Since 2018 and the legalization of hemp’s cultivation and extraction of CBD flower, we’ve entered into a CBD renaissance where we are simply spoiled for choice when it comes to our preferred CBD products. Unique to all others, however, is the CBD topical—creams that can be applied directly to the skin in contrast to most other methods requiring you to ingest or smoke CBD. With the natural anti-inflammatory and relieving properties of CBD, anyone interested in skincare or pain relief should certainly learn how to use CBD topicals correctly.
What Are CBD Topicals?
As mentioned, CBD topicals are creams and lotions that you can apply directly to your skin for a more concentrated effect than you would receive from ingesting CBD. The CBD, or Cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive part of hemp and other cannabis plants that instead provides various health benefits that gave credit to the idea of medical marijuana.
CBD interacts with our body through our endocannabinoid system. This system is important for regulating many of our body’s natural processes such as our appetite, metabolism, memory, or immune responses. In particular, CBD has natural anti-inflammatory effects because of this. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, the CBD tells our body to reduce the number of white blood cells being sent to fight invaders, causing that swollen warmth of inflammation.
Dosing CBD Topicals
When it comes to oral CBD, finding the right dosage is important in order to maximize the benefits of CBD. With topicals, however, you needn’t really worry about the dosage because its application is so specific and localized. However, while you don’t have to worry about dosage, it can be handy to have an idea of how much of a topical to use to avoid waste.
When it comes to learning how to use CBD topicals correctly, a good rule to remember is that less is more. A small dollop of your topical—whether that be a cream or lotion—can go a long way if you concentrate on some of the key areas of your body. These locations include:
- The neck and shoulders
- The soles of feet
- The temples and nose
- Joints such as your elbow and knees
While these are common points of pain, tension, or inflammation, you are not restricted to these key areas. You can apply the topicals to whatever problem spot you have to get your relief.
Another good tip for dosage is to start off by trying a little bit and waiting roughly an hour. If you don’t feel any meaningful effects in that time, then go ahead and apply a little more. All in all, feel free to experiment as much as you please to find out how much you need to apply.
CBD for Pain Relief
CBD topicals are popular amongst athletes for soothing pain caused by injuries or strains while out on the field. Because CBD topicals are applied to a specific area rather than dispersing across your body, the effects are much more potent because the topicals are so much more concentrated. These topicals are also becoming more popular amongst those who suffer from painful skin conditions such as acne, itching, and scarring. For acne in particular, the CBD can help reduce or compensate for the hormones within a developing body to soothe the effects of acne or prevent it entirely. Furthermore, CBD interacting with the endocannabinoid system regulates the production of cortisol—a stress-inducing hormone—which can play a factor in the creation of acne.
For skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, CBD may be able to help prevent flare-ups of inflammation and make the skin condition much more manageable.
CBD for Infections
Sitting in between pain relief and skincare, CBD topicals are also helpful for dealing with infection. In combination with its natural anti-inflammatory properties, CBD contains anti-microbial and antibiotic properties, making for a powerful treatment against infections with the two working together.
Some of the infections CBD can help treat include:
- Bug bites
- Cuts and scrapes
- Bacterial infections
- General skin infections
CBD for Skincare
For those more interested in the skincare benefits of CBD, you won’t be disappointed. CBD topicals can treat dryness, free radical damage, and inflammation like antioxidants such as vitamin E or C to reduce the stresses of aging.
For those needing aid in balancing their complexion, CBD helps the ESC in your skin maintain a balance to stay properly hydrated without producing excess oils. Those excess oils could create patchy spots and are especially difficult to manage around your nose and brows—infamously called the “T-zone.”
CBD for Relaxation
Maybe you don’t even have an illness or injury you’re looking to treat. Maybe you’re just someone who needs a hand relaxing at the end of a long day. Stress often causes tension within our muscles that can be difficult to get rid of and even more difficult to relax with. While CBD is best renowned for promoting feels of calm and serenity, CBD topicals, in particular, will be powerful for fighting off stress when you can concentrate the effects of CBD directly on the sites of tension. This will loosen up your muscles and help you to finally relax without aches and pains constantly nagging you.
Picking a CBD Topical
So how do you find the best CBD topical for you? There are a few factors you should consider as your compare topicals. The first of which is quality control. You want to look for the vendors that will display the results of their product from third-party lab tests and have Good Manufacturing Practice-compliant facilities—the standards set by the FDA.
Next is the extraction method. There are different ways to extract CBD from hemp that produce different results. We wouldn’t expect you to be familiar with each extraction method, so we recommend you look for CBD topicals extracted using CO2 or ethanol extraction, as they are the most reliable for consistently high-quality products.
Strength and potency also should be considered. While there is no recommended dosage for CBD topicals or danger concerning experimentation, as we covered, you’re free to use whatever potency you’d like. It’s just important you know the potency and strength of your chosen product so that you can gauge what works for you in the future.