In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized the use of CBD federally and in several states. Since then, this natural treatment’s become a popular alternative to pharmaceutical interventions.
A recent poll indicated that around 15% of Americans regularly use CBD to treat pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
You can try CBD in several forms such as capsules, tablets, gummies, and tinctures. However, one of the most popular applications is using lotions and creams.
So what are the benefits of topical CBD and what can it do for you?
How Does CBD Work?
CBD topicals are a good way to enjoy the benefits of CBD without ingesting it, but how do they work?
The cannabis Sativa plant contains over 100 cannabinoids which can help improve your health. We’ve all heard of THC and its purported health benefits, but it also comes with unpleasant and illegal side effects.
CBD can offer all these pluses, without the psychoactive component of THC. Most CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC to comply with legislation.
What Are the Benefits of CBD?
All people have an internal endocannabinoid system (ECS) that interacts with cannabinoids produced inside their bodies as well as those we ingest from plants.
The ECS consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors present in the muscle, nerve, and skin. These receptors help regulate sensations of pain and pleasure. When CBD topicals enter the human body via the skin cells, they interact with these receptors.
In this way, CBD can help alleviate pain and inflammation present in the tissues containing ECS receptors. Since the skin is quite thick, topicals can get to work on skin and muscle cells before the CBD reaches the bloodstream.
By interacting with these receptors, CBD helps relieve the uncomfortable and painful symptoms associated with skin conditions. It’s also implicated in relieving painful inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Benefits of Topical CBD for Various Conditions
Researchers have been trying to answer the question, ‘is CBD effective topically?’ for several years. While studies are still relatively thin on the ground, they’ve come across some promising answers.
Here’s what we know so far:
CBD Helps Relieve Pain and Inflammation
Studies investigating recommend the use of topical CBD for neck pain associated with migraines and even suggest it may relieve nausea associated with this condition.
Another 2016 study using rats revealed that regular application of topical CBD helped reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
CBD and Skin Conditions
Further studies show that CBD topicals can help alleviate the itching and inflammation caused by eczema. In a 2020 study, half the participants reported that their symptoms had improved by over 60% when using CBD topicals for three months.
Research conducted in 2017, revealed that CBD can relieve the inflammation associated with acne and slow down sebum production, which can cause pimples and pustules.
Treatment of Psoriasis with CBD
Psoriasis is an uncomfortable skin condition where skin cells start to multiply up to ten times faster than usual. This results in itchy, bumpy patches of skin covered in white scales. These usually occur on the lower back, elbows, scalp, and knees.
A few studies have implied that using CBD for psoriasis may slow down this cell division and relieve these symptoms.
In 2020, a randomized study showed that CBD had the potential to reduce the sharp painful, cold sensations, and itchiness associated with peripheral neuropathy.
This condition affects the nerves outside the brain and usually results from injury or infection. Affected people experience sudden bouts of intense pain and discomfort and usually take strong opioids to relieve this condition.
Since CBD’s a natural product, it’s a far safer way to treat this condition than pharmaceutical drugs, and studies continue regarding this benefit of CBD topicals.
Does Topical CBD Help Anxiety?
Relief from anxiety is one of the best-known benefits of CBD, and topical CBD can help relieve anxiety in some ways. By calming the worrying, painful symptoms of the above conditions, CBD topicals can do a lot to help your state of mind.
So, while topicals don’t relieve anxiety directly in the way capsules or tincture does, they can help you achieve a more peaceful state of mind.
How to Apply Topical CBD
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying topical CBD. Usually, this involves rubbing your CBD lotion or cream onto the affected spot and massaging it gently.
You might experience a tingling, cool, or warm sensation, depending on the product. Avoid applying these products to broken skin as it might cause irritation.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
Most studies show that CBD’s well-tolerated and safe for most people to use.
However, you might experience irritation caused by other ingredients in the ointment. So, it’s advisable to do a skin patch test whenever you try a new product.
When you ingest CBD, you might experience some side effects such as:
- dry mouth
- changes in weight and appetite
Additionally, CBD may react adversely with other supplements or prescription medications, although they’re less likely to do this since they don’t reach the bloodstream.
Choosing the Best CBD Products
Whenever you’re shopping for supplements or other products that you want to use for health reasons, it’s important to exercise a degree of caution.
It’s important to choose products that have undergone third-party testing. This means an independent authority has checked the product for purity and safety.
As far as possible, opt for products that use US-grown hemp, if you want to ensure the growers have complied with the federal legalities surrounding the cultivation of these plants.
Also make sure you check the ingredients, company certifications, manufacturing processes, and potency of the product you choose.
Stay Informed, Stay Healthy
Wise consumers always research anything they’re considering buying. So, you’re on the right track looking up the benefits of topical CBD. You can also check on reviews and recommendations from other people who use the product.
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