Which CBD balms are best?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a sought-after therapy for a variety of health concerns, including chronic pain and even some skin conditions. While many consumers are wary of the tetrahydrocannabinol contained in cannabis and its psychoactive effects, rest assured that quality topical CBD products aren’t composed of THC.

If you’re new to the realm of CBD products or topicals, consider our top choice, Try The CBD – CBD Cream, for a natural introduction to the highest-quality CBD products and their health benefits.

What to know before you buy a CBD balm

Concentration matters

Similar to ingestible CBD products like gummies, the concentration of CBD in a balm determines its efficacy. The potency doesn’t need to be quite as high in a topical product as an oral product to make an impact, but a highly concentrated CBD balm will be more effective than one with a low concentration. For soothing pain, try to find a balm with at least 200 milligrams of CBD. Alternatively, if you are using a CBD balm as part of your normal skincare routine, anything between 25-200 milligrams is satisfactory.

Sources and types make a difference

The source of the CBD greatly determines the quality of the final product. The United States has some of the best soil for growing hemp, so an American-grown CBD formula is usually high-quality. 

The type of CBD—isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum—also influences its quality. Isolate CBD formulas completely isolate the CBD, meaning they contain nothing but CBD. Expect broad-spectrum formulas to have a variety of CBD and other cannabinoids, but all the THC will be removed. When it comes to full-spectrum, this has the widest range of cannabinoids and can contain trace amounts of THC. If you need to take a drug test, note that full-spectrum CBD formulas may trigger false positives.

There’s no THC

If you’re worried about CBD products getting you high, put that worry to rest. Except for trace amounts found in full-spectrum formulas, CBD products don’t contain THC, which is the main cannabinoid in marijuana causing psychoactive effects. Additionally, a CBD balm applied topically is less likely to enter the bloodstream while it targets areas of pain and inflammation.

What to look for in a quality CBD balm

Third-party testing

Companies boasting the highest quality CBD balms verify their formulas through third-party testing. Rather than simply meeting personal standards, a choice CBD brand will ensure they are offering the best, most potent balms that provide real results by opening their formula up to scrutiny. Any CBD balm you consider should supply third-party lab test results proving the safety and effectiveness of the product.

Multipurpose qualities

Most CBD balms are suitable for use on the entire body, even the face. A CBD balm should be effective on the tough skin of your elbows and knees while being safe for your joint pain, inflammation and even facial acne. Some CBD balms are area-specific, such as lip balms or under-eye balms. Consider your needs and choose the balm that suits you.


The best CBD balm comes from organic ingredients. They will be free of pesticides and harmful chemicals, allowing you to use your CBD balm worry-free about toxins in your skincare routine.

Quality ingredient list

Choice ingredients comprise the best CBD balms. While CBD should be the most essential ingredient, other ingredients will be included. Check for natural, quality ingredients like beeswax, vegetable wax, essential oils and aloe vera. Avoid harmful ingredients found in some topical products, including, but not limited to, EDTAs (calcium disodium EDTA, disodium EDTA, tetrasodium EDTA, trisodium EDTA), solvents and cyclic silicones.


CBD typically doesn’t smell amazing on its own, so many CBD balms include a fragrance to allow for a more relaxing user experience. Natural fragrances like essential oils are popular among high-quality CBD balms, but it is possible to find fragrance chemicals. Check for fragrance chemicals if you have sensitive skin or want to avoid unnatural ingredients.

How much you can expect to spend on CBD balm

Expect CBD balms to vary in price depending on potency, source, type and quantity. Anything between $6-$75 is a normal price for a CBD balm.

CBD balm FAQ

How long will the effects of my CBD balm last?

A. Results vary between users and are largely influenced by the potency of your product and the amount applied. The severity of your health issue, such as joint pain, also impacts the results.

How do I use a CBD balm?

A. Make sure the area where you want to apply your balm is clean and dry. Beginning with a small amount of product, gently massage in a circular motion until it’s absorbed. Allow yourself to adjust to the dosage before increasing it or upgrading to a formula with a higher potency.

What’s the best CBD balm to buy?

Top CBD balm

Try The CBD - CBD Cream

Try The CBD – CBD Cream

What you need to know: Made of natural, organic ingredients, this therapeutic CBD package comes with three balms to suit a variety of topical purposes.

What you’ll love: Get the most out of this product with its flexible uses. Great for multiple skin types and everyday use, you can treat yourself with the confidence that you’re using the purest products.

What you should consider: Some users find the potency of this product lower than their preference.

Where to buy: Sold by Try The CBD

Top CBD balm for the money

Plant People - Soothe+ Restorative CBD Body Balm

Plant People – Soothe+ Restorative CBD Body Balm

What you need to know: This soothing, full-spectrum salve is all-purpose, so apply it to any sore or swollen areas for relief.

What you’ll love: A little goes a long way with this CBD balm. Designed to ease aches and pains, you can apply this balm to a variety of locations on the body. It’s especially helpful for anyone dealing with effects from surgery or allergies. 

What you should consider: This balm can be a bit messy to spread effectively.

Where to buy: Sold by Plant People

Worth checking out

Cornbread - USDA Organic CBD Balm

Cornbread – USDA Organic CBD Balm

What you need to know: With no-mess application, manufacturers created this highly durable balm to keep up with your active lifestyle.

What you’ll love: This CBD balm offers a clean ingredient list, refreshing smell and healing effects with no preservatives. Composed entirely of plant products, this balm works hard to deliver pain relief and relaxation.

What you should consider: This CBD balm is pricier than many of its alternatives. 

Where to buy: Sold by Cornbread

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Abbey Ryan writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.