Just know that topicals, unlike edibles, serve a different purpose: They’re primarily for targeted surface areas to address tension, spasms, and muscle pain because CBD applied to the skin doesn’t reach your bloodstream. Think of it as spot treating problematic areas. For instance, if your lower back is shot, apply your preferred product to that area only.
“I have treated many patients with chronic conditions with full spectrum CBD and attained great results,” Dr. Amin says. “I also believe the public needs to understand that CBD works in conjunction with THC. Usually this requires at least 3–5% THC to work for serious forms of pain and more chronic medical conditions. I have patients come in with chronic and severe pain expecting to have their pain alleviated with just CBD. Although CBD works well for pain, in many situations patients with severe pain need to have some THC. [The cannabinoids] work synergistically to help ease severe pain.”
POPULUM COLD THERAPY HEMP RUB (100MG; $45)
In my early thirties I dabbled in SoulCycle, swimming at the 14th Street Y, and three disastrous attempts at SLT. These days it’s running loops in Central Park, Y7 yoga, and contact combat. And let me tell you, hitting a weekly fitness goal isn’t always easy—especially when you’re rapidly approaching your 40s with a few minor injuries under your belt.
Now this is where we change course. Serious athletes and people suffering from chronic pain will benefit from this lotion. And yes, it’s in a jar but it rubs on like an incredibly light lotion—not at all like a heavy body butter. The main difference is that it contains both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in addition to CBD. And that’s a good thing. Both cannabinoids work synergistically together: THC will open up your receptors, enabling your body to absorb and metabolize more CBD. Beyond that, Glow is applied somewhat differently than the rest of the products on this list. Apply a minuscule amount to your pulse points, the insides of your elbows, and the backs of your knees—areas where the skin is at its thinnest. The reasoning: Because of its formula and consistency, your body will absorb the product so that it reaches your bloodstream—unlike many other topicals.
LORD JONES + TAMARA MELLON HIGH-CBD FORMULA STILETTO CREAM (200MG; $70)
This high–dose balm seems to be a crowd favorite, certainly in my household. The jar itself contains two ounces of product. It doesn’t seem like much—But because the consistency of the cream is particularly smooth and spreadable, it glides easily onto the skin and covers more real estate. In terms of relief, you can expect gradual relaxation of the muscles—especially if you’re prone to spasms or simply incredibly tight.
While CBD is present in both varieties, many of the CBD products available to consumers are from the hemp plant. CBD does not come with the high or psychogenic effects of marijuana.
Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by:
Ways CBD Treats Back Pain
CBD is available in many forms; topical creams and gels have shown promising results for inflammation and neuropathy, which may make them a good option for back and neck pain. 2
As with other natural products, there is potential for adverse reactions when taken with other medications, especially those that come with grapefruit warnings, such as certain blood thinners. These warnings indicate that certain medications should not be taken with products containing grapefruit.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD
More severe side effects, while rare, include:
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.
Top 5 CBD Topical Brands for Pain
Free Shipping: BATCH has one of the best customer experiences in the CBD industry. They offer free shipping on all orders and are quick to answer any questions via phone or email.
Although research is still early, there’s a lot of promising results on how CBD topicals work with pain. In a 2018 study by the University of Turin out of Italy, CBD topicals were found to help reduce inflammation while also not administering psychoactive effects on the high-brain center. This is a big reason why people take CBD, as it reduces inflammation and pain without making someone feel doped up or zonked out. Previous studies cited in the University of Turin study also note that CBD has been widely used by arthritis patients as well.