How Does Topical CBD Work?

An animated illustration of cbd topical

Many people are familiar with the fundamentals of lotions and creams, including how they hydrate and nourish the skin. But what about CBD-infused lotions and balms? How Does Topical CBD Work?

CBD oils and tinctures are undoubtedly familiar to you at this point. True, most CBD products are offered as edibles to be used orally. However, this is only one use of CBD.

Using CBD Topicals: A Brief History

For thousands of years, different versions of a topical CBD balm have been used to relieve pain and inflammation and treat a variety of skin ailments in ancient China, India, and Latin America.

Unfortunately, contemporary civilization has acquired a bad tendency to overlook good natural remedies. Scientific study has only recently shown the medical effects of cannabis extracts like CBD.

If you’ve ever had muscular pains or persistent skin disease, you’ve probably heard about CBD, a drug that’s been gaining popularity in recent years. CBD balm is a popular natural remedy for pain and inflammation among athletes and in the beauty sector.

Do Topical CBD Products Work?

Topical CBD remedies can be used to heal pain or inflammation in specific areas of the body, such as the joints. The product will not be absorbed into the bloodstream. So, while a topical CBD product isn’t intended to treat a systemic disease, it may benefit the skin immediately.


Unlike other over-the-counter topical pain treatment lotions, reliable topical CBD solutions don’t only cover pain or inflammation. They can truly make the pain go away for a period of time. The large concentration of cannabinoid receptors on the skin accounts for this.

The endocannabinoid system, which was identified in the 1990s and influences many key activities, includes cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are found all over the body and are linked to pain sensation, hunger, immune function, mood, and other things.

Cannabinoids are biological substances that interact with the EC system, and they engage with cannabinoid receptors, much like THC and CBD do. CBD has the ability to reduce the production of inflammatory indicators such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which is produced in excess by patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Another research published in the journal Pain in 2017 indicated that preventive CBD therapy in rats with osteoarthritis eliminated pain and prevented the development of further pain.

In a 2019 article published in Expert Reviews and Clinical Immunology, a panel of worldwide rheumatologists decided that additional research into the long-term effects of CBD and other cannabis-related medicines for rheumatological disorders is needed.

How Topical CBD Works For Muscle Soreness And Pain

Simply apply a CBD lotion or gel to the area where it aches to ease the pain. But whether or not they function is another thing. Only a few studies have been done on topical CBD. Herbs or other ‘skin-penetrating’ substances are usually used in the final composition of topical CBD products.

To make product claims like pain alleviation, other substances like arnica or menthol are added. CBD concentrations in topical applications are often modest, and the calming effect you get is a result of the other chemicals.

Consumers should read the components list as well as the certificate of analysis, which shows the overall concentration of distinct cannabinoids in a product.

Only then can you understand the quantity of CBD per “serving” of topical application because a CoA displays the weight proportion of CBD and other cannabinoids, including THC. Make sure the CoA is performed by a third-party lab as well.

Topical CBD products of high quality and strength have been shown to give temporary pain relief. Cannabinoid receptors are plentiful in the skin, and CBD activates the endocannabinoid system via those receptors when applied topically.

CBD soothes pain and inflammation by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the epidermal and dermal layers of your skin. Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, topical CBD can be used to treat a variety of skin diseases.

CBD cream won’t help your abs if you put it on your legs. Depending on your position, this might be a gain or a disadvantage. If you had full-body discomfort, for example, you’d have to apply a lot of CBD cream to receive relief, which may be laborious and expensive.

Remember that human skin is extremely absorbent, and it will absorb much more than CBD in topical lotions, gels, and oils. Check the contents list to make sure you’re not using anything to which you’re allergic or that, if absorbed, might interact with your meds. Consult your doctor if you’re uncertain.

How Oral CBD Works For Muscle Soreness and Pain

Oral CBD works similarly to topical CBD but on a much bigger scale because it enters your circulation and may reach cannabinoid receptors all over your body. Because inflammation is the basis of most pain, taking CBD might provide relief from inflammation-related pain, such as muscular pains and joint pain.

Keep in mind that most research on the benefits of CBD on soreness and pain has been small-scale; most big studies have been done on animals, and the results may not apply to people. CBD’s effects, whether taken orally or topically, are currently being studied.

Are CBD Topical Products Legal?

Despite the fact that the 2018 Farm Bill allowed the cultivation of hemp, which is used to produce some CBD, many states still have questions about CBD.

To learn more about CBD’s legal status in your state, go to the website of your state government. CBD is also unregulated by the FDA at the moment.

For the current moment, the FDA has only authorized one CBD-containing product: a medicine for epileptic seizures in people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome.

Consider This Before You Buy A Topical CBD Product

If you are having trouble with pain and want to try a CBD cream, patch, or other topical medication, follow these guidelines to ensure you obtain a dependable, high-quality product. Consumers must use extreme caution when purchasing CBD products, especially because the sector is still mostly unregulated.

  • Be wary of outrageous claims: CBD product producers, like those who make other non-FDA-regulated health goods, are not authorized to claim that their product will treat or cure a health concern.
  • Ask for a certificate of authenticity: Looking online or contacting the firm for its certificate of authenticity is one approach to finding a trustworthy CBD product. This multipage document will inform you that the product has been laboratory tested and will include a per-lot or per-batch breakdown of the amount of CBD and other substances in the product. An impartial third-party lab should complete the report.
  • Talk to your doctor in advance: If you want to test a CBD product, it’s always a good idea to let your doctor know, but it’s especially crucial if you have an underlying disease that necessitates you to take medication on a regular basis. This is because CBD can interact with other drugs you’re taking, but this is more of a worry with CBD that’s consumed rather than CBD that’s applied topically. According to the Arthritis Foundation poll, 66% of respondents have discussed CBD with their doctor.
  • Read the label carefully: First, you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t allergic to the other ingredients that are part of the topical product. Second, there may be other ingredient considerations that are important to you, including cruelty and paraben-free, American-made and no GMOs.
  • Watch for side effects (not necessarily from CBD): There are no known adverse effects related to topical CBD products. However, another element in the product may irritate you. The research identified no negative side effects.

Final Thoughts

Those suffering from chronic pain and inflammation prefer topical CBD since it may be applied directly to the affected region for immediate relief. It’s also quickly becoming a skincare favorite since it helps to heal a number of skin issues while also keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.

Arthur Scott

Arthur finds an interesting niche where he focuses all his energy in. CBD became his happiness, and he boasts of in-depth knowledge about CBD. He later started writing articles about CBD, and it did not take long before his talent was obvious.

He has now secured a permanent position as a writer and CBD consultant in one of the Giant hemp companies. Scott delivers quality and timely content that educates readers on the benefits, and the definition of the best CBD. He spends his leisure time giving hope to patients suffering from neurological conditions.

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