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The Best CBD Creams for Arthritis Pain

The Best CBD Creams for Arthritis Pain
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According to the CDC, more than 54 million people have the autoimmune disease arthritis, which causes the body's immune system to mistakenly attack its own joints. In turn, that creates a collection of inflammation, swelling, and debilitating pain.

While treatment for rheumatoid arthritis ranges from over-the-counter pain relievers in mild cases to surgery for those that are extreme, one remedy more and more sufferers are turning to is cannabidiol (CBD). And for good reason—CBD most often binds with the body's CB2 receptor, which directly influences our immune system.

Is CBD effective at treating rheumatoid arthritis?

People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis are often desperate to find a therapy that helps with the symptoms involved with the disease. Imagine waking up with your body racked with pain and stiffness for 30 to 60 minutes every morning, and after every time you sit to rest.

And just when you think the pain is gone, you notice swelling and pain in other joints like your wrists, shoulders, and elbows—on both sides. All the while, you're running a fever, feel exhausted, and have low energy. This is the life of someone with rheumatoid arthritis, and it can go on like this for years.

Though it was cautious in its praise, the Arthritis Foundation did tout CBD as a potential way to address rheumatoid arthritis pain. It's understandable why a national advocacy group who fights for life-changing resources would appear guarded before anointing CBD as the ultimate answer.

Take this study that concluded that topical CBD has potential as effective treatment of arthritic pain. Further, researchers believed the administration of CBD to have long-lasting therapeutic effects. Another rat study found that atypical receptors beyond just the CB2 might be beneficial in treating inflammatory pain with cannabinoids.

As a reminder, CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. These chemical compounds like terpenes are able to influence our bodies through the endocannabinoid system, which aims to ensure critical internal functions remain level and balanced.

What is CBD cream?

CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants that has gained much attention for its ability to aid in inflammation, anxiety, and many other issues. This compound can be infused into creams and lotions as a way to apply CBD topically for a variety of reasons, including skin nourishment and pain alleviation.

However, it can be hard to find a high quality CBD topical for pain if you have never tried these products before and don't know where to start.

We've researched over 100 brands and found the best products according to customer experiences, sourcing methods, and third party lab testing. Here you can find our top five recommendations for CBD creams that may help you reduce arthritis pain and inflammation without inhaling or ingesting CBD.

Best CBD Creams for Arthritis Pain Relief

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Spruce CBD Salve

This full spectrum CBD salve is fast absorbing with a smooth consistency that offers targeted relief when applied on skin. Made with organic hemp, the topical cream is packed with phytocannabinoids that may help with muscle pain too. Spruce is known for having strong products packed with quality CBD extract. Spruce makes some of the best CBD creams for arthritis pain.


CBDistillery CBDol Topical Salve


Made with Colorado-grown hemp, CBDistillery makes full spectrum and CBD isolate products that are verified by the Hemp Authority. The brand's hemp oils are long sought after, and the line of creams is an equally strong value. Whether for osteoarthritis or joint and muscle pain, CBDisillery's CBD salve contains a strong 500 mg of CBD.


Medterra Ultimate Relief Bundle


Medterra's Ultimate Relief Bundle combines CBD Relief + Recovery cream and a daily supplement to improve wellness and guard against discomfort. In addition to effective relief, Medterra's products are THC-free and made with Kentucky-grown hemp. Some users find Medterra CBD pain creams to be much less greasy than other natural products. Containing arnica and menthol, the CBD cream may also help with joint pain.


cbdMD Relieve Topical


This CBD cream is enriched with additionally beneficial ingredients like arnica, vitamin B6, and MSM to aid in reducing inflammation that causes pain. A broad spectrum product, cbdMD includes some of the phytocannabinoids without the THC to allow for some entourage effect. In addition to creams, cbdMD has a line of roll-ons made with non-GMO, natural ingredients. There plenty of strength options on the site to pick how many mg of CBD you want in your cream or roll-on.


Joy Organics CBD Salve

Joy Organics

Joy Organics organic CBD salve is formulated to support healthy muscles and joints. A balanced combination of phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil, organic beeswax, and organic aromatic essential oils may help soothe muscles and support skin health. Joy Organics ensures all agriculture partners follow best practices and is a certified-organic line.


Benefits of CBD Cream for Pain

When you experience pain, it's often the result of inflammation that can arise from tension, overuse, stress, or minor injuries of your muscles, joints, tendons, and other body parts. But where does this inflammation come from? And is CBD an anti-inflammatory?

Essentially, your immune system responds to damage within the body by sending chemicals from the white blood cells to the afflicted area, which helps protect against infection from foreign substances. When this occurs, the chemical release may cause swelling and nerve stimulation that causes us to feel pain.

Cannabinoids like CBD may be able to offer some relief for this issues through the endocannabinoid system, which helps us maintain balance for a variety of bodily functions. The human body has internal cannabinoid receptors that allow natural compounds like CBD and terpenes to indirectly interact with our sensory receptors, which can effectively diminish our pain sensation. These cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the skin, meaning that CBD topical products may offer some benefit to alleviating localized pain when applied to the affected area.

One study published by the European Journal of Pain also noted, "[the] use of topical CBD has potential as effective treatment of arthritic symptomatology" after conducting tests using a rat model of arthritis pain. Additionally, there are minimal side effects associated with CBD, especially when applied topically.

FAQs about CBD Creams for Pain

Is CBD oil or CBD cream better for pain?

This really depends on your personal preference and the kind of pain that your experience on a daily basis. If you suffer from chronic pain, you may prefer using CBD oil for pain. But for aches and pains in targeted areas, especially those that arise after an intense workout or exercise training, many people prefer to use a fast-acting topical CBD cream.

Is CBD cream legal?

CBD is most often extracted from hemp strains, meaning it contains less than 0.3% THC and is widely legal throughout the United States. In fact, CBD topicals are seemingly the "most legal" of any CBD product since they are not taken as a supplement like CBD oil, or ingested like CBD gummies or CBD capsules.

Instead, CBD creams are applied to the skin and pose no real risks, and even large drugstore chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have added CBD creams to their shelves in select locations across many states.

Where does CBD come from?

CBD is typically extracted from high-CBD strains of the hemp plant as opposed to marijuana plants, which allows these products to offer beneficial pain relieving effects without the "high" sensation that comes from THC (the psychoactive element in cannabis). Most brands will tell you the extraction method they use and what other ingredients the cream contains.

Coconut oil, peppermint, eucalyptus, aloe vera, and vitamin E are common in CBD creams. Just be sure to look at test results to protect against harmful contaminants or solvents. Brands willing to offer a money-back guarantee tend to stand behind their products.

Using CBD to treat rheumatoid arthritis

Before beginning to explore how you want to use CBD, we always suggest you have a conversation with your doctor to discuss your goals, any existing medications you're taking, and whether they feel it's right for you. If they do sign-off on treatment, you might be surprised to know that CBD comes with a level of versatility that extends far beyond the scope of medications you may have already tried for rheumatoid arthritis.

It's important to remember that CBD is non-intoxicating and does not result in the user feeling a euphoric "high" like they might when using tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. Still, you want to talk through any potential drug interactions.

Who gets rheumatoid arthritis? And why?

Unfortunately, there's no real way to stave off rheumatoid arthritis. While anyone can get it, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases says rheumatoid arthritis is more common in older people and that women are more likely to get it than men.

The concept of our own body attacking itself sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi flick, and even worse, researchers aren't exactly sure why it happens in this case. The prevailing thought is that genes, hormones, and even environmental factors are involved, but science has yet to pinpoint an exact cause.

It's also challenging to diagnose since there's not a single test available like other autoimmune diseases. Symptoms can take years to develop, and when they do show up, they often present in the same fashion as other joint diseases. All of these factors make rheumatoid arthritis incredibly hard to spot and even harder to treat.

Final thoughts on rheumatoid arthritis and CBD

As with most things related to hemp extract, it's probably a little early to crown it as the future of rheumatoid arthritis treatment. But if you're suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and your doctor acknowledges that it won't interfere with your existing medications, it's certainly worth a try.

When thinking about how much CBD to take, the truth is that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for you. In any event, we always suggest you start slow and increase your dose in small amounts until you find an amount that meets your needs. These products are not approved by the FDA and you should always make sure a brand is sharing lab reports for pesticides and heavy metals.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has shown great therapeutic potential for many people when it comes to pain management. In particular, CBD creams are an option that many athletes and active individuals flock towards since it can be applied topically for targeted pain areas. They may offer a nice level of support for people trying to relieve arthritis pain.

Melena Gurganus is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.

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