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Some early evidence suggests topical cannabidiol (CBD) cream may help with arthritis, inflammation, and chronic pain. The best CBD creams for arthritis are easy to apply, affordable, and quick to work.

The Arthritis Foundation states research on CBD for arthritis is promising but inconclusive. While several animal studies show potential, no well-designed trials prove CBD cream benefits people with this condition.

Recent research into the effects of CBD on arthritis in humans is limited. No research exists on the use of CBD cream specifically.

This article discusses the use of CBD cream to treat arthritis, its effectiveness, products to consider, and other natural remedies.

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% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% 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.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria, where possible:

  • Ingredients: Products contain safe, high quality ingredients, and their labels state all ingredients clearly. They also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: Products clearly state the CBD dosage.
  • Serving size: Manufacturers need to suggest a safe serving size.
  • Third-party laboratories: Products undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis (COA): The company demonstrates transparency and shares a product’s COA following receipt of its third-party laboratory results.
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The following products may be suitable for people with arthritis. A person can contact a doctor if they have concerns about using particular CBD products.

Some products have been reviewed by our testers. All opinions are their own.

The following table compares the CBD products in this article on price, type, and more.

PriceCBD typeCBD potencyCOA
Lazarus Naturals$12–$42full-spectrum800–3,600 mgavailable online
CBDistillery$35CBD isolate500 mgavailable online
CBDfx$49.99broad-spectrum1,000 mgavailable online
Joy Organics$49.95broad-spectrum250 mgavailable online
Receptra$81.99full-spectrum800 mgavailable online
3Chi$49.99broad-spectrum500 mgavailable online
Level Select$40broad-spectrum1,200 mgavailable online
Bluebird Botanicals$44.95full-spectrum700 mgavailable online
Soul$75CBD isolate1,500 mgavailable on product page

Read our buyer’s guide to CBD.

The Arthritis Foundation states CBD may help reduce symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

One of CBD’s primary benefits is helping reduce inflammation, especially in collagen-induced arthritis, as this compound helps stop the body from producing so many inflammatory markers.

In a 2022 review, researchers looked at the use of CBD for rheumatic conditions. They found that a 300 microgram dose of topical CBD reduced joint inflammation in rats with an early stage of knee osteoarthritis.

A 2022 study on humans found that twice-daily application of 1 mL of topical CBD with shea butter helped reduce pain in people with thumb basal joint arthritis.

CBD creams and other products are not a replacement for the medication people with arthritis may need to take for their condition.

At moderate doses, CBD is safe for most people and should not cause serious side effects. However, like all medications, the substance may interact with other drugs and trigger adverse effects, including some serious ones.

Common side effects include:

CBD may also interact with other sedating substances, such as alcohol and opioids. Experts have not identified all drug interactions, so it is best to consult a healthcare professional before using CBD alongside other medications.

Similar to other drugs, CBD may cause an allergic reaction, particularly in people with tree or nut allergies.

It is also of note that researchers cannot confirm the long-term effects of using CBD.

People can always discuss using CBD products with a healthcare professional to ensure the product will not interact with any existing prescription and nonprescription medication or health conditions.

CBD resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and in-depth resources on CBD.

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There have not been any studies on the best strength of CBD for arthritis pain. Optimal dosages will vary due to people’s tolerability thresholds.

People can use the lowest possible dose and increase it gradually to find the strength that best suits their needs.

There is insufficient research to confirm which CBD is best for arthritis pain. Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the compounds in the cannabis plant, so it may have more potent effects. However, people may speak with a doctor if they want to try CBD for arthritis.

Very limited reliable research confirms that topical CBD is effective for arthritis. Most research involves animal studies, which may not produce results applicable to humans.

However, some of these animal studies have found that topical CBD can reduce the inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Studies with mice have shown that CBD may help reduce arthritis pain by limiting the inflammatory response. A study on rats with osteoarthritis also made this conclusion.

Yes, CBD cream may help with arthritis pain. A 2022 study found that CBD may help reduce pain, although it is more effective against osteoarthritis pain than rheumatoid or other autoimmune arthritis.

CBD may help relieve arthritis inflammation, although further research is necessary. CBD cream is a possible option for people who wish to try a natural remedy for joint pain.

However, every case of arthritis is different. What works well for one person might not be effective for others. A person can consult a qualified healthcare professional to find a suitable combination of natural and medical remedies for arthritis relief.