Have you wondered whether you could use CBD topicals as preventive medicine? The short answer is yes. However, there is more you should know about how and why to use CBD topicals as preventive medicine. Let’s start with a CBD topicals primer.
CBD topicals 101
CBD, or cannabidiol, is found in cannabis plants. However, Lost Remedy uses only hemp-derived CBD in our products. The reason I point that out is to let you know our products are nonpsychoactive, meaning you won’t get high.
Using CBD topicals is a good way to experience its benefits without consuming the oil. Plus, applying it to the skin sends relief to the pain or discomfort faster. Why? Consuming CBD carries it through the liver and digestive system before it arrives at its destination. That can take hours. CBD topicals get to the heart of the matter within minutes of applying. Quick action is important when dealing with pain. In fact, pain is one of the most common reasons people seek out CBD topicals.
How do CBD topicals work?
CBD topicals work in conjunction with our already present endocannabinoid system (ECS), which the National Institutes of Health defines as, “a recently discovered signaling system comprising the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, their intrinsic lipid ligands, endocannabinoids and the associated enzymatic machinery.” We all have two CBD receptors, CB1 and CB2 in our ECS.
The CB1 receptors in the brain affect coordination and movement, pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite, memories and other functions. CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.
When you apply a CBD topical directly to the skin, it penetrates the layers and interacts with the CB receptors. Instead of attaching to the receptors, it acts like a guide, telling the receptors to use more of their own CBD.
ECS: “a recently discovered signaling system comprising the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, their intrinsic lipid ligands, endocannabinoids and the associated enzymatic machinery.”
Chronic pain, joint and muscle pain from overexertion or injury, arthritis pain and nerve pain respond well to CBD because of its anti-inflammatory properties. In the case of burning from radiation in cancer treatment, a CBD burn topical has been effective in protecting the skin from the brutal burning that often accompanies the treatment.
A big plus for using CBD to help treat symptoms is that there have been few if any side effects, unlike most over-the-counter products.
CBD topicals as preventive medicine?
Now we get to the question of prevention. As I mentioned, people seek out CBD topicals for pain more often than anything. But can it help prevent pain?
Lo Friesen is a lead chemist for cannabis wellness company Heylo. She says that using topicals multiple times a day, every day, allows the body to incorporate CBD quicker, and build a CBD level in affected areas to prevent ongoing inflammation.
“It’s just preventive maintenance,” says Friesen. “For example, people who have arthritis in their hands who use [CBD topicals] on their hands every day are going to have less pain, less inflammation. They’re going to have less pain in their hands over time than people who use it to treat [the pain as it happens].”
Friesen isn’t the only one who sees the preventive potential in CBD topicals and there’s a good reason for that. CBD use is seen as the juxtaposition of body and brain. CBD and other compounds in cannabis are similar to chemicals created by our own bodies. As a result, CBD is incorporated better than many synthetic products.
According to Bradley E. Alger, a leading scientist in the study of endocannabinoids with a PhD from Harvard in experimental psychology, “With complex actions in our immune system, nervous system and virtually all of the body’s organs, the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system, we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease.”
CBD topicals preventive benefits
There are multiple conditions that can benefit from topicals. Its analgesic, antibiotic and antioxidant properties make it a versatile health agent. It has the potential to relieve various pain, headache and skin conditions including:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Eczema and psoriasis
- Nerve pain
- Itching from bug bites
Using a CBD topical regularly, as indicated by Friesen, can keep chronic pain or conditions under control. For instance, regular use of complexion and skin products can help heal and hydrate skin. A lot of CB receptors are located in the skin. So, when you apply a CBD-infused lotion, cream, salve or oil, the antioxidants can help repair damage from free radicals produced by ultraviolet rays or pollution. Your skin will look younger and be more elastic with regular use. Remember, the skin is our largest organ and works to deflect microbes, bacteria and other elements.
Choose CBD wisely
I’m not going to lie, there are a plethora of CBD products flooding the market. But because the industry isn’t regulated, anyone can slap CBD on a label and there is no guarantee that it is a quality product. Do some research before you commit.
Take the time to find out whether the hemp was grown organically. Is it full spectrum, broad spectrum or an isolate? Which other ingredients are used in the product? Also, how was the hemp extracted? Look for a product that uses CO2 to extract the oil. Steer clear of any products that won’t give you the answers to these questions either on the website or when you inquire.
Once you have found the product you need, use it regularly to help keep chronic conditions under control, not just when you have a flare-up.