July 29, 2022 6 min read

CBD’s built a strong reputation for its potential pain-relieving benefits, and many people are turning to CBD topicals to combat muscle pains, boost athletic recovery, and even target certain skin ailments. The question is–can CBD help with more severe pain conditions? For instance, does CBD cream help with arthritis pain?

As it turns out, CBD’s side effect profile may be much less risky than that of various prescription medications, so many consumers are eager to give it a shot for managing pain conditions that require daily maintenance. Moreover, CBD cream, like many other pain-relief topicals, won’t interfere with most medications, so you can use it in addition to your regular arthritis treatments.

Keep in mind that CBD is not yet FDA approved for the treatment of arthritis or related conditions, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have promising pain-relieving potential. Before you decide to try it for yourself, let’s take a look at the evidence:

Table of Contents
What is CBD Cream?
Benefits of CBD Cream for Arthritis
How to Use CBD Cream
Is CBD Cream Legal?
Where to Buy CBD Cream for Arthritis

Key Takeaways

  • CBD is not FDA approved for the treatment of arthritis, but it may have anti-inflammatory benefits that make it useful.
  • CBD topicals may be a good treatment option for those who are hesitant to ingest CBD due to its trace THC content.
  • Because topical CBD doesn't reach the bloodstream, it may be used in combination with other arthritic medications under a doctor's guidance.

What is CBD Cream?

CBD cream is exactly what it sounds like–a creamy topical formulation that’s loaded with active CBD, usually derived from hemp. Hemp extract can be added to many different topical formulations alongside carrier oils to create topicals like lotions, skin serums, balms, bath products, and more.

Topical applications are beneficial for managing localized discomfort because they penetrate the top layers of skin to interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the cutaneous layers that are closer to the surface. That means that CBD topicals work where they are applied, unlike ingestible doses that reach the blood stream and act systemically on the body.

Topicals not only target specific trouble areas more effectively than ingestible doses, but they usually work quickly and can be applied as often as needed. Creams can be used in addition to ingestible CBD products for a full-coverage regimen.

Let’s take a look at how these benefits of CBD topicals may apply to those suffering from arthritis-related aches and pains:

Benefits of CBD Cream for Arthritis

Many people are aware that CBD may be beneficial for a wide range if ailments, including potentially helping to manage certain forms of epilepsy (for which one CBD-based pharmaceutical has already gained FDA approval). According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), CBD could also be useful for managing certain inflammatory skin conditions, like acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Research has also found that its anti-inflammatory effects may help to provide pain relief when used topically. One 2016 study, for instance, found that CBD, when applied topically to mice, may have long lasting benefits for reducing inflammation and pain-related behaviors caused by arthritis.

Furthermore, CBD may be useful for managing certain pain conditions that are difficult to treat. A 2020 study found that CBD may help to reduce pain related to neuropathy, a condition characterized by nerve damage that causes numbness and weakness in the hands and feet.

A variety of CBD topicals that may be useful for managing arthritis related aches and pains

To those who know anything about the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis, this doesn’t come as a surprise. In fact, one of the largest studies completed regarding cannabis’ potential benefits found “substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.”

More research is needed to understand how CBD topicals may directly benefit those with arthritis, and future evidence will hopefully help us to understand the unique benefits of using topical and ingestible CBD in a multifaceted approach. For now, many people who have tried topical CBD for arthritis boast positive results. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, here’s how to do it:

How to Use CBD Cream for Arthritis

If you and your doctor decide that CBD topicals are the right choice for you, you’ll quickly learn that there are many different forms of CBD on the market. Of course many CBD products are ingestible, meaning they are designed to work systemically and not locally. Still, you’ll find a small variety of different CBD topicals, typically broken down into two basic formulas:

Types of CBD Cream for Arthritis

There are many different CBD topical formulations on the market, many of which contain added botanicals that help to take the edge off of pain quickly while CBD has time to take effect. Before we break down the product types available, lets discuss the two primary CBD formulations available and how they differ:

  • Full Spectrum CBD Cream, or CBD topicals that utilize full spectrum hemp extract that contains trace amounts of many minor cannabinoids, including THC. These products are believed to offer the benefits of the “entourage effect,” a phenomenon where all of hemp’s cannabinoids act synergistically to boost each other’s benefits.
    More research is needed to understand how the entourage effect of full spectrum products may benefit the skin, but these phytocannabinoid-rich applications are often chosen for skin ailments and muscle and joint discomfort.
    Some consumers worry about the trace amounts of THC found in these products, however. Luckily, a 2017 study found that THC applied to the skin cannot be found in the bloodstream or urine afterwards. The same is expected to be true for all cannabinoids, including CBD. That means that full spectrum CBD topicals may still be accessible to THC-restricted consumers.
  • CBD Isolate Cream is the most common form of CBD topicals. Isolate formulas contain no THC at all. CBD isolate products are still useful, and many people notice no discrepancy between the benefits of isolate and full spectrum formulas. This may be because CBD isolate formulas often have terpenes and other botanicals added that may still boost CBD’s effectiveness or otherwise improve the soothing properties of the product.

Ultimately, the formula you choose is mostly based on preference, although you may want to try both styles of CBD to see what works best for you. Regardless of whether you go with full spectrum or CBD isolate, you’ll have two primary product styles to choose from:

CBD Muscle Cream

A CBD muscle cream may be a balm or a lotion, but usually includes potent doses of CBD alongside essential oils or other pain-relieving ingredients.

Our CBD Muscle Rub, for instance, combines a potent CBD extract with hand selected botanicals, including cooling menthol, soothing arnica, and a powerful dose of turmeric oil. The combination is designed to support blood flow, lower inflammation, and offer a synergy that helps to calm pain and discomfort in the joints and muscles.

VidaDerm CBD Balm

CBD Balm

CBD balm, on the other hand, may or may not include a botanical blend. These formulas are typically intended to treat topical ailments, like skin issues, and may include milder essential oils like lavender or geranium. They typically avoid any ingredients that may penetrate deeper or irritate sensitive skin.

Our CBD Skin Balm is designed to sooth topical scrapes, cuts, burns, and more. The functional formula combines nourishing rosehip oil and shea nut butter with rejuvenating essential oils to help support optimal skin health and healing.

CBD Topical Dosage

Unlike typical CBD products, there’s not usually a precise way to measure CBD topicals. Instead, you should just apply as much as needed to cover the affected area.

Because topicals don’t have a systemic impact, meaning they don’t reach the bloodstream, you should be able to reapply them as needed. Follow the directions given on the label for reapplication since some other ingredients may cause an adverse reaction with overuse.

Is CBD Cream Legal?

CBD is usually derived from hemp, a form of cannabis that’s federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. By the definition used in this bill, hemp includes all of its cannabinoids, isomers, salts, extracts, and other derivatives, and any product made from hemp-derivatives, so long as it contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC. In other words, CBD creams are legal by federal standards assuming they contain less tan 0.3% Delta-9-THC.

Where to Buy CBD Cream for Arthritis

Although CBD has not yet been approved by the FDA as a topical treatment for any condition, many people are eager to give it a shot for managing arthritis. Luckily, because it’s derived from hemp, it’s much more accessible than other cannabis products. In fact, you can order federally legal hemp products online and have them shipped right to your door from almost anywhere in the country.

There’s one drawback–the hemp industry is still poorly regulated, so you’ll need to take care to choose a high-quality, well-formulated CBD cream. At Vida Optima, we follow the same stringent quality standards for all of our CBD products, whether they are meant to be ingested or applied topically.

Our VidaDerm CBD Skin Care line is carefully formulated with premium CBD extract, hand chosen botanicals, and nourishing plant oils to offer a gentle and effective option for combating skin concerns at the surface and aches and pains deep in the joints. Pair it with a systemic CBD dose from our Vitality Collection for a full-coverage CBD wellness routine.

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