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The ECS helps achieve and maintain homeostasis in the human body—or in some cases re-establish it. Homeostasis is the balanced, healthy zone within the bounds of which biological systems stay well-regulated. Imagine a human body with ideal blood pressure, blood sugar levels, etc.
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.
CBD Topicals vs CBD Oil
CBD topicals are any CBD products you can use on your skin: lotions, creams, balms, roll-ons, and salves that have CBD in their formulations. CBD lotions, creams, and balms are typically not edible and are intended to be applied directly to specific affected areas of the skin.
There are other miscellaneous CBD topicals, too, like CBD soap and CBD lip balm—all have specific uses.
You can also take CBD using a tincture, oil, or spray by holding it under your tongue (sublingual) and allowing it to absorb directly into the bloodstream for 60 to 120 seconds. You can feel effects within 15 to 45 minutes, although you will also taste the preparation. Full-spectrum CBD oils in particular have a strong plant taste.
CBD pain stick salves are an excellent way to apply CBD for injury and recovery purposes. The base will usually consist of bees wax that can stay in place and allow for maximum absorption through the skin and is typically applied like a deodorant stick. The only downfall for this sort of application is knowing how much CBD is actually delivered per swipe. It is nearly impossible to know exactly how much or if it would even be feasible to measure.
One of the most interesting physiological applications of CBD is found in the immune system. Cannabinoid receptors are extremely abundant throughout the immune system and are said to play a role in modulating cytokine release, a unique cell that is in part responsible for the inflammatory process.
As already mentioned, CBD products come in a variety of formats, including CBD oil. This specific product varies in potency, though it is said that oil formats tend to be more potent than most types of CBD products.
A few different topical formats can be made with CBD, including creams. These are produced with the extracted oils from the hemp or cannabis plant that is then infused into a topical base. Like CBD oil formats, the CBD from creams interacts with the CB2 receptors of the ECS to provide pain-relieving effects.
Research has explained that CBD plays a role in the modulation of cytokine release, a primary step in the inflammatory-immune response to injury and illness. Studies have suggested that administration of CBD blocked osteoarthritic pain and significantly reduced joint inflammation. CBD treatment seems to impede the later development of pain and nerve damage in the osteoarthritic joints.
There are a few different ways to extract CBD oil, though the CO2 extraction method tends to result in the purest CBD oil. This extraction method involves the use of carbon dioxide in an environment of very cold temperatures and high pressure. Such an extraction method not only result in a pure form of CBD oil, but it also tends to come with far fewer solvents and residue that may be left behind with other methods of extraction.
Historically Cannabis has been used in oil form, but as technology has evolved formulations have been created utilizing not only cannabis derived CBD, but other terpenes and natural essential oils that have a positive impact on the skin along with the CBD application to help improve arthritis pain. Today, creams seem to be making a huge push to be an arthritis specific application, along with other acute aches and pains.