Our favorite cannabinoid friend is making headlines again! Yes, we know we can consume CBD by ingesting or inhaling it, but in this article we are going to discuss CBD Topicals.
What are CBD Topicals
CBD Topicals are products that have been infused with CBD specifically intended to be applied externally to a desired area. You’ll find these topicals in a range of styles including CBD lotions, salves, creams, oils, and rubs.
The products are infused with a CBD concentrate that has been extracted from the hemp plant, typically using a CO2 extraction.
This method of extraction leaves no solvent residuals left in the product, and is one of the most pure and clean extraction processes out there. Sometimes they will include other cannabinoids or different essential oils or herbs to increase the product’s effectiveness.
Just like other CBD products, these topicals are non-psychoactive, which means you won’t get high. In fact, when you use CBD lotions, salves, or creams it doesn’t even enter the bloodstream. Making these an extremely safe option for someone looking to try something different for their skin, muscle, and joint ailments.
Why use CBD Topicals
When using CBD in a topical application, the product can be applied directly to a target area for a quick onset of effects. This has made it a widely popular choice for people with a wide range of skin ailments or those needing to target a generalized area like a shoulder or knee.
Unfortunately we are currently suffering from a lack of research on CBD topicals. From the studies that have been done along with countless testimonials from individuals trying CBD on their own, there are several areas that are showing extreme promise.
- Joint Pain
- Muscle Pain
- Skin Infections
The important thing to remember is everyone reacts differently to CBD. Some find it achieves the desired effect, while others find it doesn’t. Be sure to check out the studies on CBD topicals at the end of the article! You can also hear directly from people about their own experiences with CBD on places like YouTube or Reddit.
If you decide to try a CBD topical for yourself, make sure you research the company you plan on purchasing from. Find out where they source CBD. If it’s not made in America don’t buy it. CBD that comes from overseas can have high levels of toxins. You want to be sure you’re purchasing from a company who has a proven track record of tested, quality CBD products.
Athletes have been using CBD lotions and salves for awhile so they can avoid the dangerous side effects that prescription painkillers have. CBD topicals also don’t affect the athletes performance by making them intoxicated, and it also passed the World Anti-doping Agency’s drug testing.
The Science of CBD Topicals
When CBD is applied directly to an area on the body, it has a chance to work faster because it doesn’t have to travel through the digestive system and skips being metabolized by the liver.
When this cannabinoid interacts and triggers the CB2 receptors located near the skin, the body’s endocannabinoid system is activated.
This system (ECS) helps create homeostasis in the body, regulation in brain cell firing, and inflammation regulation. The anti-inflammatory response has the potential to decrease swelling and allow better mobility. The endocannabinoid system can also desensitise pain receptors.
The body also has TrpV1 receptors that regulate body temperature, so when they are activated they can put out heat to relieve pain receptors. CBD interacts with these receptors making them hyperactive and causes them to get hot and desensitized. This then causes a downregulating on pain-sensing nerve endings.
CBD Topicals Studies and Research
Study – The effects transdermal cannabidiol (CBD) has on rats with arthritis – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26517407
Researchers from the University of Kentucky applied a Transdermal CBD Gel directly to the arthritic knee of the rat, and then took note on its effects on inflammation and pain.
Conclusion – Significant reduction in swelling and what appeared to be relief from pain by how the rats held their affected joints led the researchers to conclude that CBD topicals “therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects”.
Study – The effects of cannabidiol (CBD) has on mice in an experimental model of autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). **Note – this model is the most commonly used model for multiple sclerosis (MS). – https://darujps.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40199-015-0131-8
A study published in DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences reviewed how a purified CBD used as a topical treatment in an experimental model of EAE could affect disease progression and recovery of hind leg paralysis.
Conclusion – The results showed great promise that daily use could exert neuroprotective agencies against the autoimmune disease and a drop in the clinical disease score with the recovery of hind leg paralysis. “All these data suggest an interesting new profile of CBD that could lead to its introduction in the clinical management of MS and its associated symptoms at least in association with current conventional therapy.” the researchers concluded.