CBD Oil or CBD Cream for Pain [Which One Is Better?]

Find out which works best
MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on September 4, 2018

CBD cream and oil

We’ve done the research for you in this tell-all educational guide…

There has been a lot of hype recently, especially throughout the media, regarding the rising-in-popularity CBD, but still plenty of confusion may exist regarding this naturally occurring chemical’s abilities, composition and why exactly it works. Probably the two most common topical forms of CBD are oils and creams, so these are the two products we will be focusing on.

Here at MarijuanaBreak, we love to inform audiences about the truth and facts regarding cannabis and cannabis related items, so we’ve done the difficult research for you in this tell-all revealing and educational article.

Keep reading to distinguish between CBD Oil or CBD Cream for Pain; Which One Is Better?…

How CBD Helps Pain:

CBD, known scientifically as cannabidiol, is the second most commonly occurring cannabinoid within the marijuana plant, ranking in just below THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. What is unique and distinctive about CBD, unlike THC this component produces zero psychoactive effects, meaning that it does not create the typical high and euphoria that is linked with marijuana. Furthermore, it has proved to generate immense healing and a multitude of medically beneficial abilities. CBD helps pain on an anatomical level by directly targeting the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which naturally produces some cannabinoids on its own, known as endocannabinoids.

The cannabinoids from the marijuana plant help to increase the body’s function and utilization of this component. The ECS is directly responsible for assisting in certain body processes, including sleep regulation, pain control and immune system responses. With a supplemented increase in cannabinoids by consuming CBD, the body is encouraged to administer its already present endocannabinoids more efficiently, in turn greater regulating its sleep patterns, immune system and pain. This is the reason why so many have found grave success in treating their pain with the all-natural and non-psychoactive cannabidiol.

CBD is capable of healing numerous types of pain within the body, including muscle spasms, arthritis and joint pain, muscle soreness, cramping, tendonitis, inflammation, headaches and migraines, menstrual cramps, and any aches or pains caused either over time or from specific circumstances.

Medical Research on CBD for Pain:

Due to the vast increase in recent popularity, researchers have begun conducting numerous studies regarding the efficiency of CBD for pain management and a variety of other medical uses. The results have proven to be rather remarkable and positive, confirming the claims made about CBD’s effectiveness, whether in oil or cream form.

The 2016 European Journal of Pain conducted a study on rat models to test the effectiveness of CBD against arthritis in order to see if it could serve as an all-natural alternative to the typical arthritis pain medications, which are often tied with numerous uncomfortable and frustrating side effects. The rats were treated for 4 days with 4 different doses of CBD gel, and the results were quite staggering.

The rats showed a significant decrease in inflammation, as well as significations of a lessening of pain, even after such a short duration of treatment. No side effects were noted as well, creating the conclusion that CBD might, in fact, act as a brilliant alternative for conventional arthritis medications and treatments.

A 2017 article published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine conducted a study in which the results concluded, “In adults with chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.” This statement is quite a massive development for the increasing of tolerance towards CBD and CBD based products.

In addition to these two exemplified case studies, plenty of others exist from qualified and professional sources, expressing the credibility of CBD oils, gels and creams in terms of pain management.


What Is CBD Cream?:

CBD creams are produced with the extracted oils from cannabis or hemp infused into a topical base. They act upon the body’s naturally occurring CB2 receptors by binding with these components. The CB2 receptors are activated by either the body’s own, already present endocannabinoid system (ECS), or through the presence of phytocannabinoids, which are typically in the form of either CBD or THC.


Many topical creams, ointments, salves, etc. contain small quantities of THC, but still will not cause the high and euphoria tied to traditional cannabis consumption, because these cannabinoids do not enter the bloodstream and only penetrate to the depth of the CB2 receptors.

Ointments and salves differ from creams because of their texture, consistency, and often times potency. Ointments can be of the greatest potency, but this does not have to be the trend always, for there is so much variety within the cannabis CBD vendor market. Some have claimed that ointments provide instant relief, acting quicker upon the body than salves or creams tend to, but essentially the terms ointment and salve can be used interchangeably.

By definition, ointments must be infused with medicine, in this case CBD, and are of a semi-solid almost mucus-like consistency. Creams typically involve water or some type of aqueous substance as their base, while salves utilize only oils or waxes for their foundation. Ointments tend to contain a combination of oils, water and alcohols within their formulation.

What Is CBD Oil?:

CBD oil differs from CBD creams, ointments and salves, for it is produced in a different way and also is typically consumed orally, or with the mouth through a dropper. The oils vary in potency, depending upon the source of extraction. Both industrial hemp and cannabis can be used to extract amounts of CBD in order for the oil to exist, but oils generated from industrial hemp tend to hold a lower potency, although this is not always the case.

CBD oils that are produced from industrial hemp and not marijuana, are recognized as legal no matter what state you are in within the United States. Marijuana derived products are a bit more of a legal grey area but are permitted throughout many of the 50 states. Most vendors of CBD oil offer doorstep delivery, making it convenient and easy to receive your CBD purchases.

The purest method of CBD oil extraction is a complex process that must be conducted by a skilled and experienced professional. It is known as the CO2 extraction method and utilizes carbon dioxide under a high pressure environment and extremely low temperatures.

This combination retains the supreme purity of the compound, allowing top quality products to be produced from the developed extracts. Much less pure methods that serve as an alternative to the complex CO2 method, includes ethanol or olive oil extraction- both can be successfully completed by amateurs, but the end result certainly does suffer.

Which Works Best for What?:

For pain management, both topical and oral CBD work well, typically proving the most effective relief when utilized together. Oral CBD also assists in the diminishing of symptoms from anxiety, depression and other mental disorders, as well as insomnia. Topicals work brilliantly at reducing inflammation, arthritis, headaches, cramping and migraines, and some evidence has shown that it can also heal eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and itching.

Final Verdict:

Both CBD oil and CBD cream products have their own unique and significant uses throughout the medical world. They are both highly capable of healing and diminishing pain plus daily discomforts. This all-natural alternative to conventional medications is reasonably affordable and does not produce any of the psychoactive or “high” effects that traditional marijuana flower can, meaning that CBD could be consumed any day of the week at any time of day, leading to its extreme versatility and convenience.

Beyond pain management, CBD products have a multitude of other uses, both medical conditions and just the daily occurrences of human beings. Millions, if not billions of consumers have already described in detail their immense success with cannabidiol. We hope you found this article to not only be entertaining, but also educational, informative and revealing.

It is important to remember that the consumption of cannabis is the sole responsibility of the user and discretion should always be taken. None of the statements made above have been reviewed by a medical professional and should not be interpreted as medical advice or guidance.

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CBD Oil or CBD Cream for Pain [Which One Is Better?]
September 4, 2018
4.8 31
  1. Debbie
    CTFO Pain Cream

    I Absolutely Love the CTFO Pain Cream with Emu Oil!!! I had Never found Another Pain Cream that Actually Worked for me Until I Tried This..Amazing is all I can Say 🙂 Ask me how to get it 🙂

  2. Dave
    prefer cream over oil

    I would say medicated CBD cream is better for arthritis and general joint pain

  3. Ryan

    Can’t say which one is better, I had been trying to decide between an oil and a cream for joint pain and decided to go with the cream. Went with the PureKana even though it was $80. Pretty good results so far, relief seems to last for about 6 hours

  4. Landon R
    Beats Icy Hot

    I used it from time to time to help with my aches and pains. Works well!

  5. Shakana

    Wouldn’t it just entirely depend on how much CBD is in each?? 300mg of CBD whether in an oil or a topical cream, shouldn’t make much difference. Maybe the oils are slightly more potent because you lose less through byproducts

    1. Jonathan
      Not sure

      I also think it depends on the brand and the extraction. This article is good, but I think other factors come into play.

  6. Chad

    I have used both CBD creams and CBD oils for my joint pain. I would say that in most instances, the CBD oil works better. It seems like it is able to get into the body system easier. That being said I have had good results using the Green Roads Pain Cream, so it’s really hard to say

  7. Mary-Charlotte
    Oil >>> lotion

    After spending a couple hundred dollars on each, I would say the CBD oil has more obvious and longer lasting effects than any CBD lotion. But hey, what do I know 🙂

  8. Bronte

    I would say CBD oil, just because it seems like I go through the little jars that the creams come in so quickly

  9. Anthony

    Great results for me with a 30 mg dose of the oil (Premium Jane). Have never tried cream or lotion

  10. Calvin

    Personally, I’ve always had great results with the Purekana oil. Can’t really say which one is better though because I’ve only used the lotion once and it was an off brand “hemp cream”. not even sure if it had any actual CBD it. If you’re going to try the lotions, I would recommend Purekana though as their oils are great

  11. Tony

    In my experience have had better results with the oil. Direct absorption into the bloodstream. and I’ve taken for poor circulation in lower leg due to tip/fib surgery years ago. Take the oil, elevate and massage it helps to stimulate blood flow and gets all the stagnant buildup back into circulation

  12. Jess

    Can’t imagine that a lotion would be more effective than oil just from a biological perspective, but hey what do I know 🙂

  13. Dylan

    Haven’t yet tried the CBD pain cream but I’ve heard mixed reviews about it. Seems like more of a beauty product to me. Regular CBD oil works well, why not just stick with that

  14. Tamyra S

    In my opinion the oils are more potent have not ever really had much success with lotions but that’s just my experience maybe have not been using the right ones

  15. Lisa D

    I personally use the oils for pain, but I know that the creams are good.

  16. Teresa Vollmar

    I wish insurances covered the cream and oils. It is be there than pain killers and they are covered.

    I would love to try. I suffer from Neuropathy, Pinched nerves, Stenosis, Sciatica, Fibromyalgia, Herniated discs, Knee bone on bone, Froze shoulder, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Shingles, PTSD, Sleep Deprecation.

    I am PERMANENTLY disabled Appeal8ng my SSDA case. I can’t afford the $5.

    Can anyone help me??

  17. Kathleen Grant

    CBD cream works wonders for joint pain

    1. Deborah Brown

      Recently diagnosed with osteo arthritis in my right thumb i am very interested in trying the CBD cream topically. Living in Canada I have no idea where to buy it and more importantly, does the brand make a difference or strength if there is a choice? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  18. JOAN Esposito

    I have so many leg cramps and sore muscles from back pain down my legs and I have some CBD oil with a little THC in it that’s edible but I decided to rub it on the achy parts and oh my gosh it helped so I’m going to try to find the cream the stuff is expensive at least the cream won’t be sticky thank goodness for something because now my kidney level is a bit high prob part from all these stupid pain pills that you take .. just have to go to the dispensary and hope they sell good CBD cream

  19. Keri Thompson

    The CBD cream is a must-have for me! I am so thankful for the medical relief provided by cannabis.

  20. Betsy

    Where do you buy this I have Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibro.

    1. Adam

      Have you tried going directly to their website?

  21. Shirley Ezell

    By applying CBD cream to the affected area, I feel good. Very useful product.

  22. Bruce Josloff

    I am applying the ointment with a 1:3 THC:CBD ratio to my am and wrist 3 times daily and it is reducing irritated ne be pain by as much to 90%. As effective as Naproxin without the long term risks and side effects.

  23. Cynthia J. Lowe

    CBD oil is the perfect pain reliever as it treated my cramps really well

  24. Amanda Drew

    That’s cool that CBD cream will not cause you to get high because they don’t go into the bloodstream. That seems like it’d be a good way to get the benefits of it without any of the potentially harmful side effects. This seems like it would really help you with bruising or other things and irritations that happen to people. You’d just need to find somewhere to get the CBD cream from.

  25. Ethel Avery

    I love CBD cream. It is the perfect product for treating pain efficiently. Thank you for the post.

  26. Kay Almeida

    CBD cream is useful as it is nonsticky, contains natural ingredients and if applied directly to the point, it helps

    1. Linda

      Hi. I saw your post about CBD creams for pain and I was just wondering what company you use to purchase it. I suffer from Chronic migraines and would love to try the cream but clueless on buying it. Thank you in advance.

  27. Maria Salazar

    I find cbd cream better than oil for pain relief. Easy to apply and nonsticky.

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