it a good value for the CBD content and other ingredients used?
  • Ingredients: Organic? All-natural? Plant-based? Do they use sustainably grown hemp? Do any of the ingredients have the potential for harm?
Testing the quality of various CBD topical creams
We carefully tested each product to determine whether it was effective for targeted pain relief and general use. Photo: Mell Green / CBD Oracle

From there, we analyzed each brand on a scale of 1-10 in every category. Then, we averaged the scores and only included those who scored at least a 7.5/10. If they didn’t score this high, they were eliminated from our list. Once we had our top 11, we looked at each brand closer to determine the products’ high points, hence their subcategories and rankings. 

Learn more about CBD Oracle’s testing methodology.

Guide to Buying CBD Creams

Using CBD cream on feet for pain relief
Photo: Medterra

Do you still have questions about CBD cream? Well, we’ve got answers. 

What Is CBD Cream?

CBD cream or hemp cream is a cream-based product that has been infused with cannabidiol (CBD). You apply this product topically to parts of the skin that you need it. This could be because of muscle pain or joint discomfort, or you may use CBD creams to help combat dry, red, or painful skin conditions. Regardless, you cannot consume CBD cream in any way; it can only be applied externally. 

Compared to other topicals like salves and balms, CBD cream is going to be more similar to lotion. It is a creamy texture that you rub smoothly into the skin. Most CBD cream isn’t waxy or balm-like. 

Is CBD Cream Safe? 

Because CBD topicals don’t actually go into your bloodstream, you don’t experience the same effects that the cannabinoid normally would; instead, they stay present on your skin and in your pores, as well as your muscle tissue.

The biggest concern with CBD creams comes with your skin’s reaction to the topical. Make sure to check a product’s ingredients before applying to ensure that you’re not allergic to anything within the cream. If you apply the CBD cream and you notice any sort of irritation, make sure to avoid using the product again and consult with your doctor. 

What Are the Benefits of CBD Cream?

Many people find that CBD topicals can be great for lowering inflammation and, thus, reducing overall pain levels. It can also be good for relaxing muscles and creating more comfort. 

Other people find that CBD cream can be helpful for skin conditions, including reducing redness and preventing dryness. Applying a CBD cream to the head can also help with headache pain

Does CBD Cream Work for Pain Relief?

CBD cream may work for pain relief, though this does vary from person to person. Many people find that CBD creams are very helpful for reducing muscle and joint discomfort, and this is likely due to the anti-inflammatory properties that CBD has. 

The type of pain relief you experience from CBD cream will depend on where you apply it, but many people experience relief from headaches, backaches, arthritis pains, muscle pains, and even nerve pains. 

CBD vs. THC Cream: Which Is Better for Pain Relief?

In general, THC-rich cannabis (marijuana) cream is more effective for severe pain relief. However, hemp-derived CBD cream can be extremely helpful, especially if it’s full spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD creams are going to have a wider range of cannabinoids (e.g. CBD, CBG, CBN, etc.), helping to bring more pain-relieving effects. On the other hand, broad-spectrum or isolate creams are the least effective, but they can still work by reducing inflammation and promoting relaxation. 

Does CBD Cream Decrease Inflammation?

CBD may have the ability to decrease inflammation, especially when paired with anti-inflammatory organic ingredients. Cannabidioil has anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for helping with pain and discomfort in muscles and joints. 

What Are the Side Effects of CBD Cream?

There aren’t many side effects of CBD creams, but you may experience skin irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. These creams may create redness, a rash, or even acne. If any of these things occur, stop using the cream right away and consult with your doctor. 

How to Use CBD Cream

Using CBD cream is super easy! It does depend on the cream itself, but most hemp creams can be applied to the body wherever you’re experiencing pain and discomfort. You can apply about a dime-sized amount on places like the hands, wrists, lower back, knees, shoulders, and more. Once the effects start to fade, you can always re-apply it. 

Is CBD Cream Safe During Pregnancy? 

CBD is not FDA-approved for use during pregnancy. Always consult with your doctor first before using CBD during your pregnancy. 

How Much Do CBD Creams Cost? 

About $0.03 to $0.06 per mg (or $30-$60 per 1000 mg) tends to be a good price to pay for high-quality CBD cream. These numbers are based on the average of the top 100 CBD creams sold in the US (as of May 25, 2023).

Where Can You Buy CBD Cream?

You can buy CBD cream from any of the retailers we listed above, and they have their products available online. Or, you can buy CBD cream in stores from places like local health and wellness shops, smoke shops, and even large retailers like Walgreens and CVS. However, do note that products sold at those large retailers in person are always going to be THC-free, so they may not be as effective for pain relief as other options on our list. 

Should You Buy CBD Cream from Amazon?

No. Amazon only allows products with very small amounts of cannabidiol to be sold, and this will not be as effective as the products you can purchase directly from the manufacturer. You can still turn to them for mild benefits, but it’s simply not a great idea to purchase CBD from Amazon.

Ideal CBD Creams for Pain Relief, Hydration, and More

When it comes to CBD creams, there are a lot of products on the market for you to choose from. It’s important to keep in mind that full-spectrum CBD creams are going to be ideal for the strongest pain relief, while broad-spectrum and CBD isolate options are better for those wanting to avoid THC altogether. No matter what your preference is, there is a perfect option for you right on this list. All you have to do is figure out which brand speaks to you most and you can enjoy the myriad benefits that CBD creams can bring. 

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