Smell (Irrelevant to effects)
The NutraCanna CBD Soothing Pain Cream (175mg) smells pleasantly minty — more spearmint than peppermint — with notes of vanilla, citrus, ginger, and tea tree. There’s a pretty medicinal element to the scent (likely owing to the astringent nature of ingredients like tea tree oil, rosemary, and arnica) that, while not altogether unpleasant, is definitely notable and does tend to last a little while on the skin.
Because of the intensity, essence, and longevity of the scent this product carries, it may not be ideal to put on before, say, climbing into the elevator to go to work or hopping in an Uber Pool. If you’ve got to put it on before going out, we recommend giving yourself at least 30 minutes or so to allow the scent to dissipate a bit
Taste (Irrelevant to effects)
This product is meant for topical use only. Please don’t ingest!
The cream itself is white, opaque, and more fluid than we expected it to be. In the hands, it flows when tilted and does have a bit of a tendency to run if unchecked. This is a bit of a double-edged sword; it’s very easy to apply to skin and spreads beautifully, but it can drip if you dispense too much product at once.
Fortunately, the convenient pump dispenser the cream comes in makes dispensing the correct amount nearly foolproof. The pump dispenses about a milliliter at a time and, with a little finesse, will dispense smaller increments effectively.
Because of the more fluid consistency of the cream, a little goes a long way. It spreads across the skin easily and quickly, often covering more than you’d think it would. For reference, we found a single pump was sufficient to cover our shoulders, neck, and upper back area — pretty good mileage for a milliliter(ish) of product.
Owing to the liquid texture of the cream, it works well for short massages. We like this for a couple of reasons: first, massaging the cream into the skin works the CBD deeper into your tissues, helping it be more effective. Second, the massaging helps to relax the muscles more quickly than the CBD by itself, speeding up the effectiveness of the product.
The cream takes about 10 minutes or so to absorb fully, leaving plenty of time to massage it into the skin wherever you need relief and soothe the muscles in the surrounding area. After absorption, the skin will have a slight residue on it for up to 30 minutes from the application while it finishes absorbing — not enough to mess up clothes, but enough to feel a bit sticky at times. That stickiness resolves quickly, leaving skin hydrated, cooled, and pain-free.
Effects (Onset, Duration, Intensity)
Within a few minutes of application, the cooling effects of the cream become apparent. Before we go any further, we need to emphasize something: the cooling effect is meant for skin, not mucous membranes. DO NOT apply the cream to your (or your partner’s) genitalia — it is much too intense for intimate use. If you’re looking to play with sensations in intimate areas, find a product specifically formulated for genital use — this ain’t it, though.
Next, a special note for those with dry skin: this cream does contain alcohol, but it’s not your usual drying variety. The alcohol used in this particular cream is cetyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol that’s derived from coconut. This means that, unlike stearyl alcohol (a much harsher version of the compound), cetyl alcohol does not break down the bonds of your skin, and therefore doesn’t cause as much dryness. Secondly, the sunflower oil and aloe vera extract help to rehydrate skin and replenish the bonds that keep it strong and hold in moisture. Even those of us with sensitive skin didn’t have trouble with dryness or irritation with this cream.
The cooling effect is pretty pronounced — not uncomfortable, but notable. It helps soothe pain, numbing the sharpness associated with cramping or neuropathic pain, and cools the surrounding area to ease inflammation while providing analgesic effects. The arnica within the cream helps boost the action of the CBD, alleviating pain and reducing inflammation.
In terms of what types of pain you can expect the cream to be effective against, we had the best success with chronic pain and stiffness. If we’re considering pain as a 10-point scale, with 1 being no pain at all and 10 being pain so severe and unrelenting that it triggers thoughts of death, we found this product beneficial for pain in the neighborhood of 5 and below. For mild to moderate pain, it’s very effective at reducing or even entirely eliminating discomfort.
We felt relief from pain and inflammation for about 2-3 hours from application, which is in line with comparable topical CBD products we’ve tried. The cooling effect does not carry on that entire time — it tends to fade after 60-90 minutes. The pain-relieving and skin-soothing properties, however, lasted after the original cooling tingles faded. Our muscles and skin felt better, joints felt more mobile, and soreness was alleviated.
Best used for
We like this cream best for muscle and joint pain relief, as well as alleviation of stiffness and inflammation associated with arthritis or injury. We found it effective against mild to moderate pain all over the body (excluding, of course, those sensitive mucous membranes) when used during the day or at night.
We also found the cream very effective for addressing pain and soreness during athletic recovery. It helped reinvigorate our muscles after long runs or strenuous workouts and dulled the pain of DOMS in those days after a particularly intense gym session.
Best used with (Complimentary Product)
As a localized product, this cream works very well for targeting pain relief exactly where you need it. That said, it’ll be most effective when backed up by a systemic dose of CBD, like a tincture or a gummy, which will work within your body to further alleviate your symptoms, providing all-around comfort.
Each bottle contains 3.3 fluid ounces of CBD cream or 100 mL, and 175 mg of organic CBD isolate. According to those quantities, the cream contains 1.75 mg of CBD per milliliter — not a super strong dose, but enough to address symptoms in a meaningful way for mild to moderate pain and inflammation.
At $39, this works out to a per-milligram price of about $0.22, which is getting to the more expensive range of comparable products. It’s also notable that this cream contains one of the lowest doses we’ve seen among CBD-infused creams and salves; while it gets a boost from therapeutic botanicals like arnica, aloe, and ginger, ultimately you can get more proverbial “bang for your buck” with more concentrated products.
That’s not to say that this cream isn’t effective — it absolutely is, and we enjoyed using it. However, when we felt more intense pain, we found ourselves reaching for other, more potent products to supplement this one. It’s a nice indulgence for mild pain and inflammation, but it isn’t necessarily a product that will be a staple in our cabinets.
All in all, this cooling pain cream from NutraCanna is a solid product. It performs well, it’s made of high-quality ingredients, it’s fully plant-based, and is both cruelty-free and vegan. The cream contains no THC and works to alleviate mild to moderate pain and inflammation while nourishing skin. Its unique, more fluid formulation is a welcome change from the traditional salves and oil-based ointments, and it meets our CBD Buyer’s Guidecriteria for quality, purity, and potency.
That said, it’s not a particularly strong product in terms of dosage strength. For more severe symptoms and more powerful relief, there are other products on the market that contain much more CBD per milliliter (albeit in varying formulations that may not be comparable to this one). Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference and symptom severity — if you’re looking for mild relief, this cream will probably do the trick. However, if you need more intensive dosing, this may not be the topical product for you.
Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut Fatty Alcohol), Glycerin*, Sodium Hydroxide (non-GMO, Mineral Salt), Grapefruit Seed Extract (Citrus grandis), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate (non-GMO, Mineral Salt), Xanthan Gum (non-GMO), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Menthol (Mentha Arvensis), Peppermint Oil (Mentha Piperita), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Leaf Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil*, Hemp-Derived CBD Isolate, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Montana (Arnica) Flower Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil*, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Oil*, Citrus Uranium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil*, Phenoxyethanol.
*Certified Organic Ingredient
Suggested Use: Apply small amount topically to affected area and rub in thoroughly. Use every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Children under 12 years of age ask a doctor and use with adult supervision. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult with a physician.
Warnings: *For External Use Only* Stop if irritation occurs. Do not apply to open or bleeding wounds. Avoid contact with eyes or mucous membranes. Store at 41-86°F.