CBD topicals generally can be used to provide localized relief by delivering CBD to the outer layer of the skin. They often have particular formulations, such as CBD creams for skin-related issues like eczema, acne, rosacea, and psoriasis, and for injuries and problems like insect bites and stings and burns.
With CBD topicals, the effects are more concentrated because the cannabinoid compounds never get absorbed into the bloodstream and they aren’t spread thin throughout the entire body. This makes it a great choice for treating minor, local discomfort in muscles and joints, or soothing skin.
In a CBD topical, the base, whether it is oil, cream, wax, or something similar, works as a carrier agent. If you recall our other discussions of how cannabinoids work, you remember that THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids bind with fatty acids. This is why carrier oils are so common.
Can You Use Oral CBD Oil Topically?
A lot of this is related to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a biological system all mammals share. The ECS is mostly composed of enzymes, endocannabinoids, and CB1 and CB2 receptors for the endocannabinoids. The ECS regulates many functions in humans, including memory, appetite, pain sensation, mood, reproduction, and sleep.
However, many have other cannabinoids and terpenes and are therefore capable of producing the entourage effect–the effect that happens when all of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce benefits.
Experts from the American Academy of Dermatology have also suggested that topical CBD products might be used to treat eczema, acne, and psoriasis. As a bonus, these products don’t have the typical side effects of oral medications, and they provide additional skincare benefits.
If you’re not sure if it would be better to use CBD orally or topically, you may need to refocus your question to decide which type best suits your needs. Using CBD topically works best if you have a targeted area where you need CBD the most because it allows the cannabidiol compounds to work with the cannabinoid receptors right where you apply the topical cream.
Chasen said when it comes to picking the best CBD topical or cream for aches and pains or skin problems, research is essential.
“CBD cream is a topical cream infused with the phytocannabinoid CBD,” said Emma Chasen, co-founder of Eminent Consulting, a cannabis education and consultancy firm. “It may contain the isolated compound CBD; a distillate that contains CBD as well as some other minor cannabinoids; or a broad spectrum oil that contains CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes. It can be used to reduce pain and inflammation and/or help in the management of skin disorders when applied topically.”
Generally speaking, using CBD-infused creams and other topicals is extremely easy. Simply apply the topical on and around any painful area that might benefit from local treatment. As will all lotions and creams, CBD cream shouldn’t be used on broken skin.
Benefits of CBD cream
With no regulation of CBD in place, customers must take extra steps to make sure they are purchasing quality CBD products. In study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2017, researchers tested 84 CBD products from 31 companies and found only 31% accurately labeled with the correct amount of CBD. One way to make sure a CBD manufacturer is reputable is by purchasing a product that includes a certificate of analysis (COA) from a third-party testing lab.
Consumers looking to reap the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), the wildly popular non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, will likely run into not only CBD oil, but also many different types of CBD cream and other topical CBD products.
The process of applying CBD topicals is similar to putting on a moisturizing lotion. However, administering the proper dosage of CBD to the skin is not as straightforward. It’s important to find out how many milligrams of CBD are in the topical to gauge whether there’s enough of this cannabinoid to provide the therapeutic relief patients seek. A CBD cream with a low amount of CBD will be less effective than one with higher concentrations.
The key potential benefits of CBD topicals include reducing pain and inflammation, soothing skin problems, and helping to heal wounds.