Our Guide to the 10 Best CBD Topicals

best cbd topicals

Written by Jen Keehn

Updated December 23, 2020

Dr. El-Hajj

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sandra El-Hajj

Our team at CBD School is dedicated to provide you, our readers, with the most accurate information so you can make well-informed decisions. We only feature brands we believe in and love. These become our brand partners and offer us a small commission when you make a purchase. Our reviews are real and dedicate to be purely informational and not for marketing purposes. 

CBD topicals are becoming one of the most popular CBD products there is. 

Why use CBD topicals instead of a regular CBD tincture? These CBD-infused lotions, creams, salves, or balms are known to provide localized relief directly where they are applied. In this article, we will explain to you everything you need to know to pick the right product for you.

Not only are CBD topicals known to support skin health but they can also help with the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. They are also highly effective in supporting exercising by managing muscle and joint pain associated with your workout. 

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) approved CBD in 2018 and declared that the topical application of cannabis products show promise for skin diseases1. CBD works in harmony with the skin’s endocannabinoid system. It is a great alternative for most skin conditions ranging from acne and psoriasis to dermatitis and dry, itchy skin among many others. 

CBD topicals are gaining their reputation for their ability to support pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, naturally. In 2016, researchers noted that the “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects”2.

In 2011, a study published by the Journal of Pain Research found that the topical administration of cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, is effective for both acute and chronic pain3 . This certainly backs up the fact that the majority of those in the athletic and sports community adopt CBD topicals in their daily habits. These have the capacity to reduce inflammation, as well as the pain associated with swelling after a particularly intense workout. 

Applying a soothing CBD topical cream, lotion, or salve onto sore muscles will provide localized relief as the ingredients act directly on the area of application.

CBD Topicals Quick Guide

Brand

Product

Attributes

Price

Premium Recover Cream

  • Broad Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$$$

20% off discount CBDSCHOOL

Rapid Cooling Cream

  • CBD Isolate

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$$

15% off discount CBDSCHOOL

Premium CBD Salve

  • Broad Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$$$

35% off discount CBDSCHOOL

CBD Calm Cream

  • Broad Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$$$

25% off discount CBDSCHOOL25

CBD Massage Oil

  • Full Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$

10% off discount CBDSCHOOL

Muscle and Joint CBD Hemp Cream

  • Broad Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$

10% off discount FXSAVINGS

Warming and Cooling Cream Mix Pack

  • Broad Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$

15% off discount TAKE15

Skin Relief CBD Cream

  • Broad Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$$

Hemp Infused Cream with CBD

  • Full Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$

10% off discount CWEB10

Rest CBD Cream

  • Full Spectrum

  • US Grown Hemp

  • Organic

$$$

15% off discount 15PERCENT

Product Selection Methodology

While there are many CBD topicals and CBD creams, along with an overwhelming amount of CBD-based products available in the market, not all are equal in terms of quality and safety. 

So when you’re choosing a CBD topical or CBD cream or any CBD product in general, it’s very important to keep the following requirements in mind. This is the methodology we use when recommending a product or brand.

Reputable CBD Brands

Always choose products produced by transparent CBD brands that have a guaranteed reputation in the industry and are dedicated to providing high-quality products. We make sure we include only these in our lists.

Natural/Non-GMO

The most reliable products are undoubtedly those that are made using all-natural, non-GMO hemp4 (produced without genetically engineered crops) grown in the US. Using natural ingredients limits the amount of processing required, which makes the extraction of the final product simpler. As a result, the product will be safe with minimal to no side-effects

Third-Party Lab Test Results

To ensure authenticity and reliability, always choose products that have undergone third-party lab tests and made the results available on their websites. These tests ensure that the cannabinoid levels in the product match those claimed on the product label. They guarantee that there are no heavy metals, molds, or pesticides present in the final product.

Active and Inactive Ingredients

Always look at all active (an ingredient that contains CBD) and inactive ingredients on the label to ensure you’re choosing the highest quality CBD product available. When possible, choose an all-natural product made without any artificial ingredients. 

Potency

Look for products with different potencies to meet your specific needs. Certain brands offer a wider selection of potency when it comes to their products, while others offer only one or two potencies. When making our recommendations, we try to mention brands and products that offer multiple potencies.

Variety of Price

We try to include products of various prices to meet the needs of everyone’s budget. When looking at the price of a product, keep in mind that these will vary depending on the strength, serving size, volume, and any additional ingredients that may accentuate the health benefits. 

Our exclusive lists try to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision that suits your specific desires and needs.

Extraction Method

Try choosing products that are made using clean and safe extraction methods5. There are three common extraction methods when it comes to CBD extraction:

Olive oil method of extraction

The olive oil method of extraction was the first method utilized for extracting CBD from hemp. It is a clean and cost-effective method that involves heating the raw plant material to a temperature that activates the plant. However, the main issue with this method is that the olive oil, activated with CBD, must then be strictly kept in a dark and cool place in order to keep it fresh6

Solvent extraction

Solvent extraction uses a solvent like the butane, propane, ethanol, isopropyl, or alcohol to extract the CBD from hemp. It is the cheapest and quickest method but can also be dangerous.

CO2 method

Currently, the most common method of extracting CBD is the CO2 method, which is also the most expensive due to the cost of its necessary equipment. However, it provides a potent, safe, and chlorophyll-free product. 

Keeping all this in mind, the following are CBD School’s picks for the top 10 CBD topicals available on the market.

Top 10 CBD Topicals

cbdmd recover cream

     20% off discount with code                       CBDSCHOOL

Read Our cbdMD Brand Review Here

cbdMD: Premium CBD Recover Cream

POTENCY
300mg, 750mg, 1500mg, 3000mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$$$

     15% off discount with code                         CBDSCHOOL

Read Our Medterra Brand Review Here

Medterra: Rapid Cooling Cream

POTENCY
250mg, 500mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$$

     35% off discount with code                         CBDSCHOOL

Read Our Joy Organics Brand Review Here

Joy Organics: Premium CBD Salve

POTENCY
500mg, 1000mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$$$

     25% off discount with code                      CBDSCHOOL25

Read Our Doc Patels Brand Review Here

Doc Patels: CBD Calm Cream

POTENCY
200mg, 500mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$$$

     10% off discount with code                        CBDSCHOOL

Read Our Lazarus Naturals Brand Review Here

Lazarus Naturals: CBD Massage Oil

POTENCY
200mg, 800mg, 1600mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$

     10% off discount with code                        FXSAVINGS

Read Our CBDfx Brand Review Here 

CBDfx: Muscle and Joint CBD Hemp Cream

POTENCY
500mg, 1500mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$

      15% off discount with code                         TAKE15

CBDistillery: Warming and Cooling Cream Mix Pack

POTENCY
200mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$

Green Roads: Skin Relief CBD Cream

POTENCY
750mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$$

      10% off discount with code                           CWEB10

Charlotte's Web: Hemp Infused Cream with CBD

POTENCY
300mg
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$

      15% off discount with code                         15PERCENT

Mission Farms: Rest CBD Cream

POTENCY
300MG, 750MG, 1500MG
HEMP SOURCE

USA GROWN HEMP

ORGANIC

YES

PRICING

$$$

References

1Public, researchers demonstrate growing interest in cannabis treatment. (2018, February 16). Retrieved December 23, 2020, from https://www.aad.org/news/topical-cannabis 

2Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England)20(6), 936–948. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.818

3Jorge, L. L., Feres, C. C., & Teles, V. E. (2010). Topical preparations for pain relief: efficacy and patient adherence. Journal of pain research4, 11–24. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S9492

4Hilderbrand R. L. (2018). Hemp & Cannabidiol: What is a Medicine?. Missouri medicine115(4), 306–309.

5Nuapia, Y., Tutu, H., Chimuka, L., & Cukrowska, E. (2020). Selective Extraction of Cannabinoid Compounds from Cannabis Seed Using Pressurized Hot Water Extraction. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)25(6), 1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061335

6Casiraghi, A., Roda, G., Casagni, E., Cristina, C., Musazzi, U. M., Franzè, S., Rocco, P., Giuliani, C., Fico, G., Minghetti, P., & Gambaro, V. (2018). Extraction Method and Analysis of Cannabinoids in Cannabis Olive Oil Preparations. Planta medica84(4), 242–249. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-123074
 

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