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Either way, depending on the type of issue you’re trying to treat and pain management you’re seeking, it is possible to get the effects of CBD topically or orally—if what you’re taking is made for that kind of use. But you wouldn’t eat hand cream, right? So would you put CBD oil on your skin?
Most CBD oil is actually formulated to be taken orally. So what is the difference between topicals and CBD oil? That’s exactly what we’ll focus on here.
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.
Can You Use Oral CBD Oil Topically?
What are cannabinoid receptors and why do we have them? Much like a thermostat, cannabinoid receptors collect data on conditions just outside the cell upon whose surface they sit, allowing them to then respond to changing conditions by “kick-starting” the correct cellular response.
Unlike edibles, topicals serve a different and unique purpose. They are used mostly to target surface areas to treat muscle pain, spasms, and tension because topical CBD does not reach the bloodstream. Instead of treating your entire body or system, you’re just spot treating a place where you’re having chronic pain.
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.
What type of product will work best for you? There are pros and cons for both oral and topical CBD products—so if you apply a tincture or oil to your skin, do you get the same benefits of CBD you’re used to?
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.
“Much of the scientific evidence points to CBD’s ability to modulate pain, inflammation, and the histamine response when applied topically,” Chasen said. “It has been shown to diminish redness, help with painful arthritic joints, and quicken the healing process.”
How to use CBD cream
“Not all CBD products are created equal,” she said. “Therefore, make sure the product has been tested and that there is a measurable amount of CBD within the product.”
Finding the most effective mixing ingredients that will properly mingle with CBD oil or CBD isolate is also important. A carrier oil, such as coconut oil, shea butter, CBD tincture, or isolate can also be mixed to create a therapeutic homemade topical.
“Typically products infused with a broad spectrum CBD extract are more effective than products containing isolate or distillate,” Chasen said.