9 Best CBD Creams: Your Buyer’s Guide (2020)

cbd creams

123RF (prostooleh)

CBD creams are designed for your largest organ: your skin. These topicals can fight pain and inflammation, and even reduce signs of aging.

Plus, with a CBD cream, you can apply the CBD right where you need it. For example, many people use CBD oil for acne.

Read on to discover the best CBD creams available right now.

What Are the Best CBD Creams Available Online?

cbd cream from colorado
  • Made with aloe vera, coconut oil, oat extract, sea buckthorn oil, and full-spectrum hemp extract
  • Feels and smells amazing (I tried it)
  • Lab data shows that it contains a lot of extra CBD (over 750mg), along with THC, CBN, and CBG
Price: $39.99 Use Code CWEB10 for 10% off! at Charlotte's Web Use Code CWEB10 for 10% off! Read our review
Manuka cream CBD
  • Made with real Manuka honey, which helps draw in moisture and retain it
  • Medterra is one of the most reputable CBD companies (and they donated to frontline healthcare workers!)
  • Has U.S. Hemp Authority Seal of Approval
Price: $34.99 Use code OFFER15 for 15% off! at Medterra Use code OFFER15 for 15% off! Read our review
cbd cream 250mg
  • Batch-specific third-party lab reports show latest batch actually contains closer to 300mg per bottle (more than advertised!)
  • Made with organic olive oil, organic glycerin, and organic aloe leaf juice
  • Made with hemp grown organicallly in the US
Price: $32.95 Use Code CMT15 for 15% off! at Joy Organics Use Code CMT15 for 15% off! Read our review
CBD balm
  • Each tube comes with a lot number on the back, so you can look up batch-specific test results
  • Third-party lab testing conducted by Botanacor, an ISO-accredited hemp testing lab
  • Feels and smells amazing (I tried it), with zero synthetic ingredients or added fragrance
Price: $24.99 Use code Save10 to save 10%! at Elixinol Use code Save10 to save 10%! Read our review
CBD cream for pain
  • Receptra Naturals makes batch-specific lab results available on website (each bottle comes with QR code you can scan to view your batch's results)
  • Contains full spectrum CBD - an earlier batch's lab results confirmed 'spectrum' of other cannabinoids (THC, CBN, CBC, and CBG)
  • Also includes jasmine and camphor for ultimate skin healing experience
Price: $47.99 Shop now at Receptra Naturals Shop now Read our review
CBD topical
  • Same as Receptra Naturals Targeted Topical reviewed above, but all traces of THC removed
  • Includes arnica, an herb shown to help relieve pain
  • Also includes camphor and ylang-ylang for ultimate skin soothing experience
Price: $47.99 Shop now at Receptra Naturals Shop now Read our review
CBD cream by cbdfx
  • Third party lab tests prove over 150mg CBD per bottle (and .5mg THC)
  • Additional pain-relieving ingredients (like caffeine, menthol, and white willow bark) create cooling sensation
  • CO2 extraction process is widely considered "cleanest" way to extract CBD (no residual solvents)
Price: $39.99 Shop now at CBDFX Shop now Read our review
CBD Cream by CBDistillery
  • Full spectum CBD (ie. it contains trace levels of THC, which may make CBD work more effectively)
  • Third-party lab results verify over 500mg CBD per one-ounce container
  • CBDistillery has obtained most rigorous quality certification available (from U.S. Hemp Authority, which involves annual third party audit)
Price: $50.00 Shop now at CBD Oil Solutions Shop now Read our review
CBD cream salve by CBDistillery
  • Full spectum CBD (contains trace levels of THC, which may make CBD work more effectively)
  • Third-party lab results verify over 500mg CBD per one-ounce container
  • CBDistillery has obtained certification from U.S. Hemp Authority, which involves annual third party audit
Price: $50.00 Shop now at CBD Oil Solutions Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best Feeling to Apply: Charlotte’s Web CBD Cream from Colorado (750mg)

    Pros:
    • Made with aloe vera, coconut oil, oat extract, sea buckthorn oil, and full-spectrum hemp extract
    • Feels and smells amazing (I tried it)
    • Lab data shows that it contains a lot of extra CBD (over 750mg), along with THC, CBN, and CBG
    Cons:
    • My only complaint was that there wasn't more of it (it's a 2.5 oz tube)
    • The "750mg" on the label appears pretty inaccurate -- but only because you get extra for free!
    • Relatively expensive

    This Hemp-Infused CBD Cream from Colorado stands out because it’s made by one of the most beloved CBD brands in Colorado, and because it feels absolutely amazing to apply.

    (Full disclosure: Charlotte’s Web sent me a free sample to test out.)

    It smells incredible, goes on smoothly, and absorbs quickly. Some people might be put off by its greenish color, but to me, the sage hue simply speaks to the full-spectrum cannabinoids included in this cream.

    It makes your skin feel silky smooth, and healthier and more vibrant than it has in ages. I loved putting it on my hands after washing them (for at least twenty seconds, obviously). It healed my chapped hands during extreme hand-washing spring months of 2020.

    Plus, it contains full spectrum hemp extract — and a lot of it.

    This cream is advertised as containing 750 mg — but according to lab reports like this one, it actually contains a lot more. (Like, over 1000 mg.)

    That’s a lot of bonus CBD!

    And it’s not just CBD alone. Because Charlotte’s Web uses full spectrum hemp extract, the report shows that this cream also contains THC, CBN, and CBG.

    If you’re looking for a luxurious cream that will make you feel amazing — while also conferring the benefits of the entourage effect (a synergistic healing potential that requires small amounts of THC and other cannabinoids along with CBD) — then this is the cream for you.

  2. 2. Best Manuka Cream with CBD: Medterra Manuka Honey Cream with CBD (125 mg)

    Pros:
    • Made with real Manuka honey, which helps draw in moisture and retain it
    • Medterra is one of the most reputable CBD companies (and they donated to frontline healthcare workers!)
    • Has U.S. Hemp Authority Seal of Approval
    • You can choose between 125mg and 250mg at checkout
    • Medterra grows and sources all its hemp in the U.S., and all the hemp is grown without pesticides
    Cons:
    • Zero THC (This is not "full spectrum" CBD oil, so if you're hoping for the "entourage effect," check out other options on this list))
    • Not tested for glyphosate (an herbicide that may linger in many fields where conventional crops were previously grown)
    • Not as many milligrams as some other options on this list

    This Medterra Manuka Cream with CBD stands out because it feels amazing on your skin — and contains all the healing benefits of Manuka honey.

    (Full Disclosure: I received a free sample of the 250 mg version, and I loved it.)

    Manuka creams are already considered a skincare godsend on their own. Manuka honey is a natural humectant, so it helps draw moisture into your skin and retain that moisture after you apply.

    Medterra uses real Manuka honey from New Zealand, which has a “Unique Manuka Factor” (or UMF), so you know it’s real.

    Apparently, some people use counterfeit Manuka, in an attempt to capitalize on the hype. You won’t have to worry about that with Medterra.

    They’re actually one of the most well-respected CBD companies operating today. They even donated 300K worth of their CBD tinctures to give away for free to frontline healthcare workers fighting the pandemic. 

    Medterra was also one of the first thirteen companies awarded the U.S. Hemp Authority seal of approval. This process requires a rigorous third-party audit and annual inspections. The U.S. Hemp Authority holds hemp and CBD manufacturers to the highest standards set by any state (like the rules for nutritional supplements that are enforced in California).

    Plus, every batch of Medterra product is third-party lab tested for potency, heavy metals, and residual solvents. Each package comes with a QR code that directs you to the lab result database, where you can access your batch’s test results.

    You’ll see that the lab confirms that Medterra products contain zero THC. These are made with CBD isolate. (Which explains why they’re available at CVS locations.)

    You can select whether you want the 125mg or 250mg potency at checkout. 

  3. 3. Joy Organics CBD Cream (250mg)

    Pros:
    • Batch-specific third-party lab reports show latest batch actually contains closer to 300mg per bottle (more than advertised!)
    • Made with organic olive oil, organic glycerin, and organic aloe leaf juice
    • Made with hemp grown organicallly in the US
    • Easy pump bottle dispenser
    • Unscented and non-greasy
    Cons:
    • If you're looking for a scented lotion, this is not it (it's unscented)
    • Not certified organic (but they plan to obtain USDA certification soon!)
    • One ounce may not be enough for heavy lotion users

    This Joy Organics CBD Cream stands out because it’s non-greasy, unscented, and made with clean ingredients.

    Plus, it’s made by Joy Organics, a company we love for their commitment to transparency. They publish third-party lab results for every batch of every single one of their products.

    Here’s a lab report by Cannalysis for the latest batch of this olive oil-based lotion. You’ll see that it contains over the advertised 250 mg CBD. There’s actually closer to 300 mg CBD in this one-ounce container.

    This is formulated with organic olive oil, organic glycerin, safflower oleosomes (which are the fatty parts of cells), and organic aloe leaf juice.

    In fact, 90% of Joy Organics’ ingredients are USDA-certified organic, according to a representative who spoke to us.

    And Joy Organics intends to have their own products USDA certified organic soon. (All their hemp is already grown organically in the US — but USDA certification can take a while.)

    From the lab report, you can see that this lotion does not contain any THC. (Joy Organics uses broad spectrum extract, not full spectrum hemp extract.)

    If you’re ready to soothe your dry skin with this decadent, ultra-clean, easy-to-pump lotion, you won’t regret it.

    (Full Disclosure: Joy Organics once sent me a few of their products to test out, but I haven’t tried this exact cream.)

  4. 4. Best CBD Balm With Added Terpenes: Elixinol CBD Balm (250mg)

    Pros:
    • Each tube comes with a lot number on the back, so you can look up batch-specific test results
    • Third-party lab results conducted by Botanacor, an ISO-accredited hemp testing lab
    • Feels and smells amazing (I tried it), with zero synthetic ingredients or added fragrance
    • CBD extracted from organic hemp with CO2 extraction (so you don't have to worry about residual solvents)
    Cons:
    • The batch-specific test results do not appear to include results for heavy metals, pesticides, or microbials (only potency)
    • Batch-specific lab result databases can make it hard to look at results *before* you purchase (but we included them in our review!)
    • Not as many milligrams as some other CBD topicals on this list

    This Elixinol CBD Balm (250mg) stands out because it feels and smells amazing, and it works. (I received a free sample to test out, and I loved it.) It has a thick texture that nevertheless seems to melt and absorb instantly into your skin.

    It doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients, and it’s formulated with high-quality and soothing ingredients. It even includes nerolidol, a terpene that, according to Leafly, is believed to produce sedating effects, and is currently being studied for potential medical benefits.

    Elixinol also uses CO2 extraction, which many experts believe to be the cleanest CBD extraction technology available today. (When CBD brands use CO2 extraction, that means they don’t use other solvents, which can sometimes leave residual solvents behind in the finished product.)

    When I received a sample, it had a Lot Number clearly typed on the back: Lot 863135. When I typed this into Elixinol’s database, I was able to view batch-specific third-party lab results. Plus, the third-party testing was conducted by Botanacor, an ISO-accredited lab that claims to be the first hemp testing lab built to pass FDA inspections and audits. If you check out the test results, you can see that the extra-strength hemp balm actually contains upwards of 260 mg CBD.

    Interestingly, the lab did not report amounts for any other cannabinoids — despite this balm being marketed as “full spectrum hemp oil.” (Full spectrum usually means that other cannabinoids, like THC and CBG, can be detected.) This may be due to a Limit of Quantification (LOQ) that appears unusually high on this lab report for these additional cannabinoids. (If the level of these cannabinoids falls below the LOQ, it gets reported as zero.)

    Either way, this hemp balm is amazing. And the terpene-laden scent is lovely and earthy, but not overpowering.

  5. 5. Best Full Spectrum CBD Topical For Pain: Receptra Naturals “Serious Relief + Arnica” Targeted Topical Balm (400 mg)

    Pros:
    • Receptra Naturals makes batch-specific lab results available on website (each bottle comes with QR code you can scan to view your batch's results)
    • Contains full spectrum CBD - an earlier batch's lab results confirmed 'spectrum' of other cannabinoids (THC, CBN, CBC, and CBG)
    • Also includes jasmine and camphor for ultimate skin healing experience
    Cons:
    • Their database of batch-specific lab results makes it hard to view lab results *before* you purchase
    • Camphor can create tingling sensation
    • If you don't like jasmine or camphor, you may not like the scent

    This Receptra Naturals “Serious Relief + Arnica” Balm (400 mg) stands out because it contains arnica, as well as full spectrum CBD.

    Arnica is a medicinal herb commonly used to reduce pain.

    It also includes a blend of ylang-ylang, jasmine, and camphor, which can help open up pores, helping this topical penetrate your skin barrier.

    Receptra Naturals makes batch-specific lab results available on their website. This is awesome, but of course, it makes it hard to look at test results before you purchase.

    Luckily, we contacted Receptra Naturals about this product (when it was still called ‘Targeted Topical,’ and had different packaging).

    The potency results, which a Receptra representative said were conducted by Proverde Labs in Massachusetts, indicated that each jar actually contained more CBD than advertised.

    The lab also found .2mg THC per gram of body butter, along with trace amounts of other cannabinoids (CBC, CBG, and CBN).

    This confirmed that Receptra uses full spectrum CBD.

    (For more information on why full-spectrum CBD may work more effectively than CBD isolate, check out our guide to full spectrum hemp extract.)

    We’ve reached out to Receptra Naturals for more current lab results for this product, and will update this review when we receive them.

  6. 6. Best With Zero THC: Receptra Naturals Targeted Topical Zero THC (400mg)

    Pros:
    • Same as Receptra Naturals Targeted Topical reviewed above, but all traces of THC removed
    • Includes arnica, an herb shown to help relieve pain
    • Also includes camphor and ylang-ylang for ultimate skin soothing experience
    Cons:
    • All traces of THC have been removed, which may mean the CBD will not work as effectively (due to lack of synergy between cannabinoids)
    • Their database of batch-specific lab results makes it hard to view lab results *before* you purchase
    • If you don't like jasmine or camphor, you may not like the scent

    This Receptra Naturals “Targeted Topical Zero THC” (400mg) stands out because it’s the same high-quality topical reviewed above, but with any traces of THC removed.

    This topical is perfect for anyone who wants relief for aching muscles or joints — but is concerned about using anything with even small amounts of THC.

  7. 7. Best Lotions with Lab-Verified Full Spectrum CBD: CBDfx CBD Hemp Cream with 150mg CBD

    Pros:
    • Third party lab tests prove over 150mg CBD per bottle
    • Additional pain-relieving ingredients (like caffeine, menthol, and white willow bark) create cooling sensation
    • CO2 extraction process is widely considered "cleanest" way to extract CBD (no residual solvents)
    Cons:
    • Not available on Amazon
    • Much less CBD content than other CBD creams listed above
    • Lab did not find presence of any other cannabinoids (aside from THC or CBD) normally found in full spectrum hemp extract

    This 150mg CBD Cream by CBDfx stands out because it incorporates additional ingredients to boost its pain-relieving properties. These include caffeine (to stimulate blood flow and reduce inflammation), along with menthol and white willow bark, which may induce a cooling or warming feeling similar to popular pain-relieving topicals like Icy Hot.

    CBDfx makes its third party lab tests publicly available for every product. For this lotion, the results confirm that each bottle contains over the advertised 150mg CBD. (It’s 158.5mg, in fact.)

    The lab also found .5mg THC in the entire jar of lotion. Which is an extremely tiny amount of THC. Still, it could be critical to the synergy between cannabinoids — the “entourage effect” scientists refer to when advocating for “full spectrum” CBD.

    This CBD cream is a light formula, so it won’t leave you feeling greasy. This might make it preferable to some consumers who don’t love salves with waxy textures.

    Still, it’s not really meant for your face. The company says it’s perfect for people with “pain, inflammation, or skin problems on your legs, shoulders, back, or other large areas of your body.” 

    CBDfx derives its CBD from hemp plants grown organically. (For more information, check out our guide to organic CBD oil.)

    They also use CO2 extraction, so you don’t have to worry about any residual solvents making their way into your CBD lotion.

    The easy pump bottle makes it convenient to use without making a mess.

  8. 8. Best Anti-Aging CBD Skincare: CBDistillery CBDefine CBD Skincare Face Cream (500mg)

    Pros:
    • Full spectum CBD (ie. it contains trace levels of THC, which may make CBD work more effectively)
    • Third-party lab results verify over 500mg CBD per one-ounce container
    • CBDistillery has obtained most rigorous quality certification available (from U.S. Hemp Authority, which involves annual third party audit)
    Cons:
    • Not available from Amazon or other major retailers (partly due to trace levels of THC)
    • More salve-like texture than most creams (due to beeswax)
    • Some users worry about waxy texture clogging their pores

    If you buy this one-ounce container of CBDistillery’s CBDefine Anti-Aging Cream, you’ll get over 500mg of full-spectrum CBD. You’ll also be purchasing from a company with a noticeable commitment to transparency and quality assurance.

    CBDistillery makes all its lab results publicly available. For this topical skincare product, their third-party lab results were produced by Botanacor Labs. Botanacor’s Certificate of Analysis (COA) verifies that this lotion contains 18.7 mg of CBD per gram of the product.

    When you multiply that 18.7 mg by the 28 grams in an ounce, you discover that this product actually contains over 520 mg of CBD. It’s above and beyond the 500mg advertised on the packaging.

    Their CBD is also “full spectrum” CBD, which many experts consider to be the most effective form of CBD. Full-spectrum CBD means the CBD occurs along with all the other cannabinoids and plant compounds which occur naturally with it in the hemp plant — the “full spectrum” of phyto-compounds that occur in nature.

    In hemp plants, this spectrum naturally includes trace levels of THC. (Not enough to get you high — for a plant to be legally classified as hemp, the THC level must be below .3%.)

    Some CBD companies have been removing all traces of THC from their products, to make them more palatable to national retailers (like Amazon). If their CBD still includes other cannabinoids (like CBN, CBG, or CBC) but no THC, it’s known colloquially as “broad spectrum CBD.” If the CBD is simply stripped from all other plant compounds, it’s known as “CBD isolate.”

    Still, many experts recommend full spectrum CBD. They theorize that cannabinoids work best together, working synergistically with our bodies endocannabinoid system in ways scientists are only beginning to understand.

    The test results prepared by Botanacor Labs indicate that this CBDefine Anti-Aging Face Cream contains 1.3mg of THC in every gram of product. That’s only about 36mg of THC in the entire container. It’s not going to get you high. Plus, you’ll be putting this on your face, not eating it.

    Although you probably could eat it, if you really wanted to. It’s that safe and non-toxic. The ingredients include Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp Oil, Apricot Oil, Sunflower Oil, Almond Oil, Lavender, Frankincense, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Helichrysum, Aloe, Glycerin, Beeswax, and Grapefruit Seed. 

    Plus, CBDistillery only uses pesticide-free, non-GMO Hemp CBD Oil in their products. (Just to be clear, we still don’t recommend you eat it. Put it on your face to improve elasticity and overall skin tone.)

  9. 9. Best Cream with 500mg CBD: CBDistillery CBDol CBD Topical Salve 500 MG

    Pros:
    • Full spectum CBD (contains trace levels of THC, which may make CBD work more effectively)
    • Third-party lab results verify over 500mg CBD per one-ounce container
    • CBDistillery has obtained certification from U.S. Hemp Authority, which involves annual third party audit
    Cons:
    • Not available from Amazon or other major retailers (partly due to trace levels of THC)
    • Some users don't love the strong smell
    • May stain white socks or sheets

    Like the CBDistillery cream listed above, CBDistillery’s “CBDol” cream contains at least 500mg full-spectrum CBD per one-ounce container. This version stands out because it is meant for your body, not your face.

    It contains different ingredients, like Arnica, peppermint, camphor, green tea, cinnamon, and other more stimulating scents.

    As always, CBDistillery (a brand by Balanced Health Botanicals) makes its third-party lab results publicly available.

    The results show that this CBD salve contains 19.5mg CBD per gram of the salve. So in a one-ounce container like this, there’s actually over 540mg CBD.

    This jar of lotion also contains over 47mg of THC, meaning that this truly full-spectrum CBD.

    The results also show a tiny amount of CBG, a lesser-known cannabinoid which may have myriad health benefits. (For more information, check out our guide to CBG oil.)

    CBDistillery sources its hemp from non-GMO, U.S.-grown hemp. They’ve met all the requirements for the U.S. Hemp Authority’s Seal of Approval.

    This means they met all the criteria put forward by the U.S. Hemp Authority, a non-governmental industry entity whose certification program is geared to provide high standards, best practices, and self-regulation so consumers and law enforcement can rest assured that hemp products are safe.

    In anticipation of impending FDA regulations, the Hemp Authority is trying to help existing CBD companies get prepared for stricter rules, the organization’s president, Marielle Weintraub, told me.

    To do so, they hold companies like CBDistillery to the strictest standards set forth for nutritional supplements and cosmetics. (The strictest standards are set forth by the State of California, so the US Hemp Authority encourages all CBD companies to meet these standards.)

    To earn this rigorous seal of approval, CBDistillery has conducted this additional testing, which is not yet required by law. To achieve even greater transparency, they’ve made their results publicly available in a giant user-friendly online database.

    You can check out this massive database, and search for an exact batch number or product. For each batch, you can view not only cannabinoid potency results, but also results for Pesticides, Residual Solvents, Heavy Metals, Microbials, Terpenes, and Mycotoxins, using your batch ID.

Can CBD cream be used for pain?

The FDA limits what companies can say about using CBD to treat certain conditions.

Nevertheless, you can find countless stories about people using topical CBD to treat the symptoms of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. 

The best way to find out if CBD is right for you is to try some yourself. 

But we don't want you to waste your money. That's why we only review CBD products with third-party lab results.

Can I use CBD creams for sleep?

CBD salves and creams are applied topically. This makes them ideal for treating aches, pains, or skin conditions, because you can apply them directly onto the area that needs relief.

If you want to use CBD for sleep, you may want to try a CBD tincture instead. When you take drops of a tincture, you place them under your tongue, where the CBD gets absorbed by your sublingual capillaries. With a tincture (also known as CBD oil), you'll be able to reap the full-body benefits of CBD much more rapidly. Sweet dreams!

See Also:

5 Best Organic CBD Oil Brands (2020)

5 Best CBD Capsules: Your Buyer's Guide (2020)

7 Best CBD Chocolates: Your Easy Buying Guide (2020)

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