The 5 Best CBD Lip Balms + What Ingredients To Look For In A Lip Balm
If you’re starting to feel like hemp CBD is everywhere you look, you’re not alone. Between CBD creams for aching muscles, gummies to help you chill out, and oil tinctures for a better night’s sleep, it’s easy to wonder: is there anything CBD can’t be used for?* In fact, the ingredient has even found its way into a beauty category: CBD lip balms.
Brands claim the addition can help lock in moisture to make your lips extra soft—but is there really any benefit to adding this unlikely addition? We checked in with Seema Bonney, M.D., founder and director of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia to better understand why you might want to apply hemp CBD to your pout.
The best CBD lip balms:
The best CBD lip balms:
What does CBD lip balm do?
While research around hemp CBD is still in the early stages, some evidence suggests it may be a helpful tool for supporting the body’s inflammatory response1 and soothing2 dry or cracked skin.
“Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is one of the many cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant,” explains Bonney. “It has a range of therapeutic benefits, including relieving aches and inflammation in the skin. Since CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, it can also help to soothe and moisturize dry, damaged lips. Some of the pros of CBD lip balm are that it works quickly and also doesn't cause lips to feel greasy.”
While CBD may be a helpful aid in a lip balm, it’s important to pay attention to the other ingredients, too. “The lips lack glands, so they don't naturally produce oil,” Bonney says. "Picking a formula with protective oils, such as avocado oil, coconut oil and almond oil, will have a beneficial additive effect.”
Bonney also notes that, since lip balms can inadvertently be ingested, it's particularly important to reach for high quality products and take note of the THC content. Every balm on our list uses full-spectrum hemp CBD, which contains 0.3% or less THC by dry weight. This is within the legal U.S. federal limit3 and won’t produce intoxicating effects.
Full-spectrum hemp is often hailed as a superior source of CBD, as it includes a full array of the compounds of the cannabis plant (such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids), providing what researchers call the “entourage effect.” Still, if you’d rather avoid THC entirely, our roundup of the best CBD balms includes a few CBD isolate options that can certainly double as lip balm.
How we picked:
The products on our list are from reputable brands that source hemp from farms in the United States. Plus, almost every brand (with the exception of one) uses organic hemp.
We only included balms from brands that provide an easily-accessible full ingredient list and access to the third-party lab testing results, also known as the certificate of analysis (COA).
To gain a broader perspective of what people do and don’t like about each formula, we read countless reviews for every product we considered.
CBD products can get expensive, especially when you’re prioritizing quality and transparency. Our team worked to find products at a variety of prices, to help you find a balm that fits in your budget. We also looked for formulas that will last for a long time.
Our picks of the best CBD lip balms of 2023:
Best multi-use balm: Cornbread Hemp Full Spectrum CBD Balm
- Larger stick can be multipurpose
- Has peppermint & arnica for added relief
- USDA certified organic
- Menthol can dry out lips
Potency per container:500 mg per 2 oz stick
Cost per mg of CBD:$0.08
Organic:Yes, USDA certified organic
This full-spectrum, USDA certified organic balm from Cornbread Hemp is a multipurpose pick that can be used on other body parts, not just the lips. With a super simple (and entirely organic) ingredient list, the formula contains coconut oil and shea butter for moisture, 500 mg of full-spectrum hemp CBD, cooling eucalyptus, and peppermint oil.
While the mentholated formula is not for everyone—as it can dry out your lips—most reviewers have strong positive feedback about the scent and texture. One raves, “Nice light scent, good quality feel on the skin that sticks with you wherever it's applied.”
Sustainability: Kentucky-based Cornbread Hemp sources its organic CBD from local Kentucky farms.
Transparency: Cornbread Hemp shares the COA for this balm directly on the product page. You can also access the results for your particular product via their lab reports library. The brand offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you’re not happy with the results of this balm.
Best soothing: One Farm CBD Lip Balm
- USDA certified organic
- Includes moisturizing shea butter & soothing lavender
- No flavored or scented options
Potency per container:50 mg per .17 oz tube
Cost per mg of CBD:$0.20
Organic:Yes, USDA certified organic
This USDA certified organic formula makes for a simple-yet-effective lip balm. In addition to 50 mg of organic hemp extract, the blend includes moisturizing coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter, paired with soothing lavender flower oil and vitamin E.
Not only is the formula Leaping Bunny certified, but it doesn’t have any added scents or flavoring (which of course could be a con for some). However, those looking for a straightforward, high-quality balm will appreciate the simplicity of the formula, and its focus on clean, sustainably sourced ingredients.
Sustainability: One Farm grows its hemp on its family-run, USDA Organic farm in Boulder County, Colorado. The brand also uses a supercritical CO2 extraction process that is toxic solvent free.
Transparency: One Farm provides third-party testing results for its lip balm with instructions on how to find your corresponding batch—although this information was a bit tricky to locate on the brand’s website.
Best tinted: Vertly Rose Lip Butter
- Organic ingredients
- Recyclable aluminum tube or glass jar
- Only one color option
Potency per container:50 mg per .15 oz tube
Cost per mg of CBD:$0.40
Organic:Partially, Organic CBD and mostly organic ingredients
For a balm with a little pop of color, Vertly’s Rose Lip Butter is an excellent pick. The formula includes moisturizing shea and cocoa butter, healing kokum butter, and 50 mg of full-spectrum hemp CBD.
If tinted lip balm isn’t your jam, it’s also available in a colorless peppermint option. Reviewers love both versions of this balm, with plenty of comments about the smooth texture. One person writes, “This lip butter goes on beautifully smooth and is not sticky or greasy at all. It leaves my lips soft and smooth, and keeps them expertly moisturized.” Most customers praise the light tint of the rose formula, but a few wish there were more color options.
Sustainability: Vertly’s lip balm is available in a recyclable aluminum tube or a small glass jar (also recyclable).
Transparency: The third-party test results for this balm were easily accessible on the product page. Vertly manufactures its products in small batches in Northern California, but sources its organic hemp from Colorado. However, we weren’t able to find detailed information about the brand’s farming partners’ process.
Best value: Green Gorilla CBD Lip Balm
- USDA Certified Organic hemp
- Long-lasting formula
- Only one scent (mint)
Potency per container:20 mg per tube
Cost per mg of CBD:$0.40
Organic:Partial, Organic hemp and mostly organic ingredients
This long-lasting balm contains 20 mg of organic, full-spectrum hemp CBD, moisturizing extra virgin olive oil, calming lavender, and plumping peppermint. The smooth consistency glides across the lips and has a standout scent that reviewers say keeps the lips “hydrated without being greasy or waxy.”
Sustainability: Green Gorilla sources hemp from its own sustainable, USDA certified organic farm in Arizona, as well as other USDA certified organic partners. The brand uses a safe and energy-efficient supercritical CO2 extraction process when producing iCBD oil.
Transparency: Green Gorilla displays a link to the COA for this lip balm on the product page, just below the ingredient list.
Best moisturizing: Lord Jones Whole Plant Formula CBD Lip Balm
- Very mellow scent
- Moisturizing formula
- Not a lot of details about ingredient sourcing
- COA requires a batch lookup
Potency per container:25 mg per .15 oz tube
Cost per mg of CBD:$0.48
A customer-favorite, this balm combines moisturizing shea butter, olive oil, and mimosa flower wax with 25 mg of hemp CBD. The formula is free of phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic dyes, and it has a very mellow grapefruit scent, which reviewers tend to love.
Users have great things to say about the consistency, too. One writes, “This product is thin and lightweight without sacrificing what it's supposed to do. It glides on easily, keeps your lips from feeling dry, and you don't have to constantly reapply.”
Sustainability: Lord Jones sources hemp from farms in the United States, but it is not clear whether these farms use organic practices.
Transparency: Compared to other brands on our list, Lord Jones does not offer much information about the manufacturing or sourcing processes. Still, the company prioritizes third-party lab testing for its CBD products—you can find the COA for this balm by looking up your product’s batch code in the lab results database.
How to choose the best CBD lip balm:
To narrow down the growing number of options, consider the below factors when choosing the best CBD lip balm for you.
As Bonney mentioned, you should consider the full list of ingredients (actives and excipients), beyond just the CBD. Take note of the primary ingredients and determine whether they’ll work for your specific goals (moisturizing, pain relief, etc). If you’re averse to menthol or fragrances, it’s important to take stock of those ingredients as well.
Finding the right dosage of CBD is a very personal task. Seasoned CBD users may benefit from a higher potency, while CBD newbies or those with sensitive skin might want to start lower. Luckily, with these CBD lip balms, you can reapply as needed until you notice a benefit.
Know your source
While it’s not always a complete deal-breaker (see Lord Jones above), we prefer brands that use organic hemp at mindbodygreen. A fully USDA certified organic product is ideal. This ensures you’re staying clear of pesticides and herbicides, and is especially important for a product like a lip balm—because, let’s face it, you’ll likely ingest a bit!
Consider your budget and how quickly you tend to go through a tube of lip balm. Some products on our list get high praise from reviewers for being long-lasting, and a few aren’t much more expensive than a standard lip balm (without CBD).
Can CBD be absorbed through the lips?
Yes! Researchers believe that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors to regulate and help return our bodies to a state of homeostasis. Our skin and lips have similar ECS receptors to the rest of our body, and therefore can absorb CBD. However it doesn’t enter the bloodstream.
Is CBD lip balm worth it?
If you struggle with cracked, dry lips, hemp CBD lip balm may be helpful for soothing your lips and encouraging repair. Just be sure to read up on the full ingredient list to make sure the formula is high-quality and free of unnecessary additives (or things that you’re personally sensitive to).
Is CBD balm addictive?
No. There are no addictive ingredients in these CBD lip balms. That said, some people can grow dependent on lip balms and could develop a behavioral addiction—whether or not this is a characteristic you’re prone to is completely personal and likely has nothing to do with the ingredients in the balm itself.
While there’s still much to learn about CBD and its benefits, early research and anecdotal user feedback suggests that a dose of cannabidiol in your lip balm may help encourage a balanced inflammatory response and give you the soft smooch you’re seeking.
However—and we can’t stress this enough—a CBD lip balm needs a full roster of star player ingredients to be beneficial. Our suggestion? Prioritize blends with natural (if organic, even better) butters and oils, and soothing botanicals (such as lavender or eucalyptus). If you’re ready to learn more about the world of CBD topicals, we have plenty more high-quality products for you to discover.