We don’t need to tell you that motherhood is physical. Whether you’re changing 500 newborn diapers a day or carrying a toddler up four flights of stairs or lugging your kid’s harp all around town—not to mention the zillions of other tasks you do on a daily basis—your body gets put through the ringer. Which is where CBD oils and topicals can come in.
What does CBD stand for? It’s short for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound extracted from the cannabis/hemp plant. Benefits of using CBD vary depending on how it’s used. CBD can be taken internally through an oil extract or applied topically to the skin via a cream or balm (more directly to target pain and soreness). “Topicals are the perfect option for anyone who isn’t sure if they want to be taking CBD internally,” says Eric Balshin, CEO and co-founder of CBD brand Yesterday Wellness. “They are effective for reducing pain or inflammation, but can also be used for helping ease skin disorders, like rashes or eczema.”
CBD balms penetrate the skin layer to interact with the endocannabinoid system, which researchers have found can modulate our pain and inflammatory response. The result? Likely a calming, soothing feeling that “takes effect as soon as it is applied to the skin,” notes Balshin, “and is ideal for anyone who needs immediate relief.” As in, parents.
Whether it’s a CBD-infused patch for period cramps, a tingly balm to rub on your feet before a big hike, or a rich lotion to work into your lower back, the next time that twinge or ache rears up, you may reach for one of these super soothing CBD topicals in a range of prices and formulas to quell the pain and get you back in action.
Best CBD Products For Pain Relief & Calm
This multi-tasking balm is a true miracle worker when it comes to long days with the kiddos (you’re familiar, right?). Good for all-over ailments, like that bug bite you got on a hike, that weird sunburn from sitting out on your patio too long, or your fun new neck thing from lugging a giant cooler and five lawn chairs for that impromptu picnic you took last week. Formulated with arnica oil and super-powered essential oils like black pepper, cinnamon, eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint and wild oregano (smells amaaaazing), it also features 50mg of CBD in each 2-ounce tin. Pop it into your purse for a little me-time mini massage when you’ve gotten a few minutes of peace.
Populum’s Cold Therapy Hemp Rub is a good alternative if you don’t have time to prop your feet up and ice down that sore ankle but you know you should. Described as an “arctic-cold cooling” cream, this rub is formulated with 100mg of CBD and is vegan and paraben-free. It’s great for those nagging aches and pains that keep you from sleeping well at night. One thing we’re way into? Populum lists their third-party lab results right on their site, which is essential to knowing exactly what you’re rubbing into your precious skin—remember, it’s the largest organ in your body. “Reputable brands will not expect you to simply take their word when it comes to quality and potency,” notes Balshin. “Instead, they’ll work with a trusted, independentthird party laboratory. The results are presented via a certificate of analysis and let you know that you are getting a clean product, free of heavy metals or pesticides, as well as a product that has all of the beneficial compounds and the proper concentration of CBD.”
We are kind of obsessed with Kristen Bell’s CBD beauty brand, Happy Dance, which contains 200 MG of CBD from Premium Full Spectrum Hemp Extract and is made with ultra nourishing butters and oils. The subtle, spa-like scent of rosemary makes you feel like you’re treating yourself to a luxe spa day — it soothes dry skin but doesn’t leave you feeling greasy, and has an overall zen effect. We love to slather this all over after a shower right before bedtime, but you can use it whenever you’d like. We also love Happy Dance’s Head-to-Toe Coconut Melt, which is a multi-purpose topical you can use all over (including cuticles and hair). It contains 225 MG of CBD from Premium Full Spectrum Hemp Extract and pure coconut oil, so it’s ultra soothing (and smells amazing).
For your hardest days, Plant People’s high-potency balm with 450mg of full-spectrum CBD (meaning it contains a broad range of active phytochemical compounds, not *just* CBD—but not including THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis) is relief. Combining CBD with other active botanicals like peppermint, arnica and camphor gives calm relief when you need it most. Like after a kick-butt workout, or you know, cooking four square meals for your family of five (and cleaning up after!). The shea butter and coconut oil base of this balm glide on smooth, and it smells like a combo of lavender and cooling peppermint for when you need a hit of aromatherapy (um, always).
If you’ve ever used an adhesive heating pad for back pain or period cramps, the Good Patch is like that—but better. The CBD-infused transparent stickers feature 15-mg of hemp extract, black cohosh (which may ease painful cramps) and menthol (that feel-good tingly sensation—menthol is a natural analgesic, or pain reliever). Peel and stick and you’re done: Pop one on your lower abdomen for up to 12 hours, and let the good vibes wash over you. “Actual relief,” says Jonni G. on thegoodpatch.com. “These patches are a lifesaver. I normally get very painful periods along with bloat and all the other usual suspects. These patches take my whole period experience to a bearable level.”
Founded by alums from The Honest Company, Prima’s mission is one of sustainable sourcing, transparency and credibility—and it shows: This isn’t your standard body butter. With 250mg broad-spectrum CBD sourced from Oregon, this vegan, gluten-free cruelty-free cream is formulated with five different super-hydrating organic oils and butters. Leave this luxe lotion on your nightstand and work into your palms before you pass out (all that hand washing takes a toll!), or persuade your partner to give you a foot massage (lol) using a dollop of this rich body butter. Hey, we can dream!
“What we put on our bodies is just as valuable as what we put inside,” notes Balshin. With a focus on making CBD approachable and accessible for all, Yesterday Wellness’ CBD balm has just five ingredients: beeswax, MCT oil, broad spectrum hemp extract, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil. “This way, there are fewer novel ingredients that you need to familiarize yourself with,” he says. When coupled with synergistic ingredients, topical CBD formulas take effect quickly—ideal for anyone who needs relief fast, notes Balshin. And the best part? It smells incredible. Lavender + eucalyptus + the slightly earthy scent of hemp “really is the holy grail,” he states, and we have to agree. If you prefer or want to add a CBD oil, we love their peppermint, lemon or original oils, too.
Papa & Barkley’s all-natural Releaf Balm features 180mg of full-spectrum CBD oil harvested from hemp plants grown on Colorado farms. Their potent formula is folded into a soothing balm made of a coconut oil and beeswax base, and then topped off with tea tree, peppermint and lavender essential oils—a truly transporting scent for when you need a mini getaway (but can’t leave your yard). We love that Papa & Barkley is committed to working with small farms and avoiding chemical solvents so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a sustainable and clean product. Try some rubbed into your temples or the skin on your wrist for a quickly calming effect after the latest tantrum left you feeling a little frazzled.
Light and refreshing, this quick-absorbing body cream from Cannuka features CBD isolate (meaning cannabidiol that’s been isolated from other compounds). With a light citrus scent and a combination of Manuka honey, hyaluronic acid and grapefruit extract, this cream is gentle enough to even use on your face—leaving skin super soft and residue-free. Cannuka’s line-up of clean products combine superpowered CBD and Manuka honey for a double-duty duo.
For quick and easy topical relief, Dr. Kerklaan’s Natural CBD Relief Spray is one of our favorites. A spritz will instantly start cooling away aches and pains, and because it’s a fast-absorbing spray, it’s ideal for those hard-to-reach places where it’s tricky to apply creams (like your lower back). Keep this bottle on your desk to ease discomfort caused by craning over a computer screen — a feeling that most of us know all too well.
From sunscreen to deodorant, we’ve got more summer friendly beauty buys right this way.
Disclaimer: Talk to your doctor before using any CBD products. Check out the FDA rules and regulations regarding CBD.