A Buyer’s Guide to CBD Topicals: Creams, Balms, Roll-Ons, and Cooling Gels

A Buyer’s Guide to CBD Topicals: Creams, Balms, Roll-Ons, and Cooling Gels

CBD comes in many concentrations, formulas, and forms, but not all CBD is created equal. At Charlotte’s Web, we use our proprietary hemp genetics and years of expertise pioneering the CBD industry to develop new products designed to help you create the ideal wellness routine for your lifestyle. Regardless of what you’re looking for, we’re confident that your perfect fit is here.  

That’s why we’ve created this buyer’s guide to CBD topicals for you, so you can explore the benefits and nuances between a wide and ever-growing range of topical products. From creams to balms, roll-ons to cooling gels, and essential aromatherapy options in between, if you have a question about CBD topicals, we hope you’ll find the answer here.

What Are CBD Creams and Balms?

Let’s start out by answering a very simple question: What are CBD topicals, creams, and balms used for? At a high level, our topical formulations use botanicals crafted to deliver nature’s best to your skin, including Charlotte’s Web™ whole-plant hemp extract with CBD. In other words, our topical formulas were designed to help you keep doing what you love. 

Our topical line was created to help support your passion for a better you. What exactly does that mean? Here are a few specific examples: 

Botanical Ingredients: Charlotte’s Web™ CBD Infused Cream contains nourishing and moisturizing vitamin B5, aloe, coconut oil, arnica, and shea butter to help calm dry, itchy skin and support skin revitalization. Our CBD Infused Balm includes rich apricot kernel oil with oleic and linoleic acids that moisturize and help condition the skin. 

Non-Toxic: We’re not putting anything on your skin that we wouldn’t put on ours. Standard chemical emulsifiers, such as polyethylene glycols (or PEGs), are derived from petroleum and have been listed in the registry for toxic ingredients. In addition to being formulated without PEGs, our topicals are also: free of the 8 major allergens, not tested on animals, gluten-free, vegan (except for our balms, which contain beeswax), and formulated without synthetic fragrances, artificial colors or dyes, sulfates, GMOs, sodium acrylates copolymer, carbomer, shark-derived squalene, or betaine. 

How do CBD Topicals work?  

What we like to remind our customers is that Charlotte’s Web hemp-infused topicals contain 300 mg of hemp-derived CBD per ounce and were designed to bring out the best in you.  

With the help of Mother Nature and her blend of botanical goodness, our topicals were crafted to support your day-to-day, moment-to-moment, and to help soothe where you want it most, without the things you don’t want on your skin. 

Hemp-Infused Topical Cream for Pain

We trust the earth in everything we make so that you can trust what you’re putting on your skin. That starts with our CBD Hemp-Infused Cream. Revitalize, restore, and rejuvenate your skin with Charlotte’s Web™ CBD topical cream—a botanical formula that goes on smoothly over larger areas of the body and is ideal for sensitive skin. 

Formulated with aloe vera, coconut oil, oat extract, sea buckthorn oil, and full-spectrum hemp extract, our hemp-infused cream with CBD has the following attributes:

  • Free of 8 major allergens
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • No animal testing

Created to help moisturize and nourish your skin when it needs it most, our CBD cream has a light hemp scent. And, like all of our topical formulas, ingredients are sustainably grown, non-GMO, gluten-free, with no animal testing, and packaged in BPA-free containers. 

CBDMEDIC™ Topical Products for Pain Relief

Unlike our other topical CBD products, our CBDMEDIC™ pain-relief topical products offer the many benefits of CBD combined with the topical pain relief benefits of active ingredients like menthol and camphor which is perfect for targeting pain and soreness in your joints. For those with occasional pain in your feet or muscles, our CBDMEDIC pain relief sticks offer relief exactly where you need it without the mess of creams or ointments. You can also try our fast-drying CBD topical spray to quickly reduce minor discomforts in all your sore areas.

Check out the pain relief section of our blog for more information on topical pain relief. 

What Is the Difference Between CBD Cream and CBD Ointment? 

As you search for CBD topicals you will undoubtedly come across a variety of different, yet similar, terms. What is the difference between CBD cream and CBD ointment, for example? 

The difference between CBD creams, ointments, salves, and balms ultimately lies in the base ingredients, which results in the different feel on one’s skin. While there can be many different ingredients here are the key components of each: creams tend to have higher water content and usually include ingredients like aloe vera, cetearyl alcohol (emulsifier), and xanthum gum (thickener); balms typically contain ingredients like beeswax and shea butter and do not require emulsifiers or thickeners; ointments get their texture from petrolatum (petroleum jelly).  

How to Use CBD Cream and CBD Ointment

In terms of how to use CBD creams and CBD ointments, for best results, we typically recommend applying it throughout the day or night as needed.  

Please note that our cream is for body use only, not intended for facial application. Like most topicals, avoid contact with your eyes as well. 


CBD Hemp-Infused Relief Balms 

In addition to our hemp-infused CBD cream, we also carry two distinct variations of our popular CBD Relief Balm: in stick form as well as a tin.

Formulated with menthol, peppermint oil, turmeric oil, and ginger oil, our balm stick was designed to help target specific areas of the body that need a little extra care. Great for larger areas of the body such as the thighs, our hemp-infused balm stick was crafted to help you weave wellness into your daily routine. 

What is CBD Balm Used For?

Our CBD balm tin, on the other hand, is ideal for smaller, more specific areas like the knuckles, and is available in two sizes (0.5 oz and 1.5 oz), so there’s one wherever you are—at the office, on the run, or waiting for you at home.


What Is the Difference Between CBD Balm and CBD Salve? 

As we touched on above, CBD topicals come in many different forms. So, what is the difference between CBD balm and CBD salve? 

Many people use these words interchangeably, but there is a difference. CBD balms are typically a bit firmer which you really notice when you dive your finger into a tin to begin an application. CBD salves, on the other hand, can feel like a midpoint between cream and balm. They’re often oil-based meaning softer than a balm, and if you dig your finger into a tin of salve, it would feel like a thick cream. While this all sounds like semantics, we’re thankful to have a team of product development experts that designed our Balm, Balm Stick, and Cream to best serve the needs of our family of customers.

How to Use CBD Balm 

For directions on how to use CBD balm, we typically recommend usage upon waking, after a workout, or before bed. Again, avoid contact with your eyes and apply day or night, to the desired area, as needed. 

CBD Hemp-Infused Cooling Gel  

Beyond balms and creams, there is still a wide range of innovation going on within the CBD topical space. Our CBD Hemp Infused Cooling Gel, for instance, was formulated for a more mindful wellness routine and is hemp-infused with menthol and arnica so you can hit the gym, trail, and your personal goals. In other words, we borrow the goodness of Mother Nature to create our new topical products. 

How to Use CBD Cooling Muscle Gel  

For best results in learning how to use CBD cooling gel, apply day or night, as needed. We recommend using it anywhere you want a revitalizing effect on your body (avoid contact with eyes).


Benefits of CBD Roll-Ons  

We’re dedicated to our mission of improving lives daily, and our high-quality botanical blends help bring you the goodness of Mother Nature in terms of CBD Roll-Ons as well. Our roll-on, available in Lavender, features an essential aromatherapy blend designed to help support whatever the day throws your way. 

Our CBD Lavender Roll-On delivers a transporting blend of lavender, bergamot, and chamomile oils plus Charlotte’s Web CBD in an essential oil aromatherapy blend that rolls on with ease.  

How to Use CBD Roll-Ons 

Like most topical products, learning how to use CBD roll-ons is a very simple addition to your routine. Apply or “roll-on” day or night, as needed, targeting any desired areas, and avoid eye contact. That’s it.



Where Can You Buy CBD Creams and Other Topicals?

Now that you have a broad introduction to the CBD topicals space and its many kinds of products, the last bit of info we’d like to touch on here is where to buy CBD topicals

Before you make a CBD purchase of any kind, it’s important to identify a company or outlet as a source you can trust. A Certificate of Analysis, or CoA, helps expedite these efforts. CoAs help ensure that a manufacturer’s products are made to specification and indicates the quantity of cannabinoids found in each product, such as CBD. 

CoAs are meant to keep customers safe and informed, but they also help emphasize quality. If you’re interested in exploring the CBD products we carry, you can get information about the phytochemical profile of your Charlotte’s Web topicals by getting batch results here

Can You Travel with CBD Creams and Other Topicals?

Yes, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can travel with CBD creams and other CBD products anywhere within the United States as long as the product conform to the regulations set out in the 2018 Farm Bill. Those regulations being that the hemp used to make the products contains less than .3% THC. TSA is “focused on security” and detecting “potential threats to aviation and passengers” rather than searching for drugs, but agents will notify authorities if they come across something illegal.  

How to Choose Which CBD Topical Is Right for You 

Everyone is different, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all solution for CBD topicals. In learning how to choose which CBD topical is right for you, you might discover a mix of the products mentioned above (or one product in particular) best suits your individual needs. Whether it’s a cooling gel, balm stick or tin, aromatherapy roll-ons, or tried-and-true hemp-infused cream, the good news is there are plenty of options for you. 

We trust the earth in everything we make so that you can trust what you’re putting on your skin.