CBD oil tinctures that you take orally—usually under the tongue—are still the most popular way of taking this cannabinoid. But more people are trying to find the best cbd cream and related topical products every day, and for good reason.
Topical CBD products combine health and beauty benefits in single products that deliver the benefits of CBD alongside the known therapeutic and aesthetic boosts you get from high-grade skin care products. This is how CBD creams can benefit not only the skin’s appearance but also its health and physical comfort, perhaps even providing localized pain relief.
Unlike high quality CBD oils which are usually judged by their purity, higher-end CBD creams typically contain numerous skincare ingredients, such as herbal extracts, essential oils, antioxidants, and vitamins. Easy to use, topical CBD creams can be applied directly for fast relief in a problem area.
So, which CBD topicals are ideal for you? We researched most of the leading CBD creams, comparing their formula, price, third-party testing, hemp source, and other criteria.
These are the best CBD creams on the market right now:
- SabaiDee Comfort Cream
- Spruce Topical CBD Cream
- Koi Hemp Extract CBD Lotion
- CBDFX Muscle & Joint CBD Hemp Cream
- Joy Organics CBD Cream
- SOL CBD Nourish Formula
- Elixinol Hemp Balm
- Mission Farms CBD Creams
- Endoca Hemp Whipped Body Butter
SabaiDee Comfort Cream – Best CBD Cream Bundle
SabaiDee Comfort Cream took the top spot on our list of best CBD creams for a good reason. SabaiDee’s two topicals, the Sabaidee Relief Rub and the SabaiDee Comfort Cream, make the perfect bundle for anyone who wants both intensely targeted relief, and a soothing CBD balm. The Relief Rub is an excellent choice for reducing joint and muscle pain, making it perfect for after excessive physical activity. The Comfort Cream is excellent for relieving itchiness, inflammation, and restoring moisture to the skin.
User reviews of Sabaidee CBD show how much people love the additional ingredients that synergistically enhance the effects of the CBD. Sabaidee products are made with 100% natural, vegan/plant-based ingredients, including: phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil; other natural oils such as sunflower, jojoba, avocado, olive, and coconut oil MCT; moisturizing compounds such as shea butter and beeswax; tocopherol (a form of vitamin E); and natural sources of scent, including blue tansy, camphor, peppermint, and wintergreen essential oils.
We absolutely trust SabaiDee, as several of us on the team use their products regularly. They offer a wide range of CBD products, and all are made with sustainably grown hemp sourced only from organic Colorado farms. Mg per mg this might be a little more costly than some options, but we love it and think it’s among the most effective and potent CBD creams available.
- High-quality pain relief ingredients
- Excellent potency
- Highly moisturizing, thick and creamy
- Light, minty fragrance
- Not ideal for use on face
Spruce Topical CBD Cream – Best All-Around Topical CBD
A North Carolina based, family-owned business, Spruce CBD is very transparent about its farming, sourcing, and extraction methods. Spruce sources all of its farm-to-shelf hemp from two family farms in Colorado and Kentucky. Their hemp is 100% pesticide-free, organic, and sustainably farmed.
The attention from Spruce doesn’t stop there, but instead turns to making small, high-quality batches of CBD products. The Spruce CBD hemp cream is a full-spectrum product, offering the benefits of the entourage effect.
Spruce hemp cream also contains other skin-soothing ingredients, such as coconut oil, mineral oil, olive oil, and shea butter, and naturally scented, plant-derived essential oils. The cream contains 300 mg CBD per every two-ounce jar. Branding is minimalistic and simple, and these lab tests and other facts are easy to find.
Spruce Topical CBD cream is smooth and absorbs easily without leaving a greasy finish. User reviews indicate that customers find this cream effective, even though 300mg is not be the strongest potency available.
Customers recommend Spruce Topical CBD cream for muscle pain, arthritis, and related issues. It’s also one of the best CBD cream’s for relieving eczema symptoms. But even more than that, they appear to recommend the brand and company itself as loyal customers. No surprise; Spruce produces one of the best lab-grade, full-spectrum CBD creams from US-derived hemp.
- High-quality ingredients for a better experience
- Excellent customer reviews
- Thick and creamy, an effective lotion on its own
- 15 percent discount for monthly subscription orders
- Less potent than some options
Koi Hemp Extract CBD Lotion
Since 2015 Koi CBD has been making waves with innovative products. Each 4.25 ounce bottle of Koi CBD lotion contains 200mg of CBD and is designed for full-body use. They also contain other natural ingredients such as organic aloe leaf juice and jojoba seed oil that nourish the skin and keep it feeling and looking wonderful. Koi CBD Lotion comes in three scents: Lavender, Citrus Burst, or Pink Grapefruit—we liked Pink Grapefruit the best.
As a brand, Koi aims to improve the CBD market itself, so as many people as possible can enjoy the power of CBD safely. Koi keeps its products traceable from the raw hemp all the way to the bottle, and they prove it in the laboratory testing.
In fact, that’s what we like most about Koi: transparency, quality, and purity and proven and consistent. That’s hard to find on the CBD market.
Koi CBD cream is made from 99 percent pure CBD derived from fully traceable batches of American-grown hemp. The Koi team uses a pharmaceutical-grade supercritical CO2 extraction process to remove the CBD themselves in a cGMP facility.
This way you know when Koi offers CBD products with 0 percent THC you can count on what they are saying—whether you just need to avoid the high or need a sense of security to pass a drug test. You can find complete ingredient lists and a Certificate of Analysis for every batch right on the site, along with the full-panel analysis verified with detailed reports from batches of tests.
- Koi is a member of the Hemp Industries Association, the California Hemp Council, and the US Hemp Roundtable
- USA-grown hemp from organic farms in southern Colorado
- All processing takes place in a cGMP certified, pharmaceutical-grade extraction facility
- Awesome discounts for regular users and referrals
- Free shipping for orders over $35
- Not as many choices as from some brands
CBDfx Muscle & Joint CBD Hemp Cream
CBDfx hemp cream has fabulous cooling properties and ability to ease both skin irritations and chronic pain. The formulation also includes two natural analgesics: white willow bark and menthol. This adds to the cooling, pain relieving effects of this cream. A touch of caffeine further helps ease inflammation and stimulates blood flow.
Beyond those amazingly effective ingredients and the CBD, each 50ml bottle of CBDfx Muscle & Joint CBD Hemp Cream contains 150mg of broad-spectrum plant-based oil, sourced from organically-grown plants, along with organic Shea butter and beeswax.
The topical cream itself is very light and is never greasy, with a delicate, fresh aroma. And these natural ingredients won’t bother your skin, even if it’s sensitive.
CBDfx Hemp Cream is not just effective, but also easy to use. It soothes joint pain and other issues immediately on contact, and the pump is easy to bring on the go—a nice bonus for athletes.
- Serious pain relieving ingredients in addition to CBD
- Cooling and blood circulating properties to tackle pain and reduce inflammation
- Fresh smell
Can cause an open cut or eyes to sting
Joy Organics CBD Cream
Mom and humanitarian, Joy Smith, founded Joy Organics to help people fight health issues with the natural power of CBD. Joy Organics today offers a large range of products, including this CBD cream and even a hemp-infused face mask.
All Joy Organics CBD products are made with CBD-rich organic hemp plants that are actually the company’s own proprietary strains. Grown in the United States, these strains represent something truly unique that you can only get from Joy.
Joy Organics products are completely THC-free, as the team separates and purifies all of its extracts. After the rest of the processing has been completed, they go on to remove all of the THC, as well as any chlorophyll, other plant pigments, and wax that remains afterward.
- Zero THC safety
- QR code on all products shows third-party lab testing results
- Free shipping
- Proprietary strains offer a unique product and experience
- Water-soluble formulas can make CBD absorb more quickly, but they can also be less moisturizing for extremely dry or sensitive skin
SOL CBD Nourish Formula
Nevada-based SOL CBD mades its SOL CBD Nourish Formula with 12 other natural herbal extracts and essential oils including CBD and ucuuba butter. Ucuuba butter, like CBD, which has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and is often used to treat arthritis, muscle aches, acne, rheumatism, back pain, eczema, soreness, and skin ulcerations.
In addition to this fantastic ingredient, SOL CBD includes intriguing scents from calendula flower extract, blue mallee eucalyptus oil, organic rosemary leaf extract, nerolidol, wintergreen oil, and lemon peel oil. It soothes, nourishes, and protects the skin with copaiba oil, candelilla wax, grapeseed oil, virgin andiroba oil, and organic sunflower seed oil.
Sol CBD Balm was among our favorite in terms of sheer experience. It went onto the affected area smooth and light, and was silky enough to use as massage oil. A very nice CBD salve overall.
- Specialty ingredients
- Consistency works for massage
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Light, awesome fragrance
- Less potency than some brands
- Elixinol Hemp Balm
Elixinol CBD Cream
Since 1991, Colorado-based Elixinol has been leading the CBD industry, and building a reputation as one of the most reliable CBD options on the market. This is in part due to sourcing from a domestically-grown, legal industrial hemp supply.
Elixinol understands investing time and money into quality, and all of their CBD products come from pure, organic hemp strains. Elixinol subjects all of their CBD products to third-party lab testing for mycotoxins, pesticides, and heavy metals; you can find the results on their website.
Elixinol focuses on quality and all of their CBD products benefit from state-of-the-art CO2 extraction processes. These methods maintain all of the synergistic cannabinoids, terpenoids, essential oils, and other phytocompounds in the final, full-spectrum product.
- State-of-the-art CO2 extraction methods
- High-quality CBD at a good price
- Third-party laboratory testing, reports online
- Free shipping in the US
- Full-spectrum products offer synergistic effects and benefits, but are not ideal for some users
Mission Farms CBD Creams
Mission Farms CBD Creams are specially designed for people who are plagued with itchy, irritated skin. So many skin care products can actually aggravate sensitive skin and make skin conditions even worse, and CBD creams are no exception. For those of us dealing with burning, itchy, rashy, dry skin every single day, this is a dealbreaker.
Mission Farms CBD Pain Creams are made for people with these issues. A transdermal goat milk cream with premium full-spectrum CBD, it is designed to be absorbed deeply into the skin. Both CBD and goat milk have soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, and goat milk moisturizes the skin with vitamins, fatty acids, and Alpha-Hydroxy Acid.
Mission Farms CBD Cream also contains coconut oil, meadowfoam seed oil, shea oil, grapeseed oil, and vegetable glycerin.
- Super-focused for sensitive skin
- Natural exfoliant
- Contains Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, fights aging
- Smells amazing
- Not vegan
Endoca Hemp Whipped Body Butter
100% organic Endoca Hemp Whipped Body Butter contains either 300 or 1500 mg of CBD—a higher dose offering. This CBD pain relief salve is also pure, because it is made with natural food-grade ingredients to ensure quality, and free of GMOs, pesticides, and ISO-certified.
Endoca Hemp body butter is the kind of product you need if you have skin you really need to heal—say sensitive areas like cracked heels or broken skin from work as well as the standard chapped lips or itching. This products is also useful for those with red skin, dandruff, and mild cases of seborrheic dermatitis, because of its anti-itching qualities.
In addition to its other ingredients, Endoca Hemp body butter also includes cannabis sativa seed oil, beeswax, coconut oil, citral, hemp seed oil, citrus medica lemon peel oil, vitamin E, and vanilla.
- High potency comparatively at 1500 mg
- Discounts for purchasing multiples
- Really nice citrus fragrance
- Free of pesticides, GMOs, ISO-certified
- More of a salve than a cream
How does CBD cream work?
Although most people still ingest cannabidiol or CBD orally, and some vape or smoke it, topical CBD formulations go right on the skin. It works because CBD is a fat friendly compound, meaning it can bind with fat molecules to penetrate through the epidermis and interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Human skin contains both cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 regulates pain, signaling to the nervous system. A portion of the immune system and its CB2 receptors is also found in the skin where CBD may interact with it to regulate inflammation and pain.
However, unlike when you eat CBD gummies or vape CBD, it doesn’t enter the bloodstream when you apply it to the skin. Instead, it simply sticks to the living layer of the skin where it works on the outermost endocannabinoid system.
CBD has been proven to absorb into skin, suggesting its use in topical therapy. CBD topicals include:
- Oils for the body and massage
- Roll ons
How to choose the right CBD cream
There are a few things you should look at when shopping for a CBD cream. Here are some things to consider as you look for a high quality CBD topical.
CBD source/Quality control
The hemp source is critical when buying a CBD cream. Hemp can be grown in many places throughout the world, but unless it is grown locally to where it is processed, the company cannot control much about the farming. Look for US-grown hemp which is carefully regulated.
Full spectrum products contain all cannabinoids and terpenes that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. They are therefore the most effective, but they also carry some small degree of risk for some users. CBD itself is not psychoactive, but for those who are worried about side effects or drug testing, many broad-spectrum products and CBD isolate products are also effective.
High quality CBD pain creams come from brands that are transparent about hemp sourcing and that offer immediate access to results from third-party lab testing. Look for lab results on heavy metals, molds, and pesticides.
Look for organically grown hemp. Hemp takes on environmental toxins like any bioaccumulator, so it is important that the hemp is organically grown.
The industry standard for obtaining CBD from hemp plants is supercritical CO2 extraction. This is because it is free of potentially toxic residual solvents and produces a pure, clean, high quality oil. Some brands take extra purification steps as they create their CBD products, such as winterization.
Although CBD works in the same way no matter how you consume it, it takes more CBD to absorb into the skin, so CBD content needs to be considerably higher in topical products. You should still start low and go slow, but remember that with CBD topicals, the CBD will better penetrate the skin for more notable results with higher potency. For this reason, many consumers look for high CBD topicals.
Customer service and user experience
When it comes to user experience and customer service, consider several points:
- Informative, easy to understand product descriptions
- Detailed information about the product from plant to bottle
- Fast, easy purchasing process
- CBD knowledge base on the website
- Direct customer service contact via reviews and answered questions
- Return policy; most brands we found offer a one-month return policy, but be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions
- Shipping policies—are they free? Is there a fee?
- Customer reviews
Benefits of CBD creams and topicals
Most people try CBD topicals to treat a patch of skin that is itchy, inflamed, or damaged, or to manage pain in a specific place. Many natural substances reduce inflammation, a process that drives pain and many skin issues, and CBD is among them.
So far, researchers have shown that topical CBD can be used to treat several issues, including acne, arthritis, bites, bruising, dermatitis, edema (swelling), and psoriasis. It may also be useful in treating epidermolysis bullosa (skin blistering) and pain from it, as well as muscle pain from inflammation, and other mild forms of skin irritation.
How are CBD creams different from regular lotions? Most research indicates that CBD is promising in the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders, pain, anxiety, and insomnia.
CBD topicals vs CBD edibles
Are there benefits of using CBD topicals instead of oral CBD? Sure:
Targeted relief. Compared to oral use of CBD, using topical CBD cream may provide more targeted relief for some issues, for example pain local to an area or injury
Bioavailability. You get to bypass your GI system with topicals, increasing its bioavailability
Taste. CBD is not known for its delicious taste
Dosing. It’s easier to lock down a specific serving size with CBD capsules, oils, and tinctures
Global issues. Conditions such as insomnia and anxiety are harder to treat with topicals
Where to Buy CBD Topicals
There are several places to buy high-quality CBD topical products. Here are the best:
Online. Get them right from the source—it’s really the easiest way, and you get more discounts.
Stores. CBD is getting easy to find in supplement stores, apothecaries, health food shops, and even some grocery stores. Head shops sometimes stock CBD too.
Dispensaries. In recreational and medical marijuana states, dispensaries offer a great selection of CBD topicals along with advice—but they sometimes charge more.
We hope this guide to the best CBD creams available today has been useful to you. We loved trying these CBD creams, and we think it’s a great way to get your CBD. Which is your favorite?