Topical CBD, or CBD products that are used on the skin, provide a range of benefits and advantages unique to other forms of CBD. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about topical CBD products. For an overview of CBD in general, read our Beginner’s Guide to CBD.
What is Topical Application?
Topical CBD products are intended to be applied directly to the skin as needed in order to reap their therapeutic benefits. These products come in several forms, such as balms, lotions, creams, salves, oils, and even adhesive patches.
Topical CBD products are typically used to relieve pain or inflammation in a specific area, and they also show promise as a treatment method for various skin conditions, including acne, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. Furthermore, CBD has also been shown to speed up the healing of minor wounds such as blisters and cuts. While it is still in its preliminary stages, there is promising research suggesting that CBD can promote healthy skin and hair.
Why is Transdermal Application Beneficial?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) includes receptor throughout all peripheral organ systems, and applying CBD transdermally is perhaps the most effective way to reach the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin. This is especially important, since the ECS has been shown to regulate allergic reactions, as well as promote healthy hair and skin cell growth.
Transdermal CBD application also provides a comfortably and effective way to administer CBD. Oral ingestion is probably one of the more common ways that people use CBD, but it can cause gastrointestinal issues in some, and the body ends up metabolizing much of the CBD through digestion.
On the other hand, absorbing CBD through the skin avoids first-pass metabolism, and may be the preferred method for those who experience adverse side effects with oral ingestion. In addition, transdermal application allows for a steady dose of CBD to be delivered over an extended period of time.
What’s in a Topical CBD Product?
Even though CBD is the primary active ingredient in a topical product, there are additional substances that will influence the effect it has.
Most topical creams, lotions, etc. are either water-based or oil-based. Water-based topicals are typically more comfortable to apply and absorb quickly, but they do not provide the same level of moisturization and skin penetration as oil-based ones. This is because the outer layers of the skin are highly lipophilic, allowing for oil to penetrate easier.
CBD topicals may also include other plant extracts and essential oils that have their own therapeutic benefits. For example, eucalyptus is a purifying and immune-boosting oil and research suggests that eucalyptus oil can ease joint pain from conditions such as osteoarthritis and arthritis. Another example is lavender oil, which contains potent anti-inflammatory properties and moisturizes the skin. It is also an antibacterial and can kill bacteria that penetrate your pores, which is helpful for preventing and healing acne.
Although certain substances can improve the effectiveness of a CBD topical, others might produce adverse side effects. Some preservatives, fragrances, and adhesives can potentially cause allergic reactions. In addition, ethanol is often used as a penetration enhancer, but it can also cause irritation and skin dryness.
Storing Topical CBD Products
Storing topical CBD products properly will help maximize how long they are effective. Exposing products to intense heat or direct sunlight may cause the active ingredients to break down, so it’s best to keep them in cabinets or drawers. Refrigerating topical products can also extend their shelf life if they contain ingredients such as vitamins, but exposing them to extreme cold can have the opposite effect and destabilize them.
Can I Use Topical CBD on My Face?
The face has some of the most sensitive skin on the body. While CBD itself has not shown to be an irritant, other ingredients could potentially cause discomfort. Alcohols, acidic substances, certain fragrances, and synthetic compounds might be too irritating if applied to the sensitive facial skin, so it’s important to check your product’s ingredient list before use.
Make Sure You’re Using the Right Product!
When selecting a topical CBD product, it’s very important that you don’t get it mixed up with products that are hemp seed oil based. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega fatty acids, which can be very beneficial to the skin, but it lacks the many cannabinoids (including CBD) that provide healing and therapeutic effects.
Make sure that your topical product is made from high quality full or broad spectrum CBD and not just hemp seed oil. Also, do your research and make sure to purchase your products from a reputable source and always review certificates of analysis (COA’s) to make sure the product is safe and effective.
- Topical CBD products may provide targeted pain relief and treatment for various skin conditions.
- Topical CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the skin, bypassing the digestive system.
- Topical CBD can be either water-based or oil-based, and can be combined with other beneficial ingredients and essential oils.
- Beware of preservatives, fragrances and other ingredients that may cause adverse reactions.
- Store Topical CBD products away from light and heat.
- Make sure you’re buying quality CBD oil from a reputable source.