Topical CBD – Right Where You Need it Most
With the rise of CBD products, you may be wondering what is the best way to enjoy the benefits of cannabinoids. While consumables like tinctures and capsules as well as inhaled CBD rule the market, a growing number of people are turning to topical products to offer a targeted alternative to consuming CBD for their pain relief.
Topical CBD is perfect for localized pain and/or skin conditions. It allows you to get quick relief to the exact area you need it most. Options for topical products range from salves and balms to creams and beauty products providing a wide range of ways to apply cannabinoids to the skin.
What is Topical CBD and How do Topical CBD Products Work?
Cannabidiol or CBD, is one of more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids that is extracted from the hemp plant. Topical CBD products are hemp-infused products that are designed to be applied to the skin.
CBD interacts with the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. Endocannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body with receptors in the brain, throughout the nervous system, and in the skin. The cannabis compounds found in hemp work with the ECS to help maintain homeostasis (balance) throughout the body systems. Receptors throughout the skin allow topical CBD products to provide localized relief to sore and irritated areas.
Consumable CBD products, like capsules you swallow or tinctures you hold under your tongue, interact with the ECS by being absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive process or via the mucous membrane. A major benefit of consumables is that they act on a system-level throughout the entire body.
Topical CBD, in contrast, penetrates the skin to interact with local ECS receptors. Where the consumables work with the entire body, topicals can be used to target specific issues like soreness, inflammation, and skin conditions. Localized relief allows the user to apply the CBD directly to the source of the issue and interact directly with the affected area. A main benefit of topical CBD is that you can feel the effects quickly whereas with consumables, you may have to wait much longer for the body to pass the CBD through the digestive tract and be metabolized by the body.
Skin is the largest organ in the human body. With skin cells and tissue connected to the endocannabinoid system, it is no surprise that when CBD is applied topically it can help muscles recover from a workout or just support healthy joint and muscle function. With topical CBD you can simply target an area and let the CBD go to work.
Types of Topical CBD
With the popularity of topical CBD growing, there are a growing number of products available to suit just about any person’s needs.
A salve, by definition, is an “an ointment used to promote healing or protection of the skin.” Also known as an ointment or a balm, salves are a combination of a natural wax (beeswax being the most popular) and a fatty oil base (typically coconut or olive oil). Since salves aren’t produced with any water they have a thicker consistency than other topical applications. Salves are designed to go on and stay on the skin to provide extended relief during and after the absorption. An important point to consider when using salves is they are wax/oil based and therefore can be greasy, leaving a residue on your skin and possibly any clothes that come into contact with the salve. If you are looking for something you can use without the potential of staining expensive clothes, consider a cream that absorbs fully into the skin without the residue.
Creams and lotions are similar to salves except they are a combination of oil and water. The higher water content allow creams to be spread easily, are well absorbed, and wash off with water. Salves are designed to remain on the skin whereas creams are formulated to hydrate the skin and seal in moisture (this results in a longer ingredient list). The more oil, the greasier and stickier the product which is why many people prefer the cream over the salve. The cream absorbs into the skin and doesn’t have a heavy, greasy residue. Once the cream is rubbed in there is less of a risk of transferring to clothes. The skin is able to absorb a cream quickly, whereas an ointment/salve will remain on the skin longer making creams ideal for fast absorption of the CBD.
Transdermal CBD Patches
A transdermal patch is applied and designed to stick to the skin. The hemp extract held in the patch moves through the skin and creates a regulated, continuous supply of CBD content to the skin. Transdermal patches are different than most topical CBD products as they are designed to enter the bloodstream as opposed to simply interacting with surface level ECS receptors. This means that transdermal CBD can act on a system-level like the consumable CBD products.
CBD Bath Bombs
Bath bombs alone have been surging in popularity in recent years, combined with the benefits of CBD seems like the ultimate recipe for relaxation. The benefit of adding CBD to the bath bomb is to have the CBD come into contact with the entire body while still being topical. Baths are often used as a means to relax, with essential oils transporting you with scent and CBD known for its relaxation pain relieving properties, you just may have a winning combination.
Is Topical CBD Right for You?
Topical CBD is perfect for localized pain and/or skin conditions. It allows you to get quick relief to the exact area you need it most. Using topical CBD in conjunction with consumable CBD is ideal when needing the whole body effect from the consumable along with a powerful, targeted punch from the topical.
Now that you know what topical CBD is and the different forms are you ready to give it a try? With the risks being minimal and the potential benefits immense it might be worth giving it a shot.