What are CBD Topicals and How do They Work?

Just like conventional topicals, CBD topicals are used to help a wide variety of consumers experience relief from pain and inflammation. They can also be applied to the skin to alleviate major skin conditions as well as muscle strain.

Through the years, the use and consumption of CBD topicals have encompassed its medicinal benefits. And despite its perceived advantages, some are still doubtful of its beneficial effects. That said, we look into CBD topicals in general and how do they work to help patients and individuals looking for a more natural means of relief.

A brain thinking about what exactly is CBD

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol, is a curative compound closely related to THC — another popular cannabinoid. And while THC is mainly known for its psychoactive upshots, CBD is better known for its medicinal properties. With a plethora of health benefits, it is no wonder why CBD has been adapted into many forms; topicals, salves, lotions, and balms, included.

What are CBD topicals?

As the name implies, CBD topicals are ointments infused with the power of CBD. Unlike products that use chemical and synthetic solutions, CBD topicals present fewer side-effects that can cause long-term consequences to your health. On that note, CBD topicals are used widely by patients who have allergic reactions to synthetic medicines and those who are keen about what they put on their skin.

Aside from cannabinoids like THC and CBD, these topicals can also be infused with other botanicals like cayenne, wintergreen, and clove.

CBD topicals being rubbed into your body

How do CBD topicals work?

Like any other topical product, the active ingredients in CBD topicals work by binding themselves into your cannabinoid receptor. These receptors are located throughout your body making your system accommodating of the cannabinoids found in CBD topicals.

The CBD in CBD topicals will penetrate both your dermal and subdermal skin layers, reaching further than just the surface. Compared to inhalation and sublingual CBD consumption, topicals may take longer before you feel its effect, although like topicals, tinctures can also be applied on the skin, not only consumed. However, because a topical stays on the surface of your skin, it offers a lasting effect compared to other products used through different delivery methods. The CBD-infused salve is retained on your skin’s surface, hence, the longer and protracted effect.

Remember, CBD topicals get its CBD compounds from natural botanical plant matter and will typically not include any harmful synthetic products — especially those marketed as organic products. This means that every active ingredient your skin absorbs is naturally sourced, produced, and added into your topical. No added chemicals, no pesticides.

CBD topicals also come in different varieties, like those made with pure CBD or those that offer a full-spectrum effect. Using pure CBD in topicals can ensure that no traces of THC are included in the solution, but the process of purifying CBD strips it off of other active ingredients like the terpenes and trichomes. Moreover, full-spectrum CBDs offer what is typically known as the entourage effect. It is what you call when all active ingredients, found in the plant matter where CBD is derived from, work in conjunction with each other to emphasize and intensify its effects.

And although some CBD topicals contain THC, they are only in trace amounts that they are not enough to induce any psychedelic effect. Those planning to use CBD topicals and still want to be functional throughout the day can rest assured of its non-psychoactive healing properties.

infused lotions with cbd - yellow cream with a thc leaf on top

How to use CBD topicals

CBD topicals can be applied to your skin just like any ointment or cream. First, you identify where the pain or discomfort is and apply a reasonable portion onto the affected area.

How Much Topical Should be Applied

Application is as straightforward as using any oil or lotion, however, determining how much of the topical to be applied is not exactly as easy. One way is to check how many milligrams of CBD is actually in the topical solution. Information can usually be found on the cap of the cream, on the packaging of the product, or by visiting the manufacturer’s website. On that note, topicals that come with smaller doses of CBD will typically be less effective than those that come at a higher concentration.

On that note, it is best to check the label of the product you are buying before applying it on your skin. You can also ask the recommended dosage from representatives should you be purchasing your CBD topicals from a local dispensary.

If any of these avenues do not provide you with the information you need, try applying only a small amount of topical onto the affected surface. Wait for several hours to feel any effect and add more if necessary. As we have briefly covered above, topicals take longer to take effect compared to inhaling vapors or applying sublingual oils that are infused with CBD.

Healthy living with CBD lotions prescribed by your doctor

What can I use CBD topicals for?

CBD topicals can be used in a wide application from localized muscle relief to joint pain. Here is a list of the common conditions that can be treated by using CBD topicals.

  • Skin irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis pain
  • Back pain
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Neuropathy pain
  • Tendonitis

Because of CBD’s known medical benefits, the use of CBD topicals and CBD creams  have been a common practice for many consumers. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you put some on your skin.

Although CBD topicals typically do not have adverse side effects, you should avoid applying the ointment under the circumstances outlined below.

  • Broken skin: Make sure to check the instructions on the label of the product as not every CBD topical has been formulated to be used on broken skin. You could end up infecting the affected area if the topical you have is not intended for the said application.
  • Facial application: Although many beauty products have adapted the use of CBD and have infused their offerings with the effects of the curative cannabinoid, not every CBD cream can be used on your face.
  • Carrier oils: While CBD topicals are generically good for consumers with sensitive skin, other manufacturers may include carrier oils that can cause further irritation. Be sure to check the contents and the ingredients used in the CBD topical to avoid having your allergies flare up.

The idea is that CBD topicals have different formulations and are made with different ingredients which can affect its efficacy and its effect on your body. Read the label first, ask a physician, or talk to a dispensary representative to make sure that you get the right product for you.

When buying CBD topicals, make sure to get ones from a trusted brand and purchase from a trusted seller. Buying from a name you can rely on can ensure that you get only the best products made from the best ingredients on the market.

CBD lotion  can help your skin clear


CBD topicals are a great solution for common pain, inflammation, and other minor skin irritations. However, make sure to practice caution when buying and applying the cream directly onto open wounds or broken skin. That said, knowing how they work, how to use them and how they affect your system is important.

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