Chronic pain can ruin our quality of life. Whether it’s an old sports issue, a work related injury, or sickness or fibromyalgia, pain that keeps coming back or won’t go away can affect everything. Some of us have tried everything, and nothing has worked. And that’s why we’ve turned to CBD products.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound in plants in the cannabis family. Of course it occurs in marajuana, but it’s also in the legal and safe hemp plant. CBD is completely legal, and pure CBD doesn’t contain any THC, the compound that gets you ‘high.’
We’ll review the best five brands we found for pain relief and inflammation. After the reviews, we’ll discuss what the science says about CBD and pain relief.
Best CBD Oils
Best Brand Overall
Most Potent CBD Products
Best Full-Spectrum Capsules
Best CBD Edibles
Best Broad-Spectrum CBD
FAB CBD: Best Brand Overall
When you’re shopping for CBD products, you want reliability and effectiveness. FAB CBD has both. They offer a full range of CBD products, in a variety of potencies, flavors, and sizes.
For pain relief and inflammation, FAB offers a topical cream and a roll on salve. Both are effective, safe, and have tons of customer reviews to back them up. The cream only comes in one strength (600 mg), while the salve comes in two strengths (1000 mg and 3000 mg).
One great part about FAB CBD as a company is their commitment to the product. They didn’t just jump on the CBD hype-train. They are so dedicated to delivering a great product that they make every order of cream and salve to order, meaning you get something made for you, not something that’s been on the shelf for a year-and-a-half.
Also, FAB CBD is fully transparent about all their products. In fact, you can find a link on their website to independent lab reports about their products. We know that trying CBD products for the first time can cause a little doubt or worry, especially going over the internet. Making their lab-reports available to anyone is one of the top reasons we called FAB our Best Brand Overall.
In addition to their transparency, it seems that FAB are just generally good people. They give back to several charities, in a number of ways. In May of 2021 they helped plant over 1,000 trees for Arbor Day, and this year decided to give back some of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday proceeds to a charity called Charlie Rocket’s Dream Machine, a traveling nonprofit that helps others to fulfill their dreams.
Back to their product, itself, we love that you have two options for application, the salve or the cream. The cream itself is like any other body lotion—simply dip your fingers into the cream, and rub it into the sore muscle area or joint. The cream doesn’t leave a greasy film behind, and the scent (blood orange) is only enough to let you know you put something on. It won’t over power your senses.
The salve has a similar consistency to roll-on deodorant, but you use it anywhere on your body that you have an ache or a pain. You can reapply the salve to any area, to get more pain-relief. It’s only scented with essential oils, so there won’t be a heavy smell following you around.
And the salve has another feature we liked: the hot and cold effect that some of the best muscle rubs give. For heating away a tough knot in your muscles, they use Cinnamomum Camphora Oil, while Menthol Crystals comes in for a soothing, cooling sensation.
We liked the whole brand of FAB CBD, but we wouldn’t recommend them here if they didn’t work great, too. Their cream is great for quick, low-grade aches and pains, while the salves are awesome for on-going or recurring sports issues, like for runners, golfers, or even people tapping away on the keyboard for long hours.
FAB CBD has both products available on their website, with some great deals for the Holidays (2021). Right now, the 600 mg/jar cream is $32; the 1000 mg/stick salve is $52; and the 1000 mg/stick salve is $102.
CBDistillery: Most Potent CBD Products
When you first begin using CBD products, nearly every brand recommends you start with their lowest dosage, and work up from there. But if you’re reading this article because you’re already a CBD user, and you’re looking for the biggest punch, we recommend the CBDistillery.
The CBDistillery offers a full range of products, from gummies to salves to tinctures. For pain relief or inflammation, the top of their product recommendations feature their tinctures.
All of their products are available in different strengths, full-spectrum or THC-free. For everyday use, they have a roll-on CBD stick, which contains 500 mg per container. This is THC free, and great for topical use.
Like we mentioned, though, we know some of you are experienced CBD user, and want the biggest bang for the buck. For you, the CBDistillery offers a 30ml bottle of tincture with a whopping 5000 mg per bottle. That’s over 160 mg per drop (one serving).
That means you’re getting a third of the entire stick’s potency per drop of tincture. And you’re getting thirty drops per bottle.
The CBDistillery offers this product as an under-the-tongue serving for general relaxation, as well as targeted pain relief. It’s a great option for people looking for a non-opioid pain relief that they can take when they need it.=
If that’s just a bit too much for you, you can still get their same effective CBD in smaller levels. For instance, the 30ml bottle is available in potencies of 2500 mg, 1000 mg, and even 500 mg. That means you can use multiple levels of CBD relief based on your given need.
For the truly humongous level of CBD available in their full-spectrum tincture, we recommend the CBDistillery for Best for Potency.
If you get the same muscle and ache relief from an under-the-tongue tincture as from topical applications, we recommend the CBDistillery for sheer potency. Their 5000 mg tincture is available on their website for $240 for a 30ml bottle.
Royal CBD: Best Full-Spectrum Capsules
When we’re trying anything new, there’s nothing quite like the ease and convenience of a pill we can take in the morning. Taking a pill to fix a problem is almost cliche for how easy it is. And that’s why we went looking for the best full-spectrum gel capsules for CBD pain relief. And we found them with Royal CBD.
At Royal CBD, they realize that measuring out tincture under the tongue is just not for some people. Whether it’s the measuring, the remembering, or just the experience itself, some people would just rather not. And keeping a cream or a roll-on stick of pain reliever can be a hassle.
So they went and took all their effective CBD, full-spectrum pain relief and put it into a gel capsule that you can take every morning with all your other vitamins, or every night as part of your going to bed routine.
Taking a capsule for chronic pain relief has a long and proven history. Whether it’s taking a couple of ibuprofen before a long hike, or taking some acetaminophen to prevent a headache, we’ve long known you can take a pain reliever nbgbefore the onset of actual aches or pain.
Royal CBD has applied that same logic to CBD pain and ache relief. If you know that you have recurring joint or muscle pain related to a repetitive task or an old injury, there’s no reason to wait until the pain starts to do something about it. You can take a simple, effective CBD capsule in the morning, and experience the relief all day.
This is also true for nearly all the benefits of CBD, including reducing anxiety or helping with stress.
And the good news is, like with other capsule pain relievers, you can simply take another capsule if you’re feeling pain throughout the day, or take two ahead of something you know will aggravate your aches. Got a long walk planned, or an extra round of golf? Simply take another 25mg capsule in the morning.
Because Royal CBD’s capsules are full spectrum, the receptors in your brain will respond to all of the canninoids to deliver pain and stress relief. And the ease of a capsule is that you can put it in your vitamin or pill organizer for ease and discretion.
For the ease, convenience, and discretion of taking a measured dose in a gel capsule, we recommend Royal CBD pills. It’s a full-spectrum product, giving you all the benefits of safe and legal pain relief in a once-a-day pill. A one-month bottle is $84, or if you sign up for renewals, it’s only $71 a month.
Cheef Botanicals: Best CBD Edibles
Whatever you decide to eat, for any reason, you should always know who made it. And we did a lot of research on Cheef Botanicals. They are a company in California with over twenty years of organic food experience, and work directly with their farmers to produce high-quality hemp products.
They are also third-party lab tested, and you can review their lab results right on their website. Noted consumer advocacy site TrustPilot has them with an average 4.5 Star Rating (out of 5) with over 2,000 reviews.
Cheef Botanical Gummies are made vegan friendly. And they’re made with no GMOs, no artificial preservatives or ingredients, and gluten and corn-syrup free. They know that what you eat matters to you, and that’s why they’ve made it matter to them, too.
If you’re not in the mood for a gummy everyday, Cheef Botanicals also makes honey sticks that you can eat as a snack or stir in as a sweetener in your favorite beverage or baked good. You can also purchase high quality hemp flowers from Cheef that you can use to make cooking oils and butters. Then you have a cooking ingredient that you can add to everything from pasta to cookies and breads.
Cheef products are full-spectrum, which they believe gives their gummies and other edibles the best pain-relieving effect. Their gummies are available in bottles of thirty, and in varying strengths. Their lowest dose is 10 mg per gummy, and their highest dose is an incredible 100 mg per gummy.
Joy Organics: Best Broad-Spectrum CBD
A small bit of science before we go forward with our last review. You may have heard the terms “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum” in reading about CBD products for pain and inflammation relief. The science is pretty straightforward. If you remove nothing from the Hemp plant, it will have trace amounts of THC, and is therefore the “full” spectrum of the plant. If you remove only the THC, and keep 100% of the other helpful cannabinoids, you have a “broad” spectrum CBD. And the Best we found in that category is Joy Organics.
As their name implies, Joy Organics is one of the only Certified Organic CBD products available. That alone puts them on our list of recommended CBD products for pain relief. They have a full line of gummies, tinctures, salves, and even an energy drink. All of their products come from Certified Organic growers, and they select only the finest hemp for their CBD products.
But to be the Best Broad-Spectrum, we needed a little more. Joy Organics delivered. They not only have third-party lab tests, they have results that show 0% detectable THC. That’s right. None of the psychoactive ingredient that some of us are trying to avoid, while still getting all the benefit we can for pain relief from our CBD products.
A lot of the research into pain relief from CBD has shown that there are tremendous benefits to full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products. That’s because the pure CBD reacts with other cannabinoids in our system to complement each other. But for some of us, even trace amounts of THC can be a very bad thing. Whether it’s because of a job or a history of needing to avoid psycoactives, it’s important to have the option of THC-free CBD products.
Not only does Joy Organics offer top-of-the-line hemp from Organic Growers, they go the extra mile in formulating products with the full range of cannabinoids, with 0% detectable THC.
We didn’t see that kind of reassurance from any other CBD pain relief product we reviewed. Their Organic Line includes tinctures and salves, while their full-product line includes gummies, topical applications, soft gels, energy drinks, and even pet products.
For the Best Broad-Spectrum products for CBD pain relief and easing of inflammation, we recommend Joy Organics. Not only are they one of the only certified USDA Organic CBD products we found, they were also one of the only broad-spectrum CBD products we found with third-party labs attesting to 0% detectable THC. Their organic tincture is available starting at $44.95, and their roll-on salve for pain relief is $32.95 on their website.
What the Science Says about CBD for Pain Relief
On the internet, it can be easy to jump down a rabbit hole and get stuck there. So while we do look at customer reviews, it’s also important to look at what experts have to say. After all, everyone in the CBD store will say the products work—that’s why they’re in there. But what about all the people who came in once, and it didn’t work for them? Obviously they're not coming back to the store for you to ask them.
There are a number of scholarly and journalistic articles available for anyone at all to read. We did the leg-work for you, and here present just a few findings. According to a physician and contributor to Scientific American, Carolyn Barber, a meta-study was conducted with good results for people with chronic pain. After looking at over 10,000 direct studies, the meta-study “concluded that substantial evidence existed for cannabis and cannabinoid treatment of three conditions: chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced vomiting and muscle spasms.”
In her article, Dr. Barber is careful to warn the reader about ‘miracle’ cures, and goes into depth about the lack of substantive studies of CBD, as a whole. But we can’t ignore her admission that the meta-study found “substantial evidence” for the treatment of chronic pain. That’s great news for anyone suffering and looking for an alternative to traditional pain relief.
Another study we found in the National Library of Medicine, stated in its Conclusion that “CBD presents an opportunity for the treatment of intractable chronic pain for which primary treatments are insufficient or not possible.” Again, good news.
In the end, we reviewed several studies by reputable sources and found that more research does need to be done, especially in the field of pure, non-THC CBD treatments. But what studies have been conducted indicate very strongly that CBD is a safe, well-tolerated alternative for pain relief among chronic sufferers.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate
We touched on this a little bit in the reviews. Full-Spectrum is made from the entire hemp plant, and contains all of the three active ingredients from the plant, separated into the categories cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. Most studies have shown that the most effective pain relief comes from full-spectrum CBD products. If you need to avoid THC, however, then you want Broad-Spectrum, which contains all of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, except for THC.
CBD Isolate is pure CBD, and is available in some products as tincture, salve, or gummies. There is less evidence, though, to support the full pain relief of CBD in isolate form. And no company we have found can guarantee that even using isolate product will mean you can pass every drug screening. This is because some drug tests only look for certain protein markers that all cannabinoids have in common, rather than only the THC protein markers.
We reviewed several products for the relief of pain and inflammation, and the five CBD products we found were among the best. And each CBD product fills a different niche, so we included all of them on our list. Whether you want gel capsules, high strength, or a well-researched and transparent company, we recommend all the products on this list.
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There are, and you should consult a doctor if you are on any prescriptions. There can be reactions with blood thinners or seizure medications. CBD by itself can cause liver damage in some people.
Yes, there is some evidence that CBD will help you sleep better. Especially if you’re having trouble sleeping because of chronic pain, pain relief from CBD should help you sleep.
Yes, though the word of the day is “slow and low.” That is to say, start off with as low a dose as you can find, and step it up gradually.
No. Absolutely not. Because CBD laws are so new, and companies are so recently hitting the market, you should always look for a trusted brand that’s as transparent as possible. Check our review at the top for FAB CBD for an example.
In many cases, the general wisdom is that you should be upfront with whoever is conducting the drug test. Because many CBD products will still contain trace amounts of other cannabinoids, you may indeed fail a preliminary drug screening.
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