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Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant. A topical CBD lotion or cream may help relieve muscle aches, joint pain, and skin inflammation.

This article looks at nine high quality CBD lotions and creams available to purchase online.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

The sections below examine some products that a person may wish to consider.

Best for nighttime relaxation: Social CBD Rest CBD Body Lotion

Review score of 4 out of 5.

Social CBD Rest CBD Body Lotion contains 300 mg of CBD per 12-fluid ounce (fl oz) bottle.

Social CBD Rest Body Lotion product image

It contains natural essential oils for fragrance, including lavender, chamomile, and bergamot. The manufacturers claim that the product is non-greasy, non-stick, and fast-absorbing.

The lotion also contains:

  • magnesium
  • arnica
  • shea butter
  • coconut oil
  • argan oil

What sets Social CBD Rest CBD Body Lotion apart is its combination of CBD extract, arnica, and magnesium to promote pain relief and relaxation, as well as calming essential oils.

The pros of Social CBD Rest CBD Body Lotion are:

  • soothing fragrance
  • easily absorbed
  • users describe it as calming

The cons of Social CBD Rest CBD Body Lotion may include:

  • difficult to measure dosage per use
  • some users report no effect from CBD

Social CBD Rest CBD Body Lotion is available to purchase online for $18.99.

30% off purchase with code HEALTH30

Best for sore, tired muscles: Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream

Review score of 4 out of 5.

Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream comes in a 2-oz tub and contains approximately 600 mg of CBD made from Colorado United States Department of Agriculture certified organic, full-spectrum hemp extract.

Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream

It contains less than 0.3% THC and a variety of terpenes.

Some of the additional ingredients in this product include:

  • organic menthol
  • jojoba seed oil
  • mango
  • tea tree oil
  • kernel butter

The pros of Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream are:

  • users can target specific pain “hot spots”
  • may reduce inflammation
  • quickly absorbed

The cons of Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream may include:

  • expensive one-time purchase
  • some users found the product oily

Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream is available online for $85.

25% off sitewide through Christmas Day

Best for muscle restoration: Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream

Review score of 4 out of 5.

Naternal created its Rescue CBD Muscle Cream for preventive care and muscle restoration. It comes in a 3.4-oz pot and contains 1,000 mg of full-spectrum CBD.

Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream

Other ingredients include:

  • menthol
  • camphor
  • eucalyptus
  • arnica

The manufacturers claim that these ingredients give the product a non-greasy, cooling feel.

This product is different from others in this article because it focuses on relieving dry, itchy, and sore skin over improving muscle aches.

The pros of Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Lavender Lotion a person can consider are:

  • cruelty-free
  • uses organic ingredients
  • scent uses natural ingredients

The cons of Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Lavender Lotion are:

  • provided lab reports may be hard to understand
  • some users report the menthol scent is too strong

Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream is available to purchase online for $40.

Best for dry, itchy, and sore skin: Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Lavender Lotion

Review score of 5 out of 5.

Calm by Wellness claims that its Hemp CBD Lavender Lotion soothes skin and eases pain.

Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Lavender Lotion

The lavender-scented lotion contains 200 mg of broad-spectrum CBD per bottle.

Additional ingredients include aloe leaf juice and coconut oil.

The pros of the Calm by Wellness CBD Lavender Lotion may include:

  • the company suggests how much product to use
  • cGMP certified
  • more affordable than similar products

The cons a person can consider are:

  • the website does not state bottle size
  • some users find lotion too watery

Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Lavender Lotion is available online for around $35.99.

Use code MNT20 for 20% off.

Best roll-on for muscle soreness: Green Roads Heat Relief CBD Roll-On

Review score of 4 out of 5.

Packaged in a convenient roll-on dispenser, this CBD topical aims to make it easy for people to apply the product to painful areas, such as the knees and back muscles.

Green Roads Heat Relief CBD Roll-On

The manufacturer says pharmacists developed the formula for this product, which includes broad-spectrum CBD, rosemary oil, and cayenne, which provides its heating property. It aims to provide warming pain relief to stiff and sore muscles.

It also contains bentonite clay and avocado oil for the skin. However, the company does not state what benefit these ingredients have on skin health.

According to the company, it has not tested this product on animals.

The pros of Green Roads Heat Relief CBD Roll-On are:

  • available in different dosages of 150, 350, and 750 mg CBD per 3 fl oz bottle
  • formulated by pharmacists
  • includes multiple hemp compounds, but no THC

A person can also consider the following cons:

  • the company states it is only suitable for those over 18
  • not clear what benefits some ingredients have for skin

A 3 fl oz bottle with 750 mg of CBD costs $39.99.

Best aging support facial cream: Green Gorilla CBD Face Créme

Review score of 4 out of 5.

Green Gorilla CBD Face Créme is a skin care product that adds 375 mg of active broad-spectrum CBD to its pro-aging support and skin-soothing ingredients. These include:

Green Gorilla CBD Face Creme

Reservatrol is a natural plant compound that may have antioxidant benefits. CoQ10 is an antioxidant naturally produced by the body that helps to reduce tissue damage and inflammation.

The website states this product aims to promote skin defense, recovery, relaxation, and balance. The company also writes that it activates collagen production in the skin, protecting damaged cells.

The pros of Green Gorilla CBD Face Créme that a person can consider are:

  • reportedly stimulates collagen production
  • contains natural antioxidants
  • company states it is suitable for all skin types

The cons of Green Gorilla CBD Face Créme may include:

  • expensive
  • cannot filter reviews
  • users reports that the product does not produce results

It costs $74.99 for a 1.73 fl oz jar.

Best water-soluble gel: Ojai Energetics Full Spectrum Sports Gel

Review score of 5 out of 5.

This sports gel is made from water-soluble, full-spectrum organic CBD and does not contain synthetics. Each bottle contains 100 mg of full-spectrum CBD.

Ojai Full Spectrum Sports Gel

The formula includes botanical ingredients alongside CBD to relieve muscles and joints. These ingredients include:

The Ojai Full Spectrum Sports Gel differs from other topical CBD products because it contains water-soluble CBD. The manufacturer states this is more rapidly absorbed and provides relief more quickly.

The company writes that one pump provides 1.6 mg of CBD.

The pros of Ojai Full Spectrum Sports Gel are:

  • made from water-soluble CBD
  • reportedly fast-acting
  • contains 16 additional herbal extracts

The cons of Ojai Full Spectrum Sports Gel are:

  • the company warns product may interact with some statins
  • low CBD dose per pump

A 1 fl oz bottle costs $46.95.

Best for botanical ingredients: FOCL Relief Cream

Review score of 4 out of 5.

FOCL Relief Cream combines broad-spectrum CBD with seven botanical ingredients, including:

FOCL Relief Cream
  • arnica
  • menthol
  • eucalyptus leaf oil
  • camphor bark oil
  • aloe vera
  • wintergreen oil

These ingredients aim to provide a cooling sensation, relieve pain, and soothe and nourish the skin.

FOCL states that this product can be used as a spot treatment to provide quick, targeted relief for sore muscles after exercising or as a long-term tool to help reduce chronic soreness and inflammation. This product may suit people who regularly experience pain.

The company recommends a person applies the product 3–4 times a day or as needed.

Some pros of the FOCL Relief Cream include:

  • formulated by doctors
  • may soothe and hydrate skin
  • includes cooling ingredients
  • vegan and cruelty-free

The cons a person may wish to consider include:

  • some users find the scent too strong
  • users may need to apply several times daily for the best results

A 3.38 oz bottle costs $39.

Best full-body moisturizer: Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Lotion

Review score of 4 out of 5.

This Lazarus Naturals product aims to hydrate the skin. It uses full-spectrum CBD, jojoba oil, mango seed butter, and aloe.

Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Lotion

The company claims it manages every step of the manufacturing process, from growing and processing its hemp to formulating and packaging the products.

Lazarus Naturals offers two lotions with different CBD content: 1,500 mg and 5,000 mg. A person can also choose between a fragrance-free and pine-scented lotion.

This product may be best suited to people who want a CBD product they can apply to their whole body instead of targeted areas.

The pros of Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Lotionmay include:

  • contains high levels of CBD
  • two options for CBD content
  • fragrance-free option
  • more affordable than other products

The cons a person may wish to consider include:

  • the company warns product may produce interactions similar to grapefruit
  • contains tree nuts
  • cannot read lower-rated reviews on the website

A 2.5 fl oz bottle containing 1,500 mg of CBD costs $25. An 8.5 fl oz bottle containing 5,000 mg of CBD costs $50.

Research regarding the effects of topical CBD is still limited. However, a 2016 animal study found that treatments applied to the skin without breaking it, such as lotions and ointments, may benefit those with chronic pain and chronic inflammatory conditions.

Topical CBD does not reach the bloodstream, but manufacturers produce CBD-infused creams and lotions to provide targeted pain relief.

CBD extract also contains several other compounds in the C. sativa plant, such as omega fatty acids and antioxidants. These compounds may help improve the quality and appearance of the skin and reduce inflammation.

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD products, a person needs to read the labels and be able to recognize the most important pieces of information when choosing a CBD product.

The table below provides some key terms and their definitions.

TermDefinition
CBDThis is a compound present in the C. sativa plant. This compound does not create the “high” feeling associated with cannabis use.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)This is also a compound present in the C. sativa plant. This is the psychoactive compound that creates the “high” sensation linked with using cannabis.
Full-spectrumA full-spectrum product contains all of the natural compounds present in the cannabis plant, including THC. However, THC levels must be no more than 0.3% to remain compliant with FDA regulation.
Broad-spectrumBroad-spectrum products contain all natural compounds of the cannabis plant, but THC is only present in trace amounts.
CBD isolateThis is the purest form of CBD, and it should contain 0% THC.
CannabinoidsThese are compounds present within the cannabis plant. There are over 120 cannabinoids. CBD is the second richest compound in the plant after THC.
TerpenesThese are also compounds of the C. sativa plant. Terpenes typically give plants their unique aromas. Some terpenes, such as limonene, may have specific health benefits.
Certificate of analysis (COA)Reputable manufacturers of CBD products should ensure that a COA is available for inspection. A COA provides information on the third party testing carried out by an independent laboratory that has no vested interest in the product. Sometimes, products have scannable smartphone codes that link directly to the COA.

Dosage

Most CBD products display their dosage information in milligrams (mg), but knowing the right amount for an individual is difficult to determine. There are currently too few studies to indicate appropriate dosages.

It is typically advisable to start with a low dosage, which a person can slowly increase over time if needed.

Learn more about CBD dosages.

People can purchase CBD products online and in many large health food stores, but checking the product labeling is important regardless of purchase location.

People should always look for information relating to a COA and ensure that they are happy with the CBD type and amount before purchasing the product.

For advice on how to shop for CBD products, read this guide.

The following table indicates how MNT chooses to rank the products within this article:

Third-party testedCOA availableClear ingredientsCBD dosage clearly markedDosage suggestionScore
Social CBD Rest CBD Body Lotion 4.0
Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream 4.0
Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream Lotion4.0
Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Lavender Lotion5.0
Green Roads Heat Relief CBD Roll-On4.0
Green Gorilla CBD Face Créme4.0
Ojai Energetics Full Spectrum Sports Gel5.0
FOCL Relief Cream4.0
Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Lotion4.0

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.

The table below compares each of the CBD creams and lotions in this article.

Used forCBD typeCBD contentPrice
Social CBD Rest CBD Body Lotion promoting sleep, muscle relaxationCBD hemp extract300 mg$18.99
Aspen Green Muscle Relief Cooling Cream relieving muscle painfull-spectrum1,000 mg$85
Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream Lotionpreventative care for musclesfull-spectrum1,000 mg$40
Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Lavender Lotionrelieving dry, itchy, and sore skinbroad-spectrum200 mg$35.99
Green Roads Heat Relief CBD Roll-Onrelieving muscle and joint painbroad-spectrum150, 350, and 750 mg$39.99
Green Gorilla CBD Face Crémeaging support skin carebroad-spectrum375 mg$74.99
Ojai Energetics Full Spectrum Sports Gelrelieving post-workout painfull-spectrum100 mg$46.95
FOCL Relief Creammuscle relaxation and recoverybroad-spectrum500 mg$39
Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Lotionfull-body moisturizingfull-spectrum1,500 and 5,000 mg$50

There are not many reports on CBD side effects, but a person needs to consider the potential risks of taking any supplement.

The FDA advises that some potential effects may include:

  • changes to alertness
  • drowsiness
  • mood changes
  • initially unnoticeable liver injury
  • drug interactions

Many people use CBD lotions and creams to relieve occasional muscle and joint pain.

However, people should contact a doctor if their pain does not improve with home remedies, such as rest and icing the affected areas, or if it interferes with their daily life.

If a person experiences severe joint pain or swelling, they should contact a doctor.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, people should get advice from a physician if they experience:

  • pain interfering with daily activities
  • joints that are warm to the touch
  • problems with more than one joint
  • more than a few episodes of joint pain a month

Additionally, some CBD products contain ingredients that may interact with medication. Talking with a doctor before using CBD products will help people understand which products will be safe for them.

If a person develops skin irritation or allergic reactions after using a CBD product, they should stop using it and seek medical advice.

Below are some frequently asked questions relating to CBD creams and lotions.

What are the benefits of CBD topicals?

CBD may benefit some skin conditions by reducing inflammation. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, such conditions may include eczema, acne, and psoriasis.

Some other conditions that skin creams may help with include arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, and jaw pain.

Learn more about CBD skin creams here.

How do I choose a CBD cream or lotion?

When choosing a CBD product, a person should consider the following:

  • dosage
  • whether or not it contains other organically grown ingredients
  • the extraction process, which may sometimes involve harsh chemicals
  • the possible interactions with prescribed medications or other supplements
  • cost

How do I use CBD creams and lotions?

Individuals can apply a CBD topical in the same way as any other skin product: by massaging a small amount of product into the affected area.

The more lotion a person applies to an area, the higher the dosage of CBD they will receive. For this reason, it is important to start with less and build up the amount gradually.

A person should discuss ongoing pain or skin condition symptoms with a qualified healthcare professional.

Is CBD lotion good for skin?

2020 research notes that preclinical results suggest topical CBD products can be good for eczema, psoriasis, and pruritus. However, more research is needed to confirm these results.

The authors also write that CBD could potentially benefit people with acne, seborrhea, and dermatitis. Research on the side effects topical CBD products may cause is limited, including hyperpigmentation and hair growth or loss.

A person should talk with a doctor before using CBD lotions to treat or improve a skin condition.

CBD lotions and creams may help manage chronic pain, chronic inflammatory conditions, and some skin conditions.

In addition to lotions and creams, there are other topical CBD products available, including salves and balms.

Learn more about other CBD topicals here.

CBD products often contain other beneficial cannabinoids, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.

A person should consult a doctor before using any CBD product, particularly if they take prescription medications.