best cbd for pain

Best CBD Massage Lotion, Salve & Cream Products for Pain



Everyone is raving about CBD topicals like massage lotions, muscle salves, and creams. That could include your grandmother or gym buddies. Everywhere you look, there is a new brand of CBD popping up!

 So, how do you know which ones are legit and which are scams?

Countless brands are trying to sell you CBD topicals and CBD creams. All of them promise to “cure” your pain.  Which is a false medical claim, as the FDA has not approved CBD for pain-relief.

With so many brands, how do you know which ones work? And how do you know the CBD companies that you can trust? Do you know which are honest about their extraction methods and ingredients?

Don’t worry.

My Pain Center took the challenge and purchased over $500 worth of CBD topicals and tried them out over three months, and here are our thoughts! 


Woman applying CBD cream for shoulder pain

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

These CBD topicals are a cream or lotion made from CBD oil extracted from the cannabis plant.  

The oil is blended with a variety of ingredients to create CBD topicals.  Many of these creams also have additional ingredients included with the CBD.  

Be skeptical if the CBD product you are eyeing needs to label the ingredients clearly. 


how to use a cbd oil and what cbd oil looks like

Photo by Enecta Cannabis Extracts

CBD topicals are applied to the skin, while CBD oil is taken by mouth. 

Which one acts faster to help you be pain-free is debatable. 

CBD cream does not enter the bloodstream like CBD oil. Instead, CBD cream is absorbed into the top layer of your skin, which is a positive if you’re nervous about testing positive on a drug test for THC. 

However, CBD topicals may provide relief because of the CBD’s anti-inflammatory potential.

Some people find that CBD oil has a faster effect. It takes longer to feel the impacts of a CBD Topical or CBD cream--even though the relief from CBD topical/cream will last longer.  

However, other people find that applying the CBD cream to the actual pain points. Works faster. It offers more targeted pain relief.  

What has been your experience? 

Drop a note in the comments!


CBD creams CBD balms CBD lotions for pain relief

 Photo by Sohini 

CBD oil may help with full-body pain relief, while CBD cream may be best for localized pain. 

CBD cream is a good option if you have localized pain. You can apply the cream directly on the inflamed area. 

Rubbing CBD on your joints allows the anti-inflammatory potential of CBD to aid in long-lasting comfort in a specific area.  Over time, you may experience pleasing results.


Woman applying CBD cream to hand for arthritis

Photo by Retha Ferguson

Here are the categories we used to differentiate the best CBD topicals from the rest.

Potency: How Strong is the CBD Topical?

There are CBD creams ranging from 20mg to 1000 mg+.  While stronger isn’t always better, 20mg may be too low.  

Also, while many topicals tout a strong dose, you must check the packaging size to understand the potency best. 

For example, 100mg in a 1-ounce jar is equivalent to 500mg of CBD cream in a 5-ounce jar.  In this case, both products have the same potency.   

 It’s essential to read the labels carefully and check the Certificate of Analysis (COA) or Lab Results.  The COA is a 3rd party lab test (be wary if it is not a 3rd party lab test!) that states how much CBD is in the product.  

While we tried and tested different CBD creams, we kept potency in mind, as it was essential to be aware of how much CBD is actually in each jar, especially as it related to price.  

The Smell of CBD Topicals

You don’t want people around you to wonder why you smell like Vicks VapoRub.

Most topicals have a menthol smell. But some are stronger than others.  Others infuse fruit scents into their CBD cream. But that makes it difficult to stomach if you’re trying to sleep.

As we tested products, we knew which had a permeable smell versus a short-term smell (lasting only a few minutes upon application). 

Ingredient Transparency

Not all CBD is created equally. Some CBD creams contain chemicals and pesticides. Others advertise a higher CBD content than what is actually in the product.  

When shopping for CBD cream, be on the lookout for “hemp-derived cannabinoid extract”--basically, CBD.  

When shopping for CBD cream, requesting a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from the vendor or manufacturer is advisable. The COA provides information on the CBD content and ensures the absence of pesticides. This step is essential for transparency and product quality.

Cost of CBD Products

I’m a stand-up comedian, so cost matters to me! However (as is faithful with all things), what you pay for is what you get.  

CBD lotions, salves, and the like range from $10 to $200+.  

While cost matters, it's crucial to consider the overall value. Our recommendations focus on products that balance cost and CBD content, ensuring you get quality for your investment.

This may mean you are getting a smaller overall amount. However, CBD topicals go a long way in addressing localized areas.  

We also grouped the products we tested by milligrams to compare costs amongst similar products.  This allowed us to understand best the average price you’re paying per milligram of CBD.  


Our top recommendation for pain relief: 

SunState CBD Roll-On 

Why CBD Roll-On ranks the highest in our selection

  • Users have reported positive experiences with this product. However, individual responses may vary.
  • Menthol and lavender scent
  • Pump dispenser for easy access
  • ~120 servings
  • Reasonable price for quantity of CBD (150mg in 1-ounce dispenser)

Another reason we love this product, specifically, is the transparency in sharing their ingredient list, certificate of analysis, and CBD extraction method.  

Some users, including my mom, have incorporated this CBD cream into their daily routine and reported lasting comfort, allowing for increased daily activities.

She’s also rediscovered hobbies such as cooking and baking that she had moved away from due to pain from standing too long or in her hands.    

CBD Pain Cream may offer relief for minor aches and pains. Individual experiences may vary; consulting with a healthcare professional for personalized advice is essential.

Where to buy CBD Relief Cream?

My Pain Center offers many products to help you manage your pain.  



After spending $500 on products, we learned that not all CBD topicals are made equally.  

Once we tried each product over a few days, we tossed some aside due to: 

  • Texture: it was grainy, like rubbing salt rub on your body
  • Smell: I should be able to go out without smelling like I doused myself in menthol
  • Potency: Do the products contain as much CBD as they claim?
  • Cost: we created groupings for creams based on mg and compared costs within each group

Author: Shereen Kassam

Date: October 02, 2019

Rating: 4.8 / 5

Category: CBD Gummies For Pain, Best CBD Gummy For Pain, CBD Cream

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