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Arthritis does not have to stop you from participating in activities you love. While there is no known cure for this condition, CBD has proven incredibly effective in managing joint aches and pain, and CBD can help to lessen the inflammation that is associated with arthritis.
CBD, the natural compound derived from the hemp plant has become intensely popular over the past few years, and for good reason: it works. Whether you’re looking to manage the pain associated with arthritis or you’re focused on improving your quality of life, CBD is an incredible option to consider.
To get started, you’ll want to browse our list of the top 10 CBD products for arthritis. We’ve highlighted all sorts of topicals and ointments so that you can find something that works well for the way you live your life.
Best CBD for Arthritis
If you’re thinking of using CBD to provide relief for arthritis, here are the 10 top products we recommend.
- Best Cooling Product – CBDfx CBD Cream For Muscle & Joint: Cooling Formula
- Best THC-Free Formula – Medterra Rapid Recovery Roll-On
- Best Absorbed Product – Charlotte’s Web CBDMEDIC Arthritis Aches & Pain Relief Cream
- Best USDA Organic CBD Product – Cornbread CBD Lotion + Menthol
- Most Potent CBD Topical – Extract Labs/Peak Extracts CBD Rescue Rub
- Best for Athletes – Joy Organics CBD Sports Cream
- Best Roll-On Product – Green Roads Arthritis Pain Relief Roll-On
- Best for Evening Use – Slumber Sleep Aid CBD + CBN Topical Pain Relief Stick
- Best for Recovery – Zatural Hemp Hot Cream
- Best CBD Salve – Absolute Nature Full Spectrum CBD Relief Salve
Every person with arthritis has different needs. Some need the occasional soothing treatment to help them through a flare-up. Others need daily relief so they can go to work without pain. Since the needs of arthritis patients vary so much, we decided to choose 10 best CBD products across 10 different categories. You can count on any of these products for top-of-the-line CBD relief.
Best Cooling Product – CBDfx CBD Cream For Muscle & Joint: Cooling Formula
CBDFx is a long-time leader in the CBD industry. All of their products are made in the USA and medically reviewed by physicians. To top that, they play the transparency game by sending their products to third-party labs to verify the potency and make the results available to the public on their website.
We chose CBDFx Muscle and Joint Cream: Cooling Formula as our winner in the Best Cooling Product category. Thanks to the inclusion of menthol, this cream creates a soothing, cooling sensation on contact. Its CBD content is impressive, too. Choose between 1000 mg and 3000 mg formulas. White willow bark and caffeine enhance its pain-reducing effects even further. The cream has a thick, rich texture that gets absorbed easily into your skin.
- Made with broad spectrum CBD
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Menthol, white willow bark, and caffeine enhance the effects of CBD
- Physician-backed formula
- Lab-tested for potency
- Some customers find the pump container hard to use as the bottle empties
Many reviewers mention this CBD cream giving them relief when other, less potent formulas have failed. It’s a good choice for anyone who suffers from daily arthritis symptoms. If your joints ever feel warm to the touch, the cooling from the menthol will prove soothing. Some customers find that the effects last for three to four hours, although results vary. A little goes a long way, especially with the highly concentrated 3000 mg formula.
Best THC-Free Formula – Medterra Rapid Recovery Roll-On
Medterra’s taglineis “Born in Nature. Backed by Science.”Indeed, this is an accurate description of their CBD products. The company has won several awards for its innovative, carefully formulated products. They lab-test all of their CBD products and share the results online.
Medterra Rapid Recovery Roll On contains CBD isolate and other organic ingredients, so it’s free from THC, making it a great choice for those who want to avoid this cannabinoid. The arnica, menthol, and CBD work well together to loosen and soothe arthritic joints. You can choose various concentrations from 250mg up to 1000 mg per bottle, which is notably potent. The formula, which contains aloe leaf juice, absorbs easily into the skin and helps soothe dry skin. A plus, the roll-on delivery method is easy to use and very convenient.
- THC-free formula with up to 1000 mg CBD per bottle
- Lab-tested for purity and potency
- Free from plasticizers and synthetic preservatives
- Some customers report it leaves a residue if used multiple times per day
Because it contains arnica, this is an excellent CBD product to use for neck pain, whether due to arthritis or muscle soreness. Reviewers mention that the effects become more enhanced the more often the cream is used. So, you may want to try using it daily for maximum arthritis relief. The cream soothes and moisturizes skin, making it a good choice for wintery and dry climates.
Best Absorbed Product – Charlotte’s Web CBDMEDIC Arthritis Aches & Pain Relief Cream
Charlotte’s Web was one of the first CBD companies to sell their products nationwide. They go to great lengths to source the best ingredients, including top-quality hemp. Charlotte’s Web adheres to cGMP standards and is a Supporting Sponsor of the Arthritis Foundation.
When you use a topical CBD product for arthritis, absorption is a factor to consider. You want a product that absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Charlotte’s Web Arthritis Aches & Pain Relief Cream was our choice for Best Absorbed Product. Formulated with a blend of oils including jojoba oil, MCT oil, and shea butter, this CBD cream moisturizes your skin without feeling too heavy. It contains a healthy 600 mg of hemp extract per bottle. Menthol provides a mild cooling sensation upon application.
- Made in the USA from natural ingredients
- Manufactured in accordance with cGMP standards
- Gentle cooling sensation upon application
- Not as concentrated as some other CBD creams
Reviewers use this CBD cream for everything from back pain to sore hips. They especially like it as a CBD cream for hand arthritis. Many report that it doubles as a light moisturizer and can be used throughout the day like a hand lotion. Customers seem to like the pump dispenser, which is easy to use even with stiff hands. This is a great CBD product for those who need mild, daily arthritis relief.
Best USDA Organic CBD Product – Cornbread CBD Lotion + Menthol
Cornbread Hemp is a Kentucky-based CBD company that only uses Kentucky-grown hemp in their products. They like to keep their formulas simple while still using high-end ingredients for the best effects.
While there are many excellent CBD products that are not Certified USDA Organic, we do recognize the value of organic ingredients. Growing without pesticides is better for humans and the planet in many ways. If you’re looking for a USDA Organic CBD for arthritis, this CBD Lotion is the best of the best. One jar contains 500 mg CBD and 20 mg THC for maximum effect. Menthol provides a cooling effect supported by organic tea tree, rosemary, peppermint, and lemongrass oils that round out the formula.
- Made with full-spectrum CBD oil for maximum pain relief
- USDA Organic
- Fast-acting and soothing
- Tub-style container creates a potential for messy application
Reviewers report that this cream gives them fast-acting, long-lasting relief from arthritis pain. It does contain legally compliant, trace amounts of THC, which enhance the effects of CBD. This lotion causes a slight, non-overwhelming cooling sensation on contact and absorbs readily into your skin. It’s a good choice for anyone seeking serious arthritis relief on a daily basis or before a workout.
Most Potent CBD Topical – Extract Labs/Peak Extracts CBD Rescue Rub
Peak Extracts, an Oregon-based company specialized in cannabis products collaborated with popular CBD company Extract Labs to create this highly potent topical. They only use American-grown, non-GMO hemp in their formulas and conduct third-party lab testing for purity and potency. They share their lab results with customers on their website.
With 2000 mg CBD per container, Peak Extracts’ CBD Rescue Rub is definitely one of the most potent options when it comes to pain relief. It’s also made with 12 terpene-rich herbs, which enhances its potency even further. The lotion comes in an easily squeezable tube and has a thick, rich consistency. It’s formulated to soothe skin while also alleviating joint pain and inflammation.
- Strong 2000 mg formula
- Made in a cGMP compliant facility
- Convenient, no-mess packaging
- Formulated with terpenes for enhanced effect
- Rich formula may be too moisturizing to use multiple times a day
If you find yourself having to use too-large quantities of other topical CBD products, give this cream a try. Reviewers say they only need a small amount for arthritis relief, even when treating larger joints like hips and knees. Customers also like the light scent, which is refreshing without being overwhelming. While most use it primarily for arthritis pain, it can be a good post-workout treatment for sore muscles, too.
Best for Athletes – Joy Organics CBD Sports Cream
Joy Organics was founded with the goal to share CBD relief with the world. This family-founded company offers excellent customer support, consistent quality, and a satisfaction guarantee.
We chose Joy Organics CBD Sports Cream as our Best for Athletes winner because it is formulated specifically for athletes and active adults. Each bottle contains 1000 mg CBD, plus menthol and camphor for gentle cooling. The broad spectrum formula is potent and fast-acting. Since the cream is third-party lab tested, you can be assured of its purity. And with carbon-neutral shipping, you can feel good about your purchase.
- Broad spectrum CBD formula
- Medically reviewed
- Contains 0.0% THC
- Penetrates the muscles for deep relief
- Some find the menthol scent a bit strong
Customers compliment the consistency of Joy Organics CBD Sports Cream. It rubs into the skin well, and the effects begin within minutes of application. This cream is popular with tennis players, who often apply it to arthritic wrists and elbows. It also has numerous reviews from people who use it on their knees before walking or jogging. Some reviewers just use it on occasion, but many incorporate it into their daily routines. Customers find the pump dispenser tidy and easy to use.
Best Roll-On Product – Green Roads Arthritis Pain Relief Roll-On
Green Roads was founded by pharmacists, and they go to great lengths to make sure their CBD products are potent, pure, and effective. They started off selling CBD oils, but have since branched out to offer other CBD products, including their Arthritis Pain Relief Roll-On. This roll-on is independently lab tested, made with USA-grown hemp, and is not tested on animals.
Roll-on CBD is great for joints with lots of little nooks and crannies, such as knees and fingers. We chose Green Roads as the winner in our Best Roll-On Product category because of its potent 1500 mg formula using broad spectrum CBD. It also contains camphor, menthols, black cohosh root, and devil’s claw. These herbs and healing compounds help reduce inflammation, which is a key symptom of arthritis.
- Easy-to-use, rolling ball applicator
- Formulated by pharmacists
- Made with USA-grown hemp
- Potent, 1500 mg formula
- Takes a long time to apply to larger joints, such as hips
Many reviewers use this roll-on CBD product before exercise. They report that it helps loosen their arthritic joints and increase their range of motion. The pain relief comes on quickly, often within minutes, and builds over the next half hour or so. This is a great, no-mess product to toss in your gym bag or work bag and use on-the-go.
Best for Evening Use – Slumber Sleep Aid CBD + CBN Topical Pain Relief Stick
Slumber focuses on making CBD products that are rich in CBN, another cannabinoid known for its relaxing qualities. Most of their products are meant to be used in the evening when you want to kick back before going to the dream world. The CBD + CBN Topical Pain Relief Stick is no exception. With 780 mg CBD plus 260 mg CBN per stick, this product will help you relax while also easing your joint pain so you can sleep comfortably.
The CBD + CBN Topical Pain Relief Stick contains menthol for a cooling effect. It’s backed with lab testing results on the company’s website. The stick is easy to maneuver around knees, hips, and elbows.
- Specifically formulated with CBN for its relaxing qualities
- Convenient, stick-style application
- Contains zero THC
- Lab-tested with results publicly available
- May make you feel groggy if used in the daytime
Reviewers agree that this CBD product not only eases joint pain, but also helps them fall asleep. The relief comes in gently with both warming and cooling sensations. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night as you struggle to find a position that does not bother your joints, this is the product for you.
Best for Recovery – Zatural Hemp Hot Cream
Zatural pays close attention to their formulas, aiming to create products that work well with your body chemistry. Their Hemp Hot Cream is no exception. It’s balanced for your skin’s pH, which is between 4.2 and 5.8. While this cream does not contain CBD, it offers a high concentration of hemp seed oil and a blend of ingredients that specifically targets pain and inflammation with both a cooling and warming effect. The cream not only absorbs into your muscles and joints to ease arthritis pain, but also firms and soothes your skin.
If you ever over-do it in the gym or at work and have your arthritis flare up as a result, this is a good cream to try. The warming quality works well for sore and tired joints, while the formula goes deep to reduce inflammation. Ingredients like Capsicum Fruit Oleoresin, Cinnamon, and Helichrysum work together to provide serious relief.
- Made in the USA
- Free from sulfates, parabens, and phthalates
- Formulated to be easy on skin
- Tub-style container can make for messy application
Reviewers report that this cream is helpful not only for osteoarthritis pain, but also rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and nerve pain. Some use it on their feet and ankles, and others on their knees or hips. Zatural Hemp Hot Cream eases stiffness, making it easy for you to get back out there after a hard workout or long day.
Best CBD Salve – Absolute Nature Full Spectrum CBD Relief Salve
Absolute Nature CBD is an incredibly responsible company. Their products are all organically grown without additives or preservatives. They only use non-GMO hemp from Colorado, and they select the best-quality botanicals to add to their topicals.
As the winner of our Best CBD Salve, Absolute Nature CBD Relief Salve is a great product for anyone with arthritis or joint pain. It contains 500 mg of full-spectrum CBD per jar, which is a good, moderate dose. Additional cannabinoids, including CBG and CBN, work with the CBD to enhance its effects. This salve is also free from all pesticides, heavy metals, and synthetic ingredients. With MCT carrier oil, it absorbs easily into skin, so you can use it on larger joints like your hips or shoulders.
- Vegan and non-GMO
- Made with full-spectrum CBD
- Third-party lab tested
- Easily absorbed into skin
- Some customers find the scent a little strong
Some reviewers use this salve before they work out. They say it absorbs well and does not run when they sweat. Other reviewers use this salve in the morning before work. They report that it keeps them looser and more comfortable throughout the day. Absolute Nature guarantees this product’s potency, and most customers find that it’s potent enough for deep relief.
How We Chose Our Winners
Finding the best CBD products for arthritis is not easy — and we would know! Our goal was to make it easier for you, our readers, to find the best CBD products on the market. We started out with a field of, well, thousands of products. Slowly, we narrowed down our options until we were left with the 10 winning products above. Here are the key factors we considered when making our selections.
- Lab-testing: To win in any of our categories, the product had to be lab-tested for quality assurance.
- Transparency: How much information did the company share about the product? The best CBD companies tell customers everything they want to know.
- Good Ingredients: Not every product on this list is vegan or organic, but they are all made with high-quality ingredients overall.
- Effectiveness: We read lots of reviews to get a sense of how well each product worked. We primarily focused on reviews from customers with arthritis.
- Price: Some products on this list are more expensive than others, but we only chose products we felt were fairly priced for their size and potency.
Benefits of CBD for Arthritis Symptoms
There are plenty of remedies and medications to manage arthritis symptoms. So why would someone choose CBD? In addition to being widely available and relatively affordable, CBD has a lot of benefits for arthritis sufferers.
CBD fights inflammation
Arthritis is actually an umbrella term for more than 100 conditions that have one thing in common: inflammation of the joints. Yes, arthritis often causes pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility, too, but these symptoms are the secondary consequences of the inflammation.
Some arthritis “treatments” only treat the secondary symptoms of arthritis, but CBD goes to the source and reduces the inflammation that’s central to the disease. Its anti-inflammatory properties are backed by formal science. CBD appears to work by blocking the release of certain substances that trigger inflammation in the body.
CBD eases pain
Some of the arthritis pain relief you get from CBD has to do with the fact that it relieves inflammation. But CBD does help ease pain, specifically, too. It inhibits the action of two enzymes: COX1 and COX2. These are the same enzymes blocked by various NSAID pain relievers.
CBD also binds to cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2. When it binds to these receptors, fewer pain signals are sent to your brain.
CBD can be used in multiple ways
Can you think of any other pain reliever that you can swallow, inhale, or rub on your joints? This versatility is so nice when you’re treating arthritis. You have the option of using a topical CBD product for targeted relief. Or, if you have multiple achy joints, you may want to take an oral CBD oil or all-around relief. There are a lot of discrete CBD products, like CBD gummies and capsules, which are great for managing arthritis pain in the workplace.
CBD causes minimal side effects
CBD can cause side effects, but those side effects are mild and short-lived. You might feel tired if you use too much CBD. Or, your CBD oil may make you feel nauseous if you take it on an empty stomach. Compare these side effects to other pharmaceutical pain relievers for example. They can cause stomach ulcers and ringing in the ears. Those are not issues you want to deal with when you’re already struggling with arthritis pain.
CBD doses are adjustable
If you apply CBD cream to your arthritic joint but don’t get quite enough relief, you can always apply a little more. Every person is different, and you may need a little more or less CBD than a friend or family member. That’s totally okay. It is beneficial to adjust your CBD dose as you go. Use a little more on days your joints are extra sore, and a little less on days you’re feeling pretty good.
How to Use CBD for Arthritis?
CBD is a really versatile substance. You can use it in several different ways. For arthritis, the most common way to use CBD is topically. Apply a CBD balm, salve, cream, or gel to your skin. Most of the CBD will be absorbed through your skin. It can then go to work locally, easing muscle soreness and tension in the area where it is applied. You’ll start to feel the effects almost immediately, and they’ll grow more intense over the next 1 to 2 hours.
You can also take CBD orally. People who take CBD oil for arthritis swallow a dropper full of it, sometimes several times per day. When taken orally, CBD not only relieves pain, but can deliver mindful relaxation. It may take it an hour or longer to kick in, however. It will work faster if you hold it under your tongue before swallowing it. (Blood vessels under your tongue absorb the CBD pretty readily.)
Some people vape CBD. They inhale CBD vape juice from a vape pen. When vaped, CBD takes action almost immediately. However, the results do not last as long as when you take it orally or apply it topically. Vaping is less effective for arthritis symptoms, but really nice for relaxation.
What is CBD?
The cannabis plants produce a number of unique compounds known as cannabinoids. CBD is one of those cannabinoids. Its proper name is cannabidiol, but most people call it CBD.
Cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% THC are considered hemp. It is legal to grow hemp and extract CBD from them in the United States. This has been true since the Farm Bill was passed in 2018.
CBD from hemp has been used medicinally for years in various cultures, but scientists have only recently begun to formally study this compound. It has a lot of therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief and inflammation relief. As such, it is beneficial for patients with medical conditions that can cause pain and swelling. Specifically, CBD has been used to manage the symptoms of arthritis, seizure disorders, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and migraines.
Some CBD products are formulated with other beneficial cannabinoids. These cannabinoids work in conjunction with CBD via the entourage effect. In other words, taking CBD and other cannabinoids together gives you greater relief than taking one, individual cannabinoid.
Here are some of the most common “other” cannabinoids you may see in CBD products.
- THC: While THC is federally illegal, CBD products can legally contain up to 0.3% THC. It helps enhance the pain-relieving qualities of CBD.
- CBN: This cannabinoid is known for its relaxing effects. It’s often included in CBD products intended for evening use.
- CBG: CBG can be energizing and is often added to “daytime” CBD products.
Different types of CBD and their purpose
As you look over the CBD products above, you may notice the product descriptions list three different “types” of CBD: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Each of these CBD varieties has its own pros and cons.
This term is a bit of a misnomer since full-spectrum CBD contains a lot more than just CBD. It actually contains any cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the hemp. Which cannabinoids are present depends on the hemp that was used. But it is common for full-spectrum CBD oil to contain traces of THC, CBN, CBG, and CBDa.
Full-spectrum CBD provides powerful relief since all of these other compounds enhance the effects of the CBD. However, people who are really sensitive to these other cannabinoids or want to entirely avoid THC may not want a full-spectrum product.
Broad spectrum CBD
Do you want the power of the entourage effect and the benefits of other cannabinoids — but no THC? Then broad-spectrum CBD products are for you. The CBD company removes the THC from the hemp extract and then uses what’s left.
If you want just CBD in its purest form with no other cannabinoids, then look for a CBD isolate product. To make these products, companies separate CBD from the rest of the hemp oil. They then use only that purified CBD to make their cream, oil, tincture, or vape juice.
Does CBD cause side effects?
Side effects of CBD are rare. Most people take CBD with no side effects at all. However, there are some mild side effects that can occur. It’s a good idea to know what they are and how to manage them.
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects of CBD are slight drowsiness, nausea, and changes in appetite. Some people feel like they want to go straight to bed after taking CBD. Others just feel like their energy levels are too low. When nausea occurs, it may be like a mild heartburn, or it may be a bit more prominent, leading to loose stools in the most extreme cases. Changes in appetite usually appear with regular CBD use. You may notice you’re often hungry, or that your hunger is less pronounced.
Tips to reduce side effects
The easiest way to deal with CBD side effects is to lower your dose. Usually, these side effects are less noticeable at lower doses.
If you’re using CBD orally, switch to a topical product, and use it only on the joints that are currently sore. This bypasses your digestive tract, which will help keep you from feeling nauseous. You’re less likely to feel drowsy, too, since less of the CBD will make it to your brain.
Finally, consider switching to a different type of CBD product. If you’ve been using a full-spectrum CBD product, the other cannabinoids may be contributing to your side effects. For instance, CBN can make you feel sleepy. Switching to a broad-spectrum or CBD isolate product may give you freedom from these side effects.
How does CBD help ease pain?
The key way that CBD eases pain is by binding to your CB1 and CB2 receptors. These cannabinoid receptors are found all throughout your body, but mostly around nerves. When CBD binds to them, the receptors tell your brain to stop sending pain signals.
Arthritis pain is closely linked to inflammation. When the tissues in a joint are swollen, they place pressure on nerve endings, and your brian interprets that as pain. CBD also reduces the inflammation, which releases the pressure on nerve endings and thereby reduces your pain.
Can I use CBD every day?
Yes. You can use CBD every day, and most people find that daily use goes a long way towards reducing their arthritis pain. Using CBD regularly will help keep your joint pain and inflammation under closer control. You can take CBD two or three times per day, depending on how long the effects last for you.
If you don’t want or need to use CBD daily, that’s okay, too. Some people do find they only need it before a particularly demanding workout or after a long day on their feet. You’ll still get relief if you use CBD on an as-needed basis. If your arthritis worsens, you can always start using it more often. Many arthritis patients like to keep a small bottle of CBD cream in their desk or in their work bag in case they have a flare-up of pain while out and about.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
No, CBD will not show up on a drug test. The reason for this, however, may not be what you expect. Nobody is drug testing for CBD. It’s a legal substance and it is non-psychoactive, so it won’t affect your ability to do your job. (In fact, it may make you better at your job by reducing joint pain and stiffness.)
Some employers and regulatory agencies do drug tests for THC. Since THC is federally illegal in the United States and is psychoactive, it makes sense that it would be tested for in certain situations. A CBD product should not cause you to test positive for THC. Even full-spectrum CBD products only contain tiny, trace amounts of THC that should not show up on a drug test. However, you can always stick to CBD isolate products if you want to be 100% certain.
How fast will CBD start working?
If you take CBD orally, expect it to start working any time between 30 minutes and a couple of hours after you swallow it. If you take it sublingually — by placing it under your tongue — you may start to feel the effects in seconds. Inhaling CBD via a vape pen will also give you nearly immediate results. And if you apply a topical CBD product, you’ll start to feel effects within minutes, but the effects will build to their max about 90 minutes after application.
Can you use CBD for rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory condition in which your immune system attacks your body’s own tissues. CBD can be really helpful for managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It can ease the joint pain and inflammation associated with the condition. Beyond that, CBD can help patients with RA get better sleep. It can also ease the stress often associated with this condition.
Some researchers think that CBD could even help keep RA from worsening over time. Keeping inflammation under control with CBD may reduce joint damage as the years go by. So, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, consider using CBD as a daily remedy. Talk to your doctor first to ensure it won’t interfere with any other medications you’re taking.
Don’t let arthritis pain rule your life. Whether you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or another arthritic condition, give CBD a try. CBD is an effective natural remedy that can improve your overall quality of life. It relieves inflammation and pain at their source, and it can also help manage stress and improve your sleep. The CBD products listed above are truly top choices. Experiment a little, try them out, and see what works for you.