The CBD balm range in the UK is gaining in popularity as more people search out alternative options for aches and pains or workout induced inflammation. There are a wide range of balms on the market and this is a category with a high level of differentiation between the cheapest and most expensive balms available. The way the topical balms are made varies widely, impacting the absorption and efficacy. High-tech formulation with encapsulated ingredients (like that of CERIOUS) may help penetrate the skin to a greater extent, for example. GreenBox has taken the time to review four separate muscle balms. Three are available to buy now with 15% off, too. Before we jump into the reviews, we cover off the six things you need to know about muscle balms.
#1 CBD strength – Does it Matter?
The muscle balms on the market range from 50 mg of CBD to 600 mg of CBD. On some level, it is important to have enough CBD in the product to take advantage of the relevant features. Anything around 150mg is useful and a great entry level product for those new to CBD while 300mg and higher would be considered high strength. Be careful of product size, as the cheaper products sell in large 100 ml sizes, while the best products on the market sell in 30 and 60 ml sizes.
#2 Storage – Room Temperature or Cooler
Most muscle balms have one thing in common: they become unstable under a higher than room temperature. Above 25 degrees Celsius, the product will likely turn to goop. At higher temperatures it can completely liquify! The product when cooled will often reconstitute and can still be used but of course the chemistry of the formulation will have changed plus the distribution of the CBD in the product. So, do not leave it in your car or in a non-air conditioned room as next time you go to use it you will be in for a surprise. It is best to keep it in a cool cabinet or drawer away from natural sunlight.
#3 Pricing – Formulation is Worth Paying For
The products range in price from £15-£45. At the cheaper end, the formulations are basic with CBD likely an isolate and not the broad-spectrum CBD we would recommend. At the high-end, products formulations are enhanced with differentiated technology.
#4 Effectiveness – How Long Does it Last?
This will depend on the amount of CBD and each individual endocannabinoid system. However, for a topical application over a few days, you could expect to see some improvement. There are products on the market with encapsulation and time release technology which slowly release CBD over four to five hours as opposed to immediately. These products trade at a premium to others on the market, but we feel the premium is justified as it extends the potential effectiveness of the product.
#5 Application – How Much to Apply?
The cheaper formulations on the market bulk up their formulation with extra base to make it seem like you are purchasing a lot of CBD. For example, a 100ml size for these products is standard, but really it just dilutes the effectiveness of the CBD. We are fans of smaller sizes, with similar or higher CBD content. For these formulations, you can get away with applying much smaller amounts, which dry quicker and are less odorous than the larger sized products which encourage a consumer to slather on the product. Therefore, although the product is smaller in size, they can last a number of months.
#6 Ingredients – Other Plants Matter
The plant ingredients work together, so it is important to know what other ingredients are in the product. They can work together to help ease inflammation as the plant world is filled with natural remedies. A common ingredient across products is capsicum, which is found in red peppers and turmeric and is known to help relieve inflammation. There are more expensive botanical options like Arnica Montana Flower extract, found in premium products.
#1 (4.5/5) – Vitality CBD Muscle & Joint Gel
Vitality CBD is an emerging market leader in the UK, and is now available in more than 4,000 stores nationwide. The team at Vitality CBD pride themselves on providing high quality natural CBD products for every day use. And most importantly for this brand, this quality doesn’t come at the expense of price. The Vitality CBD range is among the best value in the UK. They source only organic hemp from US farms to produce the CBD that goes into these products.
Branding: What you see is what you get with Vitality CBD. It’s a fairly neutral and slightly medicinal branding. It fits well on the pharmacy shelf and wouldn’t look out of place.
Scent: The scent is a pleasant one thanks to the blend of cooling camphor and peppermint. It’s also not over-powering, which can be a real turn-off with other balms. You can apply this after a run, or in the morning as part of our routine. And you can rest assured it’s not going to linger with you for the entire day. Mild, but not intrusive.
Application: The Vitality CBD product is a somewhat different consistency to the other balms as it’s technically a Gel. This was a deliberate move by Vitality CBD, however. You can apply this product a little more liberally on the problem area and it’ll absorb rapidly. It won’t leave you feeling greasy as many other balms do. And because you can apply more, it’s a delight to massage with. We liked using this one for these reasons.
CBD content: Again, this product scores well here at 500mg of CBD. This would place it among the strongest in the category.
Ingredients: If you’ve got sore or inflamed joints, this can be a really soothing option to apply. Alongside the CBD there is also cooling peppermint and camphor. Both these ingredients are anti-inflammatories and bring rapid cooling relief, and gives time for the CBD to do its work. We always prefer CBD muscle balms that choose to complement the CBD with other natural plant extracts. This product does it very well here, too.
Value: In what is becoming a hallmark for Vitality CBD, you can enjoy this quality without breaking the bank. This product comes in at a pleasing £21.99, among the best price points available. And this is what helps the Vitality CBD Muscle & Joint Gel win the #1 spot in our review.
#2 (3.5/5) – Fourfive CBD Muscle Rub
Former rugby players George Kruis and Dominic Day started this brand after dealing with a litany of rugby related injuries in 2018. They both discovered CBD could help with their recovery while boosting their mental toughness. They aren’t the only athletes discovering the magical healing powers of CBD. The range of Fourfive products ensure maximum bioavailability and bioactivity and are meant to support an active life-style. We have heard great things about this brand and were eager to give it try. We even applied it to a recent bee sting, and welcomed the cooling impact.
Branding: The branding is is crisp and allows for Fourfive to highlight its Informed Sport certification for athletes. This is important as many questions have cropped up about failed drug tests for athletes due to cannabinoid use. Athletes who see these logos on a product can be assured it has undergone a rigorous screening programme for banned substances in sport and is safer to use. The pot is easy to stuff in a gym bag or even a coat pocket, but is all plastic, which Fourfive is looking to replace with a more sustainable option.
Scent: The menthol in this product overwhelms the other ingredients and makes it smell much more medicinal.
Application: Unlike other muscle balms which can be goopy, this comes in a more solidified format, which makes it easier to apply a smaller amount of the skin. It does suffer from being a bit greasy like other muscle balms. However, it was absorbed into the skin within ten minutes.
CBD content: Medium with 300 mg for a 45 ml jar.
Ingredients: Menthol does most of the heavy lifting in this formulation, providing the cooling sensation but also comes with a medicinal like smell. Lavender oil is great for calming inflammation while Calendula oil also serves this purpose.
Value: At £30, this product sits firmly in the middle of the range for muscle balms. The application is much better than the value muscle balms on the market, but it still is held back somewhat by the medicinal smell of the product. This shouldn’t be an issue for an athlete, but makes it less likely you can apply this product before heading into an office or meeting.
#3 (3/5) – Infinity CBD Muscle Salve
The Infinity team delivers this muscle balm. It’s one of the best ones we have tried at the value end of the spectrum. The product comes in a generous 100ml size and with a decent amount of broad spectrum CBD. We like this feature as many of the similarly priced competitors use CBD isolate instead. We used the product on a gimpy ankle we had hurt post a parkour session and within a few days the movement of the ankle was much improved.
Branding: A chic tin with a screw lid gives this brand strong credentials as the king of the value brands.
Scent: The addition of peppermint provides a fresh and crisp scent although the product still smells somewhat medicinal due to the addition of camphor.
Application: A little less greasy but the product still takes a bit of time to dry on the skin.
CBD content: High at 500mg
Ingredients: The main ingredient Camphor is a terpene commonly used in creams, ointments, and lotions. It is used for its anti-inflammatory properties and to relieve skin irritation.
Value: At £34.99, this is priced at the mid point of the CBD balms. This balm stands out in terms of CBD content, formulation, and value for money.
#4 (2.5/5) – CERIOUS Muscle Relief Balm
Victor Casale, the founder of MAC Cosmetics, one of the most iconic cosmetics brands in the world, designed this specially formulated muscle balm. It is exclusive to GreenBox. He brings his over 30 years’ experience to deliver a unique Muscle Relief Balm. Vic packs this 30 ml formula with multiple botanical goodies while adding time release technology to enhance CBD usage. This is a premium product worth the money.
Branding: The team at CERIOUS have put care and effort into creating a lifestyle brand promoting the power of the plant. The slogan “active plant-based therapy” is an appropriate mantra. The green leaves on the packaging represent the different botanical ingredients in the product. An opaque green glass jar adds prestige, while the bamboo and child-proof top add further class.
Scent: A pleasant and mild scent versus other medicinal smelling products on the market. what we noticed here is the scent falls away fairly quickly, which we liked.
Application: The products powder finish makes it much less greasy than other products on the market, a huge advantage. The product requires minimal amounts of application for relief versus other balms and absorbs into the skin quickly.
CBD content: At the low end with 150 mg for a 30 ml jar. However, the product uses time release technology for half the CBD. This means half the CBD can take effect quickly, and the other half can release slowly over hours. This allows for longer-lasting effects. It’s the only muscle balm on the market with this novel tech.
Ingredients: Arnica Mountain Flower is the main botanical and helps with inflammation. The vanillyl butyl ether provides the warming sensation and increased micro circulation on the skin.
Value: This premium product is the best we have seen on the market. Its robust formulation and technical features make it stand out from competitors. But, it does come at a higher price point of £43.00. We think it’s worth the price.
#5 (1.5/5) – Holland & Barrett CBD Muscle Balm Extra
The first muscle balm we ever purchased was this product from Holland & Barrett. Its effectiveness on a knee tired from running was the impetus for us exploring CBD in our daily regime. We originally bought the H&B CBD Muscle Balm. This is an entry level product from Holland & Barrett and the price seems attractive at first, but then you realize there is n0t much CBD in this product. H&B does offer a large 100ml size for a higher price, but the CBD content remains the same at 50mg, which means this is a more expensive option on a per CBD mg basis. For those looking for higher strength, H&B does offer the CBD Muscle Balm Ultra range, which comes with a respectable amount of CBD at 300mg.
Branding: Basic with a yellow label and glass jar, appears to be going for the apothecary look.
Scent: Medicinal and strong. No mention of a commitment to sustainability, although the products are vegan friendly.
Application: It is quite greasy going on with a strong odour. It takes quite a long-time to dry (15+ minutes) and there is a slight warming/burning feel after you apply, likely due to the other active ingredients.
CBD content: Low at 50mg
Ingredients: The active ingredient is capsicum. The fruit of most species of pepper contains capsaicin, a lipophilic chemical that can product a strong burning sensation.
Value: At £19.99, this is an entry level balm, but does not have much CBD content and thus higher prices brands provide better options.
CBD has many different uses, and whether you wish to use it orally or as a topical application, GreenBox has a range of plant-based products that use the power of nature to bring you many benefits. Our CBD balm forms part of this range, and gets to work quickly so that you soon start feeling the benefits.
What is a CBD Balm?
CBD balm includes the ingredient CBD, which is also known as cannabidiol. These are naturally found cannabinoids that are found in both the hemp plant and cannabis plant. By extracting CBD from the hemp plant, it means that it does not contain THC. At GreenBox, our CBD balm for pain is completely legal in the UK.
CBD is often known for its pain-relieving properties, and while we cannot make health claims, we urge you to do your own research into the clinical studies that have already been undertaken.
Whether you are suffering from muscle aches or joint pain, many people have found that pain-relieving CBD balm brings them the relief they need.
It can usually be applied directly to the area that needs pain relief. Our CBD balms are also available with other natural ingredients, such as oils and butter, to leave your skin feeling fantastic.
CBD balm does not just need to be saved for when you are in pain. It can also be used for healthy skin and as a great way to remove your day’s make-up.
The Best CBD Muscle Rub in the UK
As part of our search for the most ethical, unique, and safe suppliers of CBD we work with two companies that we believe create the very best CBD muscle rubs in the UK.
Infinity CBD is a UK-based company that was started by a group of fibromyalgia sufferers, looking for ways to combat the varying symptoms they suffered with. That has developed from this is a handcrafted, small batch range of CBD products that are specifically designed with long time sufferers of fibromyalgia in mind. The Infinity CBD Nature’s Balm is a great topical CBD balm for muscles – and while it might not be named a muscle rub, the combination of high strength CBD (300mg) alongside natural ingredients like almond and coconut oil, as well as Vitamin E, offers many benefits.
Although not crafted in the UK, we have chosen to partner with CERIOUS – a CBD product company that is based in California. CERIOUS is the culmination of a partnership between Victor Casale, the founding partner and Chief Chemist at MAC Cosmetics and Starling Brands, a cannabis and hemp extraction leader.
CERIOUS Muscle Relief Balm is quite possibly the best CBD muscle rub online, thanks to the unique combination of plants and minerals that create soothing, warming, and long-lasting muscle relief. Alongside 150mg of high quality, broad spectrum CBD that has a unique time-release formulation, you will also find hemp, arnica montana flower extract and cork oat root extract in a high concentration formulation so a little goes a long way.
Get Your CBD Balm from GreenBox
You can get your CBD balm online directly from GreenBox. If you spend more than £30, you can enjoy free UK delivery within 48 hours. With many different products available, browse through our site and see what attracts you.
When you shop at GreenBox, you can be assured that you are getting products that are of the highest quality. We have strict quality, health and safety standards that our all brands must adhere to. We independently test products in our lab, and we often retest regularly too. This all forms part of our GreenBox Guarantee.
Our products are also all vegan-friendly, and we make sure they never contain any animal matter. As they are also free from artificial ingredients such as flavours, colours, preservatives, parabens, mineral oils, palm oil, and other nasties, you can shop with confidence.
The planet and all that nature provides is of the utmost importance to us at GreenBox, which is why we make sure we do our part to protect the earth. We are proud to be carbon negative, so we offset more carbon emissions than we create. We also make sure all items are sent in sustainable and 100% biodegradable packaging.
If you are looking to buy a CBD balm, make sure GreenBox is your first choice. We value your loyalty, and you can start collecting Green Points with us today to spend at our store. We look forward to you shopping with us soon.
Select your muscle balm from the curated range at GreenBox. All our products are vegan and lab tested! To get your 15% off, simply add the code ‘MUSCLE15’ at the checkout!