Topical CBD: What is it? & How It Works

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While CBD capsules and tinctures are the most popular form of CBD, topically applied CBD is becoming more popular. There are many ways you can apply this cannabinoid on the skin, including lotions and balms as well as creams and lotions.

Although the information available on CBD ingestion is extensive, it’s not as well-known and widely discussed as topical CBD.

What is CBD Topical and how do they work?

CBD topicals can be defined as any CBD-infused product that can be applied to the skin.

The body is home to a large network of receptors, known as the endocannabinoid systems or ECS. These receptors are activated by the cannabis compounds in hemp to maintain balance and homeostasis throughout the body. The brain, immune cells and organs as well as connective tissue, glands, and skin all contain receptors for the Endocannabinoid System.

Topical CBD is different from ingested CBD. The cannabis content in the product is absorbed through the digestive process and the mucous membranes when you take a capsule or hold a tincture on the tongue. These compounds act at a “system level” throughout the body, usually for a 4–8 hour period.

CBD can be applied topically to the skin to interact directly with local ECS receptors. These products can help maintain healthy skin function, and can also be used to treat specific skin conditions such as soreness. Because active ingredients are applied and absorbed directly to the skin, they can last for extended periods. These ingredients are.

What types of CBD topicals are available?

There are many types of topical CBD products, as we have already mentioned. There are many variations within these core groups.

CBD Balms, CBD Salves, & Ointments

These are the most well-known CBD topicals. Despite their different names, salves and balms can all be grouped together.

The consistency is what makes a salve, balm or ointment different. Balms tend to be thicker due to a higher amount of beeswax. Salves and ointments, on the other hand, are thinner because they contain less wax. The consistency of the topical will not affect its performance.

The active ingredients (such as the cannabinoids or terpenes) are carried into the skin by the oil component. The products in this category have been designed to stay on the skin and provide long-lasting relief, both during and after absorption.

CBD Creams & Lotions

Creams and lotions can be described as similar to balms or salves, but they are made with a mixture of oil and water. These products are designed to moisturize the skin and retain moisture. The ingredients list for these products is longer. The CBD extract is then added to these products in order for them to offer the additional benefits.

Creams and lotions have additional benefits than just applying CBD to the skin. Although this can create great synergies, such as a moisturizing CBD cream, it may have drawbacks such as a lower potency or a shorter shelf life depending on the product composition.

Transdermal CBD patches

Transdermal patches are a CBD-infused stick on that is applied to the skin. The patches are designed to allow the hemp extract contained within them to pass through the skin. This allows for a steady supply of CBD to the skin. The cannabinoids in most topicals don’t reach the bloodstream. They only penetrate the ECS receptors of the skin. Transdermal patches do however deliver cannabinoids into the bloodstream.

This allows for topically applied CBD to act at a system level like an ingested drug, and also provide localized support. All of this can be extended for up to eight to twelve hours. This is a great option for people who require system-level support or extended localized assistance, but don’t like tinctures or capsules.

Is the Entourage Effect applicable to topicals?

The skin has the same cannabinoid receptors as other parts of the body. Therefore, all cannabinoids found in the extract will bind to them.

Topical use of cannabinoids other than CBD has been possible. THC, for example, is commonly used in topical applications. It is important to have both major and small cannabinoids in a product for topical use.

For added benefits in topicals, terpenes are used in full/broad spectrum products and essential oils. They can also affect the way that cannabinoids are transported through the skin barrier.

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