What is A CBD Topical? A Complete Guide for The Beginners



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CBD or cannabidiol is a type of naturally occurring chemical compound. It’s normally found in the cannabis plant and interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. CBD is highly flexible and can help to treat many health issues. In addition to that, it exists in several forms or types. Below is a complete beginner’s guide to CBD topical. Here, we break down What Is A CBD Topical, the benefits of CBD topical products, how do they work, and types of CBD topical products that are available,

What is a CBD Topical?

A CBD topical is simply a product that contains cannabidiol and should be applied to the skin. Topicals are normally applied to the epidermis (the outer skin layer) and don’t reach the hypodermis or dermis. In addition to that, they don’t reach the bloodstream as well. They only provide users with localized effects.

How is CBD Topical Different From Other CBD Products?

Although all CBD products contain cannabidiol as their base ingredient, they are not the same. They all work to promote wellness but use different approaches. Below is an overview of CBD topical and how it’s different from other CBD products.

Mode of Application

CBD topicals are for external use. You need to apply them to the skin only and on a specific body part. Unlike other CBD products that may affect the whole body, the effects of CBD topicals normally target a specific area of the body.

It Doesn’t Interact with Certain Medications.

There is no instance where a topical CBD product can interact with certain medications. These products are usually non-psychoactive. It should be noted that they don’t normally reach the bloodstream. Hence they can’t be metabolized by the liver. It should be understood that the liver is responsible for metabolizing various components in the body, including medication.

Topical Products have Different Texture/Consistency.

Most CBD products for oral intake or inhalation don’t have features such as texture. On the other hand, CBD topical products have these features. You will find them in various variations in terms of consistency. For instance, CBD creams usually have a thicker consistency, unlike salves.


If you are going to use a topical product, then be ready to make dosage estimates. Generally, the estimates are based on a one-fingertip droplet. However, you might find that other CBD products come in pre-measured doses, e.g., CBD edibles.

Potency or Concentration

Potency matters in treating different conditions. Chronic conditions require products with higher CBD concentrations. On the other hand, acute conditions need CBD products with low concentrations. Some products, such as CBD oils, have concentrations reaching 5,000 mg. generally, topical products have moderately low concentrations compared to other products. You will find that a high-concentration of 1,500 mg.

Note: Even though the potency of topicals might be moderately low, they still work effectively. This is because the effectiveness of a topical product depends on the severity of the medical conditions. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of other CBD products depends on things such as tolerance, weight, and sex, etc.

What Are The Types Of Topical CBD Products?

We know you have an interest in using CBD topical products. These are products for external application on the skin. Because CBD itself is highly versatile, you can find various variations of its topical products. The most common ones include:

CBD Ointment and Salve

Salves and ointments are normally made with oil and waxes. They are semi-solid products for external skin application. But because of the characteristic, they tend to stay longer on the skin surface. This means that their effects are also long-lasting.

CBD Serums and Facial Oils

These are skincare products that feature CBD oil. Research studies show that they have hydrating effects, hence suitable for dry skin. Facial oils and serums are made by infusing CBD with natural oils to create an effective CBD product with a better absorption rate.

CBD Creams and Lotions

They are the most common types of CBD topical products. Lotions and oils usually contain a combination of water and oil. They are also effective in hydrating the skin and minimizing the chances of moisture loss. Besides that, they have anti-inflammatory properties. So, you can use them to treat pain and discomfort.

How Do They Work?

When it comes to fighting pain and easing discomfort, topical CBD works in two key ways. First, the ointment or cream usually contains endocannabinoids. They are also found in the body naturally. Endocannabinoids are body signals that help detect and manage various functions in the body, including pain and inflammation.

Because CBD contains endocannabinoids, using it means that it will help raise the level of endocannabinoids in the body. As a result, it ends up providing pain relief and minimizing the severity of discomfort.

Secondly, CBD topical acts by reducing the body’s inflammatory response. This can be seen in the case of muscle soreness after injuries or intense exercising. By limiting the inflammatory response, CBD topical makes you feel less pain and allows you to feel more comfortable.

What Are The Benefits Of CBD Topical?

CBD has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. This helps to fight free damaging radicals from the body. In addition to that, CBD topicals can also help to treat inflammation. There are several things that topical CBD can improve, and they include:

Treating Arthritis Pain

At the moment, arthritis still has no cure. The available clinical medications are only suitable for easing pain and discomfort. Although clinical medications are good, CBD has the upper hand. The organic chemical compound has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it helps to reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Note: Topical CBD products don’t help to rid the body of arthritis pain completely. However, it helps to significantly reduce symptoms such as redness around joints, pain or stiff joints, and disrupted motion.

May Reduce Hair Fall

The value of commercial hemp oil has gone up. This was after it was discovered that it can help to significantly reduce hair fall. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can help to promote the growth of hair. This is because when you massage CBD ointment on the scalp, it helps to improve blood circulation. This facilitates the healthy growth of hair cells and enhances better oxygen supply.

Reducing the Effects of Anti-Aging

It’s clear that CBD, as an organic chemical compound, has strong antioxidant properties. One thing that leads and degenerates the skin and hair is the reactive oxygen and radicals. However, antioxidants can help to alleviate symptoms of dry skin. Besides that, it promotes collagen production, leading to the development of youthful, supple, and smooth skin.

Treating Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition that occurs due to the overproduction of skin cells. It sometimes leads to swollen joints and bleeding skin. However, it’s now possible to manage this condition by using CBD topical. Research studies indicate that CBD can help manage this condition.

The cannabis compound can reduce the pro-inflammatory responses by psoriasis. This means that the skin will no longer be subject to immune stress. In addition to that, it will begin to naturally heal itself by reducing the excess production of cells.

Provides Localized Pain Management

Localized pain may feature in areas such as knees, shoulders, wrists, and the neck, among other areas. Using cannabis topicals could help in such instances. CBD-infused oils and creams are effective in treating pain and inflammation on specific body parts.

Note: topical cannabis products usually act on a peripheral basis. This means that they don’t get to reach the bloodstream hence zero chances of psychoactivity. You can conveniently apply them without having to worry about serious unwanted side effects.

How to Use CBD Topical Products

To fully gain the positive effects of CBD topical, you have to be careful about how you use it. Generally, the process is straightforward, and here is how you should go about it:

  • Clean the affected area: there is a specific area on the skin to apply the CBD ointment. Make sure that you clean it with warm water and a mild cleanser:
  • Dry it and apply the CBD topical: using a clean towel, part the skin dry. Thereafter, apply the estimated amount of the CBD topical. Ensure that you carefully massage the area so that the chemical compound can reach deep within the skin.

Washing the skin with soap and warm water is important in removing dead skin cells, dirt, and oil buildup. This helps to create the best environment for CBD absorption. To get optimal topical pain relief, you can apply CBD ointment between 1-48 hours. This depends on the severity of the condition, the dosage, and the frequency of use.

Will They Cause Drug Interactions?

Topical CBD products haven’t been able to raise concerns about drug interactions. This is because they can’t reach the bloodstream and the liver, an organ where most drug interactions occur. CBD topical products simply act on the skin and the endocannabinoid system found within this area.

Could Using A CBD Topical Make You Feel High?

If you are a prospective CBD topical user, you are probably wondering if a CBD salve or CBD lotion can get you high. Well, it’s known that full-spectrum CBD has trace amounts of THC. However, such a product won’t get you high even if you consume it orally.

Generally, topicals don’t produce the “high” feeling. First, this is because CBD products are nonpsychoactive. Secondly, topical products don’t reach the bloodstream. They simply work with the endocannabinoid system found on the skin.

Is It Legal?

Are you looking for a topical pain relief cream but worried about its legality? Well, CBD products from hemp plants are legal. This is because they contain less than 0.3% THC. After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products made from industrial hemp became legal federally.

However, there is slight confusion based on different state laws. Some states have not fully legitimized the use of cannabidiol products. So, it’s best to check with your state government’s website to find the status of CBD in your state.

Buying Topical CBD Products: Tips to Make Sure You Get a Reliable, Quality Product

Finding the best CBD topical is quite challenging. There is a wide range of products on the market. This means that there are it can be a little confusing to choose quality products. In addition to that, newbies also find it overwhelming. If you want to buy reliable and quality topical CBD products, then here is how to go about it:

The Source

The source of CBD topical products should be organic. Hemp plants are hyperaccumulators. This means that they can absorb toxins, including petroleum products and heavy metals, from the soil. This will affect the contents of the end product. If you want to buy organic CBD products, then look at the source and ensure that it’s eco-friendly.

Consider the Manufacturer

Some brands have built a solid reputation. This is because they sell quality and effective CBD products. The best CBD brands usually have their location and physical address on the website. Besides that, you will find comprehensive details about their CBD products, including customer reviews.

Potency or Concentration

When you buy CBD products, concentration is a key factor to consider. If your condition is acute, then you should buy a topical cream with medium-range potency. On the other hand, if the condition is chronic, then you need a product with a high level of potency.

Final Thoughts

CBD topical products provide a convenient and effective way of using cannabidiol. Topical products act locally on the skin, and so they don’t reach the bloodstream. They act on the endocannabinoid system, producing a localized or strategic effect. Even though these products are for external use, always seek the opinion of your doctor first.

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