Do CBD topicals work? Although you can find CBD topicals nearly anywhere, do you wonder whether they work? CBD topicals come in the form of lotions, creams, salves, balms and serums. You can use them for skin care, pain relief, burns, wounds, bug bites, skin rash, the list is long.
To learn if CBD topicals work and why, let’s start with your endocannabinoid system, or ECS.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of about 60 compounds found in the cannabis plant. For Lost Remedy purposes, we use CBD derived from hemp. For CBD topicals to work, the CBD should be full-spectrum hemp oil (FSHO). Why is that important? It’s important because FSHO contains all the beneficial cannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp plant. It also contains many essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, proteins, chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids and terpenes. FSHO contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most abundant is CBD, which makes up 90% of this full-spectrum oil. Other cannabinoids contained in hemp oil are CBD, CBG, CBN and trace levels of THC (under .2%).
Extracted FSHO also contains vitamins A, C and E, as well as B complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. In addition, it’s a source of vitamins not sufficiently present in many diets including beta-carotene. As stated above, FSHO includes numerous minerals, fatty acids, proteins and a host of other components, which further enhance the healthful benefits of this unique oil.
What is ECS?
Standard equipment for every body is an ECS. This system, with the assistance of patrolling CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, helps maintain balance in our bodies by regulating appetite, mood, pain and other body processes.
- CB-1 is found primarily in the central nervous system, including parts of the brain and spinal cord.
- CB2 is found mainly in immune system tissues.
- Interestingly, both have been found in skin.
If the body falls out of balance, CB receptors move quickly to restore equanimity. Sometimes, however, the receptors need a little help themselves. That’s where CBD comes in. It’s a known anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic and antioxidant. So for skin care, wounds, burns, arthritis, pain, sore muscles, etc., apply CBD topicals directly on the skin. All of the hemp-derived nutrients are almost instantly absorbed, allowing a quicker, more focused effect.
Do CBD topicals work for pain?
Of all the uses for CBD, relieving pain seems to be the most common. In addition to being convenient to use, you can take CBD topicals with you anywhere. They act quickly for pain from arthritis, nerve conditions or joint and muscle strains or aches. In fact, “Reliable topical CBD products don’t just mask pain or inflammation as some over-the-counter topical pain relief creams do. They actually can make the pain go away for a certain time period, says Matthew Halpert, an instructor of immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “This is because of the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors on the skin. Cannabinoid receptors are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system, a bodywide system discovered in the 1990s that affects many important functions.”
An estimated 350 million people suffer from arthritis and deal with swelling, pain and inflammation. A 2019 report from the Arthritis Foundation showed that of 2,600 patients surveyed, 79% said they used CBD or considered using it. But, of the 29% currently using for arthritis symptoms, 55% used a CBD topical applied directly to their joints. Studies have shown that CBD topicals reduce inflammation, which then help relieve the pain and swelling.
What else do CBD topicals work for?
CBD, combined with essential and carrier oils, creates chemical-free topicals that nourish and protect skin, muscles, nerves and tissue. Used as medicine, topicals can reduce pain; relax muscles; relieve spasms; reduce inflammation; and relieve headaches and migraines, eczema, psoriasis, and burns among other things. CBD is permeable, so it can zero in on a specific area penetrating quickly to heal wounds or relieve pain, neuropathy, itching, burning—again, a long list. In addition, its moisturizing properties are unparalleled for use in beauty and cosmetic skin products.
Other conditions CBD topicals can benefit:
- Bacterial infections
- Eczema, psoriasis, rash
- Itchy bug bites or poison ivy
- Inflammatory skin conditions
Choose quality CBD topicals
Now, here’s where I get on my soapbox and tell you to do your research. Don’t assume just because a product says CBD on the label, it’s what it claims to be. Because CBD is not regulated, almost anything goes. So, choose wisely and know what you are getting.
Read the label. What’s in the product in addition to CBD? Are there just natural ingredients, or have chemicals been added? Where was the hemp grown? Is it organic? It should be. Is the CBD made from the whole plant or is it an isolate? Remember, FSHO has all the beneficial cannabinoids and compounds. Was the CBD tested? A product should be tested by a third-party lab to ensure that the CBD is what its label claims. A company willing to undergo scrutiny by an independent lab has nothing to hide. Look for high levels of CBD, with trace levels of several other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG and CBN to name a few.
Although CBD shows promise, it doesn’t work for everyone. Experiment, and here’s the best part. If your CBD topicals are made with CBD, carrier and essential oils, side effects are almost nonexistent. So, take a chance and see what happens.