Are you searching for an alternative to relieve pains and aches? Read and find out more about the benefits of CBD cream and how it may help promote wellness.  

Are you searching for an alternative to relieve pains and aches? Read and find out more about the benefits of CBD cream and how it may help promote wellness.

How CBD Cream May Help With Pain

Cannabidiol, most commonly known as CBD, is derived from the cannabis plant. The compound interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS)(1).

The ECS is comprised of various cannabinoid receptors, mainly CB1 and CB2, that bind with CBD. These receptors are also present in the cells of the immune and peripheral nervous systems.

The body naturally produces endocannabinoids that interact with cannabinoid receptors(2).

CB1 receptors stimulate pain response, whereas CB2 receptors regulate anti-inflammatory response(3).

In the occurrence of endocannabinoids lacking in the system, CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which are plant-based cannabinoids, may provide similar analgesic effects.

Research has indicated that CBD may have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties(4)-(5).

Topical CBD products, such as CBD pain cream, may take effect within 10 to 15 minutes after application. Results may last in the system for about two to four hours(6).

Topical administration of CBD, like CBD creams, may help reduce pain, inflammation, itching, muscle tightness, and sunburn(7).

Currently, there is no specific research on the efficacy of CBD topical cream for pain. However, CBD’s activity in the ECS and the compound’s therapeutic benefits may help with pain management.

Benefits of Using CBD Cream for Pain

An animal research investigated CBD transdermal gel on a rat model with arthritis(8).

Results indicated that doses of 6.2 to 62 milligrams or mg of CBD per day may have possible therapeutic benefits in relieving arthritis pain and provide anti-inflammatory properties without any noticeable side effects.

Despite the study being conducted on animals, the research raises the possibility of similar effects on humans.

A study in 2018 suggested that the application of CBD cream, gel, and emulsions may help reduce pain and inflammation caused by rheumatic disease and arthritis(9).

Additionally, pediatric patients suffering from epidermolysis bullosa were given topical CBD cream, oil, and spray(10).

Epidermolysis is described as a rare skin disorder that causes the skin to become fragile and form blisters.

Results of the said study suggested that CBD may have helped reduce the pain and formation of blisters and contributed to rapid wound healing.

Tendonitis, an irritation and inflammation of tendons, usually causes joint pain(11). Corticosteroids are medications usually prescribed to help with tendonitis pain(12).

Unfortunately, frequent doses of corticosteroid injections may weaken and eventually rupture tendons(13).

However, CBD may be a safe alternative for pain. According to the journal Current Drug Safety, controlled doses of CBD may be safe and well tolerated by humans and animals(14).

How Long Does CBD Cream Take to Help With Pain?

The time CBD takes to help with pain depends on the administration method used, the potency of CBD, and the user’s body weight.

Topicals like CBD cream may typically take 15 to 30 minutes before the users start to feel the compound’s effects(15).

Meanwhile, other forms of CBD like edibles and CBD gummies take 30 minutes to an hour after consumption before the compound takes effect(16).

How Long Will CBD Cream Help With Pain?

How long CBD cream helps with pain usually depends on how much CBD you take and how often you take it.

CBD topicals generally last in the body for two to four hours(17). Meanwhile, CBD edibles and gummies stay in the system for six to eight hours.

How to Use CBD Cream for Pain

CBD cream and other topicals such as CBD lotion, CBD salves, and CBD balms are directly applied to the painful area for localized pain relief(18).

Topically administered cannabinoids do not enter the bloodstream. Instead, the CB2 receptors located on the skin pick up and absorb the cannabinoids and help relieve pain and inflammation(19).

CBD creams are sometimes marketed as pain relief creams for painful and sore muscles and joints. However, the effectiveness of CBD’s pain-relieving effects in muscle pain and chronic pain is still being studied.

Consulting a healthcare professional before purchasing or using any CBD products for your medical condition is essential. Your doctor may recommend a CBD cream that is best suitable to relieve your pain.

What to Consider When Buying CBD Cream for Pain Relief

When buying topical CBD cream or hemp cream for pain relief, it is important to remember several factors to ensure it is high-quality.

Factors such as the extraction method used, the CBD oil content, and the user’s preferences should be considered.

Types of CBD Extracts

The three types of CBD oil extracts are:

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the compounds and extracts of the cannabis plant, like flavonoids, terpenes, cannabinoids, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with less than 0.3% concentration(20).

Flavonoids are plant compounds with antioxidative effects, while terpenes give plants their characteristic fragrance.

THC is the psychoactive compound of cannabis plants that causes a euphoric high(21).

Combining all these compounds in one product may produce an “entourage effect.” The entourage effect is defined as the integration of various cannabis compounds which enhance their medicinal properties(22).

According to a study from Frontiers in Plant Science, the entourage effect in full-spectrum hemp extracts may yield better health benefits than pure CBD(23).

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is almost similar to the full-spectrum as it contains identical cannabinoids and compounds. However, broad-spectrum CBD oil is almost THC-free as it contains small amounts of THC.

CBD isolates, harvested from Cannabis sativa, are a pure form of cannabidiol, without any other cannabinoids or compounds.

People who want to feel the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC may opt for broad-spectrum CBD oil (also known as broad-spectrum hemp oil) or CBD isolates.

Extraction Methods

High-quality CBD is typically extracted from grown hemp plants.

There are several extraction methods for obtaining hemp extracts. These methods are steam distillation, ethanol extraction, natural solvent extraction, and carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction.

The most used extraction process is the CO2 extraction method, in which compressed CO2  is used as the extraction solvent(24).

Note that using butane or hexane as extraction methods may leave harmful residues(25).

CBD and THC Content  

Before buying any CBD product, it is essential to know the amount of THC and CBD.

The labels on the product may not specify the potency of some CBD products. So, it is advisable to look for the certificate of analysis (COA) to verify the CBD product’s concentration and potency.

Hemp Source

When purchasing hemp-derived CBD products, identifying the source of hemp is vital.

Some CBD products may contain heavy metals, fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These substances are harmful and detrimental to an individual’s health.

Therefore, choosing a CBD brand that provides sufficient information on the hemp used is essential.

You may opt for CBD products manufactured by reputable companies which provide cruelty-free, non-GMO CBD products made from organic hemp.

Carrier Oils 

After extracting the cannabidiol from the hemp plant, the compound is infused with a carrier oil to enhance CBD’s bioavailability.

Frequently utilized carrier oils include coconut oil, hempseed oil, jojoba oil derived from jojoba seeds, essential oils from tea trees, and white willow bark.

Most people confuse hempseed oil with hemp oil. However, they are two terms with different significant variations.

Hempseed oil does not contain cannabinoids but is rich in fatty acids and nutrients(26). Most CBD tinctures contain hempseed oil as a carrier oil.

Third-party Lab Testing

Third-party laboratories inspect the CBD products for any contaminants such as pesticides or heavy metals that may be detrimental to the buyer’s health.

Trusted CBD brands that sell quality products are forthright in showing their products’ certificate of analysis (COA) on their websites.

COAs are test results from third-party labs that show the CBD product’s actual cannabinoid content.

Before buying CBD products, check whether the COA matches the CBD product label.

The CBD Brand’s Reputation

There are many CBD products available in the market, especially online. Thus, it is essential to verify whether a particular company has legal authorization to produce and distribute CBD products or merchandise.

CBD products must be certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and have a high standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), validating the CBD brand’s credibility.


CBD products are considered high-quality products when made with organic ingredients.

Studies have indicated the numerous benefits of natural ingredients, such as anti-inflammatory benefits for skincare(27).

Some of the best CBD oils and creams may have moisturizing and nourishing ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, beeswax, and olive oil. The products may also contain eucalyptus that provides a cooling effect.

Customer Satisfaction

Many CBD companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees or discounts as part of their efforts to increase customer satisfaction.

Some well-known CBD brands that sell various CBD products are Joy Organics, Colorado Botanicals, CBDistillery, CBDfx, Receptra Naturals, Charlotte’s Web, and Medterra.

Are CBD Creams Safe to Use?

There are no official studies regarding the safety of CBD creams.

However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD has a good safety profile and is well tolerated by the body(28).

Consulting your doctor or medical professional before taking any CBD products is essential.

Risks and Side Effects of Using CBD Cream for Pain

CBD’s general side effects may include loss of appetite, dry mouth, diarrhea, drowsiness, and fatigue(29).

A study in 2018 indicated that kidney transplant patients suffering from chronic pain may experience nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, and intermittent heat episodes after taking CBD(30).

Researchers studying the effects of CBD in patients taking CBD oil noted that some individuals experienced negative side effects such as sedation and vivid dreams(31).

A study in 2020 suggested that the most commonly reported side effects of CBD included changes in appetite and body weight, tiredness, and diarrhea(32).

However, current research data remain inconclusive. More studies are required to verify whether CBD cream for pain causes harmful side effects on humans.

CBD products may also contain a grapefruit warning, indicating that CBD may interfere with the effects of drugs for specific medical conditions.

This interference may inhibit the absorption of the drugs in the body(33).

Medications that have a grapefruit warning include:

  • antibiotics
  • antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
  • blood pressure medications
  • blood thinners
  • cholesterol medications
  • immunosuppressants
  • mood medications
  • pain medications

The interaction between grapefruit and the medication may depend on the amount of grapefruit consumed, the drug’s composition, and the individual’s health condition(34).

If you are prescribed any of the drugs mentioned above, you should seek advice from a physician before purchasing or using any CBD products.

Alternative Pain Treatments for Pain

Taking pain relievers is the easiest way to relieve pain. The type you should use may depend on the severity of pain and its causes(35).

Types of pain relievers include(36):

Over-the-counter (OTC): These drugs are easily bought in stores, and any adult can purchase them. Some OTC pain medications are acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil).

OTC pain medications like sports cream may offer pain relief from issues like sprains, toothaches, burns, flu and colds, headaches, back pain, and menstrual cramps.

Prescription: These medicines need a doctor or healthcare provider’s prescription before being sold to individuals. Prescription analgesics offer more potent pain relief for severe or chronic pain.

Prescription pain relievers may include antidepressants, antiseizure medications, and opioids. These drugs alleviate pain from cancer, neuropathic pain, post-surgical pain, severe arthritis pain, and traumatic injuries.

Topical pain medications: These may be sold as OTC drugs or may need a prescription. They also come in many forms depending on their use.

Cooling creams, roll-ons, and ointments are usually for muscle aches, sprains, and osteoarthritis pain.

Some topical pain medications may also contain arnica(37), peppermint, and mint camphor, more popularly known as menthol. These ingredients cause a cooling sensation to desensitize nerve endings(38).

Legality of CBD

Currently, the only CBD-derived medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Epidiolex.

Epidiolex is a prescription medication for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS).

Recently, the drug has also been approved for the treatment of seizures linked to tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)(39).

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and derivatives of cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC(40).

Therefore, it is illegal to purchase and use CBD products and supplements that contain more than 0.3% THC(41).

All 50 states have varying laws regarding the legalization of CBD use. States may also have different restrictions(42).

Before purchasing and taking any CBD product, individuals planning to use CBD products must check their state’s laws to determine whether CBD use is legal in their area.


  1. How can CBD cream help with pain?

Research has shown that CBD may contain analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties(43)-(44).

Applying CBD creams on an affected area may lessen pain, itching, muscle tightness, and decrease inflammation(45).

  1. What evidence or research exists to say that CBD cream helps with pain?

In a study, individuals suffering from a rare skin disease, which causes painful blisters and fragile skin, were given CBD cream, oil, and spray(46).

Results suggested that CBD may have reduced the formation of blisters, lessened pain, and contributed to faster skin recovery.

  1. Is there any evidence that CBD cream can make pain worse?

No specific study has indicated how CBD cream can make pain worse.

However, studies have shown that cannabidiol possesses properties that may reduce pain and inflammation(47).

Nonetheless, further clinical studies are needed to verify whether CBD will not worsen pain over time(48).

  1. Will CBD cream interact with any current medication I may be taking for pain?

CBD may interact with medications such as prescription pain relievers like opioids or over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications like ibuprofen(49).

This interaction may cause side effects such as increased sleepiness, fatigue, accidental falls, and accidents when driving(50).

Consult your doctor before taking CBD cream or any CBD product alongside these medications.

  1. Are there other treatments I should consider alongside CBD cream to help with pain?

Pain relievers reduce the discomfort from illnesses, surgical procedures, and chronic health conditions(51).

These medications may come in two variations, over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

OTC medicine eases minor pains like headaches, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. Prescription pain relievers usually treat severe and chronic pain.

  1. Can I fail a drug test if I use CBD cream for pain?

CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC will not appear in a drug test.

However, frequent use of CBD may cause THC levels to increase in the body and may generate a positive drug test(52).

  1. What is the CBD dosage for pain?

The FDA does not consider CBD as a medical treatment for any illness(53). Therefore, there is no standard dosage in taking CBD.

However, the general rule is to initially begin with a low dose of CBD then gradually increase the amount if you do not feel any major side effects.

According to a study from Current Drug Safety, doses from around 1mg to 1,500mg of CBD per day are tolerated well by humans(54).

Nonetheless, it is still best to talk to your physician about the optimal CBD dosage for your condition.

  1. What is the advantage of using CBD cream for pain?

CBD applied topically may help with muscle tightness and inflammation(55). CBD topicals are available in creams, oils, salves, and lotions.

Individuals who suffer from tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendons causing joint pain, are often prescribed corticosteroids for pain management(56). However, frequent doses of this drug may cause weakening and rupturing of tendons(57).

Meanwhile, CBD contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties(58-59) that may help with pain from tendonitis. Additionally, CBD is generally safe and well tolerated by humans and animals(60).

  1. Does CBD cream have side effects for pain?

Generally, CBD may cause minor side effects like dry mouth, reduced appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, and drowsiness(61).

However, according to WHO, CBD is a non-addictive compound and is tolerated well by the body(62).

Still, it is best to speak to your doctor before taking CBD for your medical condition.

  1. Is CBD legal to buy?

CBD is federally legal in the United States, according to the 2018 Farm Bill(63). However, if CBD products contain more than 0.3% THC, they are prohibited under the law(64).

  1. page 103 of Healing With CBD
  2. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System
  3. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
  4. Research shows pain-relieving effects of CBD,it’s%20certainly%20creating%20wonder%20profits.
  5. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  6. page 210 of Healing With CBD
  7. page 210 of Healing With CBD
  8. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
  9. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
  10. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
  11. Tendinitis
  12. Tendinitis
  13. Complications Associated With the Use of Corticosteroids in the Treatment of Athletic Injuries
  14. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent
  15. Healing With CBD, page. 193
  16. ibid. page. 191.
  17. Healing With CBD, page. 193.
  18. page 210 of Healing With CBD
  19. page 210 of Healing With CBD
  20. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
  21. Cannabidiol (CBD)
  22. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders
  23. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain
  24. Understanding Dabs: Contamination Concerns of Cannabis Concentrates and Cannabinoid Transfer During the Act of Dabbing
  25. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
  26. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
  27. Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care
  28. Cannabinoid (CBD) Pre-Review Report, page 14.
  29. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
  30. Chronic Pain Treatment With Cannabidiol in Kidney Transplant Patients in Uruguay
  31. Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit on the first 400 patients in New Zealand
  32. Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials
  33. Potential Adverse Drug Events and Drug–Drug Interactions with Medical and Consumer Cannabidiol (CBD) Use
  34. Grapefruit Juice and Some Drugs Don’t Mix
  35. Pain Relievers
  36. ibid.
  37. The effects of topical Arnica on performance, pain and muscle damage after intense eccentric exercise
  38. Topical Pain Relief: What Is It + How Does It Work?
  39. FDA Approves New Indication for Drug Containing an Active Ingredient Derived from Cannabis to Treat Seizures in Rare Genetic Disease
  40. Industrial hemp
  41. CBD & THC: Myths and misconceptions
  42. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
  43. Research shows pain-relieving effects of CBD,it’s%20certainly%20creating%20wonder%20profits.
  44. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  45. page 210 of Healing With CBD
  46. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
  47. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
  48. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
  49. Potential Adverse Drug Events and Drug–Drug Interactions with Medical and Consumer Cannabidiol (CBD) Use
  50. CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution
  51. Pain Relievers
  52. Can You Take CBD and Pass a Drug Test?
  53. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
  54. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent
  55. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  56. Tendinitis
  57. Complications Associated With the Use of Corticosteroids in the Treatment of Athletic Injuries
  58. Research shows pain-relieving effects of CBD,it’s%20certainly%20creating%20wonder%20profits.
  59. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  60. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent
  61. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
  62. Cannabinoid (CBD) Pre-Review Report, page 14.
  63. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill
  64. CBD & THC: Myths and misconceptions
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