Cannabidiol (CBD) can be taken in several different ways. Most of us are familiar with smoking or vaping CBD as well as ingesting it. But for those looking to ease some muscle pain or inflammation, there’s another great alternative – applying it directly on the skin.
If you’re thinking of trying out CBD topicals for therapeutic relief, don’t jump on the bandwagon too quickly. While there is some truth to what’s being said about CBD online, there are some bits that are just marketing hype. This primer should help you learn all about CBD topicals, how they work, and what exactly they can do for you.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical compound that naturally occurs in cannabis plants such as marijuana and hemp. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this is non-psychoactive which means it can’t get you high.
According to research, CBD has a lot of potential health benefits which include treating inflammation, alleviating pain, and reducing symptoms of anxiety. It may be able to help treat insomnia. One study found that CBD may be effective in preventing cognitive decline.
What Are CBD Topical Creams?
CBD topicals are products that have been infused with phytocannabinoids and applied directly to the skin. These include lotions, creams, salves, and serums. The difference between these types of topicals is the ratio between oil and water.
CBD topical creams are a mixture of half water and half oil which results in a thicker consistency. They are more easily absorbed by the skin. Lotions have a thinner consistency because they contain more water and little oil. Compared to creams, lotions are much easier to apply on the body. Unlike the first two, salves do not contain any water. Instead, they are made with oil and wax. So, which one is better? It depends. The type of topical has little to do with the efficacy of the product. It’s more of a personal preference.
Are CBD-infused Topicals Legal?
On a federal level, CBD products derived from hemp are considered legal as long as they do not contain more than 0.3 percent THC. You can legally buy CBD topicals online from shops like Lazarus Naturals. You can also use a Lazarus Naturals coupon to legally buy CBD topicals and have them
sent to your door.
However, some states still consider them illegal, so make sure that you check your state laws before making a purchase.
How do CBD Topicals Work?
CBD topicals are applied by massaging it directly on the area that requires treatment, similar to how you’d apply a normal cream or lotion. However, the amount applied may differ depending on the dosage contained in the topical. Experts advise to start with a low viable dosage. Increase the amount of CBD cream applied gradually until you achieve therapeutic relief.
So, how do CBD creams work? Once applied on the skin, the CBD penetrates the dermal and subdermal layers of the skin. Deep enough to reach the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but not enough to reach the bloodstream.
The ECS is primarily responsible for keeping our internal environment stable. It does this by regulating several internal processes such as mood, sleep, pain perception, inflammation, pleasure, skin and nerve function, immune function, and appetite. When one of these processes is not functioning properly, the ECS works to bring it back to normal.
Here’s an example: let’s say you’re experiencing chronic pain and/or inflammation. Once the CBD is absorbed into the layers of your skin, it activates the ECS to release endocannabinoids to attach to receptors in the skin, muscle tissues, and nerves in order to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Benefits of Using CBD Topical Creams
There are several potential benefits to using a CBD cream or other topicals. Research on their use has been quite promising. CBD is believed to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may be able to help reduce inflammation and soothe skin. According to a 2014 study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, CBD can help regulate the production of sebum. Along with its anti-inflammatory effects, CBD may be used to treat acne. Another study found that CBD-infused ointment may have a therapeutic effect on certain skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, particularly in treating the irritation and inflammation caused by these conditions.
Other benefits of using CBD creams and other topicals include:
- Hydrating dry skin: According to a study conducted in 2009, CBD can help treat excessively dry skin by enhancing oil production in sebaceous (oil-secreting) glands.
- Reduces inflammation: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that reduces pain, swelling, and redness that are a result of breakouts.
- Reduces signs of aging: The antioxidant properties of CBD may help counteract free-radical damage which lessens signs of aging such as wrinkles.
- Pain relief: CBD has the potential to relieve pain associated with arthritis and nerve damage. One 2019 study found that topical CBD may be used to relieve jaw pain.
While the research is still minimal, there’s no harm in using CBD topicals for pain relief and/or certain skin conditions. According to dermatologists, it’s generally safe. Any reaction a person has from applying one is likely due to an ingredient in the product that’s not CBD.
That being said, everyone’s experience with CBD is unique. What’s good for one person might not work for another. It’s important that you do your research and only purchase CBD products (such as CBD creams) from a reputable manufacturer.