Best CBD Topicals (Lotion & Cream) for Arthritis Pain: Top 10 Reviews of 2021

No matter how you slice it, the CBD industry has been booming in the past decade. It rakes in almost $3 billion and is expected to surpass $10 billion by 2028 if current trends continue. In other words, millions of people worldwide are buying various CBD products, including oils, tinctures, capsules, edibles, drinks, vapes, sprays, and of course, topicals. And millions intend to buy them in the future, it seems.

But why is that the case? Why is CBD so popular? After all, it’s not even a substance that has approval by official medical associations like the FDA. In fact, the majority of the planet still considers it a dangerous and addictive substance. Well, that’s because of two main reasons: the hundreds of studies conducted regarding CBD’s effectiveness and the millions of positive reports from users themselves.

With an industry that big and earnings that plentiful, it’s no wonder that there are many people out there who want to take advantage of gullible customers and sell them modern-day snake oil. So, in order to help our readers avoid that, we went out to find the best CBD cream for pain, one that can actually help with whatever ails them. And the top ten picks we have listed in this article are the fruit of our valiant efforts.

But before we decide on what the best CBD cream for pain is, we first need to cover a few basic details.

CBD Topicals 101

The vast majority of CBD products are the ones we ingest in one way or another. For example, we inhale the smoke from CBD vapes and place CBD oil drops sublingually. Edibles and drinks are more or less self-explanatory. We do that because it’s the easiest way for CBD to reach our bloodstream and, from there, our endocannabinoid system or ECS. Once it’s there, the CBD interacts with the CB2 receptors, thus helping alleviate pain. With CBD there, the CB2 receptors send fewer pain signals to the brain, thus allowing us to function with some relief.

That’s more or less the gist of how most CBD products work their magic. However, that’s not how topicals function. A topical solution has direct contact with our skin, thus entering our body through the pores. From there, the CBD reacts to the CB2 receptors directly, without even reaching the bloodstream. That makes it difficult to measure the bioavailability of CBD after use, but it’s an effective method nonetheless, similar to how other topicals work.

Of course, there are plenty of different types of topical products that contain CBD. For instance, we can use a balm or a roll-on stick for application, or even a lotion or a salve. Sprays are also an interesting option, being just as easy to apply. Of course, regular creams are the most popular type of product, as they are easy to apply, easy to absorb, and do not stain the clothes. Some might leave a residue behind, but that’s a minor inconvenience at best.

How Do We Apply CBD Cream?

CBD cream is applied like any other cream out there. We simply take the prescribed amount and rub it into the inflamed place on our bodies. We have to make sure that all of the CBD cream gets absorbed, so it can be extra effective.

Benefits of CBD Cream as a Pain Supplement


As is the case with all types of CBD supplements, we still need more research into how effective they are for combating pain. However, with the number of research papers we have at the moment, we can definitely see an upward trend.

Firstly, CBD creams are perfect for mild pain. We can apply them to our neck, our back, our joints, and our thighs after a thorough workout or hard physical labor. The anti-inflammation properties of CBD will help soothe the pain and relax our bodies. In addition, the antioxidants that makeup CBD can help eliminate any free radicals. These elements tend to cause cell damage, which can lead to inflammation. By eliminating them, CBD promotes cell growth and regeneration, which greatly helps in reducing pain.

Hard, enduring aches and conditions like arthritis can also benefit from CBD creams. If we apply it regularly, the cream can help alleviate some of the suffering caused by these illnesses. As a result, our quality of life can greatly improve. Of course, CBD in and of itself cannot cure any illness or condition, so it’s important to continue using prescribed meds and therapies alongside the cream.

Best CBD Cream for Pain: Buyers’ Guide

While some of our readers are veteran CBD users, we understand that many have never bought a CBD product before. So, in order to make sure that they’re buying the best CBD cream for pain out there, we’ve compiled a handy buyers’ guide that covers all of the important elements to look for in a CBD supplement.

Hemp Cultivation

The best CBD product manufacturers know that natural is the way to go. In other words, they will go out of their way to make sure their hemp is of high quality and that they’ll use ethical and eco-friendly methods of cultivating it. In other words, they will not use any pesticides, herbicides, or other harmful chemicals. After all, traces of those chemicals can bind themselves to the plant as it grows, making the CBD extracts dangerous for human consumption.

And since we’re on the subject of CBD extracts…

Extraction Method

Once the hemp plant is ready, it’s the job of an expert to extract CBD from it. Sadly, most low-end brands tend to use a solvent in the process of extraction, which is usually another material or chemical. Such methods of extraction are cheap and simple to pull off, which is why most people do it. However, the final extract will be of questionable purity.

Luckily, there is one method that leaves a pure, safe extract behind, but it’s also the most expensive and time-consuming, which is why so many brands refuse to use it. That method is called CO2 extraction. In the shortest way we can explain, the experts use CO2 and apply heat and pressure until it goes supercritical; after this happens, they introduce the CO2 to hemp and, once the CO2 dissipates, they scoop up the CBD extract left behind.

Cannabis Spectrum

The cannabis spectrum refers to the materials other than CBD that a product contains. For example, some products have nothing but pure CBD, and we call them CBD isolates. They are perfect for people who want a mellow treatment, but they have a slow effect.

By far, the fastest and most potent products are full-spectrum ones. They contain traces of every other cannabinoid other than CBD, and that includes tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. These products work fast thanks to something called the entourage effect, i.e., the boost of CBD’s properties thanks to traces of other compounds. However, the THC in them might show on a drug test, and since THC is still technically illegal, users might get in trouble for it.

If the user wants the benefits of both fast effectiveness and the lack of THC, then broad-spectrum products are their best bet. They might not work as fast as full-spectrum ones, but they contain traces of every element, with the notable exception of THC. In other words, we will still feel the entourage effect, albeit a bit slower than with a full-spectrum supplement.

Other Ingredients

We’ll remind our readers that the ingredients of a CBD supplement need to be all-natural. That doesn’t only refer to CBD and other cannabinoids, however. In fact, a typical cream or salve contains other materials besides those. So, when users go around shopping for the best CBD cream for pain, they should pay attention to what it says on the label. Are the ingredients organic or synthetic? Do they come from plants, animals, or the lab? Are they allergenic or not?

Furthermore, we also suggest looking up ingredients that can benefit a user’s specific condition. For instance, some creams contain essential oils and botanical extracts that can be of great help. And if the user isn’t vegan, they can research what animal products in their cream would benefit them.

Third-party Lab Testing

It is extremely important that the product we are buying is pure and safe to use. Normally, the FDA and similar organizations would approve supplements, but in the case of CBD, all items save for one medicine were denied approval across the board. So, in order to prove to their customers that their products are safe, CBD manufacturers send their products to be tested by 3rd party labs. That way they can get legal certificates of purity, plus they avoid conflict of interest by having a different party test the topicals.

Brand Transparency and Customer Service

If we want to buy a product, we can usually get it on the CBD manufacturer’s official website, says Observer in a recent interview. However, before clicking on that cart, we should dig a little around the web. The best CBD cream for pain has to come from a brand that’s transparent and honest about its practices. So, ask yourself the following question when looking at the brand’s main page:

  • Is everything on the page legible and properly written?
  • How easy is the website to navigate?
  • Can we reach the brand’s customer service easily?
  • Are there online 3rd party lab testing certificates for each product?
  • How forthcoming is the brand with answering questions?
  • What do the ratings say?
  • What does the customer feedback say?


Judging a product by its price is a bit tricky. After all, the products we have picked for this list also vary in price greatly. However, there is a general rule of thumb that we can follow. Firstly, if the product is too cheap, it’s also too good to be true. Cheap products usually contain ingredients that are impure or simply harmful for consumption. On the other hand, we also have to avoid overpriced products. While CBD topicals can definitely be helpful, they are not magical. So, if a brand is trying to sell us a product whose price is through the roof, they are most likely trying to scam us.

Best CBD Cream for Pain: Our Top 2021 Picks

1. Royal CBD


For years now, one brand that has consistently been making the best CBD cream for pain has been Royal CBD. And that should surprise no one since it has also made some of the best CBD oils, capsules, gummies, and honey sticks that money can buy. Not only are its products exceptionally potent and natural, but they also tend to handle pain perfectly.

In 2021, Royal CBD has two particular options for anti-inflammatory topicals. The first is the cooling roll-on gel, perfect for those irritating yet mild cases of inflammation. The second is the warming cream, the same one which we can use if the pain we feel is piercing, harsh, and unrelenting. Both products contain menthol and other natural ingredients that help soothe the pain and reduce inflammation quickly. But most importantly, said ingredients help the CBD in boosting its properties.

Both products are broad-spectrum, meaning we won’t absorb any THC from using them. Furthermore, they both contain CBD that comes from organic hemp and that the experts got using CO2 extraction. That means we get 500 mg of pure CBD per roll-on stick or cream. Granted, both products will leave a bit of sticky, greasy residue behind, but that residue will be gone quickly, and the important ingredients will be absorbed by the skin.

In order to make sure their products are potent and safe, Royal CBD has them tested by independent labs. All individual products, including the topicals, come with their own certificates of purity from these labs.

Royal CBD products have been awarded the number one CBD brand by CFAH, We Be High, and more.


  • Warming cream or cooling roll-on gel options are available
  • 500 mg of pure CBD per product
  • American-grown natural hemp with no additives
  • The CO2 extraction method used for receiving the purest extract possible
  • Soothing aroma with menthol and other ingredients
  • Organic, cruelty-free cultivation of the source hemp
  • Broad-spectrum topicals with 0% THC


  • It might leave a greasy residue behind after application.

Learn more: Best CBD Oil for Insomnia

2. Gold Bee


It is incredibly difficult to praise a product we can’t seem to buy. Gold Bee’s Roll-on pain gel is just such a product. Oh, we definitely consider it to be the best CBD cream for pain that came out of the company, but recommending it is somewhat pointless if buyers can’t get their hands on it. Luckily, the company might restock soon, and the roll-on gel will help thousands of people alleviate pain and inflammation.

The brand offers two different variants for their gel, the warming, and the cooling option. Both of them are broad-spectrum, just like Royal CBD. And just like Royal CBD, they are effective. But there is one area where they excel a bit, and that’s potency. Few products offer 2000 mg of CBD per topical, which is an immense number for any ingredient. And indeed, that’s 2000 mg of pure, unaltered CBD that comes from natural, organic hemp. Just to keep things extra safe, Gold Bee has each topical product tested by independent labs. The results are right there for the buyers to peruse. To top it all off, the gel is incredibly easy to apply, thanks to the roll-on design of the pack. So, as soon as they are back on the company website’s storefront, we suggest getting Gold Bee’s roll-on gels.

Gold Bee received numerous awards for value, quality, and potency from dozens of publications, including Weed News, DailyCBD, and many others


  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • The gel is available in two different variants
  • 2000 mg of CBD per product
  • CBD source from organic, natural hemp grown in California
  • Easy application thanks to the roll-on design


  • Unavailable in stock for a while now

Learn more: Best CBD Oil for Migraines

3. Joy Organics


Joy Organics, much like Hemp Bombs and Gold Bee, focused its energy on making some of the best broad-spectrum topicals on the market. The result is a wide range of different items, which include salves, creams, and bath bombs. Since bath bombs aren’t exactly a cream, we will exclude them as the potential candidate for the best CBD cream for pain. But they do get an honorable mention since they are quite effective.

So, what does that leave us when it comes to Joy Organics topical products? Well, we have the following options:

  • Premium CBD Cream
  • Premium CBD Sports Cream (with added menthol)
  • Organic CBD Salve (with eucalyptus and lavender)
  • Premium Salve Stick

All of these products vary in potency, with the lowest one containing 250 mg and the highest 1000 mg of pure CBD. To be precise, they contain CBD sourced from locally grown hemp using ethical farming practices. What’s more, the company experts used CO2 extraction to make sure their extracts are contaminant-free. Each and every batch goes through testing, and the users can check the results of these tests anytime they want.

Of course, all of the above processes don’t come cheap. Joy Organics topicals are a bit expensive, which can put some potential buyers off. However, we can assure our readers that the topicals are worth every penny. They are effective, potent, and perfectly soothing for any type of pain out there.


  • CO2 extraction method with pure CBD extracts
  • Organic hemp is grown locally without chemicals or additives
  • Broad-spectrum products
  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • Topicals range in CBD potency between 250 and 1000 mg
  • A rich range of various items like creams, bath bombs, and salves


  • Somewhat expensive when compared to other options

4. Aspen Green


When it first appeared, Aspen Green merely offered a few products, and the users wanted more. In time, AG’s storefront grew and expanded, providing no less than five topical options. However, two of those, the standard-size nourishing body oil and the moisturizing body butter, are currently not available for purchase. The company withdrew them so they can undergo reformulation. And while that doesn’t exactly show a lot of confidence, we can assure our readers that the remaining roster of topicals is perfectly safe and ready to use.

Aspen Green’s range includes the muscle relief cooling cream, the pain relief body balm, and the premium-size nourishing body oil. The potency of these products is incredible, with an offering of 1000 mg of CBD per item. None of that is a surprise, really, since the products are all full-spectrum. The THC traces will help enable the entourage effect and increase the healing and soothing capabilities of each product.

Like other companies, AG strives for ethical and eco-friendly business practices. To sum it all up — their hemp is organic, their product gluten-free, toxin-free, and cruelty-free, their CBD extracts pure and non-synthetic, and their products’ purity tested by independent lab experts. Aspen Green might not be like Royal CBD or Gold Bee, but your very own best CBD cream for pain might just be among its ranks.


  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • Each topical contains 1000 mg of CBD
  • Full-spectrum products
  • Pure organic and additive-free hemp grown locally
  • Gluten-free, cruelty-free, and toxin-free product


  • Reformulation is underway for a few of their products

5. Hemp Bombs


Four topicals, three of which belonging to the Pain Freeze range, and all of them full-spectrum and ready to rub into the skin and help soothe the pain — that’s pretty much Hemp Bombs in a nutshell. For years now, the brand has prided itself on offering many different product variants, covering as many fields as possible. And as of 2021, the company is yet to disappoint.

All of the products that Hemp Bombs has to offer to contain pure CBD extracts from organic hemp. Moreover, each product goes through testing by 3rd party labs. And the lab testers have quite the job on their hands. After all, each product by Hemp Bombs comes in no less than four dosages, with the highest being 1000 mg of CBD per item. That packs quite a punch, meaning it’s perfect for pain mitigation, especially piercing pain that won’t stop.

Most users that tried Hemp Bombs really only had one complaint. Namely, the topicals all had a distinct smell that emanated during application. The smell dissipates quickly, but as a top-ranked product, these topicals should have no pungent smell at all, to begin with. Strong scents aside, however, any of the Hemp Bombs items can still be a decent candidate for the best CBD cream for pain in 2021.


  • Rich and wide selection of products
  • Organic hemp is grown naturally and ethically
  • Dosages of 100, 200, 400, and 1000 mg of CBD are available per product
  • Full-spectrum items
  • Independent lab testing results


  • Distinct and pungent smell with some products

6. CBDistillery


CBDistillery is a name quite a few CBD veterans know. It’s a brand that has been around for quite some time, and during those years, it has developed quite the range of CBD topicals, enough to rank at least one or two as the best CBD cream for pain.

When we talk about good variety, we usually turn to Hemp Bombs, but CBDistillery might just top that title. After all, the brand offers every single variant on the cannabis spectrum. In other words, we can get everything from full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products to CBD isolates. In addition, CBDistillery topicals come in three different dosages, with 1000 mg of CBD per pack being the strongest option. With such variety, it’s no wonder that some items go out of stock quickly, but that’s a minor problem that goes away after restocking is done.

Naturally, we need not stress that CBDistillery does everything by the book when it comes to production. They use organic hemp, they make sure no additives or synthetics become part of the final product, and they have every single batch tested. That’s already more than what most CBD brands out there do. And any brand with such variety and such ethical practices is definitely worthy of our attention.


  • The brand offers numerous options
  • 300, 500, and 1000 mg of CBD available per topical
  • Organic, natural hemp used as CBD source
  • All three cannabis spectrum options are available
  • Independent lab testing for purity


  • Lots of items are often out of stock

7. Spruce


Spruce, unlike CBDistillery and others, don’t have much in terms of dosage variety. In fact, they only offer four dosages across their three topical products, and only one of those three is available in two separate doses. However, what the brand lacks in dosages, more than makes up in quality, purity, and affordability.

Regarding quality, each and every topical contains CBD from organic, natural hemp, as well as traces from other cannabinoids and more than a few terpenes. In addition, 3rd party labs go over all of Spruce’s products, which is why they all have a certificate of purity for all new buyers to see.

And speaking of purity, we will find no synthetic materials, GMOs, animal products, or contaminants in any of the topicals that Spruce offers. They contain nothing but the potent CBD extract and the botanical materials derived from all-natural plants.

Finally, there’s the affordability. Spruce’s topicals are not exactly cheap, but they are quite reasonably priced when compared to other products on this list. After all, the best CBD cream for pain should balance everything, including the price tag.


  • Spectacular terpene profiles for each product
  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • Full-spectrum topicals
  • Four different dosages available for three different product types
  • Organic, homegrown, and all-natural hemp


  • Not a lot of dosage variety

8. Receptra Naturals


Receptra Naturals has two particular topicals for general use, both belonging to the Serious Relief range. One is a full-spectrum cream, another a broad-spectrum one, but they both pack quite the punch with 800 mg of CBD per pack. In addition, their CBD comes from homegrown American hemp that is cultivated using ethical and organic practices. That means no contaminants, no chemicals, and no synthetics.

Now, either one of those could be the best CBD cream for pain in 2021, but they are merely the tip of the iceberg. Receptra Naturals also has three additional products within the same Serious Relief range as the two above. These three products are topicals for specific uses:

  • One is a full-spectrum cream for yoga practitioners
  • One is a full-spectrum cream for fitness enthusiasts
  • The final one is a full-spectrum cream for skiers and snowboarders

And while they may be used by different people for different purposes, they all have the same benefits in common with the general use variants. In other words, they are natural, effective, and potent.


  • Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum topicals available in store
  • Natural, farm-grown hemp with no chemicals or synthetics
  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • 800 mg of CBD per product
  • Wide range of topicals for individual health conditions


  • Products might leave a greasy residue behind

9. Medterra


Medterra’s admittedly low-potency broad spectrum topicals come in a wide variety of choices. They include the following:

  • Relief + Recovery cream
  • Relief + Recovery roll-on
  • Pain + Relief cream
  • CBD + Manuka combo cream

Each of these options is different insofar as they come in different potency ranges. Furthermore, they all target different types of pain or different areas of the body. However, though they might not activate the entourage effect, Medterra’s topicals are still quite effective. And this effectiveness is thanks to the brand’s commitment to ethical hemp farming, proper CBD extraction, and 3rd party independent lab testing. In other words, Medterra follows the example of the top-ranked brands. So, it’s no wonder why some people might think that the best CBD cream for pain might just be one of Medterra’s phenomenal products.


  • Broad-spectrum products with no THC
  • Additive-free and ethically cultivated hemp
  • Available in multiple dosages
  • Wide range of topicals to choose from
  • Independent lab testing for purity


  • Low entourage effect when compared to other topicals.

10. CBDfx


What if we said that there’s a brand that offers doses of 3000 mg of CBD per topical product? That sounds like a massive amount right there, correct? Well, such a brand exists, and though it might not be as potent as it sounds, it still packs a punch and handles pain and inflammation well. That brand is CBDfx, and their broad-spectrum muscle and joint cream is our final pick for the best CBD cream for pain in 2021.

Granted, CBDfx offers plenty of other topicals. And we do mean plenty. Do you need a good foot cream or a foot mask? CBDfx has got you covered. What about a face mask to alleviate that headache or sunburn? Yes, CBDfx covers that too. Balm sticks and bath bombs, you say? CBDfx delivers. So, if the cream doesn’t work for the user, they have plenty of other options to choose from.

The best thing about all of those options is that none of them contains any synthetic elements, contaminants, or animal products. In addition, 3rd party lab testing is mandatory with CBDfx, as are ethical cultivation and extraction practices. To make the long story short, CBDfx’s muscle and joint cream is definitely a product worth checking out, especially for new and inexperienced users.


  • Varied dosages available, ranging between 500, 1000, and 3000 mg of CBD
  • Organic and additive-free topicals
  • Independent lab testing for purity
  • Cruelty-free items with zero animal ingredients
  • Broad-spectrum items


  • Somewhat low in potency

Best CBD Cream for Pain: Conclusion

Chronic or acute, pain is something we can’t get rid of easily, even with top-notch medication. So, if our readers are aiming to find the best CBD cream for pain, we urge them to only treat it as a supplement. In fact, it will work even better in tandem with other pain medications and therapies. However, CBD is known to react poorly with certain other types of medication, like blood thinners. So, just to be on the safe side, we advise seeing the doctor or the pharmacist and discussing the matter.

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