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Article: Does CBD Cream Work for Pain?

Bullhead Botanics CBD Pain Cream Sore Hand Wrists Fingers

Does CBD Cream Work for Pain?

Written by Brian Davis, Head of Research and Development at Bullhead Botanics, and a person with lots of back pain. (4.5 Minute Read)

  • Pain is a warning signal to us that something is wrong.
  • Our body’s endocannabinoid system plays a key role in how we regulate and feel pain.  
  • Applying CBD topically can be a natural alternative to support pain relief on areas of the skin. 
  • Within 15 to 60 minutes of being applied, CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system under our skin, helping to reduce inflammation and regulate sensations of pain. 
  • CBD, combined with other ingredients like menthol, camphor oil, and eucalyptus, can help to support immediate and long lasting relief of pain.


Why do we feel pain?

We feel pain when sensory receptors in our bodies send signals via nerve fibers to our brain and spinal cord, usually due to damage done to the body from things like injuries and burns. Pain is a warning signal to keep that area protected from further damage, and it manifests in two ways - chronic and acute. Acute pain tends to be shorter-lived, and usually goes away when the affected area heals. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is pain that endures 6 months or more, even after the affected area has been treated and healed.

 Pain manifests throughout the body

Why Should I Use CBD For Pain?

Our body's endocannabinoid (EC) system (the system that cannabinoids like CBD interact with) is now known to be one of the key endogenous systems regulating pain sensation, adjusting and balancing at all stages of pain processing pathways. CBD works with your body’s EC system to help mitigate pain and bring relief. (Citation 1 found at bottom of article) 

With about 20% of the US population saying they suffer from chronic pain, people are looking to support their relief from joint pain, back pain, muscle pain, and arthritis in a more natural way without side effects.That’s why CBD creams, lotions, balms, and topicals can be found in almost every major store nowadays.  

Other pain management solutions, like Opioids, are highly addictive, and many people are finding that prolonged use of traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can cause stomach issues. In fact, the prevalence of hypersensitivity to NSAIDs has been estimated to be 0.5 to 1.9% of the general population, and NSAIDs are responsible for 21 to 25% of all adverse reactions to drugs. (Citation 2 found at bottom of article)

As I talked about in our last article, CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory. So, how does CBD work if it’s applied to the skin?

How do CBD Topicals interact with pain receptors?

Your skin is like a sponge. It has the ability to absorb many different chemicals and substances. Our skin also contains high concentrations of Endocannabinoid System Receptors (CB1 & CB2), which are responsible for the sensations of pleasure and pain. CBD topicals, like CBD creams, have anti-inflammatory effects and help to regulate the stability of the endocannabinoid system under the skin - all which helps to calm pain signals.

Studies have shown that topically applied CBD can absorb into the skin, interact with these receptors, and help support the relief of pain and inflammation. It does not enter the bloodstream, and only affects the local areas to which it is applied.

How CBD reacts with the endocannabinoid system under the skin

What Pain can CBD Topicals & Creams Help With?

CBD creams and topicals are great for supporting relief from:

  • Sore Muscles
  • Joint Paint
  • Arthritis
  • Neuropathy
  • Nerve Pain

How Long Does CBD Pain Cream Take to Work?

CBD is most often dissolved into a carrier oil (like Squalane, Argan, or Coconut Oil) so that it can absorb into the skin easily. From personal experience, effects can be felt between 15 minutes to an hour, and can last anywhere from 6-8 hours. When combined with other traditional natural pain relieving ingredients (like menthol, camphor oil, eucalyptus), they can all work together to support immediate and long lasting relief of pain. It is safe to apply as needed, so it can be used as frequently as you’d like until you find relief.

Which CBD cream is right for me?

If you’re trying to support your pain relief, our CBD Pain Cream is some of the most potent on the market (1000mg+ per oz). It has a high topical dose of CBD, combined with traditional natural pain relieving ingredients like menthol, camphor oil, and eucalyptus for even more pain-relieving effects. It's designed for a non greasy feel that penetrates deep into the skin, and it is formulated so that all ingredients work together to support immediate and long lasting relief of pain. 

As always, if you ever have any questions or want to discuss anything CBD, just reach out to me through our Contact Page and I’ll be happy to have a conversation with you! Thanks for reading!

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products and the efficacy of these products has not been confirmed nor evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. They should not be used if pregnant or nursing without first consulting a physician. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners.


(1)-(Woodhams SG, Sagar DR, Burston JJ, Chapman V. The role of the endocannabinoid system in pain. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2015;227:119-43. doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-46450-2_7. PMID: 25846617.)

(2)-(Sánchez-Borges M, Caballero-Fonseca F, Capriles-Hulett A, González-Aveledo L. Hypersensitivity Reactions to Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: An Update. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010 Jan 5;3(1):10-18. doi: 10.3390/ph3010010. PMID: 27713240; PMCID: PMC3991018)

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