There is an argument to be made for the simple fact that science hasn't caught up to the trend (and laws) of cannabis yet. (Here's what research has to say about the potential benefits of CBD and cannabis so far.) And there are doubtlessly researchers testing the efficacy of CBD creams for pain relief as we speak.
A study analysis in the Journal of Pain Research confirms that topical use of certain cannabinoid topicals can reduce pain in animals with inflammation or neuropathic pain. And science has found topical creams with THC and CBD help relieve pain for conditions like multiple sclerosis. But for the vast majority of chronic pain — and most certainly for acute pain like post-workout — the scientific jury is 100 percent still out. "There's a little bit of data in support of CBD for pain relief, but to go from animal to human is a giant leap," says Sexton.
How CBD and Cannabis Might Help Pain Relief
Hemp creams for pain relief are typically is made from infusing high-quality cannabis flowers in some kind of quality oil-coconut or olive typically-which extracts the active compounds, either CBD, THC, or both depending on the type of hemp used. (Here's a guide to the difference between THC, CBD, cannabis, and hemp.) This oil is then blended with other therapeutic herbs, such as arnica or lemongrass essential oils, that are thought to also ease pain.
This brings up an underlying issue with all CBD and hemp products: There is no regulation around how much active CBD or THC is in each cream or how much of the compound is needed to see relief. Read: "If you have three products that say 1 percent CBD infused in coconut oil, one could be great and the other two could be crap—that's the reality of cannabis medicine right now," says Gerdeman. (See: How to Buy Safe and Effective CBD Products)
The fatty tissue can only hold so much oil, so, theoretically, if you apply enough of a cannabis cream to your skin, it might leak down into your skeletal muscle just out of diffusion, adds Sexton. But there's no study to show this, and that means you're going to be rubbing on a whole lot of the stuff.
This is every woman’s dream come true. High heels are just not made the way they used to be—stilettos these days are narrower, higher, and pointier. Remember: Louboutin does not concern himself with the comfort of his designs. (He said so himself in the documentary and several other news outlets.) Gone are the days of the sensible heels our grandmothers wore. But alas, sky–high footwear is a necessary evil. So Lord Jones, the wildly–popular CBD company, collaborated with Tamara Mellon to help ease that discomfort. Just dab a little solution onto your feet and wait for your skin to absorb the formula before putting on your four–inch torture device.
I’ve long been a fan of edibles and tinctures, but for those who are skeptical of ingesting it, I’m also a big believer in topicals. From lotions and creams to balms and bath bombs, I have experimented with many different kinds—and I’ve come to rely on them for localized pain and reducing inflammation.
Just know that topicals, unlike edibles, serve a different purpose: They’re primarily for targeted surface areas to address tension, spasms, and muscle pain because CBD applied to the skin doesn’t reach your bloodstream. Think of it as spot treating problematic areas. For instance, if your lower back is shot, apply your preferred product to that area only.
BASKIN BODY WELLNESS CBD CREAM (400MG; $60)
So recovery is a big deal. And personally, I’m all about CBD (a.k.a cannabidiol)—the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. It’s been having a moment these past few years, making appearances in all sorts of wellness and beauty products—from CBD edibles, to capsules, to transdermal patches, and beyond. But make no mistake. It’s not the passing health trend that activated charcoal and golden milk used to be.
But I don’t engage in physical activity solely because of my woefully wobbly midsection. My sanity depends on it. Truly. In the immortal words of Elle Woods: Endorphins make you happy!
Now this is where we change course. Serious athletes and people suffering from chronic pain will benefit from this lotion. And yes, it’s in a jar but it rubs on like an incredibly light lotion—not at all like a heavy body butter. The main difference is that it contains both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in addition to CBD. And that’s a good thing. Both cannabinoids work synergistically together: THC will open up your receptors, enabling your body to absorb and metabolize more CBD. Beyond that, Glow is applied somewhat differently than the rest of the products on this list. Apply a minuscule amount to your pulse points, the insides of your elbows, and the backs of your knees—areas where the skin is at its thinnest. The reasoning: Because of its formula and consistency, your body will absorb the product so that it reaches your bloodstream—unlike many other topicals.
Here’s what I have found most effective over the years.
A: Studies show that CBD pain creams could help with inflammation, mobility, and soreness in a targeted area of your body.
Ease of Application: Some CBD creams are greasy or difficult to apply. Others glide on your skin smoothly and absorb quickly. The best CBD cream companies have perfected the viscosity and absorbance of their formula over the years.
Overall, studies show that CBD pain creams can help with pain, inflammation, and mobility. Although researchers don’t fully understand how CBD pain relief creams work, the combination of CBD, menthol and other active ingredients appears to help in multiple ways.
Bloom Hemp Topicals
However, some people may experience redness, irritation, or allergic reactions because of other ingredients within the CBD pain cream. You might be allergic to a specific fruit oil or essential oil in the formula, for example.
CBDPure’s Muscle & Joint Formula contains 250mg of full-spectrum CBD per tube. CBDPure has added menthol and white willow bark to the formula to boost its effectiveness, helping the formula cool the targeted area and soothe sores, muscles, and joints. The company claims its formula offers laser-focused action with just a pea-sized amount. Apply that pea-sized amount directly to the targeted area, then enjoy fast-acting effects. Each tube is priced at around $40. Other ingredients in CBDPure’s Muscle & Joint Formula include jojoba seed oil, eucalyptus, and apricot extract, among others.
Kats Botanicals offers multiple CBD creams, roll-on products, lotions, and more. Popular Kats Distillery topicals include the CHILL Relief CBD Roll-on, the RENEW CBD Lotion, and the CBD Salve. The CBD Salve contains 500mg to 1,000mg of full-spectrum CBD per jar. There are also essential oils, beeswax, butters, and other ingredients. Overall, it’s a moisturizing salve that aims to leave your skin feeling rejuvenated while helping to restore calm. Meanwhile, the RENEW CBD Lotion contains 150mg of CBD per bottle and an amber scent, providing targeted relief anywhere on your body. The third topical from Kats Botanicals is the CHILL Relief CBD Roll-on, available in 100mg or 1,000mg dosages.
Some people apply CBD creams for the anti-aging benefits. Others use them as pain creams, targeting specific problem spots on the body. Some apply CBD pain creams to their entire body, while others apply CBD pain creams to their knees or elbows.