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.
But there is an argument to be made for simply believing the CBD adds that special something. "Scientific literature says there's a 33 percent chance of the placebo effect helping people, so for some, just using a cream they believe can help will provide some relief," adds Dr. Colberg.
So cannabis lotions may be safe, but there's one problem: There's practically no scientific data to support the idea that a CBD-infused topical pain relief cream is any more effective than other topical pain relievers, such as Tiger Balm, BenGay, or Icy Hot. Michelle Sexton, a San Diego-based naturopathic doctor and medical research director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy says that her patients do seem to have a great interest in cannabis creams and ointments, and roughly 40 percent of them have indeed tried one. However, these people are in her office now because the topicals didn't work for them. "As a medical professional, my opinion is there's little evidence to back up the claims being made—it's all marketing for now," she says.
What Science Says About Hemp Creams for Pain Relief
Interest piqued? Learn more about hemp cream for pain relief and all its variations.
Biology lesson aside, all of this has yet to be proven in scientific studies on humans.
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)
Finally, you have receptors called TrpV1 that detect and regulate your body temperature. When activated, they put out heat, soothing your pain receptors. Using this channel, CBD makes these pain receptors hyperactive for a period of time, causing them to get hot, desensitizing them and downregulating those pain-sensing nerve endings.
We then rated all effective products on:
Here’s why this is so amazing:
What Science Can Tell Us About the Effectiveness of CBD Topicals
With a full-spectrum-ratio of 1.87, for every 1mg of CBD, you almost get 2mg of other hemp-derived cannabinoids and terpenes.
This cream has an especially high concentration of terpenes. For every 1mg of CBD, you get 1.7mg of terpenes.
Otherwise, you might as well get any type of pain-relieving cream to relieve your pain.
● If the products are made in the USA or outsourced.
Starting off our list is Verma Farms , who've been at the top of the CBD world for a number of years. Developing a reputation for hosting natural, organic CBD products, their CBD topicals are amongst the best of the bunch.
How Was The CBD Topical List Made?
● Low price tag compared to other options.
For our final list of criteria, we narrowed down the list of CBD topicals based upon the biggest key factors. Here's what we ended up choosing:
● Lab Testing: Penguin’s lab results are specific to the CBD cream, and updated in June 2020.