August 24, 2022 5 min read


Are you in need of an over-the-counter CBD pain relief cream?  Before buying any CBD cream, the consumer should check on the ingredient used to make a CBD cream and how the ingredients contribute to its efficiency. This article discusses the science behind the best cream for back pain relief.

Physical discomfort, especially back pain, may cause psychological distress. You are working out; then suddenly, you feel that sharp pain in your back. In another scenario, you have bent over to pick a pen, and suddenly you can’t get back up due to excruciating back pain. Wong & Karppinen. (2017) showed that over 80% of adults would experience back pain. Thanks to technology and innovations, CBD cream has been invented; it alleviates back pains. This article discusses the science behind these creams for temporary minor back pain alleviation


Camphor is an organic, natural compound that can easily be absorbed topically to a soothing effect. Camphor oil is extracted from the wood of camphor trees and processed by steam distillation. The oil is subsequently infused in creams, ointments, or lotions. It can be topically used to provide various therapeutic effects such as pain relief, irritation relief, and itching relief. Additionally, camphor has a distinctive aroma due to the powerful plant terpenes it produces.

The therapeutic benefits of camphor are due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, applying camphor to the skin helps to relieve pain and inflammation. Besides, it has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a topical analgesic and anesthetic. Chandrakanthan & Handunnetti (2020) showed that camphor had an anti-inflammatory effect on an animal model used to study arthritis. Further, studies show that it soothes the sore muscles and relaxes muscle cramps and spasms.

 Yang & Zhang (2021) found that applying a cream made with camphor and other herbal ingredients such as eucalyptus effectively alleviates mild to moderate back pain. Hamidpour (2013) showed that camphor alone effectively relieved back pain.

Using camphor products, you might experience a tingling, warming, or cooling sensation. You can apply camphor cream on your back several times a day. It competes with and counteracts pain sensations before they reach the brain, allowing you to experience the pleasure of pain relief. Furthermore, camphor increases blood flow in the skin and to muscles.

 However, users are highly advised to seek medical advice before using any cream to treat back pain. That's because there may be possible interactions with other medications you may be using. Moreover, camphor may have potential side effects, especially when used in high doses.  It is important to seek medical advice even on the right serving per application. Also, don't ingest camphor or apply it to broken skin since it can be toxic.


Menthol is an organic and natural compound extracted from wild mint or peppermint leaves. The distinctive smell and taste of the mint family plants are from the wild mint or peppermint leaves. Menthol is used topically for its pain-relieving and refreshing properties. Menthol is natural and anesthetic, soothing for your minor aches and pains. Additionally, menthol is known as a counterirritant. It works by making the skin feel cool and warm.

When used as a topical cream, menthol produces a cooling sensation on the skin at the source of pain. In reality, menthol doesn't lower the temperature of your skin. It creates a sensation of cooling by interacting with certain nerve receptors. These nerve receptors are involved in our perception of temperature. Due to their association with menthol, they are known as cold and menthol receptors.

Mendell (2014) on the gate theory explains how we experience pain. Certain non-painful stimuli will cause nerve gates to shut in the presence of painful stimuli. As a result, the pain sensation is prevented from reaching the brain. That means the cooling sensation of menthol competes and counteracts pain sensations, resulting in effective topical pain relief.

Besides pain-relieving activities, menthol also dilates blood vessels in the skin where it's applied. This enhances blood flow to minor pain, which helps bring relief and support healing. Also, menthol is easily absorbed into the skin.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is derived from pressing the dried meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. The oil extract provides many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, fighting bacteria, and supporting most body processes. Although evidence is not conclusive, much has been written about the advantages of coconut oil. Varma & Sivaprakasam's (2019) study showed that virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. With its high levels of lauric acid, coconut oil helps to reduce inflammation which directly impacts pain. Further studies have found that coconut oil was just as effective as indomethacin, a common prescription in pain medication. learn more about ultimate guide to using coconut oil in massage therapy


Menthol and camphor cream are quick, safe, effective for minor back pain, and have a soothing, moisturizing effect. If pain persists after using the cream consistently, consult your healthcare provider. Also, review the ingredients before using a back pain cream if you are sensitive or allergic to them. Moreover, always do a patch test on a small skin area and wait for around 30 minutes, noting the effects before applying to a larger area. Don't use a cream on broken, burnt, or irritated skin. Lastly, wash your hands before and after each application to avoid accidentally rubbing your eyes or face, which may irritate you. Learn more about what to look for in cbd cream


Chandrakanthan, M., Handunnetti, S. M., Premakumara, G. S. A., & Kathirgamanathar, S. (2020). Topical Anti-inflammatory Activity of Essential Oils of Alpinia Calcarata Rosc., Its Main Constituents, and Possible Mechanism of Action. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2020.

Hamidpour, R., Hamidpour, S., Hamidpour, M., & Shahlari, M. (2013). Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) is a Traditional Remedy with a History of Treating Several Diseases. Int. J. Case Rep. Images, 4(2), 86-89.

Mendell, L. M. (2014). Constructing and Deconstructing the Gate Theory of pain. Pain®, 155(2), 210-216.

Wong, A. Y., Karppinen, J., & Samartzis, D. (2017). Low Back pain in Older Adults: Risk Factors, Management Options, and Future Directions. Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders, 12(1), 1-23.

Yang, M., Li, S. Q., Smith, C. M., Zhang, Y. L., Bao, T., & Mao, J. J. (2021). Tibetan Herbal pain-relieving plaster for Low Back pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 140, 111727.

Varma, S. R., Sivaprakasam, T. O., Arumugam, I., Dilip, N., Raghuraman, M., Pavan, K. B., ... & Paramesh, R. (2019). In Vitro Anti-inflammatory and Skin protective properties of Virgin Coconut Oil. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 9(1), 5-14.