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cbd or thc for salve

Science has shown that cannabis is an effective pain reliever, reinforced in a massive new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. But there's a big difference between ingesting cannabis or its individual chemicals orally and absorbing it topically through your skin.

These topical ointments, creams, and lotions are infused with CBD, or cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant. Manufacturers claim it can help alleviate acute pain and muscle soreness. To reiterate for the uninitiated: CBD is not the same as THC because CBD does not have any psychoactive effects — aka it won't get you high.

What Is Hemp Pain Relief Cream?

Hemp creams for pain relief are typically is made from infusing high-quality cannabis flowers in some kind of quality oil-coconut or olive typically-which extracts the active compounds, either CBD, THC, or both depending on the type of hemp used. (Here's a guide to the difference between THC, CBD, cannabis, and hemp.) This oil is then blended with other therapeutic herbs, such as arnica or lemongrass essential oils, that are thought to also ease pain.

A study analysis in the Journal of Pain Research confirms that topical use of certain cannabinoid topicals can reduce pain in animals with inflammation or neuropathic pain. And science has found topical creams with THC and CBD help relieve pain for conditions like multiple sclerosis. But for the vast majority of chronic pain — and most certainly for acute pain like post-workout — the scientific jury is 100 percent still out. "There's a little bit of data in support of CBD for pain relief, but to go from animal to human is a giant leap," says Sexton.

Finally, you have receptors called TrpV1 that detect and regulate your body temperature. When activated, they put out heat, soothing your pain receptors. Using this channel, CBD makes these pain receptors hyperactive for a period of time, causing them to get hot, desensitizing them and downregulating those pain-sensing nerve endings.

Unlike Wildflower, Populum comes in gel form. Also: It’s artic. Kind of like a more aggressive Vick’s Vaporub—so much so that you will definitely need to wash your hands after application. (The last thing you need is to accidentally rub your eyes with that stuff still on your digits.) But it’s effective—despite its relatively low dose of CBD. And a little goes a long way. Use it for minor aches and inconveniences—like when you find yourself stiff because you’ve been sitting on your far-from-ergonomic work chair most of the day. And if you find yourself really hurting, I recommend using a topical that contains both THC and CBD. (More on that below.)

This high–dose balm seems to be a crowd favorite, certainly in my household. The jar itself contains two ounces of product. It doesn’t seem like much—But because the consistency of the cream is particularly smooth and spreadable, it glides easily onto the skin and covers more real estate. In terms of relief, you can expect gradual relaxation of the muscles—especially if you’re prone to spasms or simply incredibly tight.

But I don’t engage in physical activity solely because of my woefully wobbly midsection. My sanity depends on it. Truly. In the immortal words of Elle Woods: Endorphins make you happy!


Here’s what I have found most effective over the years.

This is every woman’s dream come true. High heels are just not made the way they used to be—stilettos these days are narrower, higher, and pointier. Remember: Louboutin does not concern himself with the comfort of his designs. (He said so himself in the documentary and several other news outlets.) Gone are the days of the sensible heels our grandmothers wore. But alas, sky–high footwear is a necessary evil. So Lord Jones, the wildly–popular CBD company, collaborated with Tamara Mellon to help ease that discomfort. Just dab a little solution onto your feet and wait for your skin to absorb the formula before putting on your four–inch torture device.

So recovery is a big deal. And personally, I’m all about CBD (a.k.a cannabidiol)—the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. It’s been having a moment these past few years, making appearances in all sorts of wellness and beauty products—from CBD edibles, to capsules, to transdermal patches, and beyond. But make no mistake. It’s not the passing health trend that activated charcoal and golden milk used to be.

Baskin has a lower–dose formula that clocks in at 150mg CBD that costs $20 less. But I say, Go big or go home. Invest in the higher dose if you want real relief all over: It’s meant to be used all over the body versus its cousin, which was specifically created for smaller targeted areas. Beyond that, you can always use the 400mg cream the way you see fit: Nobody is going to stop you if you want to use it only in specific pain points.

The origin of a product’s active ingredients is extremely important. You may be able to find unregulated products in Canada, and they’re likely not tested for potency, heavy metals, pesticides, or other toxins.

CBD has the potential to be the next big thing in skincare, with research showing it may be an even more powerful antioxidant than vitamins C or E. These findings mean it could be an effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, as well as acne. As an antioxidant, CBD can neutralize free radicals in the skin that damage collagen and elastin production.

Cannabis-infused topicals—creams, lotions, salves, and other products applied to the skin—are exciting and newly-legal options for Canadians interested in cannabis’s therapeutic potential without its high.

Consider your intention

Jordan Pearson, senior medical expert for CannabisMD and a licensed massage therapist in Colorado, where cannabis is legal, knows firsthand that there is no one-size-fits-all answer: “I wish that I could give you some magic answer like ‘for pain apply 20mg of so-and-so’s product’ and ‘for bruising apply a quarter-sized amount six times a day until gone’. We just don’t have that scientific answer, yet.”

Pearson notes that it’s important to know the source of any topical products, as they might contain little to no cannabinoids and/or potentially cause negative health effects. In addition, Dr. Ahmed explains that unregulated extractions can contain potentially harmful impurities.

Hemp seed oil—often labelled cannabis sativa oil—is a common ingredient in beauty products. Since the hemp plant contains CBD, many consumers assume that hemp oil does too, but unfortunately this isn’t true. While hemp seed oil has its own set of benefits, it doesn’t contain meaningful levels of CBD.

Dr. Ahmed finds topical application of cannabinoids helpful for a variety of conditions in her practice, including dermatitis, psoriasis, and for relief of neuropathic pain, while Pearson says that “nothing compared to the results” she observed once she started adding topical cannabis to her massages.