As the world embraces CBD for its medicinal value, CBD product manufacturers and other health professionals continue to discover more and more ways to take advantage of its health and medicinal benefits. This offers consumers more options and allows them to choose the method most convenient for them. Methods include oils, tinctures, edibles, patches, vape oil, and topicals in the form of creams, lotions, balms, and more.
Topical CBD, unlike other CBD products, doesn’t enter the bloodstream but is no less effective. Depending on the issue you’re trying to address, it could even work faster than say, tinctures and edibles, which are ingested, and work from inside the body. Because topical CBD is applied right to the skin and exactly where it’s needed, the cannabinoid is absorbed directly into the affected area so it’s able to work faster, providing quick relief.
Whether you’re new to cannabidiol and deciding which product is for you, or you’re just exploring other options, we’ve got everything you need to know about topical CBD right here.
What is Topical CBD? (and How Does it Work?)
Topical CBD is a product infused with cannabinoids, which are compounds found in the cannabis plant, and designed to be applied externally, onto the skin. It is known to provide quick localized relief without ingestion. Since topical CBD is applied externally, it only affects the surface layers of the body. This is all it needs though.
Inside each of our bodies is an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a network of receptors that can be found in the brain, nervous system, and other parts of your body. The ECS is also in our skin and is the key to how topical CBD works.
Topical CBD works by interacting with the ECS receptor points in our skin. When these receptors are activated, they start to seek out “stressed” receptors and bring them back into balance. When we have stressed-out receptors, we notice symptoms ranging from aches and pains to general soreness and stiffness.
Now that you know a little about how CBD works topically, let’s discuss the various types of skincare products it can be found in.
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“The most important thing about the salve is that each ingredient was carefully chosen for its properties; even the essential oils, down to our CBD source.”
No two topical hemp products are made the same way, but this rare peek into the production process of the Cooling Muscle Rub will give you an idea of how they’re made.
What are the Different Types of Topical CBD?
Topical CBD has essentially three different consistencies: creams and lotions, balms and salves, and oil. Here’s how they are different from each other.
CBD Cream and Lotion
CBD cream and lotion fall under the same category because while creams are slightly thicker than lotions, they have similar consistency and texture. These products make use of a small amount of water, along with moisturizing agents like shea butter, aloe vera, and other nutrients. These are formulated to moisturize and restore the skin barrier.
CBD Salve and Balm
Unlike creams and lotions, CBD salve and balm products do not use water, hence the more solid consistency. They are typically made with beeswax and fatty oils combined with CBD. They are thick and harder to spread throughout the skin compared to creams and lotions, therefore, these products are best used on specific, targeted areas that need relief.
Topical CBD Oil
Topical CBD oil often has other ingredients like olive oil or coconut oil. They are also formulated with other essential oils, vitamins, and minerals. They are the easiest to spread over large areas of the body and are best used as a massage oil to relieve pain and give your skin an overall relaxing sensation.
How Do you Apply Topical CBD Products?
- Make sure to clean the affected area prior to application. It’s best to wash it with soap and water to rid the spot of any other product residues, dirt, or natural oils as these could affect your skin’s absorption of the product.
- Take a good amount of the product and massage it onto the problem areas. Leave it for a few minutes so it’s absorbed into the skin before covering it with a bandage or putting garments over it.
- Use as frequently as needed to get the best results. CBD products don’t get you high, plus topical CBD doesn’t really enter the bloodstream so it won’t have any effects on the rest of your body.
- Wash your hands when you’re done. CBD topicals have other active ingredients and while they provide relief to painful areas of your body, they could sting when it gets to your eyes and other parts of the body.
What are the Most Common Uses of Topical CBD?
CBD has been proven to have anti-inflammatory benefits, and because one of the most common causes of pain is inflammation, using topical CBD can provide relief and relaxation.
Overexposure to the sun’s rays is what triggers sunburns. The affected skin then turns red and irritated, and in severe cases, it can cause swelling and blisters. These are signs of inflammation. CBD creams and lotions can help reduce the pain and inflammation and at the same time helps rehydrate the burnt skin.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints, most commonly associated with aging. It causes moderate to severe pain, swelling, and stiffness, and could even limit your ability to move the affected body part. Topical CBD can help with the symptoms, according to a study made in 2015. It concludes that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side effects.
A lot of athletes have been using CBD to speed up muscle recovery after rigorous training. They often take it orally, but topical CBD has similar effects. CBD creams, salves, and balms can help relax the muscles and reduce inflammation and the physical discomforts caused by intense physical activities.
Other studies claim that topical CBD may prove helpful for other skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and more.
What are the Different Factors to Consider When Choosing a Topical CBD?
If you’re new to topical CBD and trying to figure out which product will work for you, it’s best to take a look at the different factors and understand how they come into play with each product. Here are a few things you need to consider.
There would often be other ingredients in topicals apart from CBD and they’re not always the same. Different manufacturers use different ingredients and once you know what you want to use the topical for, you have to make sure that the added ingredients in it do not count your desired effect.
For example, if you hope to treat skin issues by using CBD cream but the formulation includes other comedogenic ingredients that could block your pores, it could do more harm than good. Always read up and do your research.
The potency of topical CBD affects its effectiveness so you might want to check if a product’s potency is strong enough to make it past the skin so that it can work on providing relief to the affected area. Always opt for high-quality topicals that are highly concentrated to get the best results.
Different consistencies of topical CBD may vary in effectiveness, and depending on what you want to use it for, one product may be better for you than the other. For example, balms and salves are thicker than lotions and creams and may work better because their thickness makes it easier for the skin to absorb them. On the other hand, if you have dry skin and need a little bit of hydration, you might want to go for lotions and creams as they contain moisturizing agents that could ease the dryness. It’s always a good idea to match the products to your specific needs.
Make sure you source CBD skincare products from manufacturers you can trust. Legit CBD companies have high-quality products and provide you with an accurate chemical breakdown of everything that they offer, allowing you to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the kind of topical that’s right for you.
Topical CBD for skin, like other CBD products, is a great alternative to over-the-counter medicines. Studies have proven their anti-inflammatory benefits without the side effects that traditional, prescription medications often have.
To maximize the benefits of topical CBD, know exactly what your problem areas are—it’s always good to have a specific target. Then, do your research so you know how to choose the best consistency and the exact product that can address it. Finally, observe best practices when using it.
This article was originally published on MadeByHemp
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