How do CBD Topicals Work?

Adding CBD to your daily rituals isn’t limited to oil or edibles. Whether you’re new to the CBD scene (welcome! 👋) or you’re looking for new CBD products to try, you’re likely to come across CBD topicals, too. From creams to balms and more, how do CBD topicals work?

We’ll walk you through what CBD topicals are and how they’re used below. As always, if you have any questions you can shoot us an email.

What Are CBD Topicals?

Before we answer the question, “how do CBD topicals work?” let’s talk about what they are. CBD topicals can be a wide variety of things from luxurious skin creams to CBD bath bombs that make your relaxing bath ritual even better. You may also come across different CBD topicals like lip balms.

Even though full spectrum products do exist, most CBD topicals are broad spectrum, meaning they contain absolutely no THC. (learn more about broad spectrum CBD vs full spectrum CBD after this 👏)

Simply put, CBD topicals are any products infused with CBD that can be applied directly to the skin. Kinda ups the game, doesn’t it?

What are CBD Topicals Used For?

There’s a number of things CBD topicals can potentially help with, in no short order:

  • Can help support a blissful slumber when rubbed on at night.
  • If you’re prone to dry skin, or spend a lot of time outdoors, cream topicals can help restore dry skin.
  • Topical salves (which are oil-based as opposed to water based, like creams) tend to work best on localized areas to support pain relief in a more concentrated manner.
  • Topicals may have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • There’s a number of conditions CBD topicals may help support, such as chronic pain, MS, Sciatica, menstrual cramps, joint/arthritis pain, etc.

How CBD Topicals Work

People add CBD to their daily rituals for different reasons. Sometimes they need a little boost to kickstart the day, or they’re looking for relief while unwinding after a long day. So how do CBD topicals work?

Before we get into how it works, there’s a distinction between topicals like salves and topicals like creams.

Salves are typically oil-based, and contain a wax (often beeswax). They’re usually thicker and meant to be used on a smaller, more concentrated surface like your knee, rather than, say, up your full arm.

Creams and lotions are typically water-based, so they’re thinner and creamier like your typical lotion,absorb faster, and are better at moisturizing

Instead of absorbing into your bloodstream the way CBD may when taken orally, topical products like CBD creams allow it to penetrate the dermal and subdermal layers of skin. Reaching further than the surface of your skin,  the CBD binds to cell receptors in muscle tissue, skin and nerves. This makes CBD topicals popular for targeted use in people seeking potential relief from achy muscles and inflammation.

There are more potential benefits of CBD topicals depending on how they’re produced.High-quality CBD topical creams may also have other active ingredients to help you take care of your body. The hello amber Silver Linings CBD cream, for example, contains organic aloe vera juice for protecting your skin from pollution and restoring dry skin as you use it.

CBD Topical vs Oral Products

Okay, we’ve talked about how CBD topicals work, but what's the difference between a CBD topical vs oral products like edibles and oils? When you’re debating between CBD topicals and oil or edible options, you should consider what you’re wanting to use it for. The unique differences in how each absorbs into your body can determine which is right for you.

As we mentioned, CBD topicals let the cannabidiol compounds attach to cell receptors in muscle tissue, skin and nerves where the topical cream is applied. These kinds of CBD products may be best for people looking for targeted relief. That said, CBD topicals like skin cream can be applied whenever you like such as when you wake up, before you go to sleep (to support a more restful, calm snooze), post-workout, after a bath/shower, and all the little moments in between.

CBD oils and edibles are taken orally (eaten or sublingually), which gives them higher bio-availability than topicals. Bio-availability refers to the amount and rate of CBD absorbed into your bloodstream. Even though CBD oils and edibles may sound like the right choice at first, it’s important to consider that their potential effects will be spread throughout the body instead of more concentrated like CBD topicals. This small-but-important difference in how CBD is absorbed into the body can make all the difference when it comes to which is best for what you want.

We hope this guide has helped answer your question, “how do CBD topicals work?” and given you some food for thought when it comes to picking your CBD products. Since CBD affects everyone differently, it’s important to try different products, dosages, and CBD rituals to see what works best for you, and when. Whether it’s a CBD bath bomb for the deep relaxation or daily use of a CBD skin cream, CBD topicals can be a great addition to your self care tool belt.

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