The Best CBD Topicals Reviewed (2019)

CBD Topicals

As cannabidiol (CBD) continues to gain media and consumer attention, the industry will also grow in its size and influence. As a result, the somewhat limited amounts of research on the benefits of CBD and human health will continue and the literature will become vast. Even in its infancy stage, the research literature on CBD and pain management is somewhat conclusive, showing promising correlations between CBD and pain relief associated with aging and chronic health conditions. With both empirical and anecdotal evidence circulating the states, there has been a surge in cannabis products, including new CBD topicals, available for purchase.

Below we share our top picks for the best CBD topicals on the market. These are all made by manufacturers who use third-party labs to test the concentration of CBD and other ingredients in their products, source their CBD from industrial hemp plants grown in the USA, and have a trusted reputation within the industry for their overall product quality.

Best CBD Topicals – Our Top Picks

Spruce Topical CBD Cream

CBDFx Topicals

Medterra CBD Topical Cooling Cream

CBDistillery Topicals

Spruce Topical CBD Cream

  • 300mg of lab grade CBD per 2oz jar
    • Made with all-natural plant-derived scents
    • Cost = 0.13/mg
  • Additional Ingredients: Water, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Paraffin, Panthenol, Magnesium Sulfate, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearates, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone
  • Third-party lab testing: Spruce CBD pays for a third party, independent lab in the U.S. (ProVerde Labs) to test every batch of their products. To date, the company claims to have never failed a pesticide, bacteria, or other harmful contaminants test and that their CBD quantities on each lab report match the amount advertised on each product. Not seeing an up-to-date report online? Shoot them a quick email to see the latest batch report!
  • Customer service/shipping details:
    • Shipping only to U.S. locations at this time
    • Free shipping on products as advertised
    • Same or next-day shipping
    • Delivery in 2-4 business days after shipment
    • Returns available with full refund option
  • Why we love them: Buying a product from Spruce means buying a product with a guarantee on high quality ingredients. Spruce uses no pesticides in their 100% USA-grown hemp from Colorado and Kentucky. Their third-party lab testing confirms that there is no detectable THC in their products, meaning none of them would get you “high.” With mid-range prices as compared to the rest of the industry, Spruce’s topical CBD cream is great for anyone using CBD for general wellness, or for relief from a chronic health issue.

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CBDFx Topicals

  • CBD Face Masks
    • Available in: Aloe Vera, Hemp Charcoal, Cucumber, Rose, and Lavender
      • 20mg CBD in each face mask
      • Cost = 0.35/mg
      • Vary by purpose (e.g. “toning,” “healing,” “fortifying”)
  •  CBD Massage Oil – Rejuvediol
    • Dry oil formula for massages
    • Other ingredients include jojoba oil and evening primrose
    • Broad-spectrum hemp oil is the primary ingredient
  •  CBD Oil Face Serum – Rejuvediol 
    • Contains 250mg CBD per bottle
    • Infused with Vitamin E and scented with essential oils for healthy skin promotion
    • Cost = 0.40/mg
  • CBD Face Cleanser – Rejuvediol
    • Foamy face wash
    • Contains hemp extract, charcoal, and mint
    • 50mg broad spectrum hemp extract per bottle
    • Cost = 0.80/mg
  • CBD Hemp Cream
    • Skin lotion
    • 150mg CBD per 50mL bottle
      • Cost = 0.27/mg
    • 100mg CBD per 30mL bottle
      • Cost = 0.30/mg
  • CBD Balms
    • CBD Shea Butter Citrus Balm
      • 150mg CBD
      • Scented with tangerine, lemon, and orange oil
      • Cost = 0.27/mg
    • CBD Overnight Recovery Balm
      • 150mg CBD
      • Infused with lavender oil to promote relaxation
      • Cost = 0.27/mg
    • CBD Muscle Balm
      • 150mg CBD
      • Key ingredients include: peppermint oil & wintergreen oil
      • Cost = 0.27/mg
    • CBD Calming Balm
      • 150mg CBD
      • Contains lavender, tea tree oil, and chamomile
      • Cost = 0.27/mg
  • Additional Ingredients: While they vary by product, many of CBDFx’s topical products include all-natural ingredients such as sunflower oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, USP water, white willow bark extract, and tocopherol.
  • Customer service/shipping:
    • Provided by USPS or FedEx
    • New orders packed within 2 business days
    • Ships internationally
    • Order status accessible through your account page
    • 30-day return policy for unopened products
  • Why we love them: CBDFx prides itself on transparency with all of their products – topicals included! Not only are all of their products tested by an independent, third party lab (PharmLabs), but the lab reports are easily accessible on each product’s buying page and an individual page on their website. All CBD used in their topical products are extracted from organically grown plants in the U.S, cultivated with organic, non-GMO ingredients. With new topical products consistently showing up on their website, consumers can try a variety of formulations when searching for what works best for them personally.

Get 15% CBDFX CBD Oil with code: “CANNAHEALTH15”

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Medterra Topical Cream

  • CBD Rapid Cooling Cream
    • 3.4fl oz containers with 100mLs of cream
      •  250mg CBD per container
        • Cost = 0.19/mg
      • 750mg CBD per container
        • Cost = 0.10/mg
  • Additional Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid (Vegetable Derived), Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut Alcohol), Sodium Hydroxide (non-GMO, mineral-salt), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Glycerin (non-GMO, vegetable-derived), Potassium Sorbate (non-GMO, mineral-salt), Xanthan Gum (non-GMO, vegetable-derived), Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Menthol (Mentha arvensis), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ocimum basilicum (Basil) Leaf Oil, Citrus aurantium bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Whole Hemp Derived CBD Isolate, Montana (Arnica) Flower Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Zingiber officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Oil, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia sclarea (Clary) Oil, Phenoxyethanol.
  • Customer service/shipping:
    • Orders are shipped within 1-2 business days of purchase
    • Most orders placed Monday-Friday before 12om PST are shipped the same day (not guaranteed)
    • Claims for damaged products must be made within 72 hours of receipt
    • Full refund offer for 30 days upon request
    • Shipping available via: USPS first class mail, USPS priority mail, FedEx SmartPost, FedEx Express Saver, FedEx 2-day, and FedEx Standard Overnight
  • Why we love them: Medterra provides a comprehensive amount of information on their product pages, allowing consumers to learn more about the company and their processes with ease. The CBD rapid cooling cream uses CBD grown and extracted in the U.S. All of the CBD used in this product is guaranteed to be fully compliant under the Kentucky Department of Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. By using CO2 extraction methods, CBD is drawn from the plant and is filtered for unnatural substances. Medterra also guarantees 0% THC in their cream, which is a benefit for many people!

Get 15% off Medterra CBD Oil with code: “cannahealth15”

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CBDistillery Topicals

  • CBD Salve
    • 500mg CBD
    •  1oz container
    •  Available in a variety of scents
    •  Cost = 0.10/mg
  •  CBD Lip Balm 
    • 25mg CBD
    • Cost = 0.24/mg
  • CBDefine Skin Care Cream
    • 1oz container
    • 500mg CBD
    • Cost = 0.10/mg
  • Additional Ingredients: Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Lavender, Peppermint, Wintergreen, Marjoram, Eucalyptus, Arnica, Basil, Camphor, Frankincense, Tea Tree, Green Tea, Lecithin, Cinnamon, Grapefruit Seed, Aloe, USD Kosher Glycerin, Magnesium, Beeswax, (Castor) Seed Oil, (Carnauba) Wax, (Sweet Almond) Oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, Capric Triglycerides, Lanolin, Tocopherol, Acetate, Natural Vanilla Flavoring, Apricot Oil, Sunflower Oil, Frankincense, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Helichrysum, Aloe, Glycerin
  • Customer service/shipping:
    • Packages are shipped from the fulfillment center within 48 hours
    • Free shipping is available on orders of $75 or more
    • Ships anywhere in the United States
    • Available for Standard or Priority shipping through USPS
    • Unopened and unused product(s) can be returned within 7 days of receipt
    • 10% off every order, every time for soldiers and veterans with documentation
  • Why we love them: Ranging from lip balm to body creams, the all-natural ingredients used in these topicals are a great addition to your skincare routine. By interacting with cannabinoid receptors on your skin, the beneficial effects of CBD can have a direct impact and provide moisture and protection from natural elements. All CBD products from CBDistillery are sourced from naturally grown, non-GMO, U.S. industrial hemp and hemp CBD oil extracted from aerial plant parts. All products are lab-tested by a third party to ensure potency and purity. On each products’ landing page, a photo is included of the lab test in order to provide buyers with as much information as possible. The products available for purchase have also been certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority.

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CBD Topicals Buying Guide

What is a CBD topical?

There are many different methods available for those looking to use CBD. Among the most popular are vaping and using CBD oil or tinctures. However, many people who are experiencing joint or muscle pain, or who are struggling with a skin condition, choose topical creams, balms or salves as their way of using the beneficial compound.

All CBD topicals are applied directly to the skin and can be rubbed in by massage. Lip balms containing CBD should be used as normal lip balm would. Some companies over CBD body oils, which are different than the common CBD Oils that are sold by most CBD companies today. CBD body oils are comparable to massage oils and can be used as such.

Most CBD topicals include additional ingredients, similar to those seen in the recommended products above. Additives like shea butter, vitamin E, and coconut oil are soothing for the skin and can be used, primarily for cosmetics, to help make skin smoother.

Depending on your reason for choosing to use a CBD topical, you may find that one product works better than another. For example, for skin-related conditions like eczema, a person may prefer to use a CBD soothing cream whereas someone with arthritis in their knees may choose to use a balm or CBD body oil to apply generously to the source of their pain.

Do CBD topicals really work?

While the interest and funds dedicated to CBD and CBD topical products are limited, the research that has been published demonstrates how beneficial CBD can be for pain management and skin-related conditions.

Most of these research studies describe how a topical cream containing CBD, when applied to the body, acts on our endocannabinoid system. As compared to taking CBD orally or consuming an edible with CBD in it, CBD topical creams and balms do not get absorbed into our bloodstream. With the direct application to our skin, cannabinoids act at our CB1 and CB2 receptors and signal our central and peripheral nervous systems to calm down. The receptors also send signals to our immune and digestive systems, which may help to explain the research behind CBD and IBS/Crohn’s.

As the CBD industry gains more traction and more research dollars are invested, it is highly possible that other chronic pain conditions and chronic skin conditions are shown to interact positively with CBD and other cannabinoids. Until then, we recommend trying out a few different products after speaking with your doctor to decide if a CBD topical works for you and your routine!

Using CBD Topicals

While many companies offer their own instructions for use of their topical products, the same underlying principles remain the same.

First, most creams, balms and salves should be stored at room temperature, out of the direct line of sunlight. Many creams that contain coconut oil or shea butter may melt if they are too hot, so be conscious of where you live and the temperature you are exposing your products to.

Second, before applying, make sure the area you plan to apply to is dry. Any CBD balm or salve will not absorb as well if your skin is wet and you will only be wasting some of the product that you have invested in!

When applying, massage or rub the product into whichever area of the body you are trying to treat. If the spot is hard to reach, ask for help from a friend or loved one. You may apply the product generously, should you choose, and most companies recommend massaging the topicals into your skin until they are fully absorbed.

After applying, remember to wash and dry your hands with soap as to avoid transferring non-edible CBD creams onto food or into drinks.

You may repeat these steps as desired, until you feel the beneficial effects of the topical products. You should begin to feel relief within 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the potency of the CBD in each product. For chronic skin conditions like eczema, you should expect to see gradual changes over time and not an immediate effect on the affected area.

Additional Resources

For other recommendations, buying guides for different CBD products, and up-to-date research studies on CBD and cannabis, check out the following:

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