When topicals are applied to the skin, they can potentially benefit not only the surface of the skin, but also below. When CBD is applied topically to the skin, it penetrates both the dermal and subdermal layers of the skin.
CBD-infused topicals include lotions, salves, and creams that are applied on the skin for relief on the surface or a bit deeper in muscle tissue. CBD cream, as the name implies, is a cream-based topical that contains CBD. Most beauty creams are generally made up of about half oil and half water.
What is CBD cream used for?
Generally speaking, using CBD-infused creams and other topicals is extremely easy. Simply apply the topical on and around any painful area that might benefit from local treatment. As will all lotions and creams, CBD cream shouldn’t be used on broken skin.
CBD-infused topicals can be made at home using coconut oil or shea butter, your preferred CBD oil, and enough beeswax to reach your desired consistency. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Chasen said when it comes to picking the best CBD topical or cream for aches and pains or skin problems, research is essential.
It’s true that using topical CBD creams is not the same as using lotion, in that it’s important to know how many milligrams are in the CBD body lotion to use it properly. A low dose topical may be less effective than one with higher concentrations of CBD.
Hemp source. Buy topical CBD products made with non-GMO, USA-grown hemp when possible.
Soothe skin. Topical CBD products can soothe itching, dryness, and red skin thanks to this cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory qualities.
What is CBD Cream?
The skin also has its own endocannabinoid system, which works to keep the skin balanced and healthy. The goal is stasis, just like it is for the endocannabinoid system throughout the human body: EC system keeps everything on an even keel, including the skin.
Extraction method. Robust, reliable extraction methods such as CO2 and ethanol produce high-quality products.
One of the most appealing things about CBD topicals is how easy it is to get started with them. After identifying what the source of discomfort, pain, or the other issue is, the user can simply apply the topical as needed like they would a lotion.
Growers can use CBD extracted from hemp plants to make a variety of CBD products, including pure CBD oil tinctures, edibles like CBD gummies—and of course, CBD topicals. CBD products, topical or otherwise, do not produce the “high” that medical marijuana products that include THC cause.
So far, though, most larger scientific studies on CBD have been limited to animals. A handful of small human trials are now underway to evaluate the extent of cannabidiol's pain relief potential. Even without clinical trials, many people already use legal CBD to counteract the intense discomfort brought on by chemotherapy, and to ease pain in arthritic joints. Texas-based dermatologist Jennifer Clay Cather, who cares for people with complicated skin problems, says most of her patients come from oncology. She also owns a research company that develops CBD skin products. “We need large, evidence-based trials testing different conditions, and also testing the reproducibility of the molecule,” Cather says.
Hurd suggests telling your doctor if you are using CBD creams because what’s absorbed into your skin will get into your bloodstream. “These are sometimes things people don’t appreciate when they are putting cream ‘only on my knee,’” says Hurd. “We also have a lot of seniors using CBD creams for arthritic pain and we need to know sooner rather than later whether this chemical cream used by so many people can indeed be effective.”
By the time you feel any annoying itch or prick of pain, CB1 and CB2 receptors on your skin cells have already fired off signals to help dampen those unpleasant vibes. These receptors — part of the body’s endocannabinoid system — spend their workdays responding to chemical messages that help our skin nurture a healthy balance. CBD cream bypasses the CB1 and CB2 receptors and heads straight for a neurotransmitter middleman that blocks signals for pain and itch by working through agents called anandamide and 2-AG.
Skin in the Game
Researchers have confirmed that CBD works against pain and inflammation , and they’re still finding new ways that it works in the body . They're also working to nail down the proper dose of topical CBD needed for pain relief. For example, the dose that brings relief to achy joints may be insufficient to effectively treat nerve damage in feet. While rubbing topical CBD onto the skin seems to work, researchers still need to figure out how much skin coverage is most effective. Some skin creams also contain menthols, which carry their own pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties, possibly masking any effect from the CBD itself.
Consumers aren’t waiting for clinical trials. But they need to remember, says Hurd, that slathering on creams can be risky, considering how the skin absorbs everything. Even topical CBD can react with oral medications.
Sidestepping the CB1 and CB2 receptors means that CBD can mute pain without the high sensation delivered by THC. Not only does CBD have very little interest in switching on CB1, cannabidiol can actually mute any signals sent to that receptor. Researchers looking for safer pain treatments want to take advantage of this action because it means that CBD won’t spark addiction.
Our knees ache, our backs hurt, our feet throb. Pain is one thing everybody wants gone. Unfortunately for chronic pain sufferers, many treatments come with unwanted side effects.