As CBD becomes more widely understood and accepted, people are exploring more and more different ways of putting the compound to use. Products on the market now range from oils, capsules, and gummies for ingesting, to vape liquids for inhaling, but one method of use that is growing within the industry and being explored in dermatology (the study of skin and its diseases) are topicals.
What are CBD topicals?
CBD topicals are any form of CBD product that instead of ingesting, like you would most CBD products, are applied to the skin externally. They can be applied to treat skin conditions or prevent them. These normally come as balms, creams or lotions but are becoming more popular in salves and ointments as well.
- Balms are typically plant-based and more for the treatment of skin conditions and ailments.
- Lotions typically have the lightest consistency with a lower oil content.
- Creams have a lower water content, tend to be thicker and are used for preventative treatment skin issues.
Which one to go for is completely down to preference and the reasons for use.
How do CBD topicals work?
Topicals are applied to the skin externally and from there the CBD interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) that functions to regulate processes of sleep, pain, appetite, and mood.
The top layer of skin (called the epidermis) is covered with pores, these pores absorb anything that they come in to contact with. In the same way that your skin absorbs water if you have been in the bath or swimming for an extended period, making your skin wrinkly, your skin will also absorb any cream, ointments, or lotions you apply to it.
How to apply CBD topicals
To use a CBD topical:
- Make sure you wash your hands and wipe the area you are going to apply the topical to.
- Take an amount in your hands and rub gently to the area, it is perhaps better to start off small and build up depending on effectiveness. Some topicals may absorb immediately, but some you may have to leave there for longer.
- Wash your hands afterwards.
Topicals are a great way to get the best out of CBD because they allow you to apply it directly to the area where you are having issues, this gets the best out of CBD.
What are CBD topicals good for?
CBD topicals are being used to reduce symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis to name a few. They are also being used to help with pain and arthritis. Apart from the treatment of specific ailments CBD topicals can also be used to aid muscle recovery after a workout and for healthier skin due to CBD’s anti-aging properties.
One Italian study conducted in 2019 concluded that: “The topical administration of CBD ointment, without any THC, is a safe and effective non-invasive alternative for improve the quality of life in patients with some skin disorders, especially on inflammatory background.” (Palmieri et al, 2019)