The theoretical logic is that are a few different ways CBD could help regulate pain — by increasing your natural endocannabinoids, decreasing your inflammatory response, and desensitizing your pain receptors (although it's still unclear whether this stands when absorbed topically compared to orally).
If you read the ingredient list, often everything in the jar is straight from mother earth. As long as that's indeed the case with the cannabis cream you have your eye on, the formula is immensely safe, chemically, says Gregory Gerdeman, Ph.D., neurophysiologist who researches cannabinoid biology and pharmacology at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, FL. And since hemp pain relief creams are formulated to be topical (absorbing into the top layer of skin) and not transdermal (which would pass through the skin and into your bloodstream) there's no risk of getting high, explains Gerdeman. (P.S. Here's How Marijuana Affects Athletic Performance.)
How CBD and Cannabis Might Help Pain Relief
But there is an argument to be made for simply believing the CBD adds that special something. "Scientific literature says there's a 33 percent chance of the placebo effect helping people, so for some, just using a cream they believe can help will provide some relief," adds Dr. Colberg.
Biology lesson aside, all of this has yet to be proven in scientific studies on humans.
Even still, cannabis creams could still reduce your acute pain or muscle soreness. That's because pretty much all of these hemp pain relief creams on the market right now have other scientifically-proven analgesic compounds, such as menthol, camphor, and capsaicin which are also found in other, non-CBD topical pain relievers. "Any cream with a heating or cooling sensation desensitizes the nerves to pain by distracting them with stimuli on top," explains Dr. Colberg. Plus you're often massaging the area as you apply, which improves circulation and reduces muscle spasms, he adds. (Get the best of both worlds by trying a CBD massage.)
Although research is still early, pain relief is considered a prominent case study for CBD's use. Professional athletes hailing from football, basketball, and an array of other sports cite CBD as a part of their regular routine, especially topicals. Helping with achy muscles as well as spasms, topical CBD solutions have been a great over the counter relief, especially in comparison to taking regular pain relievers.
● How their reviews sound including if there's any red flags.
Top 5 CBD Topical Brands for Pain
Their products have been heavily adopted by Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists and Shiatsu massage therapists all over Europe due to their high-quality ingredients, certifications and high potencies which all seem to be geared towards providing all-natural solutions to more persistent conditions rather than general lifestyle and cosmetics.
● Shipping is free to US addresses.
As we noted above, all of the CBD topicals on this list have been put together based on a number of different factors that include how it was produced, what type of hemp was used, and if there's any extra ingredients to be made aware of. After rigorous testing, here's what we came up with: