A hand holding premium recover cream 1500 mg - cbdMD

What Is CBD Cream? Your Beginner’s Guide to CBD Topical Products

What is CBD cream? We cover all things CBD topicals while explaining what the benefits are from CBD cream, CBD topicals, and more.

When people talk about using CBD, they often refer to a supplement they ingest – like CBD gummies, tinctures, or capsules. But as of the last few years, CBD has made a name for itself in the topicals market.

And although it is starting to become common in products such as lotions, creams, and gels, there are still a number of conflicting stories out there. Such as how exactly topical CBD enters your body and whether or not you’ll see the same benefits as CBD ingestibles.

Which is why we’d like to clear away any confusion and answer your questions honestly and with as much helpful information as possible. Because with so much misinformation circling about the CBD industry, we know you have questions, such as:


  • How do CBD topicals work?
  • What are their benefits?
  • How can you use CBD cream for pain?
  • Should you use CBD cream or CBD lotion for pain?


CBD at a Glance

You may know quite a bit about CBD already, but in case you don’t, here are some of the basics.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of over 100 compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as cannabinoids. It also happens to be one of the most prevalent and popular cannabinoids out there.

Simply put, cannabinoids are molecules that can interact with special cannabinoid receptors in your skin and throughout the rest of your body. These receptors, and the natural cannabinoids our bodies make everyday (called endocannabinoids) make up the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is what’s responsible for balancing and maintaining homeostasis within your body.

Manufacturers extract CBD and other cannabinoids from US-grown hemp, which is specifically cultivated to contain low levels of THC, the psychoactive substance found in marijuana. By using industrial hemp, companies can ensure that their CBD products contain less than 0.3 percent THC, the federally regulated limit.

 A man sitting on a rock outside next to his bike as he holds and uses premium recover cream - cbdMD

What Is CBD Cream, and How Can It Help You?

CBD creams, gels, lotions, patches, and other products for use on the skin are now available for many purposes. But very few concentrate solely on CBD. Instead, most makers add a small amount of CBD to common skincare and pain formulas to provide extra comfort or support.

What we do is something a little different.

Like we mentioned above, when most people use the term CBD oil, they’re usually talking about CBD tinctures or gummies. And while it’s more common for CBD to be taken orally, there’s so much more to it than that.

Enter: CBD creams.

Since CBD oils contain a mixture of hemp extracts infused into a carrier oil, like MCT oil (derived from coconut oil) or olive oil, and those ingredients are safe for your skin, you can use CBD oils topically. Especially if you’re sensitive to common ingredients in skincare products.

And if you don’t have issues with those traditional ingredients? There are endless CBD options that combine hemp extracts with emollients, moisturizers, pain relievers, and so much more.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at CBD topicals and how you can use them daily or as needed.

How Do CBD Topicals Work?

First of all, it’s important to note that CBD cream is something of a catch-all term for a wide range of hemp products that you can apply to your skin. Meaning it often encompasses CBD lotions, gels, and sprays as well, in addition to multiple other formulas for wide-ranging purposes. Whatever the form, CBD topicals are all designed to be used the same way.

When you apply CBD topicals to your skin, they interact with your cannabinoid receptors on the surface to bring benefits to a targeted, localized area. By applying it directly where you need it most, using CBD cream for pain is simpler than ever.

Plus, we pack our CBD topicals with amino acids, essential oils, and other beneficial ingredients to bring you the most relief possible right where you need it most. Unlike CBD ingestibles, which enter your bloodstream and circulate throughout your body.

CBD… and What Else?

Most CBD creams combine CBD oil and hemp extracts with topical pain relievers and other botanicals, making them the perfect solution for joint and muscle aches. They’re particularly popular among athletes of all levels, people who work in physically demanding jobs, and anyone else who deals with occasional soreness.

Menthol, histamine dihydrochloride, and lidocaine are especially popular topical pain relievers often listed as the active ingredient in CBD creams and lotions. Some additionally beneficial ingredients include aloe vera, arnica montana extract (a.k.a. wolfsbane), and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).

Outside of pain relief, CBD lotions can also be used specifically to moisturize and nurture your skin. Along with hemp extracts, these products frequently contain other soothing plant extracts like shea butter, tea tree oil, and coconut oil.

Skin naturally varies from person to person, which is why we’ve packed our CBD topicals with gentle, hydrating ingredients. Designed to calm and soothe your skin, our CBD creams can be used to help support healthy skin no matter the texture or level of sebum production.

Although the ingredients in CBD topicals are safe for your skin, if you have known or suspected allergies, be sure to read the ingredient list first. And as always, follow the directions carefully, as many of them contain over-the-counter drugs.

The Big Question: “Can You Use CBD Cream for Pain?”

CBD is not in itself approved for pain relief, but the way that it helps the ECS keep the body in balance makes it a good supportive ingredient to topical pain medicines.

cbdMD’s pain relief formulas are a favorite among pro athletes and fitness enthusiasts, available in either creams, gels, or sprays depending on your preference.

Our tried and true CBD topicals provide pain relief directly where you need it most so you can get back up and go on with your day. If you’re searching for fast-acting relief for sore joints and muscles, look no further than cbdMD’s Freeze, Recover, and Relieve formulas.

cbdMD Freeze


Someone's finger touching premium freeze 300 mg roll on - cbdMD


Our cbdMD Freeze gel formula uses menthol and aloe vera to provide you with immediate cooling relief. Available in either a squeeze tube or roll-on, Freeze comes in strengths of multiple concentrations. And as you can expect, cbdMD Freeze is a favorite for all kinds of action sports athletes.

cbdMD Recover

cbdMD Recover, on the other hand, features histamine dihydrochloride as its active ingredient for powerful post-workout pain relief. Like our Freeze formula, Recover also comes in multiple concentrations of CBD. Available in both a pump tube and tub, this CBD cream is also blended with MSM and wolfsbane to provide your joints with immediate relief.

Perfect for those who need an instant warming sensation to soothe their muscles, cbdMD Recover is a favorite among workout fanatics and mixed martial artists.

cbdMD Relieve

Last among our CBD topicals is cbdMD Relieve, the newest entry in cbdMD’s painkiller lineup. As an easy-to-use spray, Relieve is light, non-greasy, and capable of covering those hard-to-reach places. With lidocaine as its active ingredient, cbdMD Relieve is available in either a 500 mg or 1500 mg concentration.

And thanks to bag-on-valve technology, you can spray it evenly in any position (even upside down!) to get pain relief when you need it most.

Adding Topical CBD Options to Your Routine

Using CBD topicals as a part of your daily routine is a great way to enhance your skin’s health. Whether you’re using CBD tinctures or CBD topicals, most experts agree that you get the most out of CBD when you use it every day. That being said, you shouldn’t rely on CBD creams alone to give your skin everything it needs – you should maintain a healthy diet, drink enough water, and get plenty of sleep too.

Keeping that in mind, moisturizing with CBD cream is a great way to kick off your skin care journey. As long as you make sure to evaluate what you put on your body just as much as you do what goes in your body. Which means as with most things, you should not just consider where the CBD is sourced from and how it’s manufactured, but also the effectiveness of all the other ingredients.

Switching out your usual post-workout pain relief gel for a CBD gel or cream is an easy way to slowly incorporate CBD and hemp-infused products into your daily life – especially if they also contain similar ingredients.

Or maybe you’ll see the most benefits by mixing and matching CBD products. Using cbdMD Recover after your workout and chewing a yummy CBD sleep aid gummy before bed to help you fall asleep at night is just one example of a great combo.

But which CBD products you choose is just as important a decision as who you buy them from.

Unfortunately, not all CBD manufacturers make the same quality of products, so choosing who you purchase CBD products from is often the first hurdle. You want to make sure their products have consistent cannabinoid levels which are accurately referenced in the product label.

A good CBD company is transparent about every step of their manufacturing process, from where they source CBD to their third-party ISO-certified lab testing results. Appropriately sourced hemp strains will have less than the federally legal amount of THC (0.3 percent).

And if you still have questions? A quality, trustworthy CBD company will be more than happy to answer them for you.

For more information on using CBD cream for pain, or more general answers to your topical CBD questions, keep an eye on our frequently updated blog. Interested in staying up to date on the latest supplement news and cbdMD’s upcoming special offers? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or chat with someone live today!

Originally written by: Randall Goins